You Don’t even want to know... from classes to years of evaluations. And we are in a Conservative state. Like in most states you have to be dependent on the government to be part of the government (ie foster) system.
Then you realize the agenda of the state is not to let kids in the foster care system be adopted. A very few are allowed. Most kids though are stuck in a system where Mommy Rules and has years to get her act together. In the mean time the kids stay in homes in strangers in many cases.
Families used to take on this responsibility BUT it has become quite dangerous to do so in these times. For example grandparents taking in kids to their homes lets say their grandkids in most states must also qualify as foster parents. But the birth mother still calls all the shots. I know many what they call kinship foster parents who have had their lives threatened, their home threatened, legally harassed, stalked, the kids threatened by the birth parents and the Childrens Services sits on their tails.
The answer isn't allowing gay couples to adopt. The system is dysfunctional enough with out that factor nor do kids going through the trauma of being placed in state custody need the added stress of gay parents.
Romney and Obama are pushing the same perverted agenda. I've saw quite a few younger straight couples in classes wanting to adopt. The instructors basically say forget it that is not the agenda. If states will return kids back too abusive parents it stands to reason they have no qualms about turning them over to those of alternative lifestyles either. No foster kid needs gay foster parents.
40 plus years ago, my wife and I became foster parents in the bluest of blue states (Illinois). Tomorrow at 1:00 P.M. at the Tazewell County Court House, in Pekin, Illinois, we are having our final adoption hearing for 2 of them. We've been their legal guardians for the past 4 years, brother and sister, ages now, are 12 and 13.
I expect all to go well and I'll be posting a vanity with pictures tomorrow night.
Our income is similar to your stated income.
We have 4 adult children, 14 grand children and 4 great grand children. Add 2 more after tomorrow.