If, instead of being a single person, you hope to become a single parent and adopt from foster care, it is important to know what to expect. Adopting from foster care is a loving and affordable way to quickly be matched with the boy or girl whom you will parent. Your family lawyer will be an invaluable source of information and can help you get started as you wander through the technicalities of adoption.
How Do You Get Started?
It is important to note that adoption laws vary from one state to another Therefore, your experience may not be identical to that of other single parents in other states.
Adoption law is not governed by the federal government, except to:
Protect children against trafficking
Force state agencies to be responsible when finding homes for children
Verify that international adoptions are done ethically
Recruit, educate and assist adoptive parents
However, you should expect to undergo at least the following in order to be considered for adoption:
Criminal history check in all states, under married, maiden or changed names
Reference check of friends and family members, to establish your good character
Physical exams, to prove you are healthy enough to be a parent
Some states have additional requirements that your lawyer can discuss with you.
What Does The Family Lawyer Do?
Your family lawyer will obviously have information about adoption that is specific to your case. In addition, they will file with the local courts on your behalf, can help you schedule the home study and essentially walk you through the entire process.
Although some states allow you to file with the courts for an adoption without the benefit of a lawyer, doing so is tricky because of the many details that impact adoption. Also, it is not permitted in every state. You will also be able to determine important information, such as how long the biological parents would have to change their minds about the adoption and how long it will take for the adoption to finalize.
Why Adopt From Foster Care?
You may not know how severe the problem of foster care is today. At any given time, nearly 400,000 children under the age of 18 are in foster care. About 100,00 of those kids are available for adoption and almost a third of the adoptable children will wait more than three years to be adopted. Some of them never will be adopted.
Adoption from foster care is less expensive than private adoption and adoptions facilitated by agencies. In fact, some children with special needs or that are considered hard to place due to age, behavioral issues, sibling groups, etc. come with a monthly stipend to assist with their expenses.
As a single parent, you may find that adopting from a public agency, like the foster care in your state, is easier than doing so in other ways. Private agencies often have more stringent rules for accepting prospective parents. and as a single parent you may find that being approved by them would be more challenging.
In conclusion, the majority of kids in foster care today will benefit immensely from a permanent family structure, whether it is a single or dual parent household. As of June 2015, every state in the United States permits single parent adoption. If you are ready to find your new son or daughter, contact a family lawyer in your area and get started.
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