Foster Care Adoption in West Virginia
How to Adopt a Foster Child in WV
When a child is placed into foster care in West Virginia, the ultimate goal is almost always reunification with their biological family. For many children, reunification is successful; however, when reunification is no longer a possibility, the child will become eligible for West Virginia foster care adoption.
In 2018, there were approximately 6,680 children in foster care in West Virginia. Many of these children are at least 8 years old or are part of a sibling group, meaning they will wait longer to be adopted. These children waiting have often been removed from their biological families due to abuse or neglect, and they have endured extreme hardships and sadness in their short lives. What they long for is a loving, permanent home.
While American Adoptions does not provide foster care adoption services, foster care adoption can be a great family-building option for parents in West Virginia. Below, learn more about foster care adoption in West Virginia.
Types of Fostering in West Virginia
There are three different ways to become involved in the foster care system in WV:
1. Foster Parenting
As a foster parent, you provide a temporary home for children who have been removed from their biological families and are awaiting reunification. These children need a safe and loving home as their biological families work to bring them home.
2. Foster to Adopt
As its name suggests, in a foster-to-adopt situation, you would first become foster parents to a child and would be considered as adoptive parents should the child become eligible for adoption. While most children in West Virginia foster care are reunited with their biological families, priority when considering adoptive parents for those who are not is generally given first to any biological family member and then to the foster parents who have been caring for them.
3. Adoption through Foster Care
When adopting through foster care in West Virginia, you do not have to become a foster parent first. You can instead request to only be matched with children who are already eligible for adoption.
West Virginia Foster Care Adoption Subsidies
Many families who complete a West Virginia foster care adoption are eligible for some kind of financial adoption assistance. This often comes as a refund of adoption expenses paid or a monthly subsidy, in the case of fostering. However, the type and amount of financial assistance you receive will vary based on the needs of the child(ren) you adopt.
West Virginia Foster Care Requirements
Anyone wishing to become a foster parent or adopt through the foster care system in West Virginia must first complete the PRIDE training course as well as a home study. The PRIDE training is designed to educate potential foster parents about adoption and foster parenting. It is also a wonderful opportunity to meet other families who are going through the foster and adoption process in West Virginia.
In addition to the home study and training, you must:
Be at least 21 years of age or older
Have a stable and secure income
Be in good physical and mental health
Pass a home safety inspection
Pass criminal background and child abuse report checks
Have a stable family relationship
Have the ability to commit to a child
Who Can Be Adopted from Foster Care?
For a child to become eligible for adoption through West Virginia foster care, the parental rights of their biological parents must first be terminated. Biological parents may terminate their parental rights voluntarily, or the court may terminate their rights involuntarily if the parent fails to complete the court-mandated requirements to be reunited with their child, or if the court believes termination to be in the best interest of the child.
Once a child reaches age 18, he or she “ages out” of the foster care system. At this point, some foster parents choose to make the child a permanent part of their family through adult adoption.
West Virginia Foster Care Adoption Agencies and Resources
Below is a list of West Virginia foster care adoption agencies and West Virginia adoption photolisting sites.
Your West Virginia foster care agency will be able to connect you to any other additional resources you may need throughout the adoption/foster care process. These may include foster parent training, foster care support groups, legal counsel, and more.
If you have any additional questions or need help getting started on your adoption journey, please feel free to contact one of the agencies listed above. If, however, you are interested in learning more about a private domestic infant adoption in West Virginia, you can request free information at any time to learn more about this option.
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.