Taking in a Special Needs Foster Child
Posted in the Huntington Forum
#1 Sep 19, 2013
My 36 year old daughter has been divorced for almost a year and has a six year old daughter. She started dating a guy shortly after her divorce that she knew from old school days. He has been divorced a couple of years and has two boys ages 13 and 15.
My daughter always wanted another child. She had a miscarriage when she was married about three years ago. She wanted my granddaughter to have a brother or a sister, I'm sure.
The guy she is seeing has had a vasectomy because he didn't want any more kids. She seems to be serious with him in some ways (sees him almost daily), but has told me on a couple of occasions that he is more like a friend.
Now she tells me that she wants to take in a foster child and not just a foster child, but a special needs foster child. She says, she wants to do something good in life that she can feel good about.
I don't think she'd be considering taking in a special needs child or a foster child if she thought she'd be having another child in the next couple of years.
I am glad there are people out there that will take in children with special needs that need a home and guidance. I think it is wonderful that my daughter wants to do what she can to contribute to the life of a child. However, I don't think she would be doing this, if she weren't involved with a man that has had a vasectomy.
Her six year old daughter is quite a handful as it is - can get very hyper and be very attention seeking. A special needs child isn't likely to be a Pollyanna type or an Orphan Annie type or a Tiny Tim. They are likely to have behavior problems.
I just have my reservations about my daughter taking on such a large responsibility as a single parent. She said her boyfriend said he'd help her out in her endeavors as a foster parent. How is he going to help her out? She works full time too. I just don't see a positive picture here, but then again I guess this is none of my business. My daughter is old enough to figure out what she wants in life. However, I wonder if she really knows what this all will entail.
The guy she is settling for sure doesn't want any more kids.
#2 Sep 23, 2013
I just saw a movie on t.v. the other day called "We Need to Talk About Kevin". I have been told that this movie is based upon a book. This "problem child" boy was this couple's own child and demonstrated severe behavior problems since birth. This movie would make any potential parent weary of the possibility of having kids whether they be their own, adopted or a foster child.
I know from my own experience, it is difficult enough trying to parent your own child who may be troublematic at times. I'm glad my three children are grown now and have left the nest. I had some great difficulties with them at times, especially as teenagers. I got more than my share of their sneaking around and sleeping around and using marijuana and other drugs with their "druggie" friends. I got more than my share of their bossing me around, talking back to me and disrespecting me. My kids, however, didn't have any special needs and they caused me many a day of crying. Thankfully, they have grown into responsible adults as far as I can see.
I think only very special people that are "gifted" in their abilities, should consider taking in a special needs foster child. I know someone has to do it and children are desperate for homes, but I'd say that you better know yourself VERY well. You had better expect the unexpected. It isn't likely you will be given a very cute, bright kid like the children shown in the literature or pamphlets about foster care that is distributed around. Do you really think, you'll get a Pollyanna or an Albert or James Ingalls or the foster boy in Free Willy? Something to think long and hard about.
You will get paid to look after these children (but really not that much) and you can always give them back for another foster family to take in if it doesn't work out (poor bouncing around from home to home children). You better have a LOT of time to devote to these special needs kids. Also, take in consideration your own children (if you have any) and your spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend's (if you have one)opinion and support of you in this very serious matter. There is certainly more adverse possibilities to think about than there are positive possibilities to think about. If someone is truly a special parent, then foster parenting may turn out to be a wonderful feeling in the process and in the end, knowing that you did do something very good in life by helping children with special needs. I guess no one knows how good a parent or foster parent that they can be unless they give it a try. I'd say to think long and hard before taking in a child and be careful.
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