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foster parents to supervise visits in their own homes


starting in january, my county is going to require that foster parents allow birth parents into their own homes and to supervise the visits. I know other states do this; I just read a horrific story last week about a father in north carolina who went to the foster home for a visit to be supervised by t he foster parents, ended up kidnapping and murdering the little girl.  The social workers say it will be less stressful for the children, and is good for the kids to see that the foster and bios are cooperating/on the same team. it is also supposed to be good for the bios, who can use the foster parents as a mentor. Which all sounds great if you were dealing with rational people, but the majority will have mental illness or drug addiction or both.  What’s to keep the birth parents from showing up to try to snatch the children? if the birth parents do not interact appropriately with the children during the visit, will the fosters be believed (my experience is that the social workers and judges think the foster parents, who are often hoping to adopt, are biased and not to be trusted)? the contact I have had with bios doing respite care, they seem to view me as the enemy, I would not want them in my home. and if it moves to adoption, which would be my goal, how would I ever feel safe letting my child outside for fear their birth parents would try to kidnap them? I know some areas are already doing this, wondered if anyone has anything positive to report from it?

Replies

Dear Lord.  They are struggling to find minimally adequate fps in my state…this would put the nail in the coffin!  I wouldn’t do this in a million years.

Posted by mamallama on Sep 26, 2016 at 1:25am

Whoever writes these rules would never allow those birth parents into their home. If meeting at a neutral location is an option, I’d do that.

Posted by hdctx on Sep 26, 2016 at 1:57am

I’ve heard of this from my agency in the past, not necessarily about having bio parents in the home, but about foster parents supervising visits. I too would have concerns about this. My current foster kid’s mom is a very nice person when she is sober and on her meds. When she is not she is erratic and caustic. And, I would not allow her (or anyone, even my own family) into my home if they were under the influence (which I have been told is not a reason to not have a visit). There are a lot of concerns about this and yes, one of them is as you described above - will an agency believe a foster parent if things aren’t going well? I agree with hdctx - see if a neutral location would work, like a library, park (while the weather is still nice), fast food restaurant, diner, something! I too have been viewed as the enemy, especially if a bio parent hears their child call me mommy (it can’t be helped - all of my little foster kids have called me mommy). I have had more negative interactions with bio parents than I have had positive interactions and I certainly wouldn’t want to be left unsupported should one of those negative interactions happen in my own home.

Posted by AshleyLM on Sep 26, 2016 at 1:54pm

Nope. Absolutely not, this would be the thing that would make us stop fostering. Its a huge safety risk.

Our current placement has been with us for nearly two years and we actually have a very good relationship with his mom and truly work as a team to co-parent him. 

If/when he goes home, we’d welcome both of them over to visit with us as she has said numerous times she always wants us to be a part of his life. We’ve gone out to dinner with her, invited her to his birthday celebrations, etc., She not only has never tried to stop him from traveling even out of state with us, instead she shows nothing but sincere gratitude when we take him to new places. Even when he calls me ‘momma’ in front of her and I know it stings, she is supportive of his relationship with us.

We basically have the dream situation with bio-mom and yet having her come to our house would STILL be crossing a line I don’t want to cross - I wouldn’t even entertain the idea of it in any other situation.

Posted by toinfinityandbiond on Sep 26, 2016 at 2:40pm

We actually were forced to supervise visitations at a local resturant. Since BM is our relative they assumed it would all been great. Since the removal of her children she had to put blame on someone. At the beginning we did not know it was us she blamed until our visitation. Without the case worker there she did not monitor her behavior at all. She cussed and screamed and even slapped the infant on the leg because he didn’t want her holding him. As soon as visitation was over BM called the case worker and said we were verbally abusive, we scared her other children and we wouldn’t allow her to actually visit with her children. They believed her even after we begged her to talk to the employees at the resturant.  She wanted the baby that was placed in our home moved to her sisters home so she caused as much trouble as she could with us. After a couple of visits like that we refused to supervise any visitations and even slowly weaned oursleves out of visitations completely.  Thank God we changed case workers and after only a couple of months caught on to what she was trying to do. Even though she is our relative we would never ever allow the visitation to be in our home without any witnesses.

Posted by Beckygirl318 on Sep 27, 2016 at 3:27am

In our case this was never going to happen even though the county pushed for it.  BM stole from us prior to the children going into care while at our home.  County tried to get us to supervise at another location and we refused.  We were not putting ourselves in that position.  Eventually BM just gave up because she found it hard to keep appointments and knew it was heading to adoption.  She is family and to this day is not allowed in our home.  I do take the girls to visit her at public places a few times a year.  Sometimes she’s grateful and sometimes she hateful.  Even if she wasn’t family our state requires foster parents to give birth parents their address and phone number.  That was scary for a friend who adopted because they have a closed adoption.

Our home is our girls’ safe place and I would never want to violate that by allowing people into it who have done what was done to my girls.  BM was abusive but BD of one was.

Posted by C3 on Oct 01, 2016 at 3:08am

I know this is an older thread, but I’m not on much and just saw it.  I agreed to supervise visits in my home with one of my fosters.  I only agreed to it because I knew the extended family somewhat, and did it as a courtesy to them, the mom seemed to really be trying and to be sane, and my first foster experience (this was my second) had gone much better than expected, and I had developed a good relationship with the mom that continued after RU, and hoped to do so again.  It started out really well.  When mom started using again, it went south really fast.  I then became the enemy to her, which was more stressful having had her in my home than it would have been otherwise; she was sending nasty texts, I worried about her showing up, and she was angry with me for telling the worker what had happened.  I can’t imagine ever agreeing to it again.  Because of my work location and schedule, I don’t even transport for visits; I let them know prior to placement that they will have to provide transportation for all visits if they want me to take the child.  I agree with other posters about impacting people’s willingness to foster; I can’t imagine it will end up being a sustainable practice.

Posted by Ruth74 on Mar 31, 2017 at 1:15am

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