When children in foster care have a goal of adoption, often their resource (foster) parents will adopt them. When this does not happen, DHS and a broad-based network of partners work hard to find the most appropriate permanent family for that child. Many of the children are older, part of a sibling group, or have special needs.
Generally, the first step to adoption is finding an agency that can certify you and be a support to you. It is important to choose an agency thoughtfully. They will be a great resource as you go through the adoption process. Each agency has slightly different training expectations and processes, but generally you will need to:
- Fill out an application.
- Attend an orientation.
- Complete a series of tranings.
- Get a medical examination that proves you are physically able to care for children and are free from contagious diseases.
- Pass child abuse, criminal history, and FBI clearances.
- Have a social worker come to your home to help determine if it is safe for a child.
- Complete an extensive home study.
Once licensed, you work with the agency to identify children who might be a good match. You will be supported through this matching process to make sure that both you and the child feel comfortable with moving forward towards being a permanent family.