Our agency is determined to ensure that our families and prospective families are cognizant of all of our services, solutions, and more. As you know, the Adoption and Foster Care processes are not easy, but Forever Families is here to help every step of the way.
Frequently Asked Questions
It generally takes a family six months to complete the adoption process from the time an application is completed. The process can go faster or can be delayed based upon the family’s compliance with turning in necessary paperwork, completing required trainings, etc.
Licensing of child foster homes is a joint effort between the State of Michigan and licensed Child Placing Agencies. All foster homes work with and are supervised by a Child Placing Agency. In order to apply for a foster home license, you will need to contact one the child placing agencies conducting business in your geographic location.
A respite foster home is a licensed foster home that is available for short-term care.
There are many reasons why a birth mother may choose adoption. Often a birth mother may be struggling financially, not have an emotional support system, not have the support of the birth father, or be parenting other children. At times a birth parent may not feel the timing is right to parent. Whatever the reason, deciding to make an adoption plan for your baby is a very difficult and emotional decision. Forever Families is committed to providing counseling services to the birth mother both before and after the birth to help walk her through the emotional process of adoption. We have found that during the pregnancy the more time the birth mother gets to spend with the adoptive family and get to know them, the more balanced her decision is after the birth.
Licensing rules require both individuals of a married couple to be applicants on the license. Significant others are not required to be applicants on the license, but will be listed as adult household members and required to do necessary paperwork and background checks.
Children awaiting temporary foster home placements typically range between the ages of 0-17 years old. Children awaiting permanent adoptive homes placements typically range between 10-17 years old.
Per policy, a foster parent will need to submit a 30 day written request and submit it to their licensing worker and foster care specialist. The intake supervisor/specialist will assess Forever Families open beds for placement, if there is not a match, the agency will inquire with other private agencies and DHHS.
An overview will be provided by the referral agency related to the reason why the child is entering foster care, their current needs, behaviors, etc. In some circumstances, not all pertinent information will be known prior to being placed in a foster home.
Yes, the vast majority of adoptions are open, meaning the birth parents and adoptive parents exchange contact information. A plan for continued contact will be agreed upon before and after the birth. Often contact after adoption will include you receiving photographs and a written update at an agreed upon schedule.
State ward adoption expenses are often minimal. There is no cost for the completion of becoming a licensed foster parent. If you are interested in becoming approved only as an adoptive parent, the home study cost is $2,500. To finalize an adoption, it generally costs up to $300 per child that is paid to the county court.
The child placing agency will evaluate whether you have sufficient time to meet the needs of children who might be placed with you. There is no prohibition in the rules on working foster parents. Additionally, the foster family must have a legal source of income that is sufficient to meet the needs of the foster family.
Forever Families welcomes any individual and families of any relationship status.
You do not have to be married to adopt or foster a child or children. Many children thrive in single parent homes. If an unmarried couple is interested in adoption, both adults can be studied as household members, but per Michigan law, only one can legally adopt the child.
Forever Families is a small agency, we can provide a personalized experience. Our experienced staff will walk you through the adoption process and is readily available via phone or email. We have been giving children families forever since 1997. Staff has decades of adoption experience and will be able to tailor an individual adoption plan to your needs.
There are no guarantees that a child will be placed into your home. Becoming a licensed foster home merely makes the placement of a child possible. Having a child placed is dependent on the “types” of children needing foster care, the availability of beds in the community, and on the placement specifications for each foster home.
Most often, the child will come with the belongings they have at the time of removal, however, Forever Families will complete a Clothing Inventory to assess what the child has and still need. Forever Families will also attempt to retrieve the child’s belongings from their previous caregiver. If necessary, the Department of Health and Human Services may provide a clothing allowance based on the child’s needs.
Forever Families welcomes and encourages all individuals/families to apply, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, identity and expression (SOGIE).
The birth mother is just as nervous to meet you. The initial meeting is not “an interview”, the birth mother has already chosen you from reviewing your profile book. The meeting is an opportunity to get to know one another and build a level of comfort for both parties. A staff will also be present at the meeting and will help facilitate conversation. The goal is for everyone to feel good about this initial meeting and alleviate anxiety about the next steps in the adoption process.
