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Orange County Foster Care Network

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the children who are freed for adoption?

Statewide, most of the children who are waiting for adoption are between 7 and 13 years of age. Many have been in foster care for several years and have had a number of placements. Many belong to sibling groups who need to be adopted together. More than half are boys. Sixty percent are African-American, 30 percent are Caucasian and 10 percent are Hispanic. Many have special needs, including physical, mental or emotional disabilities.

How can I learn more about the children who are freed for adoption?

In addition to the children on this web site, all of New York State’s waiting children can be viewed on-line in the Adoption Album at When you visit you can view photographs and read descriptions about the children who are available for adoption. The site also allows you to search for available children with specific qualities and characteristics.

If I decide to provide foster care in the hope of adopting, what will be expected of me?

It is required that you will work cooperatively with the agency toward the permanency plan for the child in your care. Initially, and almost without exception, the goal for the child will be reunification with his or her birth family. The agency is required by law to make diligent efforts to reunite children with their birth parents or parent. Family members or other resources must be considered as additional potential placement resources. In some cases, when the child cannot return home, adoption is a possibility.

What if the agency has reason to believe that a child will be returned home shortly after placement in foster care?

If your family is interested in adoption, the agency will make every effort to avoid placing foster children in your care when it is anticipated that their return home is imminent. The same policy applies if it appears likely at the time of placement that there is an appropriate and interested relative resource available. However, this information is not always readily available at the time of placement.

Can I decline a placement and, if I do, will this affect my ability to have other children placed with me in the future?

Prior to each placement, you are strongly encouraged to request as much information as you need to determine if a particular child’s situation is one you can work with successfully. Please remember that the placement of a child in foster care is almost always urgent and typically occurs at a time of crisis for the child and his or her family. While the agency will attempt to provide as much information as possible, only limited details may be available at the time you are contacted for a placement. Declining placements under such circumstances will not have a bearing on your being considered for future placement opportunities.

If I accept a placement only to learn the child will likely be moved, can I request an immediate end to the foster care arrangement?

If you do accept a placement and it becomes apparent that reunification or placement with another resource is likely, please make every effort to continue caring for the child until the permanent plan is achieved. It is extremely detrimental for children to be moved from home to home. Requesting the removal of foster children under such circumstances, or demonstrating a marked inability to work toward the permanency plan, will result in a re-evaluation of your eligibility to provide foster family care.

How old do I have to be to become a foster parent?

Foster parents need to be at least 21 or older.

I am gay or lesbian. Can I become a foster parent?

Yes. We welcome people of all sexual orientations to become foster parents, as long as you meet all the necessary requirements.

I have a criminal record. Can I become a foster parent?

Depending on the nature of the crime, you may be disqualified from being able to foster a child. Please contact us to discuss specific details.

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