Advantages of Foster Care Adoption
Thousands of Arizona families have been built through the foster care system. For adoptive parents, children, and their relatives, the advantages of foster care adoption are immeasurable. Here are just a few reasons to consider adopting from foster care:
- You provide a child with a permanent home. Every child needs and deserves a stable, permanent home, and there is no greater gift than opening your doors to a child in need.
- It is inexpensive. Many people hoping to expand their families are concerned that adoption is not financially feasible. While domestic and international infant adoption can be expensive, foster care adoption is a very affordable alternative—in many cases, the state may even provide adoptive families with a stipend.
- Foster care adoptions are often very stable. In domestic adoption, the birth mother is in control of her adoption plan and may change her mind at any time before the adoption is complete. This is called an adoption disruption. In foster care adoption, the birth parents’ rights are terminated before the child is available for adoption. Because the birth parents cannot change their minds, foster care adoptions rarely disrupt.
- Wait times are shorter than other forms of adoption. There are many waiting children in the foster care system who are available for adoption immediately.
The following resources can provide more information about becoming a foster parent in Arizona:
- Arizona Department of Child Safety – the State of Arizona licenses all foster families in Arizona. Learn more about becoming a foster parent and sign up for a online training.
- Foster & Adoptive Council of Tucson (FACT) – an organization whose mission is to raise awareness, develop support, create resources, and promote advocacy for foster care and adoption among the Tucson community at large, as well as key members of the community.
Disadvantages of Foster Care Adoption
While foster care adoption can be an incredibly fulfilling way to build your family, it is not for everyone. The advantages of adopting a foster child must be weighed against the challenges of adopting from the foster system. Here are three of the most common disadvantages of foster care adoption:
- Many foster children face unique challenges. For many different reasons, some foster children are considered “special needs.” This can simply mean that a child is older or part of a sibling set. It can also mean that the child has a mental, physical, or developmental disability. Prospective adoptive parents must be honest with themselves about the range of special needs they are able to support.
- There are few infants available for adoption in foster care. Because biological parents are given multiple attempts to work toward reunification before their parental rights are terminated, most children who are placed in foster care do not become available for adoption until they are older. For couples hoping to adopt an infant, private domestic adoption may be a more viable option.
- Bonding may be more difficult for foster children. Many children in the foster system have experienced abuse, neglect, or other trauma. These emotional issues can make it more difficult for them to bond with new parents. To facilitate bonding, some families choose a “foster-to-adopt” process. By living with and getting to know the child before making the decision to adopt, everyone can feel more certain about the match.
The decision to grow one’s family through the Arizona foster care system is important, and we hope this information provided you some insight into the various benefits and challenges adopting a foster child may present your family.