We know that children succeed when they are with caring adults who can help guide them as they grow. The commonwealth has over 9,800 children living with foster families or in group homes as a result of abuse, neglect, or dependency. The goal in Kentucky is to reunify children in foster care with their parents, and, when that cannot happen safely, children become eligible for adoption from foster care.
November is National Adoption Month, and while all adoption-related issues are important, the particular focus of this month is the adoption of children currently in foster care.
In Kentucky, you can foster-to-adopt, in which you become a foster parent with the potential to adopt the child if they become eligible for adoption. Although most Kentucky children in foster care don’t ever become eligible for adoption, priority is given to their foster parents after their biological family members, if they do become eligible. Currently, 2,683 of the 9,800 children in out-of-home care have the goal of adoption. These children are of all different races, ethnic groups, and genders. Many have siblings that they wish to remain with.
“This month, and every month, we are thankful for the gift of adoption. There are too many children waiting for their forever family, and I know there are Kentucky families out there willing to open their homes and their hearts to children in foster care. Whether you’re interested in fostering or adopting, these children deserve all of the love and care your family can provide. We understand this firsthand as adoptive parents, and we’re committed to sharing the message with communities across Kentucky.”
– Chris and Alicia Johnson, Special Advisors to the Bevin Administration and parents to ten children
When you adopt from foster care you’re providing a child who may have experienced abuse or neglect the chance to have stability in a loving home. Although fostering to adopt may take a longer commitment before the adoption is final, it typically has less upfront costs than adopting from a private agency or internationally. Bringing a child into your home who may have had an unstable childhood can be challenging, but knowing there is access to resources can make the transition a lot smoother.
Here are a few resources available in Kentucky:
- The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) provides an array of services and supports for children in foster care and their foster parents.
- Foster families receive childcare for children in their care, whether the placement is temporary or the child is in the process of being adopted.
- All children in foster care receive medical coverage through the state, including counseling services, as well as a variety of financial supports that can be found here.
- Find a list of other supports and resources from CHFS here.
- CHFS has also created a tool where foster parents can make an inquiry online and create an account to track the progress through the foster home approval process.
- Partners in the Kosair Charities® Face It® Movement, including Sunrise Children’s Services and St. Joseph’s Children’s Home, offer services for people interested in fostering to adopt. And like most parents, adoptive parents need support, too. These organizations, among others across the state, offer foster families training, assistance with paperwork, explanations of the regulations, and family and individual support groups.
Every child deserves a safe home and loving family, and the decision to adopt a child is life-changing for both the parents and the child. To learn more about fostering to adopt in Kentucky, visit the CHFS KY FACES website.