Adoption | Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more? Here are answers to some of our Frequently Asked Questions.

Do I have to own my home or have a certain income to adopt?

You do not have to own your home. You may rent a single family home or apartment. The only housing requirement is that you have sufficient space for all family members. Nor, must you be wealthy to adopt. You must, however, earn sufficient income to meet the needs of your entire family.

Does the child need to have his/her own room?

Not necessarily. Some children may require a bedroom to themselves; others may be able to share.

Can a single person adopt?

We encourage single persons to adopt. In some cases, due to a child’s experiences with abuse or neglect, a single parent can best help the child heal and move forward.

What is the home study/family assessment?

The assessment documents your life experiences, lifestyle, and family’s strengths and needs. It provides the child’s case team with insights that guide their decisions during the adoption process.

How much does adoption cost?

There are generally no fees for adoption through the foster care system. Many legal fees and one-time expensed are reimbursed through the Department for Children and Families.

How long does the adoption process take?

It varies. The timeframe will depend upon the training class schedule, your motivation, and the child’s availability for adoption. Once we receive your adoption packet, we’ll assign an adoption specialist to guide you through the process, which could take up to a year to complete.

Will we need to hire an attorney?

You will need to hire an attorney to finalize the adoption. Attorney fees are reimbursable for children adopted through foster care. The Department for Children and Families sets the fees, so your attorney would have to be willing to accept those rates.

Why is the court system involved?

Like Saint Francis Community Services and other community agencies, the court protects the interests of children in foster care and available for adoption. Court action is also required to finalize the adoption.

Does Saint Francis Community Services have babies available for adoption?

We do not conduct private adoption of infants. All our adoptions occur through the foster care system. When an infant enters foster care, we look for appropriate relative and kinship connections first. We then assess them as possible options for placement. If the infant has no such connections, the child will be placed with a foster family - often foster to adopt. Should reunification with the birth family not be possible, we will consider the foster family.

How do I adopt a child I know from my community?

We must respect the rights and privacy of children in the foster care system. When a family interested in adoption is aware of a particular child in need of a home, we will try to facilitate the adoption, if possible.

Once the child is placed in our home, what’s next?

Your family and the child will receive monthly visits from adoption team members. During the following 6-12 months, we put in place support systems for you and the child as you get to know each other. Once the transition period ends, you proceed toward legal finalization of the adoption.

What support can we expect as adoptive parents?

You’ll learn about the foster care system and any trauma your child may have experienced. We’ll teach you specialized parenting skills to aid you in helping the child through the healing process. We’ll also provide ongoing case management support and help you connect with resources and services.

Is help available after we finalize our adoption?

At finalization, you and the social worker will develop an aftercare plan together. The plan ensures you will receive services and support for one year after you finalize the adoption. Once the aftercare period ends, we will continue to respond by phone or email any time you need assistance in being a successful adoptive parent.

Are we required to maintain contact with the birth parents?

No, but sometimes it is important to maintain positive birth family connections. It’s strictly up to you, though. Birth family members, including grandparents, have no remaining legal rights to contact with the child. Adoptive parents must determine what is safe for their children and what connections are healthy and productive. Adoptive parents have full parental rights and responsibilities. They are the legal parent.

Can I adopt more than one child or more than one sibling group?

Yes, there are hundreds of children waiting for a loving family like yours. Your ability to adopt more than one child or sibling group depends on the needs of the children, the support you receive, and your parenting capabilities.

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