Circumstances leading up to adoption are often puzzling and hard to understand for the child involved. Many kids wonder about their biological family and why their parents didn’t keep them. If you’ve been adopted it is important that you talk to people you trust about your feelings and questions “I was adopted at the age of 14 by my foster mother” says FosterClub member Dan, age 26, of New York.
“My birth mother surrendered her rights. I used to think it was because she didn’t want me. I used to think it was because she didn’t love me. Now I’ve realized that she gave me up so that I could live a better life, a life that she couldn’t provide. Giving something up you love is the greatest kind of love because it is self-less.” If you are in foster care now, the people in charge of your case plan may just assume that you want to go back to your bio-home, or that you are happy where you are in foster care. They may not realize that you might consider a permanent, loving home by way of adoption. Whether you are just curious about adoption or have always hoped to be adopted but don’t know who to talk to, your caseworker would be a great start. Sometimes kids in foster care do not want to be adopted and that is ok. But often not wanting to get adopted is rooted in underlying fears. It is hard to trust and open your heart to a complete stranger, especially after the people who were supposed to love and care for you unconditionally, fail to.
If you feel this way, it is important that you talk about your fears. There may be a family out there for you, if you just take the risk and try. Some youth report not wanting to be adopted out of loyalty to their biological family. They fear that if they get adopted they will be replacing their bio-family with a new family. But some members in the FosterClub community look at adoption with the same perspective of today’s marriage tradition. When you get married, parents don’t lose a daughter, they gain a son. In the same way, a daughter doesn’t lose connections with her parents; she gains a whole new set of parents. We at FosterClub think that it is ok to think of adoption this way. Being adopted doesn’t mean you have to replace your bio-family, it means you are simply adding on more family. If this sounds like a good option for you, speak up for yourself, and talk to your caseworker to see what options are right for you. Of the 542,000 children in foster care as of March 2003, approximately 126,000 children were waiting to be adopted. Approximately 2% of all U.S. children are adopted In 2005, 60% of adopted children were adopted by their foster parent(s).