November is Adoption Awareness Month.
Some reports suggest that the number of couples waiting to adopt in the United States is estimated at over 2 million. There are over 400,000 children in foster care in the United States. And out of those, 114,556 cannot be returned to their families. They are waiting to be adopted.
I think a lot of people don’t even consider adopting through foster care because they don’t know that it’s an option. Others are afraid of the time-consuming and unpredictable process. Adopting through foster care isn’t quick nor is it easy. However, it is one of the best ways to change the course of a child’s life, impacting generations to come. When you choose to adopt through foster care here in New Mexico, you decide the type of child that you are interested in adopting. This allows you to make a decision to adopt a child that fits best in your family. It allows you to know you can provide them with the love and care they need.
Fostering vs. Fostering to Adopt
I often get asked what the difference is between fostering and fostering to adopt. Fostering can be short-term or long-term day-to-day care for children who need a safe, loving home. Fostering to adopt is when you choose to take on the role of foster parents with the intent of eventually adopting. While providing a loving home for children in need, you are committed to being their forever family should the case come to a termination of parental rights.
There is also the option of adopting through the Heart Gallery. Many states have a Heart Gallery where you can go online to see “hard to place” children. The reason they are deemed “hard to place” is that these kids are typically older or have larger sibling sets.
Why We Chose to Adopt
My husband and I considered adopting overseas. But, we knew that there were so many kids right here in our own city that needed safe, loving homes. I’m not going to lie– there is no way to sugarcoat the foster to adopt journey. It’s unpredictable and oftentimes emotionally draining. But when you weigh the amount of hardship these kids have had to endure, the unpredictability we face as their foster parents pales in comparison. When entering the foster to adopt journey, remember that this is an opportunity for you to provide for a child that is in desperate need of safety and love. You have the chance to change the trajectory of his or her life.
CYFD offers support for adoptive families in New Mexico. Financial subsidies may be provided for the children even after they are adopted. CYFD may cover the legal costs of finalizing the adoption. In order to ensure the stability of the child’s placement after adoption, CYFD also continues to provide support services to the families.
Below is a list of links to help you in your pursuit of adopting through foster care:
Originally published November 2018.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.