Children who are in Foster Care are in the system due to no fault of their own. Someone once told me there are no difficult children just children who need different styles of parenting and i believe that. All children deserve loving and caring families to take care of them and we hope to be one of these families. The children can offer us just as much as we offer them; In a sense we are looking at it as us finding them as much as it is them finding us.
Children go to Foster Care for one of these reasons:
- Parents realize they can not raise their child and voluntarily relinquish their rights.
- They are abandoned or lose both parents due to death, or disability and they don't have other family members to take care of them.
- They are removed from their homes and families due to severe neglect and abuse.
The State of Texas gives biological parents 12 months to get their act together. The clock starts the minute a child is taken into the system. The 12 months can be extended an additional 6 months if the parents appeal their case because the Federal Law mandates giving them 18 months.
The process of adopting through Foster Care varies from State to State but in general they all follow guidelines similar to these.
- Decide to adopt
- Locate an adoption agency
- Participate in parenting classes and home study
- Locate a child to adopt
- Have your case manager present your home study to the case worker of the child as an adoptive parents
- Have visitations
- Develop a plan to transition the child from Foster Care to your home
- Take the child to your home
- Complete the supervision period (which can be up to 6 months if the child is younger than 1 year old)
- Legally adopt the child
Now all the above is based on if the child is already available for adoption. Once the home study is completed it can take between 9 to 12 months to adopt a child. When you are adopting through Foster Care you can only work with 1 agency so you don't have the benefit of working several leads at the same time.
Another route is foster then adopt. Since we want a child aged 0-5 years old chances are we will not find a child who the parental rights have already been terminated. We may have to take care of a child for a while before they become available for adoption then wait 6 months before we can legally adopt him/her.
Just because a child is placed with us it does not mean that will be the child we will adopt. We may have to Foster a couple of kids before we get to keep one. That is the process if we want to adopt a child younger than 5 years of age. We may be lucky and get to keep the first child placed with us but from what we heard that is not the norm even though i know a couple of people who lucked out and were able to adopt their first.
The reason i've written this long post is because i need my family and friends to understand it's a long process. It can be a year before we have a child. We need you all to be patient and trust that we will keep you all informed as soon as we have news. Jerry and i decided from the start that we will share all our journey with our family and friends through facebook, the blog and the vlog on youtube and we are sticking to that decision.
It's not going to be an easy journey. Mommies to be get to show off their pregnancy pictures, ultrasounds, getting a nursery ready... we don't have any of that happening but still the wait feels the same. We are getting educated and slowly purchasing the essentials but we will not be setting up a Nursery and staring at en empty crib for God knows how long.
We really appreciate the huge support and encouragement we received and keep receiving from our family, friends, coworkers and acquaintances, it means the world to us.
Stick around, it's going to be a bumpy ride but at the end it will be well worth it!