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.
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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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Foster/Adopt Bedroom Qualification?
March 6, 2014, 2:18 pm
Hello! My husband and I would love to foster adopt two young children. We already have a 5 year old daughter and a 13 month old son. The problem is we currently live in a two bedroom home, in Colorado, so we are not able to foster until we move or add a bedroom. We will probably be moving...Making the choice to stay home
March 6, 2014, 12:12 pm
I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom but it's so hard to give up the extra income. Now that we have 3 kids with all their appointments and activities I am feeling overwhelmed and exhausted! I am considering making the move to be a stay at home mom sooner than planned because frankly cannot...
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March 6, 2014, 2:35 pm
Well, So I got news today that I will be getting ZERO dollars for subsidy even though she qualifies as a special needs ( 3 years or older and minority). So yea, basically if you have ANY disposable income you get Zero as a subsidy. They approved her for the max amt. if my circumstances change,...Cause for concern?
March 6, 2014, 12:26 pm
Our 4 year-old FD has been with us for 2 months. She's developmentally on track, quite bright, playful and happy. We've been very pleased that she is an extremely easy child. She's never had a meltdown, is happy most of the time and acts the same before and after BP visits as she does the rest...
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