Positive Foster to Adopt expereince; adopting and infant or toddler? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 10-22-2011, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually this is our 2nd time coming at this, in Summer of 2009 my husband and I applied, attended orientation, and had our background checks cleared and were approved to enroll in MAPP.  we never enrolled, because at teh time we'd been put on a move list for my husband's job and were concerned about not completing an adoption before being called to move, or about disrupting a stable placement for a foster child.  so we never took the MAPP classes.

 

now the topic has come up again, and we are not moving until?? 2013??  later??

 

DH and I would like to foster to adopt one or two girls, infant though toddler / preschool ages.  I have worked in a group home and youth shelter and DH is law enforcement; we have realistic expectations and understand any child in foster care or an adoption situation is going to have "special needs" and struggles.  Our youngest son is Oct 07 and we'd like the girl(s) to be younger.

 

I am just feeling like hearing from other BTDT families that adopted an infant or toddler from foster care -- espcailly if you only listed yourselfs as foster to adopt and not straight foster care

 

 


Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#2 of 17 Old 10-23-2011, 08:34 AM
 
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Aimee i was thinking about you the other day!!!

 

In my area i think the best way to go about adopting an infant/toddler is to foster first. My agency knew i wanted to adopt and said they could sort of steer "probable TPR" cases my way, but im not sure that actually happened. I was able to adopt my first and third foster placements (and then my son's sister who was already TPRd)...you'd probably want to ask your agency how many kids they placed in the previous six months or year, in your age group.


Are you wanting to only look at kids already TPR'd? Some states have a special track for kids where the goal looks to be TPR even though it hasnt happened yet, and places those kids in preadopt homes, my state doesnt really work that way on an official level.


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#3 of 17 Old 10-23-2011, 02:25 PM
 
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We don't have a separate foster-to-adopt division. You have to foster and they might steer "potentially adoptable" children your way but that's not a guarantee. There are too many variables. Here a good percentage of children who enter foster care end up needing to be adopted and are usually adopted by their foster families.

 

When I became licensed, I told them I was open to anything. DS came home at 2 1/2 and was adopted at 5. DD came home at 9 1/2 months and her adoption finalized at 3 3/4 although it could have been finalized much sooner.

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#4 of 17 Old 10-23-2011, 05:09 PM
 
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In my area is the same, the best way to adopt is to foster. They knew we preferred to adopt. The first placement was what they called 99% sure she would be adopted. She came at 5 1/2 months and adopted at around 12 1/2 months. The family she was placed in actually were not interested in her adoption which is how we ended up with that situation.

Our current placement is a little more iffy but the bio-mom had a son TPR'd 4 years prior (and then more much earlier) so they knew that it could head that way. We were okay with that unknown, she was 3 months and she is now almost one. We will know by the end of the year if it will head toward TPR or the bio-parents given more time.


Carly, mama to DS C (5th grade), DD Miss M (07/09, fostered 1/10, adopted 08/10), and Little Miss C (11/10, fostered 01/11, adopted 11/12). Foster Son, Mr. A, age 11 placed 10/13.
My angel babies , ~01/08~ (twins), ~09/08~, and ~01/09~.

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#5 of 17 Old 10-23-2011, 05:29 PM
 
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I'm new to the forums and not sure what BTDT stands for.  But, it sounds like you live in MA which is where we live.  You can specify foster to adopt in MA.  In fact it is the only way to get to public adoption in MA.  All foster children need to be in your home a minimum of 6 months before adoptions can be finalized.  I have been told from workers in the system a long time they used to have very high disruption rates and the requirement is meant to make sure people are sure they want to adopt the children.  

     We are considered a "pre-adoptive home" which is the tract we have been on since the beginning.  We are waiting for our finalization date.  We accepted a placement of 3 children 1,2,3 yo a year ago.  They have been living with us for a year now and have been legally free since June.  We also had a baby a little over 2 years ago that we were told we would be able to adopt but, workers ended up returning her to her mother after we had her for 6 months.  

     I could probably answer many of your questions if you have specific questions about the process.  My advice would  be to go through the process ASAP.  MAPP training usually takes 3 months and home study can take 6 months to a year depending on the agency.  Waiting for a placement depends on how open you are to different children.  You will learn more about that in MAPP and through the homestudy process.  

