In order to adopt, you need a home study, which is an in-depth looking into your family, your background, and your home. If you choose to become licensed foster parents with the hope and intent of adopting a foster child that is sometimes referred to as foster-to-adopt. This means families complete the foster care licensing requirements and the adoption requirements at the same time. It saves time and reduces duplicate paperwork. It is also beneficial to children because they won’t move as often. It can also let the child your family is matched with move into your home sooner.

If you are a licensed foster family and are matched with a child to adopt, that child can spend longer visits with you (such as several months). Caring for a child over a longer period makes it easier to assess whether your family can meet the needs of that child.  If you are not licensed, then you can still have visits with the child. However, they will be much shorter (such as several hours or days).

I recommend that you start by getting a foster home license. Through the licensing process, you will have a home study done, which will be free through AOI.

Getting your foster home license is not a requirement for adopting. If you choose not to go the foster home licensing route and would like to adopt a child 10 or older from foster care, it will be free as well. AOI is not accepting new foster or adoptive parents for children 5 and under because there are very few available to adopt that have not already been matched with a family. To review profiles of children available for adoption see:

http://www.mare.org/ForFamilies/ViewWaitingChildren.aspx

You are free to choose to start your adoption with a home study (also called a family assessment) or by starting with the foster licensing process, which can also lead to an adoption and gives your family more flexibility. The purpose of today’s entry is to clarify the difference between the two processes.

If you are interested in starting either a home study for a license or a home study for adoption, contact us at Adoption Option Inc.