View Full Version : Foster to Adopt...how easy is it to get infant/toddler?

04-09-2009, 02:45 PM
Hi, I am interested in doing foster to adopt. We have two bio children but would love to expand our family by adoption. We would prefer either babies or toddlers. Is that possible/easy with foster to adoption? I live in Texas. Also, for those that used foster to adopt and was placed with an infant or toddler, did you go through the states DCFS office? Or did you use another agency? I am not sure what other agencies besides DCFS do foster to adopt here in SE Houston area.


04-09-2009, 03:28 PM
There is a great message board at adoption.com with boards for each state. You might also check there. We completed our homestudy 2 weeks ago, but haven't had any calls yet. We are asking for 0-2. We go through our county.


04-09-2009, 06:32 PM
If you take foster placements and hope one becomes available for adoption, I have heard that it is pretty easy to get placements. However, you don't know if you get to keep the first kid or have to repeatedly give kids back and never get to keep one. If you do straight adoption from foster care, it is really variable about the availability of infants and toddlers. We did straight adoption through our county. We applied for about 50 kids over a period of about 8 months. We ended up getting a 4 month old and later her 22 month old brother. However, our daughter was the only little baby I saw available the entire time. We did a lot of networking and heard about her through a friend.

The 50 kids we applied for were mostly minorities from 9 months to 3 years old from all over the country. Most were drug exposed or had some kind of minor health issues. It was very hard to get turned down or (mostly) ignored 50 times. So, I have not found it to be easy to get a young child from foster care. I know some people who tried for 2 years before giving up. I also know other people who were looking for an older child and ended up with a healthy newborn 2 weeks after they finished their foster/adoption classes. It is impossible to say what will happen.

We went through our county, but our children came to us from a private agency in the next county. 6 months after your homestudy is approved, you can start looking anywhere in the country for foster children to adopt (rules may vary by state). We came close on a 3 year old from Oregon and a 9 month old from Ohio. You would still get subsidy from the state the child is from.

04-09-2009, 09:14 PM
We are fostering an 18mo and a 3mo right now. The older came to us at 7 weeks and the younger at 4days--they are brothers. Foster-to-adopt is HARD--emotionally draining, full of uncertainty, LONG, and not at all a for-sure thing. We want to adopt our two boys but we are still waiting, waiting, waiting.

Here in NW, OH, we don't see a ton of infants come into care, but it does happen. BUT I"m noticing that ALL of the babies/toddlers who come up for adoption are matched with their foster family. So, IF you get an infant or toddler placed with you and IF their case goes to Termination of Parental Rights, THEN you are guaranteed that the child/ren are yours.

We use a foster care agency and I highly recommend it. The separate agency is set up to help the foster parent and the foster children. The county's top priority is the biological parent. In our area the children are basically considered property and the rights of the parents trump the needs of the children. BUT our agency is a HUGE advocate for the children and makes sure that the child gets every stitch of available help while in care AND they work to protect and help the foster parent.

Thanks for considering joining our ranks. We need more adoptive and foster parents.

04-10-2009, 08:08 AM
If by "foster to adopt" you mean, fostering a child you KNOW you will adopt, and that you are matched with for the purpose of adoption (whether a legally free child or a child that they know should become legally free soon), NO, it is not "easy" in fact in many (not all) places its almost impossible. In fact, in many places its hard to find a child under ten to adopt that is legally free, unless that child has significant issues, the wait can be a year or even longer. I've waited over two years to adopt an older boy.

However, if by "foster to adopt" you mean (as the PP said) that you will foster babies or toddlers and if that child becomes available for adoption, you will adopt....yes, that happens quite frequently. I was placed with a three week old infant and finalized his adoption at 11 months old. I was recently offered an 11 day old baby they thought would go quickly to termination and become adoptable, however that child might have ended up adopted w/ sibs...but i didnt get him (long story), and i am now fostering an 11 month old girl whose plan is reunification with the mom, but the case is new and no visits are set up yet. If her mom doesnt work the plan and she becomes adoptable, yes i would probably adopt her.

If you go into fostering hoping to be able to adopt, i personally think that is fine (some people really discourage it, my agency is totally fine with it and are trying to steer potential "TPR"---termination---cases my way)....but you MUST understand that reunification is almost always the initial goal, and you could have a baby from birth until two years old and then "lose" that child back to the birthfamily.

But fostering worked out very well for me in terms of adoption...i am parenting a 100 percent healthy and beautiful boy and i never would have gotten him had i not fostered first. In my state over 90 percent of adoptable kids (of all ages) are adopted by fosters or relatives. I live in a state where you dont have to have a foster license to adopt.


04-11-2009, 01:58 PM
Foster-to-adopt is HARD--emotionally draining, full of uncertainty, LONG, and not at all a for-sure thing.

BUT I"m noticing that ALL of the babies/toddlers who come up for adoption are matched with their foster family. So, IF you get an infant or toddler placed with you and IF their case goes to Termination of Parental Rights, THEN you are guaranteed that the child/ren are yours.
So true!

I have been told that the best way to adopt is foster to adopt. When we got licensed as foster parents they asked us to also get approved as adoptive parents just in case, so we did. Well then they took it a step further and asked if we would be willing to take foster to adopt placements, so we said sure, why not. Our age limit was only 0-2 because I was still pretty young and didn't have much experience parenting at the time. They were very rude about that and told us that we were not needed and we would never get any placements. We ended up getting 3 foster to adopt newborns (2 were only 2 days old and the other one was 2 months old) within a year and a half, all healthy and happy! Our first did not end up staying with us :( (her aunt came up at the last minute and decided to take her) and letting her go was the hardest thing I have honestly been though up to this point in my life. But now we have adopted our DD and DS should be final within the next few months :goodvibes: There are a lot of kids in our area though and I even have friends that have adopted a bunch of kids this exact same why.

