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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be a Foster Parent

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be a Foster Parent

Being a foster parent is not fun. In fact, it’s a bad idea to become one. Here are just a five out of tons of reasons why you should NOT do it.

#5. You will be challenged.

Every child in foster care has a different story. Their story will normally not be a simple one and their reason for being in care is no fault of their own. They each have their own needs and challenges; some may be emotional, and some may be behavioral. Also, you will have to work with lots of different people, from social workers, lawyers, school administrators, doctors, etc. Each day will be different. Variety? Who wants that on their plate?

Who knows? You might even be challenged to be more patient, to be a better person, or even a better “multi-tasker”. Multi-tasking is a must with all that goes on. You might even get some fulfillment in being a foster parent.

Are you up for a challenge like that? Personal fulfillment and growth – YUCK, amiright?

#4. You might have to step out of your comfort zone.

If you become a foster parent, you may get a call in the middle of the night asking if you can take in a toddler from DHR. You could get a call about a sibling group that was taken in because they were homeless, and their mother couldn’t care for them.
You know that extra guest bedroom you have? Yeah, you might have to move the extra clothes and boxes you’ve been storing in there for years so that a kiddo can have a warm bed to sleep in. Also, you may have to sit next to that bed and tell lots of bedtime stories, answer lots of hard questions, and maybe even give a few hugs and assurances.

Oh yeah, you may have to interact with the children’s birth parents. They may not always have a supportive family nearby so you may have to fill in as that person. Your stomach may get queasy when you first meet them. You also may develop skills with each meeting that will help with the next one.

It can be weird. And you don’t like weird, do you?

#3. People will ask questions – lots of them.

How do you do it?
Aren’t you afraid of bringing them into your home… especially with you own children?
Are you adopting them?
Do you find people staring a lot because they don’t look like you?
How long will you have them?
How could their parents do that to them?
Aren’t all foster kids bad?

It’s true – your friends, family, and even complete strangers will ask you lots of questions. It’s also true that there will be some of these that you cannot answer. The crazy thing is that this might even give you the chance to advocate for the children in your care and the numerous others that may still be needing a foster home. The nerve of some people!

#2. You will learn more about yourself than you ever have.

People may say that you’re a strong person that never gets down. You say that this is true, and nothing can change that. Well, chances are at some point during your fostering you might find yourself hunkered down in a closet crying. One day it may be because a child said they hate you. Another day it may be because they came up and gave you a hug for no reason.

You might be surprised at what you’ll be able to tackle and overcome. It will even make you stronger than you were before becoming a foster parent. But then again, nobody likes surprises or change!

#1. You might change the world. Yes, YOU.

The foster system is broken. So is the world we live in. Every time you turn on the news you hear disturbing stories of violence, crime, or destruction. Some of the children you foster may have been products of those environments. Why would you want them in your safe, stable, loving, and secure home?

Why would you want to partner with the birth parents if they neglected their children? Sure, they may not have had a parent or person to love them when they were younger, but people aren’t ever capable of change, right? It’s just not possible to break a cycle with love, generosity, and kindness.

To think – foster parents help fight against problems like homelessness, abuse, and neglect. They also must serve as role models to birth parents while they work to overcome the issues that led to their children being in the foster system. You even must serve as a role model to the children on how a family should be and how to love others.

That is a lot for a person. Nobody has time for that!

And don’t think about getting licensed…

If none of the above reasons scare you at all, then you should do just fine as a licensed foster parent.

There is no ideal foster parent. Some are younger and some older. Some work full time and some are stay-at-home parents. Some are married and then again, some are single parents. Regardless, all it takes is a little patience and a whole lot of love to make a difference in a child’s life.

Learn More About Fostering

There is a constant need for more foster parents in and around Huntsville and Madison County, especially for homes that are willing to take in sibling groups or teenagers. Find out more about how you can become a foster parent and more by visiting our website, and connect with us on Facebook.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brandon Bishop is the biological dad of two boys, foster dad of three, and human dad to one dog and one puppy. He and his wife, Trina, live in Madison, Alabama and have been licensed foster parents for over 4 years now in which they have opened their home to over 13 children. Brandon is currently Director of IT for Worldwide Express – B.V. and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Madison County Foster & Adoptive Parent Association, where he helps with the marketing and fundraising efforts for the association.


View Comments (2)
  • My husband & I were foster parents for nearly 13 years. We adopted seven of our ‘foster’ children & one by ‘private’ adoption. It’s the hardest job you will ever have but in so many ways very rewarding. Of course, we had other children that were reunified with their birth families. I will never forget one little girl we had in our care. She came to us just a few days before her 5th birthday. On her birthday I was ironing a dress for her as I was going to go have her picture made. She came into the room & as soon as she saw the dress…she started saying how beautiful it was & who had such a beautiful dress? I told her that it was for her birthday. She came running up to me and threw her arms around my waist. She told me thank you! Thank you! I have never had something so beautiful. I bent down & hugged her, then I had to turn my back & cry as I finished ironing it. I still have one of her pictures wearing that dress on my refrigerator. I saved the dress & someday hope to ‘find’ her so I can give it to her & some of the pictures.

    Yes, you will cry when you have to return them. Yes, it tears at your heart but if it doesn’t you are not in it for the right reasons. You have to remind yourself that while they were in your care you helped to form the proper foundation they will need later in life. Work to make wonderful memories for them to always cherish.

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