When people find out that I’m an adoptive mom, or a foster mom, they often tell me that they too have thought about adoption or foster parenting, and then give me the reason that they decided it wasn’t for them. One of the reasons I hear most often is “We can’t afford it.”. If you can afford to care for yourself, and the people in your home, you can afford to foster a child. Here’s why I believe that.
I am not rich. I am a stay-at-home mom and my husband is a general manager. We would be considered a middle class family. Maybe you would consider us lower-middle class, depending on where you live. MOST of the foster to adopt parents I know have similar incomes to us. Some earn more and some earn less.
Here’s what makes foster -to-adopt affordable for all of us. The county issues money to foster parents for the care of the child they have placed in your home. When the child is in foster care, that state is the actual guardian. So the county provides you with “reimbursement” for the care you provide. Typically a child in foster care receives a daily “board rate” for their care.
It’s not enough income for you to “move on up” and change social status, but it does significantly help in the cost of caring for a child. It adds up to maybe a $1 an hour. (maybe) But it certainty helps to cover the cost of beds, bikes, shoes, etc.
I have known counties to even reimburse for bicycles and the expense of sporting activities. Remember, this all varies depending on the state you live in. (So, don’t call your caseworker and tell them that I said they were going to buy your child a new bike.)
The point here is that while you do need to prove financial stability for yourself, you don’t have to be wealthy living in a half-million dollar house to foster a child. Some of our own parents weren’t prepared financially to raise us, and yet we have amazing memories of a wonderful childhood. And then there are some of us that were born with a silver spoon but don’t have any great memories about growing up. In addition to finances, there’s a lot more that goes into raising a child, so don’t let finances be a barrier on your foster-to-adopt journey.