We knew with each of them when they were placed that they were expected to be foster to adopt. So it wasn't like we were sitting around wondering, we were just nervous about something happening. They should always tell you at time of placement how long they expect the child to stay if they know.

We went through DCFS but honestly I would suggest you look into a private agency if you can find one. Good luck!

04-11-2009, 03:35 PM
I'm in AZ and my case worker told me there is a 5 year wait to adopt a healthy child under 5 and we would have a better chance if we did foster/adopt, that was our plan from the start. Now we are just waiting on our homestudy and a few other minor details before we become foster parents

04-11-2009, 08:34 PM
We adopted our older 2 after they had been with us in straight foster care (Placed with us specifically for the intent of future reunification) for a year or more. Our younger two (twins) we adopted through foster-to-adopt (Placed with us specifically for adoption). None of our 4 children were over the age of 9 mo when first placed in our home--one was 2 days old and two were 2 months old.. We also fostered 17 other infants and toddlers under age 3, including another 2 newborns who were placed for foster-adoption with other families after leaving our home (by age 3 mo).

We didn't even have a waiting period before placement. For foster-adoption, our twins actually had to wait for us in another fosterhome while our SW finished our paperwork!

We also adopted transracially.

So from my perspective, (if living near a large metropolitan area and also available to adopt children from minority background) being placed with infants/toddlers for foster-adoption is MUCH easier than the county makes it out to be. They told us not to bother requesting infants or toddlers, and then they placed us with twin 2-mo-olds who had actually been waiting for us! It could have something to do with the fact that we had already been fostering for the county for 4 years, so they knew our home & family well.... who knows! But one of our fostered newborns was placed with a family who was not fostering; they were just requesting placement of a 2-5 year old and had been waiting 5 months before placed with the newborn from our home! Hmmmm....

04-13-2009, 09:33 AM
I totally agree with the "emotionally, draining, HARD..." post! When we started the process our placement SW told us that no one on her caseload wanted babies, because it is so hard to give them up. The unofficial motto is, "love them like your own, and be ready to given them up tomorrow."

In our county (Bucks, PA) foster care's primary goal is reunification with the bio parents. But, it is a LONG, LONG process of waiting for the system to run itself out of time, and for the county children and youth department to build their case for termination of rights, if that is the direction they chose to go.

I should mention that we are totally new to foster parenting. We just got certified back in the summer of '08. We had a 3-yr old placed with us for a month...and six days later we got a call about a newborn, who would likely be a long term placement. She has been with us straight from the hospital at 2 days old. She is now 7 1/2 months old. We only had to wait a month or so maybe to get a baby that young. But I guess it depends on what children come in to care at what time...it is a crapshoot. We only placed restrictions on age...we didn't want any children over the age of 5. Our foster daughter is biracial, and we are open to children of all ethnicities.

One other thing that might help, is checking to see if there are any foster parent support groups in your area. People who have been fostering for a while are the best resources to vent, and listen, etc.

Good luck!!

04-13-2009, 10:22 AM
We only foster babies and usually have two or three a year. Some stay a couple of weeks, many for 3 months or so. Dd stayed forever. We have fostered approx 18 babies over the last 8 years and most all went home to family if not the mother.
Here when placing an infant, they look for a home that may agree to adopt should it come to that, they usually have a good idea in the first couple of weeks/months, and make a concurrent plan. So they are working for Reunification while the baby is in your home and should that fall through they know the baby is in a home where they will keep them.

04-13-2009, 11:50 AM
I'm in AZ and my case worker told me there is a 5 year wait to adopt a healthy child under 5 and we would have a better chance if we did foster/adopt, that was our plan from the start. Now we are just waiting on our homestudy and a few other minor details before we become foster parents

HIGHJACk! i'm in arizona too! you should start coming to the fost/adopt support group i attend. i'm located in glendale.

To answer the OP I think it really depends, but just about every single fost family i know has had the chance to adopt within 2 years. we've had our foster daughter 9 months and we are still waiting to see what takes place in june. if she is available for adoption she will be ours.

04-13-2009, 06:53 PM
The ages of our fc in the order placed go like this... 8 weeks, 16 months, 9 years, 6 months, 2 yrs, 4yrs, 1 yr, 2 yr, 3 yr. We are in CA.

04-15-2009, 09:24 AM
Our family is not typical by any means. We did private adoption with our dd, 7. After our home study was finished we were selected by her birthmom within a few months. She was placed with us at 2 days. She ended up having major health issues, so took 5 years to finalize and all fees were waived (the adoption fee would have been a drop in the bucket compared to medical bills though).

We decided on the fost-adopt route for future kids, so that we would have support if the child had medical problems. We have had 2 newborns placed with us as surrenders. There is some risk, but after the first 72 hours, it is very difficult for a parent to get the child back. Both boys are healthy, though may have challenges in the future. Since they were surrenders they are considered private adoptions. It is very unusual to get 2 surrenders as we only have about 10 in the entire state in a year.

Here they do not advertise which agencies receive surrenders, our social worker called us with the first ds as she knew we wanted to adopt and were open to paying the fees involved with a private adoption.

Good luck! I am finding that 3 is such a hand-full.

04-15-2009, 02:29 PM
I am hoping to foster/adopt some day in the future. We are in the process of buying our first home and then we will have room for more kids :) I love kids but I know that I'm done having biological children. I am more interested in giving homes to kids, especially sibling groups who would otherwise be split up.