This process takes a long time. Typically, when someone wants to start a family, nine months later they welcome a baby. Another plus is during those nine months is that you are able to prepare for the baby’s arrival because you have the time and the knowledge of the gender and age. It does not happen when you foster-to-adopt. You start this process by going to the information meeting, getting assigned a PRIDE class slot, and then attending PRIDE classes. This could take anywhere from 2-6 months. Also, if you miss one class, you MUST make it up during the next cycle, which could be months away. Then, you are assigned a caseworker. It might take a while for him/her to contact you, and then when they do, you have to schedule a home visit. We waited about two months after classes for our initial visit. Meanwhile, you get your home ready as best as you can. You must have your chimney swept, have a health inspector inspect your home, and the fire marshal also has to check things out. You must baby proof EVERYTHING. Guns and ammunition must be locked up in separate safes, medicines must also be locked in another separate safe, every single cleaning product must either be locked away or placed out of a child’s reach, and every outlet must have a cover. There’s actually a lot more to it than this, but these are the major things an inspector checks for. The child’s room does not have to be “stocked” yet, but you must have a room for them; however, every caseworker is different and they may want you to have the room ready for a child’s arrival. If there is a bed in there already, you must have a mattress protector on it.
After the initial visit, you’ll be scheduled for a home study. Give 1-2 months for this to be completed. Once that is done, usually a few weeks later you will be licensed. Now, the wait really begins.
You will start receiving broadcasts of children needing a foster-to-adopt home. Once your caseworker submits you for the child(ren), it could be months before you hear anything back, if you even hear anything at all! Every situation is so different, you could submit for a child and hear back next week that you are the chosen family, or you could submit for a child and be in the final three families. If that happens, lawyers, caseworkers, and other people of importance hold a meeting to determine the best fit. There is absolutely no way to know what the timeline will be like.
Once the child is finally placed in your home, the biological family has one year to complete all services once they are assigned (it could take a while for them to be assigned because a judge has to do this). After that year, the biological family has the right to appeal for a 6-month extension. If the judge terminates rights and you are the family that is allowed to adopt the child(ren), you now have to wait for the adoption day. The child has to live with the family for a minimum of 6 months before this is allowed, but the child more than likely has already been living with you for much longer than that. As you can see, the process can and more than likely will take YEARS! Sometimes it may not even work out and the child is removed from your home. The system is broken and things can go so many different ways. Nonetheless, it is absolutely worth it! There is NOTHING on this planet that could ever make me not want to do this.
*Please note that this is from my personal experience.