Would you consider fostering a child?

[deleted account] ( 66 moms have responded )

I'm wondering if any of you would consider (or have) fostered a child? A friend of mine is considering it. I think's its a nice idea, but fraught with problems. Her daughters are 12 and 11 and she has a 3 year old son. Any thoughts? Would you open your home to a foster child? Why or why not?

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[deleted account]

We did temporary fostering before J was born, for about 4 months. These were infants who had been adopted but were awaiting finalization. They stayed with us between 2-5 weeks, and the adoptive parents had visitation. Once the adoption was finalized, the children were delivered to their new homes.

We did it because I had a nursery set up for our not-yet-conceived child and I wanted a way to use it and help out. At this time, no, we cannot consider fostering because we do not have space, however, we do spend time at a local foster home for boys and girls--I teach art and my husband mentors in math and science. Our son is too young to be involved yet, but we will find something for him once he is older.

Just because you cannot take on the full responsibility of opening your home to a foster child, you can still help tremendously. Look into other ways to help these kids if you cannot open your home.

[deleted account]

@Kate and Sherri -- I don't know how NH works one way or another, but it certainly is possible that a state agency may require fostering a child first before finalizing an adoption, even though it is not legally required.

Jane - posted on 10/08/2011

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Feen - We adopted locally. Originally, because of our racial make up, we considered adopting overseas. Then we thought about adopting from a part of the US where children of our particular racial make up were more common.

But then we realized that there were kids right near us who needed families and that we didn't care whether they looked like us, we decided to adopt locally. Our two children were born in small towns two hours and two and a half hours from our town, and despite the fact that they don't look like us, we think they are gorgeous and wonderful, and we love them very much. We also have the advantage of being able to retain contact with at least some of their biological relatives.

Because of where we live "mixed race" children are considered "special needs" and so adoption costs were less than they might have been. There were no travel costs, and our insurance actually covered the portion of the fee that would be an average cost of childbirth and maternal medical care. Hence, the total per child was around $7500, whereas a single-race Caucasian child adopted locally would have cost us about $20,000. However, when you consider what it costs to raise a child to adulthood, this is a drop in the bucket.

I do know people who have adopted from other countries, and it is my understanding that the total cost for everything, including travel to and from the other country, legal fees, and so on, can range from $30K to $50K.

My friend that is fostering, whom I mentioned in my first post, adopted a child from overseas in addition to having two biological children. Her adopted son came to her when he was already 18 months old, and he seems to have an attachment disorder. When a child has lived in an understaffed institution at an early age there is often a problem with attachment as well as a delay in physical and mental development. It is possible to cope with this and help the child compensate for it, but it is a challenge.

Because we were interested in "special needs" children we were also able to adopt them as infants (10 days and 6 weeks respectively) rather than toddlers. Often overseas adoptions take such a long time that children are already toddlers or older when they actually come to your home.

I am not going to tell you that all is sweetness and light. Our son, due to a hard birth, no prenatal care, and unfortunate genetics, has some problems that make him a special challenge. However, he is making progress and we hope he will eventually mature and be successful.

Rosie - posted on 10/08/2011

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from things i've read it is very difficult to adopt a child in the foster system without fostering them first. not impossible...but hard. maybe that's what sherri means.

Kate CP - posted on 10/08/2011

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"I am surprised your adoption set ups work like that Jane in NH you have to foster to adopt. You can not adopt without first fostering it isn't a either/or type scenario, it also is not optional."

Okay, Sherri, that is just flat out NOT true. http://laws.adoption.com/statutes/new-ha...

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F.A.S. - posted on 07/09/2012

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hi i was a foster mom for 9 yrs adopted 3 of the kids i fostered over the yrs the behaviors r unreal that the kids deal with rape, incest, lies, burns, molesting, rads, bipolar disorder, some of the kids are workable some are very defiant and wont let u help them my kids helped out alot with the kids at first then they became tired and didnt help as much you have to be strong spritually to deal with these kids u cant be soft cause they will take advantage of you one rule of thumb never ever bunk ya kids with foster kids most of these kids have sex problems and will try to experiment with ya

kids but i put alarms on the doors of my fosters so when they came out in the night i was aware of it but over all it was rewarding i learned alot from these kids but u have to do it from the heart it cant be about the money!

