“So I have heard that Foster Care is the cheapest way to adopt…is that true for a baby too?”
Um….technically yes I suppose it is, because the cost to adopt through foster care is less than any other form of adoption. However, there are not many babies who are legally-free for adoption through the foster care system, so that’s kind of an issue.
Now I’m sure you’re thinking, “But Kris…what about all these babies who are born addicted? I know they are usually removed, often at birth! What about them?”
My response is this: foster care is not the same thing as adoption. See the blog post here.
As we all know, there ARE babies who come into care. Often, they are born addicted to an illegal substance. Another possibility, although seemingly less common, is a kiddo with high-medical needs. If you know anything about our story, you know that our son was a bit of an anomaly by being three months old at his removal. Without older siblings, it would have been likely that he, too, would have flown under the radar. However, his medical conditions meant there were several doctors and others with eyes on him.
Now for a quick sidebar comment: Children not yet in school are under the radar; that is their abuse and neglect is typically under-reported. Friends and/or family members are usually the ones who would do such reporting for children under the age of 5. But, many of them do not want to get involved, in spite of the fact that reporting suspicion of abuse or neglect is totally confidential.
But back to adopting a baby from foster care: for about 99.9% of the foster care cases, they have to run their course. Those babies coming in to care aren’t legally-free for adoption, in much the same way any other (often older) child is not legally-free for adoption from the outset of a case.
At the risk of giving false hope, I will admit that every once in a great while, a biological parent (or parents) sign over rights early on, before things fully play out in the case. But it is not common by any means. I would not encourage you to pin any hopes and dreams of that being your experience with foster care.
So yes, many, many foster parents have infants PLACED with them (clearly present company included), but it does not mean they will adopt the infants. If the child is eventually adopted, it is more often than not as a two-year-old, three-year-old, or sometimes even older. As I mentioned above, our son was placed at 3 months old and he was two years old at the time of his adoption.
Foster care cases take time, and as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, the biological parents must be given time and support in order to work toward getting their children back. We don’t live in a country in which children are taken away with parents rights terminated upon removal.
All that to say: this may not be the encouraging post you’d hoped it would be…so if you are looking to ADOPT an infant, more than likely foster care is not the route for you.