Tips for the Transition From Foster Care to Adoption
Foster care is something that people with big hearts do
They open up their homes to children, many who have been through tough times in their young lives, and some with physical and mental disabilities. It is becoming more common for foster parents to adopt their children. They may enter the foster care program near them assuming this will be a temporary arrangement only to find it is a pathway to a permanent family for them and the child they foster.
Sometimes you will get a chance to choose to adopt the child yourself and other times the adoption will be offered to you due to changes in the child’s birth family. Whatever the reason, there is a big transition going from foster parent to adoptive parent. Things you should consider as you make this transition include emotional ones, financial ones, and schooling.
With foster care, the child is still under the legal observation of your state.
Now, you are entirely responsible for the new legal member of your family. When you were a foster parent, you got a stipend for the care you gave. Financial assistance may not completely disappear with adoption, as many people assume, but it does change. In fact, when people adopt through the system, they can get assistance through their state. It is a more affordable process than many believe. Some states will even cover the cost of transitioning from foster care to adoption for free.
As you transition, you now take complete responsibility for deciding where the child will go to school or if they will be homeschooled. You will decide if they can travel out of the state or the country. You can make a decision with the birth family about visitations, too. The birth parents can visit their children when they are still in foster care up until their adoption.
You already have the advantage of knowing about the child’s behavior, needs, and background.
Now, you will need to continue caring for them without supervision. You could, if needed, obtain therapeutic services if your child needs medical or behavioral assistance. If you are scared about the transition as much as you are excited about it, there is nothing wrong with you! It is natural to feel this way. The best source of inspiration and knowledge come from fellow parents like you. Never underestimate the advice that you can get from people who went through this same transition.
If you already have relationships and agreements with the birth parents, this is a great advantage.
You can also build and grow your post-adoption relationships with the child’s family members such as grandparents and aunts, uncles and cousins. You may be getting a real extended family for yourself which can be as much a joy as welcoming the child into your lives permanently is.
You are making a wonderful transition to adoption. This process is actually a lot smoother because your child has already adapted to you, your home and their daily routine.
If you wish to adopt, consider going through a foster care agency near you. There are programs that allow you to become an adoptive parent right from the start.