Posts Tagged ‘ birth mother ’

Adopting a Sibling Group is a Bigger Deal Than One

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

One of the first things you realize when you start filling out domestic adoption paperwork via foster care and the county — in our case Los Angeles County —  you realize how many brothers and sisters must be separated during the domestic adoption process because it’s nearly impossible to take in two, three or even four siblings.

How can one adoptive family go through the foster-to-adopt plan with more than one child? If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I chicken out pretty quickly. When all you think your little family can handle is one foster toddler, but there’s the chance you’d get a child faster if you agree to foster her siblings, too.

This happens all the time. If me and my family (with husband and bio son Sam) agree to foster siblings we’d have a foster delivery far quicker than usual. I heard from reader Shell, who said she had to look deep inside her heart and soul before she began the adoption process for a sibling group.

Shell told me, “We are so very blessed. We adopted two different sibling groups of three children each. All of these kids are as close as any family I have met, and this also includes my eldest daughter who is my biological daughter.” Shell also said, “We loved a sibling group of three teens and then some years later, we were honored once again to receive three much littler ones.”

All of these foster children had horrific beginnings, though Shell declined to divulge the terrible symptoms and sexual abuse some of the children had experienced either in foster care or their own homes. But this she will admit for all six adopted children, including her own bio daughter, who is a spectacular older sister to the younger children still at home.

Looking back, Shell said, “With love all of these children turned into amazing human beings, surrounded by love, support and goodness. My eldest boy has even traveled to Uganda to help orphaned children there and another one of my adopted children went to Mexico [on a humanitarian trip]. Plus, our little ones now volunteer several days per month to help our homeless local community.

My littlest ones donate all their clothing, blankets and food to the needy. All of my teenagers have now graduated high school, and all have gone onto colleges. My three younger ones [from the last sibling adoption] are still home and they are loved beyond measure.”

Shell says that her family “is nothing special. Our story doesn’t make the news and I am certain there are many like us, but we are nothing sensational. I want to bring those [homeless or unloved] children home with me.”

I want to hear more adoption success stories like mama Shell’s. She told me, “Happy adoption stories are everywhere, unheard but real.”

Tell me your story here:

 

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Private, Open Adoptions are Healthier for Kids and Families

Monday, September 24th, 2012

domestic adoption blogWhile my family is still considering an international adoption with an agency, we have not totally ruled out an open, domestic adoption… yet. We prefer going the international route — I like the thought that the bio parents will live far, far away — but I would be amenable to open adoptions too.

Adoption research by Deborah H. Siegel, Ph.D. and Susan Livingston Smith show how years of secretive, closed adoption information among prospective adoptive parents and children stigmatized everyone. Only 20 years ago, when adoption was shrouded in so much secrecy and stigma, that adoptive families knew nothing about each other or the child.

Our new reality today is that a large majority (well over two-thirds) of adoptive families will establish either a partial open adoption or a fully open adoption where birth families and adoptive families stay in touch through the years.

•    “Closed” infant adoptions have shrunk to a tiny minority (about 5 percent), with 40 percent “mediated” and 55 percent “open.” Now, in fact, 95 percent of agencies offer open adoptions.
•    In the overwhelming majority of infant adoptions, adoptive parents and expectant parents considering adoption meet, and the expectant parents pick the new family for their baby.
•    Women who have placed their infants for adoption – and have ongoing contact with their children – report less grief, regret and worry, as well as more peace of mind.

“The good news is that adoption in our country is traveling a road toward greater openness and honesty,” said Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Adoption Institute. His recommendations include counseling and training for all the parents involved (expectant and adoptive), as well as post-placement services.”

Would you be agreeable to an open, domestic adoption where you might socialize with the kid’s bio family?

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‘My Aunt has Abused her Foster Kids in the Past”

Monday, September 17th, 2012

After receiving that disturbing message from Arin, I had to email back and help unfold the sad and heartbreaking story of a veteran foster mother who takes in too many children because she needs the money to live on. This foster mom grows tired of so many young and often emotionally abused kids in the house. Tempers flare. Arin felt bad even telling me some of the worst foster care experiences she has seen among the eight foster kids moving in (and out of) her aunt’s home during the last few years.

