It’s easy to see why a family would choose to help children by providing foster care. A safe, happy foster family can make an enormous difference in a child’s life, providing the stability, patience, kindness, and love that will mold and shape young people into strong, confident, and successful adults regardless of their circumstances.
Not only are these temporary guardianships formulative and restorative for children, but thanks to organizations like New York Foundling (http://www.nyfoundling.org), which encourage and facilitate foster parenting with the goal of adoption, they can become permanent bonds and families.
Choosing to become a foster family before adopting is an excellent way to determine whether everyone is ready for a new family member and to learn from first hand experience how well adoption will fit with a given family’s abilities and needs.
As part of the foster care and adoption processes a home study is performed. Below is a list of ten questions, some variation of which will probably be asked during the home study portion of a foster care or adoption evaluation. Studying these questions and being prepared to respond to personal inquiries that may seem intimate or private will help potential foster and adoptive parents know for certain whether they are ready to commit to a child.
1. Why do you want to become a foster parent?
2. How do you feel about fostering children with special needs or whose unique circumstances require special consideration? (For example: fostering siblings, developmentally disabled children, physically disabled children, children with unique medical or dietary needs, etc.).
3. How will you accommodate, deal with, discuss, and manage fostering children of minority races, differing religions, or children who identify as LGBT?
4. For foster families with at least one biological female parent: Are you fostering because of issues with fertility? If so, how have you dealt with/ come to terms with those fertility problems, and how do you intend to proceed in the event you do become pregnant?
5. For foster families with two adults: What do you and your partner fight about? What are your strengths and weaknesses as a couple? When you fight, who gets angrier? Who is the peacemaker?
6. How do your friends and family members feel about your choice to become a foster parent?
7. How would others describe you as a parent or potential parent? How would they describe you with children?
8. What was your childhood like?
9. What was the relationship between your parents like? How do you feel that affected you as a child and as an adult?
10. Were you disciplined by your parents? How? What do you feel is appropriate discipline, especially for difficult or disobedient children?