A woman who is currently taking foster care classes e-mailed me this question. With her permission I am posting it, just in case it may be helpful to someone else. I'm happy to answer any questions about fostering! Using my background in social work, and our experience as foster parents, I'll provide one perspective, and would also be happy to point you to other resources!
Thanks so much for getting back to me and I do have a question - (12) we are having our first home visit - we would like to adopt - do you think we should say we want to foster to adopt or just adoption alone - I of course would love a baby and
I know I don't want to go above the age of 2 - what should I say????
Thanks for all of your input.
This is a tough decision! Without knowing you, or more about your family, I can only tell you what I do know. As a caseworker, I had several foster parents on my caseload who fostered to adopt. Many of them did a wonderful job, and I loved placing kids there. There were some, who although they did a fabulous job with the kids and loved them very much, struggled with the role of fostering. They struggled, because really truly their hearts were in adoption. Because of this, when they had a child placed with them and they got very attached, it was difficult for them to always support what was best for the child if, say, it turned out that it was best that they go back with their mom and dad. It was difficult because they loved the children so much and wanted to adopt so badly, that they could not see that there could be something better for the child than for them to adopt them. Does that make sense?
This is not to say that you would not be able to foster just fine! Many people are able to separate their desire to adopt from what is best for the children.
What I would recommend is talking with your husband about what your heart's passion is.
Would fostering be a means to an end (adopting) or do you have a heart for fostering and adopting. If you had a baby placed with you and the caseworker decided it would be best to work toward the baby going home, would you be able to work towards that with the team on the case? (Not to say it wouldn't be difficult! It's difficult for any foster parent!) It's very important that the foster parents can work as part of the team towards a common goal.
To sum up this (very long, sorry!) e-mail, I would recommend that if fostering would simply be a means to get to adopt, I probably wouldn't do it, and I would go with strictly adoption. However, if you feel like fostering could also be something that you are interested in apart from adoption, then give a try! There's nothing saying that you can't decide later on that fostering isn't your thing - so you could try it out and see where it takes you!
I hope that this was a little bit helpful! Just make sure to talk it over with your worker very honestly, and she should be able to help you too! Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with! Let me know what you decide!