Archive for the ‘ Must Read ’ Category

Can you Report Foster Care Abuse and Adoption Neglect?

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

How much can we get involved if we even suspect a child is in danger? Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. Every year 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving nearly six million children (a report can include multiple children).

The United States has the worst record in the industrialized nation, losing five children every day due to abuse-related deaths, according to the National Child Abuse Hotline. I wondered last week if some of us parents and adoptive parents had the balls to call child protection services if they suspected anything.

Reader Vanessa remarked back about reporting members of her own family, and she got nowhere with the foster care system.

She said, “I have even reported my uncle’s girlfriend (she has two girls, one his and another whose father she does not know) to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) three times. I happen to know that there have been other calls made by schools and pediatrician’s offices.

I have done everything in my power (taking them to my house as often as possible for sleepovers, having them over for dinners to make sure they are fed, bathing them to make sure they are clean, giving them clothes, advice, helping with homework, etc.) short of kidnapping them to help the girls. The system is flawed.”

Vanessa said sometimes a social worker visited (after a pre-notification to the party under investigation) and they would do a cursory home inspection. “Unless the person is literally beating the kid in front of them they usually find nothing. Of course if you call them first then they have plenty of time (which she has) to warn the kids that they will be removed, punished, etc. By the time the worker comes these kids are all smiles and life is great, dinner is at 6 every night and they really love their mommy.”

That is a big, fat lie. What would you do to alert the authotrities about an abused child? I’d scream my holy head off. Just for starters…

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Scary Halloween Dangers Lurk at Home

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Be careful out there…. Boo… Sometimes (like today) I may stray from a strict blog about adoptions, so enjoy it while you can.

With Halloween a-knocking on your door – it’s a good time to ask, is your medicine cabinet super safe for your adopted kids (or kids of all ages)? Pain Relief Centers in Pinellas Park, Florida wants warn parents of the potential poisoning dangers in their own home.

Here’s a good example: Can you tell the difference between a bunch of pain prescription medication (at right) or a bunch of kid’s candy? (Me neither and that’s scary alright.)

Windex, for instance, can be mistaken as a sports drink, Sweet Tarts for Tums, or a M&M for a cold medicine.

 In a recent study presented to the American Academy of Pediatrics, two young scientists found only 71 percent of students could tell the difference between candy and over-the-counter medicine.

According the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 90 percent of all domestic poisonings occur in the home.

Here are some tips to keep in mind during Halloween and every day of the year:

•    Use child-resistant packaging, remembering to secure containers after use
•    Keep chemicals and medicines locked up and out of sight
•    Watch young children closely while using cleaners or gardening products
•    Leave original labels on all products
•    Always take or dispense medications in a well-lit area to ensure proper dosage
•    Never refer to medicine as “candy”
•    Post the number for your local poison control center in a highly visible location

Happy Halloween 2012 and remember to stay close to home, and examine your candy closely before popping anything in your mouth.

 

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The Impact of Childhood Abuse on Adult Relationships


Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

As a mom blogger with a big mouth, I’m always knee-deep in studies and child-based research, trying to figure out the emotional pain/distance of adoption, and how to find energy, shortcuts and the laws and legislation to make my choices easier.

These studies (and a new book too) are recommended reading to families who are going through the demanding process of adoption: As you might know by now. children coming out of foster care often become adult addicts, and oftentimes children from dysfunctional families can carry silent, hidden wounds from the trauma of growing up with parental addiction, abuse, or neglect. Or the pain of being shuttled from foster home to foster home.

When these childhood anxieties remain buried and unattended, wounds can reemerge and get played out in adult, intimate partnerships and parenting, re-creating relationship dynamics that mirror early pain.

In this authoritative guide, bestselling author and renowned psychologist Dr. Tian Dayton explains the science behind how trauma lives in the body/mind and shapes our neurobiology.

The ACoA Trauma Syndrome: The Impact of Childhood Pain on Adult Relationships (HCI $16.95) is for anyone who has lived with dysfunction and trauma related to addiction, abuse, neglect, physical or mental illness, military service, or cultural/ethnic or religious prejudice.

