November is National Adoption Month, and the most common way for a family to adopt a child is through foster care.
Foster care allows families to provide temporary care for children whom the state has removed from their birth families due to abuse or neglect. Sometimes children in foster care are reunited with their birth families (or other relatives or close family friends), and sometimes they become eligible for adoption by the family that has provided them foster care.
Adults who want to provide foster and adoptive parents will, of course, have many questions at the beginning of the process. At DePelchin Children’s Center, which has served children and families in Houston for more than 130 years, the process begins with an orientation session that allows for prospective parents to start getting their questions answered.
In the meantime, here are some myths — and realities — surrounding adoption through foster care.
Myth: To become a foster parent, you have to be married or own your home.
Reality: Foster families come in all shapes and sizes. A foster parent can be single or part of a couple, a homeowner or a renter. Some foster parents are young adults while others are retired. They may or may not already have children.
Myth: Children who need homes are usually infants.
Reality: The greatest need is for save and loving homes for older children and for those who are part of sibling groups.
Myth: Adopting a child from foster care is expensive.
Reality: Adopting through foster care has minimal costs. The state and nonprofit organizations that place children with families, such as DePelchin Children’s Center, cover or reimburse many of the associated costs.
Myth: Once I bring a child into my home, I am on my own.
Reality: Nonprofit organizations such as DePelchin provide extensive training, in-home visits, parenting guidance, around-the-clock crisis support and other services to help children and families. We partner with our families to ensure that children have the save, loving home they deserve.
Every year, Houston-area children in foster care find their forever families through adoption. Due to the number of children who need families, we are always looking for families to join DePelchin’s foster-to-adopt program.
If you would like more information about becoming a parent through DePelchin, please visit depelchin.org/prospective-parents.