Foster care and adoption is a privilege that lets you love and support a child that is not your own. You’re opening your home, family, and heart to someone desperately in need. Both foster care and adoption have a crucial role in the life of a child in jeopardy by giving them a lot of opportunities to be able to receive their rights as a child and earn some advantages so that they can succeed in life.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Childs generally states the child should have:
- Freedom from violence, abuse, hazardous employment, exploitation, abduction, or sale
- Adequate nutrition
- Free compulsory primary education
- Adequate health care
- Equal treatment regardless of gender, race, or cultural background
- Freedom to express opinions and freedom of thought in matters affecting children
- Safe exposure/ access to leisure, play, culture, and art
The absence of these rights in a child puts him/her in a situation when intervention is needed, eventually but not necessarily, ending in foster care and/or adoption. The reasons a child is put to foster care or adoptions are not the child’s fault. It is because they are abused, neglected, or abandoned. They are not bad kids but have seen and experienced bad things a child should not. They are victims of one or a combination of the following:
- Physical abuse: Some kids in foster care have been hit, kicked, burned with cigarettes, slapped, slammed against the wall, and punished in a way that gave them bruises, scars, or broken bones.
- Sexual abuse. Experienced sexual assault, sexual contact with an adult, were forced to perform or watch a sexual act, and pornography.
- Neglect. Unable to keep a child safe from actual and potential harm includes but is not limited to the absence of supervision, shelter, food, medical needs. Exposure to drugs, alcohol, and wrongs-doings such as drunk driving while a child on board and taking drugs while a child is within the premises.
- Abandonment. Being left alone for a long time without an adult, and the so-called caregiver left and can’t be reached or contacted.
What is Foster Care?
Foster care is a temporary solution for a child caught up in a predicament and needs a safe place to be in a short period, say a few days to few months while parents or relatives are being assessed as suitable caregivers permanently. Sometimes, foster care becomes long-term duration for a child that can’t be adopted but cannot be with their birth family for some reason, such as the parents being in jail, or a youth opting to age out of foster care rather than be adopted.
Another type of foster care is called respite care designed for children with special needs and physical or behavioral difficulties who are placed with either specially trained fosterers, or with family or friends (also called kinship fostering), or with a therapeutic specialist for children and youth with challenging or complicated needs.
A foster care system provides stability, a good support system, and adults or a person of authority that make a difference in their lives. Children are pushed into the foster care system from unstable family roots or inconsistent parents’ involvement in the child’s life. Being in foster care, a child is assured of a roof over their heads overnight, food to eat every day, and a steady parental presence. They can regain or retain their sense of security, self-esteem, and a feeling of stability.
The foster care system provides the child with a good support system where they are encouraged when daunted and corrected when in the wrong. These encouragement, kind words, and disciplinary actions are sometimes what is lacking in their previous living arrangement. They need a consistent parental presence that will support them as well as advise and support them in their life decisions while growing up.
The foster care system provides the child with a consistent parental presence that is oriented to provide a difference from the child’s former muddled family life. They will be provided with a parent that will prioritize the child’s wellbeing, and who is willing to take the extra steps to equip the child to be a better person and pave a path for the child’s hopeful future.
But what does one get from fostering? A lot of opportunities – to be a catalyst for positive changes in a child’s life, to assist the child in his/her recovery from trauma, give the child a new view in family life and life in general, to serve the community as an individual and as a family, to show your family members the other side of life and to teach them how to make a difference. It also gives birth families a chance to recover and be together in time, to serve God, to help prepare youth for their coming of age, to prepare a child for their forever family, or to prepare to be their forever family.
What is Adoption?
Adoption is the road to the forever family. The life of a foster kid becomes a lot better when they are adopted. They receive a lot and achieve more.
Through adoption, a child can enjoy the following benefits:
- Love. Adopting is choosing to have an emotional bond with the child, to give love to a child, and to receive love in return. A loving family allows a child to flourish, be loved, supported, and wanted. A loving child gives the parents a source of pride and joy.
- Resources. One reason why a birth parent places a child in adoption is that they cannot provide the basic needs of their child. The adoptive parents can give the financial resources and support for the child to survive, grow and thrive.
- Education. Every child has a right to a good education and deserves a chance for greater opportunities to succeed. Adoptive parents are required to give the child primary education. They can also provide financial security and support as the child drives for higher education.
- Social relationships. Shuttling from one foster home to another hinders a child from forming long-term relationships as they are moved from one foster family to another, and transferred from one school to another. Once adopted, these children are given the chance to form lasting relationships in one school and one community. These long-term relationships will greatly influence the child’s holistic development.
- Opportunities. Giving up a child for adoption, birth parents want to save their child from a hard and uncertain life. They want their child to have better opportunities, and to have better-equipped family support. A birth parent who puts their child for adoption is also given better opportunities to build a positive progressive life, get sober, go to rehab, get an education and a job, without the extra expenses and load brought about by raising a child.
Adults have different reasons for adopting, but one common thing is that they want to be parents and be a forever family. Adoption gives parents a chance to raise a child when they cannot give birth to one – to same-sex couples, singles, and couples with infertility issues. It gives a sense of purpose as a family by adding not only a child in the fold but in some cases, also birth parents and extended family members. It lets them experience the joy and tears of being parents – a fulfillment for adults coupling together.
Adoption gives adults a chance to rediscover the world thru their child’s eye – how to ride a bike or struggling with schoolwork or being asked a million “why does”. Adopting gives an adult a second chance at life – from an innocent child’s point of view.
If you are considering foster parenting or adopting, Courage Community Foster Care can help you. We offer foster and adoptive families for children who need a temporary home. If you wish to adopt, Courage Community Foster Care can help facilitate this process, and ensure that support networks are put into place post-adoption process. Call Courage Community Foster Care today at 719-321-4319, or send us a message at kerrih@FosterCourage.com.