I am curious if other people have gone through training for foster and foster/adopt parents. After several of these classes, DH and I are left scratching our heads at the obvious deficits in the program for foster/adopt parents. There is an undeniable bias towards foster parents and seemingly little regard for foster/adopt families. In reality, my wish is for every child to be reunified with his/her stabilized and functional biological family. That just isn't the case for many. This is why people like DH and I have to exist. Our journey into parenthood is something we both take seriously and are committed to educating ourselves in the areas untouched by training. But, I just can't help but think foster/adopt parents are being short-changed by the system and I wonder if it doesn't put these newly formed families behind from the start.
cantaloupe / 6920 posts
We finished up our classes early summer. I had the exact same feelings. But really we would be happy for a child just temporarily or for good. We just looked at it like even if a child is in our home for a month, let's make it a month filled with so much freaking love they might explode. But it is hard knowing so many parents do the minimum to get their kids back just to have them taken again.
blogger / pineapple / 12381 posts
I haven't gone through the training, but I have family and friends who have. I agree that the system needs and prefers foster parents. However, if that's not your calling, I would recommend standing firm in your commitment to accepting only foster to adopt children. They are out there. My sister brought home
her daughter at 6 weeks of life. At that time she was already had termination of parental right.
You need to do what's right for your family
pomelo / 5093 posts
My sister, a social worker, explained it to me like this. Her goal is to reunite birth parents with their children. Foster parents exist to take care of children until that can happen. The end. So then I asked well, what about parents who want to foster as a means to adopt? She said that it just isn't on her radar as a thing to work towards. All of her energy goes into reuniting those birth families.
I know that if I were adopting, I'd like to meet the child first and see if we got along, etc. She said that her (very personal) view on that was that it was terrible. You don't get to try out the children that you have biologically, why would you do that with adoption? She said that her department specifically discourages foster to adopt for that reason.
I could see her point when she explained it like that, but I still don't really think that I agree. If I were adopting, I'd rather adopt a child that fit in with my family, if that were possible.
cherry / 133 posts
@Anonysquire: You and your husband have a wonderful attitude. I am sure all of your children will benefit from being parented by you both.
@Mrs. Jacks: I love hearing about stories like your sister's! We are firm in only inquiring about children who are no longer a legal risk because their biological parents' rights have been terminated and all other relatives have been investigated and ruled out for adoption. No worries there. :0)
@Sarac: Thanks for sharing your sister's viewpoint. I can respect her opinion and agree 100% that reunification with the bio family is always in the best interest of the child. Of course, this is assuming the issues that led to placement have been resolved and the family has agreed to accept any necessary help if trouble arises in the future.
I never really thought of it as "trying out" children. She brings up an interesting perspective on the situation. Hmm. For us, we are only inquiring about children who are no longer eligible for reunification and would prefer to be able to adopt directly. However, our state requires a minimum of six months of foster care in the adopting family's home prior to being eligible to apply for adoption. I assume this is to reduce the number of disrupted adoptions.
I suppose it is what it is and parents adopting from foster care are on their own and need to be proactive about researching parenting methods for children who have experienced loss and trauma. I guess I am cool with that.
blogger / pineapple / 12381 posts
@Costello: I should add (now that you've completed classes) that my family members were also very specific on age range, as some kids can have reactive attachment issues and sometimes that is difficult to ferret out in that first six months.
I'm so excited for you!