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If you've had a good experience with foster/adopt, can you tell me about it?

My husband and I are considering taking the foster/adopt route. We've been waiting for a child with a private agency for over a year and a half. We did have one placement (we had a little boy for four months) but the birthfather contested the adoption and got the child back. I'm nervous about taking the foster/adopt route because I don't want something like that to happen to us again... I am wondering if we'll have better success working with our state's social services and children who are desperate for a home. Any thoughts? Positive experiences? Should we continue waiting with our private agency?

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We are adopting two brothers from foster care. Parental rights were terminated more than a year ago. We were not their foster care placement and their foster home felt the boys would be better served at a different home. The foster parents are in their early 60s and the boys are 11 and 12. They wanted a family with more energy so the boys would have more opportunities for sports, etc. We will be foster to adopt parents for them until the adoption is final in November.

Anyway, our experience has been wonderful. The boys are doing great and we have a great relationship with their foster parents who have become "Grandparents" to the boys.
I would definately recommend fostering to adopt. I would recommend that if you take this route, make sure the child is free for adoption. My husband and I are currently in the process of fostering to adopt. We are in the preplacement process. We are working through a agency and initially intended to do straight adoption from fostercare, however we did not find that process to be working well for us. We were becoming very frustrated to the point we were going to pull our homestudy and call it quits. We finally talked to a couple of social workers through the agency regarding fostering to adopt and within a couple weeks of deciding to do that, we were called about a little boy. The worker was sure that he was a good match for me and my husband and asked us to come and read his profile. I will be honest reading the profile was somewhat a little scary, mostly because we really didnt understand everything we read, however our workers answered our questions and reassured us. If we had made a decision based on what we read, we probably would have said no, right away. However we decided we needed more info, that wasnt enough, the next step was a conference call with our workers, the childs worker as well as myself and my husband. After that call we were more convinced that we wanted to move forward and actually meet the little guy. He stole our hearts immediately. We later went back and read his profile again and then it made more sense to us and had a more clear picture of this little guy. We asked to have our homestudy considered for the placement of this little guy and we were later informed that his social worker chose us for his parents. We were so excited, yet scared at the same time. We started out by having another short visit with him and just hanging out and talking. We then moved to weekly visits for the transition and nightly phone calls, we are now doing the above as well as having weekend overnights. The transition is going very well. We talk very open about being a family, about us being his mom and dad, about his older brother and sister and there families. He thinks it is very funny that he is going to be an uncle at 7 yrs old and his nieces and nephew are around his age. He still calls us by our first names and we are okay with that, we want him to call us mom and dad when he is ready, with no pressure. The transition has given us all time to get to know each other and get comfortable with each other. He is absolutelly a gift from GOD and we could not be more thankful. We are still waiting for the interstate compact paperwork to be finalized and then he will be living with us permanently. I do believe he is as anxious as we are. Every time we see him and spend time with him, he smiles more and laughs more and is very comfortable with us.
We are going this route now and it has been wonderful but stressful. She has been with us since 4 months old. We did not go in to do a fos/adopt, just foster care but she stole our hearts. It was stressful in that it was a 3month placement that kept getting extended and as we all grew more attached the government kept hunting down family members for her. She is now over 3 yrs old. The governments first priority is to find family so there was always a new family member who could maybe take her, but none passed the homestudy process. One family member offered to keep her a year and then put her back in the system. We fought against that of course. Her bio mom is aboriginal, so the band had a say in whether she would be made a permanent ward or go to live with her band. The band had no foster homes so she stayed with us.Also in our province children are not made permanent wards until they have been in care for two years, unless there are special circumstances. From being made a permanent ward to being placed for adoption was almost a year.
And yes there are issues in foster children. Alcohol is a major one, drugs, neglect. 90% of foster children in our area have special needs of varying degrees. I don't know how much better that is with traditional adoption or with foster care in your area.