     No one can really give you a time line from start to finish.  There are so many factors involved.  Are you really planning to move in 2013?  That is not that far away.  Would you switch houses? Towns? States? This process usually moves very slowly and if you move it could change a lot of factors.  

     I don't know where you live but, ACONE has a lot of good resources.  They have a conference coming up on November specifically tailored for foster-adopt families.  Which includes some pre-adoptive workshops.  Also attending Adoptive Families Together workshops were helpful to us.  Let me know if you have more questions for me.  


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#6 of 17 Old 10-24-2011, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone. (thanks jane)

 

here, if it is the same as in 2009, you can be 'adoption only' or 'foster to adopt' or 'foster only'.  Adoption only is tough i am told because they do not place a child untill a TPR is done, thus you have to have a child in a foster home, TPRed and the FF not adopt -- it does happen, of course, but we'd choose "foster to adopt' with the understanding we'd only accept girls where they had a dule case plan (adoption plan running along side a re-store plan) or (rare) only have adoption plan but no PTR yet.  because most younger children taken out of the home, at least here, go right to a foster family (not a shelter, or emergency shelter or so on like some older kids do for a day or 2 to let the dust settle and look for kin placements).  

 

in 2009 our contact made it sound like THAT plan was realistic and no that unusale.

 

i am just so worried about the time line and that of course there is no vay to predict.  we do not live in a populated state like CA or TX so there are less children moving though the system here simply because of numbers.  DH IS on the move list, but it looks like that is not going to go though till 2013 -- i feel stuck.  i worry about trying to get a placement and then who-knows how long till TPR and adoption -- again all unknown time line -- but I also do not vant to plan to wait till 2014 after we move and then NOT move in 2013 as we both sit here getting older and then we can't really start here 2 years later.....

 

how I wish we had pushed though in 2009!!!

 

 


Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#7 of 17 Old 10-24-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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We did legal risk adoption ( I guess that would be foster to adopt). After 9 months of looking, we were the adoptive placement of a 4 month old baby girl.  No TPR, but mom had 2 recent TPRs and was awol.  3 months after placement, we had TPR, and 6 months after placement we finalized.  A month later a bio-brother became available and was placed with us as another legal risk placement.  He was almost 2 and was TPR'd but the foster parent was contesting our adoption.  8 months after placement we had the adoption trial, we won, and then we finalized the adoption the same day.  We have been trying to do another legal risk adoption for 2+ years, and it hasn't been working out for a variety of reasons.

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#8 of 17 Old 10-25-2011, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombie View Post

We did legal risk adoption ( I guess that would be foster to adopt). After 9 months of looking, we were the adoptive placement of a 4 month old baby girl.  No TPR, but mom had 2 recent TPRs and was awol.  3 months after placement, we had TPR, and 6 months after placement we finalized.  A month later a bio-brother became available and was placed with us as another legal risk placement.  He was almost 2 and was TPR'd but the foster parent was contesting our adoption.  8 months after placement we had the adoption trial, we won, and then we finalized the adoption the same day.  We have been trying to do another legal risk adoption for 2+ years, and it hasn't been working out for a variety of reasons.



why did the foster parents contest?  did they want to adopt the boy themselves?

 

Aimee


Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#9 of 17 Old 10-25-2011, 10:36 AM
 
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The foster mother wanted to adopt him, however the social workers finally noticed that she was "mentally incompetent" and he was removed from the home.  She had already filed an adoption petition with the court before he was removed, so the trial dealt with the 2 competing adoption petitions.

