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Oregon Foster Care and Adoption Guidelines
There are hundreds of children needing safe and loving homes in the State of Oregon. This page provides some general information on foster care and adoption for your review.
The State of Oregon Foster Care and Adoption Information Line
Para información en español
Línea de Información Acerca del Cuidado de Crianza y La Adopción
Things You Should Know
- Foster Care and Adoption Licensing Requirements
- Costs to Foster and Adopt
- Parent Support Groups
- Agency Contact and Orientation Information
- Information on Oregon's Waiting Children
- Upcoming Events
Who Can Adopt?
Since we are planning forever families for many different kinds of children, we are looking for families with many different kinds of strengths. We primarily seek strong, nurturing families who can develop an educated awareness of the special needs of these children. Families are sought on the basis of their abilities to successfully parent a child who needs a family, and not on the basis of their race, ethnicity or culture, income, age, marital status, religion, appearance, differing lifestyles, or sexual orientation.
How Long Does the Adoption Process Take?
The initial adoption process generally takes four to six months to complete. The time it takes to be matched and have a child placed in your home is on a case-by-case basis.
Who can be a Foster Parent?
Foster families come in all shapes as sizes, just like children in foster care. The department seeks stable, supportive homes to care for children who have been removed from their own homes. The majority of these children will eventually be placed back with their birth family or with a relative. Foster parents do not need to be stay-at-home parents, married, or below any specific age. However, foster parents do need to be at least 21 years old and have a source of income to support themselves.
How Long Does Foster Certification Take?
The process generally takes between one and four months.
There are no fees for foster certification.
There are no fees for adopting a child from Oregon foster care when you choose the Oregon Department of Human Services as your agency.
The Special Needs Adoption Coalition is an organization of private agencies providing special needs adoption services in the state of Oregon. Each agency can provide a list of charges for their specific services.
Some private agency fees are reimbursable if you adopt a child from Oregon foster care.
Families can, and do, adopt children from other States and may be eligible for partial reimbursement of fees or of nonrecurring adoption-related costs through the child’s State and/or federal options.
Department of Human Services Support Groups
Portland Metro Area
- Support group for adoptive families, pre- and post-placement, meets the third Monday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m. at the DHS Midtown Branch Office. For more information call Donna Thomas at 971-673-2087 or Rene Hendricks at 971-673-1866.
- Support group for Washington County adoptive families, meets the third Thursday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Beaverton DHS Child Welfare Office. For more information call Jennifer Ricks, 503-646-7234, Ext. 238.
- Adopting-Oregon's Kids (A-OK) support group meets the fourth Tuesday of the month from Noon to 1 p.m. at DHS, Human Services Building. For more information call Roberta Lincoln, 503-947-5214.
Other Adoption and Post-Adoption Support Services
In addition to the support groups listed below, you can search for support groups by county through the Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center.
- The Attachment Center of Central Oregon
Description: Support and discussion group in Bend, OR, led by Lynne Herber, LPC, LLC, for parents of adopted children of any age that meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month from 9:30 to 11 a.m.
- Adoption Connections of Oregon (ACO)
Contact: Elise Crum
Description: Private, parent-led support group for adoptive families in Lane County area
- Adoption Mosaic
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Consultation Education & training (FASCETS)
- Kinship House
Contact: Beth or Melissa
Descirption: Support groups for parents caring for children with fetal alchol syndrome and effects, and a support group for adoptive and foster parents that meets the second Wednesday of each month from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
- NW Adoptive Families Association, Inc. (NAFA)
Adoptive families to be support group: Meets second Friday of every month at Legacy Emmanuel Hospital, 7 to 8:30 p.m. (contact Lee at email@example.com)
New adoptive families support group: Meets third Saturday of every month at Legacy Emmanuel Hospital, 1 to 3 p.m. (contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-657-1431)
- Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center (ORPARC)
Ofrecen asistencia en español
- Oregon Family Support Network (OFSN)
Parent-led support group: Meets at Benton Center, Corvallis (contact Brandy Steiner at 541-766-6340 or email@example.com)
Parent and youth groups: For families in Eastern Oregon (contact Michelle Westfall at 541-386-2620)
- Relative, Adoptive, & Foster Family Team
Description: Ongoing training and support meetings for relative, adoptive, and foster families that meets every third Saturday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at East Hill Church, 701 Main, Gresham, Room A-15
View more information from Oregon Dept. of Human Services
View a directory of agencies of The Special Needs Adoption Coalition
Orientations and Trainings
- Boys & Girls Aid in Portland: Friday (evening), Saturday (all day), and Sunday (afternoon). RSVP by calling 503-222-9661
- Christian Family Adoptions in Newberg: Friday (evening), Saturday (all day), and Sunday (afternoon). For more information call 503-232-1211.
According to a 2011 department report, on any given day, more than 8,000 Oregon children are in foster care. Among these children, around 200 are available for adoption and waiting for adoptive families.
The children in foster care who are already legally free for adoption are mostly school-aged or pre-school aged children. A few are under age 2. Some are part of a sibling pair or group that need to be adopted together.
These children have suffered many losses, including the loss of their birth family. You may hear the expression “special needs” used to describe the children. Naturally, there is a very wide spectrum of “special needs” which can range from more severe needs (possibly including physical, educational, developmental, and emotional needs) to simply the emotional “special needs” consistent with having been taken from their original home. This is why all children in state care are labeled as having “special needs.”
Please refer to the resources listed above to check for events as they are scheduled.