In South Carolina, there are nearly 3,000 children without parents. For our foster children, a temporary home can provide stability. It may also lead to a Greenville foster parent considering adoption for a child they have cared for.
Going from fostering a child to adoption in Greenville, South Carolina are two different things. You may find that you want to go from fostering children to adopting as you form a unique bond with one particular foster child in your care. It is certainly a possibility and it could make the process easier on you, but adopting your foster child does not come without its challenges and complex processes. If you feel that this is the next step you should take in your life, then a dedicated Greenville adoption lawyer can help with the process.
Let us take a look at what one should prepare for should you wish to make a move from fostering to adopting a child.
Fostering a Child in Greenville, South Carolina
In our state, there are thousands of foster children who await homes, be it temporary or permanent. Many of these minors come from abusive or neglectful environments, and usually, the children enter into foster care while their domestic situation undergoes investigation.
At times, the investigation may reveal that the biological parents or the home are unfit for children, which can result in a child remaining in foster care until a permanent home becomes available. It is possible for one to be a foster parent and eventually become a permanent home and source of great stability and assurance for a child.
How Does Fostering Differ from Adoption in Greenville, South Carolina?
It is important to remember that the goal of our state is to reunite foster children with their biological parents. When one fosters a child, you provide basic care and a roof over the child’s head. The state covers some of the fostering-associate costs, pays the foster parents a clothing allowance for the child, and provides Medicaid for the foster child. If any legal issues happen to arise with the child, the state takes care of it instead of the foster parents, so there are no legal fees that the foster parents must pay.
On the contrary, when one opts to adopt, you take on all responsibility for the child and all the financial details that may entail.
How Can Fostering a Child Lead to Adoption?
The state actively updates lists of children that are under the government’s care and searching for a permanent home. One may foster a child and then, upon forming a bond with the child, apply to adopt the child. You may choose to foster children on a temporary basis, but then find that you form a special bond with a particular child.
When that happens, one must go through the usual processes of adoption in Greenville, South Carolina, and having an adoption lawyer on your side can help with the process.
Myths and Facts You Need to Know About Greenville Adoption
The entire adoption process is plagued with fears and misconceptions, which is why we would like to address a few myths and truths about fostering and adopting children in South Carolina.
Myth: The children have often been removed from their family home because they were a problem.
Children in foster care who are available to be adopted are often in that situation because their parents have had their parental rights terminated by the courts or they were voluntarily placed for adoption. These children have not been able to find a permanent home with family members and require a loving, supportive, and permanent place to call home.
Myth: Foster children have behavior problems.
While some children do indeed have an emotional protective wall around them or have made poor decisions, so do other children. Those in foster care have gone through traumatic experiences and with trauma comes instability and insecurity. These feelings may result in adverse behaviors but are often issues that improve as the child builds a trusting attachment to the parent.
Myth: Adoption can cost a great deal of money.
Adopting a child can cost a significant amount of money. But, doing so via the foster care system is almost free. The state pays for the home-study, the background checks, the home visits, and even the post-placement visits. You may incur nominal fees for medical checks or any equipment required to pass a home visit, but the fees are deductible via the adoption tax credit.
Myth: Not much is done to find homes for foster children that could be adopted.
The Department of Social Services uses a variety of ways to highlight children who require permanent families, including interviewing children, taking photographs, and making use of social media.
Myth: As long as children have a home, they do not have to undergo formal adoption in Greenville, South Carolina.
Children who do grow up in foster care tend to be at greater risk of developing mental health problems, dropping out of school, failing to find employment, and are at risk of homelessness. A permanent home is the first important to step to a child’s healthier future.
An Adoption Lawyer in Greenville, S.C. Can Assist with the Legal Process
Even if one starts out as a foster parent, you can still run into some issues if you decide to adopt a child. The entire process could get complicated, which is why you need to speak to a dedicated child adoption attorney at the Elliott Frazier Law Firm. Even if the process does go smoothly, it is a good idea to have a lawyer who can guide you through the final phases of the adoption process.
Keep in mind that this is, indeed, a legal process, which is why we strongly recommend legal representation. If you wish to transition from a foster parent to an adoptive parent, book a consultation with us to talk about your legal rights and responsibilities and what steps to take to ensure your foster child gets the permanent home they deserve.
Angela Elliot Frazier is a Family Law Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. She graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years now. Angela Frazier believes in helping you through one of the most stressful times of your life. Learn more about her experience by clicking here.