6 Struggles Every Foster Parent Faces

We spent a decade serving as foster parents. In that time we had the privilege of taking in more than 30 children, 6 of whom never left our care and became a permanent part of our family. Over the course of our career we experienced some major struggles. But we learned a lot from them.

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It became apparent, not long after we received our foster care license, that we were going to have to figure out lots of things on our own. We stood in the middle of a crowded courtroom lobby trying to figure out what we were supposed to do next. We had only been foster parents for a month. This was all new. We felt like babies seeing the world for the first time but having no idea how to walk or even crawl. Little did we know that we would experience this hundreds of times over the next 8 years.

The Struggle is Real.

Foster parenting is one of the most rewarding but exhausting journeys you can experience in life. There is such a deep and satisfying reward knowing that you’re providing a safe and loving place for a child to live. But, there is also a lot of exhaustion and frustration over a system that is broken.

As I think back over the last decade, I realize how blessed we were in our journey. We grew so much and we also learned a ton. Because of this, our heart is to help future foster parents or people who are currently serving as foster parents, navigate some of the struggles we faced.

Many of those struggles, we didn’t see coming. They pounced without warning. That’s par for the course in a way. All-in-all, however, we learned a lot….

  1. The struggle to be heard. Have you ever had a conversation with someone and it became clear they had tuned out or their attention was now on something else? We felt this way many times over the years. Trying to be heard on everything from, ‘This child has some deep wounds and we need direction,‘ to ‘I am exhausted, and sad, and I need some help. In the sometimes un-ending vortex of foster parenting, it’s easy to feel like you’re standing in the middle of the New York Stock Exchange trying to be heard. The most important thing we did was develop a support system of understanding people who were separate from the system. I’ll explain the importance of this in #6.
  2. The struggle to let go. As it is with every warm-blooded human being, once a child is placed in your home, it becomes very difficult to let go of them if, or when, they return to their birth parents. You love them so you become attached. It is inevitable. And, that’s normal. We faced this a lot. The way we learned to release was to envision the healing that we hoped and prayed would happen if the child returned to their home. We kept our minds focused on the positive and we equated it to how we would feel if we were in the birth parents situation.  If we had had our children removed we would commit to doing everything we could to improve our situation and get them back into our care.
  3. The struggle to keep going. How many days did we feel like quitting? Many! In fact, they often outnumbered the good days. Sometimes our frustration came from an in-efficient case manager, and other times it was an interaction with a birth parent or the decision a judge made. We know what it’s like to want to throw your hands up and quit. But remember why you started this in the first place. Take heart in knowing that you are making an impact in the children lives you’ve been entrusted with.
  4. The struggle to speak up. Early on, mostly because we were in our 20’s, we couldn’t find our voice. We even wondered if we had one to begin with. We did. And when we found it, we made up a lot of ground. We started making phone calls and speaking directly to our case managers about the issues at hand. We came at it from the perspective of firsthand experience. We were living with the child. We saw their deep emotions spill out. We started speaking up and speaking out! It starts by recognizing that you have been placed in a position of great care and that your opinion is valuable. I recommend picking up the book Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler. You can purchase it by clicking here.
  5. The struggle to stay positive. There is so much negativity surrounding foster care at times. Between frustrations with the system, birth parents, and even the children at times, it exists. We ran into this many times. As hard as it was to do, we had to stay positive. Especially in front of the children. We had to keep in mind that they came from very difficult places and they were struggling to comprehend what was going on. For their sake, as well as yours, you have to remain positive. Find a close-knit group to dump your truck with, but choose to be positive in every other situation, especially in front of the children.
  6. The struggle to find community. This has become one of the greatest blessings in the world for us. It took some time to develop and grow into, but when we finally found a support system and a community to be authentic with, our lives changed and so did our parenting. You need community on this journey. You were never meant to do this alone. You need other people in your life who have the same wounds and struggles. In the beginning of our journey, support groups and one-on-one mentoring for foster and adoptive parents really didn’t exist. Fortunately today, there are many. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of developing a solid support system. It is a game-changer in foster parenting, as well as adoption.

