Foster Care and Adoption

Every child deserves a permanent connection to a caring and supportive adult. Iowa has an ongoing need for foster and adoptive parents, especially those who are interested in caring for sibling groups, teenagers, and children with significant needs.

LSI does not place children for adoption. Instead, we help families through the process of becoming foster or adoptive parents and provide families with support along the way.

There are three basic types of adoption:

  • International (adopting from another country)
  • Private domestic adoption (usually adopting an infant through a private agency in the U.S.)
  • Foster care adoption (adopting a child from the foster care system in the U.S.)

Foster care adoption

Reunifying a child with his or her family is always the goal. In fact, about 70 percent of children in foster care are reunited with their parents or adopted by relatives. If a parent’s rights are terminated, however, the child becomes legally available for adoption.

By adopting from foster care, you not only make a difference for a child who may have experienced abuse or neglect, but you can impact a whole family. Children in foster care often thrive when they can maintain relationships with biological family members. You’ll also have an LSI Support Worker by your side to answer any questions or provide guidance when you adopt a child from foster care.

To adopt a child from foster care in Iowa, you must be a licensed foster home or approved adoptive family. The licensing process is explained here.

Interested in adopting a relative? Learn more here about how you can get started on the process.

Even after adoption, it’s normal to still need a support network. That’s why LSI provides post-adoption support services, which are free to families with a DHS-subsidized adoption.

A post-adoption support specialist can be your listening ear, attend school or service provider meetings with you, provide behavioral tips, support a birth family relationship, respond to a crisis, find community resources for your family, and make sure your family has the tools you need to thrive.

At this point, you have completed your TIPS-MAPP training, finished your home study, and you are now approved for adoption. Thank you, and congratulations!

Now what’s next?

You are now in the driver’s seat.

First, you should be aware that if you are approved for adoption only, you may not hear from us immediately. This is because the decision to place a child in an adoptive home comes from the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS).

When a DHS adoption worker needs a home for a child, he or she will first look at a number of options, such as relatives or a foster home where the child is living. If that doesn’t work, they will extend their search to include other families. So how do they get to know you and your home?

Here are some things you can do:

  • Fill out an adoption profile form, so DHS adoption workers can get to know you.
  • Inquire about Iowa children in need of a forever home.
  • Attend events in your area to meet DHS adoption staff and our LSI team.