Friday, September 29, 2006

The Foster Baby

Note to All: I am so very sorry that I haven't been able to visit your blogs lately. I thought that I would have more time once I sold my one business, but my primary business has built up steam and I am swamped. My days are filled with business, and my evenings are filled with family, friends, obligations, and responsibilities. Please bear with me. I truly do value each and every one of you, and look forward to your thoughts and comments here.

The Foster Baby

Recently, I was asked to babysit children for a large Bible study group. I ended up in the baby department. That's when I realized that it had been 12 years since SaurKid had been that age, and I felt somewhat at a loss. What do you say to these little creatures? Er... what are you supposed to do with them again...? It's amazing how much you forget!

One mom dropped off at least a couple of the babies. One of them began to pout up and cry as she left, so I picked him up and started talking to him and cooing at him, in an attempt to distract him.

"That's David," said someone helpfully. "He's a foster baby. This is his last week with her."

How sad. I began to wonder what was going to happen. Was his bio-mom going to take him back or was he going to another foster home? I also reflected on how this was the stuff that makes a good, healthy sociopath. Actually, no one knows for sure how a sociopath is made, possibly because there are varieties. Like various pastries: We end up with the same result but the ingredients differ.

However, one thing we know is that although some sociopaths may be born, some are definately made. Their pathology begins in their childhood. Sociopaths bond with either very few or no people. Part of the problem they have is this disconnection where they cease to identify with others. How easy it will be for little David to disconnect if this "pass-the-baby" continues. Since a child develops his personality within the first two years of life, these are the most delicate and important years that they will ever experience.

I never found out what David's fate is going to be. It terrifies and saddens me to think that he is very likely a victim of "pass-the-baby". Mom's on drugs? Oops! Let's take the baby away from her for a while. Mom's off drugs? OK, give the baby back to her. Oops! Mom's on drugs again! Give us the baby...

Let's face it: Usually kids are taken away from their parents for a very good reason. And usually, that type of parent will continue to repeat those mistakes for as long as they live. In my humble opinion, once a child is taken away, the parent needs to lose the child unless it was an obvious "set-up" or the parent is not convicted for whatever they had supposedly done wrong.

Children are not simply a "thing" to be passed about from one person or foster family to another. There are plenty of people who would love to adopt a baby that is rendered unadoptable because the parents (who aren't fit to be parents themselves) refuse to relinquish their "right" to that child.

Abortion has reduced the adoption pool. Most of what is left are children that have serious problems because their mom would have aborted them if they had realized they were pregnant in time. That means babies with fetal alcohol syndrome, crack babies, or severe health or mental problems. What remains are the healthy babies with the unhealthy mothers. It is this small pool of babies that is so very desirable to people that are desperate to have a child of their own. And these babies will soon be screwed up too, due to the system that allows them to be used as pawns in the game of life.

That's why foreign adoptions are growing at a rapid pace. In 1998, there were 15,774 children from other countries which were adopted by U.S. adoptive parents. I think it's admirable that we can help out such children. But I would love to see our own children be given the same advantages.


R2K said...

They need to be stable. It is so hip to adopt children from other nations, but there are plenty right here that need help. I know a couple who adopted a girl, and boy did they luck out. I mean all little kids are great, but she is incredible. She is just brilliant. Anyway, the point is, nothing wrong with adopting. And nothing wrong with adopting from america.

This is why I support gay marriage as a good thing. The number of adopted kids they will be able to help is huge.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Alex, I know of many problems from adoptions, actually. Much of it stems from the fact that studies increasingly show that personality is inherited more than it's ever influenced. That means that a child may have very little in common with it's adoptive parents. However, that can easily be overcome or adapted to if the parents are trained and if there's dedication and love in the family.

As for gay marriage, it has nothing to do with the bollixed up adoption system we have in America. If these babies were freed up, there are plenty of straight couples that would snap them up. I doubt there would be any left! ;o) Perhaps you're referring to gay foster parents, because that's the real controversy that's brewing: should gay couples be allowed to be foster parents (there's a strong need for foster families).

The Lazy Iguana said...

Actually - there are still many babies of American birth available for adoption.

Problem - the demand is for WHITE healthy babies. Not dark ones - regardless of health.

So people adopt from Russia, Romaina, or whatever. Even China. But never Botswana.

And it is not so much abortion that has reduced the number of white healthy babies available for adoption in the USA. Family planning is the main cause. Contraception. The pill. Condoms. And so on. I really do not think that abortion is being used as a birth control method. At least not as a primary or even secondary method.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy Iguana, actually, this is an area that I'm highly familiar with. Please read the exerpt below (it's from the full article here.

