The following are not reasons for people to adopt from foster care:
- It’s free.
- The kids get Medicaid and free college tuition.
- You get a stipend.
- All kids deserve love.
And yet, these are all reasons that people offer up whenever someone on the Internet posts any variation on: “I wish adoption wasn’t so expensive.”
I get it. There are 400,000 kids in foster care, about 100,000 of whom are legally free for adoption. I’ve written about it before:
There are waiting children in foster care – children who are free for adoption because their parents’ rights have already been terminated. Currently, there are about 104,000 of them. Their average age is nine. Half have chronic medical problems. About 80% have serious emotional problems. Half of children under age five in foster care have developmental delays. Most have been there for more than two years, and 10% have been there for more than five years. (Data from Children’s Rights Now.)
If people feel drawn to foster care, learn more about it, and then choose to adopt some of these children, that’s great, truly. What is NOT great is trying to guilt people who have looked at foster adoption and decided that it is not the way to build their family into adopting from foster care.
CPS is not a free adoption agency. The first goal of foster care is reunification. One of my favorite articles on the topic states:
[A]re you willing to spend unlimited time, resources and energy on building someone else’s family?
Many people are not.
When I see posts from hopeful adoptive parents with variations on, “I’m heartbroken, because the kids we thought we were going to adopt went back home today,” I don’t chime in with, “That’s why we chose private adoption. We knew our kids were ours from placement.” So, why do others feel the need to pimp foster adoption when someone voices frustration with private adoption?
All forms of adoption have their pros and cons. We don’t need to advertise for “our way” whenever a person needs to vent a little about the cons of “their way.”