When a child is in Foster Care and is to be adopted by a Pre-Adoptive Foster Care family. This can either be a DCS Foster Care Family or a Family that provides foster care services through independent agencies.
In these cases, the Department of Children’s Services terminates the parental rights of the parents and takes Guardianship of the child(ren). At that point, the Foster Family typically finds an adoption attorney to handle the adoption, with the fee usually being paid by the Department of Children’s Service. A home study will be completed by DCS or it’s contractors. Adoption assistance contracts will be negotiated. The Adoptive Parents must have had physical custody of the child for the six (6) months prior to the finalization of the adoption. As the termination is typically done by the Department of Children’s Services, the adoption attorney cannot warrant to you that the parent’s rights have been effectively terminated.
Also note that if the child is fourteen (14) years or older he or she must consent to the adoption.