Thinking About Foster Care Adoption?

There are 6,918 children in foster care in Wisconsin; 1,380 of these children are waiting for adoptive families.

 The children’s average ages are frequently school-aged, 5 to 14 years old.

While there is a need for foster and adoptive families for children of all ages, the need continues for families to adopt older youth and sibling groups.

The number of adoptions from foster care has risen slightly in recent years, but many more adults consider this route without taking action, due to skepticism about the process. Adoption from the foster care system can happen in two ways. Foster adoption, is a form of adoption in which a child is placed into a home as a foster child, with the expectation that the child will become legally free and be adopted by the foster, parents. Some children are not adopted by their foster parents.

Who is considered qualified? 

Prospective adoptive families don’t have to have a lot of money or own their home. In all but a few states, parents can be married or single. (Single-parent families accounted for 29 percent of all adoptions from foster care in 2014, according to data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, or AFCARS.) A prospective adoptive family must demonstrate that they can provide a permanent home for a child or a sibling group and that they can provide a safe environment and support the child’s physical health, mental health, and educational and social needs.

How long does the process take?

The freeing of a child for adoption through the termination of parental rights and the legal process of adoption are complex procedures. Families who are just beginning to explore whether or not adoption from foster care is right for them should plan on spending nine to 18 months, on average, to complete the inquiry, orientation, preparation classes (typically 24 to 30 hours over the course of several weeks), and home study requirements. In 2014, children spent an average of 12 months in foster care between the time when parental rights were terminated and their adoption.

How much does it cost to adopt a child from foster care?

Families who work directly with a public agency typically incur no costs. Families who use a private agency, which will, in turn, work with the public agency in their state or county, may have some out-of-pocket expenses. Families can typically recoup most or all of these expenses after finalization through the federal adoption tax credit.

For more information on how Foster Care Adoption works in the state of Wisconsin, visit AdoptUSKids for additional resources and helpful guidelines!

(Information Obtained from Adoption Families and AdoptUSKids)