In many cases, it’s not an easy decision. Some go into care due to the death of parents, while for others it’s because no one was able to take care of them. Many single mothers choose to follow through with their pregnancies, only to put their child up for adoption after birth. While some people might not agree with this, they do it because they believe it’s the only way to ensure their child is adequately provided for. Those who have no choice but to adopt are grateful for the sacrifice these mothers make, as are the people who become foster parents. The importance of foster care often gets overlooked, but it’s just as important for children as adoption is. Sometimes, it can be so influential that it changes the lives of everyone involved forever.
The number of children in foster care has been rising steadily over the years. In 2010, 408,000 kids were in the system in the United States. Five years later, that figure rose to 670,000. While not every foster care facility will provide kids with the childhood they might yearn for, the same can be said for kids in other parental situations. Plenty of children struggle growing up with their birth or adoptive parents; there’s no knowing whether things will work out or not.
Foster parents don’t always get the credit that they deserve. It’s not easy taking on the job. People have to jump through quite a few hoops if they want to become one, including health exams, interviews, and home checks. Prospective parents have to attend hours of training all in the hopes that they might get the all clear. The process can be quite stressful, and as such America is currently suffering from a shortage of foster parents. For those who go through with the training and come out the other side, the knowledge that they’re able to provide a child with a temporary home is comforting. That all, however, comes at a cost.
Foster homes are not intended to be for life. People who take on the task don’t have the same rights to the children they take in as the couples who will hopefully end up adopting them. For foster parents who form a strong bond with the children they take in, the thought of them suddenly being taken away can be very hard to deal with. There’s nothing they can do about it, though – or is there? One couple refused to let someone else adopt their foster child, and they fought back. The outcome brought everyone to tears.