Each family must undergo a pre-placement assessment before they can foster or adopt. By state law you must be licensed to foster children and you must be approved to adopt children.
Foster care home studies and adoption pre-placement assessments are not interchangeable. Your agency must specifically approve your family for adoption.
Adoption assessments must be completed by a licensed NC adoption agency. Some agencies are set up to provide foster care only and are not approved by the state to perform adoption services. Be sure to clarify this with your agency if you are interested in adoption.
Since the licensing process and approval qualifications are similar many families decide on being both a licensed foster home and an approved adoptive placement. This way they can accept foster children that may later become available for adoption. One of North Carolina’s child welfare goals is to have one stable foster care placement for each foster child in the child’s own community. If a foster child’s plan later becomes adoption the foster parents will be strongly considered to be that child’s adoptive parents.
Your selected agency will look at the following factors to determine your ability to adopt or foster children:
- Demographic information on each individual residing in the home
- Family relationships, including childhood experiences and significant events in the family’s history, such as marriages, divorces, deaths or similar events
- Personality, attitudes and beliefs of each family member
- Spiritual and religious beliefs, if applicable
- Intimate relationships
- Mental and general health of each family member residing in the home
- Parenting experience and methods of managing child’s behavior
- Financial information
- Home and community resources
- Cultural awareness and sensitivity
- Communication and problem-solving skills
- Family’s understanding of the needs of foster children and expectations of adoptive or foster parents
- Capacity to understand, support and advocate for the needs of a foster and/or adoptive child
- References and verification, including a criminal background check on all adults in the home
If you have concerns about any of the above, please contact NC Kids or one of the licensed adoption agencies for further information.