Foster to adopt in PA
Question... if you are fostering a child(ren) and they are in your home for some time and their goal changes to adoption. If there is no family to take the children, do foster parents get "first dibbs" on their foster children, or do they pick several families to interview and pick one? I thought the reason people foster-to-adopt was because they'd get first dibbs on their foster children if they were up for adoption.
Yes, the way it works in PA is they make the goal reunification with birth parents with concurrent goal of adoption by foster parents. If the birth parents rights are terminated and no family or other interested party steps up then the foster parents are next in line and they change the goal to just adoption by foster parents. If the foster parents decide not to adopt the child, then they open it up to others. That is how it is set up to work.

There could be exceptions however such as if the foster parents come under investigation or don't renew their home study, but in most cases that is how it works.
BAC4343 said...
Yes, the way it works in PA is they make the goal reunification with birth parents with concurrent goal of adoption by foster parents. If the birth parents rights are terminated and no family or other interested party steps up then the foster parents are next in line and they change the goal to just adoption by foster parents. If the foster parents decide not to adopt the child, then they open it up to others. That is how it is set up to work.

There could be exceptions however such as if the foster parents come under investigation or don't renew their home study, but in most cases that is how it works.


So just so I have it straight... say we are foster parents and the goal become adoption, and no family/close friend steps forward, and we wanted to adopt, they would NOT choose other families we'd have to compete with, correct? And is that the way it is in all of PA, it's not county by county? My Agency led me to believe that was how it worked, but someone else told me that even if you have been a foster parent, they will still choose other families you have to compete with. I'm sort of down-hearted if this is true because this is the reason we chose to foster, rather than straight out adopt. Thank you by the way for your reponse.
I am in a support group of foster parents that are in many different counties. The only time I have ever heard that they have multiple families competing is when the foster family that has the children decides not to adopt them. The courts and GALs do not like to move the children. Once you have the kids 6 months you have what they call legal standing in PA and you are supposed to be next in line after the birth family.

I do know however there have been some cases of dirty politics especially when the child is an infant where agencies have tried to get the child switched to a favorite foster family once the goal becomes adoption. In one case the way an agency got around this was to send the infant to for closing visits with birth family and then place the foster family with a child that was not allowed to be around younger children due to violence. Once the closing visits were over and the birth family had signed off the foster family didn't get the child back because they had a new placement that wasn't allowed around younger children.

Just to be sure I would ask your agency and the state CW to make sure they are in agreement.
I am also in PA, and that's definitely how it worked for me (we adopted 2 of our fks who came to us as infants), and I've never heard of it happening any other way when fps want to adopt.

When fps don't want to adopt is when different families' homestudies are reviewed, and they pick the best fit for the child.
Thanks everyone, that's what our agency implied would happen. So when this person told me no, they still pick other families you have to compete with, I was very downhearted because if that were the case, I would have just tried to straight-up adopt rather than foster. Now I'm just waiting for a placement call, which I hope comes soon. This has been such an emotional rollercoaster for me, and I haven't even had a placement yet!! :hissy:
Apparently it is true... Some counties pick 3families to chose from. Unless there are certain circumstances, how can this be in the best interest of the child!!

Who is everyone here thru (private agency vs. County cys)? We are thru private agency. Not sure which is best.
We are directly through our county.
In our area (not all areas), all kids go through the county first -- if the county cannot find a county foster home for the child, then they start calling the private agencies. So basically, in our area, if you're with a private agency, you are getting the foster kids that are harder to place, bigger sibling sets, etc. Obviously, though, when all the county homes are full, the county home are full, so it's not always necessarily harder to place children, etc.
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