Foster Care Adoption in Delaware
How to Adopt a Child Through Foster Care
Did you know that there are more than 600 children in Delaware’s foster care system?
Foster care, a child services program operating in every state in the country, is meant to provide safe, secure environments for children whose home situations have been deemed dangerous, or who have lost their biological family and are in need of care. For the majority of children under the care of foster parents, the goal is “reunification,” which means a healthy return to their biological family after a time apart.
However, reunification isn’t possible for every child. For a variety of reasons, a child may be eligible for adoption through foster care in Delaware, commonly referred to as foster care adoption or foster to adopt.
Foster to adopt in Delaware can be a great way to grow your family. Even though American Adoptions only works in domestic infant adoption, we recognize that every family has a unique path. Foster care adoption in Delaware could be the thing that makes the most sense for you, and we want to help you fulfill your dream of becoming a parent in any way possible.
So, let’s take a look at how foster care adoption in Delaware works, and some other important factors you may need to consider about foster to adopt in Delaware.
What is foster care adoption in Delaware?
Foster care adoption in Delaware is the process of applying to adopt a waiting foster child or becoming a foster parent with the state with the intent to adopt a child. Of the more than 600 children in Delaware’s foster care system, about 230, or 32 percent, are waiting to be adopted.
Clearly, there is a need for parents who desire to adopt through foster care in Delaware. The foster care adoption process is different from a domestic infant adoption. You will register to become a foster parent with the state, which requires meeting foster parent requirements, a foster care home study and foster parent training.
After the state places a child in your care, you will not immediately adopt that child. In many cases, there is a waiting period in which the child could be moved into another family’s care or potentially reunified with a biological family member. This can be one of the most emotionally challenging aspects of foster care adoption in Delaware. Since the majority of children in foster care are reunified with their biological family, it’s important that you are aware of this possibility and that you specifically apply to adopt a child who is already legally available for adoption.
Once a child under your care is deemed eligible for adoption from foster care, you will work with an adoption attorney and the state to complete the process and receive a final decree of adoption.
How do I become a foster parent in DE?
Delaware is always looking for more qualified foster parents to care for the hundreds of children in foster care. In order to be considered a qualified foster parent, you must:
Be at least 21 years old
Be single, married, divorced or widowed
Rent or own your home
Attend a three-hour information session
Complete 27 hours of pre-service training
Pass a criminal background check
Pass home, health and safety studies
Be an economically viable family
Provide reference letters
The process for becoming a foster parent in Delaware is fairly simple if you meet the foster care requirements. After making contact with a representative of the Division of Family Services, you will go through the application, training and screening process before being placed with a child.
Foster Care Adoption Advantages and Disadvantages
Why should you consider foster care adoption in Delaware? There are several distinct advantages worth considering, as well as disadvantages that may be cause for concern. We’ll look at both, and then you can decide what is best for you family.
Of all the advantages of foster care adoption in Delaware, the cost is at the forefront. In most cases, the cost of foster adoption in Delaware is little to nothing. Additionally, one advantage of adopting a child from foster care in Delaware is the chance to provide much-needed care to a child in your community. This may seem intangible, but it can’t be overlooked. People who choose to become foster parents make a real difference in the lives of children.
There are, however, some disadvantages to foster care adoption in Delaware that are also worth considering. The process itself can be much more unpredictable, bringing emotional turbulence that not everyone is equipped to handle. You will also have less dedicated professional help along the way, as compared to working with an adoption specialist from American Adoptions.
There are sure to be other advantages and disadvantages to foster adoption in Delaware based on your unique context. Only you can weigh all these factors and decide what is right for your family.
Foster Care Adoption Subsidy in Delaware
If you do choose foster to adopt in Delaware, there is a chance you’ll be eligible to receive assistance. The state provides a daily stipend to foster parents ranging from $13.04 to $55.00 per day, depending on the age of the child and the level of his/her needs. There will also be foster home coordinators and respite care available to foster parents.
Additionally, parents who are participating in foster care adoption in Delaware will be referred to foster family clusters, which act as support groups throughout the foster adoption process.
Get Started in Your Foster Care Adoption Process
If you are ready to start your foster care adoption in Delaware today, you can contact the Division of Family Services and ask about becoming a foster parent. Or, if you believe that a private domestic infant adoption might be the best option for your family, you can call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with an adoption specialist today about all of our programs.
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