In the third and final part of a 3 part series about Fostering the National Fostering Agency write about the support that Foster Carers give through the Adoption Process. If you missed Part 1 and Part 2 of the series then click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.
How Foster Carers Support Children Through
The Adoption Process
Many people confuse the role of foster parents with adoptive parents. The two are not the same and the responsibilities and roles of each have many differences, as well as some similarities, of course.
However, foster parents often have a role to play in the adoption process, either by choosing to adopt the foster children themselves or by preparing the kids for adoption at a later date.
Fostering is about offering short- to medium-term care for children who require it. This could be in the form of respite from their normal living conditions, or on a more long-term basis. It all depends on the circumstances of the individual child. In many cases, the child will go back to living with its natural parents once the circumstances have changed but this is not always the case.
In some cases it will be decided it is in the best interests to follow the adoption route. As a foster parent, it is often the case that you might choose to adopt the child. If you have come to develop a caring and loving relationship with the child, it may seem like the natural thing to do. However, there are no obligations and adoption may not be an option. In these circumstances, the child may be adopted by other people who are in the position to do so.
As a foster parent, you can help by talking to the child and using the relationship you have developed to prepare them for the adoption process. It is a very important role because as you might imagine, adoption is a very significant process for everyone involved and it has to be prepared thoroughly at all levels.
Listening to the child’s needs, concerns and hopes for adoption is very important. As is communicating how the process works and making sure they understand what is happening at every stage of the process.
Of course, there are some benefits to foster-adopting. In fact, it is often a very good idea for prospective adoptive parents to try fostering first, so that they understand what may be required. Foster parents who later adopt have the advantage of being able to develop a stable relationship and happy situation before the next stage of the process. This continuity is very important.
For the foster parents who become adoptive parents, it is often better to be able to know you can care for the children without the constant oversight from an agency, although there will still be some level of monitoring to assess how things are going.
However the process works - and as mentioned it is different in almost every case - the role of the foster parent is very important and can not be underestimated. Foster parents should speak with other foster carers, adoptive parents and agency workers to understand how best they can help to ease the transition. The needs of the child are paramount at all times but the fact that everyone involved is emotionally involved should never be overlooked.
Would you like to be a Foster Parent?
If Fostering is something you are interested in doing or you would like to talk to us further then come and check us out at:
NFA Website at http://www.nfa.co.uk/ or
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or