While American Adoptions is a private domestic adoption agency, the foster care system is still very near and dear to our hearts. So although we can’t help you to complete a foster care adoption, we can certainly help you to learn about it. If you’re interested in becoming involved with Maryland foster care system, here’s what you need to know.
This article will focus mostly on adopting from foster care in Maryland, but it’s important to know that there are three different ways to be involved with Maryland’s foster care system:
Adopting from foster care. In this scenario, a family adopts a child who is already legally available to be adopted. This means that the child is in foster care with no chance of being reunited with his or her biological parents, because their rights have already been terminated.
Foster parenting. In this situation, a family provides a child in the foster care system with a temporary home. This family does not intend to permanently adopt the child, but rather love and take care of them while their biological parents work to regain custody.
Fostering to adopt. This is when a family fosters a child with the hope that, one day, they will be able to permanently adopt them. This is a wonderful way to help a child, but it is important to note that this is not a guarantee; the state always aims first to reunite a child with their biological parents.
Parents choose to grow their family for many different reasons, just like there are many factors that may go into choosing adoption from foster care. These might include:
Wanting to adopt a child who needs a home but doesn’t have one.
Wanting to adopt a child and not caring about things like race, age, gender or special needs.
Wanting to adopt a child but not being able to afford other more expensive types of adoption, such as international adoption.
Wanting to adopt a foster child who’s been living with them after the biological parents have their rights terminated.
Anyone can adopt from foster care in Maryland as long as they:
Are at least 21 years of age
Have the financial means to support a child
Complete at least 27 hours of training
Complete an approved adoption home study
Money should never be the main consideration when thinking about adopting a child. However, a significant benefit of adopting a child from the foster care system is that the costs are generally little to nothing. Of course, you should be financially prepared to pay to raise another family member and finance things like medical exams and safety classes, but in most instances, adopting from foster care in Maryland will not cost more than $300 for the process itself.
To adopt from foster care in MD, you’ll take the following steps:
Determine that you do want to adopt from the foster care system, as opposed to foster parenting or fostering to adopt.
Contact your local department of social services.
Complete at least 27 hours of pre-adoption parenting classes with your local department of social services.
Complete a home study.
Wait for placement. This will most likely not take as long as another type of adoption, just because these children are immediately in need of homes.
Finalize your child’s adoption in Maryland.
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