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Adopting through the foster care system: Points to ponder

If you know you want to adopt a child, but you are unsure of how to start, you may want to consider the benefits of going through the foster care system. Many people have concerns that keep them from going in this direction.

Here are some of the benefits of adopting a foster child.

Financial advantages

In Nebraska, it costs little or nothing for you to foster and adopt. In fact, while fostering, you receive monthly financial support to cover the costs of providing for your child. When you adopt, you receive $1,500 per child to help with adoption expenses.

The state and federal governments also provide medical assistance for special needs children. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Nebraska has three criteria for determining whether a child has special needs:

  • A child of eight or older
  • Three or more siblings placed together
  • An official diagnosis of a physical, mental, behavioral or emotional disability, including information on how severe the condition is, and necessary treatments now and in the future

Your child may have one or more of these to qualify. The state provides assistance for special needs children after the adoption, as well, including medical assistance. Financial aid for college is another benefit. Even if your child does not have any special needs, the state still provides ongoing services such as mental health services and programs and assistance aimed at helping your family to be successful.

Opportunities to bond

There is no guarantee that any parent will bond with a child, but if you take in a child through the foster system, you have time to develop a parent-child relationship before you adopt. This does come with the risk of loss if a biological parent is able to reunite with the child. However, you will always know the love you gave the child while in your care has helped promote healthy development and will continue to benefit him or her long after your time together is over.

More productive waiting period

Although it may take months or years for you to adopt a foster child, this is often also true for parents waiting to adopt an infant from overseas, or through a U.S. adoption agency. Instead of spending that time waiting for the call, you will already be spending time with your child. You will also be demonstrating that you are a suitable parent through the process.

In spite of the benefits, foster parenting is not for everyone, and it is a decision that you should consider carefully. Another adoption process may be more suitable for you.

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