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#1 of 12 Old 07-08-2014, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How likely to adopt?

My husband and I are in the process of becoming foster parents in Oklahoma. I was just wondering how likely it is that someday we will have the opportunity to adopt? We are only able to take 1 child between age 0-4 at a time. I know that we most likely won't be able to adopt the first or even the second but are the odds in our favor? Is there a chance we could foster and never get a chance to adopt? Or is it more than likely we'll be able to adopt? Please help!
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#2 of 12 Old 07-08-2014, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There is no such thing as foster to adopt in Oklahoma. You can either adopt a waiting child, or you can become foster parents and maybe get a chance to adopt if the parents lose their rights. We want a young child 0-4 so we are going the foster route.
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#3 of 12 Old 07-09-2014, 06:12 AM
 
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If you really want to adopt, you are better off going through an agency or doing a private adoption. Otherwise, you may have to wait 10 years and go through several dozen failed placements. Or you might get lucky and get placed with a child you end up adopting right away.

I have been a foster parent. It is extremely difficult and emotionally wrenching. We were in it for the same reasons you are and it about killed me. We eventually completed a private adoption.

Even if you are lucky, that doesn't mean things will be smooth. A friend of mine adopted her first child from foster care. He was placed with them at birth and his mother signed away her rights that day because she knew she couldn't parent. It took 21 months of monthly court visits, monthly state inspections of their home, and limbo to complete the adoption. They had to sign paperwork stating that their special needs African American child was a healthy white toddler to finally get the state to agree to finalize the adoption.

Also, younger children don't necessarily not have some of the issues older children tend to come with. The two year old we fostered had attachment disorder and tried to strangle our then 10 month old dd.

It can work out. But if adoption is your primary goal, I recommend going another route.
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#4 of 12 Old 07-09-2014, 08:21 AM
 
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I agree with the PP. It's one thing if you truly want to foster kids and help kids in need until they go back to their family, and it would be nice if you're able to adopt one. If that's how you're feeling, then go for it, foster kids need loving families.

But if you only want to adopt and there's no 'foster to adopt' situation-it's better to find another way. Young kids certainly can have special needs as a result of their upbringing that are very difficult to handle, from even just a few months old. It can also be emotionally difficult to have young children in the house that aren't yours when you desperately want children of your own.

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#5 of 12 Old 07-09-2014, 04:40 PM
 
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Statistically I think the odds for an infant foster-adoption are about 25% and the odds for an infant private adoption are more like 50-75%. Of course, that's just an average. You could get lucky or you could get unlucky.

You can increase your chances of adoption by asking some pointed questions before accepting any placement. I'd ask these questions:
- Does this child have siblings in the system? (if yes, then adoption is more likely but maybe not by you unless you adopt the siblings too)
- What is the visitation schedule (if there's lots of visits planned then it's unlikely to go to adoption)
- Is the child entering fostercare or being moved from another fosterhome (if moved, more likely adoption)
- Race, religion, etc (if you "match" then you're less likely to encounter problems from case workers who discriminate)
-
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#6 of 12 Old 07-10-2014, 01:12 PM
 
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It also depends a lot on where you live. I was surprised to find my county had a fairly high rate of cases going to adoption. Our very first case went to adoption. My friend has fostered something like 15 children and I think all but 1 have gone to adoption.

Not sure if this helps, but most foster parents I've talked to have stated they can often tell from the start if a birth mom is going to get the kids back or not. You might get a feeling upon the way the case is going early on (is she working hard or not basically). Often when you know the child will be returned it is easier to keep your heart out of it. I mean you still care for and love the child, but you are happy to know you helped make a difference in a difficult time and that the child is going back to a better situation.

Whatever course you take, there will likely be heartache along the way.

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#7 of 12 Old 07-10-2014, 08:41 PM
 
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I didnt see anything in the OP that made it seem they "only" wanted to adopt and wouldnt be good candidates to foster, nor did i see anything that would suggest they only wanted a healthy child and wouldnt be prepared if a child had some issues. I think private infant adoption can be a good choice (although, again, didnt see that the OP *only* wanted an infant) but private adoption isnt feasible for everyone.

