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  #1  
Old 04-01-2012, 04:56 PM
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Foster-to-adopt or straight adopt???

Hello! I am brand new to the forums, but I have been reading posts for the past few days, seeing what I can discover about this whole process. My husband and I are going to our information class on Wednesday and are very excited! We have not been able to have bio children yet, and have always wanted to adopt so we decided to go for it! We are hoping for an infant.

In all my "research" (obsessive information gathering !) on the forums, I am seeing that people are talking about straight adopting, which, from what I can tell means adopting a child from foster care, vs. adopting a child that you yourself are fostering. We were planning on going the route of foster-to-adopt. I understand that it is no cost no adopt a child you are fostering, but is there a cost if you straight adopt? I know it usually costs alot to adopt a child, but since I am seeing people talk about it along side of fostering to adopt, it may me wonder if it was also no cost if you do it a certain way.
Does that make sense?

And would you be likely to get an infant if you straight adopt? It seems like if they have been around long enough to be ready to adopt, they would be at least a year old.

I would really rather just straight adopt, we are going the foster first route because we don't have thousands of dollars to adopt with right now and we just want some kids to love on!

Any help would be awesome!
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2012, 05:13 PM
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I don't have a lot of info for you but I did want to welcome you. My husband and I are going the foster to adopt route. We heard it was the quickest way but in the meantime we get to love on some kiddos and hopefully make a little difference in one or two of their lives.
Again welcome.
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[color="Blue"]Current kiddos[/]
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Miss Giggles (10) 10/11/12-11/14/12 then 11/15/12-1/15/13
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  #3  
Old 04-01-2012, 07:03 PM
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Well If you are looking for an infant you are on the right track by fostering. Generally with infants they aren't straight adopt because their parental rights aren't terminated. I know our agency in Houston doesn't even license families to straight adopt unless they are taking siblings or older children. I'm not sure why you say there is no cost with adopting your foster children but we did pay for a bit of it up front. There really isn't a difference in the cost with straigh adopt, mainly it's the types of children that is so different. This is of course if you are talking about children in state custody & not private adoption.
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March 15, 2014 Completed Training
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December 18th, 2012 Finalized our adoption of Everly & Delilah!
June 19th, 2012 Parental rights are terminated!
January 26, 2012 Brought home our beautiful girls!
December 30, 2011 Officially Waiting!
July 2011 Started Mini Pride
May 2011, Attended Orientation to start all over for a GIRL!
May 22nd 2009, Finalized Tucks adoption!
November 23rd 2008, Brought Tucker home for good!
October 10th, 2008-Matched w/2 year old baby boy "C"!!
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August 2007 Started Mini PRIDE
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  #4  
Old 04-01-2012, 07:18 PM
prairiedoggy prairiedoggy is offline
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Foster to adopt

In Minnesota, if you adopt a child who's in foster care, or if you adopt a child that you've been fostering, the cost is the same, pretty much zero. I don't know what state you're in, but one difference I've seen is that in states where the adoption subsidies are about the same or close to what a foster parent receives for a child, more children are adopted by people who've been fostering them. In Minnesota, more children are adopted by people who haven't been fostering them, possibly because the adoption subsidy rate is much lower than the foster care rate. In other states, the pathway to adoption more often starts with being a foster parent.
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  #5  
Old 04-01-2012, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommy2NoneHopefully1
Well If you are looking for an infant you are on the right track by fostering. Generally with infants they aren't straight adopt because their parental rights aren't terminated. I know our agency in Houston doesn't even license families to straight adopt unless they are taking siblings or older children. I'm not sure why you say there is no cost with adopting your foster children but we did pay for a bit of it up front. There really isn't a difference in the cost with straigh adopt, mainly it's the types of children that is so different. This is of course if you are talking about children in state custody & not private adoption.


Thanks for the info! We were told that there was no cost to adopt a child you are fostering...am I wrong??
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  #6  
Old 04-01-2012, 07:47 PM
luvbeingamom luvbeingamom is offline
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In our area, it is darn near imposible to get even a young child to straight adopt because the courts will not TPR parents without an adoptive resourse lined up. So it's foster adopt or straight adopt a child over 6. I have had three children in two cases come up for adoption who I have fostered. Not foster-adopt, straight foster. Two I'm adopting, one wento on to be adopted by a local family who was foster-adopt only because I couldn't commit to five children under the age of 2 1/2. The child was 2 1/2 when he was adopted.
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  #7  
Old 04-02-2012, 05:18 AM
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I hope I can help answer some of your questions, I have done a lot of research on this topic:

Straight adopt from foster care system: - Cost is free, you still have to pay the lawyer fee but it is 100% tax refundable (that is why people say it is free).
- You can work with an agency or straight with the government. There are pros and cons to both so just pick what is right for your family and area.
- You can get an infant but it will take a long time ( I have heard a year+)

Foster to adopt aka Legal Risk from foster care system:- Cost is free, you still have to pay the lawyer fee to make the adoption final but it is 100% tax refundable (that is why people say it is free).
- If the agency/gov knows you are wanting to adopt then they can place low risk foster to adopt kid(s) with you. That means they have determined that the kid(s) have a low risk that the parents/kinship placement will happen. There is still risk, but it is much lower.
- You would get an infant faster (still infants are in high demand, example: my case worker asked me about if I wanted to have my name in for an 8mo in Houston but the child already had over 100 home studies submitted for the child just last week)
- The time period between fostering the child to adoption varies on the case/judge
- The child could be taken away as nothing is final until the adoption is done.

