Foster Care

Foster to Adopt in Georgia: How it Works

With over 11,000 children in care in Georgia, adopting through foster care is an amazing way to provide them with a forever home. Read on to learn how.

Adopting a child is a journey filled with love, patience, and, unfortunately, paperwork!

In Georgia, the path to adoption often leads through the heartwarming process of fostering to adopt. This approach provides a loving, temporary home for children in need and allows these connections to blossom into forever families.

Georgia currently has over 11,000 children in care. Many of these children eagerly await the chance to be part of a loving, permanent family. 

Georgia's fostering-to-adopt process offers a beacon of hope for these children, providing them with the stability and affection they deserve!

In this blog, we'll dive into the ins and outs of fostering to adopt in the Peach State, guiding prospective parents through the steps and considerations of this fulfilling journey.

But first, why should someone adopt through foster care in the first place? 

Why Foster to Adopt in Georgia?

Adopting a child from foster care helps you make a real difference in that child's life. 

Let's discuss why adopting from foster care in Georgia is an incredibly impactful decision for potential adoptive parents.

Building Emotional Connections and Legal Certainty

In Georgia, finalizing your adoption from foster care means your family officially and legally comes together. 

  • This crucial step grants you all the rights of parenthood while the child gains the security of a forever home. 
  • But it's not just about the legal side of things. This moment strengthens the bond between you and your child, providing a solid base of trust and belonging that nurtures your family's growth into the future.

Supporting Broader Community Well-Being

Adopting a child does wonders not just for your family but for your community, too!

  • Children who grow up in caring, stable homes are better at becoming successful, happy adults. Unfortunately, those who age out of foster care without a permanent family face tough challenges, like homelessness or trouble continuing their education. 
  • By choosing to adopt, you're giving a child a chance at a brighter future, and at the same time, you're contributing to making your community a stronger, more positive place.

Making Adoption Financially Accessible

One major hurdle for many families considering adoption is the cost. However, adopting from foster care can be a financially manageable path in Georgia. 

  • Unlike private adoptions, which can cost thousands, foster care adoptions often come with minimal to no costs. 
  • This makes it easier for families to open their homes and hearts to a child in need — without the financial strain that often comes with other types of adoption.

Choosing to adopt from foster care in Georgia is a powerful way to grow your family, provide a child with a loving home, and make a positive mark on your community.

How Georgia Foster to Adopt Works

If you’re considering adoption from foster care in the state of Georgia, there are two different routes you can take:

  • Fostering to adopt: Here, you’ll begin fostering a child in care to reunite them with their biological parents. If they cannot return to their family, then they will become eligible for adoption, and you can be their adoptive parent.
  • Adopting directly from foster care: The other route is to choose to be matched with a child who is already eligible for adoption. 

Application and Home Study

  • In Georgia, you must be at least 21 years old
  • Prospective parents must undergo a medical examination, background checks, and various screenings, including checks for criminal records. 
  • Applicants must prove their residence and financial stability. 
  • After the orientation, a home evaluation is conducted to ensure a nurturing environment for the child.

What is a Home Study?

After submitting your application, the next critical step is the home study. This is a thorough evaluation to confirm that your home environment is safe and suitable for a child. It is a crucial and mandatory assessment for all potential adoptive families, including those already serving as foster parents.

The home study encompasses several important components:

  • Interviews and background checks: These are conducted to gather detailed information about you and other household members.
  • Home visits: A social worker will visit your residence to ensure it provides a safe and welcoming environment for a child in care.
  • Report compilation: A caseworker will draft a comprehensive report that includes your employment history, educational background, family dynamics, social life, past parenting experiences, details about your home and the surrounding neighborhood, and the results from the background checks.

While this process may appear thorough, each phase is critical to guarantee that children are placed in loving and compatible homes. 

If you're already a foster parent, you might find this process familiar, which could give you an advantage as you already know what to expect.

Completing Preservice Sessions

  • After fulfilling the initial requirements, applicants must complete 24 hours of preservice sessions known as IMPACT (Initial Interest, Preservice Training, Assessment, Continuing Development, and Teamwork) — just like they would with foster care.
  • This training covers the impacts of abuse and neglect on children and prepares prospective parents for the challenges and rewards of fostering and adopting.

The Matching Process

After you complete the home study, then you’ll be approved to adopt!

The matching process below applies if you’re not already fostering a child that you’ll adopt.

  • The length of time it takes from when you're approved to adopt until a child is placed with you can vary from one family to another. In Georgia, you can also attend adoption parties and matching events during this period. Plus, Resource Workers can point you toward support groups for people looking to adopt!
  • If a family looking to adopt finds a child they're interested in, or if a county DFCS office thinks a family might be a good match for a child, the family and Mentor Foster Care can look at detailed info about the child. 
  • Then, they can decide if they think the match could work. If everyone agrees it's a good fit, they'll schedule visits for the family and child to meet! 
  • After these visits, if things go well, the family will sign a Placement Agreement to welcome the child into their home officially. For children with special needs, a Resource Development Worker will help the family apply for Adoption Assistance to support the child's needs.

Learn More About Foster Care In Our Upcoming Webinar

Are you ready to become a foster parent? Maybe you’re curious and want to learn more about the process. Wherever you are in your journey, our upcoming webinar can help point you in the right direction.

By attending a Foster Parent Information Session Webinar and learning more about the fostering process, you can take the first step toward becoming a foster parent and providing a safe, loving, and supportive home for a child in need. 

Mentor Foster Care also operates in many locations throughout the state, including:

Sign up for the webinar and learn more today!

Sign Up For The Webinar →

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