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Myths about Foster Care Adoption

Posted by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 7:59 PM
  • 21 Replies
1 mom liked this

This article came from the Dave Thomas Foundation website. Thoughts? Anything here surprising or interesting? Anything you disagree with? Anything you would add?

5 REASONS YOU WON’T ADOPT FROM FOSTER CARE, AND WHY THEY’RE WRONG

November 29, 2012

“It’s too expensive.”

“Children in foster care are too set in their ways to blend in with my family.”

“I’m not married, so I can’t adopt, right?”

“I don’t want to deal with the birth parents in my face about their child or deal with the child welfare system – it’s all just too complicated!”

We hear these and similar comments all the time. It’s good to consider all of the challenges and needs potential parents could face when creating or expanding a family through adoption – from financial implications to household dynamics. But opting out of the process based on myths or misperceptions about the children or the systems involved is simply a disservice to the 104,000 children waiting to be adopted.

So let’s address some of the myths:

1. It is too expensive to adopt. In reality, adoption from foster care is not expensive, typically averaging $0 to $1,500, and financial support is available to families who adopt from foster care. Subsidies follow most of the children in foster care until they are 18 years old, and many employers provide adoption benefits. Federal and state tax credits are available, and assistance for college expenses of older youth is increasingly available.

2. Children in foster care are juvenile delinquents. Nothing could be further from the truth. Children enter the foster care system through no fault of their own, usually as a result of abuse, neglect and/or abandonment. More than half of the children waiting in foster care for adoptive homes are 8 or older, 30 percent are 12 or older. Unfortunately, each year, nearly 30,000 of the children waiting to be adopted turn 18 and leave the system without families. These are the children who may fall back in to another state system without the support needed to grow and thrive. These children deserve our best efforts to find them the families we promised when they were permanently separated from their families of birth.

3. The biological parents can try to have the children returned. Once a child has been made legally free for adoption, birth parents cannot claim a child or petition for their return. Foster care adoption is permanent. The adoptive parents may decide to maintain contact with the child’s extended biological family based on what is best for the child, but that is a choice of the adoptive family.

4. Single individuals cannot adopt. Unmarried individuals are legally able to adopt in all 50 states. Nearly 30 percent of the children adopted from foster care last year were adopted by single parents.

5. Dealing with the child welfare system is too burdensome. Any system, from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to health care providers, can be frustrating and complex. And yes, sometimes working with the state or county child welfare system can seem as though it is fraught with rules, processes and sometimes unresponsiveness. It is a complex system, but the professionals involved are as committed as you are to finding homes for children and want to walk you through the process every step of the way. You can also call us at 800-ASK-DTFA when you need help, or order ourFinding Forever Families: A Step-by-Step Guide to Adoption free of charge.

Remember Dave Thomas’ wise words: “These children are not someone else’s responsibility; they are our responsibility.” When children in foster care are permanently removed from their families of birth, we make what should be an unbreakable promise to them: we will find a family. And we will do it in a way that cherishes their childhood and their developmental needs so that they can grow and thrive within the birthright of every child – a safe and secure family of his or her own.

Take a moment to remember a time when, as a child, you were alone, or afraid, or distraught because one of your favorite comfort items – a stuffed animal, a blanket, a toy – was missing.Children in foster care waiting to be adopted feel that loss in a much more profound way. Each and every day.

Contemplating the challenges of foster care adoption is made a bit easier with the right information, a network of support, and knowing that our staff at the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoptionstands ready to help in any way we can.

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 7:59 PM
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Replies (1-10):
AdoptingMommy
by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 8:05 PM
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As we will ne setting on this the foster/adopt journey at the first of the year. We are excited and know its Gods journey to take us!
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SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Dec. 3, 2012 at 8:07 PM

That's so exciting! I did not realize you guys were moving towards foster care adoption... With your empathy and compassion (from what I've seen here on CM), I predict you will be a great foster mom. :)

Quoting AdoptingMommy:

As we will ne setting on this the foster/adopt journey at the first of the year. We are excited and know its Gods journey to take us!


AdoptingMommy
by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 8:11 PM
Yes:) I have a dd we adopted privately (open) and decided we would love to do foster care adoption, we are so open so its a easy choice. We have impact in jan:) Then we will be ready. A good friend finished her impact & 8 days later has a 2 mth old (this was nov 18th) It will be wonderful! Thank you for your well wishes


Quoting SarahSuzyQ:

That's so exciting! I did not realize you guys were moving towards foster care adoption... With your empathy and compassion (from what I've seen here on CM), I predict you will be a great foster mom. :)


Quoting AdoptingMommy:

As we will ne setting on this the foster/adopt journey at the first of the year. We are excited and know its Gods journey to take us!



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harmony7
by Bronze Member on Dec. 3, 2012 at 8:43 PM
2 moms liked this

 I only have this to say...my boys came to us at 9, 11 and 13 and now two and a half years later..they are worth it all.

