Adopting a Teenager

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Fee Schedule

A Family For Every Child believes that finances should not be a barrier to families wanting to adopt. For Financial resources please visit: Financial Resources

Oregon

Special Needs Adoption Home Study Fee $1,500.00
Independent Adoption Home Study Fee $3,000.00
Adoption Worker Travel Fees See Travel Fee Arrangement Form
Home Study Update $350.00
Independent Adoption Post Placement Supervision $1,000 (for up to two visits)
$500 for each subsequent visit as requested

Washington

Special Needs Adoption Home Study Fee $2,500.00
Independent Adoption Home Study Fee $4,000.00
Adoption Worker Travel Fees See Travel Fee Arrangement Form
Home Study Update $350.00
Independent Adoption Post Placement Supervision $1,000 (for up to two visits)
$500 for each subsequent visit as requested

Contact Us

Adoption Agency Coordinator
A Family for Every Child
Local (541)343-2856
Toll Free (877)343-2856
adoption@afamilyforeverychild.org

Christy Obie Barrett
Founder and Executive Director
christy@afamilyforeverychild.org

Common Diagnoses of Foster Children

It is critical for children in foster care to get routine developmental screenings and any necessary follow-up. Routine pediatric visits include developmental check-ups, but children may not be seen regularly by a pediatrician while living in foster care. A child’s physical and mental functioning may improve if problems are recognized during routine developmental screenings and necessary treatment is provided.

Given that the life of a child in foster care is often filled with separation and loss it is not surprising that behavioral and psychiatric issues are common in these children.

Anxiety

Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events with no obvious reasons for worry. People with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder tend to always expect disaster and can’t stop worrying. Daily life becomes a constant state of worry, fear, and dread. Eventually, the anxiety so dominates the person’s thinking that it interferes with daily functioning.

Asthma

Asthma is an inflammatory disorder of the airways, which causes attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing.

Compulsive water drinking (polydipsia)

Polydipsia is a medical symptom in which the patient displays excessive thirst.

Depression

Depression is a serious medical illness that involves the brain. It’s more than just a feeling of being “down in the dumps” or “blue” for a few days. The feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life. Symptoms can include:

  • Sadness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Change in weight
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Energy loss
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Developmental delay

Developmental Delay is when your child does not reach their developmental milestones at the expected times. It is an ongoing major or minor delay in the process of development. If your child is temporarily lagging behind, that is not called developmental delay. Delay can occur in one or many areas—for example, gross or fine motor, language, social, or thinking skills.

Emotional or behavioral problems

Encopresis

Encopresis is the voluntary or involuntary passage of stools in a child who has been toilet trained (typically over age 4), which causes the soiling of clothes. Encopresis is frequently is associated with constipation and fecal impaction. Often, hard fecal material remains in the colon and the child only passes a soft or semi-liquid stool around the impacted stool. Leakage of stool may occur during the day or night. There are rarely physical causes other than constipation (sometimes present since infancy). Other causes may be related to:

  • A lack of toilet training
  • Toilet training at too early an age
  • Emotional disturbance such as oppositional defiant disorder

The following may increase the risk for encopresis:

  • Being male
  • Chronic constipation
  • Low socioeconomic status

Conduct disorder

Whatever the cause the child may develop associated shame, guilt, or loss of self-esteem. The child may try to hide the discovery of the problem.

Enuresis

Bedwetting is involuntary urination in children over 5 to 6 years old. It may occur at any time of the day or night.

Excess appetite (hyperphagia)

Excessive hunger describes an abnormally strong desire or need to eat. This can be normal or related to an underlying medical condition.

Failure to thrive

Failure to thrive is a description applied to children whose current weight or rate of weight gain is significantly below that of other children of similar age and sex.

Genetic and birth defect syndromes

HIV infection

HIV infection is a disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The condition gradually destroys the immune system, which makes it harder for the body to fight infections.

Inadequate immunization

Long bone and rib fractures

Poor dental hygiene or multiple caries

Poorly controlled chronic illness

Prenatal exposure to cocaine, alcohol, narcotics

Reactive Attachment Disorder

Reactive attachment disorder is a rare but serious condition in which infants and young children don’t establish healthy bonds with parents or caregivers. A child with reactive attachment disorder is typically neglected, abused, or moved multiple times from one caregiver to another. Because the child’s basic needs for comfort, affection and nurturing aren’t met, he or she never establishes loving and caring attachments with others. This may permanently alter the child’s growing brain and hurt their ability to establish future relationships. Reactive attachment disorder is a lifelong condition, but with treatment children can develop more stable and healthy relationships with caregivers and others. Safe and proven treatments for reactive attachment disorder include psychological counseling and parent or caregiver education.

Sexually transmitted diseases

Shaken baby syndrome

(SBS) is a form of physical child abuse that occurs when an abuser violently shakes an infant or small child, creating a whiplash-type motion that causes acceleration-deceleration injuries. It is common for there to be no external evidence of trauma.

Sleep disorders

Sleep disorders involve any difficulties related to sleeping, including difficulty falling or staying asleep, falling asleep at inappropriate times, excessive total sleep time, or abnormal behaviors associated with sleep.

Emotional Needs

The children AFFEC serves have been removed from their birth families. due to neglect, and/or abuse, and have varying degrees of emotional needs. Many of these children are slow to trust a new person or family, having suffered past losses and often finding the adults in their lives unreliable or unable to care for them. Emotional difficulties can also result in a child having behavioral difficulties. Hoarding food, withdrawing, having difficulty telling the truth and competing for attention are among the most common behaviors.

It can be especially challenging to deal with a child who has been through a traumatic experience. If a child is unwilling or unable to discuss these experiences, the frustration may be so overwhelming that it affects the child’s ability to function on a day-to-day basis. A sense of security and support services will often help a child make great strides in a new family. Many of the waiting children benefit from counseling and other therapeutic services.

