Adopting is a big step. BIG! It may not be for everyone and that is ok! Perhaps you still have a longing to help?? Here are a few ideas for ways that you can still support children in need without committing to the lifelong journey of adoption.
You can open your home and provide a place of stability, comfort and security to a child that would otherwise be in a group home and not receiving the special attention every child deserves. To become a foster parent requires a little work (an application, home inspections, background checks, training) but the impact you have outweighs any paper stack.
Requirements vary by location so to begin the process contact your state’s Department of Social Services for specific information in your area.
FUND A FAMILY
Adopting can be a very expensive process. While many families want to adopt and can afford to raise a child they sometimes need a little help with the costs associated with adopting. That’s where AdoptTogether comes in. It’s easy as 1, 2, 3…Read the stories of families in waiting, take the ones that speak to you, and donate!
BECOME A CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate)
A CASA is a volunteer that is authorized by the court to watch over and advocate for a specific child in foster care. As a CASA you may become the most constant, stable adult in the child’s life. Your duties involve spending time with the child, getting to know him/her, interacting with the other individuals in the child’s life (including relatives, foster parents, teachers, doctors, attorneys, etc.), and speak on behalf of the child in court. In 2016, CASA’s found safe, permanent homes for over 251,000 foster children. To learn more visit CasaForChildren.org.
Sometimes foster parents need a break. We’re all human after all. Children in foster care must be under the supervision of an adult at all times and (depending on which state you live in) not just any adult – one who has been cleared by the state. Respite Care is being a state approved caregiver! Your duties can be just a short time (while Foster Mom or Dad runs to the grocery store) or it can be as long as a weekend. Care.com has some great tips and insight into Respite Care.
The options are endless! Local adoption agencies and foster programs can always use a spare set of hands. Many agencies offer volunteer forms on their website and contact information to inquire. Your time can make all the difference!
For just a few hours a month you can mentor kids waiting for their forever family. You could help with life skills like preparing for college or jobs. Start your search here:
- Local Adoption Agencies
- Foster Programs
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Foster Care to Success
HOST A CHILD
This is not for the faint of heart but it will truly make an impact. After a completed application process a family can host an international child for a season. The idea is to introduce the child to the U.S. in a loving home and advocate for them to find their adoptive families while they visit. Some child hosting sites to further your research:
- World Links
- Hand in Hand
- New Horizons for Children
- Project 143
- Open Hearts and Homes
- Children of All Nations
OFFER YOUR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Whether you’re an attorney, therapist, notary, doctor, or photographer you may be a great benefit to children and families going through the adoption process. Expenses add up quickly so a little complimentary help from a professional may be just what it takes to bring a family together.
The great thing about donating is how easy it is. No need for trainings, background checks, or home inspections. Donating makes one of the biggest differences to children waiting to be adopted because the funds or supplies goes straight to the source. Now, who to donate to?? You can find a family trying to raise funds to adopt or find a foster agency. Often times foster agencies will accept donations of toys, clothes, school supplies, and even suitcases.
SHARE SHARE SHARE!
Spread the word! If you have a voice please use it! With social media platforms it’s hard to ignore any issue these days. There is a need for adoption in this world and so much knowledge to be gained. Posting articles and stories really helps. Educate yourself and others around you with the means you have. Also, remember to post on World Adoption Day! 🙂
Article by Karli Koukios. Karli was born and raised in Boise, ID. After moving to Los Angeles at the age of 18 she never went back. Now she works with children who are deaf or hard of hearing and she plans to adopt someday. She now lives in Orange County with her husband and their 3 rescue dogs.
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