There are thousands of children – 115,000 to be exact – in the US foster care system who are eligible for adoption.
Nearly 40% of these kids will wait over 3 years in foster care before they are adopted, and 55% will have multiple placements during this time.
According to the US State Department, American families adopted approximately 9,000 children in 2011. The highest numbers of these adoptions were children from other countries such as China, Russia, and Ethiopia. Each adoption – no matter the home country of the child – is an answer to God’s command that we care for the orphan and the fatherless.
Consider these statistics regarding children adopted from the foster care system:
As of April 2013 –
37% (661,000) of all children adopted came from foster care
70% of these adoptions were to married couples
86% of these adoptions were to ‘provide a permanent home’ for a child and 61% were to expand an existing family
30% of the children adopted from foster care were between the ages of 5 -9 years
The process to adopt a child from foster care can vary from state to state. In Kentucky, the prospective home must meet certain safety and space requirements, including undergoing 30 hours of pre-service preparation training. The approval process to foster a child takes approximately 6-9 months and the time before you receive a child is relatively short. Foster care adoptions take a little longer to allow time for the family and the child to adjust.
Orphan Care Alliance offers a support group, OCA Connect, for families waiting for placements as well as post adoption support. Led by Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Lucy Armistead with All Blessings International, these meetings will leave you both informed and encouraged. Childcare and a light dinner are always provided.
WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
The first thing you need to do is attend an informational meeting in your area. These meetings occur several times a month throughout Louisville. On the first Tuesday of every month, Southeast Christian Church, 920 Blankenbaker Pkwy in Louisville, holds one of these meetings from 6-8pm. There is no cost to attend and no need to RSVP.
You may also want to consider attending the upcoming Adoption Seminar on September 14.
WHAT IS THE COST?
The cost varies per agency when fostering to adopt. While some private agencies may charge a fee to cover the cost of training, evaluations, and the approval process, others do not. The state social services agency foster care and adoption program is FREE.