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Old 08-19-2017, 07:57 PM   #1
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Foster/Adopt and Hubs

Hi ladies.

So I really want to either foster or adopt. I've always wanted to. When my husband and I were dating, we talked about it, and he said he'd be open to that.

Now he says that he doesn't want to. He's afraid it will tie us down (he's concerned about taking foster kids across state lines on vacation, etc), that foster children will be violent and possibly harm our bio son, and that foster or adopted children may accuse him of abuse, thus upsetting his job (he's a teacher) and possibly our bio son being separated from us.

While I recognize his concerns as valid, I am heartbroken that he isn't willing to consider it. I offered to specify that we only want young children (can you even do that?) so we wouldn't have to worry about violent tendencies, etc. as much. Is it possible to only foster infants, maybe, at least at first?

My husband's childhood friend was adopted and tried to drown his sister. He's convinced that this is the norm. I think it's the exception. I know children who have come into care do have exceptional needs, but they're not ALL violent, right???? I'm a special education teacher and work with kids with emotional-behavioral disorders, so I'm not quite as alarmed by "troubled" children as he is.

Not sure what I'm asking, exactly, but does anyone have any comments? I don't want to push him into anything he's not comfortable with, but I also want to do this really bad!

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Old 08-19-2017, 08:32 PM   #2
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Re: Foster/Adopt and Hubs

Find out the regulations for your state and district.

Our state (MO) recently passed a prudent parenting law which gives us a little more freedom. We can now take the kids across state lines without checking with anyone, provided we aren't gone for more than 2 days. It gives us more freedom in other areas as well....like we can approve sleepovers and 'normal kid stuff' without having to jump through hoops.

You can set age limits and even behavior limits. We chose to do 0-2 because when we got into foster care our youngest was only 18 months. They still sometimes call with kids outside your age range, but all you have to say is no. (although we have said yes outside out limits as well, haha) You can also specify that you cannot accept placement of kids who have acted out violently or sexually. One caveat to that is that they don't always know about certain behaviors, so nothing is guaranteed, but it will rule out some with major behavioral issues.

As for the kids harming bio son--yes that is the exception and not the rule, and you can put things in place to reduce your chances even more. You will have to take training courses before you can foster, and one of the things they cover is ways to safeguard so that EVERYONE in your home is safe and comfortable.

For false accusations--it isn't at all unreasonable that someone will accuse him of something. More likely bio parents than the kids, but kids sometimes do it to. BUT--the caseworkers know that it is a common thing. Most foster parents are 'investigated' at some point or another, but we are coded in the system differently than regular parents. You will have a working relationship with caseworkers and other people in the system and they can typically sort out really easily whether the accusation has any merit or not.

Putting restrictions on you license (like only girls, or only 0-3) may make your wait for a placement longer, depending on the needs of your area. Another thing to keep in mind is when they call with a placement, you can ask questions. You can ask about the situation, if the kid(s) have ever been in care before, etc.

So that's my mutterings, but as for now I would say just keep the communication open between you and DH. If you are a praying woman, by all means, pray. Even if he keeps saying no, it may turn out to be 'not right now' rather than an actual no. He very much does need to be on board before you jump in, but he may just be taking a little longer to get there than you.
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Old 08-20-2017, 07:01 PM   #3
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Re: Foster/Adopt and Hubs

Thanks for sharing! Lots of good info. I will definitely pray about it.
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Old 08-20-2017, 07:19 PM   #4
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Re: Foster/Adopt and Hubs

So I'm just curious (and really uneducated in this topic), but can you both work full time and foster parent? I guess I thought you had to provide 24/7 care, and couldn't use daycare?

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Old 08-20-2017, 09:14 PM   #5
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Re: Foster/Adopt and Hubs

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Originally Posted by abh5e8 View Post
So I'm just curious (and really uneducated in this topic), but can you both work full time and foster parent? I guess I thought you had to provide 24/7 care, and couldn't use daycare?

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Yes, you can work full time and still be a foster parent.

State regulations, and even district regulations vary a lot. I stay at home. I could put the kids in daycare if I wanted, but the state wouldn't pay for it. If I were working the state would pay for daycare.

