Foster care adoption can be a beautiful way to grow your family. Here’s what you really need to know about foster care adoption.
1. Foster children are not bad and they did nothing to become a “foster child.”
When we decided to let others know about our desire to foster, everyone we told had a negative story to tell. Very few wanted to tell us about an awesome foster care story. There seemed to be a myth that every child in foster care had major behavior issues or had done something to be placed in the state of the care. Although there are some children in foster care system who have special behavior needs, these children are completely normal. Any “normal” child does get in trouble and does have to have discipline, but this doesn’t make a child bad. Most of the children in foster care have behaviors they have learned from their birth families and other foster families. These children aren’t born “bad” and did nothing to become a foster child. All children in foster care were placed there due to a decision of a parent or family member, not because of anything they did.
2. Adoption through foster care should not be last resort, and it actually costs very little.
Many people turn to adoption after facing infertility (and that is okay), however, adoption can be the first choice, and foster care adoption is an awesome avenue to pursue. Foster care adoption is normally free or has very minimal expenses. Adopting through foster care often times allows your child benefits through the state that other adoption avenues can’t provide, such as state insurance, free college, and sometimes monthly subsidies.
3. Birth parents are no longer birth parents.
Many times when speaking to someone debating on adoption through foster care, you hear reservations based on what “forever” means. Before a child is legally adoptable through foster care, a termination of parental rights must take place. This means the parents’ rights are terminated, their mom is no longer their mom, and their dad is no longer their dad. All family members’ rights are terminated. Before a termination takes place, the state must exhaust all efforts for family placement as well. Termination allows the state to place the child for adoption with no intervention from the parents.
4. Foster care adoption is not guaranteed, but it can be.
When you become foster parents, you are accepting the fact that a child you welcome may not become yours forever. You can foster-to-adopt, but this does not guarantee the child becomes adoptable. This basically allows a foster home to be certified to adopt and foster and stresses your hope to adopt. The only way someone can be guaranteed to adopt through foster care is to only accept placements already approved for adoption.
5. Foster care adoption is worth it.
Adoption is hard, especially when you go through the state. Although there are some easy parts of foster care adoption, it can be stressful and heartbreaking. However, through all of the “birth pains” of adoption, just like having a biological child, it is all worth it once it is official. Foster care adopting is hard but worth it.