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.