When considering adoption, many couples decide to adopt foster children instead of going through an independent adoption agency. This can be a difficult yet rewarding experience. In order to adopt foster children, very specific guidelines must be met. The prospective adoptive couple will need an attorney and to supply information such as background checks, financial records, and other information to the foster care agency in order to be considered and approved for adoption. The adoptive parents will also need to undergo extensive home studies to ensure that the home is suitable for a child.
Adoption counseling is not always required before beginning the process to adopt foster children, but it is often recommended. Foster children have usually been through traumatizing situations beyond their control, and adoption counseling can help the new parents to learn how to help deal with tough emotional issues that may arise as a result of abuse or neglect. This type of counseling may also help the prospective parents decide for sure whether they are truly suited to adopt foster children.
An adoption attorney is a major asset when undergoing this process. Adoption laws vary from state to state, so it is highly beneficial to have an attorney looking out for the best interests of the new family. In some cases, there may be legal issues concerning biological parents, and the attorney can help in that area as well.
The evaluation process when trying to adopt foster children can be long and quite involved. The caseworkers for the children will need to make sure that the prospective parents are financially secure enough to handle the placement of one or more children in the home. This may mean providing documentation such as bank statements and work history verification. Criminal background checks are required to ensure the safety of the children.
Home studies are another requirement when attempting to adopt foster children. The caseworkers will check to make sure the home is safe and clean. It is generally required that children of opposite genders have separate bedrooms regardless of age. If everything checks out, at the end of this tedious process the new family will go before a judge, where the adoption will be legalized and the new family can enjoy their new lives together. The entire process typically takes about a year, although each situation will be different based on individual circumstances.