Foster Care Adoption in Kansas: 5 Things You Should Know
Imagine bringing your adopted child home for the first time. What do you see? If you envision yourself bringing a newborn baby home from the hospital, American Adoptions can help you make that dream a reality with a domestic infant adoption.
But what if you’re hoping for something a little different from your adoption experience? What if you’re more drawn to the idea of adopting an older child, or even a sibling group? Maybe you are committed to the idea of providing special care to a child with special needs or a difficult history. Maybe your primary goal is simply to provide a loving home to a child who desperately needs one.
If any of this resonates with you, it could mean that a Kansas foster care adoption is right for you.
It’s estimated that there are more than 5,000 children in Kansas foster care, about 900 of whom are eligible for adoption. Most children waiting for adoption are at least 10 years old or are part of a sibling group.
When a child enters foster care, the goal is almost always reunification with their biological family or primary caretaker. For most children in foster care, this goal is achieved; 51 percent of children are reunited with their parents, and 22 percent are adopted.
Only when it becomes clear that reunification is no longer a possibility for a child, and that there are no other biological family members able to provide care, will a child become eligible for Kansas foster care adoption.
While American Adoptions focuses on the placement of newborns and infants and does not provide foster care adoption services, foster care and adoption can be great family-building options for parents in Kansas. Here, discover the top five things you should know about foster care adoption in Kansas to determine whether it’s right for your family.
1. The Different Types of Foster Parenting
There are three different ways to become involved in the foster care system for prospective parents, some of which involve adoption for a permanent parent-child relationship.
1. Foster Parenting
Foster parents provide a temporary safe and loving home for children in Kansas foster care. These children need the care of a stable and supportive adult while they’re waiting to be reunited with their biological family or to be adopted.
2. Foster to Adopt in Kansas
For those who intend to foster to adopt in Kansas, you first become a foster parent for a child with the intent to adopt them should they become eligible. While most children in Kansas foster care don’t ever become eligible for adoption, priority when considering adoptive parents is generally given first to any other biological family members who might be able to care for the child, and then to the foster parents who’ve been caring for him or her.
3. Adopting through Foster Care in Kansas
When adopting through foster care, you don’t always have to become a foster parent first. Instead, you can request to only be matched with children who are already eligible for and awaiting adoption.
2. The Kansas Foster Care Adoption Subsidies that may be Available to You
Adoption from foster care is the most cost-effective type of adoption in Kansas, but some hopeful parents worry about the costs of raising a child who is adopted from foster care. Many of these children have specific physical, mental, developmental or medical needs, and many families need some assistance in order to meet those needs. A foster care adoption subsidy can help an adoptive family access the things their child requires, such as counseling services, tutoring or medical care.
The amount of financial assistance that you’ll receive as a foster or adoptive parent through state-funded adoption subsidies will vary based primarily on the needs of the child(ren) you adopt, but most families who complete a Kansas foster care adoption are eligible for some kind of adoption assistance.
3. Who Can Foster to Adopt in Kansas or Adopt through Foster Care
It takes a special person to open their home to a child in foster care, and hopeful foster and adoptive parents must meet certain requirements and complete certain screenings to ensure they’re fully prepared for the journey ahead.
Basic foster parent requirements involve standard background checks, the completion of a 30-hour training course, at least three hours of a first aid/CPR training course, PS-MAPP, and a foster care adoption home study in addition to a foster parent license through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. A foster parent must be at least 21 years old in the state of Kansas.
A foster care adoption home study generally includes:
Sexual abuse and neglect clearances
Criminal background checks, both federal and in Kansas
Driver’s license records
Most recent tax returns
Recent medical records
An autobiographical statement
An in-home inspection
An in-home interview
Some foster care agencies may have additional requirements for foster parents, or they may require you to complete training hours with in-house professionals. Defer to your foster care agency with any questions about what it takes to become a foster parent with them.
4. Who Can Be Adopted from Foster Care
Not every child in foster care is eligible for adoption. The goal when a child enters the foster system is almost always reunification with their parents or other biological family members; only after the court determines that reunification is not possible will the parent’s rights be terminated and the child become available for adoption.
The court may decide to terminate parental rights if the parent fails to follow through on the court-mandated requirements to be reunited with their child, or if the court believes that termination of parental rights is in the best interest of the child.
Until parental rights are terminated, a child is not eligible for a Kansas foster care adoption. After the age of 18, children “age out” of foster care, but some foster parents who previously cared for a child may choose to make their relationship permanent with an adult adoption.
5. Kansas Foster Care Adoption Agencies and Resources
Adoption through foster care can be a wonderful way to grow your family. If you think this path may be right for you, you will want to contact a foster care professional to get started. Keep in mind, American Adoptions is a domestic infant adoption agency; we do not provide foster care services.
Instead, you can find licensed Kansas foster care adoption agencies and Kansas adoption photolisting sites below:
Your Kansas foster care agency will be able to connect you to most of the resources that you’ll need. They’ll help you find local foster parent training resources, legal counsel if you wish to foster to adopt in Kansas, and more.
Still exploring your options? You can learn more about domestic infant adoption in Kansas with American Adoptions here.
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