Why I Chose Foster Adoption

Sometimes people ask how I knew this was the right choice for me.

Shannon Hicks January 16, 2016
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As long as it is done ethically, I am pro-adoption of all kinds. I believe there’s too much fuss over what type of adoption is “best.” The way you choose to build your family is best for you.

I chose to build my family through foster adoption. Sometimes people ask how I knew this was the right choice for me and the answer that comes easiest is this one: I chose foster adoption because my daughter was in foster care.

Of course, I didn’t always know this. Though, to be honest, it’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t. After attending the first informational meeting about foster care and adoption in my county, I knew that this was the path that I wanted to pursue. When I told the people closest to me that I was planning to build my family through foster adoption, I got the distinct impression that I was the last one to figure this out.

It just fit my values, my passions, and my lifestyle. When people tell me that they are considering adoption, I often tell them that when the time and situation are right, they will “just know.” And honestly, this is how it happened for me. My daughter was not an infant at the time, so in a very deliberate way, she and I chose to love each other. We chose to become family. I almost feel like foster adoption chose me as much as I chose it.

Foster adoption is not right for everyone. But if you are just starting to consider building your family through adoption, here are some ways that foster adoption differs from other types of adoption:

The U.S. government can’t discriminate against you.

I am a single mom by choice. The reality is that some foreign governments, some adoption agencies, and some birth parents think that this makes me less than an ideal parent. While I know that I am not perfect, I absolutely believe that I am every bit as good of a mom as I would be if I were married. And the U.S. government agrees with me. They can’t (and in my experience, don’t) discriminate on the basis of age, sexual orientation, or marital status.

Foster adoption does not cost a lot of money.

Often I hear people say that foster adoption is not expensive and this always makes me cringe a little. Because the truth is that I spent plenty of (very literal) blood, sweat, and tears to bring my daughter home and make her a permanent part of my family. But I didn’t spend a lot of money. There are opportunities for foster care stipends, daycare and mileage reimbursement, adoption subsidies and health care assistance available. You do not have to have—or raise—a lot of money to adopt from foster care.

Often an open adoption (of some sort) is easier with foster adoption.

Often, with foster adoption, you will be adopting a child from your own community (or at least your own state). This makes open adoption and ongoing interaction with members of your child’s birth family much more likely than it is in other types of adoption. While these relationships can be complex to navigate, they can also be a great source of information, support, and love for your child.

Have you chosen to build your family through foster adoption? What factors helped you to make that decision?

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Shannon Hicks

Shannon is mom to two amazing kids who joined her family through foster care adoption. She is passionate about advocating for children through her writing and her job as a kindergarten teacher. You can read more from her at Adoption, Grace and Life.


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