Legal Free Adoptions
After reading this forum for a few days I am not sure the foster to adopt process is going to work for our family at the moment. My hubby and I have some more talking to do.

The other option that we have open is to wait for a legal free adoption. What are people's experiences with legal free adoptions? I realize this involves a long, long wait. For those who have waited, how long was it? What age child did you get? Were they special needs? What issues did they have? What was their history? I am interested in anyone who will tell their story, good, bad, ugly or wonderful.

Thanks so much!
I saw my daughter off Adoption Exchange in Feb 2009, she moved in in December 2009. Adopted in June 2010. She came into my foster home legally free, things went smooth, and no concerns. She was 8 when she got placed. No medical issues.

Then last October 2011 same caseworker calls me asked if I would be interested in a sibling group of 2 on her caseload. She said that they are 11 months and 2 years old- both boys, and healthy. Also legally free. They moved in, December 2011 and last June 2012 they were adopted. Therefore they both went amazingly smooth.
We have never fostered but did receive one call for a 6, 3 and 11 month old one night. We said yes, and after running around like a fool... they ended up with family that night and we wernt needed.
BUT...we were approached by a local worker about 2 kids she had on her caseload, wondering if we may be intereseted. They are legally free. 5 and 3 yr old girls. They have some special needs, but nothing we cant handle (we hope anyway!LOL)
How long did it take? Over 3 years.
Most legally free are older and have been in the system a while. Obviously, not all of them, as previous poster have experienced, but in my area it is rare to have legally free under 8 or 9.
Most of the younger ones/ lower needs kids are adopted by their foster family.
We didnt want the revolving door effect either, which is why we were adoption only for 3 years. Once we added our foster license, we had many more options.
You said you never fostered, but still got your license after 3 years. Did the license help you get the girls?

My husband and I agree that we don't want the revolving door so don't see the need for the foster license. But if someone gives us a reason other than to foster to adopt we might do it anyway.

This is the first good news I have had in asking questions this week. If we are patient it might be possible to get legal free without the fuss of fostering.

I will be contacting our local agency this week to see if their foster processes run the same as has been described on this forum, and also ask about legal free.

We may still have a chace at this and that makes me very happy.
One of my sons was legally free when he was placed with us (he was 2 years old at the time -- well actually he's still 2). We finalized his adoption in October.

We weren't really waiting at the time. We had decided to go on a break from fostering (adopting) and our agency called us because he was sitting in a children's shelter for over 2 months, legally-free, healthy and the right age for us. He had kind of slipped through the cracks. He was totally healthy - no special needs.

He is the only one of our four adoptions that was legally-free at the time of placement. The other three were very low legal risk.
I would absolutely get licensed for both.

In many states (maybe all?) you HAVE to foster the "adoptive" placement before you can finalize the adoption. No One fullly explained that to us 3 years ago or we would have done it a long time ago.
Even though ours are legally free, we will still technically be their foster parents for 6 months, thus needing our foster license. It is a SLOW process to add it in most areas, so having it already will make your home more "attractive" to legal risk/preadoptive placements. (ours took 9 months)
Some States are different from what I have heard on here... so Id look into it.

We got NOTHING until we added our foster license, then we started getting profiles all the time...some free, some close to it. (Legal Risk) Many were out of our range, but was something!
It was a frustrating process.... many months would go by without a word from our worker. Once we were licensed to foster.... we became a useful commodity I think. I cant tell you how many times we just said we were "done", but now I know the reason. Our girls just werent ready yet!
Just because you become a licensed foster to adopt home it doesnt mean you have to foster. You can straight adopt or take kids that are low legal risk. wouldnt it be better to be prepared for either than to miss out on " your kids"??
Just because you become a licensed foster to adopt home it doesnt mean you have to foster. You can straight adopt or take kids that are low legal risk. wouldnt it be better to be prepared for either than to miss out on " your kids"??
Ours were a legally free "straight" adoption. This is what we wanted, but were afraid it would take too long so we had been open to low risk foster to adopt. We were licensed in March 2011, saw our kids on our state's website and inquired in August 2011, they moved in in March 2012, we adopted in September 2012. They were 9, 6, and 4. No real special needs, one has a health condition he may outgrow, but controlled with medication.
Just be prepared to have a possible long wait. We have been waiting and licensed for 7 months. We have submitted for more kids than we can count and never hear back. And we have a foster license too. We can take legal risk cases also. The only placement we have had was not within our parameters and ended up not being a case going towards adoption at all. Just know that you could get really lucky and it happen fast, but that doesnt happen for everyone. We are beginning to wonder if it will EVER happen for us. Sorry to be a downer.
I'm really glad that we got our foster care license. We told them we did not want to do regular foster care but would do emergency and respite. We had one respite girl for a weekend and two short placements (7 days and 60 days). It's been five or six years for us, but we were finally matched through the online photolistings with a group in CA (5, 6, 8) last March. They were placed in August. They came to us as foster kids so I think having our license was helpful. I'm not sure what would have happened if we hadn't had it. They do not have special needs. We'll finalize in March-April timeframe.
So I am seeing people get low risk placements, but they all see to be for sib groups of 2 or 3. We would only be looking for one. Maybe by the time our 5 yo bioD goes to college we would get a match. Smile
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