Foster Parents – Share Your Experience

posted 3 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
4827 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY


Post # 4
143 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@jny1179:  My beautiful daughter, now adopted, came to me as a foster child.

She was only the third child that came to me, and she never left.

It can be tough; she was with me TWO YEARS before I knew for sure she would not be returning home.

You can skip the foster care, and ask them to try to match you with kids already free for adoption.

Post # 5
2783 posts
Sugar bee

@jny1179:  I have never personally been a foster parent but I know someone who has.


she got a little boy who was 13 months old. He was taken into foster care because his parents had neglected to feed him anything other than milk for his entire life. The parents went through a lot of parenting classes/counseling and tried to take the steps to get him back but they were unsuccessful. After it was determined that no one in the family was capable or willing to raise the child, the judge pushed it into the adoption process. During this time the bio parents ha another child and he was taken into foster care at a week old because they were not feeding him properly and he lost too much weight. She got the baby as well and is now going through the final adoption process for the baby. She’s a single, working mom and has had no problem. The oldest boy is a little slow, likely because of his prior lack of nutrition, but other then that she says its been really easy. She has a good relationship with the bio parents as well.

Post # 6
14 posts
  • Wedding: August 2013

i personally don’t have experiance with the foster care system but… my husband and his sisters all grew up in the foster care system.  i can say that although their mother wouldn’t allow them to be adopted, the family that they stayed with the majority of the time they were in foster care really changed their lives.  they are the wonderful people they are today because of the family that raised them. 

we are currently expecting our first child but we are heavily considering fostering/adopting for the rest. please continue to share your experiance throughout your journey.

Post # 7
4072 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I have a friend who has adopted a ton of kids from foster care. I think around 10? She fosters to adopt. The only kids she has let go of were ones who were able to go back to the birth parents.

Those kids are in great shape, let me tell you, and I don’t know the secret. They are involved in every kind of extracurricular activity, do well in school, and are just generally nice kids. The mom puts a whole lot of work in though. I know the babies were tough. Most were drug babies, so they’d be up sick all night. Many had behavior problems early on. If you can get past those first few years though, I think any kid can shine.

I also nannied two kids who were adopted from foster care. The girl was 6, and she was adopted when she was two and a half. The boy was 4, and he was adopted when he was a one year old. They were not easy kids. I remember crying in my car on the way to pick them up because I dreaded the job.

The boy was fine. He had some aggression issues, but that isn’t uncommon at his age. The girl though definitely had some issues, and I struggled with her. She could be so sweet and fun, but other times she was manipulative. She would bully and manipulate her little brother just enough to get her way, but not enough to be seen as doing something outright wrong.

She would also do things like stick random objects in her mouth. I have never seen a 6 year old do something like that. It finally occured to me that a child learns to not pick up random objects and shove them in her mouth when she is 1-2 years old. And she had shitty bio parents then who probably didn’t teach her so, and as a result she still struggled at age 6.

She also went through a period of time where she soiled herself – nearly every day, sometimes twice a day. It stemmed from her need to control and she was feeling rather out of control.

I do believe both these kids, as much as I struggled with them, will turn out to be perfectly fine. I just nannied them during a particular rough period of transition. But it gives a glimpse into some issues I’ve experienced personally. Fostering is tough work, but man, is it worthy. There are so many foster kids, especially older ones, who need a family to love on them. And with that, they’ll shine.

Post # 8
2593 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

My parents did shelter (basically emergency foster care, when they are being taken out of the parent(s) care and waiting for a regular foster home to be found) and foster care for many years.  They had kids ranging from babies to teenagers.  They adopted two of their foster kids, (my older brothers).  The things these kids have been through….it breaks your heart.  One of my brothers had a mom no longer in the picture and his father gave him up beause he could not properly care for him on his own.  My other brother, though, had a mom who had kid after kid, all by different men.  It seemed like she would have one “batch” of kids, those would get taken away, and she would have another “batch”….there was a lot of abuse and mom was always after her next drug fix.  My mom said after he had been in their home a couple months, he asked her why Dad was the only man who ever came home at night.  

We’ve had babies come to our home with bruises on their faces in the shape of fingerprints from being slapped so hard.  Kids who have gone through physical and sexual abuse….it is heartbreaking what they have gone through, but those kids still love their parents, even when those parents are not worthy of that love.

I would say for the most part our experiences were good.  I know the biggest frustration for my parents, (and also for me, in the later years as I got older and understood more), was that the system (at least in the county they fostered in), was TOO gung-ho to send the kids back to their bio-parents.  There were kids that were sent home too soon only to end up in the system again and again because the parents weren’t ready/willing/able to care for them properly.  I know some parents just need time or education and they can learn how to be good parents, (there were some kids that were sent back home and to our knowledge at least did well once they were returned), but others just aren’t ready, and may never be ready.  They shouldn’t be given chance after chance at the kid’s expense. 

