Foster adoption support groups can be an immensely beneficial post-adoption resource for anyone who has had experiences with foster care adoption. They offer you the opportunity to get to know people with similar experiences and stories, talk about your thoughts and feelings, ask for advice or tips and just generally feel supported and comforted by people who have been in your shoes.
However, of all the different adoption groups out there, a foster adoption support team may be the most difficult to find. Resources and support seem to be sadly limited.
We’ve done our best to find as many foster adoption support groups as possible, so everyone can find the support they deserve.
Support groups are community-run and are therefore subject to change. We’ve done our best to include groups that are firmly established, but we apologize for any defunct groups or broken links related to these changes.
How to Find Adoption and Foster Care Support Groups
A few quick tips:
- Your state’s foster care department may have some immediate recommendations, so try there first, especially if you already have an existing point of contact with a foster care professional.
- Try searching for a foster care adoption support group that focuses on your needs and interests through Meetup. If you can’t find one, consider creating your own!
- Consider seeking counseling or therapy with a professional who has experience with foster care and adoption. Talking through things one-on-one with a professional who understands the unique challenges that you may be facing can be incredibly important.
- Please reach out if you need help. Support groups on their own aren’t enough to tackle depression or mental health issues, so contact a hotline, professional, or someone you trust if you’re experiencing a moment of crisis.
Foster Children and Young Adoptees
Most groups are aimed toward adopters and foster carers support. However, all foster children experience some degree of trauma and loss, and this is made more difficult if they feel as though no one around them “gets it.” To provide your child with peers who have shared similar experiences, first try reaching out to your social worker or point of contact at the foster care agency. They may have a local support group for kids or may be able to point you in the right direction.
Or, start exploring some of these options for kids:
- Foster Club
- Support for Foster Kids
- The Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) workshops and meetups
- FamilyWorks Together
Adult Adoptees and Adults Who Were in Foster Care
The experience of every adoptee or former foster child will differ, but many people wish to speak with others who understand firsthand some of those experiences. Some of these groups cover all types of foster and adoption support group topics (not just foster care), but foster care adoptees are welcome. Other groups are more specific, which can help you find other adults who understand additional challenges you may have faced as a child.
Your former foster care department may have support groups for alumni, so you might start there.
Here are a few additional groups worth looking into:
- Foster Care Alumni of America
- Pact, An Adoption Alliance Private Facebook group for Adopted and Fostered Adults of Color
- Native American Foster Care resources
- United Indians Native American Foster Care Support Group
- Adopted & Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora
- Daily Strength online adoption forum
- Children’s Home Society
- Adult Adoptee Support
- Adoptees Connect
Foster and Adoptive Parents and Families
It’s not difficult to find a support group for parents of adopted foster children. Your foster care professional will likely be able to refer you to a local group, so contact your social worker to learn more. However, when you’re a busy parent, sometimes it’s simplest to just chat online, so here are a few foster adopt support groups to check out:
- Adoptive Families Circle
- Adoptive Parents of Color Collaborative (APCC)
- North American Council on Adoptable Children’s (NACA) searchable registry
- AdoptUSKids’ post-adoption support service listings by state
- The National Foster Care & Adoption Directory
- Adoption.com’s Foster Care and Adoption forums by state
- Adoptive Families Together
- Kinship Center
- Center for Parent Information & Resources by state
- Foster Source
For Parents Who Have Had a Child Placed in Foster Care
Parents who have had a child removed from their home and placed in foster care, either temporarily or permanently, will also need support through this difficult time. Unfortunately, there are fewer resources available for this specific situation.
Although most of the parents in these groups will likely have placed a child for adoption voluntarily, you may still find some benefit in joining a general birth parent group. We’d also recommend asking your local foster care professional if there are support groups that you could join.
In the meantime, one of these will hopefully feel like a good fit for you:
- American Adoption Congress’ listings by state
- State Parent Advocacy Groups
- On Your Feet Foundation
- Birth Mom Buds
- Concerned United Birth Parents
The Etiquette of Social Media and Online Foster Care Adoption Support Groups
People come to an adoption foster care support group looking to feel supported and heard. That’s likely what you’re looking for, too! You might be hoping for advice, answers, stories, or even just some common ground to remind you that there are others like you. So, with that in mind, remember that these groups should be safe spaces for everyone to voice their thoughts and feelings — not a place to bring anger or judgement.
Seeking support online rather than in person has benefits as well as drawbacks.
Online groups make support more accessible for everyone, so location, time constraints and financial limitations aren’t an issue. However, most support groups are community-run, and some aren’t carefully moderated. As you know, people tend to say things online that they wouldn’t in person, which can create a negative environment. These groups can provide a great sense of community, but should never be your primary source of accurate information on foster care. For that, you should always turn to a professional.
As you would with any online forum, you should keep a few things in mind:
- If you’re feeling more hurt than helped by a foster care support group, it’s time to leave.
- Start by scrolling through some of the posts and comments to see if the tone of the forum is a good fit for you.
- Try not to compare your own journey, feelings and experiences with other members — everyone’s experience is equally valid, if different.
- When sharing your experience, remind others that this is your story, and there is not right or wrong experience.
- Remember that everyone is in search of comfort and positivity, so this isn’t the environment for negativity or unsolicited advice.
- Be empathetic and kind toward others — although everyone has their own experiences with foster care, all experiences are valid.
Foster adoption support groups can be an important reminder that you’re not alone, so if the group you were hoping to find doesn’t exist yet, try starting your own! There’s likely someone else out there who is hoping to talk to someone like you.