For decades, the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) and others called transracial adoptions "cultural genocide." In 1992, the NABSW issued a paper condemning "transracial" black-white adoptions between Americans, warning against "transculturation . . . when one dominant culture overpowers and forces another culture to accept a foreign form of existence," and stated that "children need to be with those who are most familiar with their culture, heritage and family system."

Responding to the opposition of organizations like the NABSW, adoption agencies pulled back. After all, who could understand the dramatically different "culture" of blacks better than black social workers?

Finally, in 1994 -- concerned about the alarming number of black children waiting for adoption -- Congress passed the Multiethnic Placement Act, which prohibits delay or denial of any adoption due to the race, color or national origin of the child or adoptive parents. Still, after the Act, the number of transracial adoptions failed to significantly increase. Why?

According to the National Adoption Center, government still allows agencies to use variables to calculate "the best interest of the child." For instance, take a 9-year-old black child who has never lived with a white family. An adoption agency could argue that it's not in the "best interest of the child" to be adopted by a white family -- even when a white family wants the child!


As for whether or not abortion is a birth control method, famous economist Steven D. Levitt writes...

"In the first year after Roe V. Wade, some 750,000 women had abortions in the United States (representing one abortion for every 4 live births). By 1980 the number of abortions reached 1.6 million (one for every 2.25 live births), where it leveled off...

To be sure, the legalization of abortion in the United States had myriad consequences... Conceptions rose by nearly 30 percent, but births actually fell by 6 percent, indicating that many women were using abortion as a method of birth control, a crude and drastic sort of insurance policy."

jsull28fl@yaho said...

right on Saur. I agree with you, I know 2 families that have gone overseas to adopt. The thought that abortion isn't the primary cause for the lack of available kids here is insane. I have a cousin that keeps foster kids, temporarily, they are usually older and troubled. She has ended up adopting and raising 3 of them as well as continuing to take in other foster kids. It is sad. When people treat kids like some do it causes me not be be dead againt abortion. If 2 people are so fucking stupid to have sex without taking every precaution and they end up breeding and are so damn selfish and their lives are so worthless they would have an abortion it probably is better for the kid. Now I'm not saying all people that have abortions are worthless people, there are absolutely 1 or2% that were raped or had to make a life or death decision for the mother. It sure is hard for me to figure why any woman would ever sleep with a man without using every form of contriception available, those women have zero respect for their bodies, not only might they end up bred but they risk getting the funk too.
If abortion isnt used for birth control what is it a party trick? And why don't black folks use contraception? Hmmmm that would be the only reason there are black babies available if your theory is correct. Black folks don't adopt?

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

I know what it is like being super busy these days. Today, is a LONG awaited day off.

Being someone who works in an environment where children are placed in foster care (I represent the parents), there are no easy answers. Moreover, I have seen families from every ethnic group available in this business.

Hope you have some time to rest this week.

cassie-b said...

I was a foster mom on 2 separate occassions. (5 months) The first time, the twin 2 year-olds were returned to the parents who hadn't wanted them before, and shortly after, they got a divorce. Who knows what happened

The 2nd time (6 months) was a 6 year-old who was taken from her parents because of neglect. They gave her back to her grandmother, who immediately gave her back to the parents.

It doesn't always work

Dapoppins said...

Tottally agree.

Miss Cellania said...

I find that lots of people who say "There are so many children right here who need homes" are people who have never tried to adopt. Children in the foster parent program are usually NOT available for adoption, and the ones who are, are special needs. Usually not because of handicap or minority status. The usual "special need" is that they are teenagers, or they come in sibling groups of three, four, or more who must be kept together.

I tried adopting domestically. There are lots of roadblocks. Lots. There are private adoptions, but very few, and my husband and I couldn't compete in that limited arena. And the real reason why so few US babies are up for adoption? Abortion contributes, but the biggest reason is that mothers in the USA generally do not give babies up for adoption willingly. The cultural taboo against unwed motherhood has dropped away. And parents can't force a daughter to give up a baby like they once did. I'm not complaining; this is a GOOD change.

I could write reams on this, but its been done. My husband and I did not adopt internationally because it was "fashionable". We did it because it was the only avenue available for us.

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

It`s all so sad isn`t it. babies and kids getting tossed around and back and forth and the damage that it must cause in their lives.
I agree, there are far too many parents that should never have the privelege of raising a child. It`s sick.
And Bravo for Gabe! He sounds like he was a nice man.