When people tell me they are considering adoption as a way to grow their family, I encourage them to consider adopting from foster care. There are a lot of benefits to adopting from foster care. It is essentially free and there are many kids in need of loving families. You can have access to lots of information about their medical history, in many states you live with them for six months before your adoption can actually be made legal (so you know them pretty well), and there are options for both open adoptions or adoptions that are more closed (“open” and “closed” are terms that refer to how much information is shared between adoptive parents and biological parents).
There are two ways to adopt from foster care. You can either adopt a waiting child or you can invest yourself in fostering a child who is not legally free for adoption, but may become so over the course of the months or years you are involved (you need to be committed to the primary goal of reunification with the biological family until that is no longer the case goal). Neither of these options are as easy as I imagine people think they are. I sometimes get the impression people think you go to the foster child pound and pick out the one who looks cute to you, fill out some paperwork and Boom! You’re a family! The actual process is a lot more nuanced and unpredictable.
So if you’re thinking about adopting a child in foster care, let me clear up a few misconceptions:
To read misconceptions about adopting from foster care – view the rest of Maralee’s post on Her View From Home.
Maralee is a mom of six pretty incredible kids ages 8 and under. Four were adopted (one internationally from Liberia, three through foster care in Nebraska) and two were biological surprises. Prior to becoming parents, Maralee and her husband were houseparents at a children’s home and had the privilege of helping to raise 17 boys during their five year tenure.
Maralee is passionate about caring for kids, foster parenting and adoption, making her family a fairly decent dinner every night, staying on top of the laundry, watching ridiculous documentaries and doing it all for God’s glory.
Maralee can be heard on My Bridge Radio talking about motherhood on “A Mother’s Heart for God” and what won’t fit in a 90 second radio segment ends up at www.amusingmaralee.com.