We also actually had two girls (sisters), who were placed for adoption, and that was a really rough experience.  It seemed like the county just wanted to wash their hands of them.  They were adopted to a couple who really only wanted the older girl, but were pretty much forced into taking the younger girl as well, (she was learning disabled), because they had to be placed as siblings.  It was clear to us they strongly favored the older girl.  There was also the issue of the adoptive father having a bio-daughter in his home country that he was not allowed to see until she was 18 for some unknown reason.  The records were sealed, but the county didn’t seem concerned at all…just dumped those girls into these people’s care while our concerns were ignored.  I often wonder how they are doing….I hope they were placed in a situation as bad as the one they came from.

It’s interesting, though….after those girls left, my parents decided to take a break from fostering, (which I am pretty sure has now become permenant).  We started fostering dogs instead, after our resident dog passed away.  When fostering dogs, the rescue groups strongly look to the foster family for guidance about what kind of home would be the best fit for a particular dog.  After all, the foster family LIVES with the dog day in and day out, they KNOW the dog, usually better than anyone else in the organization.  We had a guy interested in one of our foster dogs.  He was gone long hours a day, and she would need to be crated. This was a senior girl who was unlikely to be able to “hold” it that long.  He seemed like a great guy, just not the right match for our foster dog.  I told the rescue group that, and they listened and said they had a few other dogs who might be a better match for his living situation.  It’s AWESOME that they listened to what the foster family had to say, but at the same time, it’s a litlte sad to think that a DOG rescue group put more stock into the foster family’s opinions than the HUMAN “rescue group” did.

Again, for the most part, I would say our experiences were good.  You really make a difference in the life of a child when you foster, even though it may not seem like it. If nothing else, you can be that soft place for them to fall when the world around them is crumbling.  Just know that there will be downs to go with the ups, but I think in the end the good outweighs the bad.


Post # 11
1446 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

My friends recently adopted a baby boy.  They went through an agency and it was pretty $$$ (though I don’t know the exact amount).  They wanted an infant, no preference to race/gender, and were matched with a pregnant mom in the south.  This agency mostly works with pregnant moms, so usually places infants.  


Without going into too much detail, there was some drama around the time the baby was born and his bio mom decided to keep him initially.  They ended up getting him after all, when he was a few months old.  All is well so far, but it was an emotional roller coaster for them.


Their agency seemed great throughout this, and were working to resolve the situation.


Re your other questions, neither of them is staying home, and they live in a 1.5br apartment…. they turned a small bedroom into the baby’s room.  Both work full time.  None of this was an issue in the home study process– it sounded like they just want to make sure that there is a stable, caring environment.

Post # 12
679 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I work with kids who are in custody of the state or in a residential setting. I work for a non profit and function as a parent to some of the kids too. I’m also currently adopting and have a thread in the TTC section going about my journey.


I say all that to say I want to give you some insight but hope not to be discouraging you.

Fostering is such a great thing. If you foster to adopt my advice is that you get to know the kid very well and don’t let your excitement get the best of you. The last thing these kids need is someone to adopt them and then realize they have to send them back to where they came from. I know this sounds horrible, but it happens–and A LOT more than people realize. The legal term is “disruption” just google “disruption adoption” and the like to learn more about it.

The problem is that sometimes information is witheld from adoptive parents (believe me, child services in your area may do this). Other times kids are simply undiagnosed before the adoption. After the adoption all kinds of things come to surface. Sadly, many foster kids have had a tough start in life and require an environment not all parents are equiped to provide. These behaviors come from a place of hurt, others had psych disorders associated with them, and so forth.

It is possible for these kids to have a shot at life but it takes more than just love. Love cannot fix some deep rooted issues, so you have to be realistic about the resources you’ll need and the sacrifices you may need to make.

A few examples are a child who:

 cannot be left alone and has to be supervised 24/7

 behaves like a sexual predator

harms other children in the home

has late diagnosis of RAD

  I am currently matched with a child to be born in April  whose mom is in a treatment facility. While I’m not saying you need to look for the perfect child out there, consider the risk factors of each child carefully. Be trained and as prepared as you can be based on those risk factors. Best of luck to you!

For more information regarding the challenges you could face I recommend reading through







Post # 14
679 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@jny1179:  That’s awesome!!!!! I have a 6 week maternity leave paid at 60% of my salary. I can take an additional 6 weeks unpaid. My work doesn’t have assistance though : (

Oh and my hubby and I work at the same place and he doesn’t get any kind of leave which is a bummer. That’s too “progressive” for this part of the country.

I hope I wasn’t discouraging. I’ve learned a lot from an older adoptive mom whose son is now in his mid 20’s. It has been good for us to have eyes wide open just like you said. I’m on the same boat as you : )


Post # 16
3514 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@jny1179:  I just wanted to say you and your husband are very special! It takes a big heart to do what you want to do and with all the bad in the world it warms my heart that you both are very interested in doing this. I hope the process goes well for you both.

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