Foster Care & Substance Abuse: Explore Your Options

If you are involved with the county foster care system, or struggling with addiction/substance abuse while pregnant, this does not take away your right to consider all of your options for your child. You have the ability to privately talk with a Birth Parent Counselor at Caring for Kids as you explore those options.

You can request to meet by calling 330-928-0044 or emailing

Your placement options may include parenting, temporary or permanent care with a family member or friend, working a case plan with children’s services, or making an adoption plan.


Our counselors have years of experience working with expectant moms as they consider adoption. They are sensitive to individual’s unique needs and desires for privacy. Choosing to meet with a counselor does not obligate you to move forward with an adoption plan.  Should you decide to move forward with an adoption plan, we are here to support you and your plan.


Choosing an Adoptive Family

Regardless of your situation, you have the right to select the potential adoptive family for your child.  The Birth Parent Counselor will talk with you about your health history.  It is important to share openly about any substance use and any other details that have impacted your pregnancy.  There is no judgement, only a desire to ensure that this information is shared appropriately to help your child thrive. Also discussed are family history, social history, requests for ongoing contact (openness), and other factors that may be important to you when considering parents for your child.  Other factors may include family make up, faith, location, or other important criteria specific to you.


Your Counselor will connect with waiting families that meet your requests.  You will then have the option to review the potential family profiles and personally select which family you are interested in.  If you desire, a face to face visit or phone interview will be arranged so you have the opportunity to talk with this family and ensure you are comfortable with your decision.


Once you’ve selected a family, you can begin communicating with them directly.  You also can decide how much involvement they will have during your pregnancy, as well as at the hospital.  This is the beginning of a lifelong relationship that grows as you continue to get to know each other.


Your counselor will go over a birth plan with you.  This gives you the opportunity to discuss your wishes at the hospital and who you would like to be present during labor, delivery and your time at the hospital.  Your birth plan will be submitted to the hospital social worker and your wishes will be made known.  Our goal is that your wishes are honored regarding your birth plan.


Making the Adoption Legal

After the 72 hour mandated waiting period has passed, you will be able to make a final and permanent decision to proceed with adoption.  It is always possible to take more time, if needed. When the time comes to sign your legal paperwork, you will meet with your Birth Parent Counselor, as well as an attorney that will represent your needs for the adoption.  You can ask anyone to be present that may be a support to you. Once the paperwork is complete, the baby will be placed with the adoptive family.


If you have a county foster care caseworker, with your permission, they will be informed of the steps you are taking to put an adoption plan in place for your child.  As long as the lines of communication are open with the worker, your plan is usually implemented without any interference from the foster care system.


What Happens Next

This is an emotional and difficult decision.  Your Birth Parent Counselor will meet with you regularly to provide counseling for grief and loss before and after birth. Regardless of your situation, we ensure you are offered these services.


No matter where you are in your pregnancy, you can choose adoption.  Depending on your situation, you can even make this decision if the child is already born. This decision is legal and available to you. Making this decision with licensed professionals makes this a safe and legitimate option for you and your baby.

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