The Differences Between Foster Care and Adoption

Of course, there are many differences between foster care and adoption, ranging from the trivial to the significant. After a child is adopted and post placement visits have occurred, a social worker will no longer be a regular guest at your home. The child will have your last name. You will not have to share authority with an agency decisions about school, medical treatment, religious practice and a myriad of other parenting matters can be made without someone looking over your shoulder. The child will inherit from you and is entitled to a share of your estate equal to that of any of your other children. You will be financially responsible for the child’s welfare until the age of majority, and you will be liable for his or her actions in any legal disputes.

When you adopt your foster child, especially one who has been with you for an extended period of time, both you and the social worker should help the child to understand the significance of the change in status. The child’s life-book, a personalized account of his or her birth and placement history, may be an important tool in facilitating understanding. It is very important that you mark or celebrate the change from foster care to adoption in some symbolic fashion, so that the child really perceives the difference. Children who have been moved around a lot may truly not see what all the fuss is about, but it should be made clear that adoption is a major life event. A special party, a family ceremony, even the sending of formal announcements are all possible ways of marking the adoption. Ask your child and other family members what they would like to do to commemorate this milestone.

When you adopt, you will have to incorporate the child’s birth family experiences and background and possibly former foster care situations into your family lore. You must honor the child’s birth heritage and positive memories, and build upon them. If the past involved abuse or neglect, especially sexual abuse, you should receive special training to understand how those experiences can affect a child in later stages of development. If the child will have contact with birth or former foster family members, you should consider how visiting or corresponding will work within the context of your family.

If you adopt a child who has special needs either as a result of genetics, placement experiences or a combination of the two you will have to deal with these ongoing issues. Adoption subsidies can help with the financial aspects of raising children with special needs; you should also know what other resources will be accessible to you.

The central issue in changing from the role of foster parent to adoptive parent is that of redefining your attachment to the child as a full lifetime commitment. Are you ready, willing and able to see this child through to adulthood and afford him or her all of the opportunities and burdens that being a member of your family entails? Can you see this child as a part of your life long into the future? To do this, you and your agency social worker should examine the strengths and needs of your family, agency and community, and evaluate the impact of adding this particular child, with particular strengths and needs, to your family on a permanent basis. This is what making an informed adoption decision is all about.

Preparing Yourself For Foster Care Adoption

Are you happily married yet feel like there is something – rather, someone – missing in the family? If so, you two just might be one of those couples who are ready to welcome a child in their family. However, if it is not in the mother’s wishes to get pregnant herself or perhaps there are certain biological complications preventing conception, then the two of you should consider going for foster care adoption.

Many couples are confused about the difference between this and regular adoption. It’s pretty simple, really – with regular adoption, you get full legal, financial, and decision-making responsibility for the child who will be placed in your care. Also, the goal is not to eventually reunite the child with his original family, but for him or her to become a permanent member of yours.

The beauty of foster care is that it is a win-win situation for both the child and the foster parents. Couples who have long wished for a child of their own but do not have the capacity to produce any are able to experience caring for and loving a child who is practically their own by commitment. Foster children, on the other hand, are able to experience the love and the warmth of doting parents, and are brought up in a very secure, yet fulfilling environment.

Are you in the process of preparing yourself for foster care adoption as a parent? If so, remember that there are many things you should consider before making a final decision. Adoption is a big step and will affect not just you, but the rest of your family. If you have children already, this is also a topic that needs to be broached to them so that they are open about it. In this stage, open communication is very important not just between you and your spouse, but between you and every single member of your family. Remember, you need just as much support as the child who may just become part of your lives forever.

Foster parents need to be certain that they are at a point in their lives where they are physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially ready to take on a child (or another one, if there are already children). By entering into a foster care commitment, you are agreeing to support a child in all aspects. If this is something you cannot yet guarantee, then this isn’t the right time to consider adoption. It is only fair for the child to receive 100% care and commitment from his or her foster parents.


Adoption and Foster Care – Five Tips on How to Adopt a Foster Child

Those looking into adoption and foster care need to realize that if they wish to give their foster child a permanent home, the process of finalizing the adoption could be a long one. It takes around a year or so. If a foster parent wants to adopt the child in his or her care, or someone just wants to directly adopt a child in the system, all that is involved can seem confusing and overwhelming. With this said, it helps to have some tips on hand that break down the legal process piece by piece.

First, people need to locate local adoption agencies. These agencies have to be asked about whatever experiences they have with the adoption of foster children. Potential parents then have to select one that they are comfortable with. Once one is selected, those wishing to adopt children need to make sure that they meet all foster adoption requirements. These vary from state to state, but they generally dictate that parents be between twenty-one and fifty-five years of age; have no criminal records; and live in a house that meets their state’s size requirements.

Second, paperwork will need to be filled out that asks applicants for basic information, including name, address, employment history, and more. The applicant should at this point ask the agency about all of the adoption costs involved and see if they could be reimbursed for any of the fees. The agency may also recommend that some child care and parenting classes by taken.

Third, a home study appointment has to be set up with the agency. Before this process takes place, however, the agency will check into the potential adoptive parent’s employment and criminal (if any) history. The applicant will also have to get some solid recommendations; family and friends are usually chosen as references.

Fourth, the home study is conducted contingent on the applicant’s passing all criminal and employment background checks. This involves a caseworker coming to the home to make sure that it is suitable to raise a child or more in. If the person applying for adoption is already a foster parent, then the worker will check to see that the parent is following the proper foster care procedures.

Fifth, once the prospective adoptive parent passes the home study test, then he or she can be placed with a child.

