About the Children
Some people have a mental image of what they think a “typical” foster child might be like, but the foster children for adoption come from all different backgrounds, are of different ages and races and have varying needs.
One thing that these foster kids for adoption do have in common is that they are in the foster care system and waiting through no fault of their own, and they all need stability, patience, love and support.
But, before you commit to adopting a child from foster care, it’s understandable to want to know more about the types of adoption opportunities available to you. Here are some common questions about the foster children available for adoption.
Why Are These Children in Foster Care?
Unlike in a private domestic adoption placement, where biological parents voluntarily place their child with the family of their choice, the foster children up for adoption were removed from their families involuntarily.
The children in foster care waiting for adoption may have been removed from their families due to abuse, neglect, or a generally unsafe home environment. When a child enters state care, the goal is always to be reunified with their family, provided his or her parents are able to improve the situation at home. It’s only when the judge feels that reunification is no longer possible that the parents’ legal rights are terminated and a child become eligible for adoption.
Again, these children enter care through no fault of their own, but the experience of removal, in addition to any difficulties they faced at home, is traumatic. It’s important that you educate yourself about how to parent a child who has had these experiences.
Are All Foster Children Available for Adoption?
No. The primary goal of the foster care system is to eventually reunite children with their biological families, and this goal is met for about 75 percent of the children who enter foster care. At any given time, there are around 400,000 children in U.S. foster care; of these, around 100,000 are foster kids legally free for adoption.
Although most children are only placed with foster parents temporarily, a percentage of children will not be able to reunite with their families, and ultimately, those are the foster kids that need adopting. So if a child’s parents have not permanently had their legal rights severed yet, the goal is likely still reunification and he or she is not eligible for adoption.
Are There Children Available for Foster Adoption Immediately?
There are foster kids waiting for adoption right now, yes. However, anyone who wishes to foster or adopt one of these children must meet the appropriate requirements first. It’s critical that all prospective parents be carefully screened to ensure that children are placed in safe, stable, loving and prepared homes.
What Are the Foster Kids Available for Adoption Like?
There are foster children for adoption of every personality type, race, background, age and type of need. They’re all unique, so you’re going to find a child with whom you share a mutual connection.
In many ways, these children are just like children not in foster care; they have many of the same needs, interests and dreams as children in the general population. All these children, however, will have experienced some trauma and loss. These are painful realities of this path, and it’s something that all prospective adoptive parents must understand.
You may notice that there are many foster kids up for adoption that are referred to as “special needs.” But don’t let the label intimidate you. A child is considered “special needs” any time he or she might have a harder chance of finding a placement. This usually means the child is one or more of these things:
- Is part of a sibling group that must be adopted together
- Is an older child or teenager — many adoptive parents are more interested in babies
- Has some degree of physical, mental or emotional setbacks
The special needs foster kids for adoption do require additional preparation, education and training on the part of prospective parents, but they deserve the same love and support as any child, and there are many waiting right now who would love to be considered for adoption.
Meet the Children in Foster Care Waiting for Adoption
If you’re interested in learning more about the foster kids eligible for adoption in your area, check with your state’s child and family services department. You can view profiles of some of the children in foster care who want to be adopted through your state’s Heart Gallery, but there are likely more children eligible for adoption than are currently listed online.
We recommend contacting your local foster care organization to learn about the requirements and process of adopting a child first. They’ll be able to help you get started, and may be able to match you with a child who might be the newest member of your family.