Another big factor in the ‘how long’ game is the how narrow/wide your criteria is (age/race/sex/drug exposed)

You are right adopting a baby from outside the foster care system is $$$$.

I hope this helps, I will be happy to go into more detail if on area or another if you like, I just did not want to write a book if you were looking for general info 

Good luck!!!
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My adoption journey:
Information class 12/2010
Application completed 10/2011
PRIDE completed 1/2012
Home Study competed 2/2012
Approved to Adopt 3/2012
Let the matching begin!

dreaming of a sib set between 3-5!! (wish me luck)
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  #8  
Old 04-02-2012, 05:24 AM
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NACAC Adoption Subsidy

Quote:
Originally Posted by prairiedoggy
In Minnesota, if you adopt a child who's in foster care, or if you adopt a child that you've been fostering, the cost is the same, pretty much zero. I don't know what state you're in, but one difference I've seen is that in states where the adoption subsidies are about the same or close to what a foster parent receives for a child, more children are adopted by people who've been fostering them. In Minnesota, more children are adopted by people who haven't been fostering them, possibly because the adoption subsidy rate is much lower than the foster care rate. In other states, the pathway to adoption more often starts with being a foster parent.


Hi, I have been on this forum for a few months and found this link along the way that has helped me understand the different subsidies offered in different states.

NACAC | Adoption Subsidy

because I am looking at adoption I might get a child from a different state than I am, so I use this site to help me understand what help would/would not be avaialbel.

Thought I would reshare my finding

________________
My adoption journey:
Information class 12/2010
Application completed 10/2011
PRIDE completed 1/2012
Home Study competed 2/2012
Approved to Adopt 3/2012
Let the matching begin!

dreaming of a sib set between 3-5!! (wish me luck)
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  #9  
Old 04-02-2012, 11:26 AM
TRas TRas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamG
I hope I can help answer some of your questions, I have done a lot of research on this topic:

Straight adopt from foster care system: - Cost is free, you still have to pay the lawyer fee but it is 100% tax refundable (that is why people say it is free).
- You can work with an agency or straight with the government. There are pros and cons to both so just pick what is right for your family and area.
- You can get an infant but it will take a long time ( I have heard a year+)

Foster to adopt aka Legal Risk from foster care system:- Cost is free, you still have to pay the lawyer fee to make the adoption final but it is 100% tax refundable (that is why people say it is free).
- If the agency/gov knows you are wanting to adopt then they can place low risk foster to adopt kid(s) with you. That means they have determined that the kid(s) have a low risk that the parents/kinship placement will happen. There is still risk, but it is much lower.
- You would get an infant faster (still infants are in high demand, example: my case worker asked me about if I wanted to have my name in for an 8mo in Houston but the child already had over 100 home studies submitted for the child just last week)
- The time period between fostering the child to adoption varies on the case/judge
- The child could be taken away as nothing is final until the adoption is done.

Another big factor in the ‘how long’ game is the how narrow/wide your criteria is (age/race/sex/drug exposed)

You are right adopting a baby from outside the foster care system is $$$$.

I hope this helps, I will be happy to go into more detail if on area or another if you like, I just did not want to write a book if you were looking for general info 

Good luck!!!
________________
My adoption journey:
Information class 12/2010
Application completed 10/2011
PRIDE completed 1/2012
Home Study competed 2/2012
Approved to Adopt 3/2012
Let the matching begin!

dreaming of a sib set between 3-5!! (wish me luck)

Just to add to this about the lawyer's fees. You aren't necessarily reimbursed through taxes. You are usually just reimbursed directly by the state. So either you pay the fees at finalization and a couple weeks later you get a check in the mail to cover it from the state, or your attorney gets paid directly by the state. (I think the limit is $1500.)

We've done foster-to-adopt (low legal risk) three times in Texas in the last two years. We received our first placement very quickly right after we were licensed -- at the time, she was a 6 1/2 month old, AA girl with drug exposure but no real special needs. Right now, she's my 2 1/2 year old fabulous daughter... she has sensory issues, but no other needs.

My other two placements, who we have since adopted, were 7 month old girl (Hisp/CC mix) and 21 month old boy (Hisp). None of them were siblings to each other before we adopted them. We finalized the adoptions for all of them within 7-12 months from the time each was placed.

We are on a break right now, but we get a lot of calls for kids who are between 6 months and 2 years old -- low legal risk.

Competition is tough for the little kids though. With my son, we were chosen out of 200 homestudies. With one of my daughters, from over 150.

Straight adoption from foster care is still free, like the previous poster said, but it's tough to find little ones without high special needs that are straight adopt. I was called for a straight adopt 2 year old boy last week with no needs though.

