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Adoption

Because teenagers and young adults need parents, too. Being a teenager in a stable, loving home is challenging enough. Imagine being a teenager on the brink of independence without a stable, loving home during the transition to adulthood.

Research shows that young adults who age out of foster care without permanent families are more likely to have negative outcomes, including homelessness, unemployment, incarceration and unexpected pregnancies. Adopting a teenager can provide them with the support and guidance they need to become independent, successful adults who live up to their potential.

Adoption also can provide the lifelong supportive connections that we all need. You can be there at holidays, to walk them down the aisle on their wedding day and to be grandparents to their children.

Children of all ages come into the child welfare system, including infants. More than half the children who come into care are able to reunify with their parents or go live with a kinship caregiver. For the younger children who can’t return home or live with kin, most are adopted by their foster parents.

Yes! Most children adopted from the child welfare system are eligible for adoption subsidies. Different subsidies are available depending on the child’s circumstances. Once you are matched with a child, the county agency with custody of the child can help you determine eligibility and begin a negotiation process. In addition, nearly all children who are adopted from the child welfare system receive Medicaid coverage.

For more information about adoption subsidies, please see Adoption Costs.

Yes, help is available! It’s completely normal to need help, even years after an adoption finalizes. Numerous online resources are available, as well as adoption-competent counselors and therapists. Do not be afraid to ask your adoption agency or your county children services agency for help understanding what’s going on and meeting your family’s needs, they can help connect you with services and programs available to your family.                

For more information, please see Support & Resources for Adoptive Parents.

Adopting a child from the child welfare system is usually free. The minimal costs involved are usually covered by the agency that completes the adoption homestudy or the agency with custody of the child. Any costs that are not covered by agencies can usually be reimbursed through adoption subsidies.

For more information, please see Adoption Costs.

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.

No, you don’t. Many amazing foster and adoptive parents are single.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Yes, foster and adoptive parents can choose the type of child (age, gender, number of children, etc.) they believe they are qualified to parent.

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.

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