At Good Shepherd, we believe foster parents and families are doing God’s work. They step in when children are vulnerable and dependent, and provide a beautifully personal safety net in the form of a caring and nurturing home.
Our team often hears from caring families who want to open their home to a child and view foster care as a path to adoption. And while it’s true that both center around love for children who need it, they are not often linked. Here are a few key insights, including our process and priorities at Good Shepherd:
“Foster to adopt” isn’t a goal. When children enter foster care, Good Shepherd’s first and main objective is reunification with their biological parents. We work with those parents to address the issues that led to the child’s placement, aiming to create a safe environment for their return home. Adoption becomes a consideration only when efforts for reunification prove unsuccessful, leading to the pursuit of Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) and the child becoming available for adoption.
Adopting an infant through foster care is the exception rather than the norm. The reality is that the average age of children in foster care is 9 years old, and those children deserve loving and caring families who want to meet them where they are in life. We recommend that couples who have their hearts set on adopting an infant explore private adoption, which is a specialized service that Good Shepherd offers.
Fostering means loving the child and their family. Our foster parents work with biological families, navigate the court system, and interact with case workers regularly. They attend medical appointments, counseling sessions, and help to schedule supervised visits with biological parents. Patience is particularly essential during supervised visits, as the confusion may lead to challenging behaviors in the children.
Good Shepherd is exceptionally thankful for our foster families. As the saying goes, taking in a foster child may not change the world, but it will change the world for that child. By approaching foster care with the right mindset, you can be a blessing to these children while navigating any challenges with compassion and understanding.
For an online introduction to children waiting for forever families, CLICK HERE.