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/24/2012

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I have thought about this several times. I would love to help a child or children that haven't had such blissful lives. However, I am torn and have not acted upon my desire to do this. Simply because I know that these children often come with hardships and very severe ones at that. I am not able to put my children in a situation that could be detrimental for them and their growth. My children must come first, I wish I could help though. If I didn't have young children at home or children just entering teenhood I would definitely consider it. I would of course want some courses and be fully prepared for what to expect and how best to handle the situation. I also know my heart would break if and when the children had to move on...



So, for now, no, I unfortunately just can't do it. :(

Bonnie - posted on 02/24/2012

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I can't believe the money is that good somewhere. That is not the case here. I am a foster mom and love it. I am hoping to adopt 3 boys ages 10, 10 and 4 and maybe a littel one who is 3. We do not do it for the money which is not even close to the amount that was mentioned. We have a 23 year-old daugther and I am glad that we waited and raised her first. Our babies have issue that is just a fact. They have been through more in there few years then most people experience in a life time. It takes great patience and a lot of support. It is heart-breaking when they go home especially if you know it is still not a good situation. It is worth it in the long run. I love all the children that have come into and left our home and I do the best I can for them while they are in our home. That is all we can do. Love them while you have them.

Merry - posted on 10/11/2011

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We plan on it once our kids are older.
I'd love to adopt too but my husband is hesitant. He thinks he couldn't love a non related child as much. But in time I fully believe we will both foster and adopt.

I think everyone has a responsibility to help.
What if your children were on foster care, would you want someone to care for them!

Yes it's hard and can be risky with older kids that's why we wait til ours are older. But life is hard and risky anyways, I have to try to make a difference

April - posted on 10/10/2011

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yes i'd consider it, but not until my son and any future biological children are older. a woman at my husband's church is fostering a 5 month old baby boy right now...she's had him since birth!! She wants to adopt him but he has got family waiting for him. The biological family has been fighting over who gets to raise him in their home. I am sad for the baby because I can't believe the family has let their fighting go on so long that the baby has been with Foster Mom for half a year already. He is so attached to her, she is the only mother he's ever known! :(

Donna - posted on 10/09/2011

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My mom did foster care for many years. The idea is nice, but many of thoes children come with alot of baggage. First off alot of these kids have to deal with being ripped away from their parents. Next many children carry the psychological scars of being sexually abused, physically abused, mentally abused and/or neglected. So many kids came into my house and had alot of jealousy issues b/c I got to be at home with my mom and dad and they couldn't. Granted you are opening your home up and giving a child a chance to have a better life, and yes there are some thankyous in the long run.

Krista - posted on 10/09/2011

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I would consider it, but only after my kids were either out of the home, or teenagers. It'd be damn hard, though. I'd get so attached.

A friend of mine and his husband have taken in a few gay foster kids over the years. These are kids who were kicked out of their homes (and in many cases, beaten savagely) for being gay. My friends have been so wonderful, showing these kids that you can be happy and productive and successful and live out your dreams, and that being gay doesn't take away from that. I admire them immensely for this.

Kathleen - posted on 10/09/2011

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I was raised in a home that my parents were foster parents from the time I was 4. Honestly, it depends. I would be extremely careful as to the children I'd accept into my home. My younger brothers and a nephew of mine were severely damaged because of the lack of supervision on the part of my Mom. (My father had been deceased for many years at this point.) Unfortunately the foster care system whether it be the state or private institutions don't have all of the details regarding the past history of the children and that can devestating. When it's discovered, often it's to late. I'd especially be concerned with the young child at home...he isn't old enough to protect himself. Babies and mild cases of neglect...those are the cases I'd be most likely to accept. Best of luck to your friend!

Jane - posted on 10/09/2011

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@Becky - We went through a church-run, nonprofit agency because we were interested in adopting babies. With the state where we live, by the time a baby has been abused, removed from the home, had its birth parents' rights terminated, and declared available for adoption, the child is no longer a baby. This especially the case because the state's first mandate is to attempt to keep the birth family together by eventually returning the child to its parents.
And yes, state-based adoption is "free" but covered under endless laws that require changes to your home, inspections, 6 weeks of training, and many more complications not found with a private agency, the cost adds up. However, your taxes pay for the office expenses (light bill, rent, xerox machine, etc.) so you don't pay those costs again.

