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Foster Care Adoption


Children are more than just statistics, but the numbers are staggering. Approximately 104,000 children are waiting to be adopted from the US Foster Care system. They are ready and available for parents. They are simply waiting. They are about evenly divided by gender and race. Their average age is 8 years, but 40% are under the age of 6 years (many of these are part of a sibling group). The cost to adopt a child in the US from fostercare is virtually nothing and most families will recieve a monthly subsidy to help with the cost of raising them. More information can be found at the Child Welfare Information Gateway. Creating a Family has tons of resources to help you decide if foster care adoption is right for you.

Where to Start
Information and Resources
Books and Videos
Support Groups

Where to Start:

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General Information and Educational Resources:

  • First Place- Great resource for understanding and responding to challenging behavior some kids exhibit when they first come home. Covers attention seeking, disrespect, depressed, acting out, and aloof behaviors. Good stuff!
  • The North American Council on Adoptable Children is a great non-profit dedicated to waiting children and the families who adopt them. They operate the National Adoption Subsidy Resource Center to educate parents and professionals on post-adoption support and subsidies in the US and Canada.Their website has a comprehensive section on adoption subsidies, including profiles for individual states and provinces, fact sheets on different types of subsidies, and definitions of special needs.

  • Nature, Nurture, and Notions has a great “Been There Done That” list of resources from a mom who adopted from foster care. The mom actually did an international kinship adoption, but the resources would be applicable to all foster care adoption.

  • Photolisting of US kids available for adoption

  • Families For All is a great new website just launched to help families decide to foster or adopt from foster care. What I like best about this site is a state by state listing of contact information of the state agency for foster care and adopting from foster care, as well as the private adoption agencies that have a contract with the state to place children from foster care. Just click on the button for information in your state.

  • To find the name of the local child welfare agency that places children from foster care, go to Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, click on the National Foster Care & Adoption Directory.

  • A Beginner's Guide to Adoption is a free booklet from the wonderful folks at the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. It's a great introduction to the foster care adoption process. It is also available in Spanish and there is a separate book for Canada.

  • "Forever Families—Support for Families of Children with Special Needs: A Policy Analysis of Adoption Subsidy Programs in the United States" published by The North American Council on Adoptable Children in 2002 contains useful information, but may by more academic than you are looking for. Also, it is a bit outdated, but it provides good background information and history.

  • Foster Parent College provides online training for foster and adoptive parents. Some of the course topics include ADHD, Dealing with Attachment issues, and Working with the Schools.

  • Adoption Assistance: 89% of families that adopt from foster care receive assistance post adoption to help with the expenses of raising a child. The state pays this subsidy because it costs them less than maintaining children in foster care and because it helps kids! If you are adopting from foster care, you should definitely look into getting monthly assistance. Some states also cover the child’s medical insurance and college tuition. Be a smart parent and check this out.

  • Basics of how to foster or adopt from foster care

  • State specific information on how to adopt or foster from foster care, including the requirements, contact person, and support groups.

  • The Best on the Web for Foster and Adoptive Families. A listing of resources for foster and adoptive families.

  • Great blog written by Adam Robe (adopted from foster care, social worker, and author of the Robbie Rabbit series - tools to help kids in the foster care/adoption system) Lots of good information for foster/adoptive parents.

  • In My Child's World is a great blog that focuses on strategies for Foster and Adoptive parents to reach their child.

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Books and Videos:

  • The Foster Parenting Toolbox, edited by Kim Phagan-Hansel. Although written for as a resource for foster parent, much of the information within this book is invaluable for parents adopting from foster care as well. Great resources for transitioning your child from foster care to adoption. Many practical tips for parenting and understanding kids that have come from trauma.

  • Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past by Betsy Keefer and Jayne E. Schooler. Wonderful resource specific to different ages for talking about the hard issues in adoption such as drugs, imprisonment, rape, incest, and abuse.

  • Another Place at the Table by Kathy Harrison. Great book written by a foster mom of many years. She gives an honest, heart- warming and heart-wrenching portrayal of fostering.

  • One Small Boat: The Story of a Little Girl, Lost Then Found by Kathy Harrison. OK, be prepared to be inspired by this well written story about one child and one foster family who loved her.

  • Check out some of the foster care adoption videos we have listed on our Adoption-Videos page.

  • Robbie Rabbit Series by Adam Robe - Great books to help children in the foster care/adoption system and the adults that care for them.

  • The Road to Adoption and Foster Care, produced by Rich Newman in association with AdoptUSKids. Watch this video to learn the seven basic steps to adoption and foster care and hear stories from families who have walked the road to adoption and foster care

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Support Groups:

  • Cafe Mom has a forum for moms fostering or adopting from foster care. They are wonderfully supportive. Just a lovely group of sensitive, smart, experienced moms.

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Image credit: From the ever-wonderful webiste Adopt US Kids

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