The road from foster care to adoption can be confusing, especially to those unfamiliar with the foster care system. One of the most common myths about foster care and misconceptions is that birth parents can reclaim their child, even after another family adopts them. While the overarching goal of foster care is to reunite children with their birth families, this does not mean that biological parents retain parental rights to their child after they’re adopted into another family.
Kids enter foster care when their current families are no longer able to support them. Though children may be separated from their biological parents, the parents still retain legal parental rights until they terminate them through the court system. After this happens, the child may be adopted by another family. Once a judge approves the paperwork, the adoption is final, and the adoptive parents become the child’s parents by law. Adopted children typically stay with their adoptive family for their entire lives. That’s why we call them forever families!
According to Monroe Harding, “The goal of foster care is to provide children with a safe, nurturing environment while their birth parents improve their ability to care for their children, with the ultimate goal being reunification of the family.” We hope that all children can be reunited with their birth families once their parents are able to take care of them, but unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. Luckily, there are incredible people willing to go through the adoptive process. Each state has varying regulations, keep that in mind when entering the process. What works in New York City, may not in Los Angeles. Though it takes time and effort, it’s worth it to welcome a child into their family forever.
We all need to do our parts to ensure that these myths about foster care don’t become misconceptions. To spread awareness and see how you can help out your local community, visit https://www.togetherwerise.org/volunteer-opportunities/