Adopting children out of foster care
November was National Adoption Month. Adoption month has been celebrated for over 20 years in hopes to raise awareness of the need for permanency for children in our state who are in foster care and are waiting for their forever home. Adopting out of foster care has very little cost and most of the costs to families can get reimbursed. Currently, in Michigan there are over 14,000 children in foster care with around 3000 children available for adoption each year. Of those children, currently around 334 do not have an identified home and are available for adoption. Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) provides resources one may need and connects you with a licensed adoption agency. The MARE website also provides photos along with information about children in Michigan that are currently up for adoption.
When a child goes without permanency, they often experience doubt and uncertainty about where they belong and who will care for them. Could you imagine not knowing when you may be placed in a different home? When you may have to attend a different school and make new friends? When a child is placed with a permanent family, this allows them to build trust and security that may be foreign to them. Children adopted out of foster care may have their fair share of struggles but deep down they all strive to be loved and to be lovable. At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want? To feel like we belong and are surrounded by those who love us unconditionally, no matter what.
Who can adopt out of foster care? The requirements to adopt out of foster care are not as rigid as some may believe. You must be at least 18 years old and can successfully complete a background check. A common misconception is that you have to be married. However, this is not true to foster or adopt and many children thrive in a single parent home. You also do not need to own your own home. You just have to have place that has adequate bedroom space per child. Lastly, I believe when people think of adoption, one of the first things that one may think is how expensive it can be. You do not have to be rich to provide a loving home. Even if you receive assistance you can adopt as long as you have resources to provide for your family. Becoming an adoptive family can offer security, a sense of belonging, and unconditional love that all children need. It is recommended for those who are considering adopting out of foster care to go through the licensing process. This will help equip potential families to help foster children face their unique challenges.
Once an adoption is complete there are additional resources out there to help the family should any need arise. Michigan has Post-Adoption Resource Centers throughout the state. U.P. Kids currently serves families post-adoption in all 15 counties of the Upper Peninsula. There are workers across the Upper Peninsula with a passion to help families succeed. Services are free to families as long as there is an adopted child under 21 years of age or a family has guardianship of a child. Post-Adoption Resource Center’s also provide free events and trainings to adoptive and foster families. If you or someone you know could benefit from these services please email Alysa@upkids.com or call 906-250-0393.