Arin asked me, “What’s bad or what’s the worst? She said, “Well my aunt has eight adopted children, young children, and she doesn’t even provide car seats with working seat belts for all those kids. That’s pretty bad, right? My aunt also gets a check to from the state of Arizona because she adopted several “un-adoptable children” but she is also abusive and very neglectful to them.”

Okay, here is worse foster mother behavior. “My aunt who fosters eight young children went out and bought herself a truck and makes them ride in the back though it has a camper over it the children are never belted in. My aunt makes one of them sleep on the floor in a bedroom with other big kids.” Arin and other members of the family have called family services in their state to beg for intervention on behalf of the abused children in the home.

As of last week, all children were still in the home of their foster mother. Arin also said, “Children protective agencies always interview the children in front of that monster and they are terrified. If they tell or complain, they believe they await a fate worse than death. To be taken away means facing unknowable dangers… So I feel horrible for her children.”

Arin told me some of the littlest kids sleep on the cold basement floor because [of the abuse they suffer from her] they wet the bed so they are “not worthy of a bed” in her eyes. This is all very sad.”

What can you do if you suspect local child abuse like this foster mama?

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Revisiting a Foster Mom with 30 Kids, 5 Adopted

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

domestic adoption foster careWhen we first published this story about an angel of a foster mom who has taken in 30 foster kids over the last few years, we got some great comments, everyone wanted to know what kind of big-hearted family takes in 30 kids.

The Foster mom who asked to be called “Mom of 9″ (only 9 at home now) said, “As a foster parent who has fostered and adopted five of them, I have experience with many kinds of abuse cases. It’s much more common than you think. Not only foster kids hurting biological kids, but foster siblings assaulting each other and even step-siblings assaulting each other. ”

Mom of 9 said that when it comes to sexual abuse in foster care, age is not a factor. She said, “We once had an 8-year-old boy placed with us that ended up being inappropriate towards our other sons. The county didn’t tell us until after he’d been in our home a few days that there was a risk of that because of what he’d been exposed to previously.”

Mom of 9 also said, “When someone adopts a child, the county is required by law to disclose their entire history of abuse but foster parents don’t get the same treatment; they are expected to take a child with only general information. We once had a six-year-old girl with us for three days  and the county didn’t tell us until three days later that she required an inhaler and an Epi-pen for emergencies. Her older sister finally mentioned it.”

She believes there should be stricter laws and legislation to protect and serve all children in foster care. What do you guys think?

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Children in Chains, China’s New Child Abuse

Friday, August 10th, 2012

orphans in china sex abuseLast month in a shocking expose extensively reported in China Daily, the daily newspaper launched reports and undercover photographs  of orphans chained up in a government-run welfare institute in Wenzhou (Cangnan county) which has shocked and horrified readers all across Asia. In the last accounts, the newspaper noted  “Experts said a lack of professional nursing staff was the main reason the children were chained and said such cases occurred at welfare institutes across China.”

Other child care professionals commented that the “tie-up” is widely accepted. This welfare institute housed 21 children who are now being moved elsewhere. Apparently there is no provision under Chinese law which would allow the Chinese government to bring charges of child abuse against orphanage employees that were trying to help house unwanted children overnight.

The photos depicted 2-year old Guo Qun tethered to the back of an old wooden chair by a strip of cloth around his neck. Next to him 8-year old Guo Cheng’s right foot was tied to the same chair by a chain. In comments that rocked China  authorities said staff of Cangnan County Social Welfare Institute tied up the boys due to safety concerns. “Children (of the welfare house) are only restrained when they have a twitch or a propensity to violence — they’re free for the rest of time.”

According to Wu, both the boys were born with defects and that is why they ended up in the institute. The Institute houses 21 orphans, 19 of them were born with defects. The average age is nine, poor babies. Lost souls.

Do you have fears about adopting internationally? My family is not eligible to adopt from China because we’re too old.

How about you?

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