Comments OffOctober 27, 2014by admin

Adoption 101

Adoption from Foster Care

I.               FOSTER CARE ADOPTION: At the current time, there are approximately 550,000 children who reside within the foster care system nationwide. Over 130,000 of these children are available for adoption

1. Who are the children in foster care?

Children may be in foster care for a variety of reasons. The most common

reason is the birth parents’ inability to offer the child a safe and suitable home, coupled with adequate supervision.  This can include physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and/or substance abuse.  Typically, the children are taken from the care of their birth family and are placed with a foster family to remove them from immediate harm.  Most birth families are offered the opportunity to work on the issues that lead to the removal of their child. If the birth family failed to remedy the issues, parental rights will be terminated in order to provide for permanency for the children.  Many of the children are a part of a sibling group. The children come from all ethnic groups; however, there is a growing number of children that are African American, Hispanic or from mixed ethnic heritages.  The issues that the children have vary greatly. Some may have physical handicaps, cognitive challenges, and/or emotional handicaps from the trauma of abuse or neglect. A large majority of the children have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Deficit and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In addition, some children may be classified with special needs due to their age or the number of siblings that will be placed together as a sibling group.

2. What is the process for adoption from foster care?

The first step in the process is to complete a home study and family preparation session. Once a family is “home-study ready”, their agency, in cooperation with the fami1y, will submit their paper work for consideration for a child or sibling group currently in foster care.  With the advent of the Internet photo listings, a family may seek and be considered for a special needs child in any state. Families are encouraged to register on various matching web sites for added exposure.  Once a family has been selected for being a potential adoptive resource for a child or sibling group, a staffing will be held with caseworkers to ascertain which family will be the best suited for a pre-adoptive placement.

Once the family is selected, they will meet with the chi1d and the caseworkers involved with the child. This meeting helps a fami1y to learn about the child’s needs and history. After the face-to-face meetings, the family and staff will decide if the adoptive placement is still a good match. If so, Interstate Compact for Protection of Children will be applied for if the child resides outside of the state. A placement may proceed once the Interstate Compact Compliance has been met. The family will provide care for the child until the finalization takes place. During the time from placement until finalization, the family will be supervised by a local licensed agency. The agency staff, an attorney, and the Family Court system will assist in the finalization of the adoption.

3. How long does it take for an adoption from foster care?

While the time varies, the use of the Internet photolistings and the implementation of the 1997 Safe Families and Adoption Act have decreased the time dramatically. A good estimate of time is around one year. This estimate can vary on either side, however, depending on the issues surrounding the termination of rights of the birth parents, and state law. In addition, the flexibility of the family’s degree of acceptance of various factors can determine the amount of time before a match is found. There is a great need for families that are open to large sibling groups, children of color, children older than eight years old, and children with emotional needs due to abuse and neglect.

4. How much does an adoption from foster care costs and where can I find help?

The costs of an adoption from foster care are minimal if any. In fact, a foster care adoption can often be cost-free due to special programs such as purchase of services between states, agency grants, non-recurring costs program and tax incentives. Most public programs that work with foster care adoptions assist the family in the cost of transportation, medical needs of the child, finalization costs, and a monthly subsidy for care. Families should also be aware of their employee reimbursement programs for adoption as well as state and federal tax credits for families that adopt. The Hope for the Child tax credit is an excellent example of public policy in action that assists families in their adoption efforts. You may find out more about this legislation from your local congressman’s office or your tax preparer.

5. Where can I find out more about adoptions from foster care?

Below are links that may assist a family in finding out more about adopting a child from foster care:

  • – national photo listings
  • additional national photo listings
  • – information, resources and support for adoption
  • www.adoptivefam.org_ – adoptive families support group
  • – North American Council on Adoptive Children
  • National Council For Single

Adoptive Parents

  • – Issues on children of color that are adopted
  • – National Foster Parents Association

International Adoption

II.              INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION – With the advent of the Internet and mass media coverage on adoption, thousands of families have chosen to cross geographic borders, oceans, and continents to find children for adoption in another country. Over the past few years, tens of thousands of “‘orphans” from other countries have joined their forever homes in the United States.

1. What countries offer international adoption?

It should be noted that every country does not offer international adoption of their “orphaned” children. In the past decade, international adoptions have primarily originated from Latin American, Asia, and most recently, Eastern Europe.  For a listing of countries that offer international adoptions, contact the United States State Department in Washington, DC or their web site.

2. What is the process for international adoption?

The first step in deciding on an international adoption is to decide what country the family will be adopting from.  After the country is picked, the next step is to select a reputable agency with a program in the selected country.  The agency will refer the family to a home study resource. The family will also complete the Immigration and Naturalization Service form 1-600-A for submission. After the home study and INS forms are finished, the family will complete a country-specific dossier. Once all the proper forms are completed, the family will receive a referral from the country. The family will then travel to the placing country to meet their child, and more than likely, finalize the adoption in the foreign country. (Korea and India are two exceptions.) The family will return to the United States after finalization.  Most foreign countries require post placements supervisory reports for their children adopted abroad. These post placements may range from six months to a period of three years.

3. How long does it take for an international adoption?

The time required for an international adoption varies from six months to three years. The time period is longer in countries that have an imposed waiting list of parents who must matriculate to the top of the waiting list.  In addition, countries may, from time to time, impose moratoriums that affect the waiting time for adoptions.

