Foster Care Paperwork

So, we went to the foster-to-adopt orientation meeting last week.  (I would have posted sooner, but life is crazy right now.  Who knew writing a dissertation would be so much work?!?!?)  It went well, thought it started late and went over.  My DH and I are very time oriented people, plus he hadn’t eaten supper before the meeting, so he was about to fall out by the end.

We now have all the paperwork to do and fingerprints and medical visits to go through.  I’m also hoping we can get the training done this month.  Then, we’ll just have to wait for all the inspections and the home study.

It’s an exciting time, but I really wish there was a place, like Fer.tility Frie.nd, where I could read a bunch of message boards about what I should do and shouldn’t do in this process.  Like, I really want to know how specific I can be about kids, without seeming to be too choosy.  I think we’d do best with a sibling pair, where the younger one was under age 2 and the older one was under age 6.  Can I just say that?  Should I just let things happen and not be so choosy?

And, these questions about my family.  How should I answer those?  Be really specific and honest, or just give the bare minimum?

Even the questions I have inspire new questions.

Anyone know of a good place to read?  I’ve got books on what to do AFTER adopting, but none for DURING adopting.

12 thoughts on “Foster Care Paperwork

  1. Wow, that sounds exciting… And overwhelming! I don’t know of any place right off the top of my head where you can get that kind of support, but there have got to be some people right here in blogland that could give you some pointers (maybe start at Stirrup Queens blog roll or even put in a request for support/info re foster-to-adopt via her Lost and Found?)

    Whatever you decide to do, I’ll be thinking of you as you start this process.

  2. In my experience the social workers want you to be as specific as possible with what you can or can not take. It feels awful saying no to some things but you have to be honest with yourself. Some people can handle anything and some can’t, and that’s ok. The most important thing is for the SW to make the RIGHT match for the child. Perfect matches DO happen! We’re proof of that! The only problem is that the more specific you are the longer your wait might be. BUT if you want an older child with a sibling it might not be a long wait. We were low risk of reunification, 0-1 year old, mild/moderate drug exposure, no fetal alcohol syndrome, no schizophrenia and we were placed with a 10 month baby girl 5 months after we were approved. Another couple in our class was medically fragile and they were placed immediately.
    Do some soul searching, know your limits and be honest!
    I thought we were too “picky” and I have a beautiful little girl sitting on my lap right now!

    I too wish there were more online resources and books. This is kind of untapped territory and what little there is out there didn’t seem to be incredibly helpful.

    I’m no expert but I’ve been through the process so feel free to ask questions!

    Good luck and congrats!

  3. I don’t have any help or resources to offer. I just wanted to wish you the best of luck. It sounds like the paperwork can be kind of overwhelming, but you’ll get through it. Just be honest and realistic about your expectations.

  4. oh my, what an exciting new page you’re opening! Nerve-wracking, probably, but still – very exciting!
    I cannot recommend a place, but I am sure you’ll be fine. There are so many weird people getting through adoptions/fostering that you’re bound to sail through!!!

  5. Everything I know about this process is secondhand, but it squares with what mothernatureschmature said — be as specific, and as honest, as possible. If you know you would do well with a sibling group between the ages of 2 and 6, it doesn’t help anyone (you, the kids, anyone) for you to be placed with 14-year-old triplets. I think it’s fantastic that you are moving forward with this, by the way.

  6. I think if you are more specific on your paperwork it makes your home visits go smoother with your licensing worker. They go over them and read through prior to meeting with you, so the more information that you have given them, the smoother the process may be.

    The way things worked here, they called us for everything, no matter what specifics we had given about what type of children we could or could not take. Part of this was the need was so high for foster parents.

    We had initially stated we wanted an older child, 7+ years old, etc. We had stated that we wouldn’t take any child that wasn’t school aged. The first six months we were licensed we only got calls for babies. Then we had D, he was 6. Shortly after D went home we got the call for Mea, who was twelve months when they called, and was a direct adoptive placement from fostercare, and made us change our mind about only looking at older children.

    This is a great blog with many, many resources and other blog lists for foster/adopt parents.

    • Thanks for that response and that wonderful resource. I will be reading all night — we’re getting the first set of paperwork finished up tonight, then will work on getting the other stuff done next week (doc visits and all).

  7. We started the foster-to-adopt process, too, but we haven’t finished yet. I needed some more time to let go of the fertility treatment aspect of things before moving on with foster to adopt. We have not finished the paperwork, but I remember what we have done we tried to be honest without giving too much extra information. I don’t know if that is the right way to go or not. I know on the forms about the type of child we would accept, we were very specific about the things we knew we absolutely could not handle. The middle of the road type things we checked a lot of “willing to consider” boxes because we wanted to keep our options open as much as possible. The thing that bugs me about those forms is if you say no to something, or yes for that matter, you don’t know to what degree you are committing. There isn’t a way to know if the disability would be mild or severe, for instance.

    Sorry I rambled so long. 🙂 Good luck with this process!

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