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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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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Robin Wade, 51, and 41-year old Stephanie Wade are definitely in the latter category and are reveling in their children, 13-year old Carlos, Linda, who is 10, and the most recent addition to their crew, 15-year old Maria.

“The bonding is extremely different than with an infant. With babies, it’s primal, but you have to connect with the older kids on a more intellectual and emotional level,” Robin said, adding, “Communication is much more robust with older kids. The younger ones don’t know yet how to put their thoughts into words.”

Robin, a web manager for California State University and Stephanie, a medical massage therapist, met in Chicago in 2008 and were married in 2010 on Martha’s Vineyard. They relocated to Robin’s home state of California and now live in Long Beach.

Continue reading These Moms Are Purposely Building Their Family With Older Kids

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On June 8, 2015, Deasia Johnson and Nikki Dismuke-Johnson made history when they became the first same sex couple to wed in the U.S. territory of Guam, two weeks before the Supreme Court ruling legalized same sex marriage nationwide.

“The funny thing is, the day we got married, we were in jeans and a t-shirt, we just went to get our marriage license; we didn’t plan on getting married that day,” said Deasia. “But they ended up telling us that we could; so we went ahead and got married.”

It was also in Guam that the couple began researching the possibility of becoming foster parents.

Continue reading This Military Couple is on a Mission to Help LGBTQ Foster Youth

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It has been almost eight months since Lola Shahdadi and Lynne Witmer became what they always dreamed about: a family with their adopted daughter, Ella. As time passes, they reflect on the impact it has had on their lives, and hopefully on the lives of others.

Lynne states it simply: “Our lives have become a musical. Everything we do is a song or a dance. That is just how life is right now, and everything we have in our house seems to talk or play music.”

“Everything is different, but it is all a good different,” Lola adds. “Every aspect or your life changes when you become a family.”

They do know that theirs was not a typical path for the foster adopt system. They started their journey with both preparation and trepidation.

“We had both reached the decision that we wanted to be moms, and we talked a lot about what parenting would look like for us,” Lola admits. “I think our planning really helped us from being too shocked when we did become a family.”

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In December of 2012, Kristina Journey and Shelli Culley attended a RaiseAChild Parent Information event in West Hollywood, California, one of many that brings adoption agencies and prospective parents together.

According to Shelli, “We met online in 2003 and moved in together in 2004. We didn’t talk motherhood very much early on. I was a nanny and we were surrounded by the children of relatives and friends, so we put it on the back burner and got a dog.”

“Then we saw the advertisement for the RaiseAChild event and began questioning the notion of being parents. We decided to go and left crying because we knew being parents was what we were supposed to be. It was just meant to be.”

So, Kristina and Shelli, now 48 and 46 years old, respectively, immediately started on their foster family certification, choosing to work with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. In July of 2014, Baby Cooper, just 13 days old, was placed in their care.

But, was motherhood really meant to be?

Shelli recalled, “Three days after bringing Cooper home, the social worker called and said she would fast track us through the adoption process and we were super excited. Two months later, at a meeting, we were told a great aunt had been searching for Cooper since his birth.”

Continue reading One Good Deed Led To These Two Women Building Their Beautiful Family

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