Archive for the ‘
Fostering ’ Category
Friday, August 17th, 2012
When I first discovered this horror house in Ohio and originally reported the abuse of three young kids who not only had been raped by their adopted foster dad, but he prostituted his new kids out and a few of his depraved adult male friends also raped and abused the two young boys and a sister, all under 13.
This is one of those strange and awful true stories that takes on a life of its own, and I received so many comments back from all of the readers of The Adoption Diaries. Below, I offer you two of the most thought-provoking responses to the idea that this foster home was not investigated properly to safeguard these three innocent and wounded children.
This letter from Jeff who was also horrified — like me — that the three kids were living in his house of horror long enough to be adopted. (All three are in new foster homes FYI, and all three rapists will go to jail for a long, long time).
Jeff said, “By no means am I defending this man or the other two involved with this sickness… But the three men involved are not the only issue here. Why isn’t anyone holding the private adoption agency accountable? Where were all the background check that should have been done repeatedly? And why wasn’t there any mention of social workers doing home visits? Yes, I agree these men should be justly dealt with. But, as you know, our justice system isn’t the best thing going. We live in a country that has become so relaxed on the issues that should be our biggest concerns and yet those issues that should be our least on the ones that our most looked at.”
And from reader Jamie who’s been in the foster care system in the USA: “This story is very sad but what I didn’t see was the obvious factor, deception. Foster parents are interviewed extensively and, in Illinois anyway, require references, a physical exam, and criminal background checks. The fact of the matter is, a predator can and will hide. Like Sandusky, we are talking about a type of person who has learned for years and years how to play people and say what is needed to get what he wants. There are very few warning signs for these types of people.”
Jamie from Illinois continued, “In Illinois, foster care and adoption workers are required to visit licensed homes at least once a month. They are required to talk to the children alone as well. The only thing that we should focus on and can focus on is what can we do to help. What can we change in the system to make it more stringent?”
Thanks readers, what else can we do to help child abuse in the foster system?
Monday, August 13th, 2012
In a small local newspaper outside of Sydney, Australia, a family obstetrician named Brian Hooloahan who is getting on in years, finally went on the record with adoption and birth mother atrocities he witnessed in the seventies, against babies and their birth mothers. During his days as a medical student at the Crown Street Women’s Hospital in Sydney, the Nowra obstetrician repeatedly saw newborns taken from their unwed teenage mothers moments after birth.
A Senate inquiry has been launched to find how thousands of young and unwed mothers were forced to give up their children for adoption between the 1940s and 1970s will hand down its findings tomorrow. One surprisingly statistic: In 1971, 10,000 children were adopted in Australia, compared to only 384 just a few years ago.
As you can tell, in the seventies, that’s a whole lot of newborn adoptions. Something smells fishy! The inquiry reported heart-wrenching tales of women who were pressured or threatened in order to secure signatures on adoption consent forms. In the great interview originally reported in the Illa Warra Mercury, Dr. Hoolahan remembered:
‘‘I remember the girls calling out ‘I just want to touch my baby, please let me see my baby’ and they were crying and howling and it was the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I was absolutely powerless… I was a young student and I expressed my opinion but nobody really listened. It was like something out of the Middle Ages.’’
He said governments were complicit with the practice because they provided the services for the children to be removed.
How terrible for all those unwed mothers, those poor young women. Tell me what you think about international adoption here:
Friday, August 3rd, 2012
In the U.S., there are thousands of foster care youth waiting to be adopted. Many are older (more than 9 years old), and with each passing year, they are less likely to be adopted, and more likely to “age out” of the foster care system without the support of a caring and responsible adult.
Studies have shown that older youth are more likely to be adopted by people who know them. Yet, adults often don’t have opportunities to meet these wonderful children who are longing for a permanent family. According to the adoption service KidSave.org, older kids are frequently not even considered. Many of these children are overlooked for adoption because they are not babies or toddlers. Older kids have a lot of value and can add much joy to a family. Children age 11 and older in the foster care system are more likely to grow up in the system than be adopted.
Stats for kids age 11 and older still in foster care, according to KidSave.org:
- One in 10 will commit suicide
- Less than half will finish high school
- As many as 50% go to jail
- One in 4 will become parents before age 20
This great organization (thanks for the readers who recommended the site) is seeking volunteers in many different areas across the country. If you are interested in becoming a Kidsave volunteer, log onto a local schedule. Volunteers are needed to create events, serve on committees, find auction items, build attendance, get the word out, and support fund raising, support programs, and help with logistics.
