Adoption

Adopting through DSS?

I am a newbie to this board but DH and I will more than likely be pursuing adoption in the future. I have read through quite a few of the posts here and where people are in their adoption journeys. I haven't read anything about anyone adopting through DSS that I could tell. Is there a reason for this? I am certainly not calling anyone out, just wondering if there was a reason it might be less common (such as a more difficult process maybe). I would love to hear from anyone who has adopted through DSS. We are hoping to adopt a younger child at least as of now, preferably under a year if it makes a difference.
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Re: Adopting through DSS?

  • SpookoSpooko
    10000 Comments 250 Answers 500 Love Its Second Anniversary
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    Dept. of Social Services? Like Foster/Adopt? We have several on this board and I technically went through the whole process with them for my kinship adoption.

    If it's something else, I'm unsure of your acronym.  


  • If you are looking to adopt a legally free infant under age 1 with no major health issues, adopting through the state will likely be extremely difficult. You would likely be looking at a fosteradopt program. In that case, you agree to foster a child that DSS believes may be eligible for adoption in the future. there is significant risk that the child would eventually be reunited with their biological family and you have to accept that risk. The process can also take a very long time. Those are a couple of reasons people don't choose that route.

    There are a lot of older children waiting to be adopted through states for various reasons, but not young ones unless they are part of a sibling group or have significant health issues.

    After all of our research, we have actually decided to pursue foster parenting, but not with the aim to adopt though we are open to that possibility.
    ***************************** Our beautiful daughter was born in October 2009. Turns out she was quite the miracle. After two years of TTC, diagnosed with DOR. A couple of failed treatment cycles later, we decided to let go of our hope for more biological children and explore adoption.
  • Welcome! There are people here and people I know IRL who have adopted a young toddler they foster parented from infancy. It's correct that you almost certainly won't find a baby/young toddler legally free to adopt because the majority of the time, their foster family will adopt them (exception=severe special needs).

    I worked in foster care for several years, and I literally saw one child under 4 not be adopted by his foster parents (and when they looked for adoptive families, they looked at people who were already active foster parents... and of course there was a whole stack of homestudies to choose from). So, if you plan to go that route (through the state), you will probably need to either be a foster parent or be open to an older child or sibling group (you can look at adopuskids.org to see the kids legally free to adopt to get a better idea).

    As far as it being harder, each type of adoption has its own challenges. At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself which of the sacrifices or challenges you can live with, and go that direction. We started out foster to adopt and had some challenges that made us reconsider. We closed our home and just finished our homestudy to do domestic infant adoption. It's not easier, but so far the difficulties are things we are more able to live with.

    Good luck!

    November '11-January '12- Three IUIs with donor sperm- BFN x 3
    April '12-December '12- Foster to adopt- All inappropriate referrals
    January '13-December '13- Domestic Infant Adoption- Never had a match
    May '14- FET with 2 adopted embryos- BFN
    July '14- FET with 2 adopted embryos- BFP EDD: 4/5/15 / Miscarriage @ 8w4d

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  • We are adopting through DCF in MA.  Our boys age 4 and 2 came to us in Dec, and we hope to finalize in June. 

    Adoption from foster care can be an amazing experience, but it is certainly not an easy road.  I will tell you adopting a child under 1 year  will be hard and less likely, unless you are open to special needs or very high legal risk.  There are cases of voluntary surrenders, baby safe haven etc but they are not that common.  Most parents are given 13 months to get their act together for reunification. We initially were looking to adopt 1 child under 18 mos, but changed our parameters to two children under 5.  The more open you are, the more likely you will have a placement.  Good luck to you!!

    Adoption Blog Updated 2/15
  • image Spooko:

    Dept. of Social Services? Like Foster/Adopt? We have several on this board and I technically went through the whole process with them for my kinship adoption.

    If it's something else, I'm unsure of your acronym.  

    Yes, this, I'm sorry. We have a family friend who adopted siblings this way and she always says "through DSS" so it's in my head that way.

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  • Thank you ladies very much for the info, especially the need to foster in order to have a better chance of adopting a child under one if we choose to go that route. We have a lot of thinking to do.
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  • SpookoSpooko
    10000 Comments 250 Answers 500 Love Its Second Anniversary
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    I don't know of anyone who's adopted a child under 1 from DSS. You may have a foster child <1 in your home who you're eventually able to adopt, but the system moves very, very slowly. The child would almost certainly be significantly older than one by the time they were ready to be adopted. 

    It is certainly a rollercoaster ride and having been through it with DS, I wouldn't do it again. I don't have the strength for it, TBH. 


  • Welcome.  I adopted from child protective services/DSS.  I waited 4 years for a placement though, since I was an unmarried woman. So I had a very long wait.  I was placed a 4 month old infant who was substance exposed at birth, but was healthy.  It was considered a "high risk" adoption because they couldn't find his birth parents at all, so they had to advertise for them and that takes longer.  His adoption was finalized one week after his first birthday. I think many people aren't willing to take the risks that come with a state adoption, as they are all pretty much high risk to some degree.  It is all up to you at to what you are willing to take on.  I agree with previous posters that you more than likely won't get a child under 1 unless there are some special needs, it does happen though, cause it happened to me, but I think mine was an extremely rare case.
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