Adoption creates a parent-child relationship with all the rights and responsibilities a birth parent has to a child. The Westchester County Office of Children's Services offers a full range of adoption services that can help make a difference in a child's life. Read the profiles of children waiting for adoption now, right here in Westchester County.
Every year, we raise awareness of these children who are available for adoption through our Heart Gallery. The gallery is a travelling showcase of the children's protraits. The point is to show each child as he or she really is - a wonderful child in need of a second chance.
To begin the adoption process or to receive more information regarding adoption simply dial 2-1-1 and our partners at the United Way will assist you.
If you are interested in becoming an adoptive parent, here are some things you should know:
What is adoption?
What are the requirements to be an adoptive parent?
How do you become an adoptive parent?
How long does the certification process take?
The certification process, including training and completion of the home study, generally takes from 3-4 months.
What children are waiting for adoption?
What about infants?
What will it cost to adopt?
If a family is adopting a child who is in foster care there are no fees charged. Subsides are available to assist with the child's day-to-day care and medical needs. In addition, parents who adopt children with special needs are eligible to receive a one-time payment of up to $2,000 as reimbursement for non-recurring adoption expenses related to the legal adoption of the child.
What is subsidized adoption?
What is a home study?
A home study usually consists of a series of interviews between a family and a social worker to help applicants think through their ability to adopt a child. It is important that people considering adoption be stable, sensitive, patient, and capable of giving a child love and understanding. Social workers want to be sure that a person or couple have a realistic understanding of the commitment they take on when they adopt, and that they can provide a safe and nurturing environment for a child in their home. Interviews with husband and wife or a single adoptive parent are conducted by GPS II/MAPPcertified trainers. Applicants are asked to provide written information about themselves and their life experiences.
What information is available to adoptive families and adoptees?
Medical information (with identifying information deleted) is available at any time to parents who adopt a foster child and to the adoptee when he or she reaches 18 years of age. The New York State Department of Health also operates an Adoption Information Registry which allows adult adoptees to obtain non-identifying information on such things as background information on birth parents. The Adoption Information Registry also provides New York adoptees and birth parents with a vehicle through which they can register if they wish to be identified to one another.
Can the biological parents come back to take the child?
When a child is placed with the adoptive family, the parents have previously relinquished the child to an agency, or their parental rights have been terminated through a formal court procedure.
The New York State Department of Social Services also issues Family Albums and Blue Books which contain photographs and descriptions of children who are available for adoption. These can also be found in local libraries or can be viewed at our office located at 112 East Post Road, White Plains, New York from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, except holidays.
What are Post Adoption Services?
Post adoption services are provided to adoptive parents and children to assist with problems, issues or concerns that may arise after the adoption has been finalized. These supportive services are available until the adoptee reaches the age of 21. The WRAP program (Westchester Resource for Adoption Program) was developed by the Westchester Institute for Human Development and is located on the campus of Westchester Medical Center. Services provided include: clinical consultation; monthly support groups; parent-to- parent connections to build supportive relationships for families; assistance obtaining services such as appropriate school placements and therapeutic services in the community; an adoption library providing a selection of books, articles and videotapes related to adoptive family life; and ongoing trainings for adoptive parents on issues related to adoption.