What is Adoption?

Adoption is the legal process through which a child joins a family different from his or her birth parents. Adoption is a permanent, lifelong commitment to a child. In CPS cases, adoption becomes an option if CPS and the child's birth parents cannot resolve issues that made it unsafe for the child to live at home. Then, CPS may ask the court to end the parents' rights to the child and place the child with another family permanently. A child can also become legally free for adoption if both birth parents agree to give up their parental rights.

When another family is ready to adopt the child, DFPS and the family complete the adoptive placement paperwork. After children have lived in their new home for six months, the adoptive family and CPS can make the adoption permanent. In many cases, the children may have already been living with the family as a kinship care or foster home so they are familiar with their new family. The adoptive family can submit a document to court called a "petition to adopt" and, if approved by a judge, the adoption becomes permanent (also known as "consummated"). At this point, CPS is dismissed from the child's case, and DFPS will no longer be involved with the child or your family.

Once adopted, a child has the same legal and inheritance rights as any naturally born children.

Adoption Increase

As a result of increased collaboration with private child-placing agencies, child-specific recruitment activities, and supporting relative and foster family adoptions, adoption consummations have significantly increased since Fiscal Year 2004 when there were 2,512 adoption consummations. There were 4,859 adoption consummations in Fiscal Year 2009, 4,803 in Fiscal Year 2010, and 4,635 in Fiscal Year 2011.