The relationship between foster care and adoption is often misunderstood. Foster care is similar to adoption in that a family is caring for a child born to different parents. However, there is no transfer of parental rights to foster parents as with adoptive parents. Instead, care is given to a child until he or she can be reunited with his or her birth parents. Alternatively, care can be provided until his or her birth parents' parental rights are fully terminated by a court ruling and the state agency deems the child available to adoptive parents. Sometimes, a child's adoptive home is the same as his or her foster home. Other times, a child's temporary home remains temporary.
Just under half of all children in the U.S. foster system are placed in temporary care with the goal to reunify the child or children with the birth parents or guardians. With just over 400,000 children, that means about 200,000 children are in need of a safe place to stay without the intention of being adopted. Only about a fourth of all children in temporary care of the state are adoptable and more often than not, these children are adopted by the end of the year, according to a July 2010 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.. However, adopted children can spend up to two years overall in the foster system before finding permanent placement. Most children live with a family between 1 to 5 months. Although the average stay of a child is 26.7 months, according to the Administration for Children & Families. Older children and those with disabilities or behavioral issues tend to be more difficult to place.
Couples adopting through a public, state agency may be advised to participate in a fost-adopt or legal risk adoption before adopting an older child. This is in part to ensure the chemistry and family dynamic between a child and a potentially adoptive household in a low-risk or low-pressure situation. It's also worth noting that older child adoption age ranges from less than a year to 20, although the median age is about 10 years old.
Fostering a child presents the difficulty of having to let the child go if the state decides the child's birth family living situation has been stabilized. However, many experienced parents agree it's worth it.
People who searched for "foster" also searched for: fostered
See Also: foster care, foster child, foster parent, foster family, foster home, adoption and foster care, foster care and adoption, long-term foster care, therapeutic foster home, treatment foster home
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Public Adoption Agency
Family Development Specialist
Children, Youth, And Family Consortium
National Clearinghouse On Families & Youth
What's given to kids when entering care?
June 16, 2013, 8:10 pm
Seeing the Project Linus post made me wonder what kids who are entering care get in different places. What do kids in your area receive when they enter foster care? Here, they come with whatever their family sends (virtually nothing for most of my kids). CPS gives them a "little blue bag"...WA state
June 16, 2013, 5:19 pm
We are also in WA and we are foster to adopt home only, and we have just recently taken a placement that we were told would be adoptive, but I have since found out that the state has "family" in another state that has already been approved, but the birth parents do not want her to leave the state...
Ready for number 2 - not sure which route to go
June 16, 2013, 6:51 pm
Hey everyone, I'm a single foster/adoptive mom of a beautiful little girl who is my world. I want nothing more than to give her a sibling. I've always wanted to have a larg(er) family and my daughter is so ready to be a sister! Our county foster care agency has slowed down immensely. There are...My opinion exactly.
June 16, 2013, 4:58 pm
My newest 2 mama didn't show up. The original foster mom who had them, they were removed because they literally were on the roof and the neighbor called the state. They are rotten, but we've started to establish a routine and they are settling in. I found out that she is appealing their...
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