West Virginia foster care and adoption guidelines
Thank you for your interest in adoption and/or foster care. At Mission West Virginia, we are always excited to assist new families through the process. We will provide you with general information and guide you in the right direction for selecting an agency. We are a neutral agency, with no preference for one agency over another, and have information on all types of options.
Mission West Virginia
Contact: Rachel Kinder
Email (correo electrónico): email@example.com
Phone (teléfono): 304-562-0723 or 866-CALL-MWV
Things you should know
- Foster care and adoption licensing requirements
- Costs to foster and adopt
- Agency contact and orientation information
- Parent support groups
- Information on West Virginia's children
- You must be 21 years of age or older.
- You need a stable and secure income.
- You should be in good physical and mental health.
- Your home needs to pass a safety and fire inspection.
- You cannot have child abuse reports or a criminal background.
- You need a stable family relationship.
- You must have the ability to commit to a child.
Families must complete the PRIDE training course and complete a homestudy. PRIDE training is an excellent opportunity to meet other families who are going through the foster and adoption process. It is also an opportunity to educate yourself about adoption and foster parenting.
The homestudy is a comprehensive report of your family and home environment. The completed homestudy includes an application, summary of your family’s history, interviews, criminal background and child abuse clearances. The timeline of the homestudy can vary from family to family.
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) certifies for relative/kinship care only.
Private foster-to-adopt and foster care agencies work with families who would like to become foster parents or adopt children from foster care.
There are no charges associated with becoming certified to foster or to adopt from foster care. Some agencies will charge fees for domestic infant or international adoption.
Information on foster care/adoption certification may be found in Mission West Virginia’s Foster Care and Adoption Information Guide (4.5 KB PDF). A complete listing of private child-placing agencies can be provided by contacting Mission West Virginia (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 866-CALL-MWV.
Mission West Virginia has an adoption and foster care lending library for West Virginia families. Please contact us at 866-CALL-MWV.
As of November 12, 2014, there were approximately 4,300 children in care in West Virginia. Of these, close to 1,100 children have had parental rights terminated, meaning these children no longer have legal parents. Out of the almost 1,100, there are 776 children with a permanency plan of adoption. In Federal Fiscal Year 2014, West Virginia finalized 852 adoptions statewide.
Many children in West Virginia awaiting adoption are considered special needs. Special needs is often another way to say waiting children. This does not necessarily reflect any problems the child may have. While some of the children who wait have a physical, emotional or education challenge, many are healthy and are doing well developmentally. The characteristics that are used to describe special needs are defined as:
- Over the age of 8 which presents a barrier to adoption
- A physical or mental disability
- Serious emotional maladjustment
- A recognized high risk of physical or mental disability
- Over the age of 2 and has a racial or ethnic factor
- A member of a sibling group who should be placed together
- Has been certified as a special needs child by the department
Many children awaiting adoptive families were removed from their biological families due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. These children have endured hardships, sadness, loss of relationships, and abuse. All of these children deserve a permanent home. Without a permanent, loving adoptive home, these children face the likelihood of entering adulthood with no parental guidance or support. We believe that all children deserve a loving, safe home.