Foster care is historically characterized by the temporary care of children due to an extenuating circumstance with their parent or guardian. However, some children in foster care are there long-term and are simply awaiting an adoptive family. There are also children in temporary care whose circumstances may change while in care, putting them onto the path to adoption. It is absolutely possible to adopt from foster care, but it’s important to note that the goal of foster care is reunification, if possible. Unfortunately, some of these children will spend their entire childhood in care because there are simply not enough prospective parents to step up and adopt older children.

Many hopeful parents are turning to foster care to adopt. This is a great option for quite a few reasons, the most important being that many children have been in the system for a while and are eligible for adoption. There are so many children who have been waiting such a long time for families! It is also free to adopt from foster care in most states. While it is possible to adopt an infant from foster care, it’s not as common, and the wait can be extensive. As the goal is always reunification with the child’s family, if they have not already been deemed eligible for adoption, it’s common that a family member, even if not the parents, will step up for the child.

Adopting from foster is a great option for those who have limited funds and are open to the possibility of adopting an older child. Those hoping to adopt an infant should not be discouraged from adopting from foster care but should remain aware of the statistics and risks. It is also extremely important to encourage the reunification of children in foster care with their families. It’s vital that this always remain the goal while leaving the door open for children who don’t have the option of reunification to be granted the chance to gain a forever family.

Learn about a real family’s experience with foster care adoption here.