foster care

adoption attorney

Compassionate Foster Care Adoption Attorney Provides Legal Assistance to LGBTQ+ and Other Couples in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area

One of the avenues that some parents and families choose for adopting is to participate in the foster care system. Children in foster care are in need of stable, supportive, loving homes. While rewarding, permanently adopting a child in foster care is not always a guarantee, as the preference is to return children to their biological or legal parents when their parents can establish a safe and supportive living environment. If you are considering working with the foster care system, a foster care adoption attorney from Zavos Law can help guide you through the process.

Adopting from foster care involves a lot of options and requirements, and is not always a successful process. When you need help with a foster care adoption, call experienced Attorney Michele Zavos from Michele Zavos Law to get the legal assistance and advice you and your family need throughout the process.

Requirements for Foster Care Adoption in D.C. and Maryland

In Maryland, any adult is eligible to foster to adopt or to adopt from foster care provided they meet the following requirements:

  • Are at least 21 years old
  • Complete at least 27 hours of training
  • Complete an adoption home study performed by a licensed social worker
  • Demonstrate the financial means to support and care for a child

The requirements for someone in the District of Columbia to be a foster parent or to adopt from foster care include:

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Complete 30 hours of training with Child and Family Services
  • Submit an application that provides information about you, your home, why you are choosing to foster or adopt from foster, and what kinds of scenarios you are comfortable with (e.g. age, special needs, etc.)
  • Undergo a home study, which assesses your and your home’s suitability for a child.

What Is the Process of Seeking Foster Care Adoption?

Prospective parents can choose to get involved with the foster care system in Maryland or the District of Columbia in one of three ways:

  • 01. They can choose to become foster parents
  • 02. They can choose to foster to adopt
  • 03. Adopting from foster care
    "as a same sex couple we have
had a rough time in the world of
adoption. we have faced a great
deal of prejudice, meeting michele
changed all of that.”

The initial process of all three scenarios involves contacting your local CFS department, undergoing a home study, completing pre-foster/pre-adoption parenting classes, and submitting information to assess your financial and physical/medical ability to care for a child.

If you are approved to participate in the foster system, the next step involves waiting for a placement. In most cases, prospective parents do not need to wait long as there are always children in need of foster homes.

If you are fostering to adopt, the process of adoption can be long and is not always guaranteed. When children first enter the foster care system, the court usually sets a goal of reuniting the children with their biological or legal parents. Only if the parents voluntarily surrender their parental rights or after CFS petitions to terminate the parents’ rights due to abandonment or a demonstrated inability to parent will the child become free for adoption. However, it is just as likely that a child you are fostering will eventually go back to live with their parents.

Adopting from foster care is a much quicker process, as a child is only placed with prospective adoptive parents once their biological or legal parents’ rights have been terminated.

How Can a Foster Care Adoption Attorney from Michele Zavos Law Help You?

Caring for children in the foster care system can be highly rewarding, and there are several ways that prospective parents can get involved with the foster system. If you are considering adopting a child in foster care, foster care adoption attorney Michele Zavos can help you by:

  • Explaining your options for foster care adoption and helping to decide which avenue may be best for you and your family
  • Assisting with preparing the application paperwork necessary to become eligible to foster or to adopt
  • Representing your rights and interests during court hearings, including permanency hearings if you are fostering to adopt, or the adoption petition hearing if you are adopting a child already in foster care
  • Guiding you through the process of finalizing your child’s adoption

Contact a Foster Care Adoption Attorney to discuss your legal rights and options and learn more about the adoption process.

If you and your family are considering adopting a child from foster care, reach out to Attorney Michele Zavos today to discuss your legal rights, options and eligibility for adoption and to learn more about the process of foster care adoption.


How much does foster care adoption cost?
While foster care adoption is usually more cost-effective than pursuing adoption through a private agency, you can expect to have some expenses associated with foster care adoption, including paying for medical exams as well as legal fees to retain an attorney to guide you through the process and court costs.
What is the difference between being a foster parent and adopting from foster care?
A foster parent usually refers to a guardian who temporarily cares for a child in the foster care system. A foster parent will care for the child until they can be reunited with their biological parents or until the child is adopted by someone else. Adopting from foster care means becoming the legal parent of a child in the foster care system. You can either adopt a child who is with a foster parent, or you can choose to become a foster parent with the hope that you might have the opportunity to adopt the child in your care if they are ultimately not returned to their biological parents.

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