Pre-Adoptive Placement - how does it work?
I was wondering what the process is for pre-adoptive placement. If a child's plan changes to very likely TPR or TPR, and the family they are with chooses not to adopt, how is a new home for that child found? Meaning, if I and several other foster families, say are interested in the same type of child, age range, etc, how does the child's CW decide which family to inquire and place with? Does the CW look within state before going to the agencies or to adoption only homes? And is the child allowed short term visits with the new family before actual placement? thx
I'm in Alabama, so I'm not sure if this differs state to state or not.

Here, the child's case worker and the resource worker work together to find a home that seems best for that child. So, say they have a a little boy who loves to be outside a lot and have a home of a family that likes to be inside and one that likes to be outside... they'd place him with the latter. That's a SUPER simple explanation.

My resource worker (case worker) told us that she likes to place "her kids" (meaning the kids from this county that she's gotten to know) with "her homes" (meaning the homes in this county that she has gotten to know. So she looks very hard at all her foster to adopt and adoptive homes in her county before branching out to the state, agencies, etc.

And it is very rare that a child is just moved from one home to a pre-adoptive home without some short term visits first. Circumstances sometimes require that quick transistion, but it isn't the norm.
We're with a private agency that contracts with DHS. If any of our agency's kids come available for adoption and the current foster home isn't interested they definitely give priority to families already with the agency and waiting for pre-adoptive kids.

If no home is found that is already with the agency, they will accept applications from other approved homes and pick the one they feel is the best fit for the child.
From what I hear many areas like to hang on to their Foster families so they would rather place the child with a foster/Adopt or Adoption only family. But like the PP stated. It also depends on what they child needs. If the child needs a two parent home to thrive then they will not place the child with a single parent. It also depends on who is willing to take certain special needs and not.
depends....the matching team go through all the families that are ready for adoptive placements and decide which one seems to be a better match....they call "their" families first....and none of the babies go to agencies first....the county families will always be offered relinquishments first and usually none of those make it to agency people....

but then again this is general and for my county and I'm going through my county
Also keep in mind, that unless TPR is done, that RU could still happen. We got our FD (3.5 now) at 14 mos old.....TPR was a 'sure thing'. We have gone through a TPR trial, attempts to RU, back to TPR, and now back to RU. This child has been with us most of her life, relates to us as her family, but in the end, that doesn't matter.
We never imagined it would take this long.

As far as matching process, you never know. In her case, we had the same CW for our other kids, she said she had 2 children on her caseload going toward TPR, would we be interested in either of them. We got to meet her, decided we were interested, continued visits until we got a waiver on our license, then moved her in. Had we not been interested, I'm sure she would have asked some of the other families she liked before taking it to the next levels of matching.

For children who are already legally free in our state, without an adoptive placement already (those on the photolistings) are often very hard to place b/c of age, behaviors, etc.

Just aa word of caution....until TPR is signed and appeal process exhausted, reunification CAN happen. And until the adoption petition is signed, any family member can step up and get the child placed in their home.
I'm in Maryland. When "Brandon"s case was changed to TPR/Adoption, the cw called the extended family again and asked them if they were sure they didn't want to take custody. When they said "no", the birthmother was allowed to refer friends of hers (which didn't work out). At that point, they asked me if I would be willing to adopt. If I had said "no", they would have looked for an adoptive home within the county.
Even now with the TPR trial date set, the baby could possibly go home. The baby's mom has completed her caseplan since the TPR was filed. If she can hold it together until August (trial date), they will dismiss the TPR and reunify. At this point, it can actually go either way-even though he is considered an adoptive placement at this point.
Prettyboicris said...
From what I hear many areas like to hang on to their Foster families so they would rather place the child with a foster/Adopt or Adoption only family. But like the PP stated. It also depends on what they child needs. If the child needs a two parent home to thrive then they will not place the child with a single parent. It also depends on who is willing to take certain special needs and not.


Not where we are! My kids have a sibling that they have never met. The child was adopted by her foster parents. We found out after the fact. They did not even contact us and ask if we would take her even though our license was still valid.

It just really depends on the individual county. Now the next county over strongly discourages foster parent adoption.
I think every county is different. I have had two preadoptive placements (P and J). Both were kids who were in foster care for over a year, and when the county started actively pursuing TPR, they asked the current foster families if they would be interested in adopting.

P's foster parents said no- he was 10, and had a lot of special needs, and their 6 year old biotwins were catching up to him developmentally which made for a lot of stress and friction between them. My county has a meeting every Tuesday morning where cw staff their hard to place kids- P was mentioned at that meeting, and I my cw suggested I might be interested, so I got the call. He lived with me for over a year before he went to live with an aunt out of state he hadn't seen in several years (It was the right decision for him long term, but heartbreaking nonetheless).

J's foster family was older (60's I think) and have been foster parents for over 30 years without ever adopting- it is just not what they do. He was first moved to the foster home that has his brothers- the hope being they could all be adopted together. But once he got there they realized there were a lot of dysfunctional patterns between the siblings and behaviors in all of them that only came out when they were together, and that foster family decided they could not adopt all of them. So then he was also staffed at a Tuesday morning meeting, and I had just called my cw the day before to remind her I had an empty nest that needed filling, so she mentioned me. And here we are! TPR has been completed, and his case is supposed to move to adoption next month!

When they are looking for a prospective adoptive home, in my experience, a LOT has to do with which foster families are on their minds, so make sure to get to know all the cw. Here at least, they always try in county first and I had several preplacement visits with both of them. I did not officially agree to the placement until after at least 2-3 meetings for either kid.
Thank you all kindly for your viewpoint on how this works. It's been of much help to my understanding!
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