Originally Posted by mammal_mama
'Cause I'd be fostering-to-adopt -- so any baby nursed by me, wouldn't be moving on to another foster home: the only possibility might be reunification with the birth mother.
I have foster-adopted one child and am in the process of foster-adopting a second time. Reunification is *not* the only possiblity of the child leaving.
I believe it is very important to understand this going in, because it can be heartbreaking. I know firsthand.
Relative placements are given priority above foster placements, except in some very specific circumstances. So if a relative comes out of the woodwork a half year or a year down the line, and they pass a homestudy, it is entirely possible your child will go to a relative placement. This is actually more common that you might think.
I nearly lost my ds to relatives twice. This was totally unexpected. At placement, the only suitable relative had denied the placement. I was told there were no other known relatives who could care for ds. A month or two later, I walked into the DCFS office with ds for a visit with his bmother (who did not usually show up to visits), and the SW broke the news that his maternal grandmother who previously denied the placement had changed her mind and they would move ds in two weeks
. I could not have been more shocked!
The maternal grandmother ended up changing her mind again the day placement was to be made
(!!), but as a part of her reversal she struck an odd deal with the state in which ds was to have unsupervised weekend-long visits with
her until a paternity test was done. She wanted to maintain a close relationship with ds just in case the named father was the father and his family wanted ds. She felt strongly that they would not be an appropriate placement for ds even if they could pass a homestudy, and she wanted to be able to argue in court that it was better for ds to go to her. So then we had those visits to deal with.
With the paternity test, we nearly lost ds again to a paternal birth relative, but (1) her ability to pass the homestudy was in question, and (2) she met our family and felt we were the best place for ds. But it took a couple months to get to that point, and in the meantime, ds could have been sent to live with this relative, or the maternal grandmother could have stepped back in.
I have gone to hell and back again, and I get nervous when anyone doesn't walk into this with their eyes wide open.