The adoption of a child by his or her foster parent. In many cases, the children have been living with the foster parents for years, and the foster parents are also the PSYCHOLOGICAL PARENTS.
It is probable this percentage will continue to increase, based on an attitude by social work professionals that moving a child is usually not in the best interest of a child.
In the recent past, social workers have begun attempting to place children with foster parents who would probably be suitable adoptive parents in the event that reunification efforts with the birth family fail.
Studies have also revealed that adoption disruptions are less likely in foster parent adoptions than in "new" parent adoptions. As a result, foster parents are more frequently considered as possible adoptive parent candidates than in past years.
Some states mandate foster parent consideration should the child become free for adoption; for example, according to the "Matrix of Adoption Laws" provided by the NATIONAL ADOPTION INFORMATION CLEARINGHOUSE, a licensed foster parent in South Dakota who has fostered a child for two or more years has first priority for adopting the child.
The state of Missouri gives foster parents who have fostered for more than 18 months first preference if the child becomes available for adoption. New Jersey gives foster parents first priority of they've been foster parents to the child for two or more years, and Tennessee gives foster parents priority to adopt if they've fostered the child for at least one year.
In Alaska, foster parents who have fostered a child for more than one year and who adopt the child are entitled by statute to an adoption subsidy. (See also FOSTER CARE; FOSTER PARENTS; SPECIAL NEEDS.)
Find more information on foster parent adoption
©2000 by Christine Adamec and William Pierce, Ph.D. Reprinted from The Encyclopedia of Adoption, 2nd Edition (2nd Edition) with permission of Facts On File, Inc.
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