Adoption policy makers are looking for ways to make it easier for foster children to make the transition to legally adopted children. In many cases, parents are eager to adopt a child they have been taking care of for several years, only to confront the heartbreak of being ordered to release the child back to his or her biological parents, or the system.
But foster children who are released without a permanent home have enormous odds against them. They face a high risk for a variety of negative life outcomes, from unemployment to incarceration. Many foster kids end up homeless if they never find a permanent home as minors.
The laws that regulate how foster kids can be adopted vary widely from state to state. But most experts agree that making it easier for foster parents to become adoptive parents would be a win-win situation for more families and kids.
Today, some 80% of foster parents express a willingness to adopt – a huge increase from just a few years ago. Rita Soronen is head the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. She said the increasing acceptance of foster-to-adoption trend is a significant shift in public attitude.
Many would-be parents enter into foster care arrangements because they hope it will be an easier path to adoption. However, many are wary of the situation because of uncertainty and the potential for heartbreak.
A number of philanthropic adoption foundations are working on making is easier for foster parents to adopt children. The Dave Thomas Foundation mentioned above is one of them. It sponsors the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids agency. This organization was founded by and named for Wendy’s Restaurant founder Dave Thomas, who was himself an adopted child.
Organizations like this are working hard to formulate policies that will make adopting foster children less complicated and risky.