Law - Expanded Access to College Financial Aid for Former
Foster Youth - Voice for Adoption
to Adopt and more FAQ's
- National Photo Listing of Children Waiting for Adoption
- Adoption Information
Basic Steps to Adopt:
Pick up the phone to talk to your your state's child welfare staff
or to private child placing agency staff in your state. Many states
have interest forms you can fill out online to receive more information.
Most states also offer preliminary foster care and adoption information
meetings, then training may be provided and a family home study
will be completed. Cost is dependent on whether you choose to go
through a state child welfare agency or a private child placing
In any case, before you can adopt you will need to have a current
(within a year) home study. The home study fully explores your motivation
to adopt and the type of children you are willing and able to parent.
Once this is done, you may call, e-mail or fill out an interest
form on the child or sibling group you are interested in any state
in the US. If you are considered for a child you have expressed
interest in your caseworker is contacted by the child's caseworker
for an initial exchange of information, (i.e., your adoption preferences
and skills and the child's special needs).
If both caseworkers agree that this may be a possible match you
are contacted by your caseworker. Your caseworker will share additional
information on the child or sibling group with you. If you are still
interested then your home study is sent in to the child's caseworker
for review and a selection staffing is held for the child. At least
1 or more family home studies are reviewed to make a selection for
If you are selected, your caseworker is advised and you will be
allowed to read information about the children. If you are still
interested then you will meet the children and have preplacement
visits, maybe some overnight visits before the children are placed
You will qualify for adoption tax credits. Subsidy and college
tuition waivers for the children may be available if they qualify.
Once placed, the adoption will not be final (legally consumated)
for at least another 6 months after they are placed with you. You
will receive support services during that time.
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To Adopt A Child
Adoption is a lifelong commitment to a child
- You must be a mature and responsible adult
- You may rent or own your home, as long as you have stable
- You must have adequate income to meet your family's needs
- You can work outside the home, stay at home or be retired
- You may be married, divorced, widowed or single - with
or without children
- You and all adults in your home must pass a background
- You must complete free special training and have an adoptive
home study completed
Support For Adoptive Parents and Children
Children grow best in families
credits -IRS and Topic
607 - Adoption Credit
- Adoption subsidy payments may be available to parents
adopting children with "special needs".
- Medical assistance may be available for the child through
- Most expenses related to the adoption (such as court costs
and attorney fees) are eligible for reimbursement. Some
states may reimburse up to $1,000 for adoption finalization
- Tuition waivers - Children adopted from some states are
eligible to receive up to four years of paid college tuition
at universities, colleges or vocational programs.
- Adoption Support Groups - Support groups for families
awaiting an adoptive match may be available in your state.
In addition, other community-based support groups and services
may be available.
Access to College Financial Aid for Former Foster Youth
- Voice for Adoption
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"Special Needs" Children
"Special Needs" does not always mean that the
child has a physical, mental or emotional disability. However, the
child/ren will qualify for special finacial assisstance if they
meet one (1) or more of the "special needs" criteria below.
Sometimes love is not enough
- The child is age 2 and part of a minority
- The child is at least eight years old
- The child is mentally, physically, or emotionally disabled
- The child belongs to an ethnic minority
- The child is a part of a sibling group who need to be
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Frequently Asked Questions About Adoption
Many parents are reluctant to adopt children from the state, in
part due to misinformation about adoption of children from foster
care. Here are answers to some questions about adoption of foster
children. (excerpt from the Florida Department
of Children & Families)
Q: Isn't it expensive to adopt children?
A: A private adoption agency may charge $20,000 or more.
Almost all of the expenses in a public (state) adoption are covered
by the state, including court and attorney fees.
Q: How can I afford to raise a child through adoption?
A: Parents who adopt children from foster care are eligible
for programs designed to ease the financial burden. See Support
For Adoptive Parents and Children above.
Q: How long does it take to adopt a foster child?
A:The entire adoption process, including orientation, training,
background-screening, home visits and the legal formalities, can
be completed in about nine months.
Q: What if my adopted child's birth parents change their minds?
Can I lose a child I've grown to love?
A: No. In the state child welfare system, children do not
become eligible for adoption until the rights of their birth parents
to raise them have been permanently terminated by a judge.
Q: Aren't many of the abused or neglected children hardened,
difficult and unruly?
A: Many of the children waiting for adoption through the
state child welfare system have endured serious trauma and losses
in their young lives. Nearly half of all foster children have special
needs, meaning they are either developmentally delayed, physically
disabled or suffer mental or emotional disabilities. These are often
the children who have the greatest need for a loving, stable and
That's why, child welfare administrators say, the adoption process
focuses so heavily on building trust among prospective parents and
the children they want to adopt.
The free prospective parent training offered ensures expectations
are realistic for everyone involved. Through the state, all adoptive
parents receive training on the dynamics of abuse and neglect and
child behaviors and they have the opportunity to meet with other
adoptive parents to learn what they may experience.
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