Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mythbuster Series about Birth Parents

Guest Post Update:   
I am currently putting together a series addressing the common myths about birth parents*.  So if you have some light to shed or a myth to dispel about birth parents or birth families, please let me know.

Also - what do you feel are some of the top widely held beliefs by the general public about birth/first families?  Put them in the comment section below.

*Both those who have relinquished their children and those who have had them removed through the foster care system.


4 comments :

  1. Alisa, thanks for stopping by my little section of the blogosphere...you are absolutely welcome to link to my blog!
    Have a great rest of the week : )

    -Kylee

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  2. I would love to participate:

    The assumption that losing a child through CPS - child protective services - has long been that the child was abused or in danger in some way..... This is not always true, and, at times, is far from the truth.

    CPS/DES in Arizona often take children without real cause or on the grounds that there "Might" be a bit of something going on. If the mother and father are foster children themselves, the courts are often - always involved simply due to their parents status as wards of the court. Because of this, most foster children NEVER have actual custody of the children they give birth to... even if the parent is someone that is "doing well" according to the case worker in charge.

    The case worker (sw) is required to begin paperwork for filing custody on the baby of a pregnant foster girl the moment they become aware of the pregnancy. This paperwork is filed with the courts, after the sw has exhausted all attempts to get the girl to abort or sign a pre-birth adoption agreement.

    Once the paperwork is prepared, the date, the date of birth, name and sex of the infant is left blank until actual birth takes place. The girls are often placed in homes where the foster parents are adoptive parents. The foster parents agree to "assist" the SW in pushing the girl into an adoption situation. Thus, in the vulnerable state of being placed away from the father and out of the area (normally), the girls are often not allowed to contact the father or have any meaningful interaction with others that might be supportive of their choice to raise their child.

    When the child is born, the name, sex, DOB and the date of filing is placed on the documents which are then filed with the court. Often the mother is still in the hospital or simply unaware of the hearing... and, since hearings of that nature are held in the courts of the home county of the mother and most mother's are several counties away, they are never notified of or able to attend these hearings.

    The court, usually citing the need to provide services to the newborn, will summarily award custody to the State.

    This, unlike what people would like to believe, does not make the mother a bad person.... in fact, most of the young mothers that try to keep their children are good mothers and only need a bit of support to help them become great mothers and productive members of society.....

    Just because the sw's are involved does not make the parents bad people. Often records are "helped" to look worse than they are....

    Case in point - a falsified statement that a "severance of parental rights" has been filed in a court far from the adopting counting has been used frequently to allow adoptions that may have been disallowed by the home county.

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    Replies
    1. I'd love to contribute our stories and experiences! Here are a few:

      We fostered (better said: championed!) 13 children over the course of 3 years before adopting a sibling group of 4 through NJ foster care system into our family last summer. We've met a number of birth parents and relatives, including our adopted kids' parents, and there are a myriad of myths & truths that get tangled up in each other.

      Without going into much detail - please contact me for them if you'd like - but mental illness of the first family does not necessarily mean the child is less loved from the perspective of the first family, that is. Severe neglect (and even harm, oddly enough) isn't an immediate sign of being unloved or unwanted. It could be a sign of a reality fracture.

      Also, not every child jumps up and down over the prospect of being adopted sometimes due to "dual loyalties." Adoption can be very difficult on the child, especially older kids (our oldest adopted was 15 at the time) or kids who do not know the severity of their first parents' issues due to content is not age appropriate. Adoption is birthed from loss. This loss is in varying degrees from many avenues, but it is a loss deeply felt. Sometimes not immediately, though.

      Also want to state that social workers, in our experiences, give the birth family every opportunity to step up, get treatment - so much so that they pay for bus passes so the birth family can't use "no money" as an excuse for not stepping up. To us, it felt like the sw's made it TOO easy to get them back... and often the birth parents still had excuses.

      And the relatives of these kids - in general - were a disappointment to the kids. One good story: we met the grandparents of one baby in our care. It was a starvation case - how could the grandparents NOT know their grandchild was being starved? Well... truth eventually got out and the grandparents were right, they were purposefully excluded from the baby's life so they wouldn't catch on. They got a lawyer to win back their grandson out of "stranger" foster care (us) and into kinship foster care - and went through every hoop faster than any birth parent we've had! That was one reunification that was sweet!

      We've many stories, some difficult to share, and others - like our adoptions! - are a joy to talk about.

      "God bless the broken road/that led me straight to you..." by Rascal Flatts

      Looking forward to seeing this series of yours, Alisa!
      Blessings!
      :)renee

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    2. @Lori - Thank you! I would love to have you participate. Can you send me your email address so we can finalize things - attemptingagape@gmail.com? Thanks!

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It'll be a pleasure hearing your thoughts. Alisa