Adoption is a legal process; however, it is also a social and emotional process. More than 100,000 children and youth in foster care are waiting to be adopted, and many exit care without permanent connections. Children and youth ages 12 and up—especially those who are African American or American Indian/Alaska Native—are less likely to be adopted or return to their families than other children and youth.
Adoption from foster care differs from other types of adoption because of the processes involved and children in care have all experienced loss and trauma. By learning about trauma, adoptive parents can support a child’s permanency and well-being.
While reunification is the primary permanency goal for children in foster care, adoption can be a concurrent goal. Foster families, including relatives or fictive kin, should support concurrent permanency goals. If reunification is not possible, adoption is preferable.
Families that adopt from foster care can benefit from subsidies and support services before and after adoption. Child welfare professionals can help navigate these processes by connecting children, youth, and families with services. Trauma- and adoption-competent services help families develop skills and build a support network.
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Adoption Assistance for Children Adopted From Foster Care
Learn how adoption subsidies may make adoption possible for families who are considering adopting from foster care, securing financial assistance and tax credits, and how to use a State's fair hearings process to challenge decisions about assistance.
Preparing Children and Youth for Adoption or Other Family Permanency
Explore ways for child welfare professionals to better understand the feelings and emotions children may experience regarding permanency and how to prepare them for placements with families, including adoptive, guardianship and kinship placements.
Belonging Matters - Helping Youth Explore Permanency
Find information for child welfare and adoption professionals to help youth in foster care explore permanency options and the value of secure, permanent connections based on interviews with young people who were adopted or aged out of foster care.
Parenting in Racially, Culturally, and Ethnically Diverse Adoptive Families
Provides information to help you support your child in developing a healthy racial, cultural, and ethnic identity by examining your thoughts and biases and preparing your child to live in a society where race has a major impact on individual lives.
Families Considering Foster Care and Adoption
Provides information on factors to consider when making the decision to become a foster parent or adopt, including the benefits of foster care adoption for children and youth in foster care and family qualities for successful foster care adoptions.
Helping Your Child Transition From Foster Care to Adoption
Offers tips for helping a child transition from foster care to adoption by providing parents with steps they can take to promote attachment and ease the adjustment process at specific developmental stages along with resources to encourage permanency.
Planning for Adoption: Knowing the Costs and Resources
Addresses adoption from foster care, adoption from a private agency, independent adoption, and intercountry adoption. It also provides a list of support services to help you consider the kind of assistance you and your child or youth may need.
Accessing Adoption Support and Preservation Services
Provided both before and after adoption, adoption support and preservation services can help families with a range of issues. These services are available for everything from learning how to explain adoption to your preschooler, to helping address th ...Read More
National Training and Development Curriculum for Foster and Adoptive Parents (New title: The National Training and Development Curriculum)
Offers a curriculum for prospective foster and adoptive parents, designed with input from experts and families and youth with lived experience, to prepare them before and provide ongoing skill building once a child is placed in their home.