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#10 of 17 Old 10-25-2011, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombie View Post

The foster mother wanted to adopt him, however the social workers finally noticed that she was "mentally incompetent" and he was removed from the home.  She had already filed an adoption petition with the court before he was removed, so the trial dealt with the 2 competing adoption petitions.



wow 


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#11 of 17 Old 10-27-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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Foster parents are generally the first ones to have the opportunity to adopt a foster child of theirs that becomes legally free for adoption. What this means is that the kids who are TPR'ed or low legal risk who are available for straight adoption by an adopt-only family are usually the children whose foster parents said "no." Though in some cases that's just because of financial reasons, or the foster parent being older, or the foster parent really only wanting to be a temporary foster home - In a lot of cases it's because the foster parent never really bonded with the child or because the child has special needs. This means that the kids who are available for straight adoption are, on average, much more "high needs" and "harder to place" than your average foster child and your home will be at least their second (if not 15th) placement which means most of these kids will have some level of attachment issues which can sometimes be quite severe. For this reason, in both states where I've lived (one of which had a true fost-adopt designation and one of which only has "foster parent" or "adoption of legally free child" categories) when we expressed an interest in adopting an individual, younger child with mild to moderate special needs we were encouraged to become plain old foster parents. We were told our chances at adopting a child in that category were better as a foster parent. Everything I've seen has reinforced that impression, actually, though we ended up accepting a placement that fell totally outside the category we thought we were limiting ourselves to! We are moving towards adoption with our two boys. They are our first foster placement ever, and it is their first foster placement. We impulsively said "yes" when we were called about them - They came to us as a 9 y/o and a 1 y/o... siblings, both with special needs. It was totally not what we expected but we're so glad we said yes to them! I'm also so glad we're our boys' first and hopefully last placement.

 

In my state doing adoption-only means waiting for years if you want a child under the age of 5 who doesn't have significant medical needs and isn't part of a sibling set. I wouldn't imagine that there are tons of low-needs 2-sibling sets, either, but the more siblings and more special needs you'll accept the sooner you can get matched. If waiting longer for a placement that is legally-free makes sense for your family, go for it. But depending where you live, it could take years. Being more open in terms of gender would certainly help you - Can you take a sibling set with one boy and one girl?

 

Keep in mind that moves are VERY rough for foster and former foster children who've already experienced a lot of turmoil. Even if you're able to legally adopt before 2013 (which is not very likely if you take a placement that's not already legally free), depending on the child's needs they may need contact with birth family such as biological siblings in other homes in your current state, or they may have emotional needs that make a move traumatic for them. I don't say this to discourage you, just something to think about.

 

Would you consider out-of-state waiting childreN/ I have a friend who is a homefinder for the non-profit Adopt America Network which places only waiting children. Because you're open to more than one child, and potentially to some special needs, it might be worth speaking with them. Not all of the kids they are looking to place have severe special needs, especially if they're part of a sibling set. They also have kids who have medical but not behavioral/emotional issues. Just a thought. You can also look into AdoptUSKids but that tends to be less fruitful than working with a non-profit like AAN.

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#12 of 17 Old 10-27-2011, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fosteringlove View Post

Foster parents are generally the first ones to have the opportunity to adopt a foster child of theirs that becomes legally free for adoption. What this means is that the kids who are TPR'ed or low legal risk who are available for straight adoption by an adopt-only family are usually the children whose foster parents said "no." Though in some cases that's just because of financial reasons, or the foster parent being older, or the foster parent really only wanting to be a temporary foster home - In a lot of cases it's because the foster parent never really bonded with the child or because the child has special needs. This means that the kids who are available for straight adoption are, on average, much more "high needs" and "harder to place" than your average foster child and your home will be at least their second (if not 15th) placement which means most of these kids will have some level of attachment issues which can sometimes be quite severe. For this reason, in both states where I've lived (one of which had a true fost-adopt designation and one of which only has "foster parent" or "adoption of legally free child" categories) when we expressed an interest in adopting an individual, younger child with mild to moderate special needs we were encouraged to become plain old foster parents. We were told our chances at adopting a child in that category were better as a foster parent. Everything I've seen has reinforced that impression, actually, though we ended up accepting a placement that fell totally outside the category we thought we were limiting ourselves to! We are moving towards adoption with our two boys. They are our first foster placement ever, and it is their first foster placement. We impulsively said "yes" when we were called about them - They came to us as a 9 y/o and a 1 y/o... siblings, both with special needs. It was totally not what we expected but we're so glad we said yes to them! I'm also so glad we're our boys' first and hopefully last placement.

