Common Myths About Foster Care
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Did you know that there are many common myths surrounding foster care? Many of these myths have stemmed from distasteful media headlines. There are so many kids in foster care that are just waiting to be loved! Read some of the most common myths below.
- Children end up in foster care because they are “too bad”.
According to Adopt Together, about half of all Americans believe that children end up in foster care because of their own childhood delinquency. They believe that they are “too bad” or “troublemakers”, however, this is false. Most children that go into foster care have suffered from neglect, abuse, abandonment or other forms of maltreatment. According to a study done in 2017 by The Department of Health and Human Services, in a group of 500,000 children in foster care about 74.9% of them were in foster care because of neglect, 18.3% was because of physical abuse, and 8.6% because of sexual abuse.
- Foster parents need to be a young, heterosexual, married couple.
Another popular myth about foster care is that if you want to become a foster parent, you need to be young, heterosexual and married to be accepted. However, this statement is untrue. Foster parents can be anyone who wants to help parent children. Foster parents are all unique in their own way. The most important factor is whether or not they are willing to parent these children like their own.
- Foster care adoptions are expensive.
A common myth about foster care is that adoption through foster care can be quite expensive. However, if you are to adopt through the foster care system, you can pay anywhere from nothing to roughly $2000. The amount fully depends on the type of adoption, where you’re adopting from and the agency you’re working with. This is a lot less expensive than doing another kind of adoption. You do need to be financially stable to adopt through foster care, but you don’t need to be wealthy.
- Foster parents only do it for the money.
The payments you receive as a foster parent are pretty minimal. Most of the time you spend quite a bit of your own money to be a foster parent so you can provide the best life for the child/children. These foster parents are doing this because they really want to help these children that have come from a bad home situation.
- Birth parents of children in foster care don’t care about their children.
It is actually very important to build a relationship with the birth parents of foster care children. Birth parents are still people like anyone else – they are human and make mistakes. Most children in foster care want to see and hear from their birth parents and that is completely normal. It is good for them to be able to have that contact with their parents.
Don’t let these common myths stop you from wanting to become a foster parent! Children in foster care are waiting for someone to give them a safe and loving home.
Author, Samantha Potocnik
Samantha is an intern at EVOLVE and a student at University of Wisconsin River Falls.
Is there another common myth about foster care you would like to debunk? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may share your myth on Facebook!