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Frequently Asked Questions about Foster Care or Adoption

  1. What are the requirements for becoming a foster or adoptive parent?
  2. How long does it take to foster or adopt?
  3. Is information about the child’s background available?
  4. Is there any way I can see the children who are available for adoption?
  5. Will I be able to adopt a child I’m fostering?
  6. What services are available after a child is placed in my home?
  7. How much does fostering or adoption cost?
  8. What if I want to sit down and talk to someone about fostering or adoption?
  9. Is there any general meeting I could attend to get a better understanding of the process?

 

1. What are the requirements for becoming a foster or adoptive parent?

  • Be financially stable, that is, able to meet the needs of your family;
  • Be at least 21 years old;
  • Be single, married, widowed or divorced;
  • Be able to provide a safe, secure and healthy home for a child or children;
  • Be physically and mentally healthy; and
  • Successfully complete 30 hours of training and all paperwork to help you make an informed decision about whether fostering or adopting is appropriate for you and your family.

The program is free, and you are not obligated to become a foster or adoptive parent because you attended the program.

2. How long does it take to foster or adopt?

The training, evaluation and approval process normally takes four to six months. The amount of time until a family receives a child depends on whether you are fostering or adopting and how flexible you are about the type of child you wish to parent. Foster parents may receive a child shortly after they are approved. Adoptive placements generally take longer because the move to an adoptive home must be planned and gradual so both the child and the family have time to adjust.

3. Is information about the child’s background available?

Many foster care placements are done on an emergency basis so, initially, staff often know very little about the child. When it becomes available, all information will be shared with you.

4. Is there any way I can see the children who are available for adoption?

Yes, children available for adoption may be seen on these Web sites:

A photo listing of all waiting children, called the SNAP Book, is available in each Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) office and local libraries across the state. And local newspapers often print feature stories about children waiting for adoption.
 
5. Will I be able to adopt a child I’m fostering?

Most children who are placed in foster care return home to their birth families. If a foster child should become free for adoption, you will be considered if it is in the child’s best interest.

6. What services are available after a child is placed in my home?

The cabinet's DCBS offices offer supportive services including foster/adoptive parent mentors, counseling and referrals. Support groups, such as the Kentucky Foster/Adoptive Care Association, are valuable resources as well. New families are always welcome.

7. How much does fostering or adoption cost?

CHFS does not charge for its services. Foster parents are reimbursed for the cost of caring for a child placed with them. CHFS is also responsible for the foster child’s medical expenses. More assistance may be available for children with special needs, depending on the severity of their needs. Adoptive families may qualify for financial assistance for finalizing the adoption in court and to meet the child’s ongoing special needs.

8. What if I want to sit down and talk to someone about fostering or adoption?

That’s easy. Just click on "Where to Call" and call the recruitment contact number in the region where you live. Ask to speak with the Recruitment and Certification Intake Worker, who will set up an appointment for an information session in your home.

9. Is there any general meeting I could attend to get a better understanding of the process?

Yes, each region holds regular information meetings that last about an hour. Call the Recruitment and Certification supervisor at the recruitment contact number in the region where you live and ask for meeting dates.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services sincerely hopes that you will decide to dare to love.

 

Last Updated 3/31/2008
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