Coparenting is well established as important for parental, child, and family outcomes among those who are not involved in the child welfare system; however, limited research has examined coparenting among foster parents. This study examined how foster parents worked together to parent foster children, how they described their roles and involvement with their foster children, how fostering impacted their coparenting and couple relationship, and their experiences and needs of working together with and within the foster care system. Ten foster parents couples from different locations across the United States were recruited using a non-random purposive sample. Grounded theory analysis led to the generation of four overarching themes: (a) foster parent roles; (b) the conditions and challenges of foster parenting; (c) adjustment as a coparental team; and (d) individual and family functioning within the foster home. Results highlight that the coparental relationship was not overtly recognized as a foremost concern of foster parents; however, participants described the coparental relationship as a system that was crucial for making adjustments to the challenges and conditions of fostering while providing a stable environment for children. Implications for future research on factors associated with coparenting among foster parents and the need to enhance support to foster parents are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science