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Failed homestudy

My husband and I live in California and went through all the training for Fostering to Adopt, and were then told that they had missed the fact the layout of our apartment did not fit State guidelines.
We have two bedrooms each with their own bathroom which is only accessible off said bedroom. No hallway access into either. We were shocked because we moved into the apartment so any child could have their own bathroom, and checked with the agency, who unfortunately didn’t pick it up until we were way down the line.
Friends who have fostered members of their own family were also amazed - one of them had their foster child in a curtained off area of the living room as a makeshift bedroom and that was deemed acceptable by the state.
We have been told we have to move if we want to foster to adopt here and moving is not an option right now. We are both from the UK originally. I am 40 and my husband is 46. We were hoping to foster to adopt. Can anyone advise - is this correct? Could we foster to adopt from another state? Is only paid for adoption open to us? If anyone could advise we would be really grateful. Thanks so much


I have no idea what the rules are but there is usually a way to get a waiver. Ask to talk to a supervisor or have a meeting and see if there is something that can be done.

Are you US citizens? Will they allow you to adopt if you are not? I have no idea just a thought.

You might try this agency for help

If the issue is no access from the hall will the landlord let you put in access and fix it when you move?

Don’t give up.
What age are you looking for?

Posted by Regina on Apr 21, 2017 at 12:51am

to foster adopt from another state you still need the homestudy in your state. it seems odd that they are making a big deal out of it since there are 2 bathrooms; it would be different if there were only 1 bathroom that was going to have a lot of people crossing through the bedroom to get to it. have you asked to talk to a supevisor? it may be that your caseworker is misinterpreting the guidelines.

Posted by rn4kidz on Apr 21, 2017 at 1:06am

That doesn’t seem right. We are also in Ca. We are in a house, but our daughter’s room has its own full bathroom only accessible through her room. Are you going through county social services?  An agency?  I’d ask for a supervisor to review the decision.

Posted by gocode03 on Apr 21, 2017 at 2:12am

Did they tell you why the layout is unacceptable? It is because of the bathrooms or something else? They should tell you what it is about the layout that doesn’t meet standards.
It’s very different for families who are fostering their own relatives, which is why your friends who are caring for related children are not held to the same standard as “strangers” who want to adopt.
It seems that is not the bathrooms, but something else about the layout of your apartment that bothers them. Ask for specifics.

Posted by Maryam on May 09, 2017 at 7:50am

I am so sorry this happened to you. We went through the entire foster-to-adopt process in Northern California and we were certified in January of this year. After 2 months of going through the matching process, we asked to be stop working with our agency because they treated us so poorly. We were finalists for a match with a little girl (one of 3 families) and the county social workers discriminated against us and said some very derogatory things about me and my husband and my own social worker took her side.

Then we went to the Northern California family fair and one of the social workers there got mad at me for calling her to ask about a child AFTER SHE GAVE ME HER BUSINESS CARD. That social worker put in a complaint that I called her and then my social worker reprimanded me for not following protocol. Without going into the nitty gritty details of everything that happened, I felt our agency and my social worker treated us like criminals and unfit parents when we were just excited and passionate about adopting an older foster child. I think it was my agency’s job to teach my what the protocol is, not expect me to know. If someone gives me their business card, I assume that means it is okay to call. We weren’t even looking for a baby or toddler. We were looking for an older kid of any race. Yet the social workers reprimanded us and scrutinized us at every step. It was so stressful that we finally said we did not want to work with them anymore and our social worker immediately de-certified us and then blamed us for having poor communications skills. I would think the agency would have at least tried to meet with us before jumping to de-certification because we are a great couple with lots of love and resources to be a forever family for older foster children.

Now, after recovering from my depression, we are happily working with a wonderful, compassionate international adoption agency and feeling respected and treated well. We are finishing up our new home study on Monday and have already identified our prospective future children. We are praying the orphanage will approve us for these two beautiful angels. They are siblings age 6 and 9.

It has been a long stressful road to get here. We have gone through two home study processes in the past 8 months and many ups and downs with several different children. I don’t know what I will do if we aren’t approved for these new children because I already feel in my heart that I am their mother and I look at their photos every day. I love them with all my heart and I am already planning for them to be part of our family. I walk by their empty bedroom and imagine tucking them into bed and reading them bedtime stories, teaching them English and cuddling with them.

So my message to you is to hang in there. Do not give up. I almost gave up but after I grieved the loss of the other children through the US foster care system, I picked myself back up and started researching other options. Each child we applied for and lost felt like a miscarriage. I still remember each child’s name and face. I just hope each child ended up in a good home.

I am 51, turning 52 this year. My husband and I have no kids. See if you can get an exception or find another agency or maybe you can move to another apartment. Or maybe you can look at other options like we did. International adoption has different home study rules than US foster care adoption. Just do not give up on your dream. I almost gave up due to my age but then I thought, “These kids need parents!” So keep trying! You have a lot of love to share.

I think it would be great if those of us who have struggled with the California and US foster care systems could band together to bring about reform. We should not have to adopt internationally when there are thousands of children in California and the United States who need parents. The US and California make it virtually impossible with their silly rules for great parents like us to adopt. That is why so many foster children age out without families. Adopting across state lines is virtually impossible too. It is easier to adopt internationally than to adopt from a neighboring state! So sad!

Posted by RedSunRising on May 19, 2017 at 7:55pm

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