I am interested in adopting an adbandoned/unwanted/orphaned healthy infant. I have heard that the cheapest way is DSS. I can not afford an adoption which costs thousands of dollars. Do you think I am way off in thinking that this is even a possibility? Or are their other inexpensive options? How long is the wait usually for an infant? Can I adopt through other state's DSS offices? If so, how does that work? Any advice would be appreciated!!!
children who are abondoned at the hospital or through safe haven laws are put into foster care. typically with foster families who are willing to take legal risk placements in hopes of adoption. legal risk means that the baby will most likely be available for adoption, but the termination of parental rights has not happened and it is not a for sure thing that the baby will be available for adoptioin. luckily today, there are not unwanted babies and i would caution you from refering to any child as unwanted. there are typically 10 + couples waiting for a newborn child so he/she is not unwanted. maybe unplanned for by bparents but definatly wanted by someone. if you are interested in becoming foster parents or adoptive parents through the state, i would recommend contacting your local office and finding out about orientation or classes necessary to proceed with that route.
Ditto mckenna's post except that if you do not choose to foster or do legal risk it is most likely that the child would be 18-24 months old before all legal paperwork is completed. That whole time child would be in foster care unless you do legal risk or foster care.
We have just beeen through the adoption research process ourselves. Infants are obviously the most difficult to come by unless you are prepared to wait. Your local DSS has numerous children available for foster care, and sometimes for adoption. You need to get your foster care license first, and the DSS would be your cheapest option, costing only a few hundred dollars, some of which is reimbursed. You also get monthly foster care or adoption subsidies which vary from state to state, ranging from $400-700 per month. To adopt inter-state you need to use a private adoption agency, you still need to get your foster care license, as well as do an adoption homestudy but the costs will range from $1000 for a child in your own state, to up to $5000 for an out of state child! The cheapest way is through your local DSS but you need to make sure you tell them you are interested in a child that is on an "adoption track" because usually the children available are trying to get reunified with their parents. You want to specify that you want a child that is either on an adoption track or that is already "legally free" for adoption. The babies are obviously harder to come by but you might get lucky, depending on your timing, and on what state you live in.
Call your local DSS and they will give you all the info on foster care licensing and what they call the "Fos-Adopt" process.
To adopt a baby through DSS, you can get licensed as a foster home and then only accept infants. It doesn't cost anything except for buying like a fire extinguisher and stuff for passing your home study. There are no legal fees to adopt a child through the state.
HOWEVER-----when a baby comes into care for any reason, the bio. parents have at least a year in most states to work to get their child back. Unless they voluntarily place the child for adoption (which is rare through the state), they have a year to get their kids back, so you aren't guaranteed you get to keep the baby.
Even in the worst abandonment cases (ie. the baby is left in a trash bin), the parent's rights are still in place until about a year later. And even if the parents do voluntarily place the baby, DSS may still be obligated to search for relatives. So again, you aren't guaranteed to keep the baby.
Adopting a legally free (available for adoption), healthy newborn through DSS does happen, but it is rare. Just wanted to let you know the reality. I have worked for DSS (well, called DCFS) in WA state.
We are currently in the process of becoming licensed for foster care and adoption. During our first class we learned that they have recently had a decrease in the number of foster families willing to take infants and because of that the local guardian home's infant section is full to capacity, 32 infants, in need of a foster home. I am not sure of the parents status for these infants but would recommend you at least look in to adopting/fostering. We are hoping to adopt an older child (12 yrs old) first and then want to become foster parents to an infant.
Good luck and may your dreams come true
chrissie, no one is fighting with the bio family to adopt their children! what we as fps do is open our home (after training and with a ton of oversight) to children who, for whatever reason, cannot safely stay in their birth homes. the parents are typically given a case plan to follow to remedy the issues that caused the removal in the first place.
case plans can include but are not limited to: counseling for addiction issues, parenting classes, job training, rehab, drug testing, psychological testing, obtaining and maintaining a job and home in a proper manner, therapies, and visits with the children. a case plan contains whatever the parent needs in order to learn to live a productive, healthy, safe life with their children.
if the parent satisfactorily completes their case plan, the kids go back. during the case, kids can be moved to another foster home or to the home of an appropriate relative who can safely care for them. IF the parent is unable or unwilling to complete their case plan, the state can and often will terminate their parental rights. there is an appeal period in which the parent can bring their case back before the court in order to overturn the termination, although that is rare. the state doesn't like to waste their resources if their case for parental rights termination is not likely to be upheld.
when this happens, the parent/child relationship is severed and the children become free for adoption.
if and when this happens, THEN the fps are sometimes able to adopt the child or children in their care. sometimes the children are adopted by a relative.
by the time it gets to adoption, parents are no longer legal parents.
at NO time is there a fight between the fps and the bio parent over who adopts the child. there is lots of drama, emotions, and worries on all parts, but not a fight. until the children are legally free, we as fps have very little say regardless of what we want.
and a lot of us on here have been through this particular storm. it was one of the most heart and gut wrenching things i've ever done, standing by, loving these kids, watching their mom throw away her opportunity to raise them and knowing that one of us was going to cry in the end.
but no, i was not fighting with her or their father over adopting the kids. he relinquished. she had rights terminated. i had the great fortune to be able to keep them.
Your best bet is probably to find out when your local office is having an orientation or informational meeting. At that meeting you can find out a lot of information. You can find out if your area has a program for straight adoption. Some places do and others do not. If they do not then you can only adopt if you foster. If you foster you must support reunification as long as the courts say that is the goal for the child. Some places have a lot of infants, some places will not even sigh anyone up unless they are willing to take children older than 8 years or some other age. There are other things to think about. Are you willing to take any race? What about a child who has been exposed to drugs or alcohol? What about a child who is say six months old but has been abused or neglected? The reason it's big news when someone finds a newborn in a trash can or something is because it doesn't happen very often. An informational meeting will tell you what type of children are available for adoption in your area. It will tell you the process and give you some ideas about the wait.
so basically youll be fighting with the birth parents to adopt thier children....??
This is actually a very old thread.
If you want better info on foster to adopt you should head over to the foster care and adoption board where a lot of us who've adopted from foster care can give you some answers.
so basically youll be fighting with the birth parents to adopt thier children....??
Now there's a heck of a first post. Sounds to me like someone who just logged on hoping to start a fight . . .
Thank you green robin. I appreciate the information. As for the other persons comment...I hate to dissapoint you, but I have no intention on fighting with anyone. I just stumbled upon this thread, and misunderstood what was being relayed...again- THANK YOU green robin for taking the time to explain in a way that made more sense. Chrissie:thanks:
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