7 Signs that Foster Care Adoption is Right for You

Adopting a child from foster care is a life-changing decision. Opening your heart and home to a child in desperate need of a supportive, loving family is a beautiful choice, and FCCA is proud to help prospective adoptive parents like you reach their adoption goals.

But how do you decide if foster care adoption is really right for you and your family?

Deciding to pursue any kind of adoption is not something to be rushed. It requires research about and an understanding of each family-building path, and an analysis of what program best meets your adoption goals and preferences. Foster care adoption is not right for everyone, so it’s important that you know what to expect before selecting this adoption process.

Our adoption professionals are always available to discuss our fos-adopt program and your personal adoption goals with you. Because of our experience in all kinds of adoptions, we can help you determine whether foster care adoption in California or another adoption process is the best path for you.

Every family is different, but if you’re considering foster care adoption, there are typically some important signs that it may be right for you:

1. You are ready to commit to being a permanent parent with all the challenges and rewards of this role.

Adopting from foster care and being a foster parent are two different paths with two separate aims: one to bring a child permanently into a family, and the other to help a child reunite with their birth family. Those who decide that foster care adoption is for them are ready to permanently commit to one child (or sibling group), and to work toward establishing a familial connection with them, rather than working with a child’s biological parents on a reunification plan.

2. You are comfortable with adopting an older child.

The children who are available for adoption in California are typically older children due to the birth parents’ rights to complete a reunification plan before their parental rights are terminated. By the time this process has been completed, most foster children are at least several years old. Therefore, if you want to complete a foster care adoption, you should be prepared to parent an older child. Just because you won’t raise a child from infancy does not mean that your parenting is any less effective or less needed; in fact, older children who are adopted from foster care are far more likely to finish high school, go to college and be more emotionally secure than their peers who remain in foster care. Adopting an older child makes such a difference in the child’s life, helping the child to reach personal goals and dreams that may have once seemed impossible.

3. You are willing to adopt a child with special needs.

Many of the children in foster care are classified as “special needs” — but that doesn’t only include medical or physical disabilities. Special needs can mean anything from being in a racial minority or being an older child, to having emotional and behavioral issues from traumatic events before and during foster care. A supportive and loving home is needed to help these foster children heal from their traumatic pasts. All parents adopting from foster care should be aware of the challenges they may face during early adjustment periods. If you’re willing to commit to a child with special needs, and to learn new ways of parenting so as to help them heal, then foster care adoption may be right for you.

4. You are seeking an affordable adoption process.

Foster care adoption is often the most affordable adoption process for parents, with an average cost of $2,000 through FCCA’s fos-adopt program. You will also receive financial aid and subsidies that, in many cases, completely offset any out-of-pocket expenses you incur. For prospective parents who don’t have much money to spend on the adoption process, a foster care adoption is a great option.

5. You want to adopt a child quickly.

International and private domestic infant adoption processes can take years to complete because of a high demand for and a low supply of children, as well as complicated legal processes. With foster care adoption, however, you usually do not have to wait long for a placement because of the thousands of children currently in the foster care system. Most of FCCA’s adoptive parents receive a placement within six months of finishing their home study. While finalization cannot occur for at least six months after placement, parents can start creating a parent-child bond from the moment they bring their child home. If you want to add a child to your family quickly, you should consider foster care adoption.

6. You are comfortable with no birth parent contact and the challenges that may emerge.

Open adoption contact is the standard in private domestic infant adoption, but birth parent contact is very rare in foster care adoptions. In many cases, children in foster care were removed from their parents due to traumatic events at their hands. In these instances, maintaining contact with their birth parents won’t be recommended due to safety concerns. While the lack of parent contact will come with a unique set of challenges, foster care adoption might be the path for those who prefer this.

7. You want to provide love and support to the children most in need.

Perhaps more than any other children, those children in foster care are in need of supportive, loving families to join. Many of these children have endured trauma and have spent years in and out of the foster system as their parents failed to complete reunification plans. Bringing one of these children into your home will make a huge difference in not only the child’s life, but also your own. If you’re ready to impact a child’s life for good, foster care adoption is likely a great choice for you.

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Of course, you are the only one who can decide if foster care adoption is right for your family. These signs are simply some good starting places to consider. We encourage you to reach out to FCCA to learn more about foster care adoption and whether it is a good option for you.