It is about facing, processing, and healing childhood pain, marshaling strength and resilience, and taking charge of your own emotional life. Tell me a great story about adoption below in Comments, and we’ll go live with your story or book too.

Happy Halloween to adoptive children and parents everywhere. Tell me your story here:

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Halloween is a Holiday for All Children

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

But I feel especially winsome for the hundreds of thousands of kids who need a home, a set of parents to bring them Trick-or-Treating. Halloween is a funny holiday for my family because we’ve spent the last two Halloween seasons considering adopting a toddler from India–or then, again, adopting domestically and via the Los Angeles foster care system. And we are nowhere near settled on it.

Halloween brings up family drama! This particular letter I received from a fan of The Adoption Diaries, taking issue—yet another issue—with open adoption versus closed domestic adoptions.

My family and I have gone on the record saying we far prefer the idea of an international adoption because we have no way to meet those Indian relatives that gave our future child up for adoption; we like the idea of the biological family living far away. We may hard feelings on her behalf, for instance.

The reader agrees with me. Sarah said, “I find it interesting that everyone just defends open adoption regardless of all the problems open adoption contains … for families everywhere.”

Sarah told me her family chose a domestic, closed adoption “in the best interest of my adopted daughter.” And I agree based on the authenticity and intelligence of the biological parents. (I know I’ll hear about this from you about open adoption objections.)

Sarah’s daughter’s birth family violently assaulted the first set of adoptive parents before their own adoption ever went through. She said to me, “The adoptive husband had to have 28 stitches due to the openness pushed by their adoption agencies.”

Sometimes it just doesn’t work to be friends with the bio parents depending on the adoptive situation and personalities involved.

Sarah said, “When we agreed to adopt our daughter the adoption agency started in on us about Open Adoption everything. My husband went straight to the family court judge with the incident report and the criminal records of the birth family. Thankfully, the judge ordered no contact with the birth family.

I really don’t see how open adoption helps children if/when their birth families have these types of problems.  Violence is deeply ingrained in this birth family’s culture. Our daughter needs to escape from the influences that cause this violence.

My family does not know how to solve these problems that drove this birth family to violence  I also don’t think it is right to force adoptive parents into open adoption. Open Adoption has a lot of problems and they are mostly ignored by the adoption community by simply saying it best for the child without considering all the facts of the situation.”

I’d love to hear from adoptive parents who did both kinds of adoption!

 

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Trauma and Pain from Abuse in Foster Care

Friday, October 19th, 2012

A couple different readers of The Adoption Diaries have now recommmended a book to me to get some research under my belt and I want to share this info with all of you. This is what I’ve been reading about adoption and children who are neglected or abused in the foster care system on their way to adoption.

Adult children of addicts and children from dysfunctional families often carry silent, hidden wounds from the trauma of growing up with parental addiction, abuse, or neglect. When they remain buried and unattended, these wounds can reemerge and get played out in adult, intimate partnerships and parenting, re-creating relationship dynamics that mirror early pain.

In this authoritative guide, bestselling author and renowned psychologist Dr. Tian Dayton explains the science behind how trauma lives in the body/mind and shapes our neurobiology. The ACoA Trauma Syndrome: The Impact of Childhood Pain on Adult Relationships (HCI — $16.95) is for anyone who has lived with dysfunction and trauma related to addiction, abuse, neglect, physical or mental illness, military service, or cultural/ethnic or religious prejudice. It is about facing, processing, and healing childhood pain, marshaling strength and resilience, and taking charge of your own emotional life.

The Trauma Syndrome:  Impact of Childhood Pain on Adult Relationships

Alan Levitt, former Associate Director of the White House Drug Policy Office and Director of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign said reading this book, “Dayton’s new book should be required reading for policy and program makers at all levels of government.”

About the author: Tian Dayton, MA, PhD, TEP, has a Masters in educational psychology and a PhD in clinical psychology and is a board-certified trainer in psychodrama. She is also a licensed Creative Arts Therapist and a certified Montessori teacher. She created a model for treating trauma called Relationship Trauma Repair, which is currently in use at treatment centers across the United States.

Tell me your adoption story here:

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