Most children are in foster care for a short time, with the majority of children returning to their family of origin. A foster home can be an important haven, keeping children safe, helping them cope with their grief and loss and helping to prepare them for the eventual return to their family. Because of these challenges, foster parenting requires special people; people who can take children quickly and without hesitation into their homes knowing that, when the time comes, they will need to lovingly let them go.
Although most foster children are returned to their biological family, if such a return is not in the best interest of the child, the court may order that the parents’ rights be terminated and the child be placed for adoption. Should that happen, foster parents should play a key role in a child’s transition to an adoptive family, or they may consider adopting the child into their own home.
Depending on how long a child has been in foster care, the foster parent may know the most about a child. Foster parents should know they will be looked to for the valuable input they have about a child. Adoptive parents should not feel threatened by the bond and love shared between the foster parents and the child who will soon be their own.
While foster parents have been an important part of this child’s life, that attachment will not take away from the love the child can develop for their adoptive parents. By bonding with their foster families, the child will be better prepared for life’s ups and downs because they were loved and cared for by everyone involved in their care.
If a foster family decides they would like to adopt their foster child, an adoptive family profile, or home study, will be done. Your family will have the opportunity to receive training, coaching and interviewing about the lifelong commitment to adoption, as opposed to the temporary nature of foster care. And even though you have been foster parents to your child and had previous foster home studies done, the same legal requirements will apply to you as they would to any adoptive parent.