Hello all. So glad i found this forum spent the past 2 days going thru old threads gathering information to help me on my journey towards adopting. Here is a little info on me. I'm 30 yrs old single Male and from Illinois. I'm looking to adopt not foster kids ages 8 and up preferably teens, would consider a sibling group. I'm more then likely going to go thru my local DCFS office to adopt. I know that their are a lot of drawbacks when considering older children but i think those cases are the ones who would best benefit from what i have to offer. A lot of people have written these kids off and haven't really taken the time and truly look at what they've been thru or even listen to their stories. I love the idea of being a older brother/father figure and at the same time provide structure, discipline and support.
I'm also considering adopting at least 1 child from another state, would i have to go thru a private agency or can i talk with my local CW about this?
i'm looking to start this process in June 2013 so i'm getting everything together now. How long will it take before i get my license and can start placement?
@MYTHREESONS I didn't come on this forum to receive parenting advice that's first off, secondly what constitute experience in your book? The truth of the matter is I refuse to subscribe to BS and stereotyping that exist when it comes to this group of "kids" I'm not suggesting that their aren't real challenges ahead, i welcome them, i acknowledge them. Sometimes people come on these forums and over step their boundaries on certain issues, this isn't a debate i'm going to get into, i'm very clear on the age group i'm comfortable with adopting.
single1967
ubringmejoy....You do bring me joy to know that there are 30 year old single men out there wanting to do such a brave, generous, heroic, and life-saving undertaking (there aren't many of you, I guarantee). You are my hero. I applaud you, and I respect you. The PRIDE classes will give you all the information you need to make an educated, well-informed decision. Lots of people in my life think I'm crazy to be a single mom wanting to foster. Don't let the negativity get to you!
Thanks Love, i appreciate that, this is what i needed to hear :)
Sheena85
I am an experienced single foster mom. I have taken a lot of older kiddos up to 17. I also have 3 adopted kiddos. Feel free to PM if you like.
Older kids are tough, many nights were they have had to go to the hospital due to being out of control and going STRAIGHT to work after on no sleep. One girl smashed out window of my ex gfs car, runners, drug history/smoking, aggression.
I have taken teens from RTCs and from Jail...
Hey thanks for the reply, i'm at work now, i'll reach out to you later once i get home if that's fine. Thanks
singingmommy
I am a foster parent in IL. You will have to take 27 hours of PRIDE classes. You will need to get fingerprinted and background checked. Those are taking 3-6 months to come back I have heard (it was about 8 weeks when I did it a little over a year ago).
The paper work is not too bad-- you will need a doctor to fill out a form.
Also, I don't know where you are, but in my area, most do not work directly with DCFS--the private agencies do a lot but they say there is no difference in type or number of cases.
I don't know about straight adoption. I would check out the Adoption Information Center of Illinois (site) if you have not already.
What site are you referring to? The state site is "blah" where do i look?
Good luck, but just be careful. Something that hasn't been mentioned is the false allegations that come with MOSTLY older kids. This coming from a single mom :) I am in no way offering parenting or age group advice, only experience. When many older children do not get their way (especially children who have been in the system for years) they work the system. It is a learned behavior that can tear your life apart. They will scream "abuse!" to anyone who will listen just because they don't get their way. I'm just saying that if you do end up working this crazy system we call life, DOCUMENT EVERYTHING and COVER YOUR...well you get it. I had a placement hospitalize me 3 times, punch out a window, and go after my 11 month old nephew with the glass...so yes, I get you. All I can say is good luck :)
cookiemommakara
Good luck, but just be careful. Something that hasn't been mentioned is the false allegations that come with MOSTLY older kids. This coming from a single mom :) I am in no way offering parenting or age group advice, only experience. When many older children do not get their way (especially children who have been in the system for years) they work the system. It is a learned behavior that can tear your life apart. They will scream "abuse!" to anyone who will listen just because they don't get their way. I'm just saying that if you do end up working this crazy system we call life, DOCUMENT EVERYTHING and COVER YOUR...well you get it. I had a placement hospitalize me 3 times, punch out a window, and go after my 11 month old nephew with the glass...so yes, I get you. All I can say is good luck :)
Thank U! You brought up some great points, I've made a note of them for my records. So sorry about your ordeal, was the child on any type of medicine? what was the child history? I'm spending the whole weekend educating myself and everything you guys share will be very helpful to me. Thanks
I generally lurk on this board and have learned a lot. Some of it heartbreaking, some of it uplifting but all of it from eyes that have seen much more than mine. I don't think previous posters have been negative they are truly coming from a btdt position. And while it may seem harsh it is simply the truth from what they have experienced.
We currently have one little one. In the beginning we were open to fostering teen boys as long as they were younger then our then 13 year old. A lot has changed in two years. We reduced our long term age range to 0-8 and with our current placement probably wouldn't take kiddos over three.
