As a private domestic adoption agency, American Adoptions is not involved with the placement of foster children for adoption in Washington. However, as the state has a great need for both foster parents and those hoping to adopt from foster care, it’s a cause that’s very near and dear to us. If you are interested in providing a child within Washington’s foster care system with a safe, loving home — whether temporarily or on a permanent basis — we’ve compiled the following information to help you.
Washington families choose to adopt from foster care for a myriad of reasons, including:
The biological parents of the child they were foster parenting had their rights terminated during the child’s stay.
Factors such as age, race, gender, special needs, etc., do not bother them when it comes to adoption preferences. They simply want to give a child in need a home.
They appreciate that adopting from foster care often costs less than other forms of adoption, such as adopting from overseas.
The state has the same requirements for anyone who wishes to either foster parent or adopt from foster care in Washington. To participate, you must:
Be at least 18 years old
Be legally competent
Complete a pre-service training course with the foster care agency you work with
In other areas, however, Washington is fairly flexible. To adopt from foster care in Washington, as long as you meet the above requirements, you can be:
Single, married, or in a committed relationship
A renter or a home owner
A seasoned parent or a first-time parent
Of any race, ethnicity, income, age, religion or lifestyle
Foster care adoption is typically the most cost-effective form of adoption. Costs can range from $0 to $2,500 and may include a home study, preparations to your home and minimal legal costs. It’s possible, however, that the state may reimburse you for these costs as well as provide an additional stipend for families wishing to foster parent.
To complete a Washington foster care adoption, you must:
Choose a Washington foster care adoption professional.
Complete the pre-service training course your foster care agency requires. Regardless of whether you wish to foster parent or adopt from foster care in Washington, you must complete this course. It will help you to prepare to care for a child that may have been neglected or abused or may suffer from an attachment disorder.
Apply to adopt a foster child with the professional you choose. You should expect to give information about yourself, your home life and any reasons you have for pursuing adoption. In this application, you will also let your foster care professional know what you might be comfortable with in an adoption scenario, such as whether or not factors like age, gender or special needs matter to you.
Complete an adoption home study, just as you would if you were pursuing any other type of adoption. A home study includes a documentation stage, an inspection of your home and interviews with each family member living in the home.
Wait for an adoption match. Please keep in mind that the more flexible you are on your adoption application, the more likely that you will adopt within a faster time period. For example, if you say you are open to adopting a child of any age or gender, you will most likely find a match more quickly than someone who is only willing to adopt an infant boy.
After you bring your child home with you, it will be time to finalize their adoption. This will involve a finalization hearing in which you receive your child’s final decree of adoption.
Once you have received your child’s final decree of adoption, the Washington foster care adoption process is over. However, please keep in mind that adoption itself is a lifelong journey. Even after the finalization hearing, it’s an adoptive parent’s job to make sure their child is comfortable talking about their adoption as well as addressing any questions or concerns. It’s important that your child knows their adoption story is something to be proud of!
While this article is mainly targeted toward those who are interested in adopting from foster care in Washington, there are actually three ways to be involved with the foster care system. Adopting from foster care is the first, and this is of course when you adopt a child whose biological parents have already had their rights terminated. Children in this scenario have been living with foster parents until they are matched with permanent families.
Another option is to foster to adopt in Washington. In this instance, a family serves as foster parents to a child whose biological parents still have their parental rights. If the biological parents do have their rights terminated, the foster family then adopts the child. This is an emotionally risky plan, however, because there is always the possibility that the biological parents will not have their rights terminated.
When a family chooses to foster parent, on the other hand, this means they are providing a child with a temporary home. The foster parents care for the child until the biological parents regain custody or until a permanent family adopts the child.
As with most states, Washington has many children in its foster care system. In fact, it has roughly 10,000 children, nearly 2,000 of which are waiting to meet their permanent adoptive families.
For more information about how to become a foster parent or pursue a foster care adoption in Washington, please contact your local Department of Social and Health Services.
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