Foster Parent Self-Assessment Quiz

Whether you are an older adult or a younger adult, single, or married, a working or a stay-at-home-parent, a home owner or renter, adoption or foster care may be a good option for you. The questionnaire below will help you determine if foster or adopting is the best choice for you now. If you answer Yes to the statements below, you are ready to begin the process of becoming a foster/adoptive parent.

I am 21 years old or older
Foster/adoptive parents must be 21 years old or older; single or legally married and must have a valid driver’s license (you may be divorced or widowed).

Am I in good health?
Being a parent can be demanding. You must be healthy and emotionally stable to care for foster/adoptive children. All those living in your home must have a health statement completed by a physician showing that you are free of communicable diseases.

My home is safe
During the home study, a safety inspection of your home will be conducted. You must have working smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher.

I am open to working with children who have moderate behaviors
Many children have experienced trauma and loss and can react by running away, stealing, lying, or with physical and verbal aggression.

I am open to working with biological families
Typically, foster-to-adopt children have visits with their biological siblings, biological parents, and relatives. Sometimes foster parents may need to supervise visits.

I have not had a case of child abuse or neglect
All potential foster/adoptive parents are required to submit to background checks prior to certification including other states where an applicant has resided.

I have adequate income
You do not have to be wealthy to become a foster/adoptive parent. However, you must have enough income to meet your own family’s needs and be able to demonstrate that you can financially support an additional child for up to 6 weeks without financial reimbursement. During the certification process you will be asked to provide proof of income and to review family expenses.

I am able to attend training
Foster/adoptive parents must complete training and all required paper work. Parents must commit to continuing training and workshops. Additional training is important to making the relationship a success.

No adult in my home has been convicted of a crime
If you or any adult living in your home has been convicted of certain criminal offenses, you cannot become a foster/adoptive parent. Each adult member in your household over age 18 will be fingerprinted.

I am ready to begin a home study now
You are ready to begin the home study if your life and home are stable. “Stable” means that you are not about to move and are not having financial, marital or emotional difficulties or making any major life changes in the near future.

Who can I talk to about the next steps?
You can contact us at 323-417-1440 or email us to find out about becoming a foster parent.

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When husbands Robert and Tony, (pictured above in photo by, began researching their family building options, they quickly began to feel a little overwhelmed by all of their options. In addition, the men had their concerns about whether they would even be welcomed to build a family. Then a friend suggested they consider fostering to adopt and put them touch with The Village Family Services, a RaiseAChild partner agency located on North Hollywood.

“The Village Family Services staff made us feel very comfortable from the very beginning,” explained Robert. “The agency had no issues with us being a gay couple and we trusted them with making the biggest decision of our lives.” According to Tony, “It would be difficult to imagine going through the family building process any other way. The best part is there is no cost for their services, but the rewards have been tremendous.”

Cristina Bostanian-Quezada, Adoptions Program Manager at The Village Family Services explained, “Our goal is to meet the critical needs of children throughout Southern California. There are over 13,000 children in our foster care system that are waiting for a forever family. Our job is to assist in creating families to nurture and heal these kids.”

Continue reading Preconceived Notions Disappeared for these Foster Parents

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When Craig Peterson, now 57, became the first openly gay man in Indiana to adopt children through foster care in 1998, he knew there would be scrutiny and he was prepared. But he could never have imagined the journey he was about to embark on, the headlines he’d make, and the doors he would open for others. And most importantly, the role he would take on as an advocate of greater understanding and support for foster care children who may arrive into their adoptive homes with special needs and carry the weight of a traumatic past.

“It’s a journey,” Craig said. “That’s oftentimes the word that I use. I don’t know exactly what the path is gonna be and you’ve gotta be prepared for when something comes up. You just never know.”

Growing up in Montana, Craig’s parents taught him to see beyond what others looked like and to respect and appreciate their differences.

“That was a real part of my fabric growing up,” he said. “There was never any room for trash talk in our house, so I learned a lot of empathy.”

Continue reading The Path to Parenthood Led to Advocacy

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Photo by Marjorie Salvaterra

Meet Crystal a sweet, kind-hearted, intelligent girl who knows what she wants in life and a top priority for her is to have a forever family! Crystal is a well grounded young lady who can engage in a deep conversation, but is also light spirited and playful.

She likes to be active and is a sports lover by nature, she enjoys playing and watching any sport. Crystal’s favorite subjects in school are math and science and her dream is to one day become a veterinarian so that she could be surrounded by animals all day long! Her love for animals is obvious as her eyes lit up when she saw dogs at the photo shoot.

Although Crystal has been through a lot of grief and loss, her resiliency shines through and the hopes of having a forever family that can help her achieve her full potential!

Special thanks to the Children’s Action Network and the Heart Gallery LA for use of their photos. CAN uses the power of the entertainment community to increase awareness about children’s issues and to make them a top priority in everyday life.

If you’re interested in fostering Helen or other kids like her, please Contact Us.

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Jasmin, Josie, Jennifer and Emmanuel are very attached to one another and share an undeniable sibling bond.

Jasmin (2005) is very outgoing, has strong communication skills and can easily express herself. She is extremely personable and makes friends easily. In school, Jasmin performs well and has made average academic progress. She is strong-willed and is learning to follow instructions and with supportive services she is learning to manage her behaviors appropriately. Jasmin likes to play handball, hula hoop and jump rope. She also likes a competitive game of soccer. Jasmine’s love for nature is exhibited in the delight she receives from a nice walk or hike.

