Collectively, Adoption and Guardianship Services has offered legal support to foster families and approved relatives in Washington and Idaho for over 25 years. Adoption and Guardianship Services offers guidance and support to foster families throughout the State adoption process, including the application negotiation process.
Foster Parents Needed
There are children in need of homes, but there are not enough licensed foster families available. The states of Washington and Idaho remove children from abusive and neglectful home environments. The child is then placed in a foster home with licensed foster parents or with approved relatives. The birth parents of the child are offered services to reunite the child with their birth parents. In many cases, however, the birth parents are unable to provide adequate care and the parental rights of the birth parents are terminated.
Foster Adopt Program
The state offers prospective adoptive couples the opportunity to participate in a foster/adopt program. The prospective adoptive parent(s) attend classes and become licensed as a foster family. A child is then placed with them. If the reunification services for the birth parent(s) are successful, the child may, in fact, be returned to the birth parents. However, if the birth parents' rights are terminated, the child is then legally free for adoption.
When Do I Retain an Attorney in a Foster Parent Adoption?
You may retain an attorney at any point in the process. Foster parents or approved relatives often contact an attorney after the child is placed in their home. The attorney explains the adoption process and assists by answering any questions. The attorney also assists the family in creating and negotiating the terms of an open adoption agreement, represents the adoptive parent(s) if placement issues arise, and assists the adoptive parent(s) in all aspects of the adoption, including adoption support negotiation if necessary. Once the parental rights are terminated and the child is legally free, the attorney facilitates a final adoption hearing.
Attorney Fees and Costs
Attorney fees and costs are paid by the state. There is no charge to the foster parents or approved relatives.
How Do I Become Licensed as a Foster Parent?
For more information on how to become a foster parent contact the following state agency:
If you are interested in the foster/adopt program through the State of Washington, you may contact the Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) at (509) 363-3500 or https://www.dshs.wa.gov/CA/fos/becoming-a-foster-parent
If you are interested in the foster/adopt program through the State of Idaho, you may contact Children and Family Services at (208) 334-6800.
Frequently Asked Questions
For answers to frequently asked questions go to frequently asked questions by foster parents.
Foster parents or adoptive relatives retain a private adoption attorney to assist with the adoption finalization. The attorney explains the adoption process and is an advocate for the adoptive family. If you would like to retain an attorney for the purpose of preparing an open adoption agreement, negotiate an adoption support agreement or finalizing an adoption of a child placed by the state of Washington or Idaho contact us.