My husband and I live in NH and are starting the FACES (Foster/Adopt) classes on Tuesday night. We haven't 100% decided yet if we are going to Foster or if we are going to hold out and wait for a child that is already legally emancipated. Is it true that we are more likely to get a younger child if we roll the dice and Foster in the hopes of being able to adopt? I'm really nervous of getting attached and being heartbroken when I have to give them back. The DHHS (Department of Health & Human Service) worker keeps telling us that their main goal is reunification. I have heard that adopting an older child is sometimes easier because most people want children under the age of five, but to be honest I am really scared about the trauma histories of some of these older children that have been exposed to abuse/neglect longer. I realize there still will probably be some bumps in the road with a younger child because even at 3 years old they are still effected but at 7 I'd imagine there memories would be that much harder to overcome.
Also, the one thing that has really been weighing on my mind is that both my husband and I have Misdemeanor convictions on our records. Do any of you that have Fostered or Adopted have somewhat spotty pasts with Criminal Convictions? My most recent was in 2011 and I've been on probation for 6 months but am getting off probation in the next few months for good behavior. I had probably 6 different Convictions between 2007 and 2011 mainly theft related all Misdemeanors. I do have a history of substance abuse but have been clean/sober for the past two years. My husband had a DUI (Drunk Driving) in 2003. We are not bad people, but we have made some mistakes. Also, would a Bipolar and PTSD diagnosis disqualify someone from Fostering? I'm embarrassed even sharing all of these things but I really need some peace of mind. I did mention the criminal stuff to my DHHS worker (not in detail) and she said we should be fine, but yesterday as I was filling out the Foster/Adopt Autobiography and listing off all of my convictions all I could think was, "Wow, I look so horrible on paper!" We tried for a year to conceive a biological child but through testing found out that would never be possible, I was diagnosed with a Unicornuate Uterus and Diminished Ovarian Reserve. Now we have shifted our focus to Adoption. I just want to be a mommy and I know I will be a great one. Any thoughts or advice???
I could wait three years and have my Criminal Record expunged but I really don't want to wait. My husband is nearly 40 and I am 31 so the clock is ticking. Am I wrong to feel like there must be Foster/Adopt parents out there like us that have made mistakes in the past but still want to provide a stable and loving home to a child in need.
Thank you all for listening.