Foster Child Adoption-What to Ask

Adopting a child is a huge undertaking and requires much information gathering as well as introspection. Adopting a child who has been in foster care is a unique situation that calls for even greater scrutiny and examination.

Foster adoption sometimes occurs when a foster family decides to adopt a child who has been living with them as a foster child. But whether you are familiar with the child or considering adopting a foster child from another home, adoptive parents need to understand the distinctive needs of a child who has been in the foster care system.

Questions to Ask a Social Worker Before a Foster Adoption
As you consider adopting a foster child, ask your social worker these questions:

  • How old is the child?
  • What is the child's history with his birth family?
  • Has the child been through abuse, neglect or trauma?
  • Is the child free to be adopted legally?
  • What potential problems are there in the future with birth parents' claims?
  • Are there other extended family members of the child who may make claims?
  • What is the child's history with his foster families?
  • How many times has he been moved?
  • Can I talk with his previous foster families?
  • Does the child have any special physical, medical or emotional needs?
  • What is the outlook on the child's educational success?
  • Does the child have siblings? What is the status of their foster placement or adoption?
  • Is the child currently being treated or counseled?
  • Does the child have any acting-out behaviors?

Questions to Ask Yourself Before a Foster Adoption
Some adoptive families have a rose-colored view of how the adoption process works. They imagine a "fantasy child" and have an overly optimistic view of how they'll save a child from foster care and all will live happily ever after.

In their quest to place children in adoptive homes, some social workers will play up that fantasy. Before considering foster adoption, ask yourself some tough questions about the reality of adopting a child who has been in foster care.

  • Do I have the necessary commitment to be a parent?
  • If adopting because of infertility, am I sure that adopting a foster child will be a substitute for having my own child?
  • Can I accept a child that is not biologically my own?
  • Is my marriage stable enough to handle an adoptive child?
  • How will this adoption affect my other children, if any?
  • Is the child's age younger or older than I originally wanted?
  • If the child is a special needs child, can I handle the job of being a parent to a handicapped child?
  • Am I willing to provide the child with medical and mental health attention he may need through adulthood?
  • Do I thoroughly understand the attachment and parent-child bonding experiences and the problems that foster children have in this area?
  • Do I have the patience to participate in pre-adoption and post-adoption counseling, classes and screening and meet all requirements?
  • Will my extended family accept this child?
Related Life123 Articles

Adopting foster children can be one of life's most rewarding experiences for both you and the child.

With the majority of foster kids being eventually returned to their birth families, foster children who are up for adoption are special cases with unique needs.

Frequently Asked Questions on
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Let's face it, everyone has a preconceived notion of what kind of person a foster parent is and how a foster family behaves. What's truly sad is that some of these notions are true, and people are still afraid to consider Fostering as an option for their family.
Foster homes provide at-risk children a temporary, safe place to live until they can be reunited with their families or, in some cases, placed permanently with adoptive families. Some children stay in foster care for days or weeks; some stay for years.

There are differences between foster parenting and adoption, some insignificant and some major.

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