When I first started my research on adoption I was so overwhelmed. There was so much information but I felt like I couldn’t get the answers I needed. It was actually a super defeating feeling initially because just when I thought I would find an answer I would have a million more questions about that answer.
I remember coming home one day after reading something about how you very rarely can adopt younger kids from foster care and I almost pulled the plug on the whole thing. I knew God had placed a little girl under five on my heart so when I came across this new information (the day before our orientation class) I lost it.
I randomly called a private Christian adoption agency and the receptionist answered and for some reason I started crying to her on the phone explaining to her what we were looking for and how I felt hopeless. She was so sweet and told me that they only worked with infants but if God had laid adopting a little girl from Foster Care on our hearts that He would be faithful and that that was the direction we should go. I hung up the phone, took a deep breath, and just moved forward.
I know that story is kinda random but the adoption process can be emotionally exhausting and I feel like for as much information there is out there, there also isn’t. I definitely want to make myself a resource to you all and answer as many questions as I can.
I wanted to address the most common myths/ misunderstanding about adopting from Foster Care. There is also international adoptions and private adoptions that I am not really familiar with, so I am just going to share just from my experience.
Questions & Answers:
Is adoption from Foster Care expensive?
This is probably the question I get asked the most so I wanted to answer it right off the bat! No, adoption from foster care is FREE! It’s actually not only free the state pays you a stipend each month. You also get a pretty large tax deduction the year you adopt (which is nice for us business owners) and the children receive Medicaid, so health insurance is covered until they are 18, if you choose. They also have free college education to any state school until they are 28! The state really helps you to provide in the best way!
What does adopting from Foster Care mean?
When adopting from Foster Care chances are the child/ children were living in a foster home and the parents rights were terminated (in most situations) so the children are now legally are available to be adopted.
How long does it take to adopt from Foster Care?
It kinda depends. There are so many kids in the system but there are so many different situations. There are a lot teenagers, so if you were wanting to adopt a teenager it could happen really fast. Like I mentioned, Tomas and I were wanting younger so they said it could take some time. Our agency was Heartland and they work hard to match as quickly as possible and make the best match.
Can you adopt a newborn from Foster Care?
Not necessarily (our situation is extremely rare), I mean I can’t speak for all cases but I could see this being more likely with fostering a child and while they are in your care the parents right are terminated so they are available to be adopted. Private adoption is the best route to go if you are wanting a baby but it can be expensive.
Is it open or closed when adopting from Foster Care?
They are closed. The parent’s rights have been terminated for a pretty extreme reason so it might not be healthy for the child to be exposed to their biological parents. I am guessing there are situations out there where bio parents can get clean or get it together and a relationship can be thought about if it’s healthy for you and the child but that would be up to you as the parent.
Is the process long and exhausting?
I’ll have to do a whole post on this. The classes can be intense, they throw a lot of situations and scenarios at you that feel pretty extreme but they are doing your best to prepare you. It’s also heartbreaking to hear what some children have been through, this is probably the hardest part, but you are there to do something about it, so it isn’t a hopeless feeling, it’s just sad. What we weren’t prepared for was the emotionally exhausting process of getting Baby Boy. Certain things were told to us that would happen in a specific way and that wasn’t the case at all. It was a cluster and we were told many times that we would be getting him and didn’t. It was honestly one of the hardest things I have been through. The system has a million flaws and it is really frustrating. I would do it all again to get Baby Boy because he’s worth it but I am also working to change some of this too, because in the end it’s the kids that lose the most., and I am not ok with that.
Do all the kids from Foster Care have “issues”?
I mean, who doesn’t have issues? 😉 not to make light but it’s kinda the truth. It’s hard to answer this because every kid is different and has been through different things. When you are in the adoption class and in the home study, you share the level severity of different types of “issues” you would be comfortable with and they do their best to match you with a child accordingly. Most of the time these kids just need love and consistency and so much healing is done within those two realms.
Do you have to be the perfect family to adopt?
LOL, no. If you are, can you adopt me? 😉 I don’t think you have to be perfect by any means. At the same time, I will dare to say adoption is not for everyone. That’s a strong statement but I really stand by it. Adopting a child (just like having a child) will not solve marital issues (they only make it worse, added stress) and will not fill a void (this isn’t their responsibility). Adopting is a selfless act but it extremely rewarding and I do think more people can do it than think they can, but still not everyone lol. No one is perfect, and if you believe this is something God is laying on your heart it might be worth looking into!
These were the most frequent questions I have been asked, if you have more I would love to answer! XO