The Adoption Subsidy Program provides financial support subsidy and/or medical subsidy for families adoption children from the foster care system. There is also financial assistance available for those who provide foster care. Support subsidy assists with the payment of expenses related to caring for and raising the child. Medical subsidy assists with the costs of necessary treatment for physical, mental, or emotional conditions which existed, prior to adoption. Neither is meant to cover all expenses incurred in raising a child; rather, these payments are meant to help offset some of the cost. The amount paid is dependent on the needs of the child, not the family.
The child placing agency will provide orientation to all prospective license applicants. If you file an application, police clearances and a check for a child protective services history will be done on all adults in the home. Medical statements will be required for all members of the household. The agency will do a comprehensive study to assure compliance with the foster home rules.
Criminal history does not automatically exclude someone from becoming a foster parent.
You call to set up a personal consultation/orientation with the domestic adoption program supervisor. This is a one on one meeting where information on the program and the adoption process will be discussed. You will be able to bring all your questions to this meeting. You will then be given an application to start the home study process at the end of the meeting if you wish to proceed.
Yes! The Michigan Post Adoption Resource Centers (PARC) are here to support families through their life long journey of adoption. The centers provide services to individuals who are under the age of 21, who were adopted from Michigan’s foster care system or who were adopted through an international adoption or direct consent/direct placement adoption. PARC will provide families with educational trainings, advocacy, coordination of services and case management services.
To learn more about Post Adoption Resources please visit:
Children of all races and ethnicities are in foster care and available for adoption. All of these children are considered to have “special needs”. Special needs is defined as a child who has one or combination of the following: emotional, psychological, educational, physical or behavior needs. The degree of these needs varies from child to child, situation to situation. The majority of children waiting in state ward adoption programs are over the age of six and often a part of a sibling group.
The foster parent will contact their assigned licensing worker, who will gather all information of when placement is needed and the intake supervisor or specialist will find a respite foster home. We encourage foster parents to utilize their substitute caregiver for short-term care. The substitute caregiver can reside in the licensed foster home to care for the foster child or the child can stay in the substitute caregivers home up to 4 days.
Child Placing Agencies and certain courts place children into foster homes. The agency responsible for your home’s supervision can make placements. Other child placing agencies and authorized courts can borrow vacant beds within your home if they have the supervising agency’s approval and your agreement.
You are not required to own your own home to be licensed. You should check with your landlord before applying to be sure the landlord does not object.
You will be expected to work with the child placing agency to meet the needs of children placed into your home. Training is required prior to licensure and annually after that for each person named on the license. You will need to keep the agency informed about your family and to maintain compliance with the foster home licensing rules.
Generally, foster children are returned to their birth families. Foster families must comply with the plan when such reunification is the goal. However, when parental rights are terminated, foster parents frequently adopt the children for whom they have been caring.
If your primary interest is adopting a healthy newborn infant, you should contact an adoption agency.
Foster parents through the State of Michigan receive a daily rate for each foster child in their home. This amount is determined by the child’s age and individual needs. These funds are intended to assist the foster family with the child’s daily expenses. Foster parents are also eligible to receive daycare assistance (if employed or a full-time student) and WIC assistance for infants and toddlers. Children in foster care are provided with Medicaid for medical, mental health and dental needs/expenses.
The agency will ask you about the types of children for whom you are willing to care. The agency’s final recommendation will be based on your preferences and the agency’s assessment of your skills and abilities.
Forever Families provides pregnancy counseling at no charge to you. We will go over all your options together to assist you in making an informed decision you are comfortable with.
You are in control of your decision. You will first be provided with several profile books (photos and information on each adoptive parent (s) to get to know the adoptive parent (s) and help you choose the family you want to be the parents of your baby. You will be able to personally meet them and get to know them before the birth. Often, birth parents and adoptive parents exchange emails, texts, phone calls, and even visit each other during the pregnancy.
Yes, many foster parents maintain employment outside of their home. Daycare assistance is available through DHHS for working families, regardless of income.
You will have access to agency staff in case of an emergency. Staff will also work with you to provide resources for living expenses such as rent, groceries, and medical bills.
Foster care is the temporary care of children who have been removed from their homes and are unable to safely live with their birth parent/legal guardian.
Reunification is the primary goal of Michigan’s foster care system. Foster care specialists work with birth parents to help eliminate the barriers that brought their child into care. If court deems it unsafe for a child to ever return home other permanency goals, such as adoption, will be explored.