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How to Tell Your Spouse You Want to Foster

Fostering is a caring and wonderful pursuit. You need both spouses on board, though, so here’s how to tell your spouse you want to foster. 

June 9 2022 - 7 min read

Deciding to become a foster parent is a big decision. A lot of thought needs to go into it, such as whether you already have kids or if you can realistically quit your job. A big step is ensuring that your spouse is 100% on board. After all, the decision affects them just as much as it affects you. You can’t do it if one of you doesn’t want to be a foster parent!

Telling your spouse that you want to foster might be tricky, though. You want to make sure you go into the conversation with a clear idea about what it entails. Caring for a child takes a lot of work, and it’s not something to take lightly.

How to Tell Your Partner you Want to Start Fostering?

So, how do you tell your spouse that you want to foster a child? The best way is to do adequate research beforehand so that you can answer any of their questions.

What to do when Only One Spouse Wants to Foster

Usually, when one spouse wants to foster and the other doesn’t, fostering won’t work. You can’t force someone to look after children, after all. Plus, your spouse won’t be a great parent if their heart is not in it.

You can have open conversations about what it means to foster, though. Maybe, if your spouse learns more about fostering - including its benefits - they might warm up to the idea. If you have family and friends who foster, it might be a good idea to talk to them about it, too. You want to go into the process knowing as much as you can. Most people don’t wake up one morning and say, ‘I want to foster’ – it takes time and thought.

5 Reasons a Partner Might Not be Too Keen, and How We Can Help

It’s not unusual for a partner to be unsure about fostering. Becoming foster carers is a huge commitment! You have to be responsible, organised, and caring. Plus, it takes up a lot of your time. If you want to understand your partner’s point of view, here are five reasons a partner might not be too keen on fostering.

  1. You Already Have Children

    Children and young people don’t always get along. A new child in your home will impact your biological children. Depending on the level of support and how you choose to parent, that can either be a good or a bad thing. It is understandable for a parent to be concerned about this.

    Our fostering service ensures you – and your kids – are fully supported. We always endeavour to provide the best match, one that works well for the entire family.

  2. It Might Hinder Their Career

    Looking after young people requires time. You or your partner might have to quit your careers, which is not something to take lightly. Your partner might worry that they can only foster if they give up their jobs. Or, they might be concerned that the stress from fostering will impact their performance at work.

  3. You Don’t Have the Skills

    Your partner might worry that they don’t have the necessary skills. Parenting is undoubtedly challenging, but there is plenty of training to get you ready for it. You won’t go in blind!

  4. It’s a Long Commitment

    There is a difference between long term and short term fostering. If your partner is worried about the length of the commitment, you can always start with short-term foster care. That means you only look at a child for a short period – from as little as a day. Even if you really want to be a foster parent, it’s a good idea to start slow.

  5. It is a Complicated Process

    To get approved as a foster parent, you will need to do things like fill out an application form and schedule a meeting with a fostering panel. While the process isn’t as simple as filling out a single form (and nor should it be!), you can always ask for help.

You usually receive better support when fostering with an agency rather than a local authority. If you choose to foster with us at Orange Grove Foster Care, you will be supported throughout your entire fostering journey.

You can’t expect your partner to say ‘I want to be a foster parent’ straight away. They will need to know more about the process first, so do your research. Why do you want to become a foster parent? Knowing what motivates you will help you frame the conversation with your spouse.

Remember – both spouses wanting to foster is only the first step. You’ll need to make sure that becoming foster parents is right for you. For example, you will need a spare room to foster. You will also need to be over the age of 21.

If you want to make a difference in a child’s life, have an open and honest conversation with your spouse. Fostering is an incredible path to take, and here at Orange Grove Foster Care, we help every step of the way.

Ready to start your fostering journey?

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