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  #1  
Old 10-25-2007, 02:35 PM
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How long does a foster child stay with you?

I am starting the process of foster to adopt. I am also considering just straight out fostering as well. So I had some quiestions. ONe is how long does a foster child usually stay with you? Do you foster just children in your own county or surrounding? I have more but as soon as I started this thread my mind went blank lol. I will ask more when I get my brain back..
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2007, 03:29 PM
Kat-L Kat-L is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MomOfFourWantingMore
I am starting the process of foster to adopt. I am also considering just straight out fostering as well. So I had some quiestions. ONe is how long does a foster child usually stay with you? Do you foster just children in your own county or surrounding? I have more but as soon as I started this thread my mind went blank lol. I will ask more when I get my brain back..

Gosh. It's such an unknown. I had one placement that they said would go to adoption but she went to a relative placement after 2 months (*long story).

The baby I have now was supposed to be one night as an emergency placement. That turned into a couple of days. Then a month. Now it's looking like several months or maybe even spring before he's reunited.

It's such a gamble. How long they stay depends on whether relatives show up unexpectedly, whether the birthparents fix whatever caused the removal of the kids, and whether birthparents have a good attorney who pushes for a quick reunion.

Take two mom's who's kids are removed for drug use.

The first mom completes 45 days in rehab and moves back into her safe apartment, visits the kids every week, and has 3 months of clean drug tests.
The other holds off on entering a treatment center or doesn't go at all, doesn't visit regularly and loses her apartment due to the drug problem.

Both had kids removed for exactly the same reason and had to complete the same goal (drug treatment & clean drug tests). For the first case, you might have the kids 4 months. For the second case, you might have them for a year or more and even be able to adopt them.

The hardest part of foster parenting is trying to prepare for the unknown. You don't know when you'll get a call for placement (waiting is SO hard). You don't know what the kids will be like when you get them. From month to month, you might not know how long they are staying.

With "Brandon", I got him ready to go after his first court date-(had to go home and unpack). Got him packed and ready to go after the second court date (had to go home and unpack). For the third court date, I figured I'd wait to pack until I knew for sure but the social worker thought reunion was a possibility or a family member would come forward by that time. Nope. He's still here. And now after the latest court date, I still don't know how long he's staying. There is no fixed court date for the mom. Whenever she completes her case plan, her attorney will request a hearing to have him reunited with mom. The social workers are guessing that will take at least a few months.

It would be so much easier if I knew he was staying until March 3 or November 2. It would be easier to plan. As it is, I'll have to take the social worker's guess of late winter or early spring as the date.

Last edited by Kat-L : 10-25-2007 at 03:36 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2007, 04:19 PM
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Withay Withay is offline
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I have had 84 foster children to date. Currently I have 3. Of the 84, I have had one for a little as 12 hours and another for as long as 17 months.

Like Kat said, you never know how long a child will be in your home.

Since I live in a very large county, our agency lets you foster only those children in your county. I suppose that if I lived near the county line that it might be different, but I live kind of smack-dab in the middle of the county.

Good luck. Welcome to the forums.
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2007, 04:23 PM
Kat-L Kat-L is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Withay
Since I live in a very large county, our agency lets you foster only those children in your county.

That is the case here, too. They only place out of county with family members. It's a large county with a large need for foster families-so our county wants to keep us for themselves!
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2007, 05:21 PM
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What is the longest any of you had? I also have another question. As I said I want to foster to adopt. I know that I have two options there. I could only accept children that are already legal free or I can accept children that are a legal risk. IF I do take in a child that is legal risk. What exactly does this mean? Does this mean that the courts are already in the process of terminating the parental rights or it's probable that the rights will be terminated? I know there is always a risk but what are the chances that the child would be removed and sent back to bio parent or family members in this situation. Does it happen alot?
My other question is I want to adopt girls but two dif age groups..We would love to have a daughter in the newborn to 4 age group as well as adopt a girl that is in the 12 to 16 age group. Is this possible? The reason for this is we have two teenage daughters that are 16 & 15 and would love to have a daughter that is close in age to them..we also have a son that just turned 5 this month so would like to stay in his age group. My husband and I only have one child between us which is our youngest son that we adopted..
My other question. Is we want to foster to adopt 100% possitive on that..what we are still discussing is fostering..So how would that would if we did both?
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2007, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
What is the longest any of you had?

17 months

Quote:
IF I do take in a child that is legal risk. What exactly does this mean?

Here it means that there is a fairly high probability that the parents rights will be terminated. Sometimes the parents get it together and complete their case plan and the child is returned home.

Quote:
Does this mean that the courts are already in the process of terminating the parental rights or it's probable that the rights will be terminated?

As above, there is a fairly high probability that rights will be terminated, though not a 100% sure thing.

Quote:
I know there is always a risk but what are the chances that the child would be removed and sent back to bio parent or family members in this situation. Does it happen alot?

