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U.S. Foster Adoption Waiting

Desperately seeking advise

Hello.. my husband and I have been very blessed with two wonderful children at a young age. They are now teenagers and we have started discussing extending our family through adoption now that we are more financially secure.
We want to adopt from the foster system and am looking for a child from 3-8 years old. However a local agency we have started working with that only does adoptions in 7 local counties states that for our age range we will be looking at about a 3 year wait and that’s even with sibling groups.
After this bomb being dropped on our parade my husband is now concerned we will go through the whole process, be ready for a child and not get a placement for some time.
My children are now 15 and 13 years old and I want there to be a bond between my children.
We live in San Luis Obispo/ Santa Barbara county area.
Has any one had similar cases and if so what was the out come? Do you have any words of wisdom for us? Am I crazy to still move forward even if my kids will be almost 18 or older?
Any advise is welcome.


Most children in foster care have a plan made with birth family. The ones that do not have this become available.

Most children adopted from foster care are adopted by their foster parents thus eliminating moves for the child.

Sometimes the foster parents do not want to adopt and those are the children that are available for adoption.

Are there other special needs besides sibling groups that you might consider? Medical issues? Intellectual delays?  Are you prepared to adopt transracially?

You might go to the information meetings and education meetings and learn more. There is no one who can predict how many children will come into permanent custody or how long the wait will be.

You can always get ready and withdraw when you feel it is no longer right for your family.

you could try another agency. Or ask if your home study upon being completed can be sent to other counties. You can also go to I typed in three kids under 8 and found quite a few listings. Ask the agency if they do interstate placements or find one that does.

This website is where I found listings they have loads of information.

Don’t give up based on one person’s info.

Posted by Regina on Feb 15, 2019 at 12:32am

You didn’t say your age. but it doesn’t sound like you are that old at all. I’d look into adopting from other states. Agree with Regina, don’t give up based on one person’s info.

Posted by Happy Camper on Feb 15, 2019 at 3:20am

S&J, I wish I had more positive info to share, but I don’t.
I knew California had a tendency to leave kids in foster care while giving parents an inordinate amount of time to resolve their own issues and regain custody of their children, but California’s system is far worse than that.
I did a search of California’s children in custody and free for adoption;
all children of any race
with one or fewer siblings awaiting adoption
age 10 or under who
did not suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and
whose parents did not have a history of mental illness.
The search yielded 36 children.
The problem is, there are more than 20,000 children in care awaiting adoption in California.

According to this article detailing California’s foster care issues, for every child you can view on the system web site, there are about 95 other children awaiting placement, a truly awful statistic.
The article was written in 2011, but things do not appear to have changed. 
One of the issues mentioned in the article, the localization of a search for parents, will definitely impact you when most of the kids available don’t live in your region, and you can apparently only find children outside your area by using a private agency.
You may be better off searching outside California through AdoptUSKids (associated with the Dave Thomas non profit), rather than enduring California’s badly broken system.

You mentioned being frustrated at a three year wait. We’ve adopted five children from foster care in Texas. From placement to finalizaton of adoption for us averaged just less than two years, but I must stress that we accepted legal risk placements with a risk of them leaving (and several of our placements were returned to parents or placed with a family member or fictive kin. Three years to me doesn’t sound unusual.

I will share what we did to increase our chances of a successful adoption from foster care.
1. Accept legal risk foster placements where the parents rights have not yet been terminated. This may not be an effective method in California and I strongly suggest you seek out additional information before doing this. In Texas, the focus is on finding permanency for the child as soon as possible, regardless of where the child is placed. The rationale is that waiting in foster care for an extended period to give a parent time to heal, even years, may be great for the parents, but the child’s development is impaired while waiting for a permanent home. In California, reunification is given priority, even if it takes a year or two longer.
2. Accept any race.
3. Be open to the placement of sibling groups.
4. Be as flexible as possible on age.
We were foster parents for a decade. Eleven toddlers or newborns were placed with us over that period. Six were returned to parents or placed permanently with a relative or fictive kin. The first two were with us for two years, from 21/2 to 41/2, before being returned to birth parents, and it was devastating. One was a newborn who we helped endure withdrawal from cocaine addiction. One thirteen month old was returned to his father, and murdered nine months later. We found out when we saw his picture on the evening news.
We have a sibling group of three, and another sibling group of two. All were placed one at a time, and four of the five were placed as newborns.
We would do it all over again, but adoption from foster care, especially legal risk placements, is not for the faint of heart.
Best wishes.
Sorry, I forgot to attach the article;

