Maggie A's Meanderings

 
 

 

 

 Dec 21, 2014

Reasons for Adopting a Baby Via Foster Care


Every time I hear about how difficult it is to adopt a baby, particularly a Caucasian baby, in the United States, how expensive it is (sometimes costing tens of thousands of dollars) and how someone's been waiting for years to adopt a baby, I think about a family I know who adopted three children, all babies when they got them, and it didn't cost them a penny.

How did they accomplish this feat, not once, but three times?

Foster care. All three children were foster children placed in the system as babies.

Given the number of children --- including babies --- in the foster care system, I don't know why more people who want to adopt a baby don't go the foster care route.

My friends fostered over sixty children. Out of all those chlidren, they adopted three, including the second child they fostered. Each child they adopted had been in their care since babyhood. Their first child was about a year old when she was placed in my friends' care and the other two were newborns.

Adopting through being a foster parent comes with a lot of advantages........

Most importantly, you get to know the child before the decision to adopt. The reality is that not every child is a fit for every family. The number of adopted children who get abused shows that. I can't think of any worse adoption situation than to adopt a child only to discover that you can't love the child so end up abusing him/her. By fostering the child, you get to find out if you're the family for this child.

While you're finding this out, the state actually pays you to care for the child and the child's medical expenses are covered. You can't say that about the private adoption process where you pay for everything. Even after adoption, many former foster children still qualify for ongoing subsidies.

Adopting out of the foster care system doesn't cost the tens of thousands of dollars that a private adoption can cost. Foster care is not a for profit system. You don't pay the baby's mother anything. You don't pay a fee to the adoption agency. You don't have to pay travel expenses. You don't pay for medical treatment and hospital fees. Foster care adoption doesn't even require hiring an attorney in most states. In fact, it's possible for you not to pay anything for the adoption because adoption through foster care comes with financial assistance. (Fees for adoption from foster care range from $0 to $2500.) As I said in the opening paragraph, my friends didn't pay a penny to adopt their three children; all fees were covered by the state. 

The state takes care of the process of terminating parental rights.

As foster parents you've already been vetted so have been through the screening process, so you don't need to worry that you won't be approved to have the child.

It's true there are drawbacks in adopting through the foster care system. First, you could fall in love with a child only to have the child taken away from you. But that's true of any U.S. adoption as the birth parents have a time period where they can change their minds about the adoption. There are people who've tried to adopt a baby who've experienced disappointment after disappointment when the birth mother or father has changed their mind. Second, the children in foster care don't come from the healthiest environments and may have problems. But that's also true in private U.S. adoptions as children from healthy environments don't tend to be put up for adoption. It's doubly true when it comes to foreign adoptions as those babies often have medical issues (which is why they were given up) or have psychological/development issues from being institutionalized.

So given that the risks are about the same with one process costing a large amount of money, taking many years and babies are difficult to get, the other process being inexpensive, fast and babies are plentiful..........I find I don't have sympathy for anyone complaining about the impossibility of adopting a baby in the United States. Instead I find I have a question: "Why don't you become a foster parent and adopt a baby that way?"


babies available fo adoption


For my take on parenting, there's "When You Think God's Light Shines Out of Your Kid's Asshole.........You're Raising a Brat (And Why It's Not Doing Your Kid Any Favors)" and "Truly Odd Parents: Parents Who Take a Hard Job and Make It Harder." 

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