Becoming Stronger.

Yes, this journey is difficult, and yes, it may almost take the life out of you…but there are so many opportunities for growth. Often times, it doesn’t feel like you’r growing, it feels like you’re drowning. We get it. We have felt that way to the core of our being in the past.

Heck, we almost quit a few times. But we didn’t and we are eternally grateful for that. We’ve become stronger human beings from this journey. We’ve made so many wonderful friendships in the course. As we’ve often said on this blog, and we’ll echo here- you can let the struggle make you bitter, or you can let the struggle make you better. The choice is yours!

Question: If you’ve had experience with the foster care system, what else would you add to this list? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • tikunolam

    I agree on every point. In fact, for me, not having found a “community” is what I believe will prevent me from continuing to foster now that we have adopted our daughter. We are still licensed but I don’t think I could do it again. It’s been the loneliest experience.

    • I’m so sorry to hear this. I know how valuable this has been for us. I hope things change for you. We did choose to end our license after a long and stressful journey. I understand that fully. Thanks for your comment.

    • Sallie Weaver

      Where are you based? I would love to talk to you about being Jewish and foster/adoption.

      Sallie

  • momtomany

    We have been fostering for over 17 years. We have fostered over 200 children. Adopted 3 children. One very important thing that really helped us was learning there are many different ways to parent and still have a positive outcome. Just because they did not parent the same way we did, does not mean it is wrong. As much as we would have thought we could save every child, that just is not possible. Learning our strengths and weaknesses and giving ourself permission to say no and turn down a call for a child we felt we were not experienced enough to care for is ok. Change is a big part of fostering and when the time comes that you feel you no longer can support and accept the changes and stay positive and you find yourself becoming angry and upset over the changes, you need to either decide you can make it work or it is time to move on. You have to be able to care for yourself and your family before you can care for special needs children. Set your limits and listen to your gut. Fostering is a rollercoaster ride so hold on tight.

    • Wow!!! What a cool story. That is so amazing that you have opened your home and heart to all of those children. And you are right on target with your comment- care for yourself is so important. Thanks for your comment.

  • Raye

    Love this, we are in out 13th year of being medical foster parents and are currently waiting on our date to our 6th and 7th adoptions. I am always open and honest with perspective families, I tell them the great, good, bad and ugly! I too had the save the world mentality, it doesn’t happen and we have realized that some children need more then we can give and that’s ok. I have cried when watching a child leave, but also sighed a breath of relief a few times! I now am thankful for every child that has taught me along the way, and have given the chance to reconnect with many who are now grown and out of care.

    • Raye, so great to hear. Keep pouring into the children you foster and keep that heart of gratitude filled up. Love hearing stories like this. Thanks for your comment!

  • Cassie Slone

    I am not a foster parent, but I hear these stories so often from foster parents that my organization tries to help. We are The Foster Care Council of LexKy, we provide funding to help off set the costs of being a foster parent that the state does not provide. We provide funding for individualized tutoring and mentoring for a youth not testing on grade level. This is done by a certified teacher for 3 hours per week and most of the time is conducted in the foster home so the foster parent doesn’t have to worry about getting the individual there. We also provide funding for the youth to participate in any extra curricular activity they choose, i.e. school sports, music, theater, karate etc. We also provide clothing gift cards from local department stores so the child can shop for new items, hoping to some how help them feel “normal” and fit it with their peers as much as possible. I’d like to hear your opinion on what we provide and how it’s needed or what else our organization to do to help the foster parent help these children become strong healthy adults. Thank you for what you do! Our website is http://www.thefostercarecouncil.com

    • Hey Cassie, not only do I think it’s needed, I think it’s critical. The trauma that children in the foster care system face leaves them feeling as if they are on the outside looking in. What you guys are doing brings hope and normalcy (as much as possible) to their shattered lives. I’d love to connect with you all and maybe even come down and speak or teach a session with your staff If that’s something you all do. Let me know!
      -Mike

