In the previous article (click here) we discussed one of the Agency Adoptions processes known as Straight Adoption. In this case, the prospective adoptive family goes straight from the application process into the adoption waiting stage where they wait for a child to be placed in their home who is legally available for adoption.
In this article we will address the second option: Foster-To-Adopt (or fost-adopt).
As a recap, keep in mind that there are several pathways to adoptions in California:
- Stepparent/Domestic partner adoption: In this case, the spouse or domestic partner of the child’s parent adopts that child. The couple must be legally married or registered as domestic partners.
- Independent Adoptions: Not necessary to have an adoption agency or the Department of Social Services involved in the process. The parental rights of the existing parents may or may not have to be terminated, depending on the agreement between parents.
- International adoption: The child to be adopted was born in another country.
- Agency adoption: In this case, the adoption is facilitated by the California Department of Social Services or a licensed adoption agency.
Option 2: Foster-to-Adopt
Another route to adoption is fost-adopt. In this case, the prospective adoptive parent has completed the Resource Family Approval process and is therefore also approved as a foster parent. This means that the child may be placed in your home as a “foster child” first, then, if the child is eligible for adoption, the resource family can submit their request.
There are thousands of children in California alone, who are in foster care. That means, there are potentially thousands of children who may become eligible for adoptions.
Keep in mind that at the time of placement, the status of the case plan or “concurrent planning” is not always known. The agency would not necessarily know if birth parents are making progress towards reunification or if the county is moving towards recommending termination of parental rights to the court. Termination of parental rights is a profoundly serious matter and the courts are not “rushing” for this. So, it is important that you have patience and keep an open mind always.
Be aware that the first goal of the foster care system is family reunification. However, once it becomes clear that reunification is not a realistic option, the county immediately begins to search for potential adoption homes. Herein is a benefit of the fost-adopt process. The family who is already serving as the foster parent and has shown capacity to care for the child, may have an advantage in the selection process. This is true if the child has been in the home for six (6) months or more.
Dual licensed Agencies: Foster and Adoptions
When considering either to serve as foster parents or adoptive parents, there are benefits to partnering with an agency that has dual licenses. In other words, the agency is licensed as a foster care agency and is also licensed as an adoption agency, which allows you to consider “straight” or “fost-adopt”.
Not every foster family agency has both licenses like Knotts Family Agency, so choose carefully.
Knotts Family Agency has been serving families over 28 years. We are a solid, premier, and leading organization that is dually licensed for both foster care and adoptions. Here are some of our promises to you as a prospective adoption parent:
- We will always be transparent and honest with you. That is why we have laid out information in our blog that gives you a clear and realistic expectation of what the process looks like.
- Agencies do not have control over how long your county may take to clear you, nor how long it might take after clearance for a foster child to be placed or become eligible for adoption. What we do guarantee that we will always work diligently and with urgency on your behalf. In fact, you can complete the agency approval process in as little as 2-3 weeks! Yes, that includes the Resource Family Evaluation (Home Study).
- We know that the process to complete the resource family approval is frustrating and complex, so we are committed to providing you with high-quality support as you go through the process. We call that Parent Delight™.
In summary, there are at least two routes for
Agency Adoptions: a) straight adoption, or b) fost-adopt. Each has its unique advantages or challenges. Either one can be the correct approach depending on your needs, plans, personality, and personal situation.
Remember, each case is unique, so this article and the information provided is intended to be educational and informative and not legal advice. Please contact the agency for additional information.
Final thought: Love is a choice. Adoption is the ultimate expression of love.
What questions do you have about adoptions?
What have been your concerns about adoptions?
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