In 2015, back when we still lived in Wisconsin, we started looking into becoming foster parents. At that point we had been trying to conceive for 18 months and had nothing to show for it except an ectopic pregnancy that resulted in the loss of my left fallopian tube and ovary.
My husband and I had some serious conversations about what we would do if we couldn’t have our own children naturally. IVF and regular infant adoption from an agency were not something we could afford. We decided that we would try 3 more months of Clomid and that if we were unsuccessful we would become foster parents and maybe, someday, adopt from foster care.
We were very lucky to conceive our own child on our second round of Clomid so we set aside foster care for the time being. Two years later we are ready to add to our family again and the idea of becoming foster parents has been weighing heavily on my heart.
I’ve begun looking into the process of becoming a foster parent in our new state, North Carolina. But I’m running into a lot of road blocks here. I’ve contacted the local Department of Social Services and got no response. I’ve contacted several private agencies. The only agency that was responsive told us they generally only place children 10 and older. While I’d love to foster older children someday it’s not something my husband and I feel ready to do given that we’re fairly young and only have experience with a baby/toddler.
We can’t even get our most basic questions answered.
- Do we need to live in the state a certain amount of time before becoming foster parents?
- We are renting a house in one county but will definitely be purchasing a house in a nearby county closer to my husband’s work in the next 6-8 months. Will that affect our placements?
- Is there a need in this area for the age of children we’d like to foster? We’d ideally like a child under 2 so that our bio son will still be the oldest.
I’ve found a few foster parents in this state that have been good references but it seems that the norm is putting constant pressure on social workers to get answers and resources. It makes this already huge thing seem extra daunting. I had been so excited to get going on the process of becoming licensed but the experience in North Carolina has been night and day different from our experience in Wisconsin, which was very helpful and responsive.
So it’s with a heavy heart that we’ve decided to put our pursuit of becoming foster parents on pause for a little while. Where we live there are really 3-4 counties we could end up purchasing a home in. We are leaning towards Durham County because of price and proximity to my husband’s job but if we can find something in the neighboring counties that works for our family we may choose to go that route because the schools tend to be better in those counties.
We will pick back up next year when we have an accepted offer on a house. It makes me really sad to wait that long but the advice I’ve been given by foster parents is to basically show up at the Department of Social Services and ask to speak with someone. At the moment we don’t even know which county DSS we should go to so it seems to make the most sense to wait until we know where we’ll live. Also then we can make sure we are licensed for the appropriate number of children based on the size of our permanent home.