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Hello everyone :) My husband and I are thinking about fostering/adopting a child and I am realizing I may need a little support on this one!


A little background- we have been together for 10 years, but have been working on our careers and having fun (I am a semester shy of being an RN, he is a Park Ranger). We will be ready to start a family soon, and have always dreamed of adopting a child and also getting pregnant. Our goal in adopting a child is to give a home to a child that is in need. I don't know if we have any fertility issues at this point, we have never tried to get pregnant.


I guess I always assumed that there are children of all ages and dispositions that need fostering/adopting. However, now that I have started researching, I am getting the impression that young, healthy kids (what we had imagined adopting) are desired and even competed for... and older kids or those with disabilities are really the ones who need a home.


Would you all find this statement to be mostly true? If we only feel prepared to foster/adopt a young (0-3?) healthy child, should we just forget it? If there isn't a *need* for adoptive/foster parents for young kids without disabilities then I am suddenly unsure why we are choosing to adopt instead of get pregnant. I do not want to take a child away from a couple who is unable to get pregnant- I had always (stupidly?) imagined there were plenty of young children that needed homes- and why create a child when so many exist that need love?


I would love any kind perspective you have. And while I do not think, without any parenting experience, we are ready to adopt an older child, I would also love perspective on adopting/fostering children with disabilities. I am not afraid so much of the disability, as I am of the financial repercussions, and the idea of providing a home for the child well into their adulthood. Any experiences with this would also be welcome.


Thanks!!!
 

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As a former foster parent I will throw this out there for you to think on..... Many kids (not all) in the system young and old have issues of some sort. Just like kids not in the system. From our experience our daughter was placed in our home at an early age, under a year old. It took time for us to actually adopt her due to the process the court system gives bio parents and relatives. During this time you are falling in love with this child if you are in it with hopes to adopt. Some kids at early ages do not show all signs with of issues until they began to get older. Remember, many are in the system for a reason- parents on drugs, neglect, ect. While you can go in with hopes all will be fine or healthy there is def NO guarantee until the child starts growing up. In our case, it has taken YEARS to have her diagnosed and still we are not sure if all is 100%. I do know some AP who has healthy kids from foster parents - in all honesty, not many. All kids deserve a home however I will say you have to realllllllly think on what your relationship with your spouse can endure. Yes there are mounds of happiness however in some cases there are also mounds of stress due to whatever diagnoses a child has. I really don't want to sway you either way- I just hope you go in with your eyes wide open.
 

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If we only feel prepared to foster/adopt a young (0-3?) healthy child, should we just forget it? If there isn't a *need* for adoptive/foster parents for young kids without disabilities then I am suddenly unsure why we are choosing to adopt instead of get pregnant. I do not want to take a child away from a couple who is unable to get pregnant-

I would love any kind perspective you have. And while I do not think, without any parenting experience, we are ready to adopt an older child, I would also love perspective on adopting/fostering children with disabilities. I am not afraid so much of the disability, as I am of the financial repercussions, and the idea of providing a home for the child well into their adulthood. Any experiences with this would also be welcome.
Adoption is not an easy road. It is a lovely one, but it is difficult. Parenting a child with trauma in his/her past is different than parenting one without such issues. IMO it is much more difficult. It takes grit and commitment-- Even if the child is a baby there is still trauma and loss to deal with. Even an infant knows he/she has lost his/her parent. (Study's show infants can not only recognize and respond to the voice of their mother at birth, but also can identify their native language when spoken to. So even a newborn infant comes with a history). A child who has suffered trauma in the womb is a child that has suffered trauma-- (not to mention the grief of the loss of a parent-- if you haven't already lost a parent yourself, take a minute and imagine that loss) So it's not an easy road no matter what the age, though the less time in the abusive home the better off the child, obviously. And to say it is more difficult to parent a child with a history of trauma, is not to say it isn't lovely and rewarding-- but it is certainly more difficult IMO. I am reminded of a quote from a Betty Davis movie that comes to mind "Fasten your seat-belts! It's going to be a bumpy ride!"

Re getting a young child: One can greatly increase the odds of getting a young child(ren) by willingness to accept a sibling pair. In our adoption of a sibling pair we discovered that out of 100 hopeful adopting couples we were one, of only 3, wiling to take a sibling pair. So an infant and a toddler might be quite easy to get. If you choose to go the sibling route I wouldn't worry about taking a child from someone who can't have one for two reasons: One pairs are really hard to find homes for, and two the "taking them away from people who can't have children" is an argument that serves the best interest of parents, not children; The children deserve the best possible parents. Finally, I think God plays a hand in these things as well.

I have a lot of opinion here hopefully I wont get too slammed for posting them… but I thought the more perspectives the better.

Lots of love,
Mamalari
 
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