Freqently Asked Questions
What is adoption?
Adoption is a social and legal process that creates a new family, giving adopted children the same rights and benefits as those who are born into the family. Adoption is a permanent commitment to a child.
What is foster care?
Foster care is full-time substitute care of children outside of their own home by people other than their biological or adoptive parents or legal guardians. Foster care provides temporary care, as long as needed, for a child unable to live with their own family.
Who can adopt or foster?
You can adopt of foster if you:
- Are single, married, or divorced
- Already are a parent or have never been one
- Own your home or rent
- Are at least 10 years older than the child placed in your care
- Are at least 25 years old, if single
Prospective adoptive and foster parents must complete background checks, medical exams and drug screens.
What kind of family does a foster or adoptive child need?
Children in need of foster or adoptive parents have been abused, neglected and traumatized. They need families who care deeply about children and can provide consistency, unconditional acceptance and commitment. Families must be flexible and able to adjust their expectations. Strong support from family/community/church are vital. A sense of humor is a tremendous asset! These qualities are essential to helping a child develop trust and a sense of security.
Who are the children that need adoptive or foster parents?
There are more than 500,000 children in foster care in the United States; over 100,000 are eligible for adoption. Many are adopted by their foster parents, but many wait. At any given time, there are about 300 children in Georgia waiting to be adopted. All God’s Children gives greatest priority to prospective adoptive families who will consider:
- School age children (especially ages 10-17)
- Siblings who need to be placed together
- Children with emotional and behavioral difficulties
- Children with physical or mental challenges
Almost 20,000 children came through the Georgia foster care system in the past year. The Georgia Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) receives 200 reports of suspected child abuse and neglect every day. Foster parents are needed for children of all ages. Foster families must be able to work in cooperation with different people and organizations to support the children in their care and help them make the transition back into their original families or into new families.
Is there any financial assistance available?
Financial assistance is provided to foster parents to meet the needs of children placed in their care. Medical coverage is also provided. Many foster children qualify for continued financial assistance and medical coverage after they are adopted if they meet any of the following criteria: *The child has been in foster care for more than 24 months. *The child has a diagnosed physical, mental or emotional disability. *The child is a member of a sibling group being placed in the same home.
Is fostering or adopting a long and complicated process?
It does not have to be long or hard. Pre-service and ongoing training is required for all families and is offered throughout the year. Families can often begin fostering soon after approval. The length of time it takes to adopt is often dependent on the family’s flexibility regarding what they can consider/accept. Waiting children in Georgia are featured on the It’s My Turn Now website.
Children placed for adoption usually live in the home about six months before the adoption becomes final.