This is a repost from Betty Crocker Wannabe…
November is National Adoption Month, and I thought I would offer a few posts on the topic of adoption, specifically adoption from foster care, since that is where I have experience myself. I do not consider myself a spokesperson or an expert by any means, but I am certainly an advocate.
I’m guessing that someone you know has adopted a child or was adopted themselves. I can name four adults off the top of my head who are close friends or family who were adopted. All of their experiences were vastly different, from the age at which they were adopted to the reasons leading up to termination of parental rights. I also know numerous families that have adopted children. Again, there are many different circumstances leading up to their adoptions. In both my adult adoptee friends, and families with adopted children, there are several who went through the foster care system.
Children in foster care are removed from their natural parents for numerous reasons, most often neglect or abuse. In many of these cases, there is no one in the child’s natural family to care for them, either because they are not able, or not fit. While many are removed as infants, there are even more older children who are removed. Nearly 425,000 children are in the United States Foster Care system today, and 115,000 are currently available for adoption, meaning the rights of the natural parents have been terminated due mostly to abuse or neglect.
More children become available for adoption each year than are adopted. Some children wait three years or more to be adopted, often moving numerous times to different foster homes and group homes. The older a waiting child is, the less their chance for being adopted and having a permanent home and family.
I chose adoption through foster care because it was the more affordable option for me, and the most likely, considering I was adopting as a single parent. Most child welfare agencies cover the costs of homestudies and court fees, and offer a monthly stipend plus free medical insurance until the child is 18, as well as reimbursements for some costs before the adoption is finalized. Some employers offer reimbursements for costs and paid leave, and let’s not forget the federal/state tax credits.
I believe with all my heart that adoption is truly a gift, to both parent and child. It’s not about giving a child a better life, or about infertile parents begging for a child, or at least it shouldn’t be. In fact, it’s not really about the adoptive parents at all. It’s about giving a child who needs it, a loving, nurturing, permanent home, which every child deserves.
For more information on how you can become qualified for foster care adoption, contact your local Social Services Agency.