Did you know there are approximately 7,000 children waiting to be adopted in Texas? They are just like you and me, longing to experience the love and acceptance of a tribe they can call their own. Many of those children are in foster homes, waiting for their forever family. If you feel led to adopt through foster care, here are five things to know about the process:
It can be inexpensive
Most people think adoption is expensive. But adopting from foster care typically costs much less than other types of adoption. Foster-to-adopt services are contracted through the state, so most traditional adoption costs are eliminated. The adoptive family primarily pays for the costs of the paperwork and attorney.
The average age is 8
When people generally think of adoption, they imagine adopting a newborn. When you adopt from foster care, the children range in age from toddlers to teenagers. The average age of children in foster care is 8.4 years old.
There is no “typical” case
There are many misconceptions about children in foster care. But the truth is that children in foster care are just children in need of a loving, stable home. Some have brothers and sisters who desperately want to stay together. Some have special needs. Some have experienced more trauma than others. Every case is different. Each child has his or her own individual circumstances.
Adoption involves loss
Even though a child now has a forever family, they will still struggle with the trauma experienced before their adoption. Children are in foster care because they’ve experienced abuse or neglect that resulted in removal from their biological parents’ home.
“Families are formed in adoption because another family broke apart,” said Amy Curtis, director of counseling for Buckner Children and Family Services. “These children are facing loss in a way they have not experienced before.”
Foster care provides a safe space for the children to work through those emotions and heal. Foster parents and foster-to-adopt and adoptive parents receive training to understand the effects of trauma on children and how to best support the child.
James 1:27 says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." God calls us to look after the vulnerable, to care for those who cannot care for themselves. We are all children of God, and children in foster care need loving families to step up and show them God’s love and faithfulness.