Foster-to-Adopt is the process in which families begin as foster parents, but then adopt a child they are caring for.
Each time a child in foster care moves to a new home, the child is traumatized. To reduce this trauma, the Utah Division of Child & Family Services (DCFS) has a policy of placing children age 5 and younger with foster families who are also interested in adopting.
Initially, the goal for the child is to return home. The foster family is expected to support efforts to achieve this goal. However, if these efforts are unsuccessful and the courts determine that the child cannot return home, then the family may be able to adopt the child. In some instances, the State will sign a Legal Risk Placement agreement with a family. This means that the family has already been chosen to be the adoptive family for the child in the event the child is unable to return to their biological parents.
For families that would like to adopt without doing foster care, adopting a waiting child may be a better option.