What is foster-to-adopt? What does that involve?
When children come into the foster system and it is determined that their biological family can no longer care for them, there is a court hearing to finalize that decision. It is called a TPR Hearing. TPR stands for Termination of Parental Rights. It is a legal and permanent separation between children and biological parents.
Once a family has been “TPR’d” the children become available for adoption. Adoption case workers prepare all the correct paperwork and “present” the children to potential adoptive families. Once a family expresses their intentions to adopt, there is a period of time where the kids and families get to know each other and spend some time together, and an adoption hearing is scheduled. This is another court hearing to finalize and legalize the adoption.
When a foster family that the child has been living with is chosen to be the ones to adopt the child (and this happens often because the child has already bonded to the family), then they become the adoptive family.
Remember way back on Day 3 when I talked about the steps to becoming a foster parent? Well, to become an adoptive family, a foster family will fill out some additional paperwork and have another home study completed (which is an in-depth interview and observation of the family), and then they will be able to adopt!
Many people ask about the fees that go along with adoption. In a foster-to-adopt situation, there are minimal fees incurred, and often these are covered by DSS through a stipend. This makes adoption through foster care available to most anyone!