Becoming a Foster Parent

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About Foster Parenting

There are two very unfortunate misperceptions about foster parenting: One is that it is somehow inferior to adoption, and the other is that there is only one kind of meaningful foster care: long-term.

Foster parenting and adoption serve different functions. Fostering requires special qualities. It is not an alternative for people who aren't "good enough" to adopt! In many ways foster care is more challenging than adoption: the children may be more troubled, especially at arrival (although it is definitely not true that foster children are all irreparably damaged or delinquents), working closely with birthfamilies can be difficult, social services have parental authority, and there is the constant knowledge that you will probably lose the children to their birthfamilies or another foster or adoptive family.

"Foster care" covers a number of different ways of caring for children. Some might be possibilities for people who are not planning to adopt, for example, because of age. Some are possible ways for people who aren't yet ready to adopt to get experience with caring for children. Some types of foster care are very short-term; some offer specialized levels of care; some are longer-term, and some are designed to lead to adoption when and if the child's biological parents lose their parental rights. And in some states (New York, for example), those hoping to adopt through their state foster care system must first be licensed as foster parents.

Foster children who are taken or relinquished into foster care are among the most vulnerable and at-risk children in our society, and there is a critical shortage of qualified foster parents in the United States (and in other countries as well). Perhaps an understanding of the types of foster care available will encourage more of us to find ways to bring these children into our lives.

Credits: This article includes contributions by Roger Ridley Fenton

Visitor Comments (22)
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Jennifer - 2 years ago
1 0 6
My husband and I would love to give a home to a child in need. To love and cherish and raise as our own. #1
paula nixon - 2 years ago
0 1 5
my name is paula nixon i am interesting to becoming a foster parent our kids are grown so we would love to take and love #2
C Harmon - 10 months ago
0 0 1
Hey Aisha, I live in Lancaster CA also I took a few classes also I done the d and f rate classes. I also done a few more classes, Did u do the Mapp class yet? I will do my next month. I put my email info but it blocked it out so we can talk. Anyway where do u live I'm on the eastside in Lancaster, Do u have a facebook I could look u up. They r doing a class Friday nov 15 at the college AVC at 9-12 room cdc127 maybe we can meet up the their. I hope u contact back, we can help one another out exchange info. #3
Alva - 8 months ago
0 0 1
hello. My little sister is 17 and has a baby boy, under a year old. They are currently in Foster care and i want to take them in as a Foster parent. She was recently with someone else but they had some problems and it didn't work out. She was told she was going to go back to her mothers but knows she will just end up back where she is now due to her mothers drug use and the abuse. #4
Tamika Janzen - 4 months ago
0 0 0
Hi me and my husband are both 28 we have a 7 year old son and a 6 year old daughter also a 2 year old son. We would like to become foster parents but do not know the process that we have to go through in Lakewood Washington. My daughter says she wants a sister and we want to open our home to a child in need #5
aisha johnson - 11 months ago
0 0 1
i am trying to get some info on becoming a foster parent and opening up state foster or group homes in lancaster,ca i already have a drate certificate i already have a appt for my orientation for nov 4 is there any other classes i need to take. please contact me xxxxx or email xxxx #6
Kristen - 7 months ago
0 0 0
I am thinking of bringing another child into our home. I have a 17 yr old Aspie son and a 12 year old daughter. We ended up moving into a 4 bedroom apartment and have an empty room that could be filled with someone to help out. Where do I even begin to get certified. My children are all for helping another. Does it matter that I am a single mother? #7
Lisa moss - 10 months ago
0 0 1
Hey Iam a home mom Iam soon ready too b afoster parent I lives along I have 4 kids and 9 grandkkids lookin g forward too b a mom to a lil boy #8
Amanda - 8 months ago
0 0 0
Me and my husband are wanting to become foster parents in the hope of adopting. We are open to children ages 0 to 3 years. From what I can find it's not a common thing to adopt a baby or young child. If any one has any information on how to go about this in Idaho we would appreciate it! Our how to adopt from the foster care system with out being a foster parent, any information would be awesome! Thank you, Amanda and Dave #9
Zowie - 5 months ago
0 0 0
Hi me and my partner has a 1 year old daughter and are considering becoming foster parents. Whe have a large loving home an we arnt fussy on the age or if the child has any problems we just want to help xx #10
Leslie henry - 5 months ago
0 0 0
Where do I need to go to find out how to become a foster parent?? I live in south Mississippi, and looked everywhere and still find nothing. Help me xxxx #11
Denise Roy - 1 year ago
0 0 1
Daughter graduates this year and will be be gone. Have room for one. I have an 11 year old son left at home but want him to have another sibling at home for us to have joy with. #12
Erica Williams - 8 months ago
0 0 0
Hi I am interested in becoming a foster parent. I am a mother of three teenagers ranging from 13 to 17 with an interest of fostering other children ranging from the ages of 0 to 3 years of age. #13
michelle - 8 months ago
0 0 0
i have had depression in the past and am ok now and off my antidepressants, will this affect me and my husband becoming foster parents? #14
Gloria Carilli - 2 years ago
1 0 2
Hello my name is Gloria my two children are teenagers now and i would love to help raise another child and maybe do some good for a child in need i dont have much to offer but a good home love and careing #15
Bandara - 9 months ago
0 0 0
Hi I am 32 years and my wife is 30 years. We would like to be a Foster Parent for a newborn baby. I am from Sri Lanka #16
Gaylene Parker - 1 year ago
0 3 1
I m a 43 year old mom with 2 kids, 15 year old daughter, and a 19 year old son he has special needs. No one understands his needs, unless you have a child your self. Im looking to adopt a baby boy who my son can hang out with and do things with. I know my son s older but his brain is like a child. Ive been thinking about this for quite some times, we are non smokers, Don t do drugs, we are Christrains who attends church every Sunday. It doesnt matter if the child has mental issues I have one my self and I d do it all over again if I had to. Or even if it comes from a drug family, I ll love him just the same. #17
regine lorquet - 10 months ago
0 0 0
I like to become a foster parent because I think I am fit to be a foster parent and I love children I have space for child who need a home #18
Lisa and jeramy - 1 year ago
0 0 0
We are looking into becoming foster parents.. He has been down this road and knows what its all about, so we would both love to give back.. We have lots of love to give to any kid out therewho needsloving!!! #19
Yamaly - 2 years ago
2 0 2
My name is Yamaly and im insterested in doing some foster care for any child ... im not sure how it works but i will like to earn the certification and help a child in need, #20
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