Becoming a foster parent is a wonderful, exciting and rewarding experience. If you are thinking of becoming a foster parent, however, you might have some questions about the legalities of caring for a child who is not your legal child. For people who love to travel, a key worry is often whether they are going to be able to take their foster children out of state or out of the country for vacations. Here is the low-down on traveling with a foster child.
Involve your foster kids in decision-making
A study of 178 Norwegian foster children aged 11 to 18 revealed that foster children want to be listened to and to be allowed to be involved in decision-making. If you are fostering kids who are old enough to participate in deciding what the family will do around the holidays or where to go on vacation, then, let them! It will make them feel like you value them and consider them a true part of the family.
It depends on the custody agreement for that particular child
In the majority of cases, foster children are allowed to travel with their foster parents for vacation. However, the custody agreement for a particular foster child—which will have been drawn up by the court in consultation with the fostering agency—might mandate that you are not allowed to take the child out of state or out of the country, or that you can only take them a certain distance from home. Don’t despair, however—not only are there bound to be places for you to explore near home, but good fostering agencies also organize plenty of activities for their foster families! Independent fostering agency thefca.co.uk, for example, organizes days out to theme parks, go-karting venues, theaters and more, as well as seasonal celebration and even a singing competition! So even if there are some travel restrictions in place there will still be plenty of opportunities for you to have fun with your foster kids.
Be particularly mindful around the holidays
If you are used to traveling to see your extended family for Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas and the like, you might be planning to simply carry on in the same way once you become a foster parent. While there may be no legal reason for you not to, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind. Firstly, birth parents might have visitation rights on certain holidays, so make sure you double check the custody agreement before making plans to travel with your foster children. Secondly, if your foster kids come from homes where the holidays weren’t celebrated they might actually feel like they are betraying their birth parents by engaging in different traditions and having fun with their foster family. Instead, you could actively talk with your foster children before the holidays about what they used to do at home and incorporate some of those traditions into your celebration, as well as explaining to them what they can expect on the day.
To read more on topics like this, check out the Travel category