This is a recount of my experience of my local foster system.
This is something that is very personal to me. I've talked in previous posts about my desire to start a family and why my genetic condition makes that difficult for me. We are currently on the waiting list to get gene-replacement therapy IVF.
What we wanted to do, what our goal was, was to foster. There are so many children out there who are in need of a loving and safe home. I understand that fostering is a difficult path, and one not to be taken lightly, but we had done our research and really thought about the impact not only on us but on my partners daughter - my step-daughter. We made the decision we were ready to apply and begin the process.
At first its a simple start, we read all the the literature front to back and filled out the form and waited. In a few weeks we got a telephone call to go over some initial questions with us. What do we do? Where do we live? What family do we have? Any criminal history? Those sorts, we passed and moved on to the next stage.
This is where things changed up a bit. We were to expect three different on the spot visits to our house for inspection. We didn't mind that bit but to be honest, we didn't even get that far. At the next stage of interview questions things were much more personal.
They needed references from our ex's (of course mine would not be possible - again something I have covered in previous blog posts). That would mean a different reference which would have to go to panel to be approved. My mental health came under scrutiny and was ultimately our undoing.
I had not been "stable" for five years. Even the phrase "stable" brings up so much to me, what does that mean? Not on medication? Not in therapy? I have never achieved 5 years of stability. My record is about 2 years. I was informed that this, in combination with my fertility issues, was the reason I was not accepted. Not we weren't accepted, I wasn't accepted.
This is the first time I've really explored what their decision meant to me. It really hurt, there's been lots of tears. Does that mean I shouldn't be wanting to have my own family? Does that mean I'll be an unfit mother? To be honest I still struggle with those thoughts. It's a difficult pill to swallow being told that I was deemed unsuitable to be a foster mother. To be a mother is something I've always wanted, my own family.
In an opposite light, if my genetic condition was not part of this, should we as society have an issue with people not being allowed to look after other people's children but are fine to go off and procreate as much as they wish. Where is the line here because I don't understand it if it's there at all?
I hear the fostering adverts on the radio and on the telly and its like a little hammer hits my heart every time. They say "do you have space in your heart to foster?" and I think: I do, but it's not good enough.
I'm not sure what feelings or opinions this blog post is going to spark in people. But I want the discussion to be started. How am I supposed to take my rejection? I suppose I just live in hope that I get gene-replacement IVF treatment and that I can be a good enough mother.