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Foster care system needs more families

There are a lot of misconceptions about adoption and foster care, some perhaps keeping people from participating who would otherwise be open to the idea. Alysa Sutinen of UP Kids says that while private adoption placements are pricey, that doesn’t apply to every situation. In fact, if you first become a foster parent through the State of Michigan, and then adopt, the costs are defrayed almost entirely. Sutinen says the process takes months, not years and is open to people from all walks of life.

Honestly, the biggest requirement is love. We have single parent foster homes, we have married (couple) foster homes. There is no income requirement. As long as you can keep the lights on in your house and provide food for your family, that’s the requirement to become a foster parent.

Another widely held stereotype is that people use the foster system to make money. Sutinen says that is an urban legend.

Nobody goes into foster care, that I have personally worked with, going in it for the money, because that is not the case. There is not money to be made on these foster kids.

Sutinen says mental health and drug and alcohol issues are the most common reasons for why a parent relinquishes custody of a child and puts them into the foster care system. The Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange says, on average, there are 3,000 children looking for a forever home each year.

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