  • Donna Lindenmuth-Brown

    My husband and I are parents of 6 plus became foster parents a few months back…we just had 3 foster siblings leave for temporary temporary guardianship to their grandma….all the workers were 100% positive that since neither grandparents work (no income)plus the recent medical issues, guardianship would not be granted….well, the only ones at court were grandma and her attorney! We were devastated having to let them go. I cried crocodile tears along with the kids. ..this is where I feel the system failed..their was no voice for the kids..I was told the new GAL wanted to speak to them and us regarding their wishes and our input before the trial…he never did! I think of them often and remind myself everything we gave them..love, structure, safety, attention, food & clothes…I also wonder & hope the decision for reunification was a good one.. (just from the background knowledge of their lives)…i can honestly say though … we will continue to open our hearts and home ♡

    • Donna, I cannot tell you how my heart breaks for you and those children. We know that pain. Keep your head up and your heart full. Prayers are covering you! -Mike

      • Donna Lindenmuth-Brown

        Thank you!!

  • K Wierenga

    So needed to read this today! This is the hardest job I’ve ever done, and the most rewarding! Currently placements 4 and 5 are with us for a total of 8 children fostered in just over 2 years (2 sib groups and 3 singles). Within the past week one of our current placements has begun to act out and has physically attacked (hitting, kicking, pinching) myself and my Mom. These behaviors are a first for us and we feel very unsupported as to how to help this child who is obviously hurting and yet keep this child, the other children in our care and ourselves safe. I’ve got speak-up down – no problems being the squeaky wheel and voice for my kiddos. Being heard is another story, same with staying positive. So discouraged right now and second guessing if we’re the correct home for this child. My community, or village is the term I use, is rather small and stressed at the moment. So glad that reading this reminds me of why we decided to open our home to children in need in the first place.

    • Thanks so much for your openness and honesty. It is definitely one of the hardest jobs on the planet. We totally understand what it’s like to deal with children who act out. Been there many times! Keep plugging along. You’re not alone. Glad this post could bring encouragement to you.

  • Susan Baas Woodward

    My husband and I have fostered 22 beautiful children and adopted three. We’ve done everything from respite and emergency removals as well as transitioning children into other adoptive homes and reuniting with biological parents. I’ve worked closely with DSS in the county we live and surrounding areas. Not always seeing eye to eye on things, but committed to the hurting children. Training and recruiting parents became my passion. Our lives forever changed when we made the decision to forever change a child’s. It’s never been the same since our first call ten years ago to hear of our first child placement. Every single child was obviously from a different situation and each had their own struggles, but they ALL gave us the same rewards. We totally believe we were created with a purpose to love those who may seem unlovable to others. We seek guidance from the Lord for every decision and every child’s needs. Each difficulty we’ve faced, and that we were able to overcome, has greatly blessed us and we do it to bless the children. It doesn’t become a piece a cake at any point. Parenting is difficult no matter what. Adopting doesn’t solve everything, but it does give “new hope” to a child that needs a forever home and family. There are hurdles to overcome no matter what. I agree with all 6 of your struggles and could identify with each one. I believe in being their voice (because they haven’t had one) and not only do they deserve one, but they NEED one. I encourage other’s to seek any available resource to help you as you Foster and or Adopt. I also believe it’s imperative to utilize every resource available to meet the needs of the children you’ve been entrusted to love and care for. To encourage others I say—Some people will never understand your heart and you cannot let negative (about you or the children placed with you) to settle in your mind. Not even for a second. You don’t need their approvals. Keep loving as you do and making the world a better place…..

    • Susan, I love this. “New Hope” to a child that needs a forever home and family. Spot on. Thanks for sharing. Keep up the great love and work with these children!

  • That is so awesome to hear. Keep up the amazing work as well! Have you thought about transitioning your blog over to a self-hosted WordPress blog? Self-hosted picks up a lot more traction an gets your message out.

    • fosterkidsunite

      thank you Mike- I will look into it! 🙂

  • Tina, it breaks my heart to hear this. I am so sorry you have had to go through this. It is so defeating and crushing to stand by and watch these types of decisions being made when you are crying out and trying to speak on behalf of the child. Prayers your way for permanency with her siblings. Thanks for sharing this story here!