Posted by hdctx on Feb 15, 2019 at 5:02am

Well, we live in California… and although I understand the system seems to be riddled with flaws and certainly there are articles aplenty that tell of the hardships, we adopted four of our seven children from the foster care system—not being foster parents first but going into adoption looking for children who were already available.  We adopted two sibling pairs about ten years apart, and they do not have any disabilities to speak of (well, one daughter had delays in reading, but this was resolved over time).  I agree with hdctx that legal risk placement is not for the faint of heart… and in that sense we are very much faint of heart!  We asked to be matched with children who were available, and we did our own searches, too, because once we were licensed, our agency allowed us to see their data base.  There are MANY MANY children in the data base who are not on the public listings, and in many cases their real ‘special need’ is that they are part of a sibling group and/or they are older than 5.  I will be happy to speak with you privately if you want to message me.  For all our adoptions we used the agency Families for Children, and it has worked out well for us.

Posted by VintageMom on Feb 15, 2019 at 6:55am

you can also look at adoptuskids for children available in other states. most of the young, individual children on the site have serious medical needs or behaviors, but there are children age 7-8, especially boys and sibling groups. my state has very few legally free children, even with me being open to severe medical needs. i found both my girls on adoptuskids and adopted out of state both times.

Posted by rn4kidz on Feb 16, 2019 at 1:24am

I would like to thank all of you who have responded to my request.
Other areas that have concerned my family is that any child or children we take into our home would have to share lodging with one or both of my kids.
I live in Central California and have not found any agency’s that do interstate adoptions. We were considering working the Family Connections Christian adoptions but they only serve 7 local counties. Any one work with this agency?
Thank you for you advise and words of encouragement.

Posted by S&J on Feb 16, 2019 at 6:49pm

call kinship center there are branches all over CA maybe they can help or refer you

Posted by Regina on Feb 16, 2019 at 8:41pm

call kinship center there are branches all over CA maybe they can help or refer you

Posted by Regina on Feb 16, 2019 at 8:41pm

I know this is old but in case you are still thinking about this, as a FFY my two cents is no you’re not crazy to go into it if your kids will be 18—plenty of people have the time and energy to raise kids after the first “batch” has left the nest.
I do wonder, though, about younger kids sharing a room with your older teenagers, and your expectation that there will be a bond just because they are in the same home. It could happen; it could not.
How will your older teenagers feel about sharing space with a much younger, instant “sibling?”
As a foster child is getting used to a new setting—I don’t say “family” because there is no guarantee they will immediately think of your family as theirs—what are the implications of sharing a room with a much older bio child of yours? Foster children can have behaviors that some people think are at best odd (hiding out, food hoarding and the like) and at worst can be destructive—acting out against people, destroying their stuff, “stealing” (in quotes because sometimes kids take and hide stuff for reasons other than just wanting it).
Not saying this is you, but from what I’ve learned many foster parents are not adequately prepared/informed about what to expect and can assume a child—who already has a family and a history—is going to seamlessly blend in with their family, bond with the foster/adoptive parents and their children, and maybe need some extra help with reading or physical accommodations but otherwise be just like any other member of the family. depending on the situation, conflict and resentment is as likely as blending and bonding.
So even though I approach this as a FFY, this is something the whole family would need to be involved in in a realistic way. That said, if you have the energy and the desire to provide a home for kids who need one, you certainly don’t sound too old. Quite the contrary.

Posted by NoraT on Mar 12, 2019 at 9:22pm

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