To us it has been totally worth it. I guess it all depends on what you are willing to go through and what kind of needs you are willing to handle.
Foster/adoption can be a hard road it is not for the faint of heart. I have had six children come in to my home two of them leaving us temporarily and then returning to later be adopted. It was hard at the time!! I won't lie, but even if they had not returned, I would not give up the short time we had had for anything. Each child that has come in to our home has taught us something and has made a differnce in our family's life. It definately, at least for us made the wait shorter to actually have children in our home but the process was long with some of our children and remarkaly short with others. Each case dynamic is different. It takes a lot of faith.I would not do it any different. Foster/Adopt was right for us. Five of out of our 6 children are now officially ours and it was worth every worry and heartache. We are on the list to take another placement and honestly sometimes I think, Am really up for this again as our 6th's case is still back and forth? We pray every day for our miracle with him. I think I am ready. I think you have to listen to your heart. Foster care is definately full of it's ups and downs but greatly rewarding.
Jamie
We adopted two brothers last year after having them in foster care for nine months. We had chosen the foster to adopt program because of the great need there. After having these boys in our home for only a week I told my husband if they took them back, I couldn't do it again. It is so easy to get attached and to have them taken away at that point would have ripped my heart out. I can't imagine how difficult that must have been for you. It worked out for us though and they are now legally ours! They have their challenges and probably will be through their lives, but I am grateful every day for them. It was one of the best choices I ever made in my life. My only advice would be to hang in there if you really feel like there is a child out there for you. He/she will come along when the time is right. In the meantime you are doing a great thing providing a home for these children and you will leave a mark on their life forever..even if you only have them a short time. Keep making their experience while they need you as positive as possible. I often wonder if my two boys went back to their original situation if I would have gotten to a point to try it again? I don't know, but I have considered one day doing foster care again without the intention of adopting. What better way is there to serve?
We had a wonderful experience with foster adoption. We weren't even planning on adopting, and then our 3-month old nephew got placed in our custody. We took all the classes to get our foster license, then took adoption courses also. We ended up adopting our little guy about 18 months after getting him. It was a long road, and there was one time we thought his birthmother would get him back, but she ended up signing off her rights. The hardest part was dealing with his birthfather, who's only seen him for about 2 weeks out of his life. He never came for visits, and then he stopped coming to court. The judge ended up terminating his rights. All in all, things went very smoothly.
I don't think that foster/adopt is the way to build a family but rather a way to expand a family if that makes sense. It is very difficult when a child goes home. When you are trying to start a family you have even more invested in the placements in your home. We have loved every child that has come into our home, and our hearts grow with each placement but we have the strength and resilience of our children to get us through.
We started out with Foster care. Had two difficult kids with severe tantrums and behaviors problems. It was really good to have that experience now knowing how hard it is in everyday life. When selecting behaviors we would be willing to take for adoption, we were open to all of the above, but went more in the moderate side of dx's. Also, we did 99% of selecting our kids. I sent all of our home studies out, along with talking with case workers about the kids I inquired on. I also was getting ants in my pants and just wanted to be chosen. But in the end I was really only serious about two sibling groups. Don't be afraid to send your home study out to any potential child you are drawn to. You never know... We were matched to our first sibling group. The second one of 4 kids had two of them with severe emotional and behavior issues. Three months after our paperwork had been started on the 1st sibling group, we were called on the second one. But I realized that I really didn't want to go back to that drama of the screaming and tantrums on a daily basis, so I guess God does give us what we truly could handle. We are now at our final stages of ICPC, and hope to meet our future kids within the next two weeks.
We adopted our son through foster care and he is amazing! We were incredible lucky. He was 15 months and completely healthy when he was placed with us. He came from a wonderful foster home and we stay in touch with his foster mom. That's not to say the process was not challenging along the way. There were serveral times I was in tears and wanted to give up because it seemed like it was never going to happend. He is now 4 1/2 and we are now in process of trying to adopt a daughter. The process is only easier because we know what to expect but we are still experiencing many of the same frustrations which basically are how incredibly long it is taking and the lack communication. I wish the social workers would just send a quick email every month to let us know they haven't forgot about us. In the end when you have your child you forget all about the difficulties of the experience. Good Luck.
we are adopting a sibling group through foster we did not foster them 1st..ours is a little different in that i knew the mom from a former job that i had. I am a child welfare worker and i used to work for the tribe that these kids belong to..this is how i met the kids mother--i am not really considered kinship because i did not know the kids before they came into custody (they are 1 and 3) and i am not indian..but i am still involved with this tribe as i made some life long friendships with some of my coworkers and still do things with the tribe, i am also considered an expert in ICWA law as granted by my court (ha..i thought they were kidding) the tribe wanted me to adopt the kids because they knew i would keep them involved with their heritage and their birthfamily
It was EXTREMELY stressful as DHS had issues with me adopting them..and the kids worker and supervisor even went to far to go after my job..thank god my county director and area director knew it was a waste of time and were supportuve of me..it has been totally worth it

Bobbie--you are in OK--you should have no problems adopting the sibling..the kids you adopted are related therfore making you related..also guess what!! you are an ICWA compliant home..this was the most exciting news to me..now if i decide to adopt again i can adopt another indian child!

Elodie

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