  • iphonelover

    They should rename the foster care system to ‘reunite the children at any cost’ system. The kids are dead last on the list of cares for the social workers, and it’s all about the birth mother. As long as the birth mother is alive, the system will cast away any future hopes of the children for a better future and put them back with the birth mother. If you speak up loud enough, the social worker / CPS can drum up a complaint against the foster parents and you will never foster again. Think these are lies? There is a current lawsuit against that exact situation actually, and I’ve read the same stories for years all over the internet.

    • “Reunite the kids at any cost”- that gave me a good chuckle! Thanks for your comment. I agree with you. It’s a scary reality right now.

    • Michelle

      I once had a social worker say she had failed at her job if one of her parent’s rights were terminated. So sad for the children forced to return to parents who can’t or won’t do better because the system is working against them, rather than for them.

    • Gina Theresa Redden

      It happened to us. We are black listed from the system because we uncovered way too many loop holes and disclosures that went un notified. This is in Australia. We were abused by the System. We were deemed too opinionated because we spoke up.

    • Robyn Radford

      Well stated! We are social workers and foster parents. We have never been so frustrated with this sad reality until we were in it.

  • Lisa Tognoli

    I am a therapeutic foster parent and I love what I do. I recently had one if my kiddos step down to main stream foster care, yet he comes home for visits weekly. We are his constant and he is family. I am struggling with the information he shares with us about his new home. We are very cautious in weighing what we hear since we know he is motivated to get out of there and return to us. We are bonded to him and we are lost in this. How do you not adopt every kiddo that comes through your home.

    • Lisa, it’s a very tricky balance and we wrestled throughout the years we were foster parents with that very thing. In the end, we believe God placed the kids we were supposed to adopt in our care and moved others on to places better suited for them. Thanks for your comment.

  • Angie Botica

    Hi, my husband and I are praying that my cousin will be placed with us by the end of the year for adoption. He has been in foster care for three years with the same foster family. He is only four years old therefore the only real mommy he really knows. My question is for the foster parent, what can I say to her when the time comes for placement besides Thank you for caring and asking if she wants to be a part of his life through phone calls as we live in two different states. My heart goes out to her but not sure what else to say to her.
    We are meeting with her tomorrow to talk about my cousin so we are up to date on his routines, likes, dislikes, etc. Would it be appropriate to take a picture of her and my cousin for his room or ask her for a picture of their family with him in it when he is placed.
    We are waiting for termination of the father’s rights as he is incarcerated so hoping in the next few months. Thank you!!!

    • Hey Angie, thanks for your comment. I think thanking the foster parent and offering to still be connected to her is a great way to go with things. And taking a picture with her and your cousin is perfect. You always want to celebrate the moments in children’s lives and this would be one of them. The time that your cousin spent with her will be impressed on him forever. Shes part of his legacy.

  • Dawn Parsons

    I am writing in defense of the little ones with a story that may have happened to many, so that the children will be protected and justice will be had for those that cannot speak for themselves. In the 1970’s there were children taken illegally and placed into a home that practiced Satanism. They were ritualistically abused, molested and had severe malnutrition, the social worker who took them was promoted to the adoption agency and the ones who adopted them were her friends. The woman would not allow the mother contact with the children until she contacted the judge personally, who them ordered that she allow her to see them. When the mother received the children, they had bloated bellies, bald spots on their heads from not being fed, and were shocked that the water was warm when they got baths. The mother called the Judge hysterical and he ordered them removed from that home the same day. The mother had gotten two jobs, had an apt, was going to college and did everything imaginable to receive her children back. Denied. Then they said she must be married, so she married and still, denied. Then she was told by the social worker, who was promoted to the adoption agency after this, that if she had 2000 dollars she could get them back. She had no money. The children told of being abused, were molested by the foster parent who now works for the city of that state, All records were shredded. The mother took her daughter in to see this social worker at her request, when she was finally old enough to see her mother without permission. The daughter said to the now adoption worker, How could you take me away from my mother, the only protection I had? They had serious problems and the adoption parents, who were this womans friends, told them it was all the mothers fault. So they grew up blaming their mother for everything that happened in their lives. The adopted father gave both sons pills for brain spikes when they didn’t even have that. The state shredded all paperwork in proof of this ever happening, I know this because the daughter and the mother asked the adoption woman for all the paperwork.The attorney for the mother, Ralph Vingie, said he would be a witness for the mother because he had never seen such injustices and he even changed his law from family law to criminal law after this. This was the first case he ever lost. He was in favor of the mother and said no one had ever done more to get their children back and that it was the most unjust thing he had ever seen.. I am writing to save other children from this kind of abuse. Please, screen parents or people that want children. The daughter told the mother of ritual abuse, being molested in front of her brother, in their bed they shared. That her brother was also molested. They have had serious problems in life. They should have been placed with their mother. What can be done about such injustices???