I don't know the statistics, but experienced cw can get a pretty good idea if tpr will or will not happen by what is happening in the case. Again, they don't know for sure.

Quote:
We would love to have a daughter in the newborn to 4 age group as well as adopt a girl that is in the 12 to 16 age group. Is this possible?

Yes, it is possible. Perhaps, and probably not bio-sibs, but certainly possible to do.

Quote:
Is we want to foster to adopt 100% possitive on that..what we are still discussing is fostering..So how would that would if we did both?

Yes, it is entirely possible. I started out as strictly foster and am now foster/adopt. I continue (and will continue after adoption) to foster, but would love to adopt also. In addition, your chances of adopting a very young child increase if you also foster as most foster families adopt the babies that they are already fostering when they become free for adoption.

Hope this helps. Good luck in your journey.
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2007, 07:24 AM
shaylynn shaylynn is offline
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I have had them from 12 days to 23 months. The 23 months situation-it started out that they thought they would be returned within 5 months-it ended they never returned but are being adopted by maternal aunt of their's. All of the children I have had have been from my county except two cases. 1) They didn't have any available homes to keep 3 little siblings together and 2) The kids had to be moved out of county due to HIGH violence in almost entire family and threat of fleeing with them. They usually try to keep them in the same county to make it easier for visitation purposes even if the parents aren't getting any visits right then.
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2007, 07:42 AM
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O.K. I have a case scenario here..Say I am foster to adopt I have a young girl and an older girl placed in my own they aren't siblings or related at all. I want to adopt them both. Can I do this at the same time or would I have to wait til one is finalized before I start the process?
Another question i have is..as you know i'm starting the process now so I will have a homestudy done. Now if I choose to adopt a child will I have to complete a new study with each child or for both or will the homestudy I did to become a foster mom will that suffice?
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  #9  
Old 10-26-2007, 10:44 AM
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All we had to do was "update" our homestudy when we adopted.

Whatever the workers tell you about how long they will stay is only a "guess". They very rarely know exactly how long.

As far as who you want placed with you we can indicated that on our paper work here. But if I were you I would take placements no matter if they are free to be adopted yet or not. Some cases that they swear are going back, don't. And some cases that they say are going to be terminated on relatives can show up and take them or something in the case changes. Unless you only take children that are TPR'd with absolutly NO relatives there is never a sure thing.

As far as how long ours have stayed read my signature. The shortest was overnight. They just get longer after that.

God Bless and I pray everything works for you soon!
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1st placement 5/04
3rd placement A 11/05 (age 7 months) we adopted 2/07 (now age 6)
7th & 8th placement A & B 2/07 siblings (ages 3 & 1) A we adopted 3/09 (now age 7), B we adopted 1/09 (now age 5)
9th placement H 12/07 (age one day) we adopted 1/09 (now age 3)
13th & 14th placement KN & GN 7/10 (ages 9 & 12) moved 12/10 to adoptive placement
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  #10  
Old 10-26-2007, 11:10 AM
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I read that the average stay in foster care in Texas is 25 months. However, I've had 4 placements, a total of 11 kids, and that hasn't been our experience. We haven't had anyone for longer than 3 months. C was with us 1 month. Sibs B,D,and V were with us for a month, their little sister Queenie was with us for 3 months. That was a case where S County wanted the kids housed in S County. The older kids left for hospitalization, the baby left to go back to her home county. Next were 4 lovely kiddos who were returned to grandma and aunt after 6 weeks. We currently have 2 sibs, Missy and Bubba, who are from a distant county. They've been with us for almost 3 weeks and we go to permanency hearing next week. I live in a primarily rural area of Texas and there aren't enough foster homes to be picky about county lines........unless you're from S County!
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  #11  
Old 10-26-2007, 12:07 PM
Kat-L Kat-L is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MomOfFourWantingMore
. Now if I choose to adopt a child will I have to complete a new study with each child or for both or will the homestudy I did to become a foster mom will that suffice?

Most agencies give you a dual license. You're licensed to both foster AND adopt. That way you already have your license if you decide to adopt your foster child. Each year, you'll need to update your license to include any changes you've made. You'll also have to update your medical clearance periodically. You'll also need an updated license if you move because they have to evaluate the new house. And, if you adopt a child, they will update your homestudy to include the fact that you have a new daughter. However, they won't have to redo the entire homestudy. They'll just update it.

Several people foster while completing an adoption of another foster child. If the children are siblings, they'll try to do the adoption at the same time. If they are not related, each child will be adopted once their case goes to TPR -so there may be a big gap between one adoption and another.

Where I live, they really try to push for tpr after the child has been in care for 12 months. Most kids are home within the first six months. The rest are usually home within a year. After 6 months with no progress in the birth family, they change to concurrent planning (reunion & adoption). After a year with no progress, they refer the kids to the adoption unit for TPR and adoption. TPR, the appeal of TPR and then the adoption can take 6 months or more depending on how hard the birth family fights (or how hard the b-family's lawyer is willing to fight). So most foster/adopt kids are "foster" for about 18 to 24 months while waiting for adoption to be completed.

