Adoption changes the world for youth in foster care
Imagine growing up without the stability of a permanent family. In the U.S., more than 122,000 children and teens in foster care are waiting to be adopted. And every year, more than 20,000 youth age out of foster care without the safety and security of a family.
Children enter foster care after being removed from their families due to neglect or abuse. Foster care is meant to be temporary—our primary goal is reuniting a child with their family as soon as it’s safe to do so. But when this isn’t possible, children and teens need a family that will always be there for them.
Young adults who leave foster care without a family’s support face a difficult future. Many are instantly left homeless. And without a family’s care and guidance, they are more likely to experience substance use, mental health disorders, and ongoing instability.
You can help break this cycle by giving children the security of a stable, nurturing family.
You don’t have to be perfect to adopt from foster care
The most important quality you need to be an adoptive parent is a deep commitment to children who have been through life-changing trauma and loss.
Adopting a child from foster care is all about opening your heart and home to a child who needs a family. Great adoptive families are flexible, patient, and able to go with the flow. They are committed to their child’s well-being, no matter what.
Will there be challenges along the way? Of course. But your team of Bethany experts will provide training, resources, and support to answer your questions and help you navigate the ups and downs. For 80 years, Bethany has guided families through the adoption process. Our experience is one reason we’re one of the largest adoption agencies in the U.S.
Frequently asked questions about adopting from foster care
What’s the typical age and background of children in foster care waiting to be adopted?
Children waiting to be adopted from foster care are generally between ages 8-18. They may be part of a sibling group. Because of childhood trauma, they often have additional physical, emotional, or learning needs.
Can I adopt a baby from foster care?
When infants are adopted from foster care, they're almost always adopted by relatives or families who were already serving as their foster family. The overwhelming majority of children waiting to be adopted from foster care are school-age children.
It’s natural to have questions about adopting an older child. Our staff would love to talk with you about your questions, concerns, and expectations.
Can I adopt more than one child?
Yes! Many waiting children want nothing more than to be adopted together with their siblings. This is a great need and opportunity.
What relationship will I have with my child’s biological family?
Openness is possible and encouraged to keep your child connected with their biological family. This could include grandparents, extended family members, and the child’s siblings. Depending on the child’s history, openness will look different from family to family. Your adoption specialist can help you take the first steps to maintain important relationships in your child’s life.
Do I need to be licensed as a foster parent before I adopt from foster care?
Most adoptive parents are licensed foster parents as well. Having a license as a foster parent does not mean your family has to foster before you can adopt. But being a licensed foster parent typically eases the child’s transition into your home during the visitation phase of the adoption process.
Making foster care adoption affordable
The amount of financial assistance provided to families varies from state to state. Some states fully cover the costs of foster care adoption. When adopting children with special needs from the child welfare system, you may qualify for the Federal Adoption Tax Credit. We’ll help you understand the financial assistance options in your state.
It’s normal to have concerns about the potential cost of adopting a child. While actual costs differ by state, foster care adoption expenses are often minimal.