Many people get scared off easily from adopting through foster care. Most of the time, this fear comes from misconceptions or stories that may have been passed on after one bad experience in the foster care adoption process.
These myths may be completely untrue, may be based off of old or dated information or may have only some small amount of truth to them. Regardless, it helps to separate fact from fiction before making a decision on whether to pursue a foster care adoption.
1. Foster Care Adoptions Are Expensive
Any adoption comes with its own set of costs, but when it comes to the different types of adoptions available, foster care adoptions tend to be the lower cost of the options. Private or international adoptions cost anywhere from $5,000 to up to $30,000 in costs when all is said and done.
On the other hand, if potential adoptive parents wish to go through pre-adoptive foster care placement, funding is available to provide financial assistance for eligible adoptive children. One of the only costs that is associated with a foster care adoption is the home study fee, which can be refunded after the adoption is finalized from the foster care system.
If the child is placed in a foster placement, talk with an adoption attorney to see what can be done to get financial assistance to help with adoption costs.
2. All Foster Care Adoptions Involve Children Classified as “Special Needs”
An additional myth surrounding foster care adoptions if the idea that all children in foster care have some type of need, whether it be a physical, emotional or mental handicap, that qualifies them to be classified as “special needs.” Children are in the foster/adopt system because their birth parents were not able to give them a permanent, stable and protective home.
While, yes, many children may suffer from some type of physical or emotional issue, it does not necessarily qualify them as “special needs.”
Additionally, the term “special needs” should not necessarily be given a negative connotation. It could simply mean that the child is older or requires placement with his or her siblings. No one foster care situation is the same, and each situation comes with its own set of unique circumstances.
3. The Adoptive Family Will Not Receive Support Until the Adoption Is Finalized.
Most children who are placed and later adopted through the foster care system are eligible for some type of state or federal subsidy to help the costs associated with placement and that child’s needs.
Each state has its own set of rules, but it helps to talk with the placement agency, as well as an adoption attorney. This helps to get short-term assistance before the adoption takes place and long-term assistance in the event post-adoption financial help is needed.
It helps to do your homework when looking for financial assistance for adoption, but the help certainly does not end at the date the adoption is finalized. Assistance can be made available both before, during and after the adoption is finalized.
4. Adopting a Child Through Foster Care Involves Too Much Red Tape
One common myth regarding foster care adoptions is that the process requires too much red tape and bureaucracy, making it not even worth the process.
The process does have its own set of requirements and steps that need to be taken. However Congress has made it so that the process is much more streamlined since the passing of the Adoption and Safe Families Act in 1997.
The purpose of this law was to make it so that children could find their forever homes in a more efficient and quick manner, resulting in less time in foster care with no definite sense of permanency.
5. It Takes Too Long to Finalize the Adoption.
Ultimately it depends on when the child is placed in the home for how long the adoption will take. If the foster family receives placement before parental rights are even terminated, the process can end up being longer.
However, once the placement is made and the adoption is set to go forward, the process is not too long. To become certified for adoption takes approximately four to six months, depending on how long it takes to complete the requirements for certification.
As soon as you are cleared to finalize the adoption, it is recommended the family meets with an adoption attorney to file the petition and move forward. It can be done within a matter of months if all goes smoothly.
6. Foster Care Children Have Too Much Baggage.
This last myth is one that prevents many individuals from ever going forward with foster care adoption, and it is unfair to the children in the foster care system that this myth prevents these adoptions from otherwise happening.
While some foster children may come in with physical or emotional needs, at the end of the day, all these children want is a forever family who will love them and provide them with a happy and safe home.
Do not let the fear of the unknown prevent you from accepting a child into your home who could make your family complete. If foster care is a consideration and this myth is the only one that is holding the family back, reach out to placement agencies in your area. Speak with other foster families who have gone through adoptions to get their stories on how well their adoptions went.
If You Are Thinking Adoption, Contact Stuart & Blackwell Today
At Stuart & Blackwell, we understand just how stressful the adoption process can be. We’re here to help you find the path to adoption that’s right for you. Every adoption is as unique as the adoptive parents themselves, but the journey doesn’t have to be harrowing.
We specialize in Arizona adoption law, and we have the experience, knowledge, and compassion to help you welcome your child into your loving home. Contact us at (480) 420 2900 today for your free consultation.