Last edited by Kat-L : 10-26-2007 at 12:14 PM.
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  #12  
Old 10-26-2007, 02:22 PM
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You all don't know how much I appreciate you all taking the time to answer all of my questions. I know I can ask my cw all these questions but I want to go in prepared.
I don't know if I told you all this or yet (on another thread) but the same CW that did my homestudy for my son will be doing my homestudy this time as well. So that makes it nice. She can be hardcore but at the same time she is really helpful and nice. I feel comfortable with her. She scared me to death the first time I was in her office though..we went in thinking she is gonna think we are the greatest people on tthe earth cause we were adopting our nephew..next thing I know she's hammering me about my past I felt like the FBI had stepped in and i'd committed a horrible sin lol..I wasn't expecting any of that..Needless to say it all went well and 5 years later our son is happy as can be doing his best to see how many times he can gross or scare mommy in one day lol..
This foster to adopt and fostering is SO dif then what we went through with him. I seen the CW twice. Once in her office and once at my home. Then we went to court and wa la we were parents to a 4th child.
I have started gathering documents but she said I can't do the physical or cpr classes ect. til after my appt due to the fact that I have to take forms to each. So now my waiting game begins. Did I mention I'm not patient when it comes to certain things..I can be patient with the kids like you wouldn't beleive..I could have a houseful of kids and all blaring music runnin around talking laughin ect..doesn't bother me..but tell me I have to wait to find something out..drives me insane lol..like christmas..I am horrible..My husband gets mad cause I sneak and tell the kids what i've bought them..cause i can't stand the waiting..lol..i'm gettin better on that one though..
Now back to fostering questions. When the kids come to your home do they come with their clothes and things or do you have to buy them those kind of things? At what point should I start buying highchairs and certain things. Should I go ahead and pick up things here and there now or wait til I've completed my homestudy. If I have an infant placed with me, does the DFC provide a babybed and things or will that be required of me. I know i'm getting ahead of myself here but I can't imagine them not licensing me. Considering i've been through alot of this process before..Don't get me wrong I know things can happen. But I just don't forsee anything going wrong in that aspect.
I"m so nervous about all of this lol..can you tell. I"m so excited but nervous and anxious as well. I've wanted to be a foster parent and foster to adopt since I was 15 years old and my best friend was a foster parent. I can still remember telling her that someday I'd be a FP and I'd give a good home to someone like her so they'd never have to feel unsafe again. (She was abused in a foster home as well by her bio mom) I have so much I feel I can give to children, mine, FP, the kids friends. I just love kids. Even when they push my buttons and I want to yank my own hair out I love them. Cause I understand what they have been through.I know why they feel insecure, why they get angry, why the don't understand. Cause I too was sexually abused from the age of 5 on..i too was physically abused (by an ex), I too was abandoned by a parent (my mom). And I got through it just as they will and learned that I can't change what happened, but I can change how I let it affect the rest of my life. I can choose to not go on and let it affect me or I can choose to heal and spend the rest of my life giving love being loved and being happy.
OK..I've rambled enough lol..
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  #13  
Old 10-26-2007, 02:25 PM
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by best friend was a foster child not fp lol
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:23 PM
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on how long they stay, LOL - Mine was supposed to be with me for "a few weeks - maybe 2 months at the outside". He's been here two years now.
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:32 PM
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As far a what the children will come with, usually nothing useful. I have had children come from other foster homes with clothes not fit for rags. Our agency does not supply us with anything for the children. If you need a crib, that will be up to you to get. If you know you are getting a girl, you still won't know what sizes she will take until she gets there. I shop a lot at Salvation Army, St. Vincent's, Goodwill, garage sales and we have what are called Mom2Mom sales. If you are picky on what you buy you can get things that are almost new for next to nothing (saving a ton of money).

Like you I have no patience for the hurry up and wait game either. I can put up with a ton of kids, but not red tape.

It is great that you are not making yourself out to be a victim, but a survivor. Children in the system need people that can move past the abuse and have full lives. I also don't like to dwell in the past but choose to live for what will be, and that can be anything I want it to be.
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Married to my wonderful Husband for 25 years!!!
Bio Mom to 3 C, M & S (ages 22, 21 & 16)
Adopted Mom to A, A, B & H (ages 7, 6, 5 & 3)
Grandma to 1 C born 7/07 (age 3)
1st placement 5/04
3rd placement A 11/05 (age 7 months) we adopted 2/07 (now age 6)
7th & 8th placement A & B 2/07 siblings (ages 3 & 1) A we adopted 3/09 (now age 7), B we adopted 1/09 (now age 5)
9th placement H 12/07 (age one day) we adopted 1/09 (now age 3)
13th & 14th placement KN & GN 7/10 (ages 9 & 12) moved 12/10 to adoptive placement
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