Adopting A Foster Child: What You Need To Know

Making the decision to become a foster child gives you the chance to help kids in need find safe haven during troubled times. In some cases, foster children may be available for adoption. If you choose to adopt a foster child, there are a few things you need to know about the adoption process that can make the transition from foster parent to adoptive parent easier. Keep the following information in mind as you talk to a family law attorney about your situation.

Adopting A Foster Child Is Affordable

Private adoptions are notorious for being expensive, but adopting a foster child is much more affordable. In fact, nearly 90 percent of families who adopt foster children receive subsidies helping to cushion the cost of caring for a new child. These subsidies are offered as incentives to move children out of foster care and into permanent, loving homes. Your family law attorney can help you to determine which subsidies you might qualify for during and after the adoption proceeding.

Getting Parental Consent May Not Be An Issue

While family services agencies try to focus on reuniting a child with his or her family, it is not always possible to do so. If a foster child has been in foster care for 15 of the most recent 22 months, child welfare agencies can move to terminate the parent's rights. If parental rights have been terminated, the parent cannot contest the adoption. This is a big difference from private adoptions where a parent can change his or her mind about allowing the adoption continue. Some of the other reasons parental rights may be terminated include:

  • The birth parent is serving an extended prison time and foster care is the only option.
  • Birth parents fail to follow the court mandates for reunification with the child.
  • Returning the child to the care of the birth parents would result in harm or injury.

When a foster child is placed in your home, talk to the social worker about the availability for adoption. In some cases, the social worker will know right away if parental rights are going to be terminated, which can make the adoption process easier.

Fostering A Child Can Influence Your Decision To Adopt

Fostering a child can help you to decide if adoption is right for you. Being a foster parent gives you all the responsibilities of an adoptive parent on a temporary basis. You can learn whether or not you and your foster child are a good match, which can make it easier to build a strong parent-child bond after an adoption. This trial period can help you to make the right decision about becoming a parent.

Your family law attorney (such as one from Deborah L Kenney Attorney At Law) can help you with every step in the adoption process, helping you to determine what subsidies you are entitled to and what type of battle you might face with a birth parent when trying to adopt. Be sure to ask plenty of questions to make sure that you and your foster child get the best possible outcome for your situation.