Guest post by Rana O’Connor, Resource Coordinator, Spurwink Treatment Foster Care
When a child comes into foster care the first option is reunification with birth parents, then permanency with a relative. If neither of these options is possible, adoption by the foster parents or another adoptive family is the best choice. Children who leave foster care with no family of their own are most at risk for a poor outcome.
At this moment, there are about 100 children in foster care in Maine just waiting for an adoptive family to be found. Surely there are 100 people in this great state of Maine who are willing and able to become an adoptive parent.
Busting adoption myths
Understandably, there are plenty of reasons given for NOT being able to adopt from foster care. However, some of those reasons are just untrue. Let’s bust a few myths!
- I’m single Singles, same-sex couples, unmarried couples, empty nesters and growing families are all welcome to learn more about becoming a foster/adoptive parent. Don’t let your status stop you!
- I don’t own a home It is not necessary to own a home to become a licensed foster/adoptive family. You may rent or own an apartment or a house as long as there is adequate space to add another person. It is even possible for some children to share a bedroom.
- I don’t have a lot of money No doubt about it, kids are expensive. As a foster/adoptive parent, though, there is some financial support. There is also emotional support and training to help you through the rough patches. Children adopted from foster care may be eligible for a financial subsidy, and many qualify for financial aid for college.
- Foster children are “bad kids” Children enter the foster care system through no fault of their own. Their parents were unable to care for them or abused or neglected them. Many children entering the foster care system will be reunited with birth parents or extended family members. That still leaves a number of children who need an adoptive home. They have experienced trauma; they may have a hard time trusting the adults in their lives; some have their own emotional or physical challenges. But they benefit and grow, as do all children, when they belong to a family of their own.
- I am too old Perhaps you feel too old to change diapers or face sleepless nights. But there are lots of great reasons to adopt an older child, including fewer years of active parenting!
- I won’t measure up The process of becoming a licensed foster/adoptive family is arduous. It includes a class series, documentation, background checks and a home study. Through the process the focus is not on finding perfect parents. Weathering a few of life’s challenges may better equip you to handle the uncertainties of parenting. Successful foster/adoptive parents are flexible, have a sense of humor, are team players, and are willing to ask for help when needed.
Are you interested?
This guest post was written by Rana O’Connor, Resource Coordinator, Spurwink Treatment Foster Care.