Fostering is Parenting

Fostering is Parenting

Jeff and Laura Tesch live in Eden and always wanted a family.

“Like a lot of young married couples, we wanted babies,” says Laura. “I ached for a baby.”

But they soon found out that having their own biological children was not possible. Infertility meant they would have to find another way to start their family. They are not alone in Utah.

“We field calls from a lot of couples going through infertility,” says Mike Hamblin, Director of Foster Family Recruitment for Utah Foster Care. “Many families start the conversation, saying they are interested in adoption and want to foster infants exclusively.”

“Our foster-adoptive consultants explain to everyone who calls that when they are a licensed foster family, they often end up fostering several children before one becomes available for adoption. There are times when an adoption is possible with their first foster placement, but there are no guarantees.”

“Reunifying children with their bio families is the number one goal,” continues Hamblin. “The courts usually give a bio parent usually about one year to go through drug abuse treatment,  learn new parenting skills, or accomplish other goals to get their children back. If they have not been successful, a judge decides if parental rights will be terminated.”

Jeff and Laura did become licensed foster parents, reunifying some children, and adopting others. They also learned they could foster teens, as well as young children. They hope other families will open their hearts to their idea of what a perfect family is and realize that families come in all shapes and sizes.

“Fostering is parenting,” says Jeff. “Once you realize that, you realize you are ready to become a foster parent.”

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