We are excited to announce Foster Kids Charity's newest initiative: to increase adoption from foster care in Texas and the greater United States in 2021. We will be sharing resources, insights, and content related to adoption here on our website.
In the United States, there are more than 100,000 children waiting for permanent homes. They are typically school-aged or older, and more than half come from minority cultures. Many have emotional, physical, or learning disabilities. There are brothers and sisters who need to stay together.
There are two stages in the adoption process: pre-placement and post-placement. Placement is when the child enters your home, pre-placement describes the time before and post-placement the time after. There is a pre-placement waiting period for all adoptions. The time frame, like the cost, varies with the type of child being adopted. With a completed homestudy in hand, the process to adopt a child with special needs can often proceed quickly and be completed within a few months. The wait is typically between two and seven years for a healthy infant.
It is not costly to adopt a child with special needs. Often the agency has a sliding fee scale, and frequently there is little or no cost. Following the adoption, the children may receive subsidies to cover the medical and other necessary expenses, although the family is still likely to incur other costs, over the years, as they raise their child.
Costs of adopting a healthy infant of any race through a private agency or attorney in the United States range from several hundred dollars to $30,000 or more. Inter-country adoptions are costly, as well. Families pay between $10,000 and $20,000 in fees, which may not include travel and living expenses while in the foreign country.
Foster care is meant to be temporary shelter for a child; generally the plan is for the child to return to the parents when they are able to provide care. If that fails, the child is made available for adoption.
Foster parents may be able to adopt the child in their care if the child becomes available, through a foster-adopt program with their agency. In fact, most adoptions in the United States are by children's foster parents. Beginning as a foster parent is also one way that you may be able to adopt a healthy infant or toddler. But you are not required to be a foster parent in order to adopt.
While some agencies approve a family simultaneously for both foster care and adoption, a foster care homestudy and an adoption homestudy are not always interchangeable. If you are thinking about foster-adoption, it is important to inquire how an agency handles this.
If you wish to become a foster parent, organizations which may be able to help you are the National Foster Parent Association, or the National Resource Center for Foster Care and Permanency Planning.
Yes. The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA), passed in 1998, requires state agencies to speed up a child's move from foster care to adoption by establishing time frames for permanency planning and guidelines for when a child must be legally freed for adoption. The law also removes geographic barriers to adoption by requiring that states not delay or deny a placement if an approved family is available outside the state.
Yes. In October, 1995, the Multi-Ethnic Placement Act (MEPA) became effective. This act and subsequent revisions bar any agency from discriminating because of race when considering adoption opportunities for children, if the agency receives federal funding. Another law affecting transracial adoption is the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which establishes provisions for the placement of Native American children.
Read about getting started to become a foster or adoptive parent.
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