Adoption Glossary - F

As you begin to research adoption, you'll find that it comes with its own adoption terms and jargon. Although some adoption terms may be defined a little differently by another adoption professional, we hope the adoption glossary below will help you make sense of some buzzwords used in adoption. If you're unable to find the information you're looking for in the adoption glossary, call one of our knowledgeable Adoption Specialists at
1-800-ADOPTION.
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Family Assessment - The stage of the child protection process when the CPS caseworker, community treatment provider and the family reach a mutual understanding regarding the behaviors and conditions that must change to reduce or eliminate the risk of maltreatment, the most critical treatment needs that must be addressed and the strengths on which to build.
Family Group Conferencing - A family meeting model used by CPS agencies to optimize family strengths in the planning process. This model brings the family, extended family and others important in the family's life (e.g., friends, clergy, neighbors) together to make decisions regarding how best to ensure safety of the family members.
Family Preservation - A program of supportive social services designed to keep families together by providing services to children and families in their home. It is based on the premise that birth families are the preferred means of providing family life for children.
Family Unity Model - A family meeting model used by CPS agencies to optimize family strengths in the planning process. This model is similar to the family group conferencing model.
Fetal Alcohol Effect (FAE) - A disorder associated with cognitive and behavioral difficulties in children whose birth mothers drank alcohol while pregnant. Symptoms are similar to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) but less severe or comprehensive.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) - Birth defects and serious life-long mental and emotional impairments that may result from heavy maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Symptoms of mental and emotional deficits may include significant learning and behavioral disorders (including attention deficits and hyperactivity), diminished cause-and-effect thinking, poor social judgment and impulsive behaviors.
Fictive Kin - People not related by birth or marriage who have an emotionally significant relationship with an individual.
Final Adoption Decree - Legal document issued by the court that completes the adoption.
Finalization - Court action that grants permanent legal custody of a child to the adoptive parents.
Foster Adoption Placement - Foster placement of a child, with adoption being the final goal, once all legal requirements have been met. The couple must be certified as suitable to adopt with their home licensed as a foster home. (There is no assurance that placement will evolve into adoption
Foster Care - Substitute parental care for a short, extended or permanent period of time for a child whose biological parents cannot provide proper care.
Foster Child - Child who is placed with a state-licensed family or in a group care facility because their biological parents cannot provide proper care.
Foster Parent - State-licensed adult who is paid or volunteers to take care of children, but is not related by blood, marriage or adoption.
Foster-Adoption - A child placement in which birth parents' rights have not yet been severed by the court or in which birth parents are appealing the court's decision but foster parents agree to adopt the child if/when parental rights are terminated. Social workers place the child with specially trained foster-adopt parents who will work with the child during family reunification efforts but who will adopt the child if the child becomes available for adoption. The main reason for making such a placement, also called legal-risk adoption, is to spare the child another move.
Full Disclosure - CPS information to the family regarding the steps in the intervention process, the requirements of CPS, the expectations of the family, the consequences if the family does not fulfill the expectations and the rights of the parents to ensure that the family completely understands the process.



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