Adopting from Foster Care: 5 Things You Should KnowRich Stigall
1) Who are these children?
It is estimated that there are approximately 400,000 children in U.S. foster care at any given time, with 100,000 of those ready to be adopted. They are children of all ages, genders, and races. And all have experienced loss and trauma.
It is easy to let these numbers fall off your back without names and faces to put to them. But those are 400,000 names, 400,000 faces, 400,000 personalities, 400,000 children and youth who need a home and unconditional love.
“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.”
2) What is the cost?
People often assume that they can’t afford to adopt. And rightfully so, as it can be expensive. If you are working with a private adoption agency to adopt a baby or child from another country, it can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000.
But did you know that most adoptions from foster care are free? Because adopting a child from foster care is often state funded, the fees are minimal to none. Whatever costs are accrued are usually reimbursable.
After you adopt a child, there are many programs to help with child care needs such as medical assistance programs, educational benefits, college tuition assistance, child care vouchers, subsidies, and other assistance.
3) When can I adopt?
The foster care system does not require you to ‘keep up with the Joneses,’ in order to bring children into your home. AdoptUSKids.org clarifies that myth saying, “You don’t need to own your own home, be wealthy, have children already, have a college degree, or be a stay-at-home parent to adopt.” You just need to demonstrate that you can support yourself.
Being a foster or adoptive parent is not much different than being any other parent. Success comes from willingness, flexibility, and empathy for the child.
So when can you adopt? When you know it’s right for you and your family.
4) Where can I find support?
Every child, whether adoptive or not, has day-to-day emotional needs that require providing unconditional love, encouragement, and patience. However, it is true that most children in foster care have experienced loss and trauma. To help you walk with a child you’ve adopted through past trauma, there are resources, support groups, respite care, and financial support.
5) Why engage in Foster Care & Adoption?
There are kids who need love, and we have love to give. Whether through adoption or another of the many other ways you can engage with the system, every sacrifice shows a kid that he or she is worthy and precious.
“If only 7 percent of the 2 billion Christians in the world would care for a single orphan in distress, there would effectively be no more orphans. If everybody would be willing to simply do something to care for one of these precious treasures, I think we would be amazed by just how much we could change the world.” -Steven Curtis Chapman
Change happens when every church does a little.
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