That said we do respite for teen boys on the weekends. Teens who CANNOT for whatever reason function in a family setting for an extended length of time. They are 100% court-ordered line of sight and with our little one there is no way I could do it as a single parent. The reason it works out is because my husband is off on weekends and my 24 year old son (who is also licensed) lives with us.
That isn't to say that you can't do it as a single parent. There are many single parents on this board who are amazing and handle such things and more every single day. As someone mentioned before, behaviors are often downplayed or simply left out when discussing a child prior to placement and if it is a first time and/or emergency placement the agency/county may simply be unaware of any issues. And kids honeymoon which is why our weekends work so well for us. We are the "fun" family who gives them a break from RTC, juvie, etc. They for various reasons are not adoptable, cannot return home and will sadly probably age out of the system. We remain a contact point for them, someone to turn to when they have questions about things or simply an ear to listen.
If at all possible talk to as many people as possible who have had contact with kiddos prior to placement. Former foster families, social workers, etc. If you are considering a sibling group ask about dynamics between kiddos, if they expect line of sight at all times, if there have been any sexual or violent acting out against themselves or others.
No one is saying you shouldn't do this or can't. And Lord knows there are tons of kiddos out there who need someone to step up to the plate for them. You do want to keep an open mind about the kids but that also often means keeping an open mind to the negative too, and in the system that means learning to read between the lines.
Lots of meds...I however was not told that at placement. I was only told that he was being split from his sister because they were triggering each other's trauma. Fast forward months later and this kid is on enough tranquilizer meds (which NO I do NOT agree with) to put down 3 grown men. The meds make him a zombie 90% of the time, and the other 10% he is raging. He had a bad history. They all do. In foster care from age 1, adopted at age 6. Removed again from adoptive parent for severe physical abuse at age 9 along with 5 other adopted sibs. Back in foster care and understandably hurt and angry. Fast forward, he goes through 1 other foster home then to me when they split from Biological sister. I have him for the better part of a year but he is off the deep end and needs more help than I can give him. Moved to teen in-treatment and eventually out to a therapeutic home with a single dad that is retired military. Last I heard his meds were finally stable and he is doing well. He just needed more help than I could possibly give.
The full foster license process will probably take around six months. If you can I would start with the back ground check and cpr/first aide training so that you may be able to start doing respite. Some of the kids over ten have a laundry list of problems. Here is an example; fire starter, steals, abuses animals, is physically agressive and if it escalated call the police, sexually aggressive towards other children (has to be an only child or the youngest), needs extra supervision, needs door & window locks, depression, adhd, they are on several medications. If you can start with respite you can get some practice to see what you are comfortable with. There are a ton of older kids who need help. Good Luck!
elizabeth30
Some of the kids over ten have a laundry list of problems. Here is an example; fire starter, steals, abuses animals, is physically agressive and if it escalated call the police, sexually aggressive towards other children (has to be an only child or the youngest), needs extra supervision, needs door & window locks, depression, adhd, they are on several medications.
I hate to say it, but that's a laundry list that easily goes for the under 10 camp, as well. Even under five. The youngest repeated fire starter I've seen in our courts was three; youngest sexually aggressive, also age three -- different kiddos.
That said, the majority of kids in the system (over and under 10) don't fall in the extreme end of behaviors.
Depression and trauma? Yes, most of the kiddos have that.
And of course, even teens without exposure to trauma are just... well, teens. ;)
I am have been tentatively matched with an 11 year old boy with autism. I will be adopting as a single mom. I find it interesting that while autism is very challenging, it is arguably less challenging than RAD, fire starting, animal abusing, etc. Have you thought of fostering/ adopting developmentally disabled kiddos, such as those with autism, cerebral palsy or intellectual disabilities? Good luck in your journey! :banana:
Single Foster mom of two teenage boys who are at this moment swearing at each other. Brotherly love and now are over it.
Out of state adoptins are hard to do.
Teenagers also hard because most want to age out so college is paid for more not that many of them will make it to college.
In 14 months I have had 5 teenage boys..... Three are now in treatment of some kind and two are at home where I pray they will stay till they finsh high school.
If you want to adopt I would stick with 8 to 12 age range but that is just me.
Check out [url=http://www.ampersandfamilies.org/]Ampersand Families recruits and supports permanent families for older youth.[/url] adoption agancy just for teens in MN has a lot of good info but do not do out of state adoptions
And watch from [url=http://fromplacetoplacemovie.com/]From Place to Place ...changing the system that raised them...[/url] an movie about three kids who aged out of the system and are now trying to change it........
Fosteringteens
Teenagers also hard because most want to age out so college is paid for more not that many of them will make it to college.
Interesting. In Florida, college tuition (at a state school) is paid for whether you age out or are adopted from foster care.
You might also like "THE MARTIAN CHILD" by David Gerrold It is a little less PG than the movie both are good.
With all I have been threw with my boys I would not trade being a single foster parent for anything. Sometimes I wish I had someone to do it with but that does not seem to be Gods plan for me right now.