Children available for adoption are those whose birth parents' or guardians' parental rights have been legally terminated. This can be done voluntarily or involuntary. Often this occurs before a child is placed with an adoptive family. Exceptions to that rule are infant adoptions and the adoption of foster children who are part of a state's fost-adopt or legal risk program.
To find children available for adoption, adoptive parents must first pass a home study. Once a case worker passes them as suitable adoptive parents, then they can begin to look through photolistings for adoptable children. Children in photolistings are those who are chosen out of the thousands of foster children in need of homes to be featured. Sometimes these children are harder to place than others but every child is meant to help bring adoptive parents to establish contact with a public agency and begin the placement process.
About a fourth of all foster children are available for adoption. It is not difficult to be placed with an older adoptable child. Yet, they are hard to place because of the idea that all foster children come with unmanageable baggage. This is sometimes true, children who have moved a lot from household to household may have trouble forming attachments to people or respecting adults. However, these children are also the most in need of a sense of permanency and belongign that only adoption can truly provide.