Children who are living in foster care are waiting for loving families to take them home. Many of those children will eventually go back to living with people in their own families, but those who cannot may later be adopted. It’s important to keep them in a stable environment, which is why the adoption agency will be cautious about with whom a child is placed.
Some parents are reluctant to foster children, but it’s important to understand the myths surrounding fostering and why rejecting the idea could be hurting your opportunity to adopt a well-adapted, loving child.
Myths hurt children in need
Myths do hurt the children who need help the most. For example, one myth about fostering is that children who are in foster care are juvenile delinquents. The reality is that most of those children are in foster care through no fault of their own. Over a half of those children are 8 years old or older, and many of them want nothing more than to join a loving family.
Another myth that hurts people looking to foster as well as foster children themselves is the idea that the biological parents can “take them back.” While it’s true that the goal is to return the children to their biological family members, if they are put up for adoption, then that’s final. Adoptive parents might choose to maintain contact with the child’s biological family, but they may also decide that it is not in the child’s best interests.
A third myth that you should be aware of is the idea that single people can’t adopt. Unmarried people can adopt, and often do, in all 50 states. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption states that around 30% of all children who are adopted from foster care moved into homes with single parents.
Fostering is just one path to adoption
If you still feel that fostering is not right for you, there are other paths to adoption. Whether you choose to become a foster parent, to adopt internationally or to adopt a child you already know, it’s important to get the right legal support to move through this process in a way that benefits the child in need.