While the goal of foster care is not necessarily to adopt, many are beginning to view foster care as a first step to adoption. In fact, several states require that families seeking to adopt engage in foster care first. Even so, for families that open up their homes to fostering and decide that they’d like to adopt, there are several important differences that should be noted.
Though it’s possible to adopt a child at any age through foster care, the average age of those adopted is 8 years old. While foster families are usually aware of the trauma that the foster children in their home have experienced (at least to some degree), they must be willing to undergo additional training if they move forward with adoption, in order to understand the long-term effects of trauma and how to help their children adjust.
Perhaps the hardest and most emotional part of merging from foster care to adoption is that foster parents must remain supportive and open to efforts seeking to reunify children with their birth parents. Often referred to as “concurrent planning,” this involves a dedication to the original plan of reunification, while an alternate plan is also being pursued simultaneously. Thus, if the plan for reunification falls through, efforts have already been made to provide children with a permanent home through adoption.
In the state of Georgia, foster parents adopt many children by partnering with local agencies that provide help with foster-to-adopt home conversion. Yet, it’s wise to consult an adoption attorney that will work with the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) as well as foster parents to streamline an otherwise overwhelming process. In many cases, adoption may involve termination of the biological parents’ rights. Yet, with many different scenarios to consider, foster families that are seeking adoption are granted peace of mind with a reputable adoption lawyer.
Finding A Forever Family
At Shepard, Plunkett, & Hamilton, LLP, our attorneys proudly work with foster parents seeking to adopt the children in their home. We understand the many complexities pertaining to adoption petitions as well as court proceedings, and we are happy to come alongside parents for every hearing, providing solid representation for them before the Superior Court Judge. To take the first step towards helping your children find their forever family, contact Shepard, Plunkett, & Hamilton today, and ask to speak with one of our adoption lawyers.
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