 

In my state doing adoption-only means waiting for years if you want a child under the age of 5 who doesn't have significant medical needs and isn't part of a sibling set. I wouldn't imagine that there are tons of low-needs 2-sibling sets, either, but the more siblings and more special needs you'll accept the sooner you can get matched. If waiting longer for a placement that is legally-free makes sense for your family, go for it. But depending where you live, it could take years. Being more open in terms of gender would certainly help you - Can you take a sibling set with one boy and one girl?

 

Keep in mind that moves are VERY rough for foster and former foster children who've already experienced a lot of turmoil. Even if you're able to legally adopt before 2013 (which is not very likely if you take a placement that's not already legally free), depending on the child's needs they may need contact with birth family such as biological siblings in other homes in your current state, or they may have emotional needs that make a move traumatic for them. I don't say this to discourage you, just something to think about.

 

Would you consider out-of-state waiting childreN/ I have a friend who is a homefinder for the non-profit Adopt America Network which places only waiting children. Because you're open to more than one child, and potentially to some special needs, it might be worth speaking with them. Not all of the kids they are looking to place have severe special needs, especially if they're part of a sibling set. They also have kids who have medical but not behavioral/emotional issues. Just a thought. You can also look into AdoptUSKids but that tends to be less fruitful than working with a non-profit like AAN.


the move issues are many, that we know.  the Good thing is the move is "only" 6 hours -- so kinship relationship could be maintained.

 

I'll look at ANN -- we'd be open to out-of-state.

 

My biggest concern about a waiting child in foster care ( or not, for that matter) is lacking self-confidence in the care of a "very" SN child -- i know this is stupid because I could get preggo tomorrow and be gifted a child with CP or in need of a organ transplant or any other SN that any waiting child has -- so i do feel bad / stupid about worrying about adopting a child with sigficant SN -- but that fear is still there.  

 

Thanks

 

Aimee

 


Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#13 of 17 Old 10-31-2013, 01:48 PM
 
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yes please

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#14 of 17 Old 11-08-2013, 01:23 PM
 
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Hey, I'm new here and have been reading posts, so here's our story... Dh and I have three bio kids 14,5, and 2. We are wanting to adopt a few more kiddos through foster to adopt or straight adopt. We have finished all of our training/ classes, and finish our home study on Monday!!
We are hoping for a baby, but are open to a max of 2 age 0-5, either sex. We were almost through with the process in AZ but moved due to DH job change, so had to start all over in ID. luckily we are almost ready to start the matching process (more waiting) lol

Anyone here foster or adopt from Idaho?

Me-34 DH 40
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Applied to agency 9/13
Classes/training completed 10/13
Home study will be complete 11/11/13 joy.gif
Excited to be almost ready to be licensed and matched with future forever children!
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#15 of 17 Old 11-09-2013, 11:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeamviolet View Post
 

I'm new to the forums and not sure what BTDT stands for. 

Hi Violet. BTDT means "been there done that."

 

Welcome to the forums and to Mothering!


 
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#16 of 17 Old 11-30-2013, 08:32 AM
 
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I agree with what fosteringlove has posted. 
 
However, keep in mind that the foster system invariably means dealing with a whole huge slew of various personalities of child welfare workers each with different ideas of what is "best" for children, different levels of education and different value systems... and each with equal weight in determining your child's fate without any burden of actual proof. Studies literally mean nothing. Nothing! (I was told once that "Well, someone else could just say the opposite and find studies to back them up.") You, as the foster parent, have very little say over any of this. You are just the system's labor. Your input is virtually meaningless. This is one reason why adopting from fostercare takes so long. And it's why educated people with means do not often choose this route.
 
That said, we adopted from fostercare, being foster parents first. And our son is fantastic. It was traumatic for ALL of us, but we survived. And we ended up with what we wanted: a happy healthy loving family. In other words, it was worth it.
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#17 of 17 Old 12-02-2013, 05:01 PM
 
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So, so worth it. We were able to afford a private adoption, but since we wanted an older child and didn't want to make a lifetime commitment sight-unseen, fostering was really the only route for us, and after a year or so of resisting we accepted that reality. I think we were good foster parents, and we adore our adopted son (the third boy we fostered). But I will not pretend that it was easy. 

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