Adoption & Foster Care FAQs

Why do children need foster care?

They may need temporary care because of parental illness or family problems. They may have lost their parents through desertion of death. They may have been removed from their parents because of neglect, abuse or inadequate care. They may have been voluntarily released by their parents for adoption. They may need a temporary home while adoption is being planned.

Who are the children needing foster homes?

Infants, toddlers, school-aged children, teenagers. A single child, two or more children of the same family. Children of all races and cultures.

What can foster parents do for children?

Nurture and accept them without trying to replace their natural parents. Give them a normal family life and a feeling of belonging. See that their health needs are met. Give them the guidance that will help them become good citizens. Involve them in community recreational activities. Cooperate and work with the local schools on their behalf.

Do foster parents need a special kind of home?

You do not even need to own your own home. Typically, a rented home or apartment will meet licensing requirements as long as there is adequate and safe space per child.

What basic requirements must foster parents meet?

Foster parents are of various ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds. They are married couples, single parents, and single persons. The foster parents must be in good physical and psychological health and have an adequate income to meet their own needs.

Does the foster family have any choice in selecting a child?

Yes. You and the agency caseworker will spend time together to assure the right match is made between yourself and the child.

How many children may parents foster at one time?

No more than four children at one time. Most homes have one or two children. Every effort is made to place brothers and sisters in the same home.

How long may a foster child stay in a foster home?

Most children are placed for a brief time only. Some may remain for several months and a few for more than a year.

Who covers a foster child’s expenses?

The State of Michigan covers the cost of the children’s board, clothing, medical and dental care.

What is the first step in becoming a foster parent?

Contact U.P. Kids Foster Care to discuss the details of becoming a foster parent. From there, you decide the next step!

Can I adopt a baby from foster care?

Yes, sometimes babies enter foster care. Usually, though, babies are adopted by relatives when their families are unable to care for them. Often, families only wanting to adopt a baby will wait a significantly longer period of time for a placement match than families open to pre-school and school-age children.

If I adopt a child from foster care, does that child maintain relationships with their biological family?

If parental rights were terminated, those relationships have been determined to be harmful or unhealthy for the child. However, oftentimes children have existing healthy, loving relationships with grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, etc. We encourage adoptive families to be open to maintaining any relationship which is healthy and loving for a child. Your caseworker will help you navigate the possibilities.

Is there an age limit to be a foster / adoptive parent?

The minimum age is 18 to be a foster/adoptive parent. While there is no upper age limit, we do assess things such as mental and physical health and likely ability to care for a child until they become an adult.

Is there a specific relationship status required to foster / adopt?

No. Foster / Adoptive parents can be single, in a relationship, or married. If two adults are living together, it must be a mutual decision to foster or adopt and both individuals will be on the foster care license. U.P. Kids encourages all those who are interested in becoming foster and/or adoptive parents to pursue the licensing process. U.P. Kids does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), national origin, age or disability.

Is there an income requirement to be a foster or adoptive parent?

No. There are loving and excellent foster families across the economic spectrum. However, finances are assessed in the licensing process as part of the family’s home study. Issues assessed include the following. Is the family able to meet their needs on their current income? Are they current on their bills? What is the monthly difference between income and expenditures? Is there a plan in place in case of change in financial circumstances such as loss of employment, disability, discontinuation of benefits, etc.?

Dispelling The Myths

Myth: Adopting is expensive

Costs related to adoption vary. Voluntary, direct consent and international adoptions involve multiple cost factors- each adoption will be different. The cost to adopt a child from foster care is minimal, and some portion may be reimbursable. Any adoption expense not otherwise reimbursable may qualify for a federal income tax credit.

Myth: You must have a substantially high income to adopt a child

Even if you receive some form of financial aid, you may still be eligible! You must be able to meet the needs of your family.

Myth: You must have a large home to be a foster parent

You do not even need to own your own home. Typically, a rented home or apartment will meet licensing requirements as long as there is adequate and safe bedroom space per child.

Myth: As a foster parent, you do not have a choice in the child/children you take into your home

You and the agency caseworker will spend time together to assure the right match is made between yourself and the child.

Myth: You cannot be employed outside the home and also be an adoptive or foster parent

Many adoptive and foster parents also have full-time jobs. You may apply for day care payments for the time you are working or continuing your education.