  • Dawn Parsons

    My last name is really not Parsons…It’s Presley. And I wrote a story and they are not printing it. It is under the name Dawn Parsons. There are people from Kentucky that ritualistically abused my child and me by locking us down a cellar, many things happened and my children don’t even know about it. Tanya, no one knows the real story. I tried to write it on here but they wont post it. Says they are waiting for approval. Now I have to write the name Parsons again which may not get this posted either…Dawn Presley

  • Steve

    We have hit every one of your points in the article. We’ve had two sibling girls for eleven months and we have seen a lack of best interest of the children happen in this case. We seem alone when it comes to advocating for them. Facts about the case were not presented in August at a hearing so we ended up writing a letter to the judge laying out those facts. The Judge held a special hearing this morning and basically what we saw was incompetence from others and a lack of integrity. Nothing changed related to the hearing in August about the kids going back this month. It has been disheartening and discouraging but we will continue to be there for the girls while we have them and hope and pray the foundation laid will last for them.

    • Steve, so sorry you are going through this. It’s so hard and feels so lonely. We’ve been there. Good for you, though, being proactive and writing to the judge. Seems that got some headway. Thanks for your comment.

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  • Hether Anderson

    We are foster parents in Maine, for 2 years now. We have adopted 2 brothers 7&8 in Oct 2014, and are in the process of adopting 15 month old boy and his sister who is due to be born any day now. (That will take at least a year to year and half) Last night we got the “call” for a 15 mo old boy in desperate need of a home. Yes we took him in too 🙂 It is such a roller coaster ride of emotions but we wouldn’t change it for the world! Support for the foster parents is the main key in our opinion! If we didn’t have such a wonderful supportive family this ride would be so much harder. We love the path we have chosen! Thanks for the space to share 🙂

    • Heather, what an amazing journey. Thanks so much for sharing it here. We are right there with you- wouldn’t change a thing even though it’s been difficult at times. Keep up the awesome fight for the heart of those kids. 🙂

  • Gloria R.

    As always, I love this post 🙂 Spot on!

    • Gloria, so so glad you liked the post!

  • Jessica Rae

    As someone who has been in and out of foster homes for the beginning of my life, until I was 14.. I have to say that every foster parent I have met definitely had great intentions. Which when I was a child I didn’t know nor truly understand their reasons to help random strangers children out. Growing up in one home, the longest one I stayed in was about 4 years, through the ages of 9-13. The years our minds and body are finally changing and growing to become teenagers. Well from 9-10 the years were fine with me and I thought everything was going smoothly with this family. However, after I started to hit 12, my attitude changed and my “rebellious” nature started to form. And let me tell you that the mother was not impressed with me. II know now that I was not behaving appropriately and if I have children one day and they do what I have done to these folks, then there would be serious consequences (nothing violent nor child indangerment). However, you should know that I was not only at fault. Now I’m not blaming them for my attitude, I’m just saying both parties could have handled the situation better. So why I have said I was not the only one to blame is for a few different reasons (you be the judge but it’s my point of view) Well first off, I was not allowed to pick out my own clothes, and not saying I would wear inappropriate clothing however, I would like to think most parents allow their children to wear what they please ? Secondly, which I will not say this a fault of any, and I know they were trying to teach me responsibility and how to take care of nice things. I just noticed that because I was a girl, I had to clean everything but the boys room and their room,, and i know most people and children back before I was born, had to clean while the men had to do hard labour. Twas just fair, right? At the time it was a little too much for me because I wasn’t used to it but then I remember starting to act like Cinderella when I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the carpets and the floors. (I know I was overreacting at the time and Cinderella would do it without complaing or throwing fits) I just think my work was not appreciated which caused me to act out. I wanted to feel loved, or even fought for. My social life at school was a loner and I was bullied. Though that never bothered me until my 13th birthday when I invited all the girls in my class over for hot tub party but only one person showed up and that’s when I became bitter and hateful towards. EVERYONE. I started to become a bully at school and my grades dropped. Though I don’t think anyone truly noticed.

