April 16, 2010: In response to the national attention created by the woman who gave her adopted son back by sending him alone on a plane to Russia, Family Services of the Desert (FSOD) wants to make the community aware of a relatively new free service. FSOD is contracted with the County of Riverside Department of Social Services to provide licensed clinical therapy to prospective adoptive parents, newly adopted parents and to Foster Parents who are considering making a child’s placement permanent.
These caregivers are offered many support services for the children that are going through the Foster Care or Adoption process. The caregivers are thoroughly screened and evaluated during this time. However this is the first program specifically for the prospective parents.
“Adoption and Foster placement is a very stressful and emotional process” says John L Brown, Executive Director of FSOD who also is currently adopting a toddler out of Foster Care. This will make his 5th adopted child. “You must open up your entire life for scrutiny, your home, your finances, your personal life are all looked at under a microscope.” he continues, “Up until the very last court date you are never 100% certain that this process that you have invested so much in is actually going to end up with you having permanent custody of the child. We have all heard the tragic stories of those who have tried and failed at adoption.”
The program now in its second year offers the adoptive parents the opportunity to meet with a therapist to discuss all of their concerns and fears in a confidential setting. During this process, expectations of the adoptive parents are also explored, to make sure that they are realistic and sound. The therapist also works with the parents during the initial placement of the child until the process is finalized which can take up to 18 months or longer. Support groups and parenting classes are also offered.
Brown continued, “There is such a diversity among our adoptive parents, we have parents with two Dads or two Moms, single parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and siblings who are adopting family members, so it is important that each situation be treated individually.” He continues, “The children are also very special in many different ways, older children, babies, children who have been abused, and siblings. The most important thing is to make sure that each member of each family has a strong commitment and bond to stay together at the end of the process”
Family Services of the Desert now in their 50th year of service provides a wide variety of family support programs and no one is turned away based on ability to pay. For more information please contact Family Services of the Desert at (760) 347-2398 in Indio, or (760) 288-7878 in Desert Hot Springs, or (760) 921-5004.