Tips for foster child adoption

Going from a foster to an adoptive parent without understanding the general process guidelines and how to help the child transition can be hard.

Going through a foster child adoption in Texas may present unique challenges for the children and for the prospective families. According to Together We Rise, within a year of reaching the age of 18, one out of three foster children will end up living on the street. Adopting from the foster program may increase a child's likelihood of attending college and staying out of jail.

Children are usually in foster care because their parents are fighting an illness, living on the streets, or struggling with addiction after a life changing event, such as a divorce. Because the child is not necessarily orphaned, the process may take longer than other forms of adoption.

Understand the general guidelines

Each state has different laws regarding foster adoption, but there are a few common guidelines the states may share according to Adoptive Families Magazine. Oftentimes, the number one priority is that the adoptive families will be able to provide a stable, supportive home for the child or children in question. This means the family does not have to necessarily fit into a specific category.

For example, being wealthy is not a mandatory characteristic of adoptive families. The prospective parents simply have to show that they will be able to give the child or children a permanent home. In most states, a single, adoptive parent is still eligible to make a child a legal part of his or her family.

Incorporate child's past into the future

Part of completing a foster child adoption is making the child feel like a part of the family. Parent.com suggests incorporating part of the child's past experiences into his or her new life. Did the child's family have a special tradition around his or her birthday? If so, it may be a good idea for the adoptive parents to continue the tradition. When parents honor these positive memories, it may lead to the child feeling at home in the new family sooner.

Celebrate the change

When a child goes from a foster child to an adopted child, it may seem like nothing changes. The parents are still supposed to provide food, clothing and shelter just as they did while they fostered the child. However, celebrating the change with a party, ceremony or announcement may help make the child feel like a real part of the family. Without a celebration of some sort, the child may fail to understand the change in his or her status.

While the day-to-day life may not change, this is a big change for both the child and the parents. After an adoption is complete, the parents have complete control over where their child goes to school, what medical treatments their child will receive, what religious practices their child will follow and financial support of their child. Commemorating this milestone is good for the adopted child, any other children, the adoptive parents and extended family.

Going through a foster child adoption in the Dallas area can be challenging. Prospective parents may benefit from working with a knowledgeable attorney as they work towards adopting their foster child.