Could you give a Fostered Virginia child a forever home?
Do You Have Love to Give a Fostered Child a Forever Home?
In Virginia, hundreds of children have ended up in foster care through no fault of their own. While some of them will be reunited with their birth parents or other family members, many more will end up spending many of their childhood years in foster care.
There is a significant need for individuals or couples who are able to foster a child and feel drawn towards providing a child with a forever home through adoption services.
Here we take a look at what fostering with a view to adoption might involve, who can adopt, the benefits of adoption, and what help and support are available to people who might consider providing children with a forever home in Virginia.
What Does Fostering With a View to Adoption Involve?
Initially, you will need to contact a foster or adoption agency in Virginia. This will get you in contact with a social worker and other forms of support, such as parent support groups and other adoptive families.
Then, the children in foster care would come to stay with you the same way as they would with any other foster parent. This provides the opportunity to see if the child will fit in with your household - it's a chance for both the child and prospective adoptive parents to try each other out.
For foster parents who decide not to move down the forever home route, the child will continue their foster placement, with the fostering agency then looking at other long-term options.
Suppose it becomes clear that a permanent placement will be a good option. In that case, the Virginia fostering agency will work with the parents to complete the necessary legal paperwork. They will also provide ongoing support and assistance, doing whatever they can to ensure the process is as smooth and straightforward as possible.
Who can Adopt?
The short answer is that almost anyone can adopt. Ultimately, each individual or couple who expresses an interest in fostering with a view to adoption is assessed on their own merits.
There is no fixed upper age to start the process. Parents need to be able to give their adopted children a good quality of life. Still, older parents can and do become successful adoptive parents.
Some of the people who can consider taking on looked-after children permanently include:
- Lone parents
- Singles or couples who don't already have children
- People with disabilities
- People with a low income
- Same-sex couples
Singles and couples from all ethnic groups can apply to be adoptive parents. As part of the assessment process, potential adoptees will be vetted for suitability on a case-by-case basis.
What are the Benefits of a Forever Home?
Benefits accrue not only to the parents but also to the children they adopt. Consistency, continuity, and security are characteristics of children's emotional environment to thrive. Giving a child in foster care a forever home is a golden opportunity to make a permanent positive difference in a young life.
Adoptive parents also frequently have access to financial incentives to adopt.
Some of the key benefits include:
Greater Ease in Planning for the Future
When you're fostering, it's never 100% certain how long the child will remain with you. Children's Protective Services will often work with the birth parents to achieve a reunion. This uncertainty is stressful for both foster parents and children. Fostering to permanently look after a child means the end goal is clear from the start, and adopters know what they are working towards.
It's OK to Become Attached
Although every foster parent cares about the well-being of the children they look after, handling the emotional side of a foster placement can be challenging. Recognizing that the child may leave to live elsewhere while providing the nurturing, caring attention a child needs can be challenging to deal with one day. Adoption allows you to extend the same unconditional love to your adopted child that you would to one of your biological children.
Raise Children With Your Values
Foster children come from all sorts of families, many of whom will have different values to your own. When fostering, parents tread a fine line between respecting birth parent values and instilling their own. Adoption removes this issue, allowing foster families to parent freely in line with their religious and ethical values.
Not just parents benefit from the process - adopted children end up in a settled environment and know they will not be moved elsewhere. This gives them a chance to form permanent, lasting attachments. Simply having the opportunity to live in the same house, attend the same school, and make lasting friends can all enormously positively affect a child.
Many foster parents who adopt say that their lives have been immeasurably enriched by adding another child to their family.
Give a Child a Forever Home
Do you want to know how to adopt a child or learn more about the various routes to adoption? As a leading Virginia adoption agency, FosterVa can help.
We can provide support, assistance, assessment, and advice at every stage of the fostering and adoption process, offering a source of expertise to optimize the chances of the fostering and adoption process's success.
Get in touch with us here at FosterVa to learn more about fostering and fostering with a view to adoption.