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Parenting as a team: foster and adoptive parents share what they have learned

A wedding photo of Nikki and Mike.

Married in 1998, Nikki and Mike adopted their teen daughter about 20 years later.

If you are thinking about becoming a foster parent or adopting a child from foster care and are in a relationship, you might be asking yourself how the decision will impact you and your partner. Read on to hear experiences from two adoptive couples and advice from a foster parent of over three decades.

Acknowledging that the dynamic changes

Nikki and Mike adopted their daughter, Ty’airah, from foster care after being married for three decades. How did adoption affect their marriage?

Nikki: “The whole dynamic changes because before, we were just a married couple figuring out life.”

Mike: “We had our routines and were sort of on autopilot. When you add another person to the mix, you inevitably find a new rhythm.”

Nikki: “And you have to know, as a couple, that you want to grow together and not apart. Adopting a child will make your marriage either stronger or weaker, and it’s up to you to figure out what it’s going to be.”

Mike: “And you have to commit to it. You have to parent as a team.”

What happens when one partner is all in

It’s not uncommon for the idea to foster or adopt to come from one person in the relationship. For Jodi and Golden Green, that was the case. Jodi was eager to adopt, and Golden agreed to take the training classes to see what it would be like.

When Jodi Green told her husband, Golden, that she wanted to foster and adopt children, he was hesitant. He was the spontaneous one in the family. With just their two kids, it was easy enough to head out for the beach over the weekend. But adding more to the mix? That seemed tricky.

Still, Golden agreed to take training classes. In one, they were shown the AdoptUSKids website. That’s when things changed. “You really can’t look at that website if you have a heart and not do something,” Golden explained.

A long-time foster parent shares advice on maintaining a strong relationship

A foster parent of 35 years writes about what she and her husband have learned together. Read the full article, which expands on these tips:

  • Don’t ignore your relationship to be the perfect parent.
  • Accept bids of affection.
  • Identify each partner’s strengths.
  • Don’t allow a child to pit one parent against the other.
  • Be comfortable letting go of control.

Interested in taking the next step? Learn about fostering or adopting from foster care.