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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I are still trying to find our path with towards adoption. We were fairly set on international, but we still are not sure. This week we've been learning more about foster-to-adopt and I'm increasingly feeling like that might work for our family.<br><br>
I do have one question, however...how does it work if they foster-to-adoptive family goes through a major change during the process, before the adoption is finalized?<br><br>
For example, a job change that requires moving out of the state or country?<br><br>
My husband works in an industry where that is a real possibility. We can probably count on being here as long as it would take to get a placement (about 18 months give or take), but not necessarily for many years after that.<br><br>
How does it work if the birth parents want some sort of open adoption eventually?<br><br>
My husband and I have always dreamt about living in the UK and he may have an opportunity to do that through his current employer sometime over the next 5 or so years...so we're wondering how this could work with adopting.
 

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Some foster/adopt situations could work for your family. Maybe one where parental rights have already been terminated; & no safe or appropriate birth family exists. Do you feel set on a young infant? Medical issues? Siblings? Any racial limitations? The more narrow your criteria, the longer it might take to match. Or in some areas, like mine, frankly you might be turned away. At least by the state certifiers - they can't afford to train and license people who have little chance of actually fostering or adopting.<br><br>
Unexpected delays frequently arise in the adoption world. I am in a foster to adopt situation where I have had one of the siblings in my home over 2 years, and the end is not in sight. This was a case that looked sort of open and shut: extreme abuse and neglect.<br><br>
Open adoption is generally considered to be in the child's best interests, not just the birth mother's preference. So, in part, you would be choosing to close that option for your child. In some cases, that could be a good decision; probably not the majority.<br><br>
I don't know of any situation you would be allowed to move out of the country before the adoption is finalized.<br><br>
I hope I don't sound snarky, but it is important to remember that adoption, including foster/adoption, is about finding homes for children, not finding children for homes. Very often, adoptive families have to put their own plans and needs on the back burner while focusing on the adoption.<br><br>
I hope I didn't come off all discouragement and gloom. You might find just the perfect situation for your family. I wish you all the best in your journey - many different paths are possible.
 

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We're in a similar situation, with the major difference that we get to time our next "transfer," since my husband owns his own business. But while we're here in SC, we plan to go through foster-adopt and accept that we are planted here until the adoption is finalized.<br><br>
I think that your timetable, etc. might depend hugely on the age/race preference you have. It would probably be a good idea to talk to an adoption services worker in your region (without mentioning the possible transfer thing) and see what the timetable looks like.<br><br>
If it comes right down to it and you have successful placement that you'd like to make permanent, you'll find a way to deal with any potential transfer. If your husband just said "I am in the process of adopting, my family is not allowed to leave the state" they might possibly just drop it for a few months, or help arrange a way for him to move ahead of you. His HR department is probably NOT going to tell him to give his kid back.<br><br>
As to open adoption issues - eh. I think it's a very case-by-case thing, and your social worker would hopefully have some idea from the post-TPR kinship placement search if there are any relatives who want contact, and what kind of contact it is. You can send letters and pictures from anywhere, after all (although even that can be a fraught decision in a state adoption - are these relatives going to share information with your child's abuser?) If you find yourself offered a situation where there is, say, a grandparent who was not complicit in the abuse/neglect and wants actual physical visits, then that might be a placement you should pass up. Our tentative plan is to be open to relationships with any siblings or half-siblings who are also in care, and hopefully to encourage a "cousin-type" relationship, but to have no contact with any of the adults in the biofamily. So we'd be likely to pass up a placement where the worker thought that contact with any aunts, grandmas etc. was in the child's best interests. But regardless of what you choose - bioparents move out of state for work-related reasons all the time! It's not a wrong thing to do!<br><br>
One thing I've learned is that foster-to-adopt practices vary hugely from state to state. You need to go to an orientation and see what's up! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's so hard to decide what to do.<br><br>
On one hand, we want another child and know that we could provide that child with a loving, stable, fun home. We love being parents and our kids are excited about the prospect of having a sister. In most respects, we're ready to begin this process now, knowing that it will probably take 1-2 years and by then our bio kids will be 3, 5 and 7.<br><br>
But DH is still considering getting his MBA. I think he really hopes to be able to go to business school in Europe. There are some programs where he could travel from here (1 week of classes every month), others where we would need to be located in Europe (every other weekend).<br><br>
We could have him pursue his mba first. It would take 3-4 years from now for him to finish this degree. Or we could adopt first. This could take less than a year or potentially more than four. I don't think we want to pursue both at the same time.<br><br>
Would it be better to wait and adopt later? To have a smaller family while DH is in grad school and then to focus on adoption when he is done?<br><br>
We're actually considering China because the timing of that would allow us to start the adoption process and then get through grad school while waiting.
