Teen Questions for Prospective Families

The following questions were generated during a youth and young adult panel discussion held at a 2006 Adoption Exchange Meeting in Batavia, NY and developed as a tool for workers to ask prospective parents and share with waiting teens.

  1. Can you afford to / will you send me to college?
  2. Can you show and have respect for a teenager?  How will you show it?
  3. Can you meet a teen’s needs?  How will you do it?
  4. What kind of child do you want? One that wants just a mother? Just a father? Other siblings? What kind of personality?  Does it matter if the child is gay or lesbian?
  5. Are you part of a same sex couple?  How will that affect your parenting?
  6. Are you married? Dating? Are you hoping to be? How will that affect the way you care for me? Are you committed to me?
  7. Will you still be my family even if something gets in the way? Like if the court holds things up? If I am not free for adoption? If I want to be connected to my birth family or other people?  How will you show me that I am still part of your family?
  8. How do you discipline? What did you do when you were the maddest at a kid?
  9. How were you disciplined?
  10. How do show affection to a child or teenager?  How do you accept and expect them to show affection?
  11. Please provide a letter of reference from a youth who has known you for a while (i.e. from a former foster child).
  12. Have you been a parent? For how long? For how many kids? Why did kids leave your care (if they did)?
  13. When there are problems between new kids and kids that are already in the family, how will you handle them?
  14. Will you bring foster kids on vacation with you? To holidays or special occasions?
  15. What do you think your first reaction to me will be? How will you try to make me feel comfortable?  Part of the family? Accepted?
  16. What do you understand about normal adolescent sexuality? Are you comfortable talking about it or accepting it?
  17. How will my age and order in the family change things?
  18. If your child has a mental or physical disability will you still be there?  If they are in residential placement? In hospital? In jail or juvenile custody?

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