Steps in the Process to Adopt a Foster Child
The process of adopting a foster child requires a good deal of time and a lot of consideration. It is very important that families are properly trained and prepared so that they are able to make the best decision for their family. This page outlines the steps in the process of adopting a foster child through our AdoptionWorks program.
Step 1 for Adopting a Foster Child – Making Contact
We invite you to attend one of our regularly scheduled information meetings to learn more about the child adoption process through AdoptionWorks. We would be happy to answer any questions that you may have. If you are ready to move forward with the adoption process, you can complete the application on our website. After you submit your application, you will need to register for the AdoptionWorks training series of your choice. You can register for the training directly from our website as well.
Step 2 for Adopting a Foster Child - AdoptionWorks Training
Our 27-hour training is required for each prospective adoptive parent. The goal of the training is to help prospective parents understand what children in foster care have experienced, and the impact that those experiences have on them. Families are taught how to effectively parent these children in a therapeutic manner. This training is offered several times a year and is an opportunity for prospective parents to learn enough to assess for themselves if this type of adoption is right for them.
Step 3 for Adopting a Foster Child - The Home Study
The home study process is performed by an assigned social worker. The process begins after the initial paperwork has been completed. Consisting of a number of interviews, checks, and references, the home study addresses multiple aspects of the life of the prospective adoptive parent(s). It also assesses motivation for adoption, preparation for adopting a foster child, background checks, health and wellness, financial stability, and personal relationships.
Not only is the home study a legal requirement in order to proceed with adoption, it is also a necessary step for a family to be considered for adopting a foster child.
Step 4 for Adopting a Foster Child - Identifying Children that are an Appropriate Match
After the home study is approved and finalized, the AdoptionWorks team works closely with each family to search for and identify children who may have the potential to be a match for the family. We help families learn to utilize the many online resources that are available to locate children waiting for adoption.
The AdoptionWorks team also pursues potential matches for families through direct contact with child welfare agencies around the country. Our team diligently advocates for each family that is being considered as a possible match for a child or sibling group.
During the foster child adoption process, the average length of time that families wait to be matched with a child or sibling group is one year from the completion of the home study.
Step 5 for Adopting a Foster Child - Matching
Once a child or sibling group is identified as a potential match, the AdoptionWorks team gathers as much information as possible on that child. This information is provided to the prospective adoptive parents to ensure that they have full disclosure of the child’s medical, social, psychological, behavioral, and educational history. Our team is with each family every step of the way throughout the adoption process. We review the information and help the family consider all of their options, allowing them to make the most appropriate decision.
Step 6 for Adopting a Foster Child – Placement
The AdoptionWorks team assists the family in planning for the child’s transition and placement. This assistance includes identifying resources the family will need to meet the needs of the child. After the child is placed in the family’s home, we provide the required Post-Placement Supervision through monthly home visits by the family’s social worker. As this will be a period of adjustment for both parents and children, the home study social worker will be there to offer support and guidance through the remainder of the child adoption process.
Adoptions Together provides counseling, support, ongoing training, parent coaching, and much more to any family in need.
Step 7 for Adopting a Foster Child - Finalization of the Adoption
After a minimum of six months of supervision by the family’s social worker, the family can begin the process of finalizing the adoption. The AdoptionWorks team will provide any information and documentation needed by the family and/or their attorney for finalization.
For more information on adopting a foster child, please read our AdoptionWorks Frequently Asked Questions.
You can also contact the AdoptionWorks Program at (410) 869-0620 or complete our contact form to receive additional information.