    I also knew that after I turned 13 or so.. That I was not going to be the girly girl like she had hoped for.. I do wish I could have stayed with them longer because I know that if I buckled down I would have graduated and probably married. Haven’t gotten into drugs and such. However, I am about 23 and if I had not gone through so much stuff after that family. I wouldn’t be as open minded as I am today. And my belief would be their way. Not saying anything is wrong with believing in the bible version of God, because that book does teach some good lesson, I just think there’s more to life than just the Christan way!
    Okay now I’m just rambling. Anyways. Sometime while I was 13, the mother had gotten injured by a ram and that was her last straw I guess. I never truly found out why she let me go but I will find out the truth but I won’t be rude this time.

    • Jessica, I am deeply saddened when I hear stories like this. I am so sorry you went through this. Unfortunately, this happens. I wish we could change that. We hope to reach as many stressed out foster and adoptive parents as possible so these situations change.

  • Angel Finsrud

    Remember the birth parents are not the enemy. As hard as it is to put yourself in their shoes or fathom their choices, the kids in your care love their parents. If you love them, you’ll try to love their parents too. Pray for them, walk across the aisle to them, look for strengths and encourage them. It’s a struggle, but whatever the outcome; return home or adoption, things are better if the precious child doesn’t have to choose.

    • Yes! Angel, this such great insight. We teach sessions all the time to adoptive and foster parents where we encourage the utmost respect for birth parents.

  • CJ

    I have found a great deal of loneliness in our fostering journey. We began as older parents after raising our biological children. Now none of our friends invite us over or include us in their social activities. They say “you are so wonderful for doing that” but behind our back I feel they say” they are crazy; they can go it alone!”
    But I love fostering and we now have adopted two sons. I try to count it all joy when we are left out of a social life.

    • CJ, I am so sorry to hear that you have felt lonely. Gosh, can we just tell you that you are not alone? We understand. Hang in there!

  • Jinny

    So my hard questions is that our state decided to put kids in our home prior to our license being approved. We had one set of 2 boys for 3 wks till they finally went to Dad who was fighting for custody, due to mom was in jail before that we did respite care for 3 siblings for 7 days…the last set of 3 kids came from abuse and alleged abuse by foster dad…then I was told to make them feel safe….which I do already with my own kids…anyways the day before they had and interview with dect.and caseworker one kid spilled the beans…So I reported it and told them I’m sorry it happened to them and it won’t happen in my home…so the day before they were ripped out of my home the youngest was talking…it made me feel good these kids felt safe and comfortable to tell us what happened to them at the other foster home. Sad part 100% of the time it don’t go to trial because the kids won’t go on the stand…how i wished I had more time with them…but they went to respite while maybe a family member took them in…

    So anyways my problem now is they just told us they won’t license us due to my medications for my chronic back injury due to not wearing a seat belt (car accident @ 25yrs) Then in my late 30’s my back gave out and since they can’t pinpoint the area no surgery…I never take the meds while driving as its a DUI here and don’t take it as prescribed…then my husband DUI in 2007 which they knew about it showed in his background check. My thing is the people that makes these decisions are reading a piece of paper they never met me face to face…I have a support system of friends that tell me they never know when I have taken my medications. Yes it’s locked up and high up I made sure when I decided to do this….seriously I don’t do it for the money…I put out more money than I get…I do it to help the kids…and I feel like a kid that was given a taste of the lollipop and now it’s taken away….They said I can contest the letter once I get it, but want to know what would help…For real…I even watch a Dr daughter and she knows I take pain killer…she has no problem with me…ughhh just wanna cry…my heartaches

