Considering becoming a foster parent - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 10-19-2011, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband and I have kind of considered becoming foster parents for a few years, but since a lot of things were still kind of "up in the air" we decided to wait until our lives were more stable.  We're becoming more serious about it now and have been discussing it quite a bit.  I just wanted to get a few opinions and thoughts from people who are foster parents.

 

My first concern is - how difficult is it when a child who is placed with you has to leave your home?  I'm scared of knowing how to cope if I've had a child with me for years and they went back with their natural family.  Of course I know that it would be best, but I'm assuming that it could sometimes be unbearable.  When you know upfront that you won't have the child with you forever, does it help?  Also, how often are you able to adopt the children placed with you?

 

My other concerns are in becoming licensed.  My husband and I are currently rebuilding our credit score.  He had a period of unemployment and we did get behind on a lot of bills.  I'm assuming that it could be an issue, but I don't know how strict it is.  We also do not own the house we're living in.  We rent it - although it is very large.  We have 6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.  I only have 3 children - so we have plenty of extra room.

 

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#2 of 2 Old 10-20-2011, 12:39 AM
 
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Quote:
My first concern is - how difficult is it when a child who is placed with you has to leave your home?  I'm scared of knowing how to cope if I've had a child with me for years and they went back with their natural family.  Of course I know that it would be best, but I'm assuming that it could sometimes be unbearable.  When you know upfront that you won't have the child with you forever, does it help?  Also, how often are you able to adopt the children placed with you?

 

My other concerns are in becoming licensed.  My husband and I are currently rebuilding our credit score.  He had a period of unemployment and we did get behind on a lot of bills.  I'm assuming that it could be an issue, but I don't know how strict it is.  We also do not own the house we're living in.  We rent it - although it is very large.  We have 6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.  I only have 3 children - so we have plenty of extra room.

 


I've fostered four children and only one has left my home, a little girl about a year old who was with me only two months. When she was placed with me i knew there were lots of other sibs and a relative was trying to get all the kids, so i figured it was temporary. And since she was aggressive with my toddler son and not a particularly "good match" i wasnt THAT sad to see her go. She ended up leaving to be placed with an aunt and a month later i was placed with another toddler who is now my adopted son, so it all worked out. Around here they TRY to have some kind of direction for the case or a trial started by the one year in care mark. Not that cases dont sometimes go on for years (i have a friend whose been fostering a sib group for FOUR years, they are pretty sure TPR will go through and they will adopt but its stressful anyway) but i know that often they try to not let that happen.

 

As far as adopting, my first foster child was placed with me within a month of licensing, he was a healthy three week old baby. He was never going to go home to his birthmom (she declined visits or any kind of contact) and they changed the case plan to adoption at six weeks of age. TPR took place at four months, adoption by 11 months. Very fast. It was the perfect "first foster child" for me because i'd been trying to adopt for over a year (without fostering) so i was really wanting to adopt a child not just foster.

 

My second foster child was the girl i talked about above. She was placed with me when my first adopted son was 15 months old. She went to relatives.

 

My third foster child came to me a month later, he was placed at 16.5 months old and his initial plan with reunification with birth parents. I assumed he would go back to his bdad, but within three months of placement with me they started the termination trial. Normally that takes a day but ours dragged on five months for various reasons (mostly scheduling) but in the end TPR did go through. Then the parents appealed and that wasnt heard for about nine months (ugh!!!), then the bdad FURTHER appealed which took another few months but the State Supreme Court declined to hear it (the lower appeals court had already upheld the TPR)...so i didnt get to actually finalize his adoption until more than a year after TPR,which totally sucked.

 

Almost a year after i got that boy, i had his sister placed with me, technically as a foster child but TPR had already occurred and she was placed with me for the purpose of adoption.

 

So, in three years of fostering i received four kids and adopted three of them. Other people have very different outcomes. Just depends.

 

In terms of the licensing...where i am, they dont check your credit or anything like that. All i had to do was fill out a little worksheet and list my bills and then my income and then provide proof of income from my employer. They didnt actually ask for proof of any of that (except for income), although some agencies are probably a little more thorough. They basically want to make sure that you can afford the family you already have and that you arent in dire straights financially, as fostering can put stress on your family and if you are already under stress due to tight finances that might not be good. But you can totally be poor. And renting is fine. I've always rented. Its not a problem at all. Sounds like you have plenty of space! Here they want a certain square footage per child of bedroom space (40 sf where i live) and there are rules about different gender kids sharing rooms (they can if under age 5), not sharing with a parent unless under a certain age, etc.

 

Many foster parents with the agency i used to use were lower income working single parents. They really arent that picky, as long as you can pass the criminal background check, can support your current family, and your home can pass the safety inspection.

 


Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
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