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So what does it look like to adopt a child from the foster care system with Adoption Options? Below is a high level description of the main steps! Each case is always unique, and we are here to support you throughout the journey. If you have more questions, or are ready to speak with a program representative about kids waiting for adoption, we would love to hear from you.
Step 1: Attend one of our free Information Nights to learn more about Adoption Options and our Flexible Families program. We want you to feel comfortable and confident as you move forward, so please feel free to speak with a caseworker about any of your questions. Please make sure to attend an Information Session and a one-on-one consultation prior to applying for the program.
Step 2: Once you’ve made your decision to move forward, complete the required application forms and submit it to Adoption Options along with the application fee and supporting documentation. After your application has been received and processed, you will receive the second round steps.
Step 3: When you are ready to begin the required training course, Trauma-Linked Caregiving (TLC), you will need to pay your education fee and register. Email Courtney Empson-Whaley to complete these steps. This six-week training course is offered quarterly.
Step 4: Once you have completed your second round steps and are at least halfway through your TLC courses, you may pay your home study fee and a caseworker will communicate with you about completing the family assessment process. This assessment involves a series of interviews, a home inspection, and completing medical forms, background clearances, and other documentation.
Step 5: After you have completed TLC and any remaining requirements have been met (including all background clearances), your home study will be completed. At this time, your caseworker will schedule a licensing visit with you, to take place at your home. During this visit, you will have the opportunity to read your home study, review foster home policies and procedures and complete the foster home licensure.
Step 6: After you have been licensed, you will be invoiced for the networking fee. Once this has been paid, your caseworker will start creating your networking profile and add your family to our list of families waiting to be matched with a child.
Step 7: During your wait for placement, you will need to keep your home study current with an update each year. You may also be interested in attending trainings or other events through Adoption Options. Your caseworker will also support and communicate with you during this time.
Step 8: Your caseworker will coordinate with you regarding networking activity, potential matches, and placement plans. When the date of placement arrives, your caseworker will guide you through the process.
Step 9: During the post-placement time period, you can expect to be involved with your Adoption Options caseworker as well as various other professionals such as a county caseworker, Guardian ad Litem, therapist, CASA volunteer, or others. In the Flexible Families program, the length of the post-placement supervision can vary widely. Your caseworker will discuss the details of your case with you.
Step 10: When the time has arrived to finalize your adoption in court, your Adoption Options caseworker and the county department of human services will coordinate this with you. The finalization hearing is a very special day! At this time you will receive a final decree of adoption for your child, and your caseworker will guide you through acquiring any other documentation.
Step 11: Congratulations! You are setting out on a new journey as adoptive parents. Many families choose to stay involved with Adoption Options as volunteers, donors, guest speakers, or attendees at our social and fundraising events. We can also be a resource for you as you navigate parenting your child. Our new social enterprise (ARISE Adoption Academy) is being created to specifically address the needs of adoptive families after their adoption has been finalized. Speak with us to find out how you can stay connected.
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JJ’s Adoption Story
JJ was in the foster care system for 6 years, 3 homes, and one failed adoption before Adoption Options and her permanent family came into the story.