Whether you are a current foster family or a hopeful parent considering adoption, understanding the pros and cons of foster care will help you decide whether this is the best way for you to grow your family.
Advantages of Foster Care Adoption
Thousands of Arizona families have been built through the foster care system. For these 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. When you are matched with a child that is meant to be a part of your family, the benefits of adopting a foster child are everlasting.
- It is inexpensive. Many people hoping to expand their families are concerned that adoption is not financially feasible. While domestic and international 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 less likely to disrupt. 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 ready for adoption immediately. The following resources can provide more information about the children who are currently available for adoption in Arizona:
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 some of the more challenging aspects adopting from the foster system. Here are three of the most common disadvantages of foster care adoption:
- Many foster children face unique challenges. For a number of reasons, many foster children are considered “special needs.” This can simply mean that a child is older or part of a sibling set, or that the child has a mental, physical or developmental disability. Prospective adoptive parents must be honest about the types of special needs they are comfortable with, as it would be unfair to both parties if they adopted a child whose needs they cannot meet.
- 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, which can create emotional issues that make it more difficult for them to bond with new parents. To facilitate the bonding process, some families choose to foster to adopt so they have an opportunity to live with and get to know the child before adopting.
The decision of whether to grow one’s family through the Arizona foster care system is an important one, and we hope this information provided you some insight into the various benefits, and challenges, adopting a foster child may present your family.
If you still have questions about foster care adoption, or if you are ready to take the next step, please contact us for more information about foster care adoption in Arizona.