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Can I ask a few questions?

Posted by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 2:38 AM
  • 13 Replies

My husband and I are just now talking about fostering to adopt. I am so new to this whole thing and since we aren't sharing the news with anyone, I have no one to answer my questions! I applied to two other groups that are probably a better fit for someone asking questions about the beginning step, but they haven't approved me yet and I have questions NOW... lol

So... does anyone want to answer some obnoxious questions? :)

Currently awaiting BFP #4

Quiverfull Blog



by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 2:38 AM
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Replies (1-10):
jen1130
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:13 AM
Go for it....I will and there are moms here with different types of adoption. There are people here with foster to adopt and Domestic infant adoptions and step mom adoptions. What kind of adoption are you looking into?
We adopted our first foster to adopt as an infant. Our next 3 were straight adoption from foster care (older children).
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SarahSuzyQ
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:38 AM
I am also a foster mom, and currently in the middle of adopting my 4yo foster son.

Fire away, there are a number of foster and foster/adoption mommas in the group. :-)
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ARgal
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:40 AM

I would love to share what I know.  I looked at foster adoption for a time, but did not ultimately adopt through foster care.  I have written summaries about the process here on CM and I will try to find them after I drop my DS off at school.  :-)

Here is a very brief summary:

The first step is to call your DHS office.  They will guide you through a homestudy (little or no cost to you).  They will also require you to take classes.  Often counties will offer weekend or online classes now.

At that point, you must choose whether to participate in the foster to adopt program or adopt a child with respect to whom parental rights have been terminated and who is legally free for adoption.

I have to run to school now, but I will write more later.  :-) 

mcginnisc
by Claire on Feb. 8, 2012 at 9:17 AM

This is a good group to get information about Foster adoption! We have several members that have gone through that process.

Bump for you!

Claire
" I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13

Moderator- Healthy Weight Loss
Moderator- Adoptive Moms

ARgal
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 10:01 AM
1 mom liked this

I agree with Claire.  This is a great group.  Not only is it accepting and supportive, the ladies here are a wealth of knowledge about all types of adoption.  :-)

Here is some additional information about foster adoption.

Homestudy:

Couples must have a homestudy before they can foster or adopt.  

In foster adoption, the homestudy is done by a DHS employee, who is a social worker.  It involves meeting with the social worker and at least one visit to the home to make sure that the home is suitable for children (eg, enough bedrooms etc).  

As part of the homestudy, you will be asked to submit your fingerprints to the state police for a background check and your name will be run through the child abuse registry to check for any convictions related to child abuse.

The length of the homestudy process varies from county to county.  In progressive counties it is about eight weeks.

I'll go ahead and post this so I don't lose it.  I'll continue in the next post.  :-) 

ARgal
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Choice between Foster-to-adopt and Adoption from Foster Care

Once your homestudy is completed and you are eligible to foster and adopt from foster care, you need to choose between participating in a foster-to-adopt program or adopting a child who is legally free for adoption.

A foster-to-adopt situation involves fostering a child who may be returned to his bio family in hopes of adopting him if parental rights are terminated.  The idea is that these foster parents will adopt them if parental rights are terminated.  That way, the child won't have to be moved out of the foster home to an adoptive home, which would be disruptive and traumatic.  Children in the foster-to-adopt program tend to be younger.  There is a risk that they might be returned to the bio family.

Another adoption option is to adopt a child with respect to whom parental rights have already been terminated.  These children tend to be older.  They typically have spent some time in foster care while the state wen through the process of hearings, parenting plans etc with the bio parents and ultimately terminated the parental rights.  In hopes of finding these children homes, they are posted on adoptuskids.org.  

"A baby is a miraculous gift from God, no matter how one receives it. Some are given the ability bear them, others the ability to rear them."

SarahSuzyQ
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 10:33 AM
1 mom liked this
While ARGal gives a good overview, many of the details on how this works vary significantly from state-to-state. I think she has provided an excellent idea of the basics to consider as you begin investigating the process. One thing in particular I would caution is that "foster to adopt" can be a misnomer... And it functions very differently (or not at all) depending on where you are located.

In our area, they do not place a child based on "likelihood" of parental rights being terminated. I think too many hopeful adoptive families have been too hurt when CWs have bad or incomplete info on which to base those expectations... So they just won't give that kind of assessment up front. I know another FM from a different state has mentioned that her state has dropped the terminology of "foster to adopt" altogether because it resulted in too many families who were unwilling to go through the foster process. Still other states will not do a TPR until the child is in an adoptive home. And so on.

Most every state does recognize that fewer moves are better for children, so foster parents are given the opportunity to adopt should reunification and/or family placement fail. That is all that "foster to adopt" means in my area, that you would be dually licensed and consider adopting a foster child in your home should they become legally free.

So as far as getting a good understanding of how your state's process works, I highly recommend checking out the website for social services. They may redirect you to a private agency or give you info about applying through the state.

As far as questions about what to expect, what different things mean, hearing about others' experiences... Those are more the kinds of things you can find in these CM groups. That, and support. I can't imagine having gone through the past two years without the women on CM and their encouragement.
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ARgal
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 11:20 AM


Quoting SarahSuzyQ:

While ARGal gives a good overview, many of the details on how this works vary significantly from state-to-state. I think she has provided an excellent idea of the basics to consider as you begin investigating the process. One thing in particular I would caution is that "foster to adopt" can be a misnomer... And it functions very differently (or not at all) depending on where you are located.

In our area, they do not place a child based on "likelihood" of parental rights being terminated. I think too many hopeful adoptive families have been too hurt when CWs have bad or incomplete info on which to base those expectations... So they just won't give that kind of assessment up front. I know another FM from a different state has mentioned that her state has dropped the terminology of "foster to adopt" altogether because it resulted in too many families who were unwilling to go through the foster process. Still other states will not do a TPR until the child is in an adoptive home. And so on.


Thank you for sharing this!!!  This is very important for a prospective foster parent to know!!  I'm adjusting my summary.  :-)

good


"A baby is a miraculous gift from God, no matter how one receives it. Some are given the ability bear them, others the ability to rear them."

meam4444
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Welcome to the group!!  Feel free to post away and ask all you need to ask.  My husband and I are planning on starting our adoption journey in the near future, and I have learned so much from this group.  It is amazing the knowledge and support here.  It looks like you were given some great info already.  :)

SarahSuzyQ
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:11 PM

I have learned a lot on CM about how much the process varies from state-to-state, especially for foster parents who are hoping to adopt. I personally had no idea that a worker would place a child in your home based on the likelihood of TPR, nor that this could be considered a different "classification" for foster parenting... Simply because that's not how it works here, in my state. But I have seen other people post exactly that as being true for their area; one woman in this group has referred to "legal risk" foster parenting, which I believe is similar.

So it's really interesting, because each state seems to have chosen to handle things differently... But there are still LOTS of similarities, especially once you get beyond policy and start talking about personal experience. :)

Quoting ARgal:

Thank you for sharing this!!!  This is very important for a prospective foster parent to know!!  I'm adjusting my summary.  :-)


Anyway, OP, I'm glad you're here and I hope this sidebar has been helpful. I think lots of folks would be more than happy to try and answer any questions you have, or to help point you towards good resources. The great thing about CM is that with so many different viewpoints, you can almost always learn something through the conversations... Or at least that's been my experience! :)

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