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#1 of 19 Old 02-10-2013, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all ... 

 

We're seriously considering adopting the little girl who has been lovingly fostered by our close neighbours since her birth 16 months ago.  She is two weeks younger than our youngest, and was born drug-addicted and has some noticeable delays as well as several that are likely to surface as she grows up.

I have a few questions, and if anyone here can help answer them, that'd be great!

 

1. When it comes to the homestudy, is bedsharing a problem?  We currently co-sleep with our 16mo and 4yo.

 

2. Is homeschooling an issue, typically?  Unschooling?

 

3. Do older babies/toddlers usually take to being worn?  She's been worn a bit, but only as an infant.  We've never used strollers, so would love to wear her.  She'll likely be nearly two by the time she comes to us, if everything works out.

 

I realize that the answers are child- and regional-specific, but I'd love to hear from others who have BTDT.

 

As for adoption itself, it's been something we've discussed over the years, especially as we struggled with infertility.  Ultimately we 'adopted' the donor embryos that resulted in our two children, both carried by me.  So the story is not totally new in our home.

Realizing that adopting an older child with special needs is a much more complex situation, I'm hoping that we're not about to bite off more than we can chew!

I guess I'm just looking for some reassurance from you wise folks!

Thanks!

Starling


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#2 of 19 Old 02-10-2013, 07:51 PM
 
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I am sure that others will be along to help you out more than I can, but I'll take a shot at some of your questions.

 

I believe that bedsharing has been a concern for some others. It kind of depends on who is doing the home study, whether it is private or public (DCF), and any preferences of the birthparents. I think after adoption homeschooling is an option. I don't think you could homeschool a school age child while the child was still in foster care. Some older babies like to be worn, but it is hard to know if this older baby does. Children are all different and I've been amazed at the differences in preferences even with my 3 bio children. Having two children, toddlers, basically the same age, this is going to be a concern for you if you are out and about much. I found that strollers weren't evil, especially the old fashioned kind that face the mom.

 

Again, others who have adopted toddlers will be along soon I'm sure! Check out the Resource page, linked at the top of the Adoptive Parenting forum. There is a ton of good stuff in there, including some excellent books and other resources.
 


 
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#3 of 19 Old 02-11-2013, 05:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post

Hi all ... 

 

We're seriously considering adopting the little girl who has been lovingly fostered by our close neighbours since her birth 16 months ago.  She is two weeks younger than our youngest, and was born drug-addicted and has some noticeable delays as well as several that are likely to surface as she grows up.

I have a few questions, and if anyone here can help answer them, that'd be great!

 

1. When it comes to the homestudy, is bedsharing a problem?  We currently co-sleep with our 16mo and 4yo.

 

It really depends on the agency and the specific worker. Usually you can do what you want with your own kids but the foster or adoptive child will need their own bed. If its a state agency/foster care adoption this is usually esp true. Foster care agencies tend to frown on bedsharing (although this can vary from person to person)...you might consider having a bedroom set up for your kids (even if its just a crib in your room for the youngest and a toddler bed or twin mattress on the floor in another room) im not saying "lie" but they tend to like to have beds available for children to sleep in (whether they sleep in them or not.) You will need to have a crib set up to be considered to adopt the foster child. Once an adoption is final and they are no longer coming out to visit, you can set up bedrooms however you want of course.

 

2. Is homeschooling an issue, typically?  Unschooling?

 

This partly depends on the "climate" for hsing where you live. Hsing is quite common where i live. We have very liberal regulations. Since your kids are not yet school age and you are wanting to adopt this specific child, i wouldnt even mention homeschooling. There really isnt a benefit in doing so. If the process takes long enough that your oldest is approaching the legal age for enrollment in school you can phrase it however you want (including "we are homeschooling") but i'd phrase it lightly so as to not freak out the worker. Some are super supportive, others not so much. It likely would NOT be a reason to not approve you, but i try not to freak out workers if i can help it. Unschooling is just a form of HSing and i would personally not use that term with the worker. When my oldest was unschooling i said we "homeschooled using a child-led, interest-driven approach" or some such thing. I always made sure to point out that i was open to sending a child to school if that was in the child's best interest.

