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You Could Always Adopt. . .

Adopted 3 boys out of foster care, then got pregnant for my beautiful daughter, now currently pregnant again with twins.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Things They Don't Tell You in Parenting Classes(new ones added)

1. They get a good bit of babies, even newborns right out of the hospital.
2. You will not just be caring for the kids, but the kid's parents also.
3. You have no authority to consent to medical treatments for the kids in your care. You can only authorize emergency medical treatment. If your child needs to go under anesthesia, it takes an act of congress.
4. Day care for foster children is paid for.
5. You get mileage for visits and doctor's appointments.
6. Transportation can be arranged to bring the children to and from family visits.
7. They can leave you alone in a hospital for 6+ hours with bio parents.
8. They can leave you alone during surgery to babysit your foster child and their parents(althouth they are not supposed to).
9. Staffing for immediate TPR is not immediate(Smiley was staffed for imediate TPR in May of last year).
10. Bio parents get transportation to every visit, doctor visit, surgery, etc., regardless of the fact that they obviously cannot provide for their children's medical needs if they have no way to get them to the doctor.
11. They need you more than you need them. If something is not being done right, insist they follow the case plan.
12. You can go through 3 caseworkers in 7 months for one child.
13. The maximum number of children your worker says you can have in your home can easily be increased to however many the worker calls you to take!
14. The child's attorney can be your biggest asset. Make best friends with them and demand a good one.
15. You will go to court, have the bio parents lie horribly about you and you have to just sit there, holding their child, and not defend yourself.
16. You cannot count on the child's attorney to speak for the child in court, or object to lies made by the bio parents(see # 14).
17. The visit schedule they give you is just a suggestion. If the bios come on the wrong days, they will actually call you and ask you to bring the child to a visit. Stand your ground and don't give in.
18. If you don't fight for representation for your child, he may go to court with none. This happened with Scooter. Thank goodness his dad was a good person.
19. You can hire an attorney to represent your foster child(the child, not you though). I learned this from following rule # 14.

Ok, all you other parents, add to my list. There's been several people reading my blog that have decided to become foster/adoptive parents. I don't know if I influenced them in their couragous decisions, but let's help them out. I'm still a rookie, being a foster mom for only 7 months, so I'd loved to hear from you more experienced foster parents.



  • At 2:39 AM, Anonymous Jane said…

    They can have you SUPERVISE the bio mom's visit with the kids! And during these visits, YOU have to remind her not to speak in a foreign language you don't understand, 'cause she has been talking trash to the kids about you!
    They can allow the bio dad to take part in a visit even though his rights were terminated long before!

    I'll see what else I can think of.

  • At 6:10 AM, Blogger Dream Mommy said…

    I forgot about supervising bio mom's visits. We have to do that all the time!

  • At 6:36 AM, Blogger TeamWinks said…

    God give me strength. This information is really helpful!

  • At 8:13 AM, Blogger Tamara said…

    They will tell you they will protect you from seeing the biparents for your personal safety and then have them sitting in the front waiting room when you bring the child in for a scheduled visit.

    They will tell you things will probably happen by a certain date - add on at least 6 months to this date no matter what.

    They will tell you they can't tell you something...Thank them endlessly, get to know them personally - then ask again - chances are they will tell you what you want to know.

    They know far more than they tell you about a child and their circumstance.

    In some states, you get money for birthday and Christmas presents.

    In some states, you also get money to create a lifebook, and extra money every 6 months to help pay for supplies to keep up with it.

    You will at many points wonder why you ever decided to do this - if it is truly right for you, you will decide to stick with it "just one more time" (again, and again, and again).

    Most everyone in your life will at some point think you have lost your ever-lovin' mind.

    (I'll keep thinking about this - you have a wonderful start - and I totally agree!!)

  • At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In our case they told us it was a totally confindential placement and then they put my first & last name as well as well as the child's preschool address in a report received by the parents!

    We also learned that the closer you get to you caseworker the more info you will get.

    But on the other hand...our caseworker told us the judge had granted permission for us to take our son on a vacation out of the state and when we couldn't return on the scheduled date because of a snow storm, it was then that the court called and said they would file contempt charges if we didn't get back immediately (we were trying!). We found out our case worker NEVER submitted the paperwork to the judge. SHe just told us to go!

  • At 4:00 PM, Blogger toastnjam said…

    This is GREAT!!!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • At 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    They tell you love the kids as your own & then they yell at you for getting attached!!!!!!!

  • At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Nothing is ever written in stone.

    A case worker will tell you anything to get you to accept a child into your home.

    As a single working foster mom I was only taking one child at a time. I already had a VERY tough placement (RAD) and they called and begged for me to take a 17 month old boy for one night...I finally agreed and one night became 7 WEEKS!!!! Every week on court day we packed all of his things (I had to buy a LOT as he came with NOTHING) and every week they'd say one more week.

    I learned that social workers do lie!

    Of course to those of you who are reading this thinking about being a foster parent--- DO IT!!! It's the best thing I ever did! :)

  • At 5:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Most health departments will give you a brand new FREE car seat!

    Foster children 5 and younger qualify for WIC!!!!

    WIC= 9 cans of formula a month, juice, cereal, milk, peanut butter, cheese, etc. all FREE!

    They didn't tell us and 5 children later we found out when one of our newborns needed a very expensive formula and it was killing us fiancially. Then a friend who worked at the grocery store said, aren't you getting WIC?

  • At 6:07 PM, Anonymous Jane said…

    When the bio mom drops completely out of sight after TPR - contact information the agency has is no longer valid - you will feel utterly helpless in the face of your daughter's heartbreak.
    Likewise when your son cries for the bio father he doesn't remember ever meeting (too young).

    The rage you will feel at the physical and emotional scars left on your children by their abuser (who was only a child himself).

    On a somewhat cheerier note, school age foster children are eligible for free lunch.

  • At 2:31 PM, Blogger NDFosterMom said…

    I am sooo glad to have found your blog. We have been foster parents for about 15 1/2 months. We just lost our battle to adopt a little girl that we had for 11 months in our home. I would love to hear from you and anyone else that is part of your blog.

  • At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We learned after being blown off by caseworkers about what happened in court and encouraged not to come to court to ALWAYS go to court the CW just tell you what you want to hear. We also learned that when the CW says you will have to do visits for 2 weeks max it can mean 6 months and then birth-mom gets so fed up that they can't seem to terminate her rights she just signs off.

    We also learned white healthy beautiful babies do come home straight from the hospital and the system DOES work. And we did finalize our adoption 2 weeks before his first birthday.

  • At 10:34 AM, Blogger FosterMommy said…

    not only should you run straight to WIC and get the kids signed up, but in many states you can be reimbursed for formula you have to buy out of pocket.
    And you can be reimbursed for over-the-counter stuff that the doctor prescribes, but Medicaid doesn't cover.

    Oh, and never send the child in clothes that you don't mind losing. And don't fill the diaper bag with any more than necessary for the one visit. Parents often help themselves to your supplies.

    Case workers will never understand how you can love a child and still be happy for the family when they're reunified.

  • At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh and get used to the fact that the bio parents will change your child's clothes and hair style on every visit! My CW said it is their way of still feeling like the parent. Of course it would be nice if they didn't keep the brand new clothes you just bought and send them home in something doesn't fit and reeks of cigarette smoke!!


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