Foster adoptions, or adoptions through the U.S. foster care system, usually involve children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or other concerns for their safety. The children may range in age from infants to teens, although most are toddlers and older. Many will have physical, emotional, or other special needs, while some will not. Children who are determined to have special needs may qualify for government-funded adoption subsidies to help families manage the costs of care and maintenance.
These adoptions are usually arranged through state agencies, although in recent years, states have contracted with some private agencies in order to increase opportunities for the children to find permanent families. These adoptions have little or no cost; they are supported by government funding.
There are several ways to approach adoption through the U.S. foster care system:
Adoption of a child or sibling group who has already been, or will be within a short period of time, legally released for adoption (parental rights terminated or relinquished);
Accept placement of a child whose reunification with biological family is still a possibility. If reunification or other in-family placement isn't effected within a certain period of time, the child will be released for adoption by you (known as Foster-Adoption or Fost/Adopt). The process of working toward more than one goal for a child (reunification with parents, kinship placement, adoption) is known as concurrent planning;
Foster parent adoption, where licensed foster parents proceed to adopt a child in their care.