I know someone who adopted an infant through the foster care system. I also want to adopt a baby, but I’ve been discouraged from pursuing foster care adoption with this goal. Why?

While infants and very young children do enter the foster care system, most often these children are reunified with their birth families. Those who cannot be reunified with their birth families are often adopted by their foster families. Very few infants and toddlers will be matched with other adoptive families. At the same time, many prospective adoptive parents hope to adopt a very young child. The number of available babies and toddlers is very small, while the number of families hoping to be matched with those children is very large. While infants and toddlers are occasionally placed with adoptive families, this is the exception. Further, young children are typically not legally available for adoption, and their placement comes with a high degree of legal uncertainty, or “legal risk.”