Good luck!
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  #10  
Old 04-02-2012, 06:53 PM
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Mommy2NoneHopefully1 Mommy2NoneHopefully1 is offline
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Foster to adopt & legal risk aren't the same thing. I've done straight adopt & we are currently doing foster to adopt, but there is a large difference. It can take a year plus for a healthy toddler, I know many people fostering & adopting in our area & I have NEVER heard of a straight adopt infant come available, PERIOD. The only way it could happen us if the baby is taken into custody & both parents relinquish, by the time they get the relinquishment done the baby is in a foster to adopt or legal risk home, so not straight adopt. Im not sure where you heard they come available even with a long wait. For every healthy toddler with little or no needs there are dozens of families applying for them or submitting their homestudy. It's very competitive. But we brought our girls home after 3 weeks of being licensed this time. They are both under the age of 2, healthy. & Caucasian. They are foster to adopt but they had already been in custody 6 months & attempt headed to TPR this summer. The costs vary, we had to travel for visitations & for finalization. Our attorney also had to travel & we had to pay the additional expenses.
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March 15, 2014 Completed Training
March 11, 2014 Re-submitted application for another BOY!
December 18th, 2012 Finalized our adoption of Everly & Delilah!
June 19th, 2012 Parental rights are terminated!
January 26, 2012 Brought home our beautiful girls!
December 30, 2011 Officially Waiting!
July 2011 Started Mini Pride
May 2011, Attended Orientation to start all over for a GIRL!
May 22nd 2009, Finalized Tucks adoption!
November 23rd 2008, Brought Tucker home for good!
October 10th, 2008-Matched w/2 year old baby boy "C"!!
February 29th, 2008 Homestudy Approved
August 2007 Started Mini PRIDE
January 2007 Attended Orientation
http://www.crazychaosperfect.blogspot.com
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  #11  
Old 04-02-2012, 08:12 PM
TRas TRas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommy2NoneHopefully1
Foster to adopt & legal risk aren't the same thing...

Some agencies use the terms differently. For us, these are the terms that are used by our agency.

Straight foster - the goal is currently RU

Low legal risk - the goal has recently been changed to adoption (or it's a concurrent goal) and the case is headed to TPR relatively soon. Our agency calls this "foster to adopt" too when the risk level is very low. (Such as when the parents are already out of the picture, but TPR hearing hasn't happened yet -- that was the case for all three of our kids.)

Foster to adopt - TPR has already happened and the child needs to be placed in your home for 6 months as a foster child before you can finalize the adoption. This
"foster to adopt" situation is rare in our area for young kids, because the kids are usually moved to a low legal risk situation before TPR. However, I was called for a healthy 2 year old (that TPR is already done) last week.

Straight adopt - They don't use that term here associated with kids in foster care.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:11 AM
prairiedoggy prairiedoggy is offline
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Thanks for posting that information. It's a great resource!
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:55 AM
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[quote=TRas]Some agencies use the terms differently. For us, these are the terms that are used by our agency.

this is a VERY good point. I found that different agencies call things differently. In our PRIDE class we had people from 2 different agencies in the class and they both called things differently. In the end you need to understand what your agency is calling what so you understand what kind of calls you will be getting. they will go over this in either the information class or PRIDE. I heard it in both.

good point on the travel cost, where you are able to file it on your taxes as adoption cost and get it back?
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My adoption journey:
Information class 12/2010
Application completed 10/2011
PRIDE completed 1/2012
Home Study competed 2/2012
Approved to Adopt 3/2012
Let the matching begin!

dreaming of a sib set between 3-5!! (wish me luck)
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  #14  
Old 04-03-2012, 02:51 PM
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Hopeful2BMom Hopeful2BMom is offline
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Wow, thanks for all the info!! Like I said, we are just starting the process, so it helps to get these terms straightened out!
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  #15  
Old 04-04-2012, 08:18 PM
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Mommy2NoneHopefully1 Mommy2NoneHopefully1 is offline
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Well with our CPS worker & our agency foster to adopt is with the hopes of adopting but without TPR. Legal risk adoption is when there has been TPR, but the 90 day wait isn't over with. Straight adopt is when the child is legally free, you're just waiting for the 6 months to be up, but by that point there is no legal risk. If your agency calls placements that are waiting for the 6 months to be over with legal risk, what is straight adopt then?
__________________
March 15, 2014 Completed Training
March 11, 2014 Re-submitted application for another BOY!
December 18th, 2012 Finalized our adoption of Everly & Delilah!
June 19th, 2012 Parental rights are terminated!
January 26, 2012 Brought home our beautiful girls!
December 30, 2011 Officially Waiting!
July 2011 Started Mini Pride
May 2011, Attended Orientation to start all over for a GIRL!
May 22nd 2009, Finalized Tucks adoption!
November 23rd 2008, Brought Tucker home for good!
October 10th, 2008-Matched w/2 year old baby boy "C"!!
February 29th, 2008 Homestudy Approved
August 2007 Started Mini PRIDE
January 2007 Attended Orientation
http://www.crazychaosperfect.blogspot.com
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