Josie (2007) is a very friendly, pleasant and kind kid. She plays nicely with her friends and gets along with others well. She is very talkative and will wow you with her broad vocabulary. Josie is quite artistic and loves to paint and color. She takes pride in her artwork and loves to have it on display. She also likes to read, tell jokes, dance and sing.

Jennifer (2010) is active, full of energy and can be very affectionate. She is very inquisitive and eager to learn new things. Jennifer is learning to trust others with information and at times can be quiet and reserved. However once she feels comfortable, she will easily engage. Jennifer loves to play with all kinds of toys and seems particularly attached to her stuffed animals.

Emmanuel (2012) is an active, happy and energetic little boy. Emmanuel is learning self-help skills and loves to do things independently. He is also learning to be a better listener and manage his feelings and emotions when things do not go his way. Although he has some delays in speech, he is eager to talk and is able to say three to four word sentences. Emmanuel loves to play with his toy cars, trucks, and balls and enjoys being outdoors! He also likes Sponge Bob and Thomas the Train.

If you’re interested in fostering Jasmin, Josie, Jennifer, and Emmanuel or other kids like them, please Contact Us.

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Photo by Anne Richardson-Daniel

Helen (2003) is a very sweet and loving little girl. Despite the losses she has experienced, she is determined and resilient. Helen is well behaved, outgoing and likes having fun with her friends. She also enjoys playing her violin and listening to music. Helen’s favorite singer is Ariana Grande and her favorite sport is basketball. She enjoys playing and watching a good game.

Helen attends middle school and recently completed 6th grade. Despite the new challenges that middle school has to offer, she enjoyed it and did well academically. Helen is benefiting from therapeutic services and has a very clear understanding of why she is in foster care. Helen wants a loving family that will nurture and provide her a safe and stable environment.

Special thanks to the Children’s Action Network and the Heart Gallery LA for use of their photos. CAN uses the power of the entertainment community to increase awareness about children’s issues and to make them a top priority in everyday life.

If you’re interested in fostering Helen or other kids like her, please Contact Us.

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In the backyard, Jackson is putting the finishing touches on his army fort made of sticks and leaves while his brother, Peyton, sits nearby flipping through his new favorite book. Dad keeps an eye on his kids through the kitchen window as he is preparing dinner. A typical evening in a suburban New Jersey town.

In 2017, each family is unique in its structure and its beginning, and for the Edge household, it all started on a spring day in Iowa in 2002. Daniel was in veterinary medical school in Ames and had just met a guy online, gone on a few dates, and soon he and A.J. began dreaming of their future together.

“During our first year of dating, a lot of our early conversations were about kids,” Daniel revealed. “We both had a desire to be Dads, and A.J. was pretty adamant about only wanting one child. But life often has other plans, and it is a pretty great story on how we became the parents of our two boys.”

That story really starts in 2005, when in anticipation for starting their family, A.J. legally changed his name and took Daniels’ last name, Edge. According to A.J., “It was four years before we could legally marry in Iowa, and we reasoned that when we adopted a child it would be easier if we all had the same name. That was the first step in our journey to become a family.” The two would eventually marry in 2009.

Continue reading These Two Dads Would, “do whatever it takes to build our family.”

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Over our five-year history, RaiseAChild has grown from three foster and adoption agency partners in Southern California to twelve partners today. The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), and specifically the Adoption and Permanency Resources Division, was one of our founding partners in the recruitment of prospective parents for the 30,000 children in the L.A. County foster care system.

Starting January 2017, State Assembly Bill 403 will bring major changes to California’s child welfare system. In essence the new legislature aims to move foster children out of group homes, creating an even greater demand for foster and adoptive parents, in turn, making our partnership with DCFS more important than ever.

Introduced by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay), AB 403 phases out the way treatment and services are currently provided at group homes in favor of measures geared toward providing greater support to foster families. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) will be charged with establishing and administering new accreditation standards and payment rates for group homes and foster family agencies.

Continue reading New Year, New Law

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Since founding RaiseAChild, I have had the great fortune to travel our nation to meet and speak with thousands of LGBT people curious about becoming foster and adoptive parents. Over these five years, I have learned to anticipate a list of common questions about building a family through the foster and adoption process. I do my best to correct myths and provide truths about the three most common questions involving the costs, the risks, and the children. However, it is the more private questions and concerns that some LGBT people hold back that I want most to address.

Ten years ago, the Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law published research showing that 50 percent of gay men and 41 percent of lesbians wanted to raise a child. The study went on to estimate that two million GLB people were interested in adopting. So today, with the number of children in the nation’s foster care system growing to 425,000, a continuing upward trend over the past three years, the RaiseAChild team constantly challenges ourselves to improve methods to encourage and support more people in our LGBT community to build more families for these children.

Continue reading What’s Keeping You From Becoming an LBGT Parent?

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Though Amber Ames, 24, and Anuilagi (Nani) Ames, 26, first met on opposing sides as student athletes during college, as partners they have formed their own formidable team devoted to a life of service to others, especially children in need.

And it all began with a basketball game.

“Nani’s team came out to our tournament and I thought that she was pretty cute,” said Amber. “So a couple of weeks after, I reached out to her on Facebook and we just kind of hit it off from there.”

Despite the 7-hour distance between the native Texans, Amber at Tyler Junior College and Nani at Temple College, they took advantage of breaks and holidays to build their blossoming relationship. In 2012, shortly after graduation, they moved to Austin together and it was there in the City of the Violet Crown that they discovered a surprise calling: Becoming foster parents.

Continue reading These Twenty-Somethings Hope to Inspire Their Generation by Fostering

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