Monday, September 8, 2008

A sad day in Georgia

This story illustrates so much of what is wrong with our child welfare system today. When did we decide, as a society, that it's ok to take a child from her mother because some social worker speculates the mother may, at some future time, cause "harm" to her child? When did that happen?

Only when the outcome is tragic do we hear any outcry. And then it's lost in the cacophony of foster care supporters clamoring over the thankless suffrage they endure for the good of all those orphaned waifs.

Except they're not orphaned waifs. Not most of them. Most have been removed, like Jessica, for reasons shaky at best, imagined and vindictive at worst. See, Jessica's mother had recently asked for help with her bi-polar disease. It is well-managed with meds, but, as with most meds, periodic visits to a physician are required to continue the prescription. Being young and not particularly affluent, she sought help with the public health system.

That's it.

That's the reason little Jessica was taken from her mother.

Ironically, Jessica died of excessive heat when the foster mother became drowsy and napped after taking some medication, leaving Jessica in the hot car outside while her adopted toddlers played unattended indoors.

Why wasn't Jessica with extended family? They were available and willing.

Don't get me wrong, there will be the rare occasion where unrelated foster care truly is the best answer. But should a weighty decision like this be made on a personal whim? Absolute power corrupts. Perhaps citizens should be made to sit on rotating "foster boards" of a dozen or so, like jury duty, and only upon their approval may a child be placed outside of biological family. I don't know. Certainly the power to disembowel the family is too often invoked.

Apparently, the UK's system isn't much better. Run Sam, run!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Possible Adoptee Fears

From the 1994 NY Triad Conference:

Possible Adoptee Fears

1. That they will find their birth mother deceased.

2. That they will be rejected.

3. That their adoptive parents will be devastated and not understand why they are searching and that he/she will not be able to share with them or will be rejected by them.

4. That they are a secret and their birth mother will not acknowledge their existence to herself or her family.

5. That they will not meet the expectations of their birth mother.

6. That the birth family will be needy.

7. That the birth mother will not be truthful.

8. That the birth mother will not understand his/her life problems.

9. That the timing or method of contact will not be right.

10. That they will hurt their adoptive or birth family by saying the wrong thing.

11. That they will find out negative things about their birth and surrender.

12. That they will have to give up their fantasies.

Whilst wandering blogland I happened across a comment on what, I believe, was a PAP blog. The commenter said they "wouldn't read any [adoptee] blogs either".

Typical head-in-the-sand behaviour, I thought, and moved on.

But, like a song you can't get out of your head, her comment festered until I had to return, hell-bent on ripping her a new orifice.

I did modify my response a little when it occurred to me that the vast majority of adoptee blogs I've read are, in fact, authored by adoptees who have experienced or are experiencing one or more of the feared outcomes listed above. I'm not sure if any (either) of the happy-adoptee blogs I've found are actually authored by real adoptees. They could be. Hell, my adoptive brother is still heavily fogged at 44 years old. Happy AP and PAP blogs abound, almost no happy adoptee blogs, unhappy adoptee and first mother blogs everywhere. In this anonymous age of the internet where everyone can post their true feelings, what does that say about the "triad" of adoption experience? That only complainers are vocal? I think not, just listen to the AP's.