March 18, 2020

Adopting a Teen Through Foster Care


Adopting a teen through foster care is not a common story. This week we chat with Crystal Ivy and her husband about their experience adopting a teen through foster care.

Crystal Ivy and her husband are longtime foster parents. They relocated from Alaska to Michigan in support of Crystal’s work in the Coast Guard. During that time they had to say goodbye to kids in their foster care. Once they moved they didn’t know whether or not they wanted to continue to foster because the initial heartbreak of saying goodbye to the kids in Alaska made them want to take a break from taking in any kids.

The Call

In January the couple received a call to take in an older teen for respite care. They didn’t know whether or not they were prepared to start caring for children again. Crystal decided that they couldn’t take him in at that time but she didn’t want to completely shut down the opportunity. She decided that if they couldn’t find another home for the boy that they could care for him. Sure enough, they could not find another home for the boy and called Crystal and her husband again.

Fostering a Teen The Instant Bond

Once they agreed to care for the teenage boy their family journey began. They had an instant bond and Crystal knew that she had her future son in her care. After the respite care finished the couple knew they didn’t want to give up contact with him. That same weekend they looked into adopting him but they couldn’t.

They came to an agreement where they could see him every weekend. On Fridays, Crystal picked him up from school and dropped him off on Mondays. As time went by, they realized that having to say goodbye to each other became harder and harder.

 Growing a Family by Adopting a Teen

Later that year they spoke his relatives and told them how much they loved him. They didn’t want to tear him apart from his biological family but instead add two more people. His family agreed and just a few weeks later he moved in. On November 29, 2019, Crystal and her husband officially adopted him.

 The Merge of Two Families

Some of the best experiences that Crystal and her family experienced consisted of merging families. They took him all over the U.S. to experience new things and meet different family members. They accepted into the family and the couple loved seeing that. Through their journey, they had many ups and downs but that’s normal. They had to learn to accept each other and grow with one another.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, we want to thank Crystal for talking about her experience with adopting a teen through foster care. Many people hesitate to adopt teens in foster care and it is important to remember that teens need loving homes too!

Check out our adoption calculator to find out how adoption costs in your area.

Return to blog