Ask AF: Access to Foster Files

If you're considering foster adoption, make sure you have access to all relevant files before the adoption is finalized.

Q: We’ve been fostering a sibling group, but we can’t decide whether we’re prepared to adopt three children at once without knowing more about what their needs will be. What should we ask about?


A: Most states require parents considering an adoption from the foster system to be granted access to all available medical and social history information in the birth family’s file. Because it is rarely possible to access this file after an adoption, it is important to know the law in your state early on. Also, find out what financial supports, like adoption subsidies and Medicaid, would be available to your family. Your case worker should be able to advise you on these matters. The transition from a foster to an adoptive parent is a stressful journey, and often requires a leap of faith. I know this from personal experience, and I wish you the best!

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