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No matter what type of adoption you are considering - domestic, international, private, foster care, in-family - there are three specialists in each state and territory who may have information you need:
State Foster Care Specialist
The State Foster Care Manager in each State is the administrator or program manager who has oversight responsibility for all foster care services provided to children in the custody of the State/County. The Foster Care Manager is usually the key point of contact for programmatic issues or concerns, and may be able to provide statistics on foster children. Generally, however, families interested in becoming foster parents should contact their local public agency.
State Adoption Specialist
The State Adoption Specialist in each State has oversight for all adoptions and adoption-related activities. Generally an employee of the State's department of social services, the adoption specialist has a comprehensive view of the State's adoption system. The Specialist is the key point of contact for questions about adoption process, procedure, and policy; waiting children; statistical data; licensed agencies; access to adoption-related information and records; State statutes related to adoption; and adoption subsidy. Specialists routinely take questions from parents on these issues.
State Licensing Specialist
The State Licensing Specialist is the contact within a State department of social services who monitors the licensing status of child welfare agencies, such as adoption placement and foster care service agencies. State Licensing Specialists collect and retain all official complaints filed against a particular agency, and should be contacted by parents inquiring about the licensing status or complaints record of a particular agency.
Turn to these experts for information about adopting through the foster care system, licensing requirements for agencies, to check on an adoption professional's history and any problems, to learn about homestudy requirements, and to find support resources.
One of the most important things to remember is that adoption law is state law. As you search for adoption resources in your state, keep in mind that working internationally or across state lines to adopt, you will also be subject to other laws and regulations. Be sure to ask your adoption professional for a clear explanation of any differences in laws that may affect your adoption plans.
Credits: Child Welfare Information Gateway (http://www.childwelfare.gov)
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