Checklist for those thinking of adopting from U.S. foster care

Woman Writing Are you thinking of adopting a child who is currently in foster care? The National Adoption Information Clearinghouse published a version of this checklist to help raise awareness of some of the issues associated with foster care adoptions. If you answer "no" to many of these questions, you should consider consulting an adoption professional about your decision to pursue a foster care adoption.

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I have discussed with at least one social worker the entire placement history of the child I hope to adopt and believe I have all the information that is available.

____Yes
____No

I have identified several strengths and several potential problems with this adoption.

____Yes
____No

I have discussed with those I consider to be family ways to solve the potential difficulties.

____Yes
____No

I have all the information that is available about this child's birth family and have determined ways to help this child maintain positive connections with his or her roots.

____Yes
____No

I have considered levels of "openness" in adoption and have planned for one that will both meet the needs of this child and work for our family.

____Yes
____No

I have discussed with those I consider family the difference between attachment and commitment. People close to me understand that I am making a lifetime commitment to a child who may later in life have challenges and difficulties as a result of early experiences.

____Yes
____No

This child has a life-book, which I plan to use to help him or her understand the differences between foster care and adoption as well as to help with developmental grieving.

 

____Yes
____No

I have considered the ways this child expressed loss earlier in life and have anticipated ways he or she may grieve at the time of adoption and at other important milestones during life (developmental grieving).

____Yes
____No

I have planned ways to help this child maintain a tie to his or her cultural, racial or ethnic roots.

____Yes
____No

I have planned ways to talk with other children in the family about this adoption, including how to help them understand the differences between foster care and adoption.

____Yes
____No

I have planned for the future financial and medical needs of this child and have thoroughly discussed subsidy with at least two social workers.

____Yes
____No

I have identified people who will support me if I become discouraged.

____Yes
____No

I am pursuing adoption willingly and at this time do not feel coerced by a loved one or the agency.

____Yes
____No

I have talked with at least one family who has adopted through the foster care program.

____Yes
____No

I have considered this decision for several months and believe that this adoption is important for the well-being of the child, my family and myself.

____Yes
____No

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