Frequently Asked Questions
What is the process?
The first step is doing exactly what you’re doing now! Look through our website and we will show you some of the steps to the process. We are also available at any time if you want to talk. We are here to walk with you on this journey.
Yeah, but I’m a checklist kind of person so can you lay out the steps to Foster or Adopt?
Sure! Here are some steps that will help you on your journey.
- Research! Find an agency that fits your vision and needs.
- Attend an information meeting for an agency or two to learn about their process and ask lots of questions.
- Talk with others who have gone through the process. We can match you up with a like-minded couple.
- Examine your motives and expectations for fostering or adoption.
- Recruit a team of friends and family to be your support system.
- Equip yourself and family with training and other resources.
- Wait expectantly and use this time to prepare your heart and pray fervently.
- A child is placed in your home.
Can I travel with the child? Out of state?
Yes, you can. You will just need to alert your caseworker. If it is out of state they have to get permission from the judge.
Can parents come back and reclaim the child that we have fallen in love with?
The goal of fostering is to take care of a child temporarily while the biological family tries to heal and work services in order to have their child returned to them. The court system will also say that their first priority is reunification. So, as a foster family your job is to love the child and help provide a stable environment while they walk through this tough period in their life. If the biological parents cannot work their services in the given amount of time their rights will then be terminated. At that point the court will look for any family members of the child who would be interested in adopting the child. If there are no family members interested or able then the foster family would be considered along with other non-relatives.
What agency do I choose?
There are many wonderful agencies in the area that would love to help you become a foster or adoptive parent. However, some specialize in different things. So, it is great to take some time to check out a few of them. We have provided their information on our agency page to help you narrow down which agencies to check out.
How will foster care impact my kids?
Foster care can be challenging for biological children. One question to ask yourself is what is your goal for your biological children? Is your goal for them to experience the most fun, easiest childhood possible or is it to help prepare them to be well-rounded adults ready for life’s challenges? Biological children experience challenges but also may grow greatly in maturity. James 1:1-4 paints a good picture of how your children will grow through foster care. Several foster parents tell of the great blessing foster care has been for their biological children.
How does it look/work if both spouses work full time?
In foster care, if both parents work full time they will pay for daycare either all day or an after-school daycare so that you can continue to work.
Am I equipped and how do I get equipped to handle a kid from hard places?
No matter which agency you choose to go with for fostering or adopting, they will offer some sort of trauma-informed education for you. There are also many resources available to help you learn how to parent children from hard places. Two wonderful books on the subject are:
Is there anyone else out there that has done this or is doing this?
Yes! There are many people all around you who have stepped out in faith and foster or adopt. You may not hear them very loudly because they are unsung heroes, but they are making a huge difference! We are building a community of foster and adoptive parents and would love to introduce you to some of them!
How will it impact my relationships with my family – immediate, extended, church family and friends?
Stepping into fostering or adopting will change many aspects of your life. There will be some who don’t understand and there will be others who walk with you.
Who is a good go-between between us and CPS?
Whatever agency you choose will serve as a go-between. However, you can also choose to go straight through CPS if you like. We are also available to walk with you and counsel you as needed and serve as a neutral party.
Will I be able to make a difference in our older adoptive child’s life?
If your goal is to produce a perfect, well-rounded adult there are many times we struggle with that with biological children. An older adoptive child has experienced trauma in many ways and has also likely fallen behind in school. As a parent, your job is to meet the child where they are and walk with him/her. They need a family more than anything. Having that support may be foreign to them, but your support and encouragement will give them something they have been longing for their entire lives!
What is the need?
Right now there is a great need for foster parents as well as adoptive parents who are willing to adopt older children. In Smith County, there are 240 children in foster care but only 140 homes currently. There are also 30 children whose parental rights have been terminated and just need a loving family. In East Texas, there are over 400 children waiting for forever families.
What does the initial cost look like?
The cost varies depending on what area of orphan care you decide to serve. Foster parents will have costs less than $200 during the licensing process depending on which agency is chosen. Once becoming a licensed foster parent, you will receive a minimum of $22 per day per child. Adopting out of foster care will also have minimal costs for getting licensed to adopt. The actual adoption of a child is typically around $1,200 and is sometimes paid by the state. Depending on a few different factors including the age of the child, sibling group, whether he/she is a minority, and level of care needed the state may offer a monthly stipend for adoptive families. The child may also qualify for Medicaid until he/she is 18 and free college tuition to a state school.
What does “kids from hard places” look like at home?
Every child that is removed from their home has experienced some form of trauma. It may have involved some sort of abuse or neglect, but just being removed from everything you know is trauma. These children just need someone who is willing to look past some of their behaviors and seek to understand the source of where they are coming from. This may involve a different parenting style that you have used with your biological children, but there are many resources to help you learn how to best parent a kid from a hard place.
How hard will it be?
Probably as hard as anything you have ever done. But it will probably have a larger eternal impact on lives than anything you have ever done.
What am I giving up to follow God’s calling?
Disobedience. Sorry, that may have been too blunt. The truth is that if we truly feel God is calling us to something there will be other things we have to give up to follow Him. You must always count the cost of following Him, but whom the Lord calls He equips.
Is it worth the cost?
Spiritually yes. Emotionally yes. Physically yes. Financially – not if you want a sports car, too impractical
Can we set rules/boundaries with what age, gender, mental issues, physical issues that we can handle in our home?
Yes, you can. You know your family and what your family can handle at any given time. When you receive a call about a child who needs a home you can always say no. It is best not to make your desires too narrow though. Try to determine what are actual needs for your family make up and what would just be wants.
How long does training take?
Each agency will take a different amount of time depending on the current workload and when trainings are available. The shortest time would be 2 months, but most agencies take around 6 months to license depending on how on the ball your family is.
What financial assistance do we get to help with food/diapers/formula/clothing?
Any child 2 or under will qualify for WIC which will pay for formula. In addition, there are clothes closets in each community that are available to help with clothing. Foster parents also receive a monthly stipend that more than covers these basic needs.
If you have any need as a foster family, wrap-around family, aiding organization, you’ll find everything you need with The Fostering Collective.