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    Adoptive Parenting

    Adrian McLemore
    View Video Message from Adrian McLemore

    What is Adoption?
    Adoption is the method by which adults become legal parents of children not born to them.

    Who are the children?
    Children available for adoption come into legal permanent custody of Children Services when a court determines that their birth parents cannot care for the child's needs and will never be able to. These children may have been abused, neglected or abandoned or have special needs.

    Children needing families are:

    • African-American children of all ages
    • White children 6 years of age or older
    • Children with severe emotional or learning problems
    • Children who are a part of a large sibling group (3 or more children)

    Who Can Adopt?
    Adopting parents can be married or single; homeowners or non-homeowners; with or without children; or parents who work outside the home. You need to be over the age of 21, and if you are married, you need to have been married for at least one year.

    Adopting parents are all kinds of people who have one thing in common. They are adults who will give love and security to a child who needs a family.

    Do I Need to Live in Montgomery County?

    MCDJFS-CSD will complete a home study on any qualifying Montgomery County resident who is interested in becoming licensed to foster and/or adopt children. It is not required that people live in Montgomery County to foster and/or adopt from our agency; however, decisions on home assessments for out-of-county residents will be made on a case-by-case basis after review and approval by the Adoption and Foster Care Resources Manager.

    What is the Process?
    Families contact Children Services when they decide they want to share their lives with a child. We ask families to discover the strengths, abilities, and skills they possess and are willing to share with a child who needs a home. The family's role is to become increasingly self-aware as they determine what kind of child would best fit into their lives. A team of Adoption Specialists will match the family with a child based upon the information gathered during a home study.

    An adoptive family will know a great deal about the child before they ever meet; they also will know that they have chosen this child because they have strengths and resources to offer.

    The Children Services' Adoption Unit will be involved with the families during and after the adoption process to help with any areas of concern that arise. We do this in several ways:

    1. We provide training to educate and prepare you for the adoption experience.
    2. We can arrange meetings with other families who have adopted special needs children.
    3. We can be available to talk with you on an individual basis.
    4. We can refer you to other community resources. 
    5. We offer post-legal Adoption Services.

    Foster/Adoption Approval
    Families interested in both foster care and adoption may choose the option of a dual assessment process. Families will then be qualified to accept both foster care and adoptive placements. If you would like dual approval, notify the social worker assigned to conduct your assessment.

    How Long Does It Take?
    The adoption home study takes approximately 10 - 12 weeks. The usual length of time for the entire adoption process takes approximately 6 months to one year.

    How Much Does It Cost?
    Children Services imposes no fees for adoption services, however, legal and court fees must be paid. The average cost of these fees is around $1,100.00. Assistance may be available to help with legal fees when necessary.

    Availability
    The availability of healthy Caucasian infants and pre-schoolers for adoption is rare across the country and Montgomery County is no different. 

    For More Information
    Call Montgomery County Children Services at (937) 224-KIDS(5437) to talk to an Adoption Specialist. We'll be glad to answer any questions, send you more information and/or invite you to the next information meeting for prospective adoptive parents.