Being a Foster Parent
According to most recent data, there are currently more than 500,000 children in the United States who are somewhere in the foster care system. The unfortunate reality is that there simply are not enough families for all of them. While some find success and happiness in foster homes, the majority spend their youth in and out of different homes and authorities say that up to 60% will never leave the foster care system before they become adults, and approximately one in four who “age out” of the foster care system will experience some level of homelessness as an adult.
What Are the Requirements for Being a Foster Parent?
The qualifications can vary from agency to agency and from state to state, but most agencies require:
- That you be at least 21 years of age. Many agencies will allow foster parenting by older individuals, including people in their 50s and 60s.
- You must be healthy enough to care for a child, and there may be additional health requirements if the child is younger and needs more attention.
- You must have adequate space in your home, including a bedroom for the child. There is no requirement that the child have his or her own bedroom, but agencies typically discourage having a child share a room with more than one other child, unless the room is sizeable.
- You must be able to financially provide for the child, as well as your existing family
- Your spouse (if you are married) must also want to be a foster parent
- Agencies typically have an application process and require a home study
Agencies generally do not require that a foster parent be married or be of the same ethnic, religious or racial background as the child. A foster parent can own his or her home or may rent, and there’s no requirement that you currently have children or have been a parent in the past.
Contact Adoption Attorneys Cofsky & Zeidman, LLC
At the law office of Cofsky & Zeidman, LLC, our lawyers bring more than 25 years of experience to every matter we handle. Attorney Donald C. Cofsky has personally handled more than 1,500 adoption proceedings since joining the bar in 1974. We understand the challenges you face, and can help you identify all your options so that you can make good decisions that are in your best long-term interests.