Jane - posted on 10/09/2011

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@Sherri - 1) We did not go through the state but instead through a church-run agency. 2) We are not in New Hampshire so different laws apply. 3) We were adopting American-born infants voluntarily placed for adoption, not toddlers removed from their parents for cause and therefore possibly "damaged" children, nor children born overseas.



Our kids did not go through "the system," although it is very likely that if we hadn't adopted them as infants they would have ended up in the system. Instead, their birth parents realized they could not raise babies at that point in their lives and chose us to raise these children. The birth parents are still a part of our lives.

Becky - posted on 10/08/2011

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Feen, it's similar in Canada, which is another difference between being placed as a foster placement or adoptive placement. When a child is placed for adoption, the adoptive parents can apply for the child tax benefit (baby bonus) as of the day they are placed in the home.

Jakki - posted on 10/08/2011

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Thanks Feen - I really didn't know that we had a foster relief kind of thing. Now you've told me I might veen do it one day.

Re adoption - my parents adopted my little sister when the rest of us were 17, 15 and 3 yrs old. I've gotta say that it hasn't turned out ideally - my parents had the best intentions but they were very rigid in their parenting and my sister turned out to be a very different person from them (and the rest of the sisters). It was hard on all concerned, and my sister has definitely had attachment problems all her life. She's 30 now and not a happy person.

Charlie - posted on 10/08/2011

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In Australia an adoptive parent gets the baby bonus that all new parents are entitled to as long as the child is under 16 years of age which works out to be a higher first instalment of $879.77 and 12 fortnightly instalments of approximately $379.77.

Becky - posted on 10/08/2011

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Ah, see, Sherri, that would be like our Permanency Placement period. The child is placed in the home for adoption, but the adoption isn't finalized for 6 months or so after the child is placed. It's not really fostering, because the adoptive parents have more rights and responsibilities - here at least. For instance, the adoptive parent can take parental leave from the day the child is placed in their home, they don't have to wait for it to be finalized. (Foster parents don't get parental leave) Also, adoptive parents would put the children onto their own health care plan and they can start calling the child by their last name, although they can't change it on legal documents, like a passport, until the adoption is finalized.

You are not allowed to publically give out information about any child who is a ward of the government, due to confidentiality laws. So yeah, until a child is adopted, you can't post pictures of them online.

Rosie - posted on 10/08/2011

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yeah, my friend who fostered and adopted recently, couldn't even mention his name on facebook. no pics of him, no name, she barely mentioned anything having to do with it-she said she wasn't allowed to.

and like i said in my previous post, you don't HAVE to, but it is pretty damn hard to adopt without fostering the child first. so i'm kinda agreeing with you sherri-almost, lol.

Sherri - posted on 10/08/2011

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@Feen and Dyan you have to foster for a specific period of time. Usually before you take on your child you go meet with them a few times first in their current foster home so they get to know you and become comfortable.

After that you take them to your home for a state mandated specific amt. of time. where you are still very often checked on by the state etc. before you can petition for adoption through the state.

I also know which I thought was interesting you can not post a foster child's picture on line till they have been in your care a minimum of 6mo's. You can take photos but can not have them on any social networking site, snapfish on line, walmart on line etc. no where on line or you can have your foster to adopt status revoked.

Charlie - posted on 10/08/2011

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I actually browsed a few American adoption sites last night and no where did it say anything about fostering first before adopting within your country or from overseas.

However I do think it would be a good idea for any family to foster part time first at least, I can imagine if you were adopting from the foster care organization itself you would have to foster the child first but I cant imagine you would have to foster before adopting ANY child from any organization.

Iridescent - posted on 10/08/2011

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I did for a few months, but for family, when I had only 2 kids at the time of my own. Now there is no way I'd foster parent until my kids are grown and no longer so dependent on us. My husband's aunt and uncle are foster parents and have been since their youngest were in high school (they had 5 kids of their own), and they're excellent with the kids and have developed such good relationships with them! It can be totally worth it if it's what you really want to do with your life.

