Give kids, teens, and siblings a home by adopting from foster care

When children and teens in foster care are unable to reunite with their parents, families like yours can give them a loving, permanent home through adoption.

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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 100,000 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 biological families due to neglect or abuse. The goal of foster care is to reunite them with their biological families as soon as it’s safe to do so. But when this isn’t possible, children and teens need a family to call their own.

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.

little girl holds adoptive mother's hand

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 over 75 years, Bethany has guided families through the adoption process, and our experience is one reason why 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 the ages of 8-18. They may be part of a sibling group. Because of childhood trauma, they often have additional physical, emotional, or learning needs.

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Can I adopt a baby from foster care?

When infants are adopted from foster care, they are 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.

Explore Adoption Costs and Financial Aid

From foster to lifelong family

From foster to lifelong family

There’s life after aging out of foster care

After 10 years in foster care and aging out without a family, Brittney refuses to be defined by statistics and instead is following her dreams.

Loving a child will change your life

When considering adoption, prospective parents may be looking (consciously or unconsciously) for a child who will “fit” their family. But waiting children in foster care need families who will make room for them and welcome them as they are.

I was so eager for a family

After waiting seven years to be adopted, Mallory was 14 when she finally found a family of her own. Her story gives a voice to other waiting teens who need a family.

Ready to take the next step?

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When you’re ready to take the next step in your journey, we’ll connect you with a foster care adoption specialist.

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Discover the kids

Meet children who are waiting for forever homes in your state.

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Attend a Meeting

Find a location to join us for a free, no-commitment informational meeting in your area to explore if foster care adoption is right for you.

Attend a Foster Care Meeting