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How long does it take to become a foster parent? (From the time you first contact someone until a child is in your care)

We'd really like to expand our family through foster care &/or adoption. I appreciate any advice/info on this, including how long it may take and any costs involved. We've been discussing it for a long time now, and I keep having dreams about adopting a baby! I'd really like to get started.

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MrsT6102

Asked by MrsT6102 at 12:43 PM on Feb. 9, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • It varies from state to state. You have to go through lots of hours of training, and sometimes they never end up placing a child with you. It all just depends on your situation and the state and area you live in.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:46 PM on Feb. 9, 2009

  • It took my MIL about three months from the time she contacted the foster care agency until she got her first batch of foster kids. She had to go through many hours of training, and get CPR/First Aid certified. The classes she had to take usually took about 8 hours on a Saturday, and it's something she has to keep up with every year to keep her certification. She also had to go through a house study which included bringing her house up to code with the foster agency, and a rigourous background check.

    It does depend on the agency and the state in which you live in, but from what she tells me about 3-6 month waiting period is normal.
    redmoonintexas

    Answer by redmoonintexas at 12:56 PM on Feb. 9, 2009

  • For us it was 9 months from the time we sent in our paperwork until we had our children with us. And they were only 3 days old when they came to us, so its kind of a really neat coincidence. It then took the next 14 months to adopt them. Good luck.
    MommyAddie

    Answer by MommyAddie at 1:05 PM on Feb. 9, 2009

  • I have a friend who is going through classes-I beleive it's 6 weeks just for those and however long all the paper work takes to go through.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:55 PM on Feb. 9, 2009

  • It depends on YOU and your state. Paperwork needs to be completed and that falls on your shoulders. Classes need to be taken and that will have to be done by you. Then you have to wait to get your homestudy done and then depending on what criteria you want in children (ages, race, etc.) it could take a long time. For us, we started our process in 2003. Moved to another county and had to wait 6 months before starting our classes again. We were licensed in 2004 and then several placements later adopted in 2007.

    I'd be happy to talk with you more if you have any more questions. :-)
    mommytoadam

    Answer by mommytoadam at 3:24 PM on Feb. 9, 2009

  • In my state my parents looked into it, of course this was quite a few years ago, but there was many meetings, training events, home studies, background checks and paper work. It's worth it if you are sure you want to do it. Keep in mind as far as fostering goes: 1)not all foster children are happy to be in a home many of them (of course not all)have been through hell and back and have many issues 2) It is impossible not to get attached to them and you do have to give them up at some point in most cases 3) You will not always agree with the decisions that the State makes in the child's behalf and you can't always do a whole lot about it 4) Your whole family will be affected by the three listed above, not just you and your husband. If you think you and your family can handle all of that then go for it. I know at least in our state there is not enough foster parents!
    But_Mommie

    Answer by But_Mommie at 3:26 PM on Feb. 9, 2009

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