Adopting A Child from the Foster Care System

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The following information refers to adopting children in the United States from the foster care system. If you are interested in adopting a child from another country, or adopting a healthy infant or young child through a private agency or adoption attorney in the United States, this information does not apply to you.

There are many reasons to adopt a child from the foster care system: to give a child a chance at a better life; to experience the joy and fulfillment a child brings to a family and home; to share the gifts given us with someone else; to parent a child when giving birth is not possible; to help make the world a better place . . . the list can go on and on.

The decision to adopt a child falls along a continuum of "easy" to "complex". Taking into consideration and understanding all the practical issues of adopting a child and the process of adoption are not all that's required to make a decision to adopt. There is also a moment in time when something "wakes up" inside, and there is a kind of "knowing" that adopting a child is the thing to do.

At we commend you for making the decision to consider adopting a foster child, and thank you for visiting our Web sites learn more about adoption, and to search for adoptable children.

Children in the foster care system are there due to no fault of their own. They need and deserve good parents, families, homes, love, nurturing, guidance, and companionship, but adopting a child is never a one-way street. The children have as much to offer us, as we have to offer them. At some level there is a fit and a place where we all need each other.

Laura, the adoptive mom of five-year old Kimberly (that darling, curly-headed, blonde dynamo with ADHD) says she has often cried herself to sleep at night wondering if she made a mistake when she adopted little "Miss Kim." Then, drying her eyes, she smiles, and continues, "Then Miss Kim looks up at me with her big, green eyes and says, 'Mommy, I love you,' and without the words to express the feeling, I know our lives together is the right thing for both of us, and always will be."

Do the benefits of adoption outweigh the costs, or do the rewards outweigh the consequences? That is the question a mind can answer, and only a heart can say whether the answer even matters. As you seek information, we hope that the services of our Web sites can help you find what you need. As you look for support, we hope you can find some of that within the content and venues our Web sites provide. We encourage you to take the opportunity to connect with other people, and share a bit of yourself as well.

Adoption laws and the process for adopting a child from the foster care system vary slightly from state to state; however, all states adhere to general guidelines and requirements. The information we provide on this site is generalized in such a way that it will likely apply to you regardless of where you live.

You may read through this information in its entirety, or select specific information from the following topics:

  • Who are the children available for adoption and where are they?
  • What is involved in the adoption process?
  • How do I find an adoption agency?
  • What will it cost for me to adopt a child, and is there assistance to help cover the costs?
  • What is a homestudy?
  • What happens after my homestudy is completed?
  • How can I find children available for adoption?
  • What kind of information will I be given about the child I am interested in?
  • Is there anything I can do to be better prepared to adopt a child?
  • What happens once an agency agrees to place a child with me and when is an adoption finalized?
  • What services and supports can I access once a child is placed in my home?
  • Can I adopt a child of another race?
  • Can I adopt a child from another state?
  • Can the biological parents reclaim adopted foster children?

To see local Foster resources, please select a location (U.S. only):

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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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