Because there is such a need for good homes for these children, Kentucky’s Special Needs Adoption Program has tried to make adopting a foster child as easy as possible while building in the appropriate level of safeguards. The process of preparation takes about six months. The steps are as follows:
Call 1-800-928-4303 to express your interest.
An informational meeting to learn more about the children and the process
Preparation Group Meetings
These are a series of 10 meetings (typically one night a week for three hours) that will help you understand the needs of the children and develop an understanding of how to meet those needs.
While attending preparation meetings, you will be asked to complete some forms for background checks, and medical history, and you will have to have fingerprinting performed at your regional office as part of your background check.
A social worker, called a Recruitment and Certification (R&C) worker will come to your home to interview all members of your household. This provides an opportunity for you to get to know one another.
Once you have completed the above steps you will be ready to increase the size of your family. The agency is not obligated to approve or place a child with any family.
This will determine which children you are best suited to parent.
When you have been matched with a child, you will have the opportunity to get to know each other through regular scheduled visits.
The Cabinet for Families & Children of Kentucky provides family preparation in every county in the state. There is no fee for these services; however, there may be minimal fees to cover court and attorney costs during the adoption process.
The adoption process begins with family preparation, a series of meetings between the prospective adoptive family and a social worker, and provides an opportunity for the family to learn more about adoption and to seriously consider their expectations for adopting.
The family preparation process consists of group educational meetings and family consultations. During this time, the following information will be requested:
Your medical history, a recent physical (within one year) is required. A medical condition that is under control (high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) usually would not prevent a person from being approved to adopt; however, a serious health problem that affects life expectancy may prevent approval.
Criminal Background Check and Child Abuse Registry
A form is completed which the social worker sends off for a state and/or local police check and protective service clearance. We also will need to check your records from other states where you have resided.
You do not have to be wealthy or own your own home to adopt. Even if you receive some type of assistance, you are still eligible to adopt as long as you have adequate resources to provide for your family. Financial assistance in the form of a subsidy is available when adopting many of the children listed.
You will be asked to provide the names, addresses, and phone numbers of individuals who can attest to your experience with children, the stability of your marriage and/or household, and your motivation to adopt.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS:
The profiles of the children on this site are designed to give a general introduction to the unique qualities of each child. Here are some of the most commonly used terms and what they mean.
Abuse: Many of the children waiting for adoptive families are victims of abuse. This includes sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. There are varying degrees of abuse and the level of impact it ultimately has on the child. Sometimes past abuse is not known about a child and may be revealed later. The impact of past abuse can leave children with emotional and behavioral problems that need to be worked through with the help of knowledgeable professionals.
Attachment: Attachment is the ability of a child to form significant emotional connections with other people. Children who have experienced abuse and neglect, even when very young, will sometimes find it difficult to form significant ties throughout their lives and their relationships to others often may be superficial. Children who have difficulty maintaining direct eye contact, telling the truth, and not being in control may have trouble forming meaningful attachments.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): ADHD is a condition that affects a child’s ability to concentrate, which negatively impacts school performance and makes it difficult for the child to stay on task for long periods of time. This disorder is typically more common in boys than girls and can often be controlled by medication.
Drug Exposure In Utero: Cocaine, heron, and other drugs used during pregnancy can significantly increase the risk of damage to the child’s nervous system. Children exposed to drugs while in the womb may appear stiff and rigid, have prolonged and piercing crying episodes, are easily over-stimulated, and face an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Specific long-term effects are uncertain, but these children generally experience some behavioral and learning difficulties and ADHD.
Developmental Disabilities: This refers to any condition or disorder – physical, cognitive or emotional – that interferes with a child’s normal progress. Implications can range from mild to severe.
Emotional Disabilities: Some children — as a result of their history, genetics or both – often must cope with emotional disabilities. They may require special classrooms and teachers who are trained to deal effectively with these special needs. Typically, these schools provide varying levels and processes for educational planning.
Educable Mentally Handicapped (EMH): Mental retardation affects people in different ways. Some have educable retardation, meaning they can be educated and trained for future responsibilities. EMH classes and programs are designed to help these children achieve a level of independence. Roughly 85% of those with retardation fall into this category.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS): Low birth weight, learning impairment, birth defects, and mental retardation (with varying degrees of impact) are signs of alcohol use during pregnancy.
Learning Disabilities (LD): Children with learning disabilities may be of average or above average intelligence, but have difficulty learning, sorting, and storing information in a traditional classroom setting. LD classes allow them to reach their potential in a non-threatening environment.
Residential Treatment: Some children require specialized therapeutic treatment in a residential setting for emotional and/or behavioral difficulties. This treatment may last for several months or up to a year, depending on individual needs, and generally includes a school component.
Sexual Abuse: It is estimated that 90% of the children defined as those with special needs have been sexually abused in their lifetimes. This includes both boys and girls and even extremely young children. For a number of reasons, we do not attach this term to individual children. It may not always have been proven that the child has been sexually abused, but such abuse is quite common with special needs children. It may surface at a later time and some children who have experienced sexual abuse may act out sexually and will need appropriate therapy to help them cope with past abuse.
Termination of Parental Rights: This legally frees a child to be adopted by another person