Taking a foster child into your home can be a deeply rewarding experience. However, you must first meet licensing requirements and receive approval from the Department of Social Services.
Many foster parents wish to adopt, but there are many issues to consider in taking this step.
Looking at foster care guidelines
If you are 21 or older and want to become a foster parent, you must satisfy several requirements:
- Complete 14 hours of prep training to determine the types of children who would be the most favorable fit for your family.
- Prepare for pre-placement home visits by foster care specialists.
- Prepare for residence fire and sanitation inspections.
- Provide three to four references to foster care specialists.
- Undergo medical examinations along with everyone in your family.
When you have completed these and other requirements and have received the Department of Social Services’ approval, you will join the waiting list of other approved families.
Continuing to foster care adoption
For many families, foster child adoption is the desired next step. If a child is available, the placement committee will work with you on the process. The adoption finalization takes place in family court, and you will need the services of an adoption attorney.
Understanding adoption issues
Foster care adoption is a matter of the heart, but it is not without challenges. For example, the child will enter a new and strange family structure. This will require a period of adjustment, and you should prepare to manage various psychological or emotional issues. If you have other children, you must not neglect their feelings, as they may have trouble adjusting to a newcomer’s presence. It is important that all the children feel that they are part of a loving family. The hope is that bonds of comfort and affection will soon form. The legal guidance you need in finalizing the adoption can also help with any concerns you have as you welcome a foster child into your life.