EXCEPT when the oldest one is trying to tell me like now..that after four months of school he does not know if he is studying American or World History because he left his book at school and I am going to make him read....lol...Love boys!!

Pam in Alabama
A Mom to nine sons and one daughter with five still at home
SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Dec. 3, 2012 at 10:02 PM
I love to see this! I know it hasn't been an easy journey and it still isn't, but I'm so glad it's been worth all the challenges.

Good luck with that history homework!


Quoting harmony7:

 I only have this to say...my boys came to us at 9, 11 and 13 and now two and a half years later..they are worth it all.


EXCEPT when the oldest one is trying to tell me like now..that after four months of school he does not know if he is studying American or World History because he left his book at school and I am going to make him read....lol...Love boys!!


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MamaAgainx2
by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 10:33 PM
3 moms liked this

1.)  It's too expensive-  It will not have cost us a single penny. And, both children qualified for Adoption Support because they are considered special needs kids(but, I'll tell ya...do not let labels scare you away...do your research and do your best to come up with what you are truly comfortable with...and then go for it!)


2. Children in foster care are juvinile delinquents - Hmmm...both of ours came home as newborns...


3. The bio parents can try to have them returned - By the time a child is legally free, the state has BENT over backwards to dot the "i's" and cross the "t's" so that there is no room for an appeal to win...also, most will not even approach adoption until the appeals period is OVER...so, no...they can't get them back. AND, you are not always encouraged to have an open agreement with the family...it is not always wise. It is on a case by case basis...and entirely up to the adoptive family!


4. Singles can't adopt - Baloney...one of my best friends is single and has adopted TWICE from foster care.

5. Dealing with children in the welfare system is too challenging - It IS a challenge, no question...and if you are open to legal risk situations, you are facing pain and uncertainty...no question there, either...is it worth it? YES...just look at my babies! We adopted them BOTH before my little girl had been in our home for ONE full year. Is our situation common? No...but, it is not totally uncommon either, whatever they may tell you! I know a lot more people who adopted a child who came home as a newborn through foster care than any caseworker would want to tell you...do not look to them to tell you...if you feel called, follow the calling and trust God for the right child. Caseworkers are NOT paid to tell you the child will stay...they are paid to tell you that the goal is to return those kids to family until that is no longer possible...once that happens...they change completely! You would be amazed how quickly they switch to calling you mama! I had them admit they were hoping we would get the kids in the end...but, they have to be incredibly careful! They call it legal RISK for a reason. 

ONE last thing on this...the hardest part about foster to adopt is watching the state champion the rights of people who harmed a child...it is NEVER about the childs rights or wellbeing...and foster parents have NO RIGHTS. If you can keep that straight..at least it won't be so shocking to watch it all happen.   Hope my two cents helps someone enter into this journey realistically!

underHISwing
by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 1:23 AM
2 moms liked this

Yay!!!  Today is our Forever Family day!  2 years ago, after nearly 4 years in foster care, the judge signed the papers finalizing our kiddos' adoption. 

SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Dec. 4, 2012 at 7:59 AM
Happy family day!!


Quoting underHISwing:

Yay!!!  Today is our Forever Family day!  2 years ago, after nearly 4 years in foster care, the judge signed the papers finalizing our kiddos' adoption. 


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Jessy76
by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 10:45 AM

We want to foster/adopt. My family tried but the county said we had to get rid of our fur babies in order to qualify. 3 large breed mutts, all old shelter rescues we wouldn't dream of getting rid of them. It breaks my heart because we have a good home to bring children into and all our dogs are great with kids. Our 4yr old can't go to sleep unless 1 of them is on the foot of her bed. One day we will try again. Fostering just seems like such a rewarding thing to do and we already know how amazing adoption is. My only fear when we are able to do it, is we may end up with more kids then the Duggars because we just don't have the ability to say no when it comes to helping kids.

SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Dec. 4, 2012 at 8:13 PM
1 mom liked this
Is it just because of the breed that they wouldn't allow the dogs, or did it have to do with space? I'm always surprised when people have issues with pets and foster licensing, because both times they've done our license nobody has cared about our animals. We have cats and rabbits, but I have heard other people talk about specific dog breeds as being an issue, etc.

I really believe that things happen for a reason. Maybe now is not the time for your family to foster... But who knows what the future will hold? If it's something you feel called to, stick with it. Fostering has been the hardest thing I've ever done, but it has changed my life!


Quoting Jessy76:

We want to foster/adopt. My family tried but the county said we had to get rid of our fur babies in order to qualify. 3 large breed mutts, all old shelter rescues we wouldn't dream of getting rid of them. It breaks my heart because we have a good home to bring children into and all our dogs are great with kids. Our 4yr old can't go to sleep unless 1 of them is on the foot of her bed. One day we will try again. Fostering just seems like such a rewarding thing to do and we already know how amazing adoption is. My only fear when we are able to do it, is we may end up with more kids then the Duggars because we just don't have the ability to say no when it comes to helping kids.


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