While i absolutely would say that if you foster you MUST be able to support the plan and must recognize that you might not adopt a child in your care, i dont like the idea that i see in lots of places that fostering is really only suitable for those that would be willing to adopt but do not desire adoption as their primary goal. I think you can be a good foster parent who supports reunification and be willing to work with birthparents AND also really really want to adopt a child permanently. Its hard when you have both of those emotions going on, because they somewhat conflict. But as long as you are aware of them and what the reality of the situation is i think its fine. Obviously if a foster parent was trying to sabotage RU or was being inappropriate in usurping the role of the birthparent thats an issue but it doesnt HAVE to be that way.

To the OP the short answer to your question is that its very likely you will be able to adopt a child you foster, although it might not be the FIRST child you foster. I think its pretty UNlikely that you "never" get to adopt, although that certain can happen because anything is possible.

The long answer is that with fostering there just are no guarantees. And even in cases that everyone thinks will go a certain way, may go a different way at the 11th hour. Depending on where you live and also maybe your particular agency you may be able to increase chances of getting a probable adoptive placement (sometimes they know from the beginning the child is unlikely to go home) but again there just are no guarantees. But can you adopt a young child via fostering? sure, happens all the time. I know tons of parents online who have adopted multiple healthy infants and toddlers within a a few years time via fostering.

My own personal experience is that i adopted my first placement. Healthy 3 week old infant, no birthparent visits, TPR at 4 months, finalized at 11 months. My second placement, a healthy 1 yr old girl, went to an aunt after two months (it was expected), then i adopted my third placement, a 16 month old boy at placement (2 yo at TPR, 3 yo at finalization)...i adopted his 8 yr old sister after TPR as well.

I took a couple years break from fostering and when i started up again i had a sibling group that was RU'd after two months and then i had a 2 yr old that was Ru'd after several months, both of those reunifications were expected and celebrated.

I think its probably a little easier to foster and have a child leave after you have already gotten a "keeper", i would think. I know of people who were desperate to adopt, got a wonderful first placement headed to TPR then the child went to a relative after a year or two and it was devastating. But then they went on to foster more kids and eventually adopt.

Good luck!
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#8 of 12 Old 07-11-2014, 11:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
While i absolutely would say that if you foster you MUST be able to support the plan and must recognize that you might not adopt a child in your care, i dont like the idea that i see in lots of places that fostering is really only suitable for those that would be willing to adopt but do not desire adoption as their primary goal. I think you can be a good foster parent who supports reunification and be willing to work with birthparents AND also really really want to adopt a child permanently.
I understand that you don't like that idea, but after everything we've seen and gone through, I have to agree with the premise. I think that it is possible to support reunification while also wanting to adopt, but with most people it's not likely. It's also extremely hard to see a child you've grown to love returned to her/his abusers time and again only to come back to you in worse shape than the first time he/she arrived. In addition, dealing with the foster care system is enough to drive anyone mad.

I no longer advise anyone who does have adoption as their primary goal to go the foster care route unless they are trying to adopt a child whose already legally free.

As far as private adoption not being feasible for everyone, we did it, and that means 98-99% of everyone who wants to can manage it if they work hard enough on finding a way. We're a low-income, non-Christian, lesbian couple in the south and we managed it. It doesn't have to cost a fortune either; our total reciepts were in the range of $3500 and we got it all back, and then some, in the form of the EIC the next year.
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#9 of 12 Old 07-11-2014, 12:51 PM
 
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Again, fostering with the hope of one day adopting can work- but the person really needs to be prepared for it, and there are other, less emotionally wrenching, options.

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#10 of 12 Old 07-11-2014, 04:05 PM
 
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I understand that you don't like that idea, but after everything we've seen and gone through, I have to agree with the premise. I think that it is possible to support reunification while also wanting to adopt, but with most people it's not likely.
My experience has been different. Many many FPs i know really wanted to adopt and still made great foster parents. So you think that really the only people that can support reunification are those parents that really dont want the kid anyway? That just isnt what i hear from the people i know who want to adopt and are fostering. They totally admit how difficult it can be to want two things at once (to keep the baby you have grown to love, but also to want the mom to succeed so she can raise her own child) but ultimately i think that foster parents have VERY little impact or input into what ultimately happens in a case...so we can wish and hope all we want for a certain outcome but it doesnt mean much in the long run.

