We believe every child deserves a family and a home. Our goal is to unite children and youth in foster care with permanent, loving and nurturing families.

Children and Youth for Adoption

If you’re interested in adopting an infant, we recommend contacting a private adoption agency. While infants and toddlers are sometimes available for adoption, the majority of children in state custody are school age. Through the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoptionwe are able to help facilitate adoptions for foster youth who may be more difficult to find an adoptive family for.

The children and youth who need adoptive parents the most are:

  • Large sibling groups.  This could include a sibling group of 3+. We do our best to keep siblings together when they are removed from a home, as for many children in our care, their brothers or sisters have been the only constant presence in their lives.
  • Older adolescents and teens.  More often than not the perception of teens in state custody is that they are troubled, aggressive and delinquent. However, they can be just as engaging, resilient and rewarding to parent as are younger children. And most importantly, they can benefit from the emotional and financial stability a family and loving home can offer.  
  • Youth with special needs.  We believe that children with special needs are first and foremost just children.

Additionally, our goal is to limit the number of transitions (or homes) a child experiences. To that end, we give preference to foster families that have provided a home to a specific child (including infants) for at least nine months. So perhaps becoming a foster parent first might be a consideration. The training and licensure process is similar. Additionally, an overwhelming majority of children and youth in foster care are reunified with their family or adopted by their foster families.

Before You Can Adopt:

Parents who wish to adopt a child in state custody are required by the state of Missouri to complete the Specialized Training, Assessment, Resources & Support (STARS) course, which is the same course length and topic coverage as a foster parent, as well as a 12-hour Spaulding training course. These free courses consist of lectures, activities, Q&A sessions and homework assignments. The training can take between four and nine weeks to complete. In these training courses, you will meet other adoptive and foster parents. Most participants will develop a connection and kinship with each other and start to develop a support network.

Additionally, as part of the Spaulding training, you’ll put together a Life Book. An adoptive Life Book is a photo album of about 20 pictures that tells the story of you and your family. Its purpose is to help the professional adoption team get to know you without your being there. If you plan to adopt, the life book is required.

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