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Any suggestions on how to encourage my 18 yr old stepdaughter to accept/cooperate so we can foster/adopt?

My husband and I have been married for 5 years and my step daughter has lived with us for the last 4 years. I have 2 boys from a previous marriage 10 and 13 yrs old. We have plenty of space and money for another child or 2 and want to foster adopt. We went through the foster care classes, did the home study and everything needed for foster to adopt. A few months ago my step daughter decided she didn't want us to have a child and refused to give a copy of her drivers license so they could do a background check to complete everything and still refuses. This was a total suprise to us, since all times before when we had mentioned it to everyone in the family - all the kids were supportive. Since then she refuses to cooperate. I have paid for to start community college this month and go to counselling to try to work this out. I am wondering if anyone else has experienced & if you have any suggestions/ideas. I thought after having Xmax with her Grandmother that she might reconsider.


You are the selfish one, not your step daughter. Hasn't your stepdaughter been through enough? Her parent's divorce, her father's remarriage, and now having to live with your two sons who are related to each other, but not her. She's probably changed houses, maybe more than once. I don't even know what her mother has going on.

Why can't you just put your do-good-er work on hold until she moves out? Or better yet, give this 'daughter' some TLC while she is under your roof?

You married her father knowing he had a daughter. It is your responsibility to act as much like a mother as you can. It may not be the charity work of your dreams, but you choose it.

I think you're the one who needs the 'counseling' here, not her. You are the adult! Just because she isn't going along with your plan lock-step means SHE needs help?

You need compassion. Big time.


Maybe I'm crazy, but the big problem I see here is NOT that your step-daughter doesn't want you to adopt or foster (that is a valid feeling and should be considered) but that she won't tell you WHY she doesn't want it.

I grew up with two brothers adopted from foster care. While I AM thankful for them, and in the end it worked out well, it did not alway equate to domestic harmony. There were alot of very rough times. I do not recomend parents adopt additional children unless their current children are 100% on board with the idea. I also think that parents need to explain to their children exactly what types of problems may come up. Children from foster care often require much more attention than the average child. I do think foster care adoption is a really great thing, but it's not worth doing if it means sacrificing the feelings, security, and happiness of your current children.

However, your step-daughter should have SOME reason for not wanting you to do this. Unfortunately, I have to agree with what a previous poster said... it sounds like she's trying to hide something. Maybe she got a ticket one day and she just doesn't want you guys to find out. I know this might sound like an incredibly stupid little thing for her to be throwing such a big fit over - but teenagers are rather wild!

While I wouldn't kick her out of the house, I would certainly severely restrict her priveledges (like driving, cell phone, etc) until she agrees to at least talk about the concerns - and maybe it would be helpful if your family went to a counseling session together. I would also demand her driver's license (though maybe all you really need is a SSN) and spend the $50.00 it takes to get a background check done online. That way you know if there is anything she's trying to hide. Once you get her talking, it is likely that you can work through things. However, if it turns out she really does have valid concerns... PLEASE listen to them. You don't want to rip your family apart in an attempt to make it bigger.


Number one, the children you will be bringing into the home have had all the rejection they need for a lifetime. Having been adopted out of foster care I know that until stepdaughter accepts this your home should not be used for foster care. No that their is anything wrong with you or your husband it is not fair or right to children so in need of love and encouragement. Don't blame the stepdaughter for her feelings here. This is what she feels about this and even though it appears to be sefish and controling it is what it is. She may never accept this option.


She’s clearly acting like a spoiled brat , no offense. There’s some poor child out there that could have had a home with you all, that needs a loving home and family. If it were me I’d throw her out, one can not allow a child especially one who is an adult to dictate their life’s. As far as what you can do it seems to me you all have done a lot, you might get her some counseling. Other then that it seems you will just have to put your adoption/foster plans on hold, which is a true shame. Hopefully in time she will mature. However if she never comes around even when it gets to the point you feel she is able to live on her own. It might not be wise to adopt a child, if she resentfully towards that child. The child would have no idea why their new big sis doesn’t like them.

As someone else said maybe she is hiding something and doesn’t want it to get out.

