- How do I become licensed in Suffolk County to Foster and Adopt Suffolk County children?
You can contact the Suffolk County Department of Social Services (DSS) Kidsline at (631)853-5437 (KIDS) to inquire about becoming a licensed foster/adoptive parent with Suffolk County.
- What if I am interested in Adoption and not Fostering?
The New York State Office of Children & Family Services (OCFS) website (www.ocfs.ny.gov/adopt/) will provide information about the process to become certified and approved to adopt a child who may be waiting for their forever family in foster care. This site also provides links to State, County and Voluntary agencies that can provide you with more information on how to proceed with growing your family through adoption.
- When I adopt my foster child, will I still receive the same foster care stipend to assist with the child's room and board costs?
Many children who are in foster care and freed for adoption are eligible for an adoption subsidy post-adoption. This is a daily stipend for the child to meet their needs. The rate depends on the child’s age, level of need, the adoptive household size and annual federal adjusted gross income. Your adoption caseworker will guide you through this process and answer any questions you may have in this regard.
- If I adopt my foster child, will the County still pay for my childcare costs?
On the day that you adopt your foster child, the childcare subsidy will end. You may apply for Childcare Assistance separately through the Childcare Unit of the Suffolk County Department of Social Services. Income guidelines may apply.
- Will the child that I adopt through Suffolk County DSS be eligible for free college?
Children who are adopted from foster care, and are over the age of 13, may be eligible for financial assistance when they file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A child who is adopted over the age of 13 currently is not required to enter the parent’s financial information on the FAFSA and may be eligible for financial aid. Each child’s circumstances are different when applying for college assistance.
I believe I was adopted in Suffolk County, how can I get my records?
Adoption records are sealed and highly confidential. Our agency takes inquiries directly from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Adoption & Medical Registry and we respond based on those inquiries. Adopted persons who would like to register and request “non-identifying information about themselves and their birth parents” may apply to the Adoption and Medical Registry online or by mail: www.health.ny.gov/vital_records/adoption.htm.
I am a birth parent (or an adoptee) who wants to connect with my family, how can I do this?
If both the birth parent and the adopted child register with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Adoption & Medical Registry, then they may be able to be linked and the State may request for our Agency to facilitate this connection.