Adoption From Foster Care and Private Domestic Adoption: Meeting the Needs of Your Family and Community

Foster children and the parents who support them are our neighbors and friends. It’s interesting, then, that some of us think of foster children as delinquents and foster parents as people who care less about children and more about the check that comes with them every month. Many of us also mistakenly feel that the state agencies that pair vulnerable children with their forever families are, for one reason or another, not as reliable as private domestic adoption agencies. If you’re considering adoption, it’s important to put these and other misconceptions behind you so you can make an informed decision that meets the needs of your family and your community.

Adoption from foster care and private domestic adoption - which method is right for me?

According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System (AFCARS), there are more than 100,000 foster children across the US who are currently waiting to be adopted. More than 1,000 of those children are waiting to be adopted right here in New Jersey. Each one has a face, a name and a history of abuse and neglect. Each one deserves a chance at a promising future and a welcoming home just like any other child. Foster care adoption is often their best chance.

Adoption from Foster Care and Private Domestic Adoption: Why Don’t More People Adopt From Foster Care?

Regrettably, many of these children’s stories go untold, and many of the stories that are told go unheard. These children’s lack of exposure to the public eye leaves about 60 percent of people underestimating the number of foster children awaiting adoption and another 50 percent assuming incorrectly that these children landed in foster care because of delinquency. These misconceptions correlate with another set of numbers: in 2013, 92,000 of the more than 400,000 children in foster care had case plans that aimed at adoption. Yet only about 50,000 of those children exited foster care after being adopted.

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Child Specific Adoption from Foster Care

Do you believe in love at first sight?  Many people do. In fact, in a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll on in January 2013, 56% of Americans said they believed. Some may have their doubts, but those who have experienced love at first sight say for certain that it’s real.

Child Specific Adoption from Foster CareNot everyone who falls in love at first sight does it romantically. Parents telling the story of the first time they saw their child often describe their depth of emotion in much the same way as someone might describe the first time they saw their significant other: an overwhelming feeling of destiny or that they would do anything to be with that person and keep them safe from harm.

Foster parents who experience these emotions for a child placed in their home may have a difficult road ahead of them, since the goal of fostering is not adoption but giving children safe and stable places to call home until they can be safely reunited with their parents. However, in some cases, reunification can’t occur, and these children become free for adoption. Continue reading