Does anyone here have any information on this? DH and I have been researching adoption for a while now and at first we were set on international...the more we looked into it though the more impossible it seemed. Traveling overseas for me to anywhere other than Europe may not be good either thanks to health conditions. I also didn't like that we'd more than likely go from not being parents to being parents of a toddler since the program we liked takes a while to get them to you.
So we thought domestic newborn open adoption would be fine. I contacted some agencies and got an idea of their prices and realized that while we manage our money very well there is no way we'd come even close to being able to afford it any time soon. We wouldn't even be able to afford to get to the point where we could apply for grants and DH really doesn't want to start out a child's life being in debt.
So...that led us to what we think is ultimately our only option but also the best one for more reasons than just finances. We've decided to seriously look into fostering to adopt. I actually made the call to social services today and the lady I needed to talk to was training but they said she'd call tomorrow. I guess DH and I need to sit down and make sure we know what questions we want to ask.
We just feel like this is such a good option for us the more we look into it. Seems like we can get placed with a child fairly quickly once we're certified and while we know there is never a guarantee that a child will stay with you we think we're willing to accept that. I've worked with kids forever (infants and toddlers a lot) and have always bonded with them completely regardless of the situation and we really feel we can do it. I'm just wondering if anyone here has been a part of a fostering to adopt program and how it worked out for them. I know it varies big time by state so finding out what happens in VA will be our first step. I'm excited!
This is the option DH and I are looking into. (DH just recently has said he wants to wait awhile) While each State is different, I think they are all basically the same idea. I believe it takes around 6 months to get approved. You take parenting classes (CPR, discipline, rules...) have a background check, and home study done. My cousin just recently completed her training. Within an hour of completion she was placed with a new born baby still in the hospital that will most likely be adoptable. The biggest problem with Fostering to Adopt is that you get attached to the baby/child and then the court sends them back to their parents. Ripping your heart out in the process. It is a huge risk. The way I see it is that right now the child needs love and a home, and you have lots of love and a home to offer. Another risk is that if you take an older child they have most likely had a rough childhood and can act out.
It is a wonderful option if you are interested. As for the other adoption route, I do know several people who have done this and were able to raise all of the money needed through fund raisers. The Govt also offers a large tax refund on adoptions.
Thanks for your response! I called DHS on Friday and spoke to a lady there who was wonderful. I was super nervous about it and was sure they'd be rude and not at all helpful because I've heard it's often like that. Maybe it helps that we're in a smaller area but she was great and was very helpful! She said that there are plenty of infants available in the area for foster to adopt. Of course there is never a guarantee that they will end up staying and become available for us to adopt but I was told the chances are pretty good, over 70%.
She said that the meth problem here was so bad (and it really is) that most of the kids taken from their parents don't go home at all because their parents are so far gone that they can't get back on track. They're given 12 months to get themselves together and if they don't that's when TPR happens. She said most of the time if it gets that far the foster parents are open to adopt because they usually look for family members before they put the children in foster care. I guess they get a lot of newborns.
So for us the certification taken 3 months. She said there aren't enough people interested to even offer classes so she does the training one on one. She'll come to our house to do the training which is the PRIDE training and she said it's only about 3 hours when she does it that way. So we do it in one day and it's done. Other than that your basic home study things and the paper work which she admitted was a lot but I know we can get through that. I'm good at getting myself through a scary amount of paper work. Lol.
So she put an application in the mail on Friday and we're going to fill it out and get started when it gets here. DH and I have been talking all weekend and we feel like this is a great opportunity for us. If we decide it's not for us, it's okay, because we won't have lost any money just some time maybe and even if we don't end up adopting I don't think we'll regret helping a few little ones. DH is excited but also terrified and I'm mostly excited right now. Lol.
That is great that things are moving forward for you. I just want to add something to think about. My husband and I are foster parents, and we have had 10 children live with us. When becoming certified where we live, we have the home study, etc, but we also complete 60 hours of training. If a child is born having been exposed to meth, there are going to be effects and depending on amount of exposure this can be life long. I totally don't want to discourage you from fostering because it has been the best thing we have ever done, but just to make you aware that you should try to educate yourself in the needs of a prenatally exposed infant, and also before you accept a child into your home, I would really try to find a support group of some sort. Our foster parent society has a coffee group that meets weekly, and a group that cares for babies that also meets weekly. If the baby you accept into your home is less affected, you may not need the support of other foster families, but if there are challenges, than having a group of people who will be able to answer questions and support you will be invaluable.
Again, not to discourage you in the slightest, but just want to give you some ideas from my experience to ensure your experience is a postive one.
Thank you ladies! Just waiting for that application to come in now to get started! DH is a little nervous because of the possibility of visitation and things like that, but I told him that even if it's uncomfortable an awkward I don't think it'd keep me from going this route. I admit it makes me nervous too but I don't think we just shouldn't do things because it might not be the easiest path. I don't think anything about adopting in any way is the easiest path, and I'm okay with that. I think DH is too but he's just nervous. He tends to think too much and his experience with children is a lot less than mine and I think he's worried about what all he can handle. He's afraid of getting too attached but he agrees that it's not a reason not to do it. I'm sure we'll have tons of questions too once we start the process officially.
Heather - I completely understand what you mean. Went I talked to DHS they indicated that there a lot of healthier infants but we didn't get too into it so I'm not sure. I would assume there would be a lot of them born into problems with meth. We're still talking about how much we can handle in terms of special needs and haven't really decided yet. I'm immune compromised so I have special needs in a way myself so we know we can't fully devote ourselves to anything really drastic because there's a chance that we wouldn't be able to give the child all that they need. So we're still discussing that. We have a lot of questions for DHS and we know this process won't be easy but we still feel that it's the right path for us. That's great about the support groups. Having support from other people going through the same thing is wonderful. I hope there are some in our area.
Glad to know we're not alone. Part of what's so hard for my DH right now is that he's in his last semester of school. He graduates in December and it's been a long time coming. He's feeling the last semester and about to find a new job stress. Which I completely understand. We wouldn't get placed at the very earliest until after he's done with school so he's okay with starting the process now but he's a bit stressed and I think his brain can only hold so much. Lol. Poor guy. He is on board though. He's just a lot more cautious by nature than I am and since he doesn't know as much about kids, babies especially, it scares him a lot more than it does me. I'm glad he's that way though. Someone needs to be cautious and he'll remember to ask the difficult questions that I may forget to ask in the quest to be a family already.
Leah I've been looking around for you! I'm so glad your path to parenthood hasn't ended I'm rooting for you Sweetie!!
Thanks sweetie! I check in on you every now and then to see how you're doing! I haven't been posting much anywhere really for obvious reasons but I'm doing well and we're excited about our current path.