The Requirements & Rewards of Foster Parenting

By Evelia Santiago-Gome

A very rewarding option for single men and women is to adopt or become a foster parent. Take it from a single mom who raised two boys on her own. They are now both grown and are both born again Christians. Raising my two boys has been, so far, the most rewarding experience in my life, other than meeting and serving my Lord Jesus Christ.

There are thousands of children around the world waiting to be adopted. Thousands more are waiting for a decent foster home. As an Adoption Social Worker in the state of New York, I know there is an incredible shortage of decent foster/adoptive homes for these children.

If you should decide to be a foster parent instead of adopt, think of the opportunity to introduce these children to the unconditional love of our Savior Jesus Christ. If you have done your job properly, even if these children return to a less than perfect home, they will know someone loves them unconditionally and they may even lead their parents to Christ. For single women, there is a program in some states where they can foster a pregnant teenager and then help her raise her baby. For single men, how about being a foster father for a teenage boy who may never have met a decent Christian man?

Requirements to become a foster parent vary from state to state. It’s always best to check with your local foster care agency, but these are some basic general requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Have a bed and personal area in which a foster child can keep his or her belongings.
  • Your home meets local fire, safety, and sanitation standards.
  • Be physically and emotionally capable to care for children.
  • No alcohol or drug abuse problems.
  • You must pass a criminal background check.
  • No record of child abuse or neglect.
  • An income providing for yourself, independent from the foster care reimbursement income.

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