4 Foster Care or Adoption Tips

adoption tips

The good news? The number of children in foster care in the US–and waiting to be adopted–has been trending downward* in recent years. The bad news? There are still a staggering 147 million orphans worldwide waiting for a forever home. But there is hope! A growing number of couples are considering adoption or foster care as a means of growing their families and meeting the needs of these waiting children.

Decades ago, adoption was the path chosen by couples who faced infertility, but few others. In recent years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of families who feel called to adoption, regardless of their personal circumstance. They want to adopt because they feel compelled to show the love of Christ to these children who are of infinite value to God! It’s not their “Plan B,”; it’s their “Plan A”!

If you’ve ever considered adoption or foster care, you likely need lots of information to feel confident about your decision. From choosing a reputable agency to considering the potential challenges, we’ve outlined some advice from veteran adoptive parents to help you get the answers you need. Adoption might not be easy, but parenting a biological child is no cakewalk either. Take a look at our 4 Foster Care or Adoption Tips care to learn more.

1. Choose your adoption agency with care.

Because adoption is often an expensive affair wherein large sums of money are being paid for documents, social workers’ services, translators, travel, and other needs, it sadly attracts a few individuals who seek to take advantage of couples looking to adopt. Networking with other adoptive families can be a good way to learn about agencies they’ve used and the types of experiences they had. Organizations with ties to your local church or denomination can also be a good pathway.

2. Make sure that you and your spouse are on the same page.

This may seem so obvious it’s ridiculous to say. But when one person is passionate about a calling like adoption or foster care, it can cloud your vision with regard to your spouse’s readiness to embrace the same calling. iMOM Director Susan Merrill had to walk through this journey with her husband, Mark, who didn’t feel moved to adopt as quickly as he did. However, in God’s time, it all came together and their desire to bring not one, but two new children into their family was completely shared!

3. Go into adoption with your eyes wide open.{Tweet This}

A good agency will require you as a potential adoptive or foster parent to become well aware of the challenges that come with integrating anew child into your family. No two experiences are alike, just as no two children are alike. But it’s wise to understand that there are some struggles adoptive and foster parents face as they love their children toward full emotional, spiritual, and physical health. Most of these challenges can be worked through with lots of love and patience. But going into the experience prepared for those speed bumps and armed with the resources to help you overcome them can make all the difference!

4. Understand the impact on your current children.

If you have other children, welcoming a new sibling into the fold will be a major event in their lives. Just as with giving birth to another biological child, some older siblings are delighted with the new arrival — others need a little convincing. Make sure you talk through the adoption or foster care process and what it will mean for your family so your children have a chance to adjust to the idea. Keep an eye on their emotional needs as things change so you can alleviate anxieties and love them well too.

Want to be inspired? Read the thoughts of NFL coach Clyde Christensen, who was adopted as a child. Then let me ask you this, have you ever thought about adopting? What’s holding you back? You can hear Susan’s story (founder of iMom) of adoption here. Here are more training videos to help you on your adoption process.

© 2015 iMOM. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks.

In The Comments

Have you ever considered adoption for your family? Tell us about your journey!


  • Ellen

    I am the blessed momma of 9 beautiful people. Our first 4 children were born to us. God then gave us 5 more children through adoption. Our kids range in age from 37-15. We domestically adopted two African American baby boys at birth. They’re now 23 and 21. We then internationally adopted two baby girls from Haiti. They came home at ages 6 months and 23 months. They’re now nearly 17 and 15. For many years we considered our family complete, but then in the spring of 2011 we learned of a nearly 13 yr old Haitian boy who was in the states for medical treatment. For a variety of reasons he could not return to Haiti and so they were looking for a family to adopt him. The thought of adopting a child of that age, with a medical special need and a very traumatic past was very scary to us. But, he was definintely a child in need of a family and God made it very clear he was asking us to make room for this child among our family. He’s been with us nearly 4 yrs. now and is doing amazingly well.
    We know our family looks exactly as God intended and have found being a multi-racial family to be enriching for each of us. I believe all of us are better people; more compassionate and accepting of others, because of being touched so intimately by adoption. Several of our adult children have expressed an openness to extend their own families by adoption. Two of our adult daughters just returned from a mission trip to Haiti. They considered it a priviledge to go and love and serve the people in the birth country of their sisters and brother. It was equally meaninful to our Haitian children that their sisters desired to do so. One of our daughters is currently pursuring hosting a medical special needs child while they receive treatment here in the U.S.
    If God is calling you to adoption or fostering He will lead you to the right agency and provide the financial means to pay for adoption. He will also sustain you through the ups and downs that are inevitable in parenting, regardless of how He brings your chlidren to you.

    • Wife

      What an inspiring story ! Thank you for sharing. We’re still praying about foster caring. We have 4 of our own 14-21 who want a younger sister. Not sure where to go from here.

      • Ellen

        I’d encourage you to continue to pray about this. Do you know couples who have fostered and could provide direction and wisdom? A couple in our church recently adopted the two chldren they were fostering. They were liscensed to foster through Bethany Christian Services, a very reputable adoption agency. They have offices in various places around the country. Possibly there is one located in your area. If you seek God’s plan for your family He will reveal it to you!

        • Wife

          Thanks Ellen, I will check out Bethany Christian service .

  • These adoption support groups are definitely awesome!