Most families interested in adoption have lots of questions. Here are the answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions.
Who can foster or adopt?
Most people are eligible to foster and/or adopt, regardless of marital status, age, income, sexual orientation, or gender identity. You do not need to own your own home, have children already, be young, wealthy, or a stay-at-home parent to adopt or foster.
The number of LGBT families fostering and adopting is rising with passing legislation and laws that provide marriage equality to LGBT couples. Our website provides a list of resources that may be helpful to LGBT current and prospective resource parents and their children. If you are considering becoming a foster or adoptive family you can visit the Human Rights Campaign website which can provide resources for LGBT families on ways to begin the adoption process. You should also look for local support groups and agencies that specialize in working with LGBT families.
Why aren't the children's challenges detailed in the profiles?
Kids are so computer-savvy these days that they visit the website and read their own profiles! Sometimes their friends read them, and sometimes their acquaintances' parents read them and discuss them with their own children. The child's issues could become common knowledge at school and the child may be mortified and deeply hurt; thus, potentially causing further trauma. We now depend on caseworkers to share a child’s challenges with selected families who have inquired. We have lost some of the ability of the prospective parents to self-screen, but families agree with us that we do not want to embarrass the children unnecessarily.
Who will respond to my online inquiry?
Your inquiry will be received by a staff member at The Adoption Exchange. Within 48 business hours, it will be forwarded on to the child's caseworker in the child's county. Our agreement with the caseworkers is that they will respond to you or your home study worker within 30 days or less. Sometimes they will email you, but other times they will phone you.
Why haven't I heard from anyone?
It is important to complete as much information as possible on the child inquiry form. Caseworkers can receive large numbers of inquiries to review, and complete information can help the caseworker make an informed decision about a match for the child/children in their care. If you have submitted an inquiry and have not heard from the child’s caseworker within 30 days, please contact our office and one of our Adoption Specialists will follow up for you.
Do caseworkers ever consider an out-of-state family?
Yes, caseworkers sometimes place children out-of-state. They will often prefer to keep the child near their current community because most children have relationships they want to maintain (with biological siblings, former foster parents, friends, therapists, teachers). However, if a suitable family is not available nearby, they will consider one from out of state. Sometimes the caseworker prefers an out-of-state family because of circumstances in the child’s background or in situations that indicate it would not be in the child’s best interest to stay in their current community.
Should we send you our home study?
As a general rule, we do not actually collect home studies from families. We do keep an electronic record of the information you give us when you make an inquiry on a child. We use this information to search our database to find families who have indicated interest in certain types of children, and we will contact those families to discuss a specific child or invite them to attend matching events focused on that type of child. It is generally the child’s caseworker who might request your home study from you, after we have forwarded it based on your inquiry.