What types of adoptions are available?
St. Joseph Children’s Home Foster Care and Adoption Program facilitates adoptions from the foster care system. We can answer the many adoption questions you may have.

How much does adoption cost?
Adopting from the foster care system is one of the least expensive ways to expand your family. The main expense with Foster Care Adoption is the attorney’s fees usually about $1,000, but these are reimbursable from the state of Kentucky. There are no fees for the home study process or the training and support you receive. In addition children that you adopt through foster care may be eligible for medical insurance from the state, tuition waivers for state higher education, and a monthly adoption subsidy to help the family meet the child’s special needs.

What are the qualifications to adopt?
Families are as diverse as the children who are available for adoption. The parents may be single or married, they may or may not be the same race as the child, they do not have to be rich just financially stable, they do not have to own their home simply have enough room for another child.
The main qualification is that the parents be committed for the long haul and be willing to work with the child as they overcome their past traumas. Parents must understand that it will take a long time for the child to function well in their new family.

Who are the Children in Foster Care?
Children in foster care were removed from their families due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. The child might live temporarily with extended family, a foster family or in a group home while social workers try to help the birth family. If the birth family’s problems can’t be resolved, the agency that has custody of the child goes to court to legally terminate parental rights. At this point, social workers try to find a safe and loving adoptive family for the child. Ages range from 4 to early adulthood, although the average age is eight. Virtually every race, ethnic group and socio-economic category is represented. Some children are in foster care alone and others are in foster care with siblings. Those most in need of homes would be children over the age of 10 and large sibling groups (3 or more).

Many foster children have been emotionally, physically, and sexually abused. As a result, they may have emotional, behavioral, mental or physical problems. Many are insecure, frightened, confused, and often angry about what is happening to them. Based on their past and the disruption in their lives, these children sometimes present challenging behaviors.

What is the Adoption Process?
The application/certification process takes about 3-4 months. There is a 10 session/36 hour training program which covers the basic topics you will need to know to bring a foster child into your family. CPR/First Aid certification is required. There is also paperwork and background checks and references to gather. After training is complete there will be a home visit where the placement specialist goes over health and safety issues in the home and discuses any questions you might have. A Home Study is written that assesses the potential adoptive family and summarizes their strengths, skills, attitudes and other qualifications that bear on the challenges of adoptive parenting.

Then a match is sought. Having children come live with you is a big commitment, so finding the right match is crucial. Children are placed for adoption by matching their needs with adoptive parents’ or families’ situations. You will never be forced to accept a child, you select the level of needs and age range you will consider.

There is a minimum of a 6 month window prior to finalization during which the child is placed in your home for adoption but remains under the care of the state. If the placement is stable and everyone is ready, finalization of the adoption proceeds.

We can answer your adoption questions.

How long will it take to have a child placed in my home?
In the United States, there are approximately 500,000 children in foster care. About 115,000 of those children are available for adoption. They range in age, ethnicity, single children or sibling sets, family history, and their own personal coping skills and resiliency. There is no shortage of children for those who want to adopt. The time frame for having a child placed with a family varies greatly, depending upon the family’s desires with regard to age, gender, ethnicity, and birth family history. The more open the family, the faster a placement is made. Once a child moves into a foster/adopt home, the amount of time it will take until an adoption is finalized is difficult to predict because of the many variables involved. Much depends on the status of the case in the legal system, the birth parent involvement, and family history. For those placed with newborns and very young children, few adoptions are finalized before the child celebrates their first birthday, and most take longer. However, for those who are interested in older children, or sibling sets, the adoption could finalize much quicker.

Why do you keep talking about foster care when I am interested in adoption?
All of the children we serve are foster children and remain in the foster care system until the day you go to court and finalize your adoption. In fact, you will be considered foster to adopt parents until that day. While in your home before finalization, a minimum of a 6-month time frame, the child is still in the custody of the state. There is no risk they will be moved to another home because they are in your home for adoptive placement.

Before finalization, you will have all the requirements of a foster parent. You will be expected to function as a member of the child’s care team and will advocate for the child’s needs. There will be documentation that you will be required to keep on a daily basis. You will need to get further specialized training of at least 24 hours per year (provided free by our agency). You will need to remain calm, patient, and loving even when the child expresses their anger and confusion in less than socially acceptable ways.

Is St. Joseph Children’s Home the right adoption agency for me?
St. Joseph Children’s Home is a small agency that gives our parents a lot of support and training, continues to facilitate one of the highest rates of adoptions in the state. If you wish to adopt from foster care and are open to an older child or a sibling group St. Joseph Children’s Home may be the right agency for you. Our caseworkers have very small caseloads and are available 24 hours. St. Joseph Children’s Home does not specialize in infant adoptions.

How do I begin the adoption process?
Call Lisa Barber Atwell at (502) 893-0241 ext. 208 or e-mail You will come in for an information meeting where we will go over the required paperwork and background checks and answer any questions that you have. Then you can sign up to begin the next training session. If you have been thinking about adoption for a while give us a call and let’s get started! Our children need families!


St. Joseph Children’s Home
2823 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206
(502) 893-0241
(877) 893-0241