Becky - posted on 10/08/2011

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Here, there are 3 different programs (or were, when I worked in adoption). There is straight foster care, where you don't intend to adopt, although a lot of foster parents do end up adopting a child they fostered because they became so attached to him or her. Then, there is foster to adopt, which would be children who we believe will ultimately be adopted but are not legally available yet, and then there is straight adoption - kids who have been in foster care and whose parents' rights have been legally terminated, so they are free for adoption. Parents who choose the last route would not foster first, the child would be directly placed into their home for adoption. However, we do have a 3-6 month adjustment period (we call it permanency placement period) before the adoption is legally finalized. So during that time, the family is still visited regularly by their adoption worker and Children's Services is still the child's legal guardian. So it's like fostering, but it's not the same because the intention is that it will be permanent. The child would only be removed if there is abuse or if the family requests it.

[deleted account]

You can adopt first but most i know in there own country fostered first and then adopted.Its not as hard to do it this way.From what i have noticed.

Becky - posted on 10/08/2011

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Jane, just out of curiousity, because I don't really know how the US system works, did you adopt through an agency or through the government? Here, it is expensive to adopt through an agency, but through the government (so a child in foster care), it is completely free. Well, you pay for your own criminal record check and if your doctor charges you to fill out the medical form. That's all. Plus, there is ongoing financial and social worker support until the child turns 18. Which is in part why, if we adopt, it will be through the government. Also, I have placed many children from foster care, so I know the needs there.

Ashley, you're right, talking to your own kids about it is a very important piece. I have seen a few adoptions break down because the biological kids in the family were not able to accept the new child.

Sherri - posted on 10/08/2011

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I have no idea for the same reason you do anything if you want to deal with an organization. You follow the rules. It doesn't actually need to be a law for it to be how it works.

I also will not state it is a law because honestly I don't know if it is. I only know what I know and have stated it already.

Kate CP - posted on 10/08/2011

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"Oh by the way no where did I actually say it was a LAW. I simply said that is how it worked. "

Wait...what? That doesn't make any sense! Why would they make you do something if it wasn't the law?? Why would any one do it?! Who would enforce this "way of doing things"?

Sherri - posted on 10/08/2011

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Here is the kicker you also can't you know why because it is the truth.

Oh by the way no where did I actually say it was a LAW. I simply said that is how it worked.

Kate CP - posted on 10/08/2011

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I'm sorry Sherri but...I...

*sigh* I just don't believe you. It's not the law. I can't find any evidence that it IS the law there or ANY WHERE. To say that in order to qualify to adopt a child, in ANY circumstance, you have to foster a child first is:

a) ludicrous
b) just flat out not true.

Sherri - posted on 10/08/2011

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Okay well since two of my very close friends one has already gone through it and one is currently going through it. I can assure you it is the case. Both in the state of NH.

Sherri - posted on 10/08/2011

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Okay maybe I should have been more specific a child who is already in the system can not be automatically adopted without being fostered first.



Which is ultimately what we were talking about. Not kids that just wanted to be adopted by step dad/mom etc.

Kate CP - posted on 10/08/2011

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http://laws.adoption.com/statutes/new-ha...,4.html

"Who May Adopt
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:4
Any of the following adults may adopt:

A husband and wife together
A married person without his or her person spouse joining as a petitioner if any one of the following circumstances apply:
The petitioner is the stepparent.
The petitioner and his or her spouse are legally separated.
The failure of the petitioner's spouse to join in the petition is excused by the court by reason of prolonged unexplained absence, unavailability, or circumstances constituting an unreasonable withholding of assent.
The petitioner's spouse assents to the adoption and the adopted person is over age 18.
An unmarried adult
The unmarried parent of the adopted person

Who May Be Adopted
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:3
Any individual may be adopted.

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Want to adopt? Pregnant? click here
Who May Place a Child for Adoption
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:5
The child may be placed by any of the following:

The parents or legal guardian
The Department of Health and Human Services
An agency licensed to place children"

NO WHERE does it state that you HAVE to foster children in order to adopt.

Sherri - posted on 10/08/2011

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Can you point out where it states differently Kate? I can't seem to find exactly what your pointing out in your link.

Sherri - posted on 10/08/2011

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I am surprised your adoption set ups work like that Jane in NH you have to foster to adopt. You can not adopt without first fostering it isn't a either/or type scenario, it also is not optional.

