We are always here to answer your questions!
How long is a home study valid?
How long a home study is valid depends on the state where you live. In Georgia, a home study is valid for one year. At CHRIS Adoptions & Foster Care we update all of our client's home studies annually for a minimal fee of $250.00. This fee includes all of your home visits, updated paperwork, and continued service through CHRIS Adoptions & Foster Care.
How long will the process take?
The process can take any amount of time! While this isn't the answer most people want to hear, the timeline from the orientation to the finalization can take anywhere from a year to three years. We can give families a general idea of a timeline for the entire process, but it is much easier to break down the length of time for completion of the different phases of getting to finalization. The timeline for getting your home study approved, generally takes about three months for a family that is diligently completing paperwork and all medical checks and background checks. Once the home study is approved and we move into the matching phase of the process we see a much greater variety in length of time it takes before a family is placed with a child. The time it takes a family to be matched and placed with a child depends on the availability and characteristics of a child that the family specified they feel capable of parenting. The length of time for matching a child to a family is often dependent on how many children a family is willing to foster or adopt, the age of the children, and the severity of the child's behavioral and mental health needs. Once a child is placed in the family home, they will have to remain in the home for a total of six months before finalizing their adoption. This is a state requirement and not something that can be altered. Most families use the entirety of the six months to ensure they have everything they need from the child's records and all of the child's medical and therapy appointments set up for continuing care before the finalization of the adoption. We advise families that they should not finalize their adoption until they feel fully confident they are no longer in need of services from DFCS or CHRIS 180 and that they can parent competently on their own. All in all many families spend on average 18-22 months from the time they attend orientation to the time they finalize their adoption.
What if I experienced abuse as a child? Does this mean I will not be considered to adopt a child from foster care?
During the home study process we do ask a lot of questions about your upbringing and your family support network. We understand that not everyone has a “perfect” childhood and may have experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect while growing up. None of this precludes you from becoming an adoptive parent.
We have seen parents who come from situations of abuse be able to relate and connect with a child from foster care who may have experienced similar situations. We care for our families and want to ensure that our adoptive parents are taking care of themselves and addressing any instances of trauma that they may have experienced in their lives.
CHRIS Adoptions & Foster Care relies on a trauma-informed care model in which we work with our families to address any concerns they may have throughout the adoption process. We can also refer our families to counseling services within our CHRIS 180 Counseling Centers, if any of our adoptive family members are experiencing trauma related stressors throughout the adoption process.
Can I adopt a child after having a CPS case?
A case with Child Protective Services (CPS) will be declared either "substantiated" or "unsubstantiated" following an investigation. A substantiated case is one where the investigation yields evidence that abuse or neglect has occurred.
It is unlikely that you will be allowed to adopt if you have a substantiated or unresolved case of abuse and/or neglect involving CPS. If you have an unsubstantiated case you may be able to adopt through CHRIS Adoptions & Foster Care Services.
What is the significance of our trauma assessments?
At CHRIS 180 we understand that many individuals have experienced some form of loss in their lives and through our home study approval process we complete trauma assessments with all of our prospective caregivers. The trauma assessment allows us to work with the parents on their own triggers and traumas as we identify and address strengths and stumbling blocks. We know that the children coming from the foster care system have experienced trauma regarding the loss of their family, on top of any additional abuse or neglect they may have endured. By working with prospective parents to identify their own traumas we are ensuring that the right fit for a child can be placed in their home.