Choosing to Foster
Kids are kids, whether they’re in the foster care system or not. Foster kids need stability just as much as any other child (and possibly even more so), no matter their age. Giving these children a chance at a normal home and family life often means the difference between happiness and a lifetime of doubt.
Different Fostering Situations
Children who enter into the foster care system may not always be eligible for adoption. About half of foster children are reunited with their families after their situation changes. Another quarter of foster children end up being adopted by their foster parents, while the remaining children may exit the system, never having been adopted or reunited with their caregivers.
While it can be very attractive to foster and adopt younger children through public agency adoptions, it’s important to remember that older children need familial support to avoid poor outcomes like homelessness, lack of education, and unemployment.
Adoption through Foster Care
Foster care is a different route to accomplishing the goal of adding a member (or two or three!) to your family. Public agency adoptions often start out with a fostering situation, where the agency assists in placing the child in the foster home and then helps the family through the rest of the steps to complete the adoption. However, not every foster situation ends up being a good fit for adoption. This happens a bit more often with older children than with younger ones, as older children and teens may have greater difficulty adjusting to a new family. This can cause stress among family members beyond just their relationship with the fostered child. For this reason, and many others, some families are focused on taking in younger children. The unfortunate side effect of this is that many older children never find a permanent home, and age out of the system without any familial support.
Adopting Sibling Groups
In situations where sibling groups are involved, the prevailing wish is to keep that group together. Separating siblings can have enormous detrimental impacts, so it’s avoided as often as possible. Being willing to foster and adopt a sibling group can have huge impacts on each of the children, and sibling groups are placed together permanently whenever there’s an appropriate home and family for them.
Getting Help from an Adoption Attorney
Regardless of the age of the child you’re fostering, if your goal is adoption, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of a professional. Adoption, whether through a public agency or a private one, requires a lot of information and much patience. At Jennifer Fairfax, Family Formation Law Offices, we’re ready to help you through the process of growing your family through adoption. Contact us today for information about public agency adoptions, private agency adoptions, fostering, and more.
For more information about foster care and public agency adoption, click here.