July 25th, 2007
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Categories: The Questions

For the most part, foster parents decide to foster to help children in need. Some foster parents know going in that they want to adopt, and that may be the only reason they have chosen to foster. Some foster parents are blessed to adopt more children.

Some people are concerned that foster parents are fostering in the hopes to adopt a child are not looking at what is best for the children. When the truth is, that in some situations (referred to as legal risk or at risk placement) the caseworkers will look for a foster to adopt placement for the foster children if it looks like the children will be placed up for adoption. Having only one placement for the foster children is what is desired. With each placement, the children come away with more damage or issues (trust, attachment issues, feeling abandoned, etc.). I was blessed with my first two adopted children through a legal risk placement.

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There are a lot of foster parents that go in thinking they will only foster. Then along comes children that have become a part of their family. So, when parental rights are terminated and adoption becomes an option the “door” has opened. When this becomes a possibility, the foster parents cannot imagine the children anywhere but with them. I knew from the beginning that we would continue fostering even after we adopted. Our third (in works) adoption kind of just happened.

A large majority of foster children are adopted by their foster parents or other family members or friends of the foster family. So the truth is that if foster parents did not adopt there would be a huge number of children waiting to be adopted. I believe for the most part that most foster parents place their foster children’s needs before their desire to adopt.

More reading:

Foster Parents Versus Biological Parents

Foster Care: Empathy and Reality

Foster Care: Empathy and Reality – Coping

One Response to “Do Foster Parents Start Out Only to Adopt?”

  1. miriam says:

    We’re just now getting certified in hopes of adopting a distant relation. She’s currently in the home of a non-related friend, and is a legal-risk placement because her parents may be granted parenting rights (though it’s unlikely unless they’ve had some miraculous changes going on).

    We’re getting certified because we heard of this particular situation, and we volunteered right away to have her come live with us even knowing her parents may be able to reclaim her. If this placement does fall through, we’ll likely begin discussion with our SW about other waiting children. It’s funny how these things seem to happen. We definitely were not so drawn to foster-adopting until we “knew” a girl who needed us.

    Thanks for this post, it pointed out the diversity of motivations and outcomes in foster care nicely!

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