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North Carolina adoption from foster care question

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

We're ready to get started on our adoption!  joy.gif

 

According to this it sounds (for adoption from foster care in NC) we can choose to either go directly through DSS in our county or through an adoption agency.  Help me think this through: pros, cons, experiences?

post #2 of 8

Congratulations!  We adopted through a private agency so I don't have any recommendations.  Do you know anyone who has adopted in the area?  BTDT moms are the best source of information.

post #3 of 8

We went through our local DSS but we live in a large county and there was a big need for foster and adoptive homes at the time. I recently went back to MAPP to talk to the prospective parents and now there is a waiting list to get in and the class was easily almost double the size of ours three years ago.

If you live in a smaller county that does not get a lot of placements an agency might be a better option.

DSS said they get first dibs on the kids and tend to source out the harder to place kids. But, who knows if that is true or they just wanted us to go through them.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Carly!  So, maybe give DSS a call & ask what the situation is in this county.  Do you happen to know if county by county stats are available anywhere?  Also, we're right on the border of another county, I wonder if we can pick one or do both...

 

Excitedtobeamom, I've got some feelers out to try to find friends of friends who've adopted from foster care here.

post #5 of 8

You will have to do the county you are in if you go through DSS. I would start by calling DSS and then try a few other places like: 

Children's Home Society http://www.chsnc.org/

Methodist Home for Children http://www.mhfc.org/home/

Lutheran Family Services http://www.lfscarolinas.org/what-we-do/foster-care/

 

I found this link, but I didn't know of it when I looked into it, looks like you can find private agencies in your county, I don't think you'd be limited to your county with this, you could also try the agencies in neighboring communities:

http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dss/licensing/docs/cpalistfostercare.pdf

post #6 of 8

My personal experience of adoption-from-foster care from NC DSS (Onslow County, to be exact) was TERRIBLE. Most miserable, soul-crushing experience. That particular county had a tremendous need but since the vast majority of the county are active duty military, they had trouble getting and holding on to good foster parents. Part of that is due to them vocally disliking military families (and part of that was, sadly, due to the amount of children that entered their services due to abuse and neglect from military families.) Our social worker told us, outright, that we (as a military family) are "migratory" and that they did not believe that the military lifestyle was positive for the kids. (Now, I DO understand the problem with disruptions due to moving families, etc. I GET that.)

 

We had applied to adopt from foster care and it wasn't until AFTER MAPP and a dragged out 9 month home study process that our social worker advised that they made a new rule that they wouldn't let miltiary families adopt from DSS unless they fostered for atleast 6 months. However, you could not foster a legally free or low legal risk child during that time. 2.5 years into the process, we chose to take a legal-risk placement. After a year of our sons being with us, our social worker talked grandma (who hadn't ever been interested in taking the boys in their 6 years in foster care) into taking custody 1 month before the adoption was to be finalized.

 

Maybe other counties are better. But we filed formal complaints with documented emails into the actions of our social worker and the State DSS office really didn't follow through to my satisfaction. I don't have many regrets in life and I wouldn't change how our adoptive journey ended up (with two amazing children!) but I wouldn't touch (Onslow County) DSS with a ten foot pole. You can do everything through a private agency like Children's Home Society and they will do it more professionally.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

ladycop, thanks for sharing!  That's what I was afraid I'd hear, though!  

post #8 of 8

My wife and I have been very frustrated trying to adopt through DSS in western NC. We are licensed theraputic foster parents and have had two children in the past whom we fostered and hoped to adopt only to have them wisked away to another state to a distant relative, in one case violating ("skirting" according to the DSS worker) the receiving states law against placing a child with a felon. Both times we couldn't even say good bye. After this we moved to a private agency and foster through them but now are having trouble adopting a girl we foster occasionally.

We would love to adopt an eleven year old girl who is ready for a forever family, however, the county DSS that we used to foster for is not allowing us to proceed because the adoption board doesn't want her to be adopted locally, even though just about everyone associated with the girl, including her therapist, is all for it. It appears to be DSS is punishing us (and the girl) for leaving them and going to the private agency.

It seems that these boards and DSS workers in general answer to no one. I know much of the work has to be done behind closed doors to protect the children, but it seems that DSS takes advantage of this to do things which are not always legal and in the best interest of the children.

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