Becoming a foster parent with the intention to adopt is a fairly straightforward process in Georgia. The first and most important step is to decide that your family is ready to add another member.
Once you have decided to foster a child, these are the steps you should take to become a foster, and later an adoptive, parent
What are the first steps?
Beginning the process is easier than you may expect. Married or single people who own a home or rent are eligible to foster. You should have enough income to meet basic needs, although you do not need to be wealthy. Other eligibility requirements include:
- Clean background check
- Clean bill of health, including a drug screening
- Home evaluation and safety check
- Letters of reference
- Valid driver’s license
Once you determine that you are eligible, attend an information session. Sessions meet most weeks during the month, with times offered in the morning, in the evening and on weekends. During this session, you will learn more about the requirements for fostering and adopting, the steps of the approval process and additional information you may find helpful.
Is training available to help me prepare for my foster experience?
Georgia provides prospective foster parents with a 24-hour pre-service training program labeled IMPACT. IMPACT stands for the steps followed during the training:
- Initial interest
- Mutual selection
- Preservice training
- Continuing development
After you complete the training, you will be eligible to foster one of the more than 14,000 children in Georgia’s foster care program, as reported by AdoptUSKids. Perhaps one of these hopeful, loving children will become a permanent member of your family.