Friday, December 05, 2008

FINANCIAL HARDSHIP AND ADOPTION

Okay I have seen it all with these adoption agencies advertising through the media. This is tasteless and tacky. We are pushing an agenda that is wrong. Why can't these agencies find a way to support these mothers who have been hit hard as hell with this recession crap? No they just want their babies and their young children. Screw the mother as far as they are concerned. This press release is just wrong on so many levels.

It is totally ridiculous that we are bailing out the financial industry but we can't find a way to help families. In fact, I am hearing from various folks that they are reducing food stamps and other forms of help. These folks want women and men to relinquish their children in order to make their bottom line better. It is a sad world that we live in that we encourage abandonment instead of helping a family get on their feet.

All across the country there are families who are placing their children in foster care in order to get them the needs that are necessary for life in this country. All this country can do is save its own financial butt that we Americans have to pay for. This is really really sad. All they can think to do is encourage women to abandon their children.

I am furious over this kind of article.

Here is the story and the link.

: Financial Hardships Bring Increases in Adoption Requests

Adoptions are on the rise in the U.S. as financial difficulties fall on more single women and families trying to survive without the support of a partner. The loss of jobs, along with cuts to free services to low income families are also affecting requests for adoption help.

“Adoption doesn’t take time off during financially challenging times,” states Mardie Caldwell, Founder of Lifetime Adoption Center. In a recent interview, Caldwell shared that “the first day the stock market took a big downturn in October, our adoption hotline lit up and have not stopped ringing since. Women facing uncertain times are looking at options for unplanned pregnancies and for children they feel they can’t care for. Others are just looking at their dire situations and want a better life for their children. Not only have we seen a tremendous increase in newborns placed for adoption, but parents of toddlers and some older children are seeking out adoption as well.”

There are no longer any orphanages in the U.S. and women today have more options other than abandoning their children or turning them over to the state for foster care. Caldwell states that foster care was never meant to be a permanent home for children. Open adoption is a resource that makes it a win-win situation for all involved in the adoption triad: birth parents, the child, and adoptive parents.

Referrals come in from clinics, doctors, and Internet sites that refer birthmothers to Lifetime for adoption services. Caldwell has been assisting in domestic adoptions since 1986 and is an adoptive mother herself.

Recently, a 24 year old mother from Northern California called in on one of Caldwell’s adoption hotlines, inquiring about the steps to adoption. She wanted to find adoptive parents for her two year old son and six month old daughter after their father abandoned them eight months ago. Losing her job was the final blow.

It isn’t that the women calling about adoption don’t love their children. In fact, it is just the opposite. They love their children deeply and don’t want to see them suffer in poverty. Birth mothers call Lifetime Adoption’s hotlines to ask questions, find out what their options are, seek support, request counseling, identify legal referrals, and just to get the help they need and want. These calls come in from across the country and even from here in Nevada County.

With most everyone facing some of the effects of the financial crisis, grandparents are even joining in the selection of adoptive parents, gaining confidence that they can stay in contact with the children.

“With state and county social services programs being cut throughout the country,” Caldwell said, “we are working hard to pick up the slack. We are now sending out more than just adoption material to hurting families and pregnant women in need. We have a modest food closet that allows us to send non-perishable items, toiletries, clothes, household items and even holiday gifts. The requests have increased, with food closets in many towns facing shortages. When we have experienced similar mini-recessions in the past, we have always seen increases in calls and adoptions. But this time, we are experiencing a much greater volume of calls each week. We are now serving double the number of clients than we were just three months ago. Currently we are actively providing services for over 320 women, often including their children.”

Caldwell has been on the road promoting National Adoption Awareness month this November. She released a new book in November, So I Was Thinking About Adoption, a guide for women facing an unplanned pregnancy or considering adoption for an older child. “The response has been tremendous for the book! Many places, from family planning clinics to churches are ordering the little books to help women they come in contact with.”

The challenge now is to continue helping women, knowing that adoption may not be the right answer to all inquires. “Morally we need to help them at their place of need and answer their questions as they determine their options at this difficult time,” says Caldwell.

9 comments:

Eve said...

As if having to give your child up due to financial hardship isn't bad enough, there is even worse news: adoption doesn't help the kids in the long run any more if they have special needs. That's right, it's better to be a foster child in America now.

