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Open adoption through foster care?

How is an open adoption established through foster care? When you get placed with a foster child, its through the system, right? So when/how do you get in contact with the birth family to talk about contact?


Asked by Bellarose0212 at 12:22 AM on Apr. 16, 2010 in Adoption

Level 19 (7,940 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • Bella, In our situation we were placed with a foster baby (6 m/o) whose mom had a service plan to get him back. She wasn't able to do that & we did adopt him after he became available for adoption. She had supervised visits with him many times prior to her rights being terminated. We got to know her & see her struggle during this time. It's a sad time. Our son wasn't abused. His mother had a habit she couldn't kick. It varies state to state, but generally foster/adoptive parents don't have contact with the bio parents, except at visits. She did get our address & phone from the phone book. Keeping in contact with bio family after TPR is a case-by-case thing, & should depend on if there was abuse, the age & attachment of the child, and the best interests of the child. In our case, she had never hurt him, she loves him very much, and as long as she is drug-free when she visits, then we are willing to try to build a relationship.

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 1:14 AM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • Please keep in mind not all foster children qualify for adoption. Some still have family working treatment plans.

    If you are wanting to adopt an ELIGIBLE foster child: This is something you need to talk with the case worker about. I can only imagine if you're a foster parent and contacting the biological parents who have done immense harm to the child. There is a REASON the system has sole custody of the child and he/she is up for adoption. That does not mean having an open adoption with the parents.

    Answer by MissMommyK at 12:31 AM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • Geez.... I hate when people answer a question about something they know nothing about.

    People who adopt through the system are not placed with typical foster children. They are placed with children who are in the process of having the parental rights terminated. When people talk about adoption through foster care it does NOT mean that they are taking in children as foster children with the hopes of them becoming adoptable. This is two different set of circumstances. Two different types of placement.

    And not all children in foster care are there because they have been abused. Some people willingly give up there rights. Sometimes it's a child with medical issues, sometimes it's a parent with low IQ who just can not care for a child. There are circumstances when there can be an open adoption with a biological parent, grandparent, or siblings.


    Answer by BlooBird at 12:41 AM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • I was actually a foster child for 9 years, so I am pretty sure I know a good portion about it. My foster Mother also adopted a child in foster care... so trust me, I have been there.

    She did not specify whether she was being placed with eligible children or not. There are differences. She just asked a general question, and going on that I answered.

    Where I am from, FOSTER children are generally abused. I am not aware, nor was I ever placed with, children who only suffered from medical illness. That was a different department.

    Answer by MissMommyK at 12:54 AM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • While there are circumstances when open adoption is okay, I can guarantee you none of my former case workers nor their supervisors would have been okay with that. In fact, when my Mother was adopting the son she did, they specifically told her that if she allowed him ANY contact with the family that he would be taken out of her care AND the adoption would be off. So it is a case by case thing, and it does need to be discussed with the worker.

    There was CARE for special children with psychological issues, then another department for physically disabled children, then regular foster care for children who were abused. There are extreme differences with all of them. We never referred to a child having behavioral issues as a foster child. They were in the CARE department, and a CARE child. They were not handled by the same workers, and their office buildings were different. In my state there was an extensive difference.

    Answer by MissMommyK at 1:00 AM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • (con't) We were highly discouraged about having contact with her before our adoption was final. We did respect that so that we were out of contact with her for over a year & a half. (The appeal took an additional year.) I'd say that in most cases that foster children who are adopted have little to no contact with birth families after adopted. I would think that it would be RARE for a caseworker who has worked her hiney off to prove that a parent was a danger, unfit parent, etc. to give HER approval for post-adoptive visits. Also, there is generally 1-2 people who are responsible for a child coming INTO foster care. However, the child is likely to have many other relatives who love them & want to stay in contact with the child, but for reasons of age or money, can't be a long-term placement for the child. I have known foster/adopt parents who had an open-door policy following adoption, but the parents never wanted contact.

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 1:27 AM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • MissMommyK, I am sorry for the circumstances that brought you either into the foster or CARE program that you speak of. I can only imagine how these things being discussed would make you feel. And yes, had our child been abused at the hands of his parents, allowing future contact isn't something that I'd do. Thank you for your reply & explaining your POV.

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 1:33 AM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • Thank you everyone. I'm not a foster parent currently nor am I in a fost-adopt program. I am considering adopting our next child through fost-adopt (yes, I know even fost-adopt programs are not adoption guarentees) and I am one of those people who researches every thing to death. It will probably be 2-3 years before we even start the process, if it is right for us. So, my question was mostly out of curiosity. I know in foster care sometimes they have you taking the child to visits with the biological parent- sometimes supervised and other times not supervised- so maybe you would form a relationship in that situation (or NOT if they were abusive or scary people). ....

    Answer by Bellarose0212 at 1:42 AM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • I was wondering though if someone got a baby that had already had tpr from a non-abusive situation (maybe neglectful? or there was a harmful parent and one not harmful that just didn't leave that harmful parent) or the parent (lets say a young girl who herself was a ward for sake of argument) had willingly relinquished- how would you go about through your case worker getting contact? I also was thinking of biological siblings in other foster homes and/or grandparent or other relatives. Again- just wondering. Thank you all for your replies, I understand they were based on your different experiences and different understanding of the question.

    Answer by Bellarose0212 at 1:44 AM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • My daughter has 3 siblings in other homes. We asked the social worker to contact the adoptive parents and give them our information if they wanted it. We received a letter from one sibling's family where they stated they would not be interested in any contact. But we did get full contact information about the other two (together in one home). On the day of the adoptions all three families were there, but the one hid down the hall and asked for private proceedings. They did come out for a quick picture with all the siblings together, then left. My family and the other family did our adoptions together. We keep in contact and see them about twice a year. There is a huge age difference so we don't get together more often.


    Answer by BlooBird at 1:51 AM on Apr. 16, 2010