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5 Things to Know About Foster Care Adoption

Did you know that there are nearly 1,000 children waiting to be adopted in the state of Virginia?

Unfortunately, children in foster care have often been neglected, abused or abandoned. Sadly, most states are now experiencing steep increases in their foster care populations. There are several reasons children get placed into foster homes, but one growing reason is the misuse of and addiction to opioids including heroin, as well as prescription painkillers.

Since Children’s Home Society was chartered in 1900, we have had the joy of placing more than 13,000 children into permanent, loving homes. We are proud to report that we successfully finalized nearly four adoptions each month during 2019. This included an 18-year-old and an 8-year-old with special medical needs.

How Does Foster Care Adoption Work?If you’re considering adoption, you’re in the right place. There are many different ways you can grow your family through adoption, and below we outline foster care adoption.

What is Foster Care? How Does Foster Care Adoption Work?

A child may be removed from their home and placed into foster care if the environment in which the child is living in is not safe and their physical and emotional needs are not being met.

Once the child has been removed from their home, biological parents will have a period of time to prove if they can provide a safe and stable family environment for the child.

During this time, the child resides in a foster home. While in foster care, the child or teen may reside with an approved foster family or group home.

If parental rights are terminated, the child will be eligible for adoption. The court will then seek a permanent family to adopt the child.

If a child is unable to return home or reside with a relative, the foster family is given the opportunity to adopt the child — if it’s a good match. This is known as “foster to adopt.” Some foster families are unable to adopt a child placed in their homes, and then the child is matched with an adoptive family. These situations are also referred to as foster to adopt because the child is being placed from the foster care system.

Am I Eligible to Adopt?

Foster care adoption is a great option for families who want to adopt regardless of the child’s age, race, gender or special needs.

However, there are several myths out there about eligibility that aren’t true:

  • You do not have to be married in order to adopt. You can be single, married, divorced or widowed.
  • It does not matter what type of relationship you are in if you want to adopt: Heterosexual and same-sex couples can both adopt.
  • There is no minimum income in order to adopt, but you must prove to be financially stable.
  • There are no educational requirements to adopt a child.
  • You do not have to own your home. You can rent a home, trailer or apartment.

If you want to give a child in need the best gift of all, foster care adoption may be the right option for you.

Children Waiting for Adoption

Most children in foster care are older than eight years of age.

Older youth who are adopted from foster care are more likely to finish high school, go to college and are more emotionally secure than their peers who age out of foster care. Each year, about 500 young people age out of Virginia’s foster care system and are sent into the world with very little support. We need to do all we can to support these children.

By adopting older children or teens, you are changing history. These kids will be less likely to experience domestic abuse and less likely to become homeless, pregnant at a young age, incarcerated or addicted to drugs or alcohol. Instead, these kids will be more likely to pursue an education and to secure a job.

Virginia is ranked nearly last for the rate of children aging out of foster care. You can help change this.

Older kids and teens never outgrow needing a family. Everyone deserves to belong. By adopting an older child, you can provide stability, lasting connections and guidance.

Virginia’s waiting children are:

  • 54% boys
  • 46% girls
  • 54% White
  • 33% African-American
  • 8% Hispanic
  • 11% multi-racial
  • 33% aged 13 or older

Currently, CHS has several children waiting for adoption who range from 10 years of age to 15. Meet our wonderful children here.

Post-Adoption Support

It is crucial to remember that adoption is a life-long process and comes with many challenges.

After adoption is finalized, adoptive parents must prepare to help children with behaviors resulting from trauma. Children may experience attachment and developmental issues due to the abuse and neglect they experienced.

CHS is committed to providing high-quality, personalized post-adoption support services for children and families.

We offer parent coaching and family support services, which focus on specialized education in trauma and attachment, as well as training in effective parenting methods and responses for children from hard places.

Children’s Home Society of Virginia | Virginia Adoption Agency

Foster care adoption is both a rewarding and challenging experience. It’s important to understand the needs of hurt children and teens in order to determine if foster care adoption is right for you. CHS offers training for families that educates them on the impact of abuse and neglect as well as parenting techniques that are healing.

CHS is dedicated to finding permanent adoptive parents for children of all ages throughout Virginia and to providing ongoing post-adoption counseling to maintain successful family relationships after adoption has been finalized.

Virginia’s children deserve better than last place.

Adopt an older child, or adopt a teen today.

“I support CHS because it allowed my wife and me to adopt three wonderful, loving and loyal children. Our lives were forever changed because of CHS.”

If you want more information on how to give a child in need a forever home, get in touch with us today: 804-353-0191 (Richmond) | 540-226-0583 (Fredericksburg)

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