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Loving Them As Your Own: Becoming an Adoptive or Foster Parent
Written by Lindsey Burnworth
Last updated on April 25, 2013 @ 6:52PM
Created on April 25, 2013 @ 11:14AM
For one reason or another, many families decide to adopt a child. Whether they can't have children themselves or they simply want to give a little girl or boy a good home, it's a decision that will change their lives forever.
"It certainly has to be a family commitment to want to bring a child with sometimes, many unknowns, into your family," said Leslie Fleming, an adoption consultant with the Burlington United Methodist Family Services.
The process can, at times, be long and frustrating, but in the end, most agree that it's worth the wait.
Prospective adoptive parents have to file a lot of paperwork, and go through a home study, to make sure they're a good fit for adopting a child.
"Depending on the type of adoption, I'd say a minimum of 12 months, and sometimes a couple of years before a family receives a referral and placement," said Fleming.
However, adoption isn't the only way to give a child a good home. Becoming a foster parent can give kids a temporary home, while their parents are trying to get back on their feet.
While kids may not be a permanent part of your home, your care can make a world of difference in their lives.
"I would say right now, we have a statewide shortage of foster families. We get referrals all the time. I used to keep track of how many kids we couldn't place in a month, and one month, we had 25 kids where we didn't have anywhere to put," said Karen Shriver, a family evaluator at Burlington United Methodist Family Services.
Even though, both fostering and adopting can be a life changing decision, most agree it's worth it to make sure kids have a good home.
"It's tedious, and people sometimes get frustrated because it is a lot of work, and they start saying stuff like, 'well, other people can just go out and have a child, I have to go through all of this,' but we need to make sure the homes that we're putting children in are appropriate," said Shriver.
"Most of these parents have such a desire to become parents, and for one reason or another, have been unable to. So, it's very rewarding to bring families together and see that love grow," said Fleming.
Tune in to 5 News next Thursday to meet some families who were able to successfully adopt their kids.
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