Post # 1
We have 2 biological kiddos (one from my previous marriage) under 4 and would love to add another to our family. My pregnancies have been really difficult and my dr has shared another pregnancy would be high risk so we’ve been discussing adoption. Foster to adopt is something a few of my parents’ friends have done, but I don’t know anyone who has done it more recently. Please share your experiences with fostering and adoption. If you had other kids before adopting, please share if they were receptive and how it impacted the family dynamics.
Post # 2
We adopted our daughter at birth through a traditional agency. We got very, very lucky in all aspects of her adoption. Agency adoptions can be complicated and there are changes that need to be made in the process,no doubt. You have to do your homework, set boundaries in cost and other facets and above all, find the right agency. We have an open adoption and are in touch with her bio parents, which is preferable for us and will be better for her. She is our only child and is five now. Truly the light of our lives.
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
I have a good friend who fostered three kids (half siblings) and it turned into adoption. It’s an amazing thing to do in so many ways. However, it is often also very difficult because if the fostered kids don’t eventually get returned to their birth parents (the court’s preference), it’s usually because something is really screwed up with the family. Which means that often the kids have undergone some serious neglect and/or abuse that is difficult to recover from, leaving lasting psychological, physical, and behavioral problems. This was certainly the case for my friends.
I don’t say this to scare you off, but it’s certainly something you should consider when thinking about fostering. (Of course, this is why foster parents are that much more awesome and needed!)
Post # 4
violet90 : The open adoption aspect seems like a hard thing to get right. Do you allow face to face visits frequently or just letters/phone calls? Is it more of a figure out as you go thing?
Post # 5
litttlemisslamb : In our state, most agencies only take on clients who are ok with “open” adoption as closed adoption is the thing of the past for the most part, and biological moms prefer open adoptions now. That is very individual what it entails – some only want one picture a year, some want in person visits. In my state, those terms are agreed upon before adoption finalizes, however, the sad part is – it is absolutly not enforcable after adoption is finalized – adoptive parents can violate the open agreement, stop all communicaltion with the birth mom, and absolutly nothing can be legaly done about it. But all states are different.
Post # 6
I would suggest doing a lot of resarch, maybe reach out to some adoption support groups and chat with some people who have been through the process. It’s a long hard road, and those who have easy experiences are the exception, not the norm. Adoption can be a really awesome and beautiful thing as long as you’re prepared for how hard it can be.
I’ve not gone down that road but I have many many close friends who have. In my experience the ones who had an easier time were those with some sort of connection. For example, their church helped facilitate an adoption (sort of a case of “oh I know an unwed mother considering adoption, let me introduce you” type of thing) or having a family member in social services.
For everyone else I know it was a super long and heartbreaking process. A lot of money spent. On the foster to adopt side it was a lot of red tape and bullshit. Sadly the courts give birth parents WAY too many chances and in the long run it affects the kids most. On the private adoption side it was a lot moms changing their mind at the last minute (after money had already been spent on them).
I almost wish I didn’t know as much as I do, because I had always as a kid/teenager been drawn to adoption. Seeing some of my best friends go through it really opened my eyes.
Reading this over I feel like my post sounds super negative towards adoption, which is 100% not my intention. I’m just all about keeping it real because I’ve personally just seen so much heartbreak.
Post # 7
starfish0116 : I appreciate you being so honest. So much of what I’ve read is almost unbelievably perfect stories or a true horror story. My hope is that reality is somewhere in the middle. We don’t want to put our kids in a bad situation, but really would like to expand our family via adoption.
Post # 8
litttlemisslamb : We have an open adoption, but it is a bit weird. Her birth parents had very, very limited contact for the first 4 years – essentially I sent pictures and almost never heard back. Her birth grandma and I are very close and have communicated since she was born. However our daughter has only seen her birthgrandma once since the adoption and has not seen her birthparents at all, though I expect someday she will. The last year her birthmother and I write messages about once a month, she has opened up over time. Our little girl knows about her adoption and has seen pictures of everyone, but I don’t think she fully understands yet. Open adoptions can really be so variable in the amount of contact, how often, how close the relationship is, etc. We were open to a much more open situation than what we have with her birthparents.
Post # 9
I have never fostered or adopted a child, but I’ve worked with kids with those backgrounds. I would just make sure that you know what you are getting into. If kids have a rough background (born addicted to drugs, history abuse, etc.) they might have a lot of challenges in life. I think it is a great thing for people to do, but I also think they should be aware that some kids in these situations may need a good bit of outside help.
Post # 10
litttlemisslamb : I haven’t personally, but my cousin has fostered with the intent of adopting if reunivicantion wasn’t possible. In her situation, it was a mother that was on drugs during pregnancy and had already lost rights to her previous 4 children, so my cousin started fostering the baby at a few days after birth. It was a long process, but they were finally able to adopt the sweet boy right around 18 months. A few weeks after the adopton was finalized, they found out their son’s bio mother was pregnant again, with twin girls. Since the woman was once again on drugs during her pregnancy, they were given the option to foster the girls, with adoption once again being a possibility. The girls were born very premature and with some issues due to the drugs, but my cousin was able to visit them in the hospital as their guardian, and got to take them home after 6 weeks. The adoption isn’t yet in process (that I know of), but it’s looking like it will most likely head that way. From what I’ve heard, if this woman continues to get pregnant (which she is pregnant again right now) and have children that she cannot care for, my cousin will be the person they encourage to foster/adopt, since her child and foster children are the closest bio siblings in age.
I didn’t know much about fostering until my cousin started her journey, but I think it’s truly a wonderful and selfless thing for people to do. I can’t imagine how tough it is in situations where you do not know if adoption will be possible, or if adoption was the intent but something changes after raising a child for months or even years. There are several facebook groups for people in your situation that are considering being a foster parent. My cousin has talked a lot about how much those groups helped her make her decision. She was in a similar situation as you – her and her husband had one child, and had a few miscarriages and decided maybe it was best to try something different.