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Family Law Blog

Things to Know About Adopting from Foster Care

Published: Jan 24, 2018 in Adoption

Written by Anthony Piccirilli

As family law attorneys, one of the best things we get to do is help people expand their families through adoption. While some individuals choose to go through a private agency and adopt a child from another state or country, you also have the option of adopting from foster care.

There are thousands of children awaiting adoption in Pennsylvania, and unfortunately, over 1,000 children age out of the system every year. With our help, you can make a difference in a child’s life and ensure they do not spend their entire adolescence moving among temporary foster care homes.

Call Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC at (412) 471-5100 to discuss the foster care and adoption process with a Pittsburgh adoption lawyer.

Things to Know About Adopting From Foster Care

If you are curious about adopting through your local foster care system, there are some facts you should know and consider:

  • There is a need for babies and older children. There are thousands of children in the U.S. foster care system. Many of them are toddlers, elementary school age, and teenagers. When you are work with Social Services to foster or adopt, you can specify an age range you are comfortable fostering. However, there are children of all ages who need stable homes.
  • Some children in foster care have special needs. Some children in foster care are considered to have special needs, which may include medical and mental health conditions. This label can also simply mean a child has gone through trauma prior to entering into the foster care system. Special needs do not necessarily equate to a child requiring a great deal of medical treatment or having behavioral issues. You should also not assume it means the child will be difficult to care for.
  • Children in foster care are not delinquents. A common myth about the foster care system is that the children and teens are delinquents. This is not true. These children were often removed from their homes due to drug issues and violence, not poor behavior.
  • You are not required to maintain contact with biological families. Many foster children still have living biological parents, grandparents, and siblings. Once you adopt your child, you are not required to maintain any relationship with biological family members – though you can if you believe it is best for your child. If you foster or adopt a teen, you can work with them to decide how much contact with their biological family is healthy and safe for them.
  • You can foster and/or adopt only one child. When you imagine foster care, you may picture a home overwhelmed with children. This is not necessary and certainly not the goal of Social Services. If you are interested in only fostering one child, that is okay and will be respected. Social Services is careful not to push parents into an unmanageable situation.
  • Adopting through foster care is cheaper. Adoption is often viewed as extremely expensive. This can be true when working with private agencies or attempting to adopt from overseas. However, adopting through Social Services is much more cost-efficient. It may cost only a few hundred dollars, as many states and areas have programs to cover many of the fees.
  • There are no guarantees. With any foster care situation, there is no guarantee that you will be able to adopt the child you take into your home. Many hurdles can arise during the waiting period. Yet you also run this risk with private adoptions, during which the biological parents could change their mind.

Interested in Foster Care Adoption?

Adopting through the foster care system offers a great deal of flexibility, the opportunity to find the right child for your home, and the chance to change a child’s life for the better. This process is not for everyone. However, it deserves to be reviewed before automatically deciding to adopt through a private agency.

To learn more about the advantages or disadvantages of the various adoption processes, call us at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC to schedule a consultation. Contact us today at (412) 471-5100.