Foster care is temporary. Foster parents care for children while their parents work to create a safe and stable family environment for them to return home to. Reunification with birth parents or other family members is the goal.
Adoption is permanent. Children become eligible for adoption if their birth parents’ rights are terminated. Once a judge finalizes an adoption, the child is legally part of the adoptive family, just like a biological child.
For more information on the differences, please see How to Choose Your Path.
Yes, foster and adoptive parents can choose the type of child (age, gender, number of children, etc.) they believe they are qualified to parent.
If your goal is to adopt an infant, then it is not recommended that you become a foster parent. Foster parents must be able to work with all members of the child welfare team toward reunification with the birth family. Most children in foster care are able to return to their birth families or to be placed with kin.
If you know the phone number, call the worker’s supervisor. If not, call the main number for your county department of job and family services or public children services agency and ask to speak to your caseworker’s supervisor.
To find contact information for your public children services agency, please go to the Resource Map and search for the PCSA that is is involved with your family.
It varies. The goal is to have a homestudy completed within six months of the date the family completes the application. During that time, the family has to complete several training sessions and documents, and the agency has many requirements to meet, as well. The average time from start to finish is approximately three to four months.
No. Foster and adoptive parents can own or rent. They can live in a house or an apartment. The only requirement is that there must be adequate space for the child and their belongings.
No, you don’t. Many amazing foster and adoptive parents are single.
No, there is no maximum age for fostering or adopting. As long as you are healthy enough to care for a child, you can foster or adopt.