Posts Tagged ‘ domestic adoption ’

‘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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Have a Play Date with Nature and Your Kid

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Calling all prospective parents: Sometimes I happen upon a post that’s not so tailored just for the adoption marketplace,  and this is one of those too-good all-natural posts that’s really perfect for all families.

In trying to plan our long afternoons off from first grade — the kid gets out before 3 pm, for goodness sake, I was happy to receive tips from the National Wildlife Federation in conjunction with research from North Carolina State University, which developed a thoughtful guide to creating enticing outdoor play spaces as close as a patio or balcony.

A “Guide to Nature Play Spaces” can help transform playgrounds, schoolyards, childcare centers, museums and zoos into spaces where kids can connect, play and learn.

The idea behind a nature play space is that instead of the standard metal and plastic structures that make up the bulk of today’s playgrounds, you can incorporate the surrounding landscape and vegetation to bring nature todaily outdoor play and learning environments.

  • Gather natural materials like sticks, leaves, and grasses to use in imaginative play. The simplest nature play consists only of gathering some of nature’s “loose parts” already present in a yard.
  • Collect  branches, logs, sticks, and rope to build a fort, hideout or den.
  • Use a hollow log, planter or corner of the yard to make a miniature scale fairy village. These become enchanted places that stimulate creative, make-believe settings.
  • Plant or pot colorful, textured spices like rosemary, lavender and thyme to make a sensory garden.
  • Set up small stumps of various heights that children can step across for learning balancing skills.
  • Help with garden tasks like planting, watering and harvesting provide hands-on play and learning opportunities. Parents indicate they want their kids to experience nature, but it can be difficult to find an opportunity that fits a busy schedule,” said Allen Cooper, Senior Education Manager for National Wildlife Federation.

Log onto the  Nature Play at Home Guide and start digging in the dirt, regardless of your outdoor space. Even patios and balconies provide opportunities for kids to connect with nature.

Do you have an inspiring adoption story for me? Comment below.

 

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New TV Show on “The New Normal” Family

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Tomorrow night, NBC launches ”The New Normal” with Andrew Rannells and The Hangover’s Justin Bartha who portray a gay couple searching for a surrogate to carry their child.

The show has already created controversy among conservative groups who strongly believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman, and is calling for a boycott of the show.

Not me! I say, everyone should watch and applaud same-sex couples adoption children until there are no more abused, abandoned orphans in the world. How can you deny these kids a good home?

On the show, Bryan (Rannells) and David (Bartha) are a Los Angeles couple with successful careers and a committed, loving partnership. Like many of my LA friends.

There is one thing that this couple is missing: a baby. From the creators of Glee, enter Goldie, a woman with a checkered past and she  decides to move to Hollywood with her eight-year-old daughter to escape a dead-end life and a small-minded grandmother (played by Ellen Barkin). Desperate, broke and fertile, Goldie quickly becomes the surrogate and quite possibly the girl of their dreams.

“If it were only this… easy,” said Fred Silberberg, a gay father of three. “It’s unfortunate that surrogacy will be the butt of jokes when many people who can’t have children here are going to places like India, where women are kept in what equates to a sweat shop to produce babies for profit. My hope is that this show brings the discussion to the forefront.”

Fred Silberberg is a California State Bar Certified Family Law Specialist. He added, “Many people who can’t have children are traveling [and adoption internationally] in places like India, where women are kept in what equates to a sweat shop to produce babies for profit.”

Silberberg is a well-published writer and contributor on family law issues and related social commentaries.

Helping push the adoption agenda is what we all hope at The Adoption Diaries, too. What do you guys think about same-sex adoption and surrogacy? Comment intelligently below, please.
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National Outrage for “3 Adopted Kids Abused by New Father”

Friday, August 31st, 2012

When we first aired this Ohio horror story about a foster dad who adopted three young kids and began prostituting them to his friends. To that end, I want to reprint two smart messages and Comments you left for me:

Reader Jess says, “By no means am I defending this man or the other two involved with this sick act on these children. But the three men involved are not the only issue here. Why isn’t anyone holding the private adoption agency accountable. Where was the triple background check that should have been done? And why wasn’t there any mention of social workers doing home visits and followups?

Yes, I agree these men should be justly dealt with. But, as you know, our justice system isn’t the best thing going. It is well noted that there are a lot of the justice  system and government system that are behind our nation’s biggest problem of human trafficking. 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 reader JL commented, “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. Look at Sandusky.

We are talking about a type of person who has leaned through years and years how to play people and say what is needed to get hat
he wants. There are very few warning signs for these types of people.

Mostly because the only people aware of these issues are the victims or, in this case, people who are also participating in the illegal act. 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. There will always be bad apples in every bunch. Sad but true.

The only thing that we should focus on and can focus on is what can we do to help. What canwe change in the system to make it more stringent? All issues we as a child welfare system struggle to balance every day.”

Thanks for everyone for reading and taking notice of these topics to help adopted kids:

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Protect Your Kids from Sexual Abuse

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

As my family and I dive into the whirlwind of domestic adoption and begin looking into a domestic adoption of an older kid from the Los Angeles foster care system, I’ve been surfing stats trying to figure out the odds of inheriting an older child that’s been abused in some way, Chances are, unfortunately very high if the kid is older than 11.

We’ve narrowed the age down to looking for a foster kid under 3 but the sex abuse thing continues to haunt me because we have one very healthy beautiful bio son who I would never hurt in a million years. We’d never bring a child into our home if we thought that new kid would someday hurt Sam. So I looked up several agencies to get the stats and they are not only worrisome, but they warm all parents about the common abuses of children everyone, and not just kids from foster care.

Child abuse in schools, homes, public places, it’s everywhere.

Good advice about what every parent can do to protect all kids from sex abuse:

•    Encourage children to respect the comfort and privacy of others. Teach children about privacy and respect.

•    Be cautious with playful touch, such as play fighting and tickling. These may be uncomfortable or scary reminders of sexual abuse to some children.

•    Help children learn the importance of privacy. Remind children to knock before entering bathrooms and bedrooms, and encourage children to dress and bathe themselves if they are able.

•    Keep adult sexuality private. Teenage siblings may need reminders about what is permitted in your home when boyfriends and girlfriends are present.

•    Be aware of and limit sexual messages received through the media. Children who have experienced sexual abuse can find sexual content disturbing. It may be helpful to monitor music and music videos, as well as television programs, video games, and movies containing nudity or sexual language.

•     Limit access to grown-up magazines and monitor children’s Internet use.

This is from the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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