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Do you have to Foster first
Posted: 19 August 2010 06:27 PM   Ignore ]  
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My husband and I just began the adoption process through the US foster system. We chose an agency to be our advocate since I have heard that going directly thru. DCS doesn’t work unless you are a foster parent first. But after reading many of these discussions I am wondering if the only way to get a placement is to foster first. Are we taking the correct steps? Our home study first visit is scheduled in two weeks and we are 4 weeks into the DCS classes. Any help would be appreciated.

Posted: 20 August 2010 10:22 PM   Ignore ]  
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My husband and I started the process to adopt from the foster care system back in 2003.  We signed up for the 10 week classes through the Children’s Home Society and completed our course.  At the end of the course, the teacher asks each family if they want to foster, be a resourse parent (which is basically foster-to-adopt), or do strictly adoption.  I would say that 90% of the familes chose to be resource parents because that was the best chance at getting a child.  We stuck to our guns and said that we wanted to strictly adopt and not foster.  We were told by an agency worker, that our chances of getting a child would be very little, but we figured that with so many children needing homes, it couldn’t be so hard.  We waited for almost 2 years for our phone to ring offering us a child and it never did.  I searched websites for children throughout the US and applied for many of them and it just never seemed to work out. 

We finally decided that we could not keep waiting and opted for an international adoption from Russia, which we completed in 2006. 

Unfortunately, I think that the system in the US is geared toward fostering first, and it is very hard to stray from that.  Especially if you want a very young child, they usually will remain in the house that has fostered them if they get TPR’d because the foster family gets the priority, which I agree with 100%.

I wish you the best of luck!

Debbie

Posted: 27 August 2010 03:01 AM   Ignore ]  
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We also went through the state (Texas) and was also told that our chances of getting a straight adoption would be slim.  We considered and discussed all of our options and fears and decided we would have a dual license foster or foster to adopt.  We have only been licensed since the end of February and our first placement was a 21 month old that was living at the shelter and needed to go into a home that was looking to adopt.  Next week on Friday September the 3rd will be six months that he has been with us and we are getting close to finalizing our adoption.  In my region which is 11 in Texas we have to foster six months before the adoption can be final.  We have had several calls to foster children and we weren’t quite ready till a month ago when we got our 14 month old foster daughter.  We will know more on September the 14th but I have a feeling that she will be going to a family member who has a home study pending.  i’m not quite sure how we will deal with it when she leaves.  We are hoping to meet a possible 10 month old this weekend that needs to be placed in a home that is wanting to adopt.

We have our ups and downs with dealing with the state but all I have to do is look at my son and realize that it’s all worth it in the end.  I hope this helps.

Posted: 01 September 2010 06:51 PM   Ignore ]  
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We went through training in March, decided on adoption only, TPR legally free child from foster care, age range 5 - 8 year old caucasion boy. Completed training in 4 weeks. Got a call from my sister in law about a boy who was in family relative foster care. The parental rights were terminated and the relatives were not able to commit to adoption. They asked if we would consider adopting him and allowing the family to remain in contact. In August the judge ruled that the boy would go to a permancy plan with our family. We now are awaiting the contract to be finalized, followed by visits and then placement. 6 months after placement we will make an appointment for adoption finalization. Definitely orchestrated by God Almighty! smile

Posted: 02 September 2010 06:59 PM   Ignore ]  
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It may matter what state you are in however I do think you limit yourself if you want only children who have had the TPR hearing.  I went through an FFA (foster family agency) in CA.  I adopted my son a year ago.  I was only interested in adoption and that is what I told my social worker.  I was told that was OK, but that a lot of kids have not had their TPR but that does not mean they will be reunified with their birth family.  My social worker had a lot of experience and I trusted her.  Social workers are pretty good at assessing the possibility of a reunification. For instance the birth family may disappear which is what happened to us and why the TPR was not complete.  They could not find them to give them the legal notice.  Eventually they did (6 months later) and the adoption went through.  Had I waited for the TPR I would not have my son today.

Technically I was a foster parent but this was clearly an adoptive placement from the start.  My son’s county social workers (who we keep in touch with) and my social worker were not worried about reunification and I put my trust in them.  I am soooo glad that I did.

Posted: 30 October 2010 07:38 PM   Ignore ]  
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I adopted my daughter (now 16) out of foster care 8 years ago through a private agency that subcontracts with Massachusetts DCF to place Waiting Children for adoption. Not all the children are TPR, but the official plan is adoption for all of them, and all efforts to reconcile the birth family have been tried and have failed. Officially, per the law in Massachusetts, I had to foster my daughter for at least 6 months before we could “finalize” (legally adopt). In many cases in Massachusetts that waiting period extends out for at least 1 year, and sometimes longer. But because my daughter had already been in the foster care system (with multiple moves) for over 5 years, I pushed and pushed and pushed, and was able to get the finalization accomplished in 9 months. Then I exhaled!

I’ve started the process all over again: we have a completed home study with the same agency, and we’re looking for another girl (African-American, 5-12) to join our family. Back-to-back adoption parties next Saturday will be exciting for us, and perhaps turn up a good match. Adopting a second time, with a child already in the family, brings up all sorts of different concerns than the first around, and I’m slowly making my way through the complexities, but I trust it will work out again

Good luck to you, and *DEFINITELY* make clear to all the social workers that you’re looking for a Pre-Adoptive Placement (that’s the terminology at our agency); you don’t need TPR to be in place yet, but Adoption should be the goal for any child you take into your home if that’s what you want for your family. Remember, there are thousands of Waiting Children who are hoping to be adopted, and plenty of other families who prefer to do Fostering for the other children in the system, so you shouldn’t feel obligated to enter an arrangement that is not right for your family—-which is likely to backfire, anyway, in my experience. One warning: it’s always good if the child buys into the idea of Adoption being the goal for their future. Children who don’t want to be adopted yet, who are holding out for returning to their biological family (i.e., Mom, in most cases), can sabotage all your best attempts to form a family; we learned that the hard way recently. It was a painful process for all involved.