Remember when you thought the decision to foster was the biggest decision you would ever make? Imagine the decision to add a foster child to your home permanently. On the service, the decision seems easy. Of course you would! They’ve been living in your home and you’re bonded with them, why wouldn’t you? Well, the decision may be harder than you think. Keep reading for signs that foster care adoption might be right for you.
1. You have a large support system that understands the effects trauma has on children. Understanding the effects trauma has on children is one of the most important things to understand, not only as you consider adoption, but when you decide to foster in general.
2. You have space in your home. This one seems simple. Of course you need space in your home. As your children grow though, the space needed may increase. Children who were once able to share a room might need their own space. As children process their trauma, they may need safe and quiet spaces…which doesn’t always work when they’re sharing. A flexible floor plan is something to consider when deciding to add to your home.
3. Your immediate family is on board. It is vitally important to make sure the current family members in the home are on board with adoption. Living with extra siblings, or children, for a temporary time is one thing. Knowing they will be joining your family forever is another thing. It’s important to truly take time to talk with each family member and process their feelings.
4. Your foster child wants to be adopted. Just because they CAN be adopted, doesn’t mean they WANT to be adopted. While everyone is processing feelings, the foster child’s thoughts about being adopted need to be taken into account.
5. Your finances will allow for an additional child. Depending on your state, you may or may not receive post-adoptive services or stipends. Even if you do receive stipends, children are expensive. If you’re truly providing the love and care your children receive, your expenses will be well beyond any stipend you receive.
Above all else, when making the decision to foster, it’s important to do your research and ask questions. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. Lean on your treatment team, family, and each other. Either way, thank you for fostering!