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What Foster to Adopt Looks like in Virginia


When Americans think of adoption, they usually picture international adoptions or infant adoptions here in the US. But a third, less-known, option is adoption through the our foster care system.


Adoption from the foster care system is incredibly common, resulting in an average of 750 adoptions each year.


Why Do People Adopt from Foster Care?

People choose a foster-to-adopt option for various reasons. Some common motives for adoption from foster care include:

  • Adoption from foster care is usually more cost-effective than international or private adoption.

  • Foster-to-adoption helps support the local community.

  • Foster agencies typically provide training and staff support to foster-to-adopt parents, services usually lacking in the private/international adoption sphere.

How Does It work in Virginia?

For someone to adopt from the Virginia foster care system*:

  • Reach out to either a local treatment foster care agency or your local department of social services.

  • Complete required any parenting classes.

  • In Virginia, PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information Development and Education) is the required course.

  • File an application to adopt through foster care.

  • Complete a home study

  • Wait for a foster care placement.

  • Once a match is found and child is placed with you, you’ll be reviewed once more to make sure you meet Virginia’s adoption finalization requirements. After you’ve done so, a judge will grant permanent legal custody.

*Adapted from AmericanAdoptions - Other situations and special circumstances can occur.

How Long Does it Take?

The wait for a placement will depend on your location and the demographic of the child or adolescent you are willing to foster and then adopt. It can be as soon as a few weeks, or it could be closer to 6 months. Individuals who are very specific preferences usually have to wait the longest amount of time.

How Do I Find Out More?

Adoption is an exciting, life-changing decision! It’s important that you have all the information you need to prepare you before moving forward. Connect with us today to sit down with an Embrace teammate and talk more about whether or not fostering-to-adopt is the right choice for you.