 

3. Do older babies/toddlers usually take to being worn?  She's been worn a bit, but only as an infant.  We've never used strollers, so would love to wear her.  She'll likely be nearly two by the time she comes to us, if everything works out.

 

It really depends on the child. My first adopted child came as a 3 week old and coslept, bottlenursed, i was not so much into babywearing at that time so after a few months of using a moby i mostly relied on the stroller. I had a temporary foster daughter for a couple of months, she was a year old and did NOT want to be worn, or cosleep, or bottlenurse or ANYTHING like that....it freaked her out. My third foster child/adopted son was almost 17 months when placed, he jumped right out of the crib and into bed with me (against the rules, shhh dont tell lol) and is STILL in my bed at age 5. So..it really just depends.

 

(i bolded my answers above)

 

Just curious....do you know this foster child? (do you have a relationship with her, spend lots of time with her etc?) Have rights been terminated in her case? Have you spoken with the worker, started the process etc? The agency might have a totally different plan for her (another family within the agency, a relative etc) If you can't adopt this child are you still planning on adopting?


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#4 of 19 Old 02-11-2013, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, mamas!
Queen, yes we know her well and have been a part of her life since she came home from the hospital. Our neighbour's front door is ten feet from ours. Parental rights have been terminated, and she was likely going to stay with her foster family but circumstances have
changed and that's not an option now.
The delay for her adoptibility has been while they vetted and vetoed each kith and kin option, resulting in the two year wait. Mom's parental right were terminated as soon as clerically possible after her birth.
Thanks for the tips!
Sounds like less is more, for sure. Duly noted!

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#5 of 19 Old 02-11-2013, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, and while we have considered fostering before, and adoption, she is the only child we are pursuing right now. Our feelings might change if we go through the hoops and don't end up being able to adopt her.
We live in a super hands-off, hs-friendly province, with lots of support for kid's needing extra help and resources. I hope it's seen as a bonus that i'm mostly home! However, we are far from wealthy, which I hope isn't going to be a problem.

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#6 of 19 Old 02-12-2013, 05:13 PM
 
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Sorry i didnt realize you were in Canada! i dont know too much about the system there.

 

But in my experience as long as you have sufficient income to support your family you're fine. They dont expect people to be wealthy at all.
 


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#7 of 19 Old 02-12-2013, 08:10 PM
 
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Just to agree with the above posters -

 

Simply have a bed available for each kid. I promise, no middle of the night inspectors will ever come to see who is sleeping where! Don't ask; don't tell?

 

When I was in the home study process, I was unschooling my 2 bios (aged 10 and 11, IIRC). I told the certifier I was homeschooling, and no one ever asked what style or any other details. My home always has lots of books around, and I guess they just assumed I was teaching them something. I did have to have school age foster kids in public school. But after adoption, that would have been no longer anyone else's business.

 

When my grandkids came to live with me, 2YO Figlet couldn't cosleep. It just didn't work for her. And she didn't take to being worn (too confining?) although she loved riding on my hip. TheBoy, at 2 months old, took instantly to being worn, cosleeping, and generally was more adaptable, no surprise. Figlet preferred the simplest, flimsiest, $20 umbrella stroller. She could get in and out herself, and she used it for her baby doll and teddy bear.
 

No one expects you to be wealthy - just self-sufficient.


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#8 of 19 Old 02-15-2013, 02:22 PM
 
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I agree with everything that has been posted above. Have you already expressed an adoption interest with social services (CAS?) If not, it's very likely that they already have several families waiting for an adoptive placement. Good luck with the process.
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#9 of 19 Old 02-15-2013, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone!  We haven't been in touch with CAS before now.  I'm trusting that we might fit in under 'kith & kin" being that we've been involved with her since birth.  We would've stepped up before, but we thought the foster family would be adopting her.  

Time will tell!  

I think I need to work on knowing that it may not happen, and that if it doesn't, it will hopefully be because she'll be placed with a good family.