KidSave.org has an astounding goal: To connect 1,000,000 orphans and foster youth to parents and mentors across the country by the year 2020. Count me in — we need more support for foster kids who are so sadly aging out of the system.
How can you help? Log on and find out.
Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
England’s Prime Minister David Cameron just reported the law in England will be changed to encourage more foster care councils to do this — so more babies can find a loving home earlier. Much, much earlier, according to the BBC adoption report. And why can’t we start doing that here in the USA?
Cameroon calls it “shocking” that so many babies taken in to care at one month wait 15 months (or more) to be adopted. According to PM Cameron and the BBC the UK government has pledged to simplify and speed up the adoption process. It wants babies to be placed with prospective adoptive parents before the courts have decided to remove them permanently from their natural parents.
In some cases, there might be disappointment for those trying to adopt, because the foster care system and domestic adoption courts of the UK might eventually decide to return the child to its natural parents.
Most often, children are moved from foster carers to adoptive parents once the courts have decided that the child should be adopted, a process that most often takes more than a year.
On average, a child waits two years and seven months to be placed with an adoptive family in England, about the same as here. The BBC reported that ministers highlighted figures which showed that of the 3,660 children under the age of one who were in care in England in 2010-11, only 60 were adopted.
David Cameron said: “Childrens’ needs must be at the very heart of the adoption process – it’s shocking that we have a system where 50% of one-month-old babies who come to the care system go on to be adopted but wait 15 months to be placed in a permanent, loving home. These new plans will see babies placed with approved adopters who will foster first, and help provide a stable home at a much earlier stage in a child’s life. This way, we’re trying our very best to avoid the disruption that can be so damaging to a child’s development and so detrimental to their future well-being.”
People who wanted to adopt would be prepared to take the risks involved, he said, “because they know how important early stability is to a neglected child.”
Why can’t America jump on the bandwagon and make it easier and more efficient to adopt kids in foster care? Do you think it should take two years to rescue and love an adopted child? No way.
Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
Adoption is hard enough on prospective parents, but if you are gay, I’d say it’s triple tough and in many places across the world, you cannot openly adopt if you’re gay and living with your openly gay spouse. To me, that’s sounds old-fashioned and slightly barbaric to me.
I mean… People who do not believe in same-sex parents who should be legally able to adopt are simply religious zealots, are they not? I mean, why wouldn’t you want two healthy grownups not to adopt a poor, homeless kid?
My gay friends have a much more difficult time even slogging through the endless paperwork (we’re all in our forties) and successful, in long-term relationships. And our gay friend-couples can certainly afford an international adoption (better than my family) that tops off at $35,000 – $50,000.
In the past, and perhaps in some areas of the country still today, gay couples have lied in order to adopt. Usually with one partner adopting and the other pretending to be a roommate or a friend. But it is necessary to realize the importance of honesty when adopting. It is legal to omit information, it is not legal to lie when asked a specific question. But lying in this instance is considered fraud and may be cause an adoption to be aborted, so to speak.
It’s more common for one partner to adopt and then for the second to apply as the second parent, or co-parent. Second parent adoptions creates a second legally recognized parent.
According to stats I found from The Williams Institute at UCLA Law School, this is the only way for gay couples to both become legal parents of their children. Second parent adoptions have been granted by the courts in twenty-one states.
On CBS News the other night, I gleefully watched Republican candidate Mitt Romney back-pedal from his original support of gay adoption last year. Now that conservatives are on his tail about his religious conservatism, Romney told the anchor how his “opposition to same-sex marriage ‘squared’ with his support for gay adoptions.”
How do you figure, Mitt?
Romney said, “… I think all states but one allow gay adoption, so that’s a position which has been decided by most of the state legislators, including the one in my state some time ago. So I simply acknowledge the fact that gay adoption is legal in all states but one.”
The Williams Institute, which analyzed the Census Bureau, showed that only 8,310 adopted children were living with same-sex couples in 2000, but the number grew to about 32,571 in 2009. The study suggests that almost half of gay families had adopted children from foster care. Amazing.
Are you for or against same-sex couples openly adopting children in need? Tell me in Comments below.