Frequently asked Questions
How Long Does It Take?
Generally, it takes six to nine months before a child is placed in your home, especially if you are willing to parent children who may have special needs. These children are usually school aged or have brothers and sisters, while some may even have emotional or health problems. Another Choice was developed in response to the children who wait the longest for a family. Therefore, these families are given our highest priority.
For families who want to adopt preschoolers, it can take up to a year or longer before a single young child is identified for you.
How Much Does It Cost?
Another Choice does not charge any fees to families who adopt children from the foster care system. However, there may be other expenses charged in connection to any adoption. Though the agency does not charge any fees, we do expect families to give back to the organization by donating their time, skills, and experience to help other families.
What Are the Requirements?
We want each child and family to experience a successful adoption. Therefore, we make every resource available to assist families in understanding the needs of children who are waiting and understanding the impact of adoption or foster care on their family. The basic requirements for all prospective families are as follows:
Must be over 21 years of age
Married, single, widowed or divorced
Attend a parent preparation class which is 30 hours
Consent to fingerprinting
Consent to background and criminal record check
Physical examination completed and TB skin test or chest x ray
Provide verification of income
Provide 5 references (who have known you at least three years)
Have fire inspection of your home
Complete an application
How Will I Learn About the Children?
During the parent preparation classes, information about waiting children will be shared with you. You will get to see pictures and read adoption summary or child profiles about children who are in need of a family. We will also encourage you to visit the NC Kids website : www.adoptnckids.org to learn more about waiting children. Exit out of site to return to our site.
After I Complete Classes, What is the Next Step?
You will be encouraged to turn in your homework assignments. An Adoption Specialist from our agency is assigned to work with you. This worker will arrange to make several home visits and at least one office visit in order to complete the Pre-Placement Assessment. The Adoption Specialist is your personal guide to assist you in understanding the process, as well as linking you to other community services to meet your needs.
Once My Assessment is Completed, What Happens?
This is perhaps the most difficult time for families. It is very much like being in labor. Families often become anxious and want to rush the process. What we generally tell families at this point is "Everything is in God’s hand." This may sound strange, but experience has taught us that “something higher than ourselves” is making the placements. We have no idea when the right child or children will come along for a family, but when it happens- it seems to be right for all parties. To assist families during this period, we invite them to our monthly While U Wait gatherings. Profiles, pictures and information are shared about children, while families have the opportunity to connect to other prospective families.
When Do We Get To Visit A Child?
Our agency is committed to ensuring that you have all the background, medical or treatment materials that we have available on a child prior to your visits. Once you indicate that you fully understand and are prepared for the placement, then the fun begins. We work in cooperation with the child’s social worker to arrange a visit. This visit may take place at an office, restaurant, or perhaps at the foster parent’s home. It just depends on everyone’s comfort level. Your first visit is usually short, and another visit is scheduled as soon as possible. The visits will then stretch to overnight, and then to the weekend. Finally, a placement date is set when we believe that everyone is as prepared as possible.
What Happens to the Biological Parents?
Many prospective parents have heard horror stories of biological parents coming back to take their children. The court terminates the rights of biological parents, thereby allowing you to become the legal parent for the child permanently. These parents no longer have any legal rights to the children.
Do You Handle Private Adoptions?
We do a limited number of private adoptions per year. Fees are charged to families according to the state’s guidelines. Generally, families who want this type of adoption have located birth parents who have decided to make an adoption plan for their unborn baby. Our agency will complete your family assessment, prepare reports to the court and supervise the placement until the Decree is issued for a nominal fee.
What Kinds of Funds Are Available if I Adopt?
Adoption Assistance is generally available to families who adopt a child from the foster care system. These funds are generally available until the child reaches the age of 18 years old and as long as the child remains in your home or you are legally responsible for their care. Tax credits may be available to families who adopt children with special needs. Consult the IRS or the person who prepares your tax return for more information.
What About Medicaid?
The majority of the children adopted from the foster care system will be eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid generally will pay for most medical expenses; however, families are encouraged to add the child to their own insurance plans as well.
What Happens When It Doesn’t Work?
Unfortunately, some adoptions simply do not work out for a number of reasons. Sometimes, the children’s needs become greater than the family can meet. Sometimes, it’s because of significant changes in the family such as a loss of job, income, or health changes. In some cases, the child and family are unable to make it work. When this happens, it is often devastating for both the child and the family. Our goal is to assist all parties to ease the transition, especially for the child.
Do You Only Serve Black Children?
No, we serve all children and families. However, finding families to adopt African American children is our priority. The children who wait the longest in the foster care system are African American. These children generally wait three to four years longer than any other child for a permanent home. Therefore, African American children are our priority- but recruiting families for waiting children is our MISSION. (This is the best kept secret. The first children we placed into a permanent home were three Caucasian brothers and their sister in 1995)
What Other Services Are Available for Families?
We are glad you asked this question. It is the goal of Another Choice to work in partnership with the families: before, during, and after placement, in order to ensure a successful adoption. That is the primary reason that we strive to put in place a wide range of services to families and children.