Being an adoptive parent is a wonderful opportunity. In fact, after deciding to adopt a foster child, your next concern might be how long the adoption process takes. Alternatively, you might ask, “How long will it take to adopt my foster child that I’m currently caring for?”
As you might expect, the answers to these questions depend on a wide range of variables. Even though the wait might be longer or shorter than you expected, it will always be worthwhile.
We’ve addressed some of the most frequent inquiries about how long it takes to adopt from foster care to help you get a better idea of what to anticipate.
What Is the Time Frame for Foster Child Adoption?
The average waiting time for adoption from foster care varies greatly. The entire procedure typically takes 9 to 18 months. However, a number of additional factors could make the adoption through foster care process take longer. For instance, if you are a foster parent with the intention of ultimately adopting a child in your care your foster-to-adopt timeline will differ from a family that’s applying to adopt a waiting child.
Why Does Foster Care Adoption Take So Long?
At the start of the process, there are steps to take in order to become a certified foster or adoptive parent. These include:
- An adoption home study
- Pre‐service orientation and training
- Adoption or foster paperwork
Foster care certification requirements are used to ensure that all foster children are entering a safe, loving home. It is important to be thorough and on top of deadlines to shorten adoption from the foster care timeline.
Awaiting a Match and Placement
If you are willing to consider a wide range of adoption situations when adopting from foster care, you might be matched quickly. Families who are fostering with the intention of adopting may almost immediately receive a placement, because there is a great need for temporary foster homes. It’s possible however, that this match won’t always be with a child you’ll have the chance to adopt.
Your caseworker can help make sure that your family is able to meet the needs of the waiting child, if you are pursuing a straight adoption from foster care (without first fostering). Although the waiting period can occasionally be a drawn-out process, it’s important to remain positive.
Adopting Your Foster Child?
Now that you are aware of the potential adoption timeline for a waiting child from foster care, you can prepare yourself. But what if you’re already fostering children and want to adopt one of them?
“How long does it take to adopt your foster child?” has no clear-cut answer because it varies greatly. Although adopting a foster child can be difficult, it is not impossible for hopeful parents who are interested in doing so. In general, the amount of time you may have to wait is shorter if you intend to adopt a waiting child as opposed to fostering first. However, bear in mind that each circumstance is unique.
Dealing with the Wait
In the end, you ultimately have no control over how long it takes to adopt a child from foster care. We recognize how frustrating this lack of control can be. Remember that you’re not alone if you’re feeling discouraged, anxious, or unsure during the waiting period. Also, remember that you can get support from your caseworker or an adoption specialist nearby if you’re struggling to deal with the uncertainty of your wait.
At Kids First, we’re here to help you in any way we can. If you want to take the next step toward fostering or even adopting a foster child, please contact us. We help families come together all over the Fort Worth, TX area.