I only know because one of my close friends just fostered and now adopted a 3 and 4 yr old brother and sister (they were molested by their father who is now in prison and parental rights terminated by the state) and my very best friend just qualified to become a foster family. They are looking to foster to adopt 1-3 children.

[deleted account]

I was a foster child for over 11 years.



First i would say please talk to your own children before taking a foster child etc.Ask them how they would feel sharing there home, parents and family with a child or children they don't know.Speak to older children about the possible challenges that can surface and possible will when taking in a child from a troubled past etc.

Awareness is key not just for the foster parents but for the whole family, age appropriately of course.

Taking in a foster child for my foster parents, well i was no problem what so ever.As in i never acted out.I wanted to be cared for and i wanted to feel wanted.

In my case i did feel a burden.As much as they did for me and they were great for the most part, i just always felt as my own siblings felt, we were different and not a part of the family.



It caused problems for there own bio children also.

I feel they were not ready to start at there age to foster and they took on more than they could handle really.Which is sad for them.We were young also compared to there kids.I was 4&half.Myself and two siblings were fostered by them on top of there 4 bio children who were all in there teens and there own issues.It was very on fair on them to have 3 young kids come in on there family and have a lot of attention but on us and taken from them.



***You can get so much out of fostering if you really know and understand what comes along with that.You can take in a foster child and give them a life they never would of imagined.You can gain a new son or daughter.To me thats beyond NICE.

:-)

[deleted account]

No. I would have always loved having more children but I am of the mind that bringing children deliberately into a single parent situation is not in the best interest of a child. Now with being sick, there's definitely no way I could be a good foster parent.

Charlie - posted on 10/08/2011

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I would love a daughter but I know I dont want to be pregnant or bring another child into the world adoption is the perfect soloution I had no idea that the cost was so high although you are right it is just a drop and I know it would be worth it.

I think I would try foster care and would like to adopt in the future most likely from my own country Australia, I like the idea of a semi open adoption.

Since I last posted I have been browsing adoption sites , my heart aches to see so many children just waiting for a family, quite a few siblings and children with special needs.

I know *if* we were to adopt it would be a wonderful chance for the child to live a happy life but I know the greatest gift would be to us, to have a daughter would be amazing and for the boys to have a sister would complete my family..... Im not trying to sound selfish but how could you not look at your ( adopted )child as a wonderful gift !!

Ive heard that suffering attachment disorders is more common than people think, I remember seeing footage a while ago of babies in these cage like cribs , they never left the cribs , they were never held ...breaks my heart, it's just so unfair.

Charlie - posted on 10/08/2011

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Jane if you dont mind me asking did you adopt from your own country or from overseas?

I have looked up intercountry adoption and for training , assesment and placement alone it is just over 10K was it around the same for you ?

Feel free not to answer if you dont want to I understand.

Charlie - posted on 10/08/2011

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Foster care NSW also offers foster care adoption for children who simply cannot return home.

Charlie - posted on 10/08/2011

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"The foster relief system that Tara talked about sounds great - maybe we could do something like that but I don't think it exists in NSW, Australia. "

We have foster relief in NSW Jakki , Families are offered lots of support including respite :)

http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/parents_...

Jane - posted on 10/08/2011

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Because of the way that agencies "accidentally leave out" important information, such as sexual abuse, I would foster children much younger than my own. The main reason for this would be so my children could let me know ASAP if the newcomer posed a risk to themselves or my family.



A friend of mine recently became a foster mom, and her first two children were two young brothers. They bracketed her youngest child, a daughter not yet talking, in age. The problem was that both boys had been sexually abused but the state worker "figured they were so young they would just forget about it." Thus, she neglected to notify anyone.



The older boy, age 2 1/2, actually attacked my friend's little girl and injured her before the agency admitted he might have to be watched carefully. When it came out, the boys were removed from my friend's care even though she had been able to make progress with them. All of their therapeutic appointments were cancelled and the boys were sent to separate foster homes, where they had to start all over again.



However, my biggest problem is that I bond very quickly and would have a terrible time letting the child go either back to its parents or to another foster home.



Way too often foster kids are moved from home to home. Sometimes it is for cause but far too often it is for administrative reasons. This constant disruption is unbelievably damaging to child development.