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#10 of 19 Old 02-16-2013, 07:21 AM
 
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It may be advisable to speak up soon. Sometimes DCF procrastinates in finding the kin folk and rushes through it at the end before TPR. Suddenly long lost aunts and uncles with no relationship with the child emerge. If you express your interest it may at least light a fire under them to rule out any other kin so they can consider you. I don't think close friends meet criteria for kin in the U.S. but it may be different in Canada. Either way if you start the process rolling, you might at least find out what the options are going to look like and make a more informed decision.
 


 
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#11 of 19 Old 02-16-2013, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Lauren.  I've made the phone call already, and am waiting to hear back.  We have "kith & kin" considerations here, so "kin" being family and "kith" being the child's community/friendships.  It's true that I'm not exactly clear where the Ministry is with regards to having ruled out absolutely everyone (great aunties twice removed and so on), so I do want us to get in line, if that's the case.  


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#12 of 19 Old 02-16-2013, 05:13 PM
 
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We have kinship (both relative and family friend) status in NC, but it's typically related to the birth family, not the foster family. I actually can't remember a case in which a child went to a foster family friend. I suspect it happens more frequently with older child adoption.
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#13 of 19 Old 02-16-2013, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sigh.  I would hope that having a real and meaningful relationship with the actual child in question would be worth something in the placement equation, but we can only try. Time and bureaucracy will dictate the outcome.


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#14 of 19 Old 02-17-2013, 04:50 AM
 
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Sigh.  I would hope that having a real and meaningful relationship with the actual child in question would be worth something in the placement equation, but we can only try.

 

 

That is something many of us keep advocating for.  praying.gif    Keep us posted!


 
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#15 of 19 Old 02-17-2013, 09:26 AM
 
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In my state, they use the term "fictive kin" to describe close friends. I know of a teacher who was able to foster then adopt one of her students, under that policy.
 


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#16 of 19 Old 02-17-2013, 12:33 PM
 
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In my state, from what i understand fictive kin is no longer recognized. This doesnt mean that caseworkers *cannot*  consider those people with non-blood related ties to the child as possible placements, just that they are not *legally obligated* to do so. From what i understand where i live the law considers even distantly related people (cousins to a certain number of degrees) as related for the purpose of consideration and legally the agency MUST homestudy those people if they want to be considered. When i was adopting my daughter the bmom had given the agency the names of four people who might want to adopt her (none of which actually stepped up while she was in care btw), two never responded, and one was fictive kin (a friend of bmom who had not seen dd since she was 18 months old and she was 7 at the time ) and the fourth asked to be considered then dropped out of sight.

 

 

Definitely express interest in being considered. However the agency might have plans of their own. They might not consider you a placement for various reasons they may not even share with you. But it never hurts to inquire.
 


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#17 of 19 Old 02-17-2013, 01:09 PM
 
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My state uses "fictive" kin to describe anyone they want. Basically, they'll use it for race-matching.

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#18 of 19 Old 02-17-2013, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Definitely express interest in being considered. However the agency might have plans of their own. They might not consider you a placement for various reasons they may not even share with you. But it never hurts to inquire.
 

This is my sense of where the whole thing stands right now.  Add in a social worker who isn't very enthusiastic or helpful, or particularly kind, and we are trying very hard not to get our hearts crushed.  


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#19 of 19 Old 02-17-2013, 08:22 PM
 
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Just to chime in on the baby-wearing: we have had at least 5 infants in our care including our only biochild--who absolutely could not ever tolerate being worn. greensad.gif  They all responded to it differently and we HAVE had the experience of an under 2yo taking to being worn pretty well.  I realize you already know it will depend on the child, but there's a chance.

 

And regardless of the fictive kin/kith & kin rules, I believe that anyone with a significant and ongoing relationship with the child gets preference before all others.  In the US, the rights differ by the state; but in the end, they are all looking for the child to have permanency with the least disruption and trauma as possible.  Glad you let CAS know.  Nobody should ever wait to make their interest known because you really have no idea what path the case will take behind the scenes.  They don't ALWAYS tell the foster home everything... kwim?


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