Monday, October 23, 2006

ADOPTION AND FOSTER CARE

When I discuss adoption, it appears that I am anti-adoption. I am not that way but adoption is something that desparately needs reform. Infant adoption has become a multi-billion dollar business. It used to be about the child's welfare but instead it has become about the adoption industry's ability to make a buck and some parents' welfare. I am not saying all but some. I don't want to offend my wonderful adoptive mothers who have adopted both domestically and internationally. Many of these wonderful people are good kind parents who want the best for everyone. They do understand the complications of adoption. They do work hard at being honest in their lives and in their dealings with adoption. I don't believe in international adoption. I do know these parents have done their best to have their child's information when the time comes for that child to search. My problem is with those that are like Sharon Stone, Rosie O'Donnell, Angelina Jolie, and Madonna. My concern is those children that are in foster care. We have over 500,000 children in foster care in this country alone. These children need stable homes and environments, yet foster care homes and the foster care system needs to be seriously overhauled. This came from a foster mother. She is a woman that all would respect.

One dear friend of mine spent the first seven years of her life in foster care and her mother's care (if you can call it that). Her birth mother (many of you would be disgusted with the way she was treated so be warned) was extremely horrible to her. This woman burned my friend fifty percent of her body. This woman also gave her a box of live scorpions as a gift. Everytime my friend was in her care, she would end up nearly dead. Three states kept giving her back to her mother. She also spent time in foster homes. In these homes she was sentanced to be used as an emotional, physical and sexual punching bag. By the time that help could be gotten, many considered her unrehabilative. Fortunately the birthmother's husband and his parents did not. They kept charging to her rescue. For that I am grateful because now I have a truly wonderful friend. Many of these situations are not monitored. Child protective services is understaffed and can't do much. In various states such as Texsas and Tennessee, adoption is pushed to point where natural parents are severed from their children without just cause. In fact both states were award over a million dollars each for their efforts in adoption. Yet at the same time children are left to flounder in foster care. In New Mexico, I have reda about children dying at the hands of foster parents. Katrina, my CI from Indiana, told that natural parents have three chances to kill their chldren. These are all scary stories. The foster parent that I mentioned earlier has many several comments to me on how she would like to see things change. Too many times, foster parents enter the foster care system just to receive a check. The children are not really cared for. Foster care also doesn't have the adequate help to monitor all the children in foster care. Too many times the children themselves do not have an advocate that stands up for them. The parenting classes that are available are not adequate. The very people we are expected to help are not getting that help. These classes need to be revamped to where they fit the parents not the schedule of CPS.

Many times when a woman is in a "crisis" pregnancy, she goes to one of these centers. Many times a woman has to go to one of these centers to get a verification pregnancy test before she can even get medicaid. She is filled with false information both about adoption and abortion. There is no information given on parenting her own child. Many women have received negative messages about their ability to parent especially if they are unmarried, if they are poor, and countless other ways that they use a woman's self image of herself against her. They literally ply on a woman's negative view of herself. In my mind , if a woman enters a family planning clinic of any kind, she should be given information on all three. Truthful information. Not the lies and not the bullshit. Abortion is hard on a woman's body but so is adoption. Parenting is a hard choice as well. It means hard work. I know I have two daughters. I fight for their rights as well as the rest of the women in this country. Here in small town Texas (Vernon), the crisis pregnancy center has pushed adoption. Many women do not realize that there is help. I had another girlfriend who went through this exact process. She went in for a pregnancy test only to be asked three times to give her child up for adoption in front of her husband and two year old son. There is medicaid, there is foodstamps, there is housing, and there is WIC. I have personally used three of these. When I was pregnant with both of my daughters, I received benefits from these organizations. I was lucky that I had support from the people in my life. My social worker was even a friend. There was never any pressure to give up my children. I did feel some discrimination from being on those benefits. Between friends and DHS, I was given resources to take care of me and my girls. I know many women who have done this.

There are those in our society that feel women need to repent for their pregnancies and their lack of financial resources by giving up their children. I don't think any of these people truly understand the pain that both foster care and adoption can cause. Adoption done openly and honestly and for the right reasons is a good thing. I do believe in it. I don't believe that adoptees and birth parents should pay for their sins for the rest of their lives. Even God forgives. Record should be opened to adoptees, birthparents and adoptive parents. They should be allowed the right to conduct their business without government intrusion. Only in adoption does the government break its own laws by invading our lives without just cause. We do not need to be protected from each other. We are all adult enough to make the right decisions. Give us that right. WE are the only group of people in the United States that has to face this kind of intrusion. Lets change the laws together. Lets do right by the adoption triad members.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Children’s Protective Social Workers have an unmanageably difficult job. They are the bearers of bad news, and everyone wants to kill the messenger.

Children’s Protective Social Workers are never mentioned in the same breath of success as law enforcement, fire fighters, attorneys, judges, teachers, or doctors.

Parents, and just about everyone thinks that they are the child's social worker's boss.

I know of no other profession where the professional is subjected to as much rejection and vilification, except an IRS agent or an actor. . . an the latter is trying to have fun.

AMYADOPTEE said...

Well the social worker is part of the problem in many ways especially in the baby scoop era. Many in the search and reunion field of adoption are still manipulating adoptees and their families. It seems to me that these people need to be speaking with their congressional leaders to change things as well. Lord knows that I am not saying all are bad. Many are overburdened. My own ci, Katrina is my idea of what a social worker should be. There is another blogging friend who is also a good example of one. Of course this is just my opinion. Changes need to be made. I challenge you to make such a change. One that is fair to all involved in this.