Finding "forever families" for children in foster care.

When reunification of an abused or neglected child with their parents is not possible and parental rights have been terminated, Child and Family Charities adoption program links children who need a home with families wanting to adopt. The program locates families through recruitment, telephone inquiries, and community outreach. The goal of the adoption program is to locate families who can make a “lifetime” commitment to a child and provide a secure and nurturing environment where the child can progress mentally, physically, and socially.

Children and their adoptive families are provided with needed assistance and support through pre and post adoption services. Services include counseling, orientation and education, pre-placement assessment, post-placement supervision, preparation of legal documents, adoption support groups, and referral to community resources. Program staff also assist families and attorneys involved in direct consent and adoptions by providing adoptive home assessments on a fee-for-service basis.

Adoption Services Include:

  • Counseling
  • Orientation and Education
  • Pre-placement Assessment
  • Referral to Community Resources
  • Post-Placement Supervision
  • Preparation of Legal Documents
  • Adoption Support Groups

The Post Adoption/Confidential Intermediary Search Service

The Post Adoption/Confidential Intermediary Search Service assists adult adoptees, birth parents, and adult former siblings in reconnecting with one another. A trained Confidential Intermediary, appointed by the Family Division of Circuit Court in the county that holds the adoption record, will conduct a search for the individual being sought to determine a willingness to engage in contact with the petitioning party. The Confidential Intermediary will report the results of the search to the petitioner and the court. If contact is desired, the Confidential Intermediary will collect the necessary release forms and assist with arrangements to connect the two parties.

Adoption FAQ's

Q: How long does the process take?

A: The adoption process varies from case to case depending on a variety of circumstances; however, you can expect the process to take anywhere from 6-12 months (or longer) after the child is legally free for adoption to finalize the process.

Q: What is the “Adoption process?

A: Whether you become licensed or not, each family must undergo an extensive study which includes background checks, information gathering, medical evaluations, training, obtaining references, etc. Once your study is complete and you are matched with a child, you will begin down the path to finalizing the adoption. The process includes securing subsidy (if available), obtaining consent and filing the legal paperwork.

Q: What is subsidy?

A: Subsidy is a form of support that can be financial through monthly reimbursements or medical through additional insurance. Eligibility for financial or medical subsidy depends on the circumstances of each case. Subsidy supports are often available for the adoption of sibling groups and older youth.

Q: Is there a cost to adopt?

A: When adopting a child through the child welfare system, there are no fees for services such as completing the home study, filing legal forms with the court, etc. Any fees that are required for the process are often reimbursed through the State and/or this agency. Each case is unique so this may not be applicable in all cases.

Q: What is consent?

A: The process of obtaining consent is what the case manager does to obtain permission of the state (who holds the legal custody of the child) to request that the legal custody change to the adoptive parent. Consent must be obtained for the adoption to be approved as the agency can only make a recommendation and not a decision about any child who is a ward of the State.

Q: What is involved in the legal paperwork?

A: Once any subsidies are secured (if applicable) and the consent for adoption has been approved, the case manager will work with the court to file the legal paperwork to name the adoptive parents as the legal family for that child. The court will often set a hearing date within a few weeks of obtaining the legal paperwork so that the adoptive placement can be made formal.

Q: After the court hearing for the adoption, is the child officially adopted?

A: Not necessarily in all cases. The court and/or the family may request a supervision period by the agency for up to 6 additional months to ensure the child and the family have the necessary services and support in place to ensure a successful adoption. The supervision period is required if the child has not been living in your home for a minimum of 6 months prior to the legal paperwork being signed.