AFS is committed to helping children within the foster care system find permanent homes. AFS has two programs for adopting foster children and youth.
The Fost-Adopt program is an opportunity for individuals and families with the specific intention of adopting a foster child or youth. In the Fost-Adopt program, foster children are placed with Fost-Adopt parents before the child’s biological parent’s parental rights have been terminated. The Fost-Adopt parents commit to adopt the child when the child is legally free to be adopted. The Fost-Adopt prospective parents are dually licensed as foster and adoptive parents.
The Adoption Conversion Program provides the opportunity for existing foster families to adopt their foster child. AFS will help families interested in adopting their foster children through the entire legal adoptions process at no expense to the family, including helping the family access ongoing special aid to adoption funds available from public sources.
There are significant differences between foster care and adoption. With adoption, the family works to incorporate the child as a permanent member of their family. Compared to foster care, adoption brings the following changes for the parents
- Adopted children are no longer a part of the foster care system.
- The child’s legal and financial status is no different than if the child would have been born into the family.
- Adoptive parents are not subject to the legal restrictions and need for permissions that foster parents are subject to.
- Adopted children benefit from the security of having this life-long permanent connection.