Fostering vs. Adoption There are 748,000 kids in America that are in foster care. About 20,000 of those age out of foster care waiting to be adopted, and 104,000 kids alone range in age less than a year old to age 21. Did you know that in the state of Connecticut there are over 7,000 abused and neglected children in state custody? This fact points to the reality that foster parents and adoptive parents are in great need. There are great benefits to fostering or adopting for both you and the child. Have you ever walked in to the Department of Children and families or DCF here in Torrington? The first picture that comes to mind is how sad these children have to come here and see their parents. Next, is what on earth could a parent or parents have done to be separated from their child or children? Some examples could be that, they have a substance abuse problem, neglect, or just fell into some hard times and felt like they could no longer provide for the child/children. These children are put into foster care. DCF’s first goal though is to reunify the child or children with their parents. The last thing is what happens when the parent or parents can’t or don’t meet the requirements to get their kids back? Parents will have their rights terminated and the child or children become a ward of the state and are put up for adoption. In either situation, classes are required to help people prepare for whatever the child/children’s situation may be. The class is called P.R.I.D.E., which stands for Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education. There are 10 weeks of sessions that you and your spouse will have to attend. In the 10 weeks you will learn about what the needs are of the children available for fostering and adoption. These children have been through emotional abuse and mostly likely physical abuse. These children had to grow up before their time; they had to learn how to survive, when they should have been able to be a kid. The classes will teach you how to bond with the child and bond with your family. The class also teaches you how to help the child/ children through the loss of being separated from their family. They also teach you that it will be important for you to also take time for you and as a couple. Extended family support is a great support system if you have them available, they can consist of grandparents, siblings and close friends.
While you are doing the classes there are events going on concurrently to help get your home approved for the child. A DCF worker comes to your home to see where the child/children will be sleeping. They want to see the layout of the house and make sure that you have smoke detectors and if you have any guns or weapon’s that are locked in a safe. DCF does a background check on you and your spouse. These will involve criminal, DCF history and state, DMV history and if anything shows up then they go to federal. If you have any pets they have to be up to date with their shots. Also, all family members have to have an up to date physical to make sure you are in good health. Once everything comes back clean, you are ready to foster or adopt. The whole process takes 120 days to complete. When a child becomes available your DCF worker will call you.
If you choose fostering, there are some situations that you should be prepared to handle. A foster home is a place where DCF places the child or children in hopes with a reunification with their parent or parents. A foster home is generally a temporary placement. There is also another type of foster home called an LEGAL RISK foster home. This means the plans for reunification has changed and DCF may ask you if you would like to adopt the child. You are under no obligation to say yes if you and your spouse are not interested in being a permanent home. As a foster/adoptive parent you are trained to help the child/children cope with emotional and physical abuse that they may have been through.