Physical Difficulties

While most of the waiting children are healthy, some do have physical difficulties or disabilities. Some may have asthma, cleft palate, mild forms of bronchitis or allergies or easily treatable medical conditions. Other children have more severe physical disabilities, such as limb deformities, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, congenital heart disease, life-threatening illnesses and various types of developmental disabilities.

Learning Disabilities

Many waiting children have difficulties comprehending, processing or retaining oral and/or written information. Within the general public school population, 10 to 20 percent of children have some form of learning disability. Learning disabilities can manifest themselves in any number of ways. The most common problems are Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), hyperactivity and dyslexia.

Adopting Older Kids

Have you thought about adopting a school-age child or are you planning to adopt an older child? With preparation and patience, a few adjustments on both sides, and some unconventional parenting methods, you’ll find that bringing home an older child can be a deeply rewarding way to form a family.

Most waiting children are school-aged or older. There are several brothers and sisters who need to stay together. More than 60% of the children come from minority cultures. The majority of children are boys and many children have emotional, physical, learning disabilities or mental retardation. All are waiting for the love and security that only a permanent family can offer.

Older children, though often unable to verbalize their needs, long to be part of a family and need love like any other child. Conflicting emotions are often present, and an older child may still have ties to a biological or foster family, or be grieving over the loss of biological and/or foster families. More than anything else, these children need strong, permanent commitments from their adoptive families. An older child may have lived in several foster homes along the way or have had disrupted adoptive placements. These children have never had the support or the opportunity to build positive relationships and, as a result, may suffer from low self-esteem.

Every parent considering older child adoption needs to read, talk with other parents, and read some more. And, one of the most important pre-adoption projects is to convince yourself that, “Yes, it WILL happen to me.” Some older child adoptive parents may deal with developmental delays and challenges. Children may act younger than their chronological age. And, they may not be consistent i.e. they may speak at age level, be two years behind socially, and be physically three years behind. For children coming from orphanages, the rule of thumb is one month of delay for each three months spent in the orphanage. Parents will need to work on these child development gaps with at-home activities, or possibly with the help of physical, occupational, or other therapists and specialists.

Some older adopted children slide into their new lives with little difficulty. These children joyously participate in their new family’s activities. They quickly learn the rules. They bond strongly, showing positive interactions with other family members. However, many older, special needs children, due to a combination of biological, emotional, and neurological issues, present challenges to their parents.

Educate yourself. Be committed. Maintain hope. With these, parents will successfully face down the ugly and the bad aspects of older child adoption, fully appreciate the good, and love their older adopted child with all of their heart.

Children’s Disability Levels

Mild

Caregivers can expect the child to respond to limit-setting or other interventions. The child can perform basic life management functions appropriate for child’s age and development and can use mainstream methods of transportation and communication.

  • Child requires no equipment for daily functioning and may require average or slightly above average medical care and appointments.
  • Child may have a condition that is totally managed by medication, or a condition that is correctable or improves on its own with time.
  • The child may be developmentally delayed in physical development but has a prognosis of catching up.

The child with a Mild disability could have one or more of the following conditions:

  • Developmental/Learning conditions that are not severe enough to require special education.
  • Emotional conditions such as adjustment reactions, situational depression or acting out behaviors.
  • Mental conditions with mild mental retardation in children who usually will be able to live independently as an adult, hold a job, and manage their lives with some guidance in crises. A child with mild mental retardation can often be in a mainstream class with resource room help or tutoring.
  • Physical/Medical conditions, such as mild cerebral palsy and treatable medical conditions such as controlled seizures, hearing or vision impairment.

Moderate

Caregivers need to provide a structured supportive setting in which most activities are designed to improve the child’s functioning. Child has a relatively stable non-correctable condition that is neither progressive nor degenerative. Child can perform basic life management functions appropriate for age and development (feeding, dressing, toileting) with some assistance.

  • Child may require moderate home modifications, corrective surgery, and/or one or more weekly medical appointments.
  • Child may require some assistance with transportation and communication functions.

The child with a Moderate disability could have one or more of the following conditions:

  • Developmental/Learning conditions such as those requiring long- term special education classes.
  • Emotional conditions such as conduct disorder, sexual abuse and other problems that may need long-term therapy.
  • Mental conditions with moderate mental retardation in children who as an adult, may achieve partial self-support in a sheltered work place, but will always need supervision and will need to live in a group home or family setting.
  • Medical/Physical conditions, such as moderate cerebral palsy, paraplegia, spina bifida, hydrocephalus, partially controlled seizures, blindness or deafness.

Severe

Caregivers may need specialized training or experience to provide therapeutic, habilitative, and medical support and interventions. Child may require life support equipment, or has a progressive, degenerative or terminal illness.

  • Child may require significant home modifications.
  • Child may require repeated doctor or frequent hospitalizations or surgeries.
  • Child requires 2 or more medical appointments per week.
  • Child requires a parent or aide to perform basic life management functions (feeding, dressing, toileting, etc.).
  • Child may require special adaptations for transportation and/or communication.

The child with a Severe disability could have one or more of the following conditions:

  • Developmental/Learning conditions that may cause a permanent difficulty in academic or social/emotional functioning, or occupation.
  • Emotional conditions such as attachment disorder that may require hospitalization or residential treatment.
  • Mental conditions such as severe to profound retardation with an IQ less than 25. Individuals with severe mental retardation may be able to partially contribute to self-care, but will be unable to work and will need ongoing supervision and help with daily routines.
  • Medical/Physical conditions, such as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), multiple moderate conditions or a condition that requires ongoing and constant medical attention, such as quadriplegia or cystic fibrosis.