  • Desiree Kantande

    Hello! Im Desiree, I’m an intern at a foster agency and I’m trying to start a mentoring program where Forster parents can support eachother and share information and resources. I love your blog. Partnering with you or any advice from you or anyone would be amazing. Thank you ❥

    • Hey Desiree, it’s so great to hear from you. Glad to hear you like our blog. We would love to answer any questions you may have. If you visit our About Us page above you’ll find our email addresses. Send us a note with questions. We would love to dialogue with you!

      • Desiree Kantande

        awesome thank you! i will do that !! 🙂

  • Margaret Milkas

    Be prepared for your grown adopted child to seek out the bios. Understand that it isn’t against you, it is something they need in order to be themselves. I have always told my kids that no one suffers because more people love them, but sometimes we have to love from a distance. We don’t have to be wound up in the drama of someone else’s life to care about them.
    Margaret

  • matchesrulezu

    I see that this is a fairly old post, so I’m not sure whether this will even be read, but given your experience, I would love to get your thoughts on a situation with my Aunt and Uncle who are foster parents in Kentucky.

    They are currently fostering a baby and when they first received the call about him, they were immediately told it was an “adoption situation” and they said they were interested without hesitation. They drove to the hospital and began taking care of him, which involved weaning him off of the 5 drugs he was born with in his system. The birth mother did not hold him after he was born and over the past year has not even cared about seeing him, never showing up for any of the visitations.

    When the child turned a year old, the social worker was supposed to file the paperwork to begin the adoption process, but she intentionally lied to my Aunt and Uncle, telling them that it was 15 months. Well lo and behold, the birth mother started showing up for visitation. She got a lawyer, and now the judge is granting her more visitation time. The problem is that the social worker is manipulating the case so that the birth mom can get custody again, by intentionally withholding the information from the judge that would hurt the birth mom’s case. Information such as the fact that the birth mom does not bring any food or clothing, doesn’t even stay for the full visitation (always leaves as soon as the child starts getting fussy), and isn’t doing the drug tests like she’s supposed to. Keep in mind the birth mother has also lost 4 or 5 other kids, and it’s speculated that she’s pregnant again.

    What rights do my Aunt and Uncle have to fight against this, considering the social worker intentionally sabotaged their chances of being able to adopt the baby by neglecting to file the paperwork for adoption when she was supposed to? I’ve read that if a child has been placed in your care for a minimum of 12 consecutive months, you can hire an attorney and file a petition for adoption. Would they still be able to do this? It doesn’t seem right that they can do nothing while this baby is taken away from under these circumstances.

    Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!

    • Brian Wheeler

      They should hire a attorney. While the caseworker might not be doing there job a competent attorney can petition the court with the missing information.

  • Molly summers

    My husband and I have been foster parents for 3 years and have taken in 3 sets of sibling groups of 3. We also have 3 children of our own. One thing that I’ve found to be the hardest that we really weren’t warned about so much is the lack of support from friends and family. Maybe it is not normal and it’s just my group of people? It basically comes down to everyone wants to have an opinion about how you are too strict any time they see any sort of discipline, yet on the flip side you are only following exactly what the therapist is telling you is best for the child. You have other people judging you for not adopting said children, even though they also act as if you are insufficient. There is also the situation where these same people (that judge you for not adopting) act like these foster kids have the plague and are unwilling to babysit EVER. They offer for our own children to come over but never the foster kids. Complain about behaviors at family events and make remarks like “I don’t know how you do It! I would go crazy.” Then talk behind your back that you aren’t nice enough to the kids because you put them in time out at the family get together. Just wondering if I’m the only one experiencing this? People seem to micromanage your parenting where they would not if it were just your own children.