6 Things to Consider Before Fostering or Adopting a Child
Congratulations! You are finally making the moves to become a foster or adoptive parent. With almost half a million children in foster care and a quarter of them ready for adoption. This is a needed and welcomed move.
Before you submit your paperwork read our list of 6 things to consider before fostering or adopting a child. We hope it gives you more insight.
1. All Children Need is Love
We are not here to knock on the optimists but healing is complicated. Sometimes foster and adoptive parents can feel defeated because their love isn’t helping their child in an immediate way. Healing occurs over long periods of time and through trust, solid routines, and support. Don’t get discouraged.
Remember that these children come from so many varying walks of life. Be accepting, supportive, and love without expectation.
2. Bad Behavior Doesn’t Equate to Bad Kids or Bad Parents
When kids are making adjustments they can act out or revet to attention-seeking behavior. This is not uncommon and it does not make the child a “bad kid.” Nor is it a reflection on your parenting.
Regardless of the child’s age, a transition to a new home, with new things, and people can be tough to manage. Be patient and don’t worry about what others think of you. Take advantage of the resources you have and remember that these moments are not a reflection of your child or yourself.
3. Consider Becoming a Mentor First
If you are still on the fence about fostering, consider becoming a mentor. Fostering or adopting a child is a fulltime commitment, mentoring allows you to get your feet wet. It lets you have a glimpse while making an impact on a child.
There is no shame in wanting to be “sure, sure.” Role models and mentors make a difference and if it feels right still, signup and start fostering or adopting!
4. Open Your Heart to Biological Families
As you start fostering or adopting, remember that biological families are not villains in this narrative. We repeat, biological families are not villains. While they are not allowed to care for the child, be open to being kind and empathetic. They still love their child in the best way they can and with reunification being the goal of foster care, you want the best for your foster child.
For those adopting, it may not seem like something you want. But we hear stories from families who have benefited from having the extended biological family in their lives.
5. Children Enter Care For No Reason of Their Own
While you as a potential foster or adoptive parent understand that children end up in care because of their familiar situation. There are still some people who don’t understand the foster care system or why children end up there. Be an advocate when you can and don’t forget that children in care have no choice over the situation.
6. Respite Care is an Option
This is a two-part point. If you are worried about the full-time commitment of being a foster care parent there is also respite care. Respite care providers offer breaks to foster parents who are going on vacation or having big commitments that may disrupt their abilities to foster.
Becoming a respite provider of care is an option for those who are open to meeting and caring for lots of different children. It is also a great tool for general foster parents to use.
In conclusion, for those who are interested in fostering or adopting children, we commend you. Cheers! You are needed and we hope that this list of things to consider has helped reconfirm your commitment.
For those in the process of fostering to adopt, we offer free adoption day photos through our Framing Forever program here.