There are so many questions that revolve around hosting. Am I ready? What if I’m not interested in adopting? What if I am? What do I need to host? What do I need to provide? Question after question – and we have the answers for you!
For general eligibility, many of our programs are similar. As a general rule, families should be the following requirements:
Citizenship: One parent must be a U.S. citizen.
Age: Generally between 29-60 years old, depending on the country and the special needs of the child, if any.
Marriage Status: Single women and married couples are generally eligible in both countries, and single men can be considered on a case by case basis for Latvia.
Criminal History: Applicants with a criminal history of child abuse, violence or domestic violence are not eligible to host
Health: Host parents must be in good health with no major medical or psychological concerns.
But there are often bigger questions that aren’t so easy to answer with a general eligibility check. What do I need to have? Do the children come with clothes? Should I take off work?
The children need to have their own bed to sleep in while with a host family. Many of the children share a room with a sibling of the same gender – this actually may be comforting to the children, as many of them will never have slept in a room alone before. If you’re hosting a child and you have no other children, consider keeping a nightlight in the room to comfort them when they sleep.
Many of the children will come with few to no possessions, so host families should be prepared to provide clothing for their host kiddo while they’re here. Gently used hand me downs and thrift store finds are a great idea – taking a host child shopping once to pick out their very own clothes is a great bonding idea.
The biggest concern we see with eligibility is work during the program. Since the children in our hosting programs are not proficient in English, they cannot be watched under day care or day camp services. They also come from institutions, either orphanages or foster homes, so going back into what they will see as another institution can feel like abandonment all over again. Host parents are asked to take the majority of the hosting program off of work in order to spend time with their host child. Host parents also can reach out to extended family (host grandma and host grandpa!) for help periodically. Every adult who is in charge of a child must have a background check on file with Children of All Nations, and host children can never be left unattended or in the supervision of a child under the age of 18.
If you have eligibility questions about hosting, we would love to help! You can get your hosting questions answered at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (512) 323-9595 to ask to speak to a Hosting Coordinator today!