Foster Adoption

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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.

For more information, visit our Foster Parent Adoption resources.

  1. Getting Started with Adoption
  2. How Many People Choose Adoption?
  3. Is Adoption Right for You?
  4. Adoption Self-Assessment Quiz
  5. Which Children Are Available for Adoption?
  6. Sibling Groups
  7. Who Can Adopt?
  8. Qualification Requirements for Adopting Parents
  9. Your Adoption Options
  10. Agency Adoption
  11. Private (or Independent) Adoption
  12. Options in Independent Adoption
  13. Adoption Facilitators
  14. International Adoption
  15. Foster Adoption
  16. Stepparent Adoption
  17. Transracial Adoption
  18. Special Needs Adoption
  19. Military Adoption
  20. Making an Adoption Plan
  21. Selecting an Adoption Professional
  22. Getting an Adoption Homestudy
  23. Adoption Costs
  24. Why Do Costs Seem So High?
  25. Help Handling the Costs of Adoption
  26. The Adoption Tax Credit
  27. Adoption Subsidies
  28. Employer Adoption Benefits
  29. Networking & Networking Tools
  30. Legal Issues in Adoption
  31. Evaluating Adoption Risks
  32. Open Adoption
  33. Breastfeeding the Adopted Child
  34. Coping With the Wait
  35. Glossary of Terms
  36. Recommended Reading
  37. Conclusion
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Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of

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