“I could never do that.” It is a phrase many foster and adoptive parents hear from others. It begs the question, why do people think foster care and adoption are so impossible?
There are a lot of myths about foster care and adoption that are so widespread people consider them to be fact.
Myth: Kids in foster care are troubled.
Truth: Kids come into foster care because of abuse or neglect. The trauma that brought kids into foster care can leave a lasting mark. Most of the kids in foster care are regular kids, they like to play with their friends and watch movies. They didn’t come into foster care because of their behavior.
Myth: Teens in foster care are bad kids.
Truth: Teens in foster care are teens. All teenagers must learn to make good choices, sometimes it takes experience with bad choices before they learn. Just like any other teenager, teens in foster care need parents to take an interest in them and set healthy boundaries.
Myth: Foster parents just do it for the money.
Truth: Licensed foster parents receive a stipend from the state. This money helps to offset expenses such as groceries, clothing, utilities, gas, etc. Many children come into foster care with only the clothes on their backs. Foster families provide everything the child needs which could include a new wardrobe, shoes, school supplies and any other items needed.
Myth: Adopting from foster care is expensive.
Truth: When people do private adoptions that can spend thousands of dollars. Adopting from foster care costs in the hundreds of dollars.
Myth: I’ll have no choice over when children will come to my home.
Truth: Foster parents are licensed for a specific age and gender of children. You could choose any child between 0 and 17 years old or be as specific as choosing only boys between 2 and 4 years old.
Children do not show up at your door unannounced. You will get a call asking if you can take a child and will typically receive information about the age, gender, ethnicity and other known variables that could include medications taken or sibling information. When children first come into care there may be a lot of unknowns.