First Class Complete

Bright and early Saturday morning Andrea and I made the trek down to our first foster training class – excited, nervous, and sleepy.  Its a good group of 15 potential parents (mix of foster and adoptive) and 2 trainers.  We’re especially excited because one person in our class is someone I work with and knowing someone going in is always helpful in calming the nerves…not to mention she’ll be a great resource once the classes are over and I’m looking forward to getting to know her better. 

Most of what we covered in class was no surprise to us, although i’m not sure that was the case for all.  Essentially, they were making sure expectations were clear and worse-case scenarios were communicated.  At lunch they even asked if any of us wanted to leave; no one did though 😉  Basically, this is the summary of what i learned:

  1. Reunification.
  2. Reunification.
  3. Reunification.

We have the distinct pleasure of living in the most liberal state in terms of statute and judges when it comes to reuniting children with their biological parents. This means 3 important things. 1) It is very difficult to get the state to relinquish parental rights.  at minimum, it takes 12 months. in reality, more like 2+ years.  2) the state will bend over backwards to get the child back to the bio parent.  This means giving lots of chances and granting lots of continuances.  and 3) foster parents have no rights.  literally.  there is no law currently on the books that protects the rights of foster parents.   good times, no?

Being familiar with the foster system, Andrea and I were not shocked by the above although I’d be lying if I didn’t admit it was disheartening to have it pounded into me (via lecture, reading, and video!).  But, I could tell some of the adoptive parents received a harder blow.  The three couples I’m thinking of were older, had been unsuccessful in having bio children, and were turning to the foster program to have a baby of their own.  Unfortunately the state is just not conducive to what they are looking for. Of course it can happen, but it will take a long time and will require lots of patience.

Another couple in the class had 2 bio children, 3 foster to adopt children, and were back for another! As they introduced themselves and told their story, Andrea mouthed to me “that will NOT be us” lol…she must have seen the glimmer in my eye as they were talking.  Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that we are actually not the only gays in the class!  There’s a cute single gay boy…he didn’t say much aside from complimenting my hair…but I like him already 😉

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2 Comments to “First Class Complete”

  1. I am glad you finally got to start classes but sorry you don’t have as many rights in your state.

  2. Aww, Elise! I just came across your blog. I remember this first class like it was yesterday. Hopefully we’ll both be holding little ones soon!

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