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Any child who is not artificial.
Any parent who is not imaginary.
Your Own Child:
Any child who is not someone else’s child.
A natural child, with a real parent, who is all my own.
---Rita Laws, PhD
Adoption is the permanent, legal transfer of all parental rights from
one person or couple to another person or couple. Adoptive parents have
the same rights and responsibilities as parents whose children are born
to them, and adopted children have all the emotional, social, legal and
kinship benefits of birth children.
There are several ways to adopt a child: through a public agency, private agency or attorney.
Hannah’s specializes in Adoption from Foster Care which is also known as “Fost Adopt.”
Children who are being adopted from foster care are usually considered special needs children. For purposes of adoption, special needs children are often considered to be:
- Older children, generally over the age of two, but the age varies from state to state
Racial or ethnic factors (any child of color)
- Member of a sibling group of two or more children
- Children with a physical or mental disability
- Children with an emotional disturbance, or
- A recognized high risk of physical or mental disease, or
- Any combination of the above factors or conditions
It is natural to think that love and stability will help or “cure” a child, but the sad fact is, that most of these children have been emotionally damaged in some way.© Excerpted from Adoption.com Guide to Foster Adoption, published by Adoption Media, LLC
It is important to realize that children waiting in the foster care system are of varying ages (from infants to early adulthood; the average age is 8), and some have brothers or sisters who need to stay together. The majority are healthy children who need a supportive, loving adult in their lives. Some children have medical challenges, but often their disabilities or conditions are treatable. There are, however, some medical or emotional disabilities that are not easily corrected, but there are numerous ways and resources to help these children.
Myth vs. Reality
Children in Foster Care
45% of Americans think children in foster care have entered the system because of delinquency.
Children enter the system through no fault of their own, as victims of neglect, juvenile abandonment and/or abuse. The majority of these children live with foster families, not in group homes or in institutions.
46% of Americans mistakenly think foster care adoptions is expensive.
Foster care adoption is not expensive and there is financial support available.
Once a child has been legally made available for adoption, birth parents cannot claim a child or petition for their return.
Less than half of Americans believe single parents raising adoptive children can provide healthy and loving environments.
One-third of children adopted from foster care in 2005 were adopted by single parents and unmarried couples.
Only 37% think a person over the age of 55 can efficiently provide a healthy and loving environment for a child.
23% of adopted children live with an adoptive parent 55 years or older.
Only one-third think same sex parents can provide a healthy environment.
An estimated 65,000 children (4% of adopted children) are living with a lesbian or gay adoptive parent.
The U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, Admin. for Children & Families, AFCARS Report 13, FY 2005 Estimates (September 2006)
Urban Institute. (March 27, 2007) Adoption and Foster Care by Lesbian and Gay Parents in the United States.
Make the Decision
Do the research and decide what type of adoption you want to pursue.
Even before you begin to research adoption options, do a little self-research. Ask yourself if any or all of the following characteristics describe you:
- A belief in adoption and the ability to commit
- Patience and perseverance
- A good sense of humor and talent for keeping life in perspective
- A love of children and parenting
- The ability to accept without judging and to love unconditionally
- Awareness that healing doesn’t always come quickly
If you have most or all of these qualities, then ask yourself these questions:
- Do I clearly understand why I want to adopt?
- If I have a partner, do we work as a team? Are we both committed to adoption?
- Does my lifestyle allow me the time necessary to meet the needs of children?
- Have I discussed adoption with all family members, including my children?
- Do I have support systems to help me after I adopt?
Hannah’s Children’s Homes
Brief Overview of the Fost-Adopt Process
HCH Adoption Services Help Families Adopt Older Children
Getting Started: Orientation & Application
-Attend our Orientation Meeting about the Fost-Adopt Program
-Initial Home Inspection scheduled
-Complete the Application, Statement of Understanding, Release of Information, Criminal Record Statement, & Medical Form w/Lab Results
-Return completed forms with copies of submitted fingerprint Live Scan Forms
Next Step: Becoming a Certified Foster & Adoptive Parent
-Complete PRE Approval training to prepare for the adoption of a child(ren).
-Complete the Home Study process with an assigned social worker from HCH. (The Home Study is an in-depth report that is completed through documentation & a series of interviews: a couple/single adult interview, individual interviews with all family members, & a Home Safety Inspection).
-Your Home Study is reviewed & approved by Hannah’s Children’s Homes.
-Your Home Study is distributed to Counties for matching
Next Step: Matching Children to be Adopted & Fost-Adopt Families
There are many ways in which the matching process occurs:
-Approved Fost-Adopt Family provides Foster Care
-Family gets to know the children in their home over time
-The family expresses their interest in adopting a child placed with them
Approved Fost-Adopt Family participates in our Matching Program
-HCH attends county matching meetings, receives daily e-mail notices & monthly mailings
-HCH and Family search a state website called California Kids Connection
Approved parents are invited to appropriate matching events
-The matching process can take time & varies with the family, child(ren) & county involved.
-In-depth phone conference calls are held with all involved social workers & their supervisors
-Face-to-face presentations of the child’s information are arranged with the Fost-Adopt Family
-A series of Pre-placement visits to meet and transition a child into your home.
-Preparing everyone for the child(ren) to be moved into the fost-adopt home.
Next Step: When Children are placed in Your Home
-Hannah’s Children’s Homes works closely with your family & county social services
-The first 6 months the child is in your home as a Foster Care Placement & HCH will visit weekly.
-After at least 6 months a child is legally free for adoption, Adoptive Placement papers signed.
-Foster Care payments end & AAP payments begin.
-Hannah’s Coordinates the Finalization Documents with the County, Court, & Attorney
-The adoption is finalized in court!
Fost Adopt Process HCH/Rev. 11.26