There are many foster children in Indiana waiting to become a part of a new family through adoption. The state’s Department of Child Services has formed a partnership with Children’s Bureau, Inc. to form a statewide initiative to help children in foster care find adoptive homes. This statewide initiative to match waiting children with adoptive families is the Indiana Adoption Program.
If you would like to participate in the program and become a prospective adoptive parent for a child in the foster care system, there are two important facts you need to know.
1. There is a multiple-step process
Before the IAP considers you for placement, you must first complete state-required preparation. The goal of the preparation is to become Recommended to Adopt. To accomplish this, you must find a licensed child placement agency and connect with a social worker to guide you through the process. You must also complete a four-part, 16-hour course of Resource/Adoptive Parent Training.
Becoming Recommended grants you access to an online Adoption Connection Portal. Here, you can see summaries not only of children ready for adoption, but also those who are pending termination of parental rights. Another benefit of becoming Recommended is that it earns you an invitation to meet-and-greet events that allow foster children and prospective parents to interact with one another.
2. The process takes time
The preparation usually takes six months to a year to complete, but that is only part of the process. Many variables can affect the amount of time it takes to adopt, and the child’s needs are the driving force behind it. Following preparation, placement involves matching a child with a family, which may include interviewing multiple possible matches for the same child and a transition period.
Once placement takes place, it is typically another six-month wait until finalization when the child officially becomes a member of your family.