Shaynelle’s Story
At the age of five, my older sister and I were placed in foster care. My mother was addicted to drugs, and I didn’t even know my father. My sister and I were often left home alone or dropped off at strangers’ houses for a couple of days at a time. When home with our mom, sometimes other people stayed with us who weren’t nice and treated us badly. The social worker who took us away said our mother wasn’t able to keep us safe.
We moved into a foster home, but it was rough. I thought the family was okay, but I guess my sister didn’t. She argued with them all the time, had tantrums, and got really bossy with me. She hit me a couple of times. Now I know that she was just trying to act like my mom. The social worker moved her to another home. I didn’t see her often anymore, usually at court or some visits with our mom. I got scared that I wouldn’t ever live with her again, especially once I found out that we wouldn’t be returning home to our mother and those visits stopped. Then I started having problems. I couldn’t get along with my teachers or friends at school, and I started arguing with my foster parents. I was angry that they gave my sister away. So then they wanted me to move away, too.
I was placed in a new foster home. I acted bad a lot at first, but this foster mother took me to visit my sister at her foster home. My sister was doing a lot better, and I eventually started doing better. My sister got adopted by her foster family, and although I was so happy for her because she really liked them, I was really worried that they would stop letting us visit. But it didn’t turn out that way at all! They asked if they could adopt me, too! Though I was sad to leave my foster mother, I was super excited to live with my sister again, after about two years apart! I moved in with them and, even though we’ve had some ups and downs, they are now my parents and my forever family. And they still let me see my former foster mother! I still miss my birth mother, but things turned out pretty well for me.

Adoption/Permanancy

Are you interested in adopting or providing permanency to a child or adolescent who is currently in foster care and needs a forever family? FCS is a licensed affiliate of the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN). For families who want to adopt, be kinship parents, or provide permanent legal custodianship, we will help you complete a home study, also known as a Family Profile. In addition to the application and paperwork that is required, there is also a preparation and training element to the Family Profile, which we provide. Once your Family Profile is approved, we use a variety of methods to help match you with a child, facilitate a child’s placement with your family, and assist you through the Adoption Finalization process.

If you have already adopted or are providing kinship care or are a legal custodian of a child, you are eligible to receive Post-Permanency services. These services are to help families preserve healthy functioning and relationships or to help obtain services to benefit any member of the family. Case Management/Advocacy, Respite, and Support Group are available through SWAN and can be provided by FCS. Requests for Post-Permanency services need to be made directly through SWAN by calling 1-800-585-SWAN (7926).

In addition to providing services for families, FCS also provides SWAN services to children and adolescents prior to their permanency. A Child Profile is a comprehensive summary of a child’s life. It’s purpose is to provide a written history of the child’s life and family, which can benefit the child’s identity development and be used as a reference for health history, etc. The Child Profile is made available to adoptive families so they know the child’s background and can make informed decisions about the child’s care. Child Preparation is a service that assists children and adolescents in developing a Life Book and can help them work through issues that might be a barrier to finding permanency. Child Specific Recruitment aids in permanency through finding adoptive resources and/or other permanent supports and connections.

FCS can also provide home studies for private adoptions. The process is similar to that of the Family Profile, but the training requirements are different. While Family Profiles are funded through SWAN, private home studies cost $2,400.

For more information about any of our adoption/permanency services, give us a call! Find more information about SWAN and check out some of PA’s waiting children at www.adoptpakids.org.

Adoption Search Services

Looking for your birth parents or information about your past, prior to your adoption?
Trying to locate a child who was adopted?
Want to track down a long-lost sibling?

If your adoption was facilitated by FCS, we may be able to help!
We can provide adoption search services on behalf of the following individuals:

  • An adoptee at least 18 years of age
  • An adoptive parent of an adoptee who is under 18, who is adjudicated incapacitated and is 18 or older, or who is deceased
  • A legal guardian of adoptee who is under 18 or adjudicated incapacitated
  • A descendant of deceased adoptee
  • A birth parent of adoptee 21 years of age or older
  • A parent or birth parent of adoptee 21 or older if birth parent consents, is incapacitated, or deceased
  • A birth sibling of an adoptee if both are 21 or older and meet at least one of the following criteria:
    • The birth sibling remained in the custody of a birth parent and that birth parent consents, is deceased, or is incapacitated
    • The birth sibling and the adoptee were both adopted out of the same birth family
    • The birth sibling was not adopted out of the birth family and did not remain in custody of birth parent

Contact FCS for additional information about the search process.

If you’re uncertain about which agency facilitated your adoption, a good first step is to contact the court in the county where the adoption was facilitated. Both the court and the facilitating agency are able to assist in a search. If you are unsure of the county, contact the PA Department of Vital Records, as new birth certificates are issued following an adoption, and they can provide the county where the adoption occurred. Some information may also be available through the Pennsylvania Adoption Information Registry (PAIR).

PA Department of Vital Records:
http://www.health.pa.gov/MyRecords/Certificates/Pages/11596.aspx#.VL85i-lAR8w

PA County Court Contacts:
http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/vital_records/8736/pennsylvania_courthouses

PAIR:
http://www.adoptpakids.org/PaeAmhr.aspx

As you begin the search process, there are some helpful questions to consider:

  • How long have you been thinking about searching?
  • What brought you to this point of making the decision to search? Curiosity? A feeling of incompleteness? Crisis?
  • What are you looking for? Medical information? Family history? Connections?
  • What information do you already know?
  • What will the information mean to you?
  • How will the information impact you?
  • How might what you discover impact your relationships?
  • How are you going to use the information?
  • What if no information is found?
  • Who have you talked with about this?
  • Who will support you on your search?
  • What if the outcome is not what you’re hoping for?




4385 Edenville Rd Chambersburg, PA 17202
717-263-2285 ~ 717-263-6597 fax
info@familycareservices.org