National Foster Care Month is in full bloom, and at Heart of Adoptions we love every adoption story. Each foster-to-adopt journey is as unique as the families who make the decision to venture down this path. As a Florida adoption agency, we get asked many questions about our foster-to-adopt program, Hearts to Home. This program is designed to give children ages 3 and older a chance at a loving forever home. Sometimes we have prospective parents that call us and are hesitant about the process because of the many myths that are commonly believed as truths.
Myth One: Adoption from Foster Care is expensive.
This is simply not true. Adopting from foster care is typically less expensive than domestic infant adoption. There is also an abundance of resources and grants available to families looking to adopt from the child welfare system, especially for those interested in adopting children with special needs.
Myth Two: I’m a single man or woman, and I won’t be able to adopt on my own.
Love comes in all forms. Whether you’re single person, an LBGTQIA couple, an older couple, an ethnically diverse couple, a family with children of their own, etc you are able to adopt from foster care. These children are searching for loving homes and there is no secret formula or ‘look’ for the perfect family. All families are unique and beautiful, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Myth Three: If I adopt from foster care, I’m afraid the child’s birth parents will take them back.
This is simply not true. There are children in the foster care system who are available for adoption. In many of these cases, the birth parents or a judge has terminated the parental rights, allowing the child to become available for adoption. Once you sign the adoption papers, that child is your family forever.
Myth Four: I don’t know anyone who has been through the foster to adopt process. I won’t have any support or friends who understand.
With our Hearts to Home program, you are never alone. Our caseworkers are here for you every step of the way. There are many support groups and organizations that they can get you in touch with for help and resources. There is also required training where you can meet other potential adoptive parents
Myth Five: I don’t have any training for managing older children. I won’t know what to do if I foster to adopt.
Before you can adopt from foster care, each intended parent is required to go through training. Our trauma-linked Caregiving Course is a 6-week long program that helps each prospective adoptive parent understand and learn about the child welfare system and some of the challenges and struggles the children are facing in the system. These classes give you resources and tools to use as a parent and help you understand different ways children might cope with their hardships.
We hope we have dispelled some common myths about fostering to adopt. Those who have adopted from foster care describe what a fulfilling and love-filled experience it has been in their lives. We urge you to research every prospective foster to adopt program thoroughly so that you are prepared and can make an informed decision.