Sunday, November 28, 2010

Adoption ABCs Post-script #2: Foster Care

Foster care is a route to adoption we have considered with varying degrees of commitment over the past few years. We are currently actively involved in getting approved to foster to adopt. For those not familiar with the connection/differences between adoption and foster care, here is some information from AdoptUsKids.org:

"Children in foster care live with their relatives, foster parents or, if neither of these is available, in group facilities. Children are removed from their families due to neglect (such as not providing enough food for a child or leaving a child who is unable to care for herself alone) and/or physical, sexual or emotional abuse. In almost all cases, when children are removed from their parents, parents must be provided help so that they can safely parent their children. Slightly more than half of children who go into foster care return to their birth families. When parents are provided with help and they are still unable to parent safely and their children remain in foster care for 15 of the most recent 22 months, the state files with the courts to legally terminate the parents’ rights. The children then become available for adoption. Most children are adopted by their foster parents or relatives. However, if this is not possible, states try and find other adoptive parents."

As we have gone through our classes for foster care, one of the messages that the case workers have tried to convey is that, unlike conventional adoption placement, the primary goal of foster care is reunification of families. Thus, foster parents frequently play a temporary role in the lives of the children they care for. However, as noted above, only about half of children who go into foster care return to their birth families. There is a significant need for foster parents who can transition from caring for children in foster care to becoming their permanent parents.

Here are some foster-to-adopt links of interest:
  • AdoptUsKids.org. We mentioned this group above. You may have heard the ads from this group with the tag line "You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent." They have links to several resources.
  • The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. For the past few years, the foundation has put on a program called "A Home for the Holidays" on CBS (this year it airs on Tuesday, December 21st).
  • The Child Welfare Information Gateway "connects child welfare and related professionals to comprehensive information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families. We feature the latest on topics from prevention to permanency, including child abuse and neglect, foster care, and adoption."
  • The Michigan Adoption Resources Exchange "is an information and referral service for prospective adoptive parents interested in adopting children with 'special needs,' and for adoption workers looking for homes for these children. The MARE website provides a photolisting of waiting Michigan children and of Michigan families interested in adopting children with special needs. The child listings are updated bimonthly, typically at the beginning and end of each month."

4 comments:

Annie-Staten said...

My sister in law has done foster-to-adopt. Her first foster baby came to her at just 2 days old and they almost adopted her when she was 4 months old but then family members finally showed up (after searching for them th whole time). She now fosters 2 siblings (a 3 yr old and a newborn who is now a few months old) and they are hoping this adoption will go through but still won't know for several months. It's a pretty amazing thing I think.. fostering, especially with the hope to adopt:)

Anonymous said...

There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working ,great job!

Anonymous said...

Hola, Interesante, no va a continuar con este artŠ½culo?

Anonymous said...

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