Sometimes, foster children can add so much meaning to your life that you want to give them a home and lots of love for the rest of their lives. Adoption seems the most logical approach for families that want to parent their foster child permanently.
While adoption is possible in many foster situations, you should understand that it is not always an option. It usually depends on whether the biological parents are alive with their parental rights intact.
Foster care is temporary
Most children in foster care have parents working to reunite the family. The court may have temporarily removed the kids due to parental substance abuse or other issues that put children at risk.
The first goal of social workers is to help reunify these families. When successful, the kids will return to their biological parents. Although this means the system can work, it leaves foster parents hoping to adopt devastated.
When can you adopt your foster child?
If the biological parents fail to complete their part of the reunification plan, they may lose their parental rights, making the child eligible for adoption. However, that does not mean the foster parent is the first choice.
The child may have other relatives who want to care for them permanently. Adoption preference typically goes to a qualified biological relative. If the child has no eligible or interested relatives, Louisiana caseworkers then look to foster parents to find a permanent home for the child.
You can still adopt
You may have fallen in love with your current foster child, but many more children need a lifelong family. Consider exploring other ways to adopt if you still long to fill a space in your life.