“I can’t be a foster parent because foster parents have to be married.”
This is yet another untrue comment which people sometimes make to me.
And there’s not too much I need to say about this other than that is simply not the case. Indiana does not require foster parents to be married.
They can, of course, be married, but they can also be single individuals, or they can live with a partner…any of those options are viable for foster parents. (We have even had “mother/daughter” teams become licensed together… or as the kids referred to them “mom/grandma”.)
The only requirement is that those who are fostering/parenting together BOTH have to go through the process (click here https://www.childrensbureau.org/our-services/foster-care/ for all those details). Not being married doesn’t mean only one of the people in the relationship has to go through the licensing process.
One thing I would like to add, but isn’t necessarily about whether or not a foster parent is married, is that regardless of your marital status, you should make sure you have a supportive community around you.
Fostering can sometimes be challenging and so you need to make sure your friends and family are on board with their support. And if they are not, you can always find amazing support through organizations.
Children’s Bureau, for instance, is great about connecting foster parents …both to give respite to one another, but also just to give each other emotional support. As much as your friends and family might want to support you, only the people who are in the same boat (aka other foster parents) will fully understand what you’re experiencing and know best how to encourage you.
In addition, there are many online support groups available…both public and private…to help you navigate foster care…regardless of your marital status. They are often easily found through a quick online search.
So I hope that helps clear up any misconception you might have had, or that it is no longer an excuse that was holding you back from jumping in to getting you foster care license.