Instead, we chose to adopt two children. Yes, we only helped two children, not many, but we gave a permanent relationship to those two children.

Jakki - posted on 10/07/2011

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Oh my God, I would like to think I would have it in me... but... but... whenever I think about it I imagine being woken up during the night and I remember how bad I am at that. And I also think of the effect on the whole family and the dynamics we already have. We do silly things like wrestle and have tickling sessions, we walk out of the bathroom naked and so on. i imagine how everything we do would have to change, and all the rules I've set up for my kids would be challenged by having another person.... so no I doubt we'd ever do it, but at the same time my heart breaks for the kids in need of a home. The foster relief system that Tara talked about sounds great - maybe we could do something like that but I don't think it exists in NSW, Australia.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 10/07/2011

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Yes I would, but it would be when my kids are at least in their mid teens. I was a foster child more then half my life.

Medic - posted on 10/07/2011

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We are planning on fostering but we want to foster/adopt sibling groups or older children. Both my husband and I spend time working in the juvenile corrections center here and fell in love with these kids. They are not bad just to be bad, they all have stories that will pull at your heart. We would also like to take in pregnant teens or young teen moms. We have decided that our children will be a part of it all because we are already a family that is interesting due to adoptions and half adoptions that I think we will be able to show that not all familys are "normal".

Charlie - posted on 10/07/2011

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Yes , yes yes in fact I know the south coast foster care organiser as a family friend and I would love to foster care full time for a child or at least be a safe home part time.

I have a safe , fun and gentle home , I can offer structure and discipline with love if I have the opportunity to make one childs life better , If I can show them for what remains of their childhood how it feels to be an actual child why wouldnt I ?

Unfourtunately there is a serious lack of families willing to foster care at the moment.

At this very moment my boys are very young and I already have an open door policy for some of my younger cousins ( between 10 - 17) when their home life gets to crazy .

Stifler's - posted on 10/07/2011

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Not at the moment. I have 2 babies. My sister in law fosters kids but only babies and they got a baby the same time we had Logan and she was adopted out when they both turned 1 it was sad and then I had renae they got another baby within the 2 weeks (strange coincidence). Both had withdrawls to alcohol and other drugs and lots of issues. It's not easy work and they aren't always low needs children. I would love to do it one day.

Brittany - posted on 10/07/2011

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I plan on opening my home to foster children once I am finished with school. I only have a few semesters left.

[deleted account]

I would if it was a close friend or a family member. I would have a hard time seeing their kids living with strangers and would worry too much about whether or not they were being taken care of properly.

Rosie - posted on 10/07/2011

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no i would not. i'm just not made for it. i have enough trouble taking care of the ones i have, lol. my friends fostered a 5 year old and adopted him this past august. they are great people to do that! i MIGHT consider it if i couldnt' have my own children.

Becky - posted on 10/07/2011

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I think for the reasons Johnny and a couple others have mentioned, it is a good idea to keep the kids you are fostering younger than your own children, by a few years, if you are going to foster while your own children are still quite young. I don't think it's impossible, I know a lot of families who have successfully fostered while having their own young children. But you do need to be very cautious. That is why we would initially only do infants/young children. While we expect them to still have issues/difficult behaviors, they are less likely to be issues that would put the rest of us in danger or that our own children, being older, would be likely to imitate. It also gives our kids the opportunity to be role models. We would also be very cautious in the types of behaviors we would accept. A child who acted out sexually, who started fires, who was very aggressive etc, would not be coming to our home while we had young kids.



The other group I've always wanted to foster, or provide semi-independent living for is teen girls who are pregnant or parenting young kids and have no family support. That's just something I've always kind of had a heart for. Our house isn't really set up for them to be very independent - we don't have a separate suite or anything, so it would be more of a foster or room and board thing. But with 3 boys, I don't know... the idea makes me a little nervous. Maybe while they're young if the young woman was quite stable (no drugs, alcohol, etc), but probably not when they're in their teens!

Carolee - posted on 10/07/2011

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If I didn't have the physical problems that I have, I would definately consider it. My aunt and uncle are foster parents. They've had a few kids live with them off and on through the years. They actually took a 10-year break because it was so stressful, but they started doing it again. They've only had serious issues with one or two kids.

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