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Every child deserves safety, stability, and a permanent home. Sadly, there are children of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds waiting to be adopted. Are you interested in opening your heart and home to provide those essentials for a child in Louisiana? The first step in adopting a child from foster care is registering for a Foster/Adoptive parent online informational meeting. Are you ready to learn more about the path to adoption? It all begins here.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO?
Register for Online Meeting
Every child needs a family and we believe there is a family for every child. Learn more about the process by registering for an online informational meeting.START HERE
Meet the Children Who Need a Family
Children and youth across Louisiana are waiting and hoping to be accepted into a family. Could one of them be a fit for your family? Click below to meet some of them.MEET THEM
Adopt a Family Member
Children and youth in foster care are sometimes adopted by family members. Do you have questions about the process for adopting a relative?LEARN MORE
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
ADOPTING A CHILD FROM FOSTER CARE
What is Adoption?
Adoption is the legal process through which a new legal family is formed in place of the child's birth family. It is a beautiful, life-changing experience, not only for the child finding a home but also for the family generously opening their hearts to embrace a new member. Adoption is forever.
Who can adopt children from foster care?
Families come from many walks of life. You can be single, married, divorced, or widowed. It doesn't matter if you own or rent your home, as long as it's safe, welcoming, and filled with love. Ideally, adoptive families have:
- 21 years of age or older
- Can be single, married, divorced, or widowed
- Financially able to meet your own family’s needs
- In good physical, emotional, and mental health
- Have enough space in your home for the children
- Able to pass a criminal background check and child protection clearance
Ideally, adoptive families have:
- Experience with children
- A sense of humor
- A good support system
- A flexible lifestyle and expectations
- A willingness to learn
- The ability to make a long-term parenting commitment
- An enjoyment of the challenge of parenting
Who are the children?
Children in foster care range in age from infants to teenagers. They may have an emotional or physical illness, have been neglected, abused, or abandoned, or have experienced a breakdown in the family, or the death of a parent. Many children in foster care are eventually able to reunify with their own families. However, those who cannot safely return home need a permanent alternative plan. The children waiting to be loved and accepted:
- Most have experienced abuse and/or neglect.
- Many have special developmental, medical, educational, and emotional needs as a result of their difficult life experiences.
- Some are part of a sibling group who need to be adopted together.
- Most have experienced significant losses in their lives and are grieving.
- Some will need to maintain a connection with their birth family.
- Some are older teens who long to be part of a family.
- Some live in group homes and will need patience and understanding as they make the transition to life in a family.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
GUIDE TO GETTING STARTED
TAKE STEPS TO BECOME CERTIFIED
The first step in adopting from foster care is becoming certified as a foster caregiver. Louisiana offers dual certification, allowing families to be certified for both fostering and adopting. Some families prefer only to foster, while others are solely interested in adopting. Dual certification ensures they are certified for both options. Here are the certification steps:
- Register for an informational meeting in your region. It's held online and easy to register. Just CLICK HERE.
Get fingerprinted and complete background checks
Participate in Pre-Service Training online, including one in-person class
Submit an application with supporting documents
Work with DCFS to complete your Home Study
GATHER YOUR DOCUMENTS
To complete the application process, you will need to submit the documents listed below:
- Car insurance and registration
- Current driver’s license
- Social Security Card
- Birth certificates of everyone in the household
- Proof of marital status such as:
- marriage certificate
- divorce decree for all former marriages
- death certificate (if applicable)
- Proof of your income (pay stubs, tax forms etc.)
- Pet immunization records
- 5 personal references (including 3 who are not relatives)
- One reference from your employer
- If you have adult children, they will be contacted as a reference, so you will need to provide their contact information.