FOSTER CARE & ADOPTION E-NEWS
November 22nd National Adoption Day Celebrated in Los Angeles!
For the 14th consecutive year, Los Angeles will celebrate National Adoption Day at the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court with the finalization of over 100 foster children’s adoptions. National Adoption Day in Los Angeles will be celebrated on Friday, November 22, with a press conference led by Presiding Judge Michael Nash, followed by adoptions hearings from 1:30 pm through 4:00 pm. The courthouse will be decorated festively with balloons, and there will be refreshments, arts and crafts, and entertainment for the children and families.
National Adoption Day in Los Angeles is a collaborative effort of the Los Angeles Juvenile Court, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, Alliance for Children’s Rights, Public Counsel Law Center, and Children’s Action Network, as well as dozens of volunteer pro bono attorneys coming together to help finalize these forever families. Congratulations to the children and their families as well as the social workers and staff who have made this day possible!
Misconceptions About Foster Care & Adoption
Every day we wonder how many individuals and families do not apply to foster or adopt children due to the misconceptions about what it takes to help a child in need. Children’s Bureau families need to have the willingness, ability and resources to protect and nurture children, meet developmental needs and address delays, support relationships with the child’s birth families, connect the child to safe and nurturing relationships intended to last a lifetime and be willing and able to work as a member of a professional team. Beyond these minimum requirements, there are specifics that are many times misconstrued.
For instance, individuals do not have to be married to foster or adopt a child. They do not have to own their own home. There is no age limit except for a minimum of 21 years of age – a person needs to have the ability to care for a child of the age for which they show interest. A working parent needs to have the backup of either family members or a friend who can transport the child in the event that they cannot. There are monitored visits with birth parents, visits to the doctor and dentist and after school activities including sports or music lessons for older children. The working parent must be willing and able to pay for childcare out of the stipend for the child the hours he/she is not available. It is important to research child care prior to having a child in the home, so that there is no surprise with the cost of daycare.
Individuals do not have to own their home. They can live in a house, condo or an apartment. They can share a home, if the other person is willing to be fingerprinted and has no criminal history. There needs to be space for a child. A baby must have the ability to move into a room when he/she turns 2 but can share the parent’s room until then. Children are able to share rooms.
Adoption is not expensive. Both foster care and adoption offer stipends to help with the care of the child. The minimum monthly stipend for foster care/adoption is $846 (recently increased) for a child and goes higher with the age of the child. The stipend continues until the child returns to their family, goes to an adoptive home if the family is not adopting, or is adopted by the foster family. Once adopted, the foster family currently receives a stipend of about $400 from the federal government until the child turns 18, and in some cases 21. There is a federal tax deduction for adoption that you may ask your accountant about to determine your eligibility. The process of applying and becoming a foster/adoptive parent costs around $400 and includes the cost of fingerprint clearances, DMV clearances, CPR/1st Aid and miscellaneous costs. These are considered non-recurring expenses that can be submitted to the county where you adopt for reimbursement up to $400.
It does not take a long time to become a foster or foster/adoptive parent. In most cases, if documents are completed in a timely manner, it takes 3-4 months to become a Certified Foster Adoptive Parent. The stipend begins when a child arrives at your home. We have a great need for families!! The agency is holding a monthly information meeting for those interested in learning more on Saturday, November 2nd from 10:00 a.m. – Noon at Children’s Bureau Family Center, 1910 Magnolia Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90007. (661) 272-9996 www.www.all4kids.org.
Foster Care & Adoption Information Meetings on Children’s Bureau’s Facebook
Not sure about when the next information meeting is for potential foster and adoptive families? Interested in attending a fundraiser for Children’s Bureau? Become a fan of Children’s Bureau’s Facebook page or follow us on Twitter to get current information and news. We also encourage you to repost or retweet news with your family and friends. To connect with us, click on the Facebook and Twitter icons located in the right column of this newsletter.
Watch this video of families we helped to create. Their stories are different but each one is filled with an unconditional love for a child that changed their lives forever.
Just a reminder that Children’s Bureau offers a $500 referral fee for each family our certified families refer. $250 is paid at the time of certification and a second $250 is paid at the time a child arrives at the home of the new family! This is our way of thanking you and encouraging you to continue to recruit families who have the ability, willingness and resources to protect and nurture the needs of children. We have pride in our families and look forward to having you join us.
Also, many thanks to those of you who have referred family, friends, co-workers, church congregations, etc. to learn about our program. Your effort is greatly appreciated and has a true impact on the lives of children in need. Keep those referrals coming as we continue to have children in need of a safe and nurturing family.
Please forward this email to someone whom you think would be interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent!
Children need families today… A referral you make could save a life and impact generations to come.