6 Questions I Need Answered Before We Apply to Be Foster Parents

Jonathan and I have a joke that he’s an easy sell and I’m a hard sell. Jonathan is pretty easy to talk into most things by people who are enthusiastic about what they’re “selling,” (literally or metaphorically) while I’m much more skeptical, even if something was initially my idea. I’m kind of proud of the fact that I don’t allow anyone to put one over on me. I do thorough research and prepare lists of questions ahead of time. Like the one below.

Tomorrow I’m calling an agency here in town to get some questions answered before Jonathan and I think any further about pursuing foster care/adoption, in general or through this agency in particular. In North Carolina it is possible to become foster parents through the Department of Social Services (the government) or through private agencies to which the government contracts. I’ve learned that the agency you choose is very, very important, and can make a huge difference in what your experience is like and even if an adoption happens or not.

The agency we are considering is more than 100 years old, and finalizes more adoptions than any private agency in the state. I heard a member of their upper management speak at a community event where my boss was also speaking, and I was impressed with his passion for children in foster care.

But still. I need more before we take the leap. I need to know if this is the right thing for our family right now. I want to know the answers to the following questions:

  1. How long does the process typically take from the time you apply to be a foster parent to being placed with a child?
  2. What is your position on transracial placements? Transracial adoption? I notice that you don’t have any transracial families featured on your website.
  3. Why should we agree to be foster parents through your agency rather than just through DSS? What sets you apart?
  4. What is the average length of time that your foster children are in care before they achieve permanency? (This means either being reunited with birth families or being adopted.)
  5. What is your position on adoptee rights? For example, will you allow us to make a copy of our child’s original birth certificate? Get information about medical history?
  6. Do you get paid a fee to finalize adoptions? How much? If so, where does that money go and what does it support?

We’ll see. I’ll update when I get some answers.

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