I would love to foster and think that I could actually do a good job and make a difference to kids lives but there must be the one or two that you really click with and don't want to let go? Can you yourself adopt them?
Yes you can and we have. As have many other foster carers I know.
However it is not a good idea to go into fostering with a view to adopting. I'm not sure you would even get through the assessment if SWs knew you were even thinking about adoption. Fostering and parenting an adopted child are two very different things. I think you should think very hard about what it is you actually want to do before going ahead with anything.
Also it's not easy to adopt a foster child. Many LAs don't like carers adopting and will not support you. If that happens you can end up financing the adoption and court costs yourself which can be many £1000s. If you don't win a case you lose the child you have come to love. Even if they do support you they still require you to go through exactly the same process as other adoptive parents. Good luck with whatever you decide
I don't think that is entirely true Mrbojangles at least not with our LA. All bar one of the carers I know have adopted healthy babies. Our LA is very supportive as long as they think the adoption is in the child's best interests. I know of two carers who were not supported and had to finance themselves through court.
JazzAnn It is very very hard to let them go. You just have to remind yourself of the great job you have done and know that the little one is going to people who will love them. I love seeing the pure joy of new parents who maybe thought they would never have their own family. I love being a part of helping those families become one.
We are still in touch with lots of our older children some of them still visit us which is lovely. Sadly adoptive parents rarely keep contact going after about a year. That's their choice. It is sad for us to not know how certain children are getting on but it's enough to know they are happy after often very traumatic starts to their lives.
I think one of the problems about fostering and then wanting to adopt the child is related to the fact that the birthparents will know where you live and may well live in the same town. This can cause problems as the adoptors will be recognised. I know of a case where the adoptive mother was followed around town by the birthmother and a gang of her mates. Children are almost always placed out of their home area and of course the adoptors names and addresses are kept secret.
I agree absolutely with Laurie's post. You ask if foster carers cab keep in touch with children they have fostered. They have no "rights" to continue to see the child, as he/she needs to bond with the adoptors, but sometimes adoptors and foster carers become friendly and contact can be maintained, but this has to be the decision of the adoptors. Also there would need to be a considerable time to allow the child to settle with the adoptors. Mostly foster carers are too busy with the next child, though most of them keep a book of photos of all the babies/children they have fostered.
I think all new foster carers worry about letting a child go who you have come to love and it is I am sure a very tough thing, (am a retired sw in fostering & adop) not a foster carer. I have seen many families distressed by the loss of a chld, but they get comfort and support from other carers who have been through the same thing, and another placement comes along and that always helps. Have to say that sometimes foster carers are relieved when the child is moved on as they have found it all very stressful, for a myriad of reasons.
I work for a fostering and adoption charity. Although I don't work directly with our foster carers and young people, I get to meet them from time to time, hear their stories and go on activity weekends with them and the children.
That's one of the reasons why the training part of becoming a foster carer is very important; part of the Skills to Foster training include loss/bereavement - as a foster carer, letting a child go is like going through the loss of a child.
As NanaNina mentioned, meeting experienced foster carers during and after the training is essential as if you wanted to go through with it, you will be able to ask them all the questions you'd like to ask, but didn't know how. Once you're approved, it is also important to keep contact and share experiences - many of our foster carers attend the regular foster carers support groups so they can share and discuss their own experiences and give themselves support & advice.
As LaurieBlueBell said, you shouldn't go into fostering with the view to adopt already. It is really important that you take your time to look into it before you take your decision.
Thanks all . I will give it some more thought on the back burner and maybe in a few years bring it more to the forefront.
I wonder if it's because I don't feel that my family is complete yet as I havnt had the amount of children (biological) that I would like yet. Perhaps when that's complete I will think about adopting a foster child less and see it purely as fostering. Maybe I'm just too selfish to foster I really would love to do it - in such awe of all of you