As a private domestic adoption agency, American Adoptions is not involved with the foster care system in Louisiana. However, the children it helps and the professionals who make it possible are all very near and dear to our hearts. With this in mind, then, we’ve compiled the information you’ll need to get started if you wish to get involved with foster care in Louisiana.
People choose to add to their families for many different reasons, so it makes sense that people choose to pursue adoption from foster care for different reasons as well. These may include:
Wanting to adopt a child without paying for more expensive forms of adoption, such as adopting a child from another country.
Wanting to help a child who needs a home and a loving family.
Wanting to adopt a child regardless of factors such as age or special needs.
Wanting to adopt a foster child they’ve been raising after the biological parents fail to regain custody.
If you wish to adopt from foster care in Louisiana, you must:
Have adequate bedroom space for the child.
Have no more than five children under the age of 18 living in the house, including the foster child.
Have a safe home that includes a fire extinguisher and working smoking alarms.
Provide evidence that you have sufficient income to raise a child.
Provide medical statements that show you are healthy enough to raise a child, both physically and mentally.
To adopt from foster care in LA, you will:
Contact the department of social services in your parish.
Complete pre-adoption parenting classes, depending on your parish’s requirements.
Complete an adoption home study.
Wait for a child to be placed with you. It’s likely that this waiting period will be much shorter than other forms of adoption, because many children in Louisiana’s foster care system are in need of safe homes immediately.
Finalize your child’s adoption in Louisiana.
Of course, money shouldn’t ever be the most important factor you consider when you think about adopting a child. Adopting from foster care in Louisiana, however, does have a significant advantage in that it typically costs little to nothing. The process shouldn’t cost more than $300 in most cases, but you should be financially prepared to raise another family member and pay for things such as medical exams, safety classes and counseling that a child who has been in foster care may need.
While this article is focused predominately on adopting from foster care in Louisiana, there are actually three different ways to get involved with the foster care system:
1. Adopt from foster care. This is when a family adopts a child who is already legally free to be adopted within the foster care system. In other words, the child’s biological parents have had their rights legally terminated, and there is no chance the child will be reunited with them.
2. Foster parenting. This is when a family provides a temporary home to a child within the foster care system. The family does not expect the child to stay with them permanently, but rather opens up their home and their hearts while the child’s biological parents work to regain custody.
3. Fostering to adopt. Emotionally, this is a bit more risky. A family who fosters to adopt foster parents in a child in the hope that they will one day be legally free to adopt them. This is an amazing way to help a child, but it’s important to remember that the state’s first goal is always to reunite a child with their biological parents.
Currently, there are 4,787 children in Louisiana’s foster care system. Of these children, 653 are legally free to be adopted. To learn more about adopting from foster care in Louisiana, contact the Department of Children and Family Services in your region.
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