Topic: Child Fostering/Adoption
Purpose: To persuade and inspire people into planning to adopt and/or foster a child as the shortage of foster homes/ parents continue to grow and children placed on care is increasing. Thesis: All children deserve to grow up with love and the right to build a relationship of a family with stability and not be living from house to house within a foster care system.
Would you agree that we all have certain phrases that we cannot anxiously wait to hear sometime throughout our lives? For instance, getting told, “Congratulations, you’re hired”, or “Will you marry me?”, or even “Your food is ready”. Well, over 400,000 children in the U.S, hope to someday hear, “You are getting adopted”. For some children, that wish is luckily granted, but for others, they do not run with the same luck. There’s a possibility that you may know one child that is placed on a foster care system right now. Today, I’d like to talk about not only the need of foster care parents and adoption but also the process it takes to become a foster and/or adoptive parent and the benefits within.
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Children are mainly removed from their own families due to abuse, neglect, or any other situations that can endanger their safety and are placed in foster homes. According to the National Foster Parent Association, “There are many reasons and circumstances that make it difficult for biological families to meet the needs of their children, which include poverty, substance abuse, mental illness, homelessness, loss of a job or lack of support from extended family and community.” There are over 428,000 children in foster care in the United States and only 135,000 children are adopted each year. Not only do children experience a long and dreadful waiting game but they also have to deal with moving from place to place as the foster care crisis continues. The shortage of foster care homes and foster parents has been an issue as the number of children place in care has increased. “In Texas, the lack of foster parents results in some children from foster care sleeping in child welfare offices.””
Unfortunately, there are not enough people who consider taking the challenge in becoming a foster or adoptive parent. More than 60% of children spend around 2-5 years before being adopted, and that is only if they get adopted. Also, around 20,000 youth, age out of the foster care system when they turn 18 or 21. Sadly, these children have a higher risk on having poor educational outcomes, being unemployed, or experience trouble finding a home.
The procedure in becoming a foster care parent starts off by meeting the foster care qualifications. Second, all foster parents are required to have a license and certification in order to take care of children. In order to receive it, you must attend meetings, pass background checks, pass home safety checks, attend orientation and complete all training. After completion, you will receive further notice from social workers for placement of children. Also, both single and dual-parent families make great foster parents, and most states and regions also welcome same-sex partners as foster parents. Contact an agency near you for further discussion, questions or concerns. You can also visit adoptuskids.org for more information.
The process in becoming a foster care parent today, it’s so much more than taking a child into your home and providing food, shelter and love. There are hefty requirements for foster parents from on-going training to doctor, court and parental visitation appointments, in addition to the day-to-day demands of caring for the child.” But it is a rewarding opportunity to make a child feel like family. Not only that, but some of the benefits of becoming a foster parent you may consider is being given a monthly subsidy and the advantage of spending less when you adopt through foster care. Adoptive foster children receive state-funded health insurance until the age of 18, and in all, just receiving the blessing of adding a child to your is satisfying.
With that being said, becoming an adoptive parent is not any easier. Different from a foster care parent, this is a lifelong journey that you should and must be 100% committed in the good as in the bad times as well. Life is full of surprises and sometimes difficult decisions turn out to be the best ones. Consider this story. You may have heard of a family in Athens, Georgia who became viral after they posted a video showing how her now-daughter, Ivey, reacted when she found out she was getting adopted. Couple Paige and Daniel Zezulka, planned on expanding their family through adoption of some kind but becoming foster parents was nowhere near their plans. It wasn’t until they found out that in their area there were around 250 kids in foster care and only 11 homes that were open. That challenged them in getting trained and well-equipped to become foster parents with the support of family and friends. Two days after getting certified, they were first placed with 5-month-old Kai, who was later known he had an older sister, Ivey, who had been in foster care in the last 3 years. She was quickly brought over to reunite with her little brother. Well, it didn’t stop there. Days later the Zezulka family received the shocking news that Kai and Ivey’s birth mother was pregnant with youngest child, Lita. Finally, although the goal of foster care is always the reunification with the birth family, in this case, it wasn’t what was best for the children. As the case was aiming for a chance of adoption the Zezulka family were asked if they would adopt all 3 children and at last, without a doubt, they did.
Although, not all cases result with the same happy outcome as this family, the less time children wait for a family and go through pain, the better.
One thing is to consider it but another is to actually take action upon it. Statistics show that 2% of Americans in the United States have adopted a child. Meanwhile, only 1/3 have only considered it. Why not join and increase that 2%? You may be the future reason that helps prevent more children and siblings from being separated.
I have told you about the urgency of the necessity of becoming a foster parent and/or adopting a child as well as what it takes to get certified to do so. I insist that you should prepare and plan on deciding to add to your family in this non-traditional way, removing the common and “normal” family stereotypes society has created. Decide on being a foster parent, eventually adopt, and become a difference and bring joy to children who deserve to grow up with love and the right to build a relationship of a family with stability and not be living from house to house within a foster care system.