 

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I think only you guys will be able to tell what timing works for you. There are pros and cons to different age gaps.<br><br>
Also, check to see exactly what "fost-adopt" means in your state. In NJ, it means "fostering a child whose goal is to go home, and if the parent can't work the case plan AND no relatives are available to adopt--THEN you have first chance at adopting that child". And that's not usually the outcome: these children USUALLY leave your home. However, we have a separate straight-adoptive unit ("selective adoption") where children placed from that division have a goal to be adopted (or at least to have the parental rights terminated). These children USUALLY stay.<br><br>
Find out what WA has. It shouldn't be difficult. If I'm not mistaken, I think your state actually has a union for their foster parents--so you could ask them. But this might also make a big difference in your decision.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sbrinton</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14722928"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But DH is still considering getting his MBA. I think he really hopes to be able to go to business school in Europe. There are some programs where he could travel from here (1 week of classes every month), others where we would need to be located in Europe (every other weekend).<br><br>
We could have him pursue his mba first. It would take 3-4 years from now for him to finish this degree. Or we could adopt first. This could take less than a year or potentially more than four. I don't think we want to pursue both at the same time.<br><br>
Would it be better to wait and adopt later? To have a smaller family while DH is in grad school and then to focus on adoption when he is done?<br><br>
We're actually considering China because the timing of that would allow us to start the adoption process and then get through grad school while waiting.</div>
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We are in some what of a similar situation - we are waiting and hopeful for a domestic adoption placement and DH is applying to grad school for next fall. We have really thought a lot about taking on all of these things at once. We feel fine doing it because DH is applying to an MBA program where he would go to school every other weekend, and we would move to the city where the program is located so we are local, and our chances of getting an adoption placement won't be effected by moving. If we were trying to get the timing just right in terms of having a baby placed with us or if DH was commuting internationally for school on a regular basis, it would be way too much for our family.<br><br>
I would really think about moving to the place where your DH would be going to school. My husband used to travel to Europe for work pretty regularly, and it was a strain - and that was before we had a child. It is exhausting. It would leave your DH with very little free (family) time (I guess unless he wasn't working and only doing school).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We have talked to a few foster-to-adopt agencies here in Washington. All of the agencies we've talked with say that about 80-90% of the children in the foster-to-adopt program end up being adopted. Kids are not identified for foster-to-adopt if there is a strong chance the birth parents or extended family will be able to parent. The agencies we've talked with say that it takes 6-9 months to become licensed as a foster parent, and then the wait for a placement is variable.<br><br>
We'd be looking for an infant girl. We're open to some medical issues as well as to any ethnic background or race. So I don't know how that affects our wait time. They all say "it depends"...:)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sbrinton</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14723394"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We have talked to a few foster-to-adopt agencies here in Washington. All of the agencies we've talked with say that about 80-90% of the children in the foster-to-adopt program end up being adopted. <b>Kids are not identified for foster-to-adopt if there is a strong chance the birth parents or extended family will be able to parent.</b> The agencies we've talked with say that it takes 6-9 months to become licensed as a foster parent, and then the wait for a placement is variable.<br><br>
We'd be looking for an infant girl. We're open to some medical issues as well as to any ethnic background or race. So I don't know how that affects our wait time. They all say "it depends"...:)</div>
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I don't understand what you mean by the portion I boldfaced. How are they identified, then? If this was a typo and you mean to say "Kids ARE identified for foster-to-adopt if there is a strong chance the birth parents or extended family will NOT be able to parent" where the goal is still reunification but it just doesn't look like there's a chance in heck, then fost-adopt where you are is exactly the way fost-adopt works in my state. And you should be prepared for the reality that those children CAN go home. So while you may be able to adopt this route and you may still see it as an option, you need to go into it knowing that until the goal is at least changed--the children are slated to leave. And that may or may not be a roller coaster you want to be on. By the same token, if you can live with that and be open to just fostering kids until one stays--then it may BE a viable option for you. We've had two cases of "these kids are never going back"--one of which TRULY (by anyone's standards) looked hopeless. In fact, mom lost rights 8 years prior for the same drug problem that the child we had placed was removed for. That child went home. For whatever reason, mom got it together and worked her tail off for this one. Nobody ever imagined. Thankfully, by the time we got that placement, we were well aware that they really couldn't know--so we were prepared for this reality. But I venture to say that if she'd been our first placement we might have quit when she left because even knowing what we did, it was kind of a roller coaster.<br><br>
Before going into this, I would ask the agencies that you're really looking closely at going with and ask them if they have any kind of parent support meetings that you can attend. Talking to the people who are "in the trenches" in your state (and by that, I mean the parents--not the agency or people placing children) and see what it's really like there. That's going to be your best source of information. Google to see if there are any foster/adoptive parent groups in your area or Yahoo/MS message lists: they might include people that went through various agencies so that you can compare experiences.<br><br>
