Sponsored Post: This post is paid for by the Ad Council. All opinions are my own.
As a child, I didn't know how important foster care and adoption really were, even though I was adopted by my Dad. My mother was a single mother and married my Father when I was nine months old so he was the only Father I have ever known. During my teenage years, I decided that I wanted to know my biological father and made several attempts to locate him. I spent hours of time researching, calling numbers from the phone books and searching online for him with no results. As an adult I have given up my search and now realize that my Father who loved me enough to adopt me as his own is all that I need.
After my parents divorced when I was eleven years old, I was sent to live with one of my aunts in another state. My aunt and uncle took me into their home and cared for me as they would one of their own children. Not once while living there during the entire seven years did I ever consider that I was a foster child although that was exactly my status. After all of these years, I have much love and respect for my aunt and uncle. They are my second set of parents and their children, although older than I, are my siblings, and not cousins.
Life is full of surprises, disappointments and situations that happen that are unavoidable. Unfortunately for some children, these circumstances leave them alone and without their families which is why Fostering and Adoption are so very important. There are so many misconceptions about this process that may deter some wonderful people from seeking out these children. Below are a few of the most common:
The reality is that no one is perfect and no one is expected to be perfect.
The level of education is not a basis for good parenting...love, stability and commitment outweigh a college degree by far.
MYTH: You cannot adopt if you are over the age of 50.
REALITY: There is no upper age restrictions to adopt from foster care. Empty nesters are experienced parents and make awesome foster parents too!
MYTH: You cannot adopt outside of your state.
REALITY: Every month children are adopted from out of the state where they reside.
MYTH: Adoption is expensive.
REALITY: Families who adopt from foster care directly from a public agency usually incur no cost.
MYTH: You must be a homeowner to adopt.
REALITY: Homeownership is not required. A stable living situation is required whether it's in an apartment, mobile home or rental home.
MYTH: There are not many children for adoption.
REALITY: Nearly 102,000 children are waiting to be adopted in the US alone.
MYTH: You must be married to adopt.
REALITY: In most states, marriage is not a requirement. In 2012, single parents accounted for 30% of all foster care adoptions.