Why foster care adoption?

Every child deserves a safe home and a loving family.

Q: What types of adoption are available?
A: The main types of adoption are:

  • Adopting a child from the U.S. foster care system, which is our focus at the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
  • Adopting an infant in the United States
  • Adopting a child from another country
  • Adopting a family member (kinship)
  • Adopting a stepchild
Q: What are the qualifications to adopt? For example, do we as adoptive parents have to be the same race or have the same ethnic background as the child we adopt? Do we have to be married, or within a certain age range or income level?
A: If you adopt from foster care, the answer to all of the above is mostly ‘no.’ Although families are as diverse as the children who are available for adoption, most states require you to be at least 21 years of age.
Q: What qualities are important for parents who adopt?
A: Traits like flexibility, patience, good problem-solving skills, and a willingness to identify local community resources are all critical. Children don’t need perfect parents, just loving individuals willing to meet the unique challenges of parenting and make a lifetime commitment to caring for and nurturing them.
Q: What is the adoption process?
A: The adoption process can vary depending on the type of adoption, the agency through which you work, the state in which you live, and the state or county of residence of the child. Once you choose an adoption agency, the social worker will walk you through the process. In all cases, a home study and background check will be necessary. In addition, adoption preparation classes are required for foster care adoption.
Q: What is a home study?
A: A home study is an in-depth application and interview process with a social worker that involves in-person interviews, reference checks, background checks and home visits. The study is not standardized and may vary from state-to-state and agency-to-agency. The average home study usually takes three to six months to complete.
Q: How much does adoption cost?
A: It depends on a number of factors, such as type of adoption, the agency through which you work, the state in which you live, attorney fees, and whether or not travel is required. Foster care adoption can cost $0 to $2,500, while private or international adoption might cost $7,000 to $40,000 or more. Subsidies are often available when adopting from foster care, and you can also talk to your employer about adoption benefits.
Q: How long does the adoption process take?
A: There are many variables that determine how long it will take to complete the adoption process, such as whether adoption preparation classes are required, the length of time to complete the home study and the length of time to identify a child for your family. On average, the adoption process can take one to two years.
Q: Who are the children in foster care?
A: Children in foster care were removed from their families due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. A child might live temporarily with extended family, a foster family, or in a group home while social workers try to help the birth family. If reunification with the birth family isn’t possible, the agency with custody of the child goes to court to legally terminate parental rights. At this point, social workers try to find a safe and loving adoptive family for the child. Ages range from infant to early adulthood, although the average age is seven and a half years. Some children are alone, and others are waiting with siblings.
Q: How do I find the right adoption agency for me?
A: To find an adoption agency that is a good fit for your family, compare information from several agencies after asking these questions:

  • Is the agency licensed by the state?
  • Can you describe the children you place?
  • How many children does the agency place each year?
  • What resources will you use to search for a child for my family?
  • What criteria does the agency use to match children with families?
  • Can the agency provide references from parents who recently adopted?