Though she is fine with your boys she probably more sees them as your children. Where as if you and her dad adopted a child(ren), then they will be Yours( Dad and Stepmum’s kids)

Just wanted to say that most Community Colleges do not have dorms.


I can understand why kids might not want to, my parents fostered, and we got emotionally attatched to the kids, but when left, or were returned to the addict parents we, we kids got hell bent. Also, there are already 3 of us, and 3 others from my father first marriage, we as kids think thats 3 too many- we love our parents attention, even if we act like we dont. We love to be noticed, even if we say "whatever" to compliments passed our way. And foster kids, or another kid brought into our "terrority" is like saying "you're not good enough" or "we just want someone younger" its a ego blow.

Has she said why she doesnt agree? Have you talked to her about how this can help her for when she leave the nest- teaches her how to help take care of children because they are everywhere. Gives her a sense of responsibility and even a sense of being needed.

Hope all goes well


I agree with Ghost Writer. I think there may be something more to the background check that she doesn't want you to find out about. I can understand the blending of the families as I was blended with my step fathers kids. I went from being the baby of the family to the oldest overnight.

Isn't there any other way you can get her informaton? That way you could run the check and see if she might be hiding something. This would give you a starting point as to what the problem is if you did find something. If there's nothing, then you know that wasnt it and she never has to know.


If she isn't ready to be on her own yet, then you have to accept how she feels. She sounds like a selfish brat to me, but there's nothing you can do about it. You wouldn't want a child to move into your home and then have your stepdaughter treat the child badly. A foster child will be most likely suffering from all kinds of emotional trauma and s/he does *not* need your stepdaughter's bad attitude heaped on top of him/her as well. You cannot give your all to a new addition to your family if the people living in your house are not 100% supportive. Counseling is a great idea, btw.


Tell her to grow up and give you the information. She is 18 and is not going to be there a lot longer. She as no right to hold up progress on something you ad her father both want. Tell her to give it up or get out. Has she always been like this when it is something you and her father both want or is this a new thing? Maybe there is a jealousy issue since the boys are yours from a previous relationship and this child(ren) would be her half brothers/sisters and not step siblings. You say that she refuses to cooperate but she is 18 and still living under daddy's roof. She should not have a say so. Maybe the problem is that she is being let to decide something that she should have no say in.

I guess I am a bad parent also because I do not let my 18 yo son dictate to me what is going to happen in my own home. To say that your life should be put on hold because a child does not agree with what you want is the height of stupidity. Those are the parents that have spoiled brats for kids. Those are the ones that have kids, spouses and grandkids living with them and supporting them. You can call us bad parents all that you want, but it goes both ways. You are bad parents also for letting 18 yo young adults dictate what is going to happen in your home. She is trying to be daddy's only baby girl and she needs to grow up and stop being selfish.


Oh my! Isn't it fun to be a parent to an "almost but not quite yet" adult?

First, kudos to you for caring about what your 18 yo thinks. Please do ignore the hideous advice here to put out her out on street. Anyone who says such a thing is either totally inexperienced at parenting older children or is not qualified to be a parent at all. Regardless of whether one is a bio or adoptive parent, expecting a child to be blindly obedient and to threaten abandonment is a sign of bad parenting,

So, that said - I do not see any information about WHY she feels this way. I highly recommend family counseling for all of you. There are a myriad of possible reasons. You say that she is your stepdaughter. Does she have feelings of abandonment in relation to her mother? Is she secure in her relationship with her father?

Just because your stepdaughter is "of age", please please do not assume that she can think like an adult. She still needs assurance and support from you and her dad. There a lots of ways to help those in need other than foster/adopt. Ask her what she thinks you can do. Perhaps she knows a young mother who needs help in parenting her child. Her point of view may surprise you in its maturity,


Put your plans on hold until she is ready to move out. As another poster said, she has had enough upheavals in her life. Cut her some slack. I disagree with a lot of posters - many kids are not mature enough to move out on their own at 18. Stop pushing. She doesn't need counseling, IMHO. She is entitled not to fall into the lineup that you and your husband want to decree.


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