6 Ways to Get More Waiting Children Adopted

There are over 100,000 waiting children in the US foster care system. These are kids growing up without a family, and that's not okay.

Chelse Schults October 21, 2017

There are so many children waiting to be adopted. There are more and more children entering foster care every day. Some of those children will ultimately need to be adopted. Here are some ways to get more families built and fewer children waiting to be adopted.

Share your positive stories.
1. Share your positive stories.

Literally all it took was one positive real life story from my son's speech pathologist on a November morning to show me that foster care adoption is a real way to build a real family forever. Her exact words that changed the tide for me were that you will still feel "meant to be." You will feel that all-encompassing love that feels bone deep. The once-in-a-lifetime connection that mothers feel for their children will happen adopting from the foster care system, just as with other forms of adoption.

The 'do good', 'be a hero' campaigns don't speak to me. I had a deep ache and desire to grow my family. I need to be the mother to my children. I thought that fostering to adopt was simply 'care giving' forever. I was wrong.

It only took one positive real life story to start our foster care license process. Imagine if every foster parent made it a point to share one positive experience with their foster to adopt journey. People need to hear and see the connection families have when they meet later in life.

Require couples interested in domestic infant adoption to become licensed foster parents.
2. Require couples interested in domestic infant adoption to become licensed foster parents.

I wonder if our agency required everyone in the infant program to also become a licensed foster parent, if the wait times to be "matched" would decrease along with the number of waiting children. There is not a shortage of couples and families with the HAP status anxiously awaiting "the call." When were starting our domestic infant adoption journey, the thought of looking at foster care adoption seemed risky, to say the absolute least. My goal was to become a mother in the fastest, least risky way possible. What I didn't realize then is that ALL ADOPTION IS RISKY. There is no perfect scenario. Expectant women change their minds. Judges change their minds. Families looking to be built through domestic adoption should be educated about the foster care system.

Provide early childhood development education.
3. Provide early childhood development education.

Considering parenthood is a daunting decision. Considering parenting a child from hard places is more so. Deciding to take that on before you even meet the child and learn about where they come from is heroic. This should be a part of your adoption classes. The more educated you are about the effects drugs, neglect, alcohol and abuse have on a child, the more confident you will feel in committing to a child with that history.

Provide adoption education for teachers, doctors, nurses, and the rude lady at the grocery store.
4. Provide adoption education for teachers, doctors, nurses, and the rude lady at the grocery store.

It's the fault of an ADULT that a child is in care. Circumstance beyond that adult's control could be at fault also. Adults who work with children need to be educated on the effects of trauma on a child's behavior. They also need to be shining examples for everyone else on how to respond. This goes beyond positive adoption language.

Streamline the legal process.
5. Streamline the legal process.

I am currently fostering a child that is legally free for adoption. It will more than likely be 12- 18 months before the adoption is finalized. Let that sink in. That is a ridiculously long timeline. It's also unnecessary.

Bust the myth that all adoption is expensive.
6. Bust the myth that all adoption is expensive.

Chris and I shared a car for 6 years so that we could pay for a domestic infant adoption. Adoption can be very expensive, unethically so. Foster care adoption is basically free.

If you are considering adoption as a way to build your family, seek out resources and information, and go to a foster parent support group. Check it out. See what you learn. I understand you may not be there yet, but you never know where your babies will come from. ;)

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Chelse Schults

Chelse is passionate about empowering herself and other women to live their best life. She does this with her fashion marketing company built with her husband. Fitness goals, running marathons, and circuit training at 4:30am support her love of coffee. Keep up with her on Adopt Mom Style where she shares her stylish adventures about motherhood via adoption and foster care.

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