When children grow up without a safe, stable, caring family, they are more prone to have long-term effects. While many children in foster care may experience any of these effects, there are also many misconceptions regarding foster care and adoption that are just not true. Below are a few myths and facts concerning foster care and adoption.
Myth #1: Most Children in Foster Homes have Dozens of Placements
The reality is that the average amount of placements per foster child is only three. There are several explanations for children being placed in more than one foster home. These reasons could include:
- The location of the child’s biological parents
- The foster parents are unable to take care of the child any longer
- The child is reunited with his or her siblings
Myth #2: Foster Parents Have No Control Over Which Children They Foster
This is not true. While you would not be allowed to select a specific child you to foster, you will be able to choose your preferred age and gender. If you feel, at any time, that you cannot provide for the child you get placed with, you should call the social worker.
Myth #3: Most Children in Foster Care are Teenagers
The reality is that only 38% of foster children are teenagers, whereas 62% of foster care children are under the age of 10.
Myth #4: Foster Parents Receive Little or No Support from the State
The state provides foster parents with a reimbursement to cover the cost of food, clothing, medical, dental and counseling services. They will also make supportive services such as training and relief care available.
Myth #5: Foster Parents are Not Allowed to Adopt the Children They Foster
Of all the children that enter foster care a little more than half are able to return to their biological families, but there are still thousands of children who cannot return home. 54% of the children in foster care who were adopted last year, were adopted by their foster parents.
Myth #6: It Costs Too Much to Adopt
It is not necessary to be wealthy, own your home, or have children in order to adopt. Most U.S. foster care adoptions are free, and any small expense connected with them is often reimbursable.
Myth #7: It Takes Too Long to Adopt a Child
From the moment you first approach the agency to the day when the child is placed with you, normally takes a year, but this estimate can differ based on the agency you are working with and the state where you reside.
Myth #8: The Adopted Child Can Be Taken Back by a Birth Parent or Relative
Adoptions of children from the U.S. foster care are legally binding agreements that only occur once a court of law legally terminates the rights of all parents. With more than 98% legal adoptions remaining intact, it is very rare to have the child’s birth parent challenge an adoption in court.
You are not expected to be perfect to adopt a child. In a foster care child’s mind waiting to be adopted may seem like waiting for a miracle. You have the opportunity to be that miracle. Give Kids First a call if you have any questions or concerns.