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Old 06-08-2008, 10:37 AM   #11
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Re: Infant placements and adoption

I'm currently fostering a baby that i hope to be able to adopt. I got him at three weeks old, he is now over four months old. The mother's rights have already been terminated, and there is a court date in August to determine whether we will be able to keep/adopt him or whether the one family member who expressed interest will get him. The social workers and baby's lawyer seem to want him to stay here with us, so hopefully the judge will agree.

He is absolutely beautiful (seriously...i mean, complete strangers stop and comment on how gorgeous he is!) and as far as i can tell, completely healthy. He seems developmentally on target, if not perhaps even a little advanced. He was taken from bio mom at hospital, so he didnt really have a chance to be neglected/abused (unlike other half sibs who were taken a few years ago.)

The thing with fostering with the hope of adopting is that there are no could have a baby for a year, and then they go home. You can request low legal risk (i suppose my case would fall into that catagory given the mom lost two previous kids)...but there are still no guarantees. Until everything is "signed sealed delivered" (meaning you are chosen as the adoptive family and no one can come and contest that), the child could leave. A relative could pop up at the last minute.

Some states have true "foster to adopt" program (mine doesnt) where a child they think will go to adoptions is placed in a home approved to adopt. Where i live, most kids are adopted by their foster parents, so if you want to adopt (with no fostering) a child, esp a young child, you may be in for a wait. That being said, my agency DOES place very young children/babies in straight adoptive (no foster) homes. They might have a foster parent that is older or for whatever reason chooses not to adopt, but loves to foster. So it DOES happen.

One thing to be aware of, is if you are doing basic foster care with the hope of adopting, you may be placed with a child whose needs arent apparent at the time. Unless they really know the baby's history (like whether the mom took drugs etc), you could very well have a baby a year or longer before something like FAS shows up, or damage from drug exposure, or developmental delays, etc. Of course kids who are truly medically fragile will go to homes prepared for that situation.

As far as son was older when i went through homestudies, so it didnt come up (he actually was still cosleeping quite often, but had his own bedroom, so i didnt mention it)...the foster baby will need his/her own crib (depending on the state, could be in your room for some time, here its up to age three....and no one comes in to check if that baby is in your bed in the middle of the night, yknow?) they will feel about your bio kids cosleeping and not having their own bed depends on the agency so you should just ask beforehand to see if it will be a problem. They *may* want your kids to at least have their own bedroom/bed even if they dont use it.

I know that generally you can do what you want w/ your own kids, such as nonvaxing, even if you would be expected to do it (vaxing for example) for foster kids. I think you'd probably have an easier time explaining cosleeping for a baby or toddler than a much older child though.



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