An old friend and colleauge brought me up to date yesterday on changes to U.S. adoption assistance laws, telling me that states have rolled back their assistance for adopted kids with *any* special needs (educational, emotional, psychological, physical, etc.) to age 19 or less. In the past, the child could get assistance such as medical paid until he or she was 21 years old if handicapped in some way.

Not so now. Now, they are lucky to get help to 18 or 19. So there is no guarantee for kids with physical disabilities or the need for ongoing medication or special help. If folks are telling parents that giving their child up for adoption is going to actually be better financially for the child, it's probably just one more lie about adoption that we like to tell.

In my own real life example, I have a handicapped son with major medical problems that could bankrupt us whose care, I just discovered, will be cut off before he even graduates from high school. I have no idea how we are going to be able to help him and keep our family solvent. And no, it's not a joke. It kept me up last night.

But we can bail out flipping CitiBank. Go us.

KITE KAMP GIRL said...

Don't even get me started. I am flat out furious at this kind blatant advertising. I wonder if the legislators even bother to think about this. Someone sent an email around recently. I am sure that you have seen it. Why not bail out the American people? The money would have been better spent on all of us than the financial companies like Citibank. Americans would have spent it paying off their debts and having maybe a good Christmas. ARGHHHHHHHHH

Teresa Marie Thompson said...

And here is where we agree. Instead of adopting children, why not support their mothers through education, housing, childcare, etc? Keeping families in tact should be AMERICA'S first priority, nothing less.

Mirah Riben said...

Amy,

Adoption always has and always will follow poverty and hard times around the globe and at home.

Adoption exists on the backs of resourceless women!

There are always those vultures just waiting to make a "killing" on another's hardship, whether it is buying up business or homes that have gone bankrupt and foreclosed...or babies!

What I "love" the best is churches who hold fundraisers for ADOPTERS instead of to help keep struggling families together...and when adoption from US foster care is basically FREE!

Mirah Riben said...

More:

Economy Down--Children in Missouri Foster Care Up

http://www.kfvs12.com/Global/story.asp?S=9458235&nav=8H3x

http://tinyurl.com/66hku8

Anonymous said...

Had the DISpleasure of watching the Lutheran Child and Family Services news piece as it aired. Lutheran Social Services of IL (LSSI) did a story to solicit money for foster parents two weeks ago on another local station. There was a recent print story where the president of LSSI was a little angry that the state of IL hadn't paid their bills and claimed LSSI was owed $9 million dollars.

I agree, raise money for keeping families intact or to feed these children, not raise money for foster and adoptive parents.

If a few PAPs would take what they would spend on adoption and donate it to mothers and children in need, maybe these mothers would have a fighting chance. Not be the means of making a profit for some agency.

Anonymous said...

People need to get off their asses and turn on a revolution. This kind of country is NOT the "greatest nation on earth". It's just the one with the best liars and propaganda machine.

Anne Jackson said...

I think you didn't read the article. It sounds as though this org IS helping women and calling for more people to help.

I work with poor women all the time and it is such a fallacy that organizations get government money. STATE organizations get government money but not private.

The organization I work with relies on DONORS. When donors don't give, there isn't any help. We partner with a local adoption organization to help their clients too and believe me, nobody is making $$ there!

I think you need to not lump everyone together when there are REAL people giving of their OWN to help others that don't qualify for government help or don't get enough to make ends meet.

Sorry, but I TOTALLY disagree with you. Don't bash org's that try to help. Sometimes getting messages out like this will help increase volunteers and donors. Something we desperately need!!!

KITE KAMP GIRL said...

Ms. Jackson,

I most definitely read the article. It was a frigging press release for a crisis pregnancy center.

Taking children away from parents who are poor is not the answer. It is certainly not helping mothers in this dire situations.

Providing resources for these women would be a better way. Providing foodstamps, medicaid, and housing would help these women.

I think you need to read adoptee blogs a little more. We tend to associate abandonment with love. Adoption isn't the honkey dorey way of life for some adoptees. We have been injured just as our mothers have been by the process of adoption. You are not going to win this argument with me or another person commenting on this blog. Granted I am preaching to the choir but they do know the corruption of these types of organizations.