In some states, foster children are required to attend daycare even if one parent stays home.

In some states the state will not pay for day care even when both parents work.

In some states they will only place school age children with you if you work.

If foster care is something you are really interested in doing, you can call your local social services office to get information, they often have packets for people who are thinking about foster care. You can also attend a introductory class to see if it's something you would like to do. You could talk to someone local who does foster care. I am more than happy to answer general questions, and I can give you specifics on how things are where we are in Missouri, but just know it might not be the same in your area.

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Old 08-22-2017, 02:49 PM   #6
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Re: Foster/Adopt and Hubs

Talk with your husband about ALL possibilities:
Maybe you can be a "respite" only provider for a specific age range to help kids who come into care for a night or two until a "placement" can be determined.
Maybe you figure out that this is way too much for your family to be foster family and want to be a Guardian At Litem or CASA to advocate for a foster kids best interest by visiting them in their current foster home and standing up for them in court. This is a great way to help without the commitment of children staying with you in your home.

Trying to talk to your points:

Re: He's afraid it will tie us down
Yes it may, but maybe not in the way you think it will.
Most states allow travel with kids, mine requires a signed court order.
You will have to be more accommodating to doctor visits, home visits from a case worker and the usual drama of working with an agency such as waiting for information/callbacks. Driving kids to visits and special appointments etc.

Re: Foster children will be violent
Most will not be violent. These are children from hard places that have been through trauma, even if removed at birth. They will need your unconditional love, attention and basic needs met because their brains don't have the wiring to trust you or your lovely home automatically. Attachment takes time and it will be a roller coaster.

Re: Possibly harm our bio son
If you both decide to foster you can absolutely take younger children and do what is best to protect your son, including saying no when asked to go out of your comfort zone of an age range.

RE: foster or adopted children may accuse him of abuse
This is rare but of course everyone should be concerned about this happening. We go into fostering to help children, never to hurt them.
Things like a safety plan or therapy can often keep children to feel safe while with you.
And for foster/adoptive parents - belonging to a support group with continuing education to learn new strategies to help these kids is a must!


We have fostered 10 kids (mostly school age, a few infants, two teens) to date. We both work full time as well.
None have been violent placements. They are survivors, victims of trauma and neglect etc. They will exhibit negative behaviors or act emotionally younger than peers based on the trauma of being removed from their primary caregiver alone.


As Jen said, ask lots of questions to your agency to get details.
And keep talking about it with your husband.
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Old 09-15-2017, 11:08 AM   #7
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Re: Foster/Adopt and Hubs

You both must want to do it, not 50%, not 75%, but 100% (Each). If he goes along just to get along with you and is not in it, then you will have to deal with it by yourself. Can be easy or daunting. Fostering parents and caregivers of special needs kids may require you to seek supportive avenues for the good, the bad and the ugly issues that come up. You both have to sit down and talk this out to see if this is what you both can do. Better yet, some agencies give orientation and informational seminars that both of you can attend to get a better picture as to the kids that they place. Good luck whatever your choices!
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Old 11-14-2017, 12:36 AM   #8
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Re: Foster/Adopt and Hubs

Quote:
Originally Posted by abh5e8 View Post
So I'm just curious (and really uneducated in this topic), but can you both work full time and foster parent? I guess I thought you had to provide 24/7 care, and couldn't use daycare?

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our state wants one parent home full time, but does easily make exceptions to let both foster parents work. Our state also bases childcare expenses on bio parent's income, so if both parents work at the same time of day, childcare is provided by the state.
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Old 11-14-2017, 12:42 AM   #9
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Re: Foster/Adopt and Hubs

I agree both have to do it. The one placement I talked my husband into, ended up being too hard on me- so When I kept telling the social working we couldn't keep the placement, the sw pushed mom too fast to send kiddos home. The kiddos ended up back in the system and into adoption. (not my fault but chain reaction).

Consider doing respite care for 6-12 months. Yes, you can pick ages and you can say No to any respite placements. But you husband could see the norm and you could help your need too. And many foster parents need a few days break to regroup emotionally.
These kiddos aren't ill intent, but have been through a lot and behaviors can be hard.
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