The fact that you're open to races and some medical issues is definitely a help. But infants may lengthen your wait. And if I'm not mistaken, you're in an area where Native American children are often involved in the system and they are their own special set of issues legally. That's another thing you'll want to talk to the f/a parents about because different states (and often, down to the county level) handle those children differently. Find out how yours handles them so that you know if it's something you want to get involved with. It's pretty close to NEVER an issue where I am, but I've heard well enough from other foster families in the midwest and western US to know that I'm thankful it's not common where I am.<br><br>
Many agencies will make the situation look more hopeful than it is. Find out from the parents what the real deal is--even if it's only through an online forum or message list of f/a parents in your state.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>heatherdeg</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14727184"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't understand what you mean by the portion I boldfaced. How are they identified, then? If this was a typo and you mean to say "Kids ARE identified for foster-to-adopt if there is a strong chance the birth parents or extended family will NOT be able to parent" where the goal is still reunification but it just doesn't look like there's a chance in heck, then fost-adopt where you are is exactly the way fost-adopt works in my state.</div>
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Aren't you both saying the same thing? Kids arent identified for the "fost/adopt" track if the plan is RU and its the expected outcome, and kids ARE identified for the "fost/adopt" track if RU services arent going to be offered or the parent has failed in any prior RU attempts with other children and everyone involved feels that this case will go like all the others because nothing is different in the birthparents' ability to care for the new child.<br><br>
But of course, with foster care and the court system ANYTHING can happen. Anything. Its a roller coaster. You could get a baby where the mom has lost ten prior kids,and the court decides to give her a chance with this one. Or a relative discovers the baby is in foster care, after you've had her five months, and seeks custody. Or there is a different birth father than what was thought, and this father is capable of raising his baby.<br><br>
However, if the stats are true that 90 percent of kids in this program do get adopted, then it might be a pretty good option if you are willing to assume the risk. If you go into it not believing there is a risk you might get hurt.<br><br>
Heather...it sounds like where you are there is a high RU rate? Here (dont know if its my state as a whole, my county, or just my agency) it seems that RU is NOT the norm. Also, its not like you necessarily have to wait it out for 15 months to see if the case will go to adoption. I found some paperwork on my son awhile ago, and realized they sought permanent custody (and changed the goal from the standard RU to adoption) within a few weeks of him coming into care, i think he was less than six weeks old. TPR was granted at four months. The goal for my foster son changed to adoption within about eight months of him being in care (and only about a month or less of him being taken from his father, who had him after he was removed from his mother.) My friend is adopting a sib group, there is a new baby that is due soon, its expected (based upon the fact that they JUST tpr'd the other three kids) that baby will go to adoption too. I dont think its an unreasonable thing to expect, as long as everyone knows that the outcome is not *guaranteed.* But here, at least, it seems they move quickly to TPR if it looks at all like the parent won't be successful. Obviously i too have heard some "horror stories" where stuff turns around at the eleventh hour.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>queenjane</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14727310"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Aren't you both saying the same thing?</div>
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Actually, I reread it and yeah--I think we are. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>queenjane</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14727310"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">However, if the stats are true that 90 percent of kids in this program do get adopted, then it might be a pretty good option if you are willing to assume the risk. If you go into it not believing there is a risk you might get hurt.<br><br>
Heather...it sounds like where you are there is a high RU rate? Here (dont know if its my state as a whole, my county, or just my agency) it seems that RU is NOT the norm.<br><br><i><snip></i><br><br>
But here, at least, it seems they move quickly to TPR if it looks at all like the parent won't be successful. Obviously i too have heard some "horror stories" where stuff turns around at the eleventh hour.</div>
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And this is why I've been pointing the OP to investigate further--both in terms of what the program places (with goal of RU vs. TPR) and looking into finding other local f/a parents who are seeing what is "the norm" for where THEY are. Because it DOES differ by area--sometimes right down to the county or agency or both.<br><br>
I have no idea if I happen to be in a high RU rate area. I'm regularly on a national foster parent board that is very active and I think that my posts would've been echoed a thousand times over. Everyone's experiences are different. Some of those experiences are a one-time event and they didn't experience multiple placements to know if that's the norm, some people have had multiple placements all of the same thing, and some have had many placements where the results are varied.<br><br>
This is why I'm not saying "this is what it is". I'm saying "find out what it is where you are so you truly know what you're in for". <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
Because comparing on THIS board--where people are from multiple areas (all with their own protocols and norms) isn't going to be as helpful as talking to the people in the environment you will be engaged in. The best we can do is give people generalized advice and jumping off points for further investigating... ya know?
