A Permanent Option
When foster children are unable to be returned to their birth families, the court may order that parental rights be terminated and the child should be placed for adoption.
Adoption is the legal transfer of all parental rights and obligations from the agency to another person or couple. Parental rights of birth parents are terminated and they retain no rights or obligations. Adoptive parents alone are in charge of making decisions about their child.
Berks County Children and Youth Services provide adoption services to children in the agency’s custody. While the agency reports to the court and cares for the child, we do not prepare individuals or couples for the adoptive process. In the Berks County area, there are a number of agencies that specialize in this procedure.
The agencies can be found at http://www.adoptpakids.org/
Or call: 1-800-585-SWAN for the State Wide Adoption Network or 1-800-227-0225 for the PA Adoption Exchange
There are several different types of adoption. You can go to a licensed private agency to adopt infants and other children who are not in the public welfare system. You can adopt a child internationally. If you have a child placed with you through an attorney, a relative, a doctor, or a friend, you can go to an attorney who will arrange an independent adoption. In these cases, BCCYS will be involved in providing a Report to the Orphans’ Court relative to the child’s placement. You can adopt a child who is in the foster care system once the child is free for adoption by the Courts. BCCYS has many children from ages 0-18 who are in the system with goals of adoption. These children are adopted by foster parents, relatives, or other families who have been approved through a home study.
If you are interested in children in the custody of BCCYS, you should start by having a home study completed. You can contact a private agency such as Lutheran Home of Topton or Catholic Social Agency and get involved in the home study process. That study is used to provide information about your family to counties or agencies who have children for adoption.
You can contact the Statewide Adoption Network, 1-800-585-SWAN, for information about local adoption services in your area.
- Interviews of the husband and wife and other family members
- A review of your financial, medical, legal, and social history
- A tour of your home
- Discussion of adoption issues
- And legal checks for child abuse and police history
Questions to Ask Yourself When Thinking About Becoming an Adoptive Parent to a Special Needs Child:
- Are you willing to complete the pre-service orientation and certification?
- Are your children willing to share your time and attention with other children?
- Is your whole family willing to share its time, space, and possession with the child who will be placed in your home?
- Can you provide positive and consistent discipline for a child without spanking or using any form of physical discipline?
- Do you have lots of time to spend encouraging children to grow and develop to their fullest potential despite the problems they have encountered or may be dealing with?
- Are you willing to advocate for children placed in your care so that they receive the services they deserve and the opportunities they need? Is your family happy?
- Are you free from serious financial or personal problems?