Are you thinking about fostering a child? If so, then you’re probably being bombarded with advice from people who have never done so. As soon as a couple starts thinking about providing family foster care to a child, their parents, siblings, friends and everyone else starts to weigh in. And quite often, the advice that they provide can be quite negative. It’s important to learn how to deal with these naysayers if you’re going in for family foster care.
Naysayer 1: Don’t You Want “Your Own Child”?
Many people are quite attached to the idea of only raising their biological children. So they might not understand why a couple might want to foster a child who is not biologically related to them.
When dealing with this kind of naysayer, you just have to keep in mind that it’s not just a biological child who counts as “your own child.” A child you are fostering can be your own child too. What makes a child “your own”? Is it just the fact that the two of you are biologically related? That can’t be because many children who are biologically related to their parents don’t necessarily get along with them.
On the other hand, you may develop a great rapport with a child who is not biologically related to you. If you’re a good caregiver for the child and the child feels that they can trust you and talk to you about whatever is on their mind, then that child is essentially your own child.
Naysayer 2: Can You Love Someone Else’s Child?
Another thing that these naysayers might tell you is that you can’t love a child who is not biologically related to you. This is another piece of bad advice.
You need to be clear about the fact that this is a nonsensical thing to say. Many of us love people who are not related to us—close friends, family friends, people at work, even teachers or roommates. When you make a genuine effort to understand the other person, the bond of love is created automatically. But keep in mind that most of these bonds do take a long time to be built.