Here is a list of frequently asked questions regarding adoption through the foster care system.
What is adoption?
Adoption is making a child a permanent, legal member of your family. Adoption means giving a permanent home and a forever family to a child who currently has neither. It also means providing a child a safe, stable and nurturing environment so that he or she can reach their full potential.
What children are available for adoption?
Our greatest need is to find forever families for our youth ages 12-15 and their younger siblings.
What types of families are needed for these children?
Families who have a strong support system and who are able to provide a safe, stable, and nurturing environment in which the child can heal and thrive are our most needed families.
What are the financial requirements (if any) to adopt a child in care?
There is no minimum amount that a family is required to make. Instead, we carefully assess the income of the family applying to adopt and their outgoing expenses in order to ensure that each family is able to financially provide for their own family before expanding their family through adoption.
Thus, this is assessed on a case by case basis. Essentially, we are looking to ensure that families are financially stable and able to both provide for their current family and add to their family.
How long does the adoption process take?
This varies from case to case for each family. Yet, the process to get approved to be considered for adoption may take as little as 12 weeks. Our Adoption 101 course is eight weeks long, and the home study process that occurs after classes are completed typically takes about 3-4 weeks. From that point on, the time frame for finding a match with a child or sibling group depends on what your family is looking for specifically as well as what child or children are currently available for adoption.
Will I receive a complete case history when I consider a child for adoption?
Yes. Families are provided information regarding the child/children's personal and family history. As part of the disclosure process, the adoptive family is provided all known information regarding the child and their family history. This information helps in the process of determining if the child will be a good fit for your family.
Can the biological parents take the child back?
No. The process of terminating parental rights through the dependency court system is very secure, and once the parental rights are terminated and the appeal period has lapsed, the child/children is/are legally available for adoption. Biological parents are not able to “get their kids back."
Is post-adoption support provided?
Yes. Local community based care agencies, including Heartland for Children, have many post adoption supports available to adoptive families. These services help to support and provide families with adoption support groups, recommendations for adoption-related trainings and resources, referrals for adoption-related services such as counseling, etc.