Santa Barbara Foster Child Adoption Attorney
There are over approximately 50,000 children in the foster care system in California. These children are under temporary care from volunteer families or members of their extended family. Many parents wishing to adopt in California look to these children who need permanent homes when trying to find children to adopt, or they foster children with the intent of later adopting them.
If you and your partner are considering adopting a child who is in foster care or you want to participate in a “foster-to-adopt” path, contact the Santa Barbara foster child adoption attorneys at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth today. The process of adopting from foster care is often far more complex than one would expect, and our attorneys can help advocate for you and get the foster adoption completed. For a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (805) 585-5056.
How to Adopt a Foster Child in California
Foster children throughout California are looking for permanent homes. While many children adopted through adoption agencies are younger children, many foster children are older and may “age out” of the foster care system without ever being placed with a permanent family. Many prospective adoptive parents turn to these children, taking one of two paths toward adopting a foster child.
Adopting Children from Foster Care in California
Many foster parents house and care for the children in their custody on a temporary basis. These foster parents are not intended to be the child’s permanent family, and once the child turns 18 and “ages out” of the foster system, the child usually goes out on their own. Many of these foster children can greatly benefit from adoption into a permanent family, and you can adopt from foster care instead of adopting from an agency.
Foster adoptions typically work by allowing prospective parents to look through databases of children in foster care, and they can try to find a match or choose a child they would like to adopt out of the foster care system. Many of these children are older, even potentially in their teens, and many also have disabilities.
If you want to adopt one of these children, you will need to be certified in a homestudy. During a homestudy, investigators from your county’s services will investigate your household for safety and security. Once approved, you can seek a child through matching services or find a child you want to adopt from foster care and begin the process.
This process is often long and may include long bureaucratic delays along the way. Your attorney can be your advocate, pushing through the system to affect the adoption as quickly as practicable.
Foster-to-Adopt in California
Other prospective parents seek to become foster parents with the ultimate goal of adopting the children they care for. Some foster parents see themselves as providing a temporary safe space or providing shelter for multiple children, but others use the foster system as a pathway to permanent adoption. If you are a foster parent who wants to adopt your foster child, or if you are considering becoming a foster parent in order to adopt, talk to a lawyer about your path to adoption.
In many cases, this is a slower route to adoption. However, turning a temporary home into a permanent home and keeping your parenting as a constant in the child’s life may be worth the additional wait and process. Talk to a lawyer about adopting the foster children in your care or becoming a foster parent as part of a foster-to-adopt route.
Legal and Practical Issues with Foster Adoptions in California
Foster care is often used for children who have no one else who can take care of them. In many foster families, the children have been taken away from their parents or their parents have abandoned them or passed away. In many cases, these children have siblings, which the foster system works to keep together. Because of this, many children may be more difficult to split up, and you may want to consider adopting not only a single child but a sibling unit to keep the kids together.
Many foster parents are extended family members of the foster children. These parents may be unwilling to give up the child to adoption, but they may also be unwilling to adopt the child themselves and give up any payments they receive from acting as foster parents. Because of this and other technical, bureaucratic issues, many children are not listed as available for adoption even though they are in the foster system and nominally seeking a permanent home.
Along with these issues, there may be significant complications in how the adoption system works. Each county in California is responsible for its own foster and adoption administration. This means that adopting over county lines may be more complicated and require coordination between multiple county agencies as well as state agencies. Talk to a lawyer for guidance through this process.
Call Our Santa Barbara Foster Child Adoption Attorneys for Free Consultations on Foster Adoptions in California
If you are considering adopting a foster child that lives with you or you are seeking to become a foster parent in order to later adopt one of the children in your care, talk to a lawyer about the application process and procedures for adopting a foster child. Our lawyers can help you prepare the proper paperwork, file with the appropriate agencies, and prepare for homestudies and other investigations. For a free legal consultation on your adoption case, call the Santa Barbara foster child adoption lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth today at (805) 585-5056.