How to Prepare for The Transition From Fostering to Adoption

Regardless of whether you are adopting a foster child currently under your care, or you are receiving an adoptive placement for a child that is staying in another foster home, the transition from fostering to adoption is tough. There are emotional, financial, and physical impacts. Here is an in-depth look at the process of transitioning from fostering to adoption. 

Explaining Fostering

Foster care is a living arrangement for children who have been abused or neglected and need a safe place to live. Often times, their parents are unable to take care of them due to illness, homelessness, or substance abuse. 

Explaining Adoption

Adoption occurs when a child moves into a new home with a new family. The new parents becomes responsible for the child and assume the parental rights like the child's biological parents. 

Starting The Process

You can start the process by choosing an adoption method. You can check with a public adoption agency. Check with the state or local governments. Some states use private adoption agencies that are licensed by the state. Consult with your attorney. Your attorney will make sure that you have the appropriate documentation to complete the adoption process. Keep in mind that there is a hearing made through the state to terminate parental rights and give biological parents an opportunity to get custody of their children. Your attorney can give you advice on how to proceed through the process. 

Figuring Out The Adoption

Keep in mind that some foster children are dealing with a disability or other medical challenges. There are always resources available to assist you. You can search for different adoption organizations online. You can also check with your local bar association.

Finding An Agency

Once you have chosen an agency, you can start the adoption process. Initially, you'll have to attend a training session or orientation. At the seminar, you'll have the opportunity to interact with different social workers and learn more information about the children. You'll also get a thorough overview of the adoption process.

Financial Sacrifices

The amount of expenses connected to adoption depends on multiple factors, including; the type of adoption, the type of agency that you use, attorney fees, and the state that you live in. When you adopt a child from foster care, they may be eligible for some assistance through federal or state adoption subsidies. These subsidies are available at both the state and federal level. The subsidies can help you manage the short and long term costs associated with adopting a child. Contact your social worker to make sure that the subsidies are available in your state.

Benefits

Keep in mind that people who adopt children may be exempt from having to itemize their expenses. You may qualify for a flat tax credit similar to the minimum tax credit. There are military benefits as well. After the adoption has been completed, the military offers over $1,000 per child if you are serving on active duty. The military offers other benefits through its Program for Persons with Disabilities. Many employers offer employee adoption benefits. You may be eligible to receive financial reimbursement, paid leave, and other benefits.

Speak With The Child

Try to help the child understand the process of getting adopted. If the child is young, they may have plenty of questions. Some children may want to learn more about their biological parents. Try to make the child feel as comfortable as possible.

Speak With The Foster Family

It's a good idea to speak with the foster family before you adopt a child. They can provide you with important information about the characteristics of the child. The more you know about a child before they enter your home, the more prepared you will be. This will ensure a smoother transition. 

Slowly Develop A Routine

Once you adopt, there are several urgent issues that you need to attend to. You'll have to find a new school for the child. However, take some time to settle in and avoid rushing things. Give the child a chance to settle in at their pace. Consider taking a week off from work if necessary.

Give The Child Space

This is a drastic change in the life of a child. The child may have mixed emotions. You may need to give your child some space and let them have alone time. Try to find the right balance between spending lots of time together and letting your child enjoy independent time in their room.

Brittany Waddell