I have a tremendous passion for international adoption and foster care/foster adoption. I have read extensively on the subject over the past several years and am keenly aware of the need for foster and adoptive parents. I see good people all around me who would probably make wonderful adoptive parents. I want to advocate for fostering/adoption but I feel like I can't, because I haven't done it myself. (For various - legitimate - reasons.) So what do you think? How do I promote foster care and adoption without coming across as a hypocrite?
I haven't adopted or fostered either but I encourage people to do it all the time! It's a little different because I am directly involved in the triad, but I think some of the same things still apply. When I talk about my line of work with people adoption comes up, and a lot of the time they themselves will say "oh I've thought about fostering or adopting" and I say "Why don't you?" and it opens up a discussion that way. Talking about work is usually a good precursor for me.
I think it depends on what you mean by encouraging. If it is something the person is thinking about doing, offering support and encouragement is totally okay. If they aren't considering it and haven't brought it up, I don't think it's appropriate to suggest it (even if you are a foster/ adoptive parent, but especially if you're not). You might think someone would be a great foster parent, but they might not be interested. Or they might also have legitimate reasons for not doing so, even if they want to. You don't know the ins and outs of everyone's situations, so bringing it up and making the suggestion would be intrusive.
Depending on your situation, one thing that might be a possible way for you to support foster care/ adoption while not being able to do so yourself is to see if there is a way you can volunteer. There may be opportunities for you to volunteer either to support existing foster families or in a capacity of helping to recruit foster parents.