How do you find Virginia kids for Adoption in 2021?
Adoption in the United States
Simple ideas on how to find a forever family in the foster care system
Deciding to expand your family is the first step in the adoption journey! Currently, there are over 5,500 children in foster care in Virginia. These kiddos are ready for adoption and their forever home. There are about 600 children who have already been placed in their pre-adoptive homes.
Let's discuss the different avenues of adoption services, as there are many in Virginia. They include your Local Department of Social Services (LDSS), a Licensed Child Placing Agency, a Private Adoption Agency, or an adoption website.
Local Department of Social Services and Licensed Child Placing Agencies
Adoption through LDSS agencies or an LCPA can occur if the LDSS obtains custody of the child and the parental rights of the child have been terminated. The LDSS agency consents to the child's adoption, therefore changing their permanency goal.
A permanency goal is a plan for the child in services. These plans include being returned to their biological parents, placed with a biological relative, or becoming eligible for adoption.
The main goal of LDSS is to work with the child's biological family or prior custodian to put them in a position to reunite with their family. This occurs within 12 months of the child's entry into foster care. If the biological parents are still unable to care for the child, then this reunification plan is changed from reunification to adoption.
A child must be in foster care with the pre-adoptive family or foster family for a minimum of 6 months before the adoption process can occur. To be an adoptive parent for children placed through LDSS agencies and LCPAs, parent(s) must be certified/licensed as a foster parent within the guidelines set forth by the Virginia Department of Social Services.
Private Adoption Agencies
Adopting through private agencies tends to be the more expensive option for families. In private adoptions, the biological parent(s) voluntarily place their baby up for adoption, often having the ability to choose the family with whom they will place their child.
Birth parents can find a family on their own through those they know or profile searches or via the assistance of an adoption agency or attorney. Always discuss the adoption costs and a refund if the birth mother changes their mind after the baby is born.
On Family-Match, a family can create a profile and make themselves visible to those within the foster care system. The site can identify families that appear to be a good match for the children placed on the website for adoption while having this information.
The site can determine what makes a family unique and ensures that the family can positively impact a child's future. Family-Match produces connections immediately after new candidates are identified through this online matching system and allows caseworkers to connect directly with families.
AdoptUSKids offers a photo listing of children and youth available for adoption in the United States. There, one can identify a child by connecting them to the listing of children on the Virginia Department of Social Services website. On this site, one can provide a preference to include factors such as gender and age.
Although there are several avenues for adding another member to your family through adoption, there's only one way to know that you are a perfect match for a child: through your heart.