Adoption Through Foster Care Myths DEBUNKED!


Every child deserves a family to call their own. Sadly, when some children enter foster care, they are not able to be reunified with their birth families. According to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption 20,000 chidden age out of foster care each year without a family.

These children aren’t unadoptable. They just aren’t adopted.

Adoption from foster care myths contribute to misinformation that can present false adoption barriers.

I have DEBUNKED five of the most common adoption though foster care myths.

Myth: Adoptive Parents need to be heterosexual, married couples.

Truth: This is completely false. Absolute hooey. Adoptive parents need to be caring. They can be gay, straight, married, single, or divorced. Some of the most wonderful foster parents (who later adopted) have been LBGTQ. Families comes in all races, shapes and sizes. You can rent an apartment, own a home, or live with your bachelor brother. Tall people make great adoptive parents, and so do short people. You don’t need to be wealthy, or have a college degree.

Children need loving adults in their lives who will commit to them, and honor their past.

Myth: Foster care adoption isn’t final. Birth parents can always petition to take their children back.

Truth: Adopting from foster care is a “real” adoption. You’ll have a real court order that is air tight. Foster care adoption has the same legal responsibility as though the child was your birth child. While some foster care adoptions are mediated and may include a birth family connection, this is mutually agreed upon with the adoptive family. When a child cannot safely reunify with their birth family, the parental rights of their birth family are terminated legally. Termination of Parental rights is a very serious legal preceding and offers a final decision.

Myth: Once you are over 45, you are too old to adopt.

Truth: This is hogwash. Three of my six children are adopted, and I’m no spring chicken. I’m old enough to have used a rotary phone and worn acid washed jeans rolled at the ankles. Lots of New Hampshire children are being raised by grandparents or are in kinship care with caregivers of various ages. There is no ideal age to become an adoptive parent. The circumstances of each adoption are different. Adoptive families often have children already, or sometimes they do not. None of this matters.

What does matter is their desire and willingness to love and commit to a child.

Myth: Older children who are available for adoption are juvenile delinquents.

Truth: Older children who are available for adoption need families. Many are survivors of significant trauma. Sure, some have made some difficult choices. However, children and youth do what they need to do to survive, regardless of what the law intends. In NH a growing number of children “age out” of foster care (turn 18) without being adopted. As a result they often have no caring, consistent, adults in their life. You can meet children seeking families in NH at Adopting through foster care is a rewarding journey. 

Myth: Adoption is a lot of cash. Even adopting through foster care is expensive.

Truth: I am about to adopt my fourth child from foster care. As a result I can speak with authority on this subject. Adopting from foster care is most often free. Zero. No legal fees….nada. There are instances where pre-adoptive families have chosen to hire their own legal council, but this is not a requirement. This tends to also be limited to highly complex cases. The first step to adopting from foster is becoming a licensed foster care provider. Licensing classes are free. 

Foster care is not only rewarding, but can serve as a wonderful gateway to adoption. It is important to be mindful that the NH Child Welfare system is a child protection agency. It is not actually an adoption agency. Children are only available for adoption if they cannot safely return to their birth families.

If foster care isn’t right for your family but you still want to support families and children in the system, check out our posts about 20 ways to support foster and adoptive families! They need you.