Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Questions and answers

What is the exact foster adopt process?? we are looking into possibly doing this; however, we are not on the same page right now. We are still praying, but I would love to get some info from someone who has done it. Thanks.Elizabeth

While my heart will always, always be in international adoption for obvious reasons (those kids don’t have a government who will provide for them- food, clothing, health care, etc) we really enjoyed adopting from the foster care system as well. I will be honest and tell you that I had heard some horror stories and I was a little sceptical going into it- but to be fair, I had heard horror stories about international adoption as well. I would say the biggest difference was the cost. Obviously international adoption is quite expensive (although worth every single penny of it)- the foster adopt process is FREE! Paperwork wise- it was about the same for us as with international adopt. With international adoption though we did not have to take ‘parenting classes’ and with the foster system we did. When we first signed up for the classes I figured there was not a whole lot they were going to be able to teach me- after all, I already had six children- and 2 of them were adopted. Boy was I wrong. Todd and I really, really enjoyed the 2 weeks worth of training and learned so much! We went with a Christian agency so it had a Christian view on the teachings and it was wonderful. As for the wait- for most families the wait is very minimal. For us- because of our family size, we are considered a ‘group home’ (yikes) so we did have to wait a little longer. The more open you are to race, age, sex, or special needs- the quicker it will happen. The more selective you are- the longer it may take to find a match. I have known many families who have a match within a day to a week. With Kaden- we are doing a straight adoption out of the foster care system. You can do that if they find a child who is legally free for adoption like Kaden was- meaning the parents rights were already terminated. Or you can foster to adopt- and if the child becomes legally free the foster parents always have the first option to adopt. Kaden’s foster parents didn’t feel it was right to adopt him due to their age. Doing the foster to adopt route is typically the quickest- although, you have to be willing to put your heart on the line and know there is a chance that child might go back to their birth parents- or relatives. (but think of the difference you made in their lives while you had them!) Or you can just foster- and most likely they will place a child with you who they do not feel will become free for adoption- although, again there are never any guarantees. We chose to go through an agency and not straight through CPS (child protective services). I am really glad we did. I love our agency- love what they stand for and the people are fantastic. If we have any problem they are right there by our side- and once again- for free. :0) Because Kaden is African American and because he has a special need- he does receive subsidy until he is 18. It is not a lot, but enough to help raise him. Also, because he was a foster child- he will also go to any state college in our state for free. I guess that was a lot more info than you really asked for-so I’ll finally get to your real question. The process: Find a good foster agency and sign up for classes. (each agency seems to vary on how they do their training). Ours was during the evenings and weekends- some just do weekends. After the training they will do a homestudy on your family, talk to you about what kind of child you are open to and talk through any questions or concerns you might have. Then once you get fingerprinted and the fire marshal comes out and inspects your house - you are done and ready to go on the waiting list. Actually it was all really easy and so worth it!!!

1 comment:

The Engelhardt 4 said...

Thanks so much for the info. I will keep it close to us for when we feel that we are 'called' to continue with the adoption process. Blessings.