Adopting a Waiting Child
There are many children all across the United States waiting for “forever families”. Children who wait for families are generally “older”, or they may have special medical needs, or they may be part of a sibling group that should be placed together. When children become available for adoption when they are older it is usually the result of an involuntary termination of parental rights. This happens after the state removes a child from his/her parent(s) due to neglect or abuse. Upon removal from their family, a child is placed temporarily with a licensed foster family, or with a relative where he/she will stay until a decision is made regarding a permanent plan for the child’s well-being. If the situation that led to removal from the family cannot be corrected in a reasonable amount of time so the child(ren) can be returned to the parent(s), a court will decide to terminate the legal rights of the parents so the child(ren) can be adopted by other parents.
FAC can assist families in adopting children who have been removed from their original families and are waiting for permanent adoptive families. We work in conjunction with the foster care system in both states where we have offices, and have also assisted families to adopt children who are available for adoption in other states. If you are interested in adopting an older or “waiting” child, please ask us for this specific information. It is important to note that “older” usually means at least school age, especially for Caucasian children. There are minority race children of all ages who need adoptive families as well sibling groups who need adoptive families who can maintain the sibling bond. Children with varying degrees of physical/emotional/developmental needs also wait for adoptive families.
All children who have experienced neglect and/or abuse, have been removed from their families and spent time in one or more temporary placements, and are waiting to be adopted, can be considered to have special needs. They need adoptive families who are aware of their needs and who have the knowledge, ability, and patience to meet those needs. FAC will work together with prospective adoptive families to help you determine if adopting a waiting child is right for you and your family, and what characteristics in children you feel best able to handle. Education and preparation is essential to successfully parenting any child, but is particularly vital when adopting a child(ren) with special needs. Training will be an important part of the process of becoming ready to adopt. FAC will assist you with preparation and training as well as assisting with the actual process of identifying a child and navigating the adoption process.
Please contact the FAC office in your state of residence (Michigan or Ohio) for the most current information about how to get started with adopting a waiting child.