MASON CITY, Iowa – Drawing on your hand is encouraged on World Adoption Day as families and those adopted draw a smiley face to raise awareness.
“We have such a negative stigma with adoption that someone has failed or that there is a great need. I think sometimes there just needs to be a shift with who’s parenting the best for that child at that moment,” Carol Dettmer said.
Carol and her husband Tim started off as foster parents. According to a new report, right now there’s an urgent need for foster parents in Iowa. Last year more than 2,500 kids ended up in the foster care system in the state and there are currently only 2,100 homes available.
“There’s a need. There are children that truly do just want that consistent not just supervision but love and attention,” Dettmer said.
Always keeping in mind they’d love to adopt.
“Oh it’s like finding out you’re pregnant too. You’re excited but you’re nervous. There are no guarantees in any of this,” Dettmer said.
Dave Grooters helps parents like the Dettmers finalize adoption papers.
“Anytime you can have your passion for helping people intersect with your profession I think that’s a great thing,” Grooters said.
Grooters admits one major reason people don’t adopt is money. The average adoption from a private company costs $25,000, so he has some advice.
“Start by helping children that have been removed from their parents through the foster program and taking the p-s map. Foster family classes through that you get a free home study. There’s also ways to help other children that for example don’t have parents able to raise them through private adoption process,” Grooters said.
Of course, there’s up and downs with taking on a family member that’s not biologically yours, but Carol Dettmer wouldn’t trade it for the world.
“I don’t need to be a martyr; I don’t need to do this on my own. If I need help I’ve got plenty of friends and family and community members that are there to help re-enforce our team,” Dettmer said.
When it comes to foster care in Iowa there’s a great need for older couples to adopt infants that may one day reunite with their biological parents.