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2020: Foster Care and Adoption Frequently Asked Questions

Cost, marital status and more answered

More than 700 children in Virginia can be adopted right now and are looking for loving, safe families. For the fourth year, 10 News is partnering with DePaul Community Resources for 30 Days of Hope, shining a light on adoption and the children who need homes.

The following are frequently asked questions about foster care and adoption.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost for adoption services at DePaul Community Resources because all of the children DePaul works with are in the custody of a Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS).

How can DePaul Community Resources offer adoption services for no cost?

DePaul’s Adoption program is funded by grants from the VDSS and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. These grants are focused on placing children who are in the custody of the VDSS into adoptive homes and providing support services to adoptive families.

Do I have to be rich or have a large home?

No. The kids available for adoption through the VDSS need families who will love them, and provide structure and consistency. We look for families who have a belief in adoption and the ability to commit themselves to the love and care of a child; patience and perseverance; a good sense of humor; love of children; flexibility in dealing with change, stress, and challenges; tolerance and understanding; a willingness to learn; and resourcefulness.

Is there anything in my past that might prevent me from becoming an adoptive parent?

A felony conviction would be a barrier to adoption; however, there are some exceptions. Additionally, having an illness that would shorten your life or prevent you from parenting your child may also be a barrier to adoption. You would need to discuss your specific situation with one of our adoption specialists.

I’m afraid I couldn’t afford special therapies for a child with special needs. Can I get help paying for that?

Most kids adopted through DePaul Community Resources qualify for subsidy — a monthly financial payment that helps adoptive parents pay for special services a child may need. You can ask an adoption specialist for more information on this topic.

What do I need in order to adopt a child?

You need an approved adoption home study. After you complete the home study process, you and an adoption specialist will work together to identify a child or children who are right for your family.

What is involved in an adoption home study?

The home study process helps to prepare you to parent through adoption. Generally, it includes an orientation, training, and meetings with an adoption specialist. Through this process, you’ll work to identify the type of child you feel you can best parent. The home study process includes background checks for a history of serious criminal activity or child abuse, as well as a review of driving records, financial stability, and health status. This process typically takes three to six months, depending on how quickly meetings and trainings are completed. Once a home study is approved, a DePaul caseworker will work to find the best possible match for you and your home. This process is always individualized and depends on a variety of factors.

Will I be required to go through training?

All prospective foster parents are required to complete a pre-service training course. In certain instances, prospective foster parents must also complete adult/child/infant CPR and first aid training. Once foster parents are approved, they must complete additional training each year. This additional training schedule ensures that you will continue to be qualified to meet the special needs of foster children.

After a young person is placed in your home, DePaul provides ongoing training, financial support, and access to 24-hour crisis assistance. There is no cost for the home study, training, or fostering services.

Do I have to be married?

No. You can be single, married, divorced or widowed. You can also be a same-sex couple to foster or adopt.

How long does it take to adopt?

The time it takes to adopt varies. The adoption home study process usually takes three to six months, depending on how quickly meetings and trainings are completed. After you have an approved adoption home study, your adoption specialist will work to match you with a child or children who are waiting for a permanent home. The length of time this takes depends on many factors.

If I’m a foster parent and want to adopt a foster child who is currently in my home, how long does it take to finalize the adoption?

It depends on how long your foster child has been in your home. If your child has been in your home for at least six months, then the adoption will be finalized in a shorter length of time than if your child is newly placed in your home.

Are there any services available after I adopt a child?

Yes, there are services available at DePaul Community Resources and in the community. Through DePaul’s Adoption grants, children and families have access to adoption-competent support services that can be provided until children reach adulthood. Ask one of our adoption specialists for more information.

If you have questions about foster care/adoption, contact DePaul Community Resources at

There are more than 700 children who are ready for foster to adoption in Virginia. They are ready to find a permanent and loving forever family. 10 News is profiling one child who needs a home every day at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. in 30 Days of Hope. The children are all ages and races and were put into foster care due to no fault of their own. 2020 marks the fourth year 10 News is doing this series.

About the Authors:

You can see Jenna weekday mornings at the anchor desk on WSLS 10 Today from 5-7 a.m.