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It's also extremely hard to see a child you've grown to love returned to her/his abusers time and again only to come back to you in worse shape than the first time he/she arrived. In addition, dealing with the foster care system is enough to drive anyone mad.
And this is easier to deal with if you werent wanting to keep the child anyway? Seems like its hard no matter what. The FC system generally sucks and i have a hard time wrapping my mind around the people who *dont* just foster til they adopt a few kids and then get out. Those who foster for years and years and have dozens (or more) kids in and out, those foster parents who foster for 25 years or more and make it their life's work. THAT is amazing but i dont know how those FP do it because the system can be awful. Its hard enough dealing with it for a few years til a case wraps up, i cant imagine dealing with it for a long time like that.

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I no longer advise anyone who does have adoption as their primary goal to go the foster care route unless they are trying to adopt a child whose already legally free.
Oh when i was in the throes of a foster care to adoption case and dealing with a crappy agency i def. was telling people DONT foster if you want to adopt, do ANY other kind of adoption because the system sucks. I get that. Foster parents can be treated very badly by the system and sometimes treated almost like the "enemy" by their own agencies. The system is crazy. So yeah if someone really just wants to adopt and has the means and desire to choose another way....go for it. Its def. a rollercoaster ride that is not for everyone. But the "rewards" (for lack of a better word) are usually worth it in the long run. I have three kids i wouldnt have if not for fostering. I adopted my 1st, 3rd, and 4th placements. i know many many people who adopted the first kids or sibs they fostered and many foster parents who adopted all or nearly all of the kids they have fostered.

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As far as private adoption not being feasible for everyone, we did it, and that means 98-99% of everyone who wants to can manage it if they work hard enough on finding a way. We're a low-income, non-Christian, lesbian couple in the south and we managed it. It doesn't have to cost a fortune either; our total reciepts were in the range of $3500 and we got it all back, and then some, in the form of the EIC the next year.
I do think private adoption can be more feasible (affordable, quick, etc) than many people believe. But i also think we need to be careful in assuming because one family was able to do it, another family should too. And even beyond affordability there are other issues/differences. Some families count on adoption subsidy and medicaid and other post-adoption services to help. Some families may have issues with private adoption in general and wish to provide a home for a child in state care rather than a child being voluntarily relinquished.

I think its a worthwhile thing for the OP or anyone who desires to foster and adopt to really hash out in their mind what they can deal with, what their goals are, what they are willing to do to achieve those goals etc. Def. dont look at state foster care as a free and easy way to adopt a healthy baby. But i just think there are way too many people who have successfully built their family in this way to close the door on foster care adoption simply because one hopes to adopt a child one day. Really this is something the homestudy worker should explore in depth so she or he can suss out if the couple is truly prepared for the reality of fostering.

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#11 of 12 Old 07-15-2014, 09:44 AM
 
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I don't have (and can't have) biological children. However, I don't think that I would be "better off" doing a private adoption. The foster care to adoption route is not for everyone, but if you think you can do it and want to do it, it is an amazing experience.

Affordability played a part in our original planning to foster to adopt. But after doing my research, I found that the foster care system in our area is in desperate need of families who can help. Then it was a problem that I could not ignore, I had to help. See, I have these arms, they are really good at holding babies. And there are so many babies around here that need holding!

Our first placement has had it's ups and downs but now we are on the route to adopting him. Our second placement came and went home quickly. Our third placement is slowly heading towards reunification with her parents and I am proud of the steps FD's mama is taking to get well and ready to parent this little one. I feel like we are a team trying to do what's best for FD. I know it doesn't always work this way and maybe it is easier for me because my first FS is going to stay forever.

I also know after receiving so many calls over the last 15 months, that you can ask the right questions (like marsupial-mom said) and get a good sense of where the case is headed.

I believe that the hardest thing about foster parenting is managing all the intrusions and schedules. Visits with family, visits from social workers, the therapy and doctor appointments. It is a LOT!

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#12 of 12 Old 07-21-2014, 12:02 PM
 
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You CAN both want adoption and foster. I am fostering a 2 month old and I am supportive of his mom in getting him back. I am also wanting to adopt him if she cant, but he may also go be with a bio sibling which is also a happy ending for him. We are also on the waiting list for a private agency adoption. I just love being a mom, and I am glad I can do it any way possible, even if its not forever.

Me(33), Mama to a crazy DD (6), Wife to a wonderful mountain man(32) BF my babe for 2 years.
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