Adopting a foster child can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime — but for many foster and adoptive parents, the process can also be challenging and confusing at times.
Whether you are interested in adopting a foster child who is currently in your care or searching for a child to adopt from foster care, Claiborne|Fox|Bradley can help you understand the process of foster child adoption. We will provide the services and information you need to successfully complete your foster care adoption in North Carolina or Georgia.
What is foster care adoption?
Foster care adoption refers to the adoption of a child in the state foster system whose biological parents’ rights have been terminated by the court. There are two ways to build a family through foster care: by fostering to adopt or by adopting a waiting child.
Foster to Adopt
In a foster-to-adopt placement, hopeful parents first become foster parents and agree to provide temporary care for children who have entered the state foster system. While most of these children will eventually be reunified with their biological families, some become available for adoption. After the biological parents’ rights are surrendered or terminated by the court, the child’s foster parents are often given first opportunity to adopt.
Because it is uncertain if or when a foster child will become legally available for adoption, foster-to-adopt placements can be challenging and unpredictable. Families should carefully consider their long-term goals when choosing between adoption vs. foster care.
Adopt a Waiting Child
Because the uncertainty of foster-to-adopt placements can be emotionally challenging, families who are strictly interested in adding to their family permanently may consider adopting a foster child who has already been legally freed for adoption. There are many foster children for adoption whose biological parents’ rights have already been terminated. You can view many waiting foster children through the foster care adoption photolisting in Georgia and North Carolina.
Because of the number of children in need of foster and adoptive homes, adoption from foster care tends to involve low costs. Whether you are interested in becoming a foster parent or adopting a waiting child, foster adoption can be a wonderful way to add to your family while providing a child in need with a loving home.
How can I adopt a foster child?
At Claiborne|Fox|Bradley, we are often contacted by foster parents who are interested in adoption or permanent guardianship, but are unsure of their rights in the juvenile court system. We are happy to meet with foster parents interested in adopting their foster children or obtaining a guardianship so that permanence can be achieved as quickly as possible.
Whether you are interested in adopting a child who is currently in your care or a child who is legally available for adoption, we will meet with you to discuss all of your available options and provide legal advice specific to your situation.
When the child becomes available for adoption and you are ready to begin the process, we will provide all of the legal services you need, including:
- Advising you on your role and rights in the foster child’s case prior to and following termination of parental rights
- Attending the meeting with the state department to obtain the adoption consents and related documents
- Securing financial assistance from the state to cover your legal adoption costs (if applicable) and provide for the child’s continued care
- Filing the adoption petition and other necessary legal paperwork with the court
- Finalizing the adoption according to Georgia or North Carolina adoption procedures
Whether you are considering foster care adoption in Atlanta, Savannah, Charlotte, or anywhere else in Georgia or North Carolina, we are happy to travel to your county to complete your case. We are passionate about providing permanence for children in the foster system and regularly assist families adopting from foster care throughout the state.
To learn more about your foster care and adoption options, contact Claiborne|Fox|Bradley to schedule a consultation. We can provide additional information about foster care adoption in Georgia and North Carolina and advise you about your rights and role in the process.