 

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agreeing that it's really important to get a sense of what's really going on from current foster parents in your area. I have a friend in Vancouver, Canada who is a foster parent, and she learned the hard way that the people who are trying to place children in foster homes are often known to make it seem like the kids will be available for adoption, when in fact they know there is another plan for the child. She didn't foster for a while after that, having had their heartbroken and feeling used and abused by the placing folks, but now she's back at it and always wants to warn new foster parents but doesn't want to scare anyone off from fostering because there is such a huge need for foster parents there.<br><br>
So yeah, you just have to try to get info from your area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
From what I understand about our local area, there is a "pool" of children who are in need of foster care for a variety of reasons. Different agencies, both public and also non-profit/private, work to place these kids with foster or foster-to-adopt families. The agencies we've talked to focus exclusively on the babies and kids for whom reuinification is highly unlikely. I think this is why these agencies say that 80-90% of the kids in this program end up being adopted.<br><br>
Obviously anything can happen and sometimes situations that look hopeless aren't. Which is hopefully a good thing.<br><br>
I think we had ruled out foster-to-adopt at first because we thought there was too much uncertainty, we were too scared of the "loss". But as we've continued to learn and pray, I am more open to it. There are risks with international adoption. Risks with pregnancy. Risks with parenting. I guess I'm getting to a place of being more open - to seeing that even though it might be incredibly hard, it would be better to love a child for a little while than to never love her at all.<br><br>
Maybe this seems unrelated, but in the last 2 weeks we've watched some close friends go through the loss of their daughter at 38 weeks. My friend seemed to have a healthy, normal pregnancy and the baby's heart just stopped. We went to the hospital with them and took photos of their daughter and on Sunday we'll be there when they say goodbye. It sucks. It's so hard. But I know they are thankful that they loved her, even though it really hurts right now. We have another friend who recently lost one of her two twins to ttts. Another friend who is 38 weeks pregnant with a baby who will probably only live a week due to a chromosomal problem. In all of these situations, we've watched our brave friends love even though it hurts like h*ll.<br><br>
So I guess as we're contemplating adoption, possibly through the foster care system, I'm keeping that in mind. Yes, we might love a little girl for a year or two and then have to say goodbye, but that would be better than never having loved her at all.
 

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OMG... your friends have had such tremendous tragedies...!! My heart aches for them just reading about that. I think the only advantage you have (and I can't believe I'd type that word in the context of people's loss--but there is no better word) is that you know the possibility is there... ya know?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sbrinton</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14732546"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So I guess as we're contemplating adoption, possibly through the foster care system, I'm keeping that in mind. Yes, we might love a little girl for a year or two and then have to say goodbye, but that would be better than never having loved her at all.</div>
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That's how we felt once we decided that we could adopt. We got into this to see if it was possible to love a non-biological child as much as our bio child to determine IF adoption was possible. And we continue to straight foster now that we have our forever child just because we've become very clear on our contribution to our foster children's lives and how much it may mean to their future. How we "see" foster care now is night and day from when we began; but then the role of foster care TO us has changed, too. So we now actually LIKE fostering... and we NEVER expected <i>that</i>.<br><br>
Good luck to you. And lots of warm thoughts to your friends.
 
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