When a child is taken away from a parent, as is usually the case in foster care, it can become easy to mentally go down this path: "My foster child's bio parent isn't a 'good' parent. They aren't capable of taking care of the child. The child will have a much better life with me, their foster parent."
These may not be things you say out loud, but if you're not deliberately avoiding them, these beliefs may start infiltrating how you treat your foster child's biological parents AND how you treat the child. So here are some reminders:
1. Your foster child's biological parents likely made poor decisions but they are not inherently bad. Don't treat them as such.
2. They likely love their child. You may not agree with how they show it, but that doesn't make their love any less real than yours.
3. They don't need to be your enemy. Fostering shouldn't be an "us versus them" thing.
4. The more you lift up bio parents with your words and actions, the more you are supporting your foster child and their future.
5. Your foster child likely loves their bio parents (even when bio parents don't deserve it in your eyes).
6. If bio parent is capable of keeping the foster child safe and providing love, no matter how much love or resources you have at your disposal, their bio parent will almost always be the best parent for your foster child.
7. You will have little to no say in whether the bio parent is capable of keeping the foster child safe, so be ready to accept that when fostering.
Keep all of this in mind as you continue on your fostering journey. It's not always easy to have empathy for bio parents. But remember, they love their child, even if they don't always make the right choices. We should support our foster children by lifting up their bio parents no matter how challenging it may be.
I'm a foster mom, bio mom, working mom, special needs mom, busy mom. I'm also married to my high school sweetheart, I'm a proud 23-year childhood cancer survivor, and I'm passionate about serving my community.
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