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My husband and I are considering applying for a sibling set up 5. They are 10 and under. We have been fostering for a year now and we have just moved to a house where having that many children is possible. This has always been our intention. We wanted to adopt from foster care and we really wanted a large sibling set.
We are unsure about this process and where to begin. What is the home study process like for adoption vs. foster care? Has anyone adopted a large sibling set that would be willing to discuss financial implications of this?
We are young and have the time and compassion for this set of kids so I would really like to see if anyone had any words of wisdom.
Do you have any other children already in the home?
Honestly, there's no "right" answer to this. I've seen people take large sibling groups & do wonderfully. It mostly depends on the specific issues that come along with that particular set of children. I was once called about a sibling set of 7. I turned them down because I had a toddler & a preschooler & at least one of the middle children had a history of harming other children...so there were safety concerns. We turned down another because there was a medically fragile child in the mix & we lived too far from proper medical care...so it would have been an unacceptable risk to the child.
So, the best I can tell you is to take an good look at the issues that the kinds in this sibling group have , assume it's probably worse to some degree than what the cw tells you (in my experience, it almost always is) & honestly evaluate whether you are prepared & able to deal with those things. If the answer is 'yes', then go for it. I don't recommend taking on issues that you aren't prepared or willing to deal with in hopes that they will change, because you don't want to risk disrupting & causing further trauma to the children.
As for finances, obviously, taking on that many kids is expensive. Subsidies vary by state, but most consider a large sib group as a special needs group which qualifies for an adoption subsidy.
Having done foster, adoption & kinship...there doesn't seem to be any difference in the homestudy process except some procedural matters (which form is used, what the deadlines are, etc), at least in my state.
Another thought: are they currently living together? If not, there will likely be some adjustment in everyone figuring out where they fit once they start living together again (I mean above & beyond what happens with a move to a new home). It's likely manageable, of course, just easier to deal with if you're expecting it & prepared for it.
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We have two foster daughters living with us now. They are 5 and almost 7.
We haven't gotten all the information on the kids trauma background yet. We do know that they have a history of abuse and there are some medical problems as a result. There are no severe physical disabilities but we are concerned about their emotional wellbeing.
My husband and I love every second with our two foster daughters and we feel that we could care for more children. The most concerning things for us are their mental health and how those things will affect our two we have and will it leave us feeling as if we aren't giving them adequate care? If even one of them has some serious emotional problems that will leave less time for the others. We think that the other difficulties will come from finances. We have an adequate income for our family of four (we save the DCF income for special things for the girls/money for their allowance). Otherwise their expenses come from our income. We have run the numbers and think that we will be able to shoulder it but how can we really know? Things come up with kiddos and we want to be prepared.
The biggest thing is that we want to be the best possible option for them. Are they going to be better off with us than their current situation?
So you would have 7 kids, aged 10 & under. Wow. I've seen people do it...but it will be tough, naturally.
Sounds like you've figured the finances out pretty well. Always remember that, if something does come up, there are usually places that you can streamline a budget in order to make things works. Since you are able to provide & use the stipend as extra money, essentially, it sounds like there's room in the budget to work with. So, that's a positive.
As for being able to meet their particular needs, you can't answer that question until you know more. I will give you a tip, though. I was about to accept placement of a sibling group once but was getting suspicious about what the cw was NOT telling me. She went on & on about all the good things but wouldn't tell me the negatives...which is important information in evaluating the match. So, I finally just said to her, "if the 9, almost 10, y/o has a history of violence to other children that might make her a danger to my 2 toddler, she cannot come here. I don't want to put this at risk for disruption, further traumatizing the children. And, I won't put my boys at risk." (at the time I was not in a position to be providing constant line of sight supervision). She was a little surprised that I figured out that was the issue (the red flags were there: the sibs had been in the same home but the middle girl had been moved to another home & it was required that she be the only child there, etc.) & said that had been a problem but she wasn't going to disclose "due to confidentiality". I told her she needed to find a more suitable placement. I would have taken them in a second if I didn't have younger children already, but it was t So...if the worker too big of risk. So... if the worker dances around an issue instead of giving you a straight answer, there's usually a reason, so you may have to figure out how to get the answers you need to make an informed decision.
We had four kiddos for six months and weren't very good at it, so I don't have any advice for you!
But I did want to reply to this:
NewMom13
The biggest thing is that we want to be the best possible option for them. Are they going to be better off with us than their current situation?
If they are looking to move the kiddos, than their current situation isn't permanent... and a permanent home with forever parents is almost always better. And, sadly, it is tough to find homes for large sibling groups. If DCF thinks you'd be a good home for them, and you're up for it... then GO FOR IT! Good luck!!
How long have you foster kiddos been there? Does it look like they will go home or move to adoption?
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The two girls we have now have been with us for about three months. It is pretty split on whether they will get to go home or not.
There are six kiddos total in their family and neither bio parents have housing or employment. This has been a part of their case plan and they have to have housing/job for six months before they even consider starting reunification.
If they did have rights severed we would adopt in a second.
We have a family of 9 kids. If you want to PM me, I can give you some "tips" and "insider" information. I just don't type fast, and it would take too long.