The Rising Cost of College for Foster Kids

The ever-escalating cost of college tuition has hit every college eligible student in the country. What was once an affordable opportunity and education has now become an almost extravagant luxury. However, no one has been hit harder than those who already have had to overcome innumerable obstacles: foster youth.

Cost of College for Foster Kids
College tuition has steadily increased across the country every year at a rate way outpacing inflation since 1978. The rising expenses of education have put families in a financial chokehold, causing many students to mortgage their futures by taking on large amounts of debt in the form of student loans.

This trend has especially hurt youth from foster, adoptive and kinship backgrounds. While it’s commonly believed that, because of their past, these youths will be eligible for a nearly full-ride to college, that expectation is wrong, according to Foster and Adoptive Family Services’ Director of Scholarship Programs Millicent Barry.

“No one should expect a free ride,” Barry said. Continue reading

Why You Should Choose Adopting from Foster Care Over International Adoption

Many people considering adoption quickly find out that there are three avenues to do so: adoption from foster care, private domestic adoption and international adoption. We hear about international adoption in the news as it gains traction in celebrity circles, but we hear much less about adoption from foster care, where the need is much greater. Here’s why you should choose adopting from foster care over international adoption.

WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE ADOPTING FROM FOSTER CARE OVER INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION
Americans adopted more than a quarter million children from countries other than the US over the last 15 years – what does this say about people’s perceptions of the US child welfare system?

At this very moment there are more than 1,000 foster children awaiting adoption in New Jersey and ten times that amount across the rest of the nation. When the need is so high here at home, why are Americans adopting children from other countries? A US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) study suggests misconceptions about foster care are leaving potential adoptive parents looking elsewhere to expand their families.
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Should Gay Couples Be Allowed To Adopt?

Should gay couples be allowed to adopt a child from foster care?

For some in Congress, the answer is no. Two congressional Republicans have introduced the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, which is aimed as an effort to protect adoption and foster care providers from an “anti-faith bias.”

should gay couples be allowed to adoptBut according to critics, the bill, which was introduced to Congress in late July, is really aimed at nullifying “state-level laws that require child welfare agencies to let gay couples adopt children.” Continue reading

When a Forever Home Isn’t Forever: The Reality of Adoption Dissolution

adoption dissolutionPicture this: You see a photograph of an adorable child in need of a loving and caring home. As you look into his eyes, you want nothing more than to see him happy and to be a part of making that happen. You take all of the necessary steps (home study, training, etc.) to become a foster adoptive parent and you gain access to more information. Once all of the proper steps have been taken, you finally meet him. You instantly fall in love and proceed with everything needed to begin the adoption process. The child is now in his new home, and after a few months you begin to notice things that were not as obvious as before. Not too long after that, you begin to realize that you may have made the wrong decision in bringing him into your home. It can be heartbreaking, to say the least. While it is a harsh reality, it’s a reality that more than a few homes have to face – and it is worth addressing. Continue reading

Open Adoption Records Bill Signed Into Law in NJ

Open Adoption Records Law in NJ Seeks to Protect Both Adopted Children and Birth Parents

Open Adoption Records

Photo by Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen

In the United States, adoption is looked at very differently today than it was in previous years. Instead of being veiled in secrecy, more and more adoptions now take place as open adoptions. Childwelfare.gov defines open adoptions as a form of adoption that allows birth parents to know and have contact with the adoptive parents and the adopted child.For those adopted prior to this trend, a court order is needed in order to see one’s own birth certificate in most states.

On May 27, 2014, New Jersey joined the list of states that allows adoptees unrestricted access to their birth records. As reported by the Associated Press, open adoption records are also allowed in Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island and Tennessee. Continue reading

Same Sex Couple Adoption Case Appealed

Same sex couple adoption is a much-talked about subject, but nurses’ case was born from caring, not controversy.

same sex couple adoptionImagine raising children as a loving couple, providing them with a safe and stable home and yet being unable to make legal decisions regarding their futures, including with whom they would live in the wake of an emergency and what medical care they would receive. In Michigan, unmarried couples are forbidden from jointly adopting children. Since same sex marriage is also forbidden, as pointed out on michiganmarraigechallenge.com, “children of gays and lesbians in Michigan are forbidden from having two legal parents.”

Michigan’s Adoption Code is now being challenged on the grounds that it is unconstitutional by Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer. The couple, who has been together for more than a decade. are raising three children together. As infants, the children were abandoned  in the hospital where Rowse and DeBoer both work as nurses. Currently, DeBoer is the adoptive parent of two of the three children; Rowse is the adoptive parent of one. The couple, who are also licensed foster parents, want to jointly adopt their kids. Continue reading