I thought I would inform you more on the process that we have chosen. The program is the Foster to Adopt program that is offered right here in Washington state. It initially means that Brian and I will be foster parents to a child that will become our forever child. This process is typically longer than a private adoption.
Definition: A Foster-Adopt family is a licensed foster family with a primary goal of adoption. The Foster-Adopt family accepts foster children into their care with the understanding that if the child cannot be returned to the birth family the Foster-Adopt family will adopt the child. A Foster- Adopt family is officially designated as the child's adoptive family after termination of parental rights has occurred and the Division of Children and Family Services (DCSF) has met all the requirements to approve the plan of adoption.
The placement process is done very carefully and DCFS does their best to only put children that are most likely to become legally free into this program. When at the information meeting we were told the success rate is in the high 80 to 90 %.
I will try and outline the process as well as a time line that we are looking at.
Foster adopt info meeting (done)
First aid and CPR( June 1&2 )
Foster Home Orientation ( June 4)
PRIDE Pre service training (July 15, 16, 18, 22 & 23)
Finger Printing ( scheduled once orientation is complete)
Physical exams ( scheduled once orientation is complete)
Application completion ( done and will be turned in with the PRIDE completion certificate)
Confirmation letter that our application has been accepted
Home study ( this is a report done by our case worker after her home visits. The state likes to have them completed with in a 90 day period)
Waiting for placement ( we expect this to be some time in the Fall near the end of October or November if everything goes smoothly)
We were told that once our home study is complete we could be waiting for up to 9 months for a call that we have been chosen to be placed with a child.
The placement will be dependent on our adoption criteria. Brian and I have decided that we are looking to be placed with a child from the ages of 0 to 5 and we have no gender or race specification.
I just want to point out that this outline is not always accurate and the process is different for every family. We know it could take much longer, but on the other side maybe not. We are just along for this ride and in the end we get to do a great thing for a child and family in need.
Once we have been chosen we go thru a visitation period with the child, it starts with a first visit of a couple of hours and gradually visits lengthen, leading to a first overnight. Visits get progressively longer until the child officially moves to their new home. Again this is different in every case, if an infant is chosen for us this may be cut drastically shorter.
Once a child is placed with us we will be working closely with the child's social worker regarding case planning. It is our responsibility to cooperate with DCFS (department of child and family services) and support the case plan including visitation between child and birth family, etc. We will have opportunities to have input or address concerns regarding the child's case planning via staffing and court.
Once the child becomes legally free a Social Worker is assigned and will assist us with finalization.
We are aware that this process has a lot of risks and we are fully accepting of those. Our philosophy is that if we can give a child the loving home it needs for 6 days, 6 weeks, or 6 months it is the most amazing gift we could ever give. And the time we have to nurture and love a child that has not had that on a daily basis is the most important thing in the world!
I hope that this has helped with any questions and I encourage you if you have questions please ask. We may not know the answers now but we surely will be gaining a lot of knowledge in the next couple of months!
Thank you again for all of your loving and supportive words and I look forward to sharing much more with you!