4. What are the costs of an international adoption?

The costs of an international adopt can range from $15, 0000- $25,000+, depending on the country and agency selected. It is important for families to remember that there are costs for the adoption such as travel, INS forms, lodging, and processing fees that may not be reflected in the agency and in-country fees. Families should be aware of employee reimbursement programs as well as tax credits, such as the Hope for the Children tax credit. Some states, such as South Carolina, allow international adoptions to be included in the program for Non-recurring Costs of Adoption for Special Needs Children.

5. Where can I find out added information about international adoption?

To find out additional information about international adoption log onto any of these web sites:

Domestic Adoption

III.      Domestic Infant Adoption: Domestic infant adoption is often the first choice for a couple that has gone through infertility and seeks a very young child that is of like race to adopt.

1. How many infants are available for adoption?

It is estimated that there is only one healthy infant for every 50 to 100 families wishing to adopt. The competition for this type of adoption and the risks that are inherent in infant adoption are high.

2. What is the process for the infant adoption?

The first step is to align yourself with a reputable agency and/or attorney who specializes in adoption law. (Some states allow for attorney placements, while others do not.) When choosing an agency, it is imperative that a family gets references, attends support group meetings offered by the agency, and call their state licensing agency to ascertain whether this agency has a history of founded complaints. If

you are selecting a adoption attorney make certain that the state bar association has no founded complaints against the attorney. Once the agency/attorney is selected, the home study and family preparation is the next step. The family needs to be aware that they open and close adoptions. In addition, the family should become familiar with the adoption laws in their slate. The family must decide to what degree of openness they can handle. Joining an adoption support group and attending adoption classes is an excellent way to become educated about adoption and making those tough decisions. Once a birth mother has been matched with the family, the “wait” is on. Depending on the family’s degree of openness that the family select, contacts are made throughout the pregnancy. After the birth, the birth mother must wait a certain period prior to terminating her rights. Birth father issues must also be handled to free the child from claims from potential birth fathers. If the child is coming from one state to another, Interstate Compact For the Protection of Children must be completed. There will be a period between the placement the finalization of the adoption where supervisory visits will be made. After the adoption is finalized in court, a new birth certificate will be issued for the child.

3. How long does all infant adoption take?

It is very hard to gauge the time that an infant adoption will take. Finding the birth mother referral will be the key to the time factor. The other key will be that the birth mother follows through with the adoption plan. Some families will have multiple birth mother referrals before placement. It is imperative to remember that a birth mother cannot release her rights to the child until after the child is born, thus making domestic placement a higher cost and risk.

4. What are the costs an infant domestic adoption?

Survey results from various adoption agencies and adoption attorneys indicate that the costs can vary from $10,000 to $40,000, depending on the needs of the birth mother, uncovered medical expenses, legal fees, living expenses, if allowed, and legal fees.  It is very important to understand your agency or attorney’s policy about fees and the possibility of lost funds due a failed adoption. The family should be aware of programs that may be available to them including employee reimbursement, tax credits, and, in some states, non-recurring adoption expenses, based on eligibility factors.

5. Where can I find out more about domestic infant placements?

To find out more information about adopting a domestic infant log onto to these sites:

Financing the Cost of an Adoption

The Gift of Adoption Fund
Gene Wika
101 East Pier Street, 1st Floor
Port Washington, WI 53074
Phone # 1-414-268-1368 (for application)
Phone # 1-877-905-2367
Phone # 1-262-268-1386
Website: www.giftofadoption.orgBright Futures
Jill Tate- Executive Director
1509 Maurice Trull Road
Wingate, NC 28174

National Adoption Foundation
100 Mill Plain Rd.
Danbury, CT 06811
Phone # 1-203-791-3811

The National Adoption Center in Philadelphia
1500 Walnut St. Suite 701
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone # 1-215-735-9988
Fax # 1-215-735-9410

The Ibsen Adoption Network
Marilyn Brisbane
2730 French Road. N.W.
Olympia, WA 98502
Phone # 1-360-866-7036
Fax # 1-360-866-8917

Our Chinese Daughters Foundation Inc.
Dr. Jane A Liedtke, Founder
P.O. Box 1243
Bloomington, IL 61702-1243
Phone #: 309-662-1090
E-mail: or

Chance for a Child

Child Adoption Funds
Phone #:  480-451-0768
Fax #:  480-451-1416

China Care Foundations
Phone #:  203-861-6395
Fax #:  203-618-0470

International Adoption Assistance Foundation, Inc.
Phone #: 334-633-4300

United Way International
Att: Melissa Guerra
Phone #:  703-519-0092

Adopt Share

Shaohannah’s Hope
Phone #:  1-800-784-5361

God’s Grace Adoption Ministry
Darin Denlinger
Modesto California 95353
Phone # 1-209-572-4539

Child Waits Foundation
Cynthia and Ralph Nelson
1136 Barker Road #12
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Phone# 1-914-962-0886 or 1-866-999-2445
Fax# 1-518-794-6243

Military Adoption Reimbursement Program

State Non-Recurring Subsidy
Phone # 1-800-922-2504 (in South Carolina – Call your state DSS office – subsidy program in other states)

S.C. State Employee Adoption Assistance Program
Contact Tracy Rish
S.C. State Budget and Control Board
Benefits Division
Columbia, SC

Michelle Gardner
1417 N. Lincoln
Spokane, WA 98208
Phone# 509-465-3520
Phone# 509-710-7876

A Mother’s Love
Valerie Gagnon

Adoption Tax Credit
Phone# 1-800-829-3676 (1125)
Fax: 703-368-9694
Tax benefits for adoption publication # 968 (Guideline Pamphlet)