According to AdoptUSKids, there are more than 100,000 children in the U.S. alone who live in foster care and who are patiently awaiting a forever home. These children are in the state’s care through no fault of their own and because they have been abused, abandoned or neglected by their birth parents. Sadly, only a little more than half of all foster children will return to their birth families. The remainder will become available for adoption. If a family is interested in adopting a child in North Carolina, it should not let the misconceptions about adopting from foster care deter it from changing a child’s life for the better. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption explores the five reasons people will not adopt from foster care, and why those reasons are wrong.
The first reason is that adopting from the state is expensive. This could not be further from the truth. Not only do foster families receive a small stipend each month to help cover the cost of raising a child, but also, families can claim federal and state tax credits for adopting from foster care. Moreover, many states provide assistance for college expenses for previous foster children.
Another reason people are wary of foster adoptions is that they believe the birth parents can return whenever they want and claim the children. This is not the case. Once a child becomes legally free for adoption, birth parents cannot claim him or her or petition for restored parental rights.
Many people also wrongly assume that foster children are juvenile delinquents. Again, children go into foster care through no fault of their own. The majority is right around eight years old, while 30% are 12 or older.
Another misconception is that single individuals cannot adopt. This is not true. All 50 states allow single individuals to adopt. 30% of adoptions that occurred in 2011 were by single parents.
Finally, many aspiring parents feel that working with the state may be too burdensome. While it is true that dealing with any state agency can be frustrating and fraught with paperwork, rules and procedures, it is important to remember that the end goal is to give a deserving child a loving home. That is precisely what the professionals at state agencies strive to do every day.