*~*All Organic - All The Time*~*

Friday, November 9, 2007

If It's Broke...

I'm going to jump up on a very unpopular soap box here, so if you're looking for love and light today, you might want to click back right about now...


Now, I feel for these foster parents, who have spent a great deal of time loving and caring for this child. Of course they love him, of course they want to keep him...of course they do.

It isn't their fault the state and federal government have set things up the way they have. Of course not.

In any life situation, I have to question anyone who walks into things blind, who believes everything they're told, who doesn't do their own research or think for themselves. Caveat emptor...buyer beware. You have a brain. Use it. Don't assume everyone in authority is doing the right thing or are out for anyone's interests but their own.

Foster parents are people who want to be parents. For whatever reason, whether they can't have children of their own or they just love children in general, they want children. Period. They aren't ever doing it for purely altruistic reasons, any of them. And foster parents often become foster parents instead of, say, trying to adopt through regular channels here or abroad because it's easy to 1.) become a foster parent and 2.) adopt a child through the foster care system.

When you go through a regular adoption, your odds of getting a 6 month old child (or younger) is small. Your odds of getting immediate possession of that child? Practically none. In foster care, however, newborns are often taken from drug addicted mothers immediately from the hospital. It happens all the time.

Granted, foster parents have no guarantee, like in this case, of keeping that child. But they are often told much different. And, because they haven't done their own research, they are taking advantage of a system designed to take advantage of them as well.

If foster parents really want to ADOPT a child, let them go through a regular adoption process, where they actually have to pay for the privilege instead of receiving huge financial gains for taking a child in. The fact that people who adopt children usually pay out of pocket as much or more than foster parents put into their own pockets from state and federal governments is rather telling.

Yes, the state and federal governments have set up this system. They dangle a carrot in front of foster parents, and keep that same carrot dangling in front of biological parents, and use that carrot to plow their fields from both sides until they've made as much money as they can. Perhaps I sound cynical. I suppose I am.

But the fact remains, it's a horrible system, and it's wrong, on both sides. It should be illegal, and it needs to be stopped.

And the reality is that foster parents don’t foster with the idea that this is “temporary” in mind. They foster with the idea that this is “their” child, because that’s what the state leads them to believe. “The odds are, you’ll be able to adopt this child.” That’s what the state says, and that’s actually the truth. They odds are usually in the adoptive parents' favor.

But when, in cases like these, a next of kin is found who is a suitable guardian for the child, everyone gets up in arms about the system that’s “failing children.”

Yeah, they are. They are failing, they continue to fail. They place children with foster families who end up killing them. They place children back with parents who kill them. They place children in group homes where they’re exploited and abused.

The reality is: the system itself is failing.

And yet, Child Protective Services (CPS) keeps asking for more state and federal money. "Help us save the children!" they cry. It's the same story, over and over, they insist: "If the system doesn't work, we need more money to fix it." And what do we do? We keep throwing more and more of our tax money at them because “it’s for the children,” and they become a bloating, bureaucratic machine that eats children by the truckloads and spits out their remains.

The evidence shows the system doesn't work. We've all seen it, on both sides. We all agree it isn't working, and something needs to be done. Yet we keep throwing more money at a system that we all agree is failing...

What's the definition of insanity again?

It's about time we stop doing the same thing, over and over, expecting different results... don't you think?


Christine said...

I agree with you. There seems to be so much greed out there and the kids lose either way. So sad... :(

Sandy said...

Good expression, good for you! Sometimes being cynical is what is needed.

Nicki said...

I agree with almost everything you wrote. I do have to disagree, though, that foster-adopt is an easy route. Those I know who have done it call it their own personal hell. They get to see, first hand, children wrongly "reunified" with junkies and prostitutes and child sex offenders. More times than not, the child is reunified and the adoption does not happen. When it does, the parent is left in limbo for often well over a year waiting for the termination to happen. I have never talked to a foster-adopt family who has said it is easy. Anything but.

The system is broke, it needs to be scrapped.

Country Dawn said...

I suppose I should have qualified "easy." It's certainly "easy" in terms of financial burden. Statistically, about half a million children are in foster care in a given year anymore. Every year, roughly half of those leave foster care. Of those, about half are actually reunited with their parents. About 25% are adopted. So while it's a nail-biting venture, certainly, to be a foster parent looking to adopt, it's also an "easy" adoption in that there are no financial burdens (rather incentives) on foster adoption. But you're right, a lot of children get reunited with their parents. Former prostitutes and junkies and sex offenders. Who, hopefully, have changed. Unfortunately, relapse rates are high. But I don't know that the answer is more adoption incentives, either... *shrug* Interestingly, of those children who are adopted, over half are under age 5 and white. They are prime adoption targets within in the system.

LK said...

The foster care system is no better or safer then an abusive home.