The adoption agency will place a child with the applicant, and a visit will be arranged (if the foster child is not already under the parent’s care) to ensure that both the parent and child are comfortable with the placement. Once the child moves in, then a court date will be arranged where adoption papers will be signed. This will make the adoption both legal and complete.

The Foster Care Adoption Programs

Most of the families who belong to the lower class are the ones who have lots of children, averaging on at least five. The irony is that these parents have lesser means to financially support a big family. They could hardly make ends meet with many mouths to feed everyday. The children suffer the consequences. Some of them grow malnourished or lacking the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong.

The parents could not even afford a regular medical checkup for these kids. What more about schooling? Most of them grow illiterate. They could not afford the high tuition fees of educational institutions. Even public schools could not be afforded. There are the everyday miscellaneous expenses to think of, that goes with schooling.

Some parents are forced to bring their children to the streets to help fend for themselves. The kids are forced to beg for money, sell candies and cigarettes, and use their small earnings to fill their daily hunger.

Probably the better route to take is to put up these kids for adoption. This is where foster care adoptions come in. It is a process of taking in a child to take care of him when his real parents could not. In some cases, it could also be that the child prematurely lost his parents, and he is put up for adoption so that other concerned citizens may see to it that he grows up to be a good person.

This is one way where in a child is given a new and better life in the care of the foster parent. The foster parent is the one who will support or provide the needs of the child. It is usually better to adopt a baby or toddler because he is not fully aware of his circumstances yet. He could easily adapt to his new environment under the care of his would-be foster parents.

However there are also those who adopt children from 6 to 10 years old. One should just have to explain to a child carefully why his circumstances are changing, in a way that his level of thinking will understand. Traumas could be avoided if the child feels he belongs and is loved in his new home.

Foster care adoption has a lot of advantages. The institution acts as a middle party between the child and the foster parents. It is different from just informally taking in a child one sees in the streets. If you opt for foster care adoption, there will be documentations, and the child’s surname may be replaced.

The institution usually does a background check on the would-be parents and sees if they are viable to take care of the child financially, emotionally and spiritually. In the same manner, they also look into the compatibility of the child and the foster parents.

Dialogue is very important, such that initially both parties will be briefed of what they can expect to happen. It includes the overwhelming feelings of being in a new foster home with parents that are strangers at first. For the parents, there is also the overwhelming feeling of having a new child that will be their responsibility for forever.

It is also important that each party is briefed of their roles. This is more important to parents, to make them fully understand the gravity of the responsibility, not just financially, but more so in helping the child grow up to be a good citizen.

Foster care adoptions require some fees for processing some documents and other necessary things. But this is the safer route for both the child and foster parents.

Foster Care Adoption Is It Giving or Receiving

Are you as tired of this me, me, me perspective of life as I am? Have you been blessed with a home, a decent income, and the sweet companionship of a loving spouse, perhaps even children – and yet suddenly you’ve had the uncomfortable feeling of living just for yourselves; you’ve detected the “me, me, me” perspective in your own life? You have been given so much, you keep thinking, and then comes the question – is it possibly the time now that I, or we, are to give something in return to someone not as blessed – not our money, but the giving of ourselves, the sharing of ourselves with a special someone – perhaps a foster care adopted child?

Imagine this foster child to be someone who never expected to receive so much as you are able to give – someone so used to feeling abandoned and alone, unloved and unworthy of being loved, because he/she didn’t know what it was like to belong to a family who loved and wanted him/her. Perhaps they once knew the love of family, but have gone through the pain of losing them. Do you know about foster care adoption? Are you aware that for whatever the reasons, there are thousands of children – babies, toddlers, teens wondering why they were brought into this world to be so alone? It could be there’s a foster child out there, placed in this stream of humanity, waiting to become a vital part of your life, your family.

As you delve into the foster care adoption system, you realize it is a complicated procedure requiring prayer, research, and determination from the first step of finding the best state or private agencies to begin the process until the very end. Now all these questions are flooding your mind: Is foster care adoption really the right thing for my family? Who and where are these children waiting to be adopted? Would we be accepted as adoptive parents? How long will the process be and what will it cost? So what’s our first step in getting started?

There are many sources available to answer these questions and help you get started. Adoption agencies and exchanges, religious groups, community colleges are examples of where to start. Keep in mind that the majority of child adoptions from foster care are handled by public child welfare agencies. Parent support groups are out there as well as state department specialists – and don’t forget the many websites and printed materials that are available in that initial step toward foster care adoption.

Part of the educational process of learning about foster care adoption is to nail down all the legal requirements because, as you’ve surmised, laws and regulations govern U.S. adoption procedures. Because these laws vary from state to state, it may benefit you to check out the State Statutes database to furnish an overview and comparison of laws statewide.

Wow, you’re just getting started and already your head is beginning to spin – and you think “Is this the ‘giving’ I was expecting to do”? But wait, don’t lose sight of why you’re here. Yes, you will become perhaps even more frustrated and yes, there will be other times you wondered why you ever thought about foster care adoption! But the time will come when you know you have done it right.

Let’s refocus on the reason for it all – the child. Let’s confirm the “why” you are here. Just envision that lonely, frightened, confused, disheartened little spirit beginning to unfold and blossom under the umbrella of your love. Just see the transformation as he/she begins to love again – to love you and to love him/herself.

Then you will know without a doubt that you have actually experienced that familiar precept: “It’s better to give than to receive”. And you now know that indeed it is in the giving that we receive. By reaching out and giving of your love through foster care adoption to this child in need, you and your family are receiving and will continue to receive all the blessings that Love has to give.