Are you thinking about attending a Tennessee foster care matching event? These events are also called adoption meet-n-greets, foster care adoption recruitment and adoption activity days. Regardless of the name, they help adoptive families and adoptable children connect.
The idea is to put real children, rather than a stack of papers, in front of parents. The events provide a relaxed environment for both groups to get to know each other. They also give families a better understanding of the children who are in the foster care system.
Some people believe the events put too much pressure on the children. And the kids may feel like they are on display. But you can help the children feel more comfortable, as well as help remove some of the stigmas around these events.
Below are tips for families attending Tennessee foster care adoption matching events.
Try to relax and be authentic. Remember that the children are likely nervous, and they can sense your anxiety as well. When you are at ease, the kids are more comfortable. You also want to be genuine so that the children meet the “real” you. In turn, you want to meet the authentic child. If everyone is calm and relaxed, appropriate matches are more likely to happen.
It’s Not an Interview
Avoid asking probing and personal questions. Take this time to connect with the children and discover their personalities. The personal and sensitive information you want is likely in that stack of papers we mentioned earlier. These events are not appropriate for those inquiries.
Instead, ask questions that reveal characteristics of the child’s personality. Try, “What do you do for fun?” or “What is your favorite subject in school?”
Your questions should lead to more detailed inquiries. “So English is your favorite subject, do you have a favorite book?” or “Have you read the Harry Potter books? I love those.” These types of questions help the conversation progress naturally.
Share Information About Yourself
Be sure to include details about your family. Children may feel uncomfortable asking direct questions. So, you can drop personal information into the conversation when appropriate.
For example, you might say, “I love swimming too. There is a pool across the street from our house, and we go there every weekend in the summer.” Or perhaps, “It’s really cool that you love animals. We don’t have any pets right now, but we are thinking about getting a little dog soon.”
You can also open the conversation to allow the children to ask questions by saying, “It’s been great meeting you. Do you have any questions you’d like to ask us?”
Do Not Make Promises
Whatever you do, never imply to a child that you are going to adopt him. If you lead a child to believe they will be adopted, and things fall through, it will be a devastating blow. The kids know why they are at the event. They understand that you are considering them for adoption. You don’t need to mention this fact or give them any reason to believe you plan to adopt them. These events are only the beginning of the process. Even if you find a child you like, there is no guarantee the adoption will go through. So, wait until social workers say you can share your intention to adopt.
Assistance With Tennessee Foster Care Adoption
Many families find it difficult and frustrating to navigate adoption through the foster care system. We offer a unique program called “Destiny Design” to help families adopt through foster care. Our experienced adoption professionals guide you through the entire process. We help you find a match, advocate for you and provide post-adoption support. To learn more about our Tennessee foster care adoption assistance, please contact us at 865-392-6261.
Author: Destiny Adoption Services
Destiny Adoption Services is proud to support and guide birth parents and adoptive families on the journey of adoption. We’re a state licensed nonprofit adoption agency with four decades of adoption experience, and our professional team of experts includes moms, adoptive moms and birth mothers who provide compassion combined with trusted resources and skills.