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Foster to Adopt in Montana

What You Should Know About Foster Care Adoption in Montana

There are many different ways to grow your family through adoption. While American Adoptions only works in domestic infant adoption, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to fulfill their dream of becoming a parent. We support your pursuit of that dream in any way you choose.

That’s why we’ve created this guide to foster care adoption in Montana, even though we don’t work in this type of adoption. Foster to adopt in Montana can be a great way to bring a child into your family. While foster adoption has its own unique challenges, it also comes with advantages over other paths for adoption.

We hope this guide helps you decide whether or not adopting from foster care in Montana is right for you.

How does foster care adoption in Montana work?

The Montana foster care system, managed by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, is currently responsible for the care of more than 3,000 children. This number has been rapidly rising since 2008 — when there was less than half of the current number of children under the state’s care. Of these children, more than 300 are in need of adoption.

That number may seem small, given the total number of children in foster care. This is because the primary goal of the foster care system in Montana is reunification — when a child is able to return to the care of their biological family after a period of time being cared for by a foster family. When the parental rights of both biological parents are ruled void by a judge, the goal for the child is then to find a family through adoption, which is commonly called “foster to adopt.”

If you become foster parents in Montana, you can communicate upfront your intention to adopt from foster care. However, you also need to be open to placement with a child whose reunification plan is still in place. This can be very difficult, as you could care for and love a child for an extended period of time before they are reunified with their biological family.

How do I become a foster parent in Montana?

There is a significant need for foster parents in Montana. The state is struggling to keep up with the growing number of children placed into care. If you are considering becoming a foster parent in Montana, you could provide much-needed help.

There are several requirements you’ll need to meet in order to be eligible to become a foster parent in Montana. You must:

  • Be at least 18 years old

  • Be in good physical and mental health

  • Have the ability to provide a safe environment that promotes well-being

  • Have lived together for at least 24 months, if you are a couple

  • Be able to financially provide for the children

  • Provide character references

  • Pass a criminal background check

People are who single, married with children and married without children are all eligible to become foster parents in Montana.

What are the advantages of adopting from foster care in Montana?

One of the primary reasons people are attracted to the idea of foster care adoption in Montana is the cost. While a domestic infant adoption can be expensive, adopting from foster care only costs $0 - $2,500 on average. You will also have the option to receive an adoption subsidy from Montana if your circumstances meet the criteria. Montana grants assistance in cases where:

  • A child has a diagnosed physical, mental or emotional disability

  • A child has a high risk of developing a disability

  • A child is six years or older

  • Adoption is in the child’s best interest

Another advantage of adoption through foster care in Montana is that you won’t have to leave the state. It is common to find an adoption opportunity with a birth mother in another state when going through a domestic infant adoption. This means you will need to travel and comply with additional regulations like ICPC. With foster care adoption in Montana, you won’t have to consider travel.

What are the disadvantages to foster care adoption in Montana?

The foster care system in Montana is overburdened, which is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, your help as a foster parent is badly needed. On the other hand, an overburdened system can lead to a more chaotic experience with unforeseen struggles. There can be a lot more “what ifs” in a foster care adoption in Montana.

Additionally, you typically have less support adopting from foster care than if you work with a national adoption agency, like American Adoptions, in a domestic infant adoption. Having a dedicated adoption specialist to work with through the adoption process can make a big difference.

Next Steps for Foster to Adopt in Montana

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if foster care adoption is the right thing for your family. Weigh the advantages against the disadvantages in your particular circumstances and decide what is best. If you would like to find out more about foster care adoption in Montana, you can start by contacting your local Child and Family Services Division. Or, if you’re still unsure which type of adoption is right for you and want to explore all your options, you can call 1-800-ADOPTION to learn more about American Adoptions' domestic infant adoption program. 

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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