Foster & Adoption Certification Requirements
There are several requirements for adults who want to become foster or adoptive parents. These requirements may vary slightly by agency, but most require some variation of the following:
- Interested families must attend an informational meeting
- Applicants must be at least 21 years old
- Parents can be married or single
- Parents should be financially stable and have an income (separate from any financial support offered to foster or adoptive parents for the child's needs) sufficient to meet their family's needs
- Applicants must be able to provide a safe, secure, and healthy home for a child
- Parents must be in good physical and mental health
- The home must meet requirements for housing safety and space
- All adults in the home must successfully complete training requirements, which include; an informational meeting, 15 hours of preparation training and web based trainings. In addition to the training, all adults will complete paperwork to help them make an informed decision about whether fostering and adopting is appropriate for their family.
The training, evaluation and approval process normally takes six to nine months. The amount of time until a family receives a child depends on how flexible the family is about the type of child they wish to parent. Foster parents may receive a child shortly after approval. Adoptive placements generally take longer because the move to an adoptive home must be planned and gradual so that both the child and the family have time to adjust.