Friday, December 24, 2004

"Special Connection", My Ass

Ladies and Gentlemen of the blogosphere, I need your help. I need to bombard a clueless social worker in charge of fostering and adopting children in my county with posts telling her how completely off-base she is. This is the deal:

The local weekly in my area did a story on a couple who signed up for foster-adoption in our county. I read it eagerly, because T. and I have been looking seriously at fostering to adopt in the next few years. They had a little boy, who was about a year old when he arrived, for a year and a half, after receiving all sorts of assurances that he was going to be adoptable, that there was no way that his mother, a teenage drug addict, could ever be considered fit enough to get him back. Then she went into rehab, and in November 2004 was given custody of the boy again. My quibble isn't with this so much, as it sounds like this girl worked very hard to be considered a good mother, and it isn't her fault if the county didn't move fast enough to terminate her rights before she got better. This happens--it is the whole point of foster care, though I would say they shouldn't wait so long to make these children adoptable. And it is a news story, so I don't know how accurate a picture they've painted anyway. At the very end of the story, there is a discussion of what exactly a parent would have to do to be unfit, and the struggle between the rights of the birth parents and what's best for the child. The second to last paragraph contains a quote from the Child Protection Services manager:

But the county's Orlin says children have a special connection to their parents that no outsider can replace. "Even the happiest kids adopted at birth go to see their natural parent," she says. "No one will love them the same. It's a bond that can't be broken by any court order."

How completely demeaning to both adopted parents and adopted children. I couldn't believe what I read. This, apparently, is the reason for those horror stories about children who have lived with foster parents for years and bonded with them who are then taken out to live with birth parents they don't remember. I'm sure my brother-in-law, who is adopted and has never tried to look for his birth parents, will be glad to know that he spent his life missing out on this kind of parental love. And my cousin, who grew up in an abusive and neglectful household with the woman who gave birth to him, will be cheered to know he got the most loving bond he could have, despite never having enough to eat because his mom spent all her money on booze.

I plan to write to her about how she has just lost me as a potential foster parent, if that is the way placement is looked at. I would just love to send her (and her supervisor, as well as various government officials) other comments as well, because there are people out there who know from experience what a load of crap her statement is, and how hurtful that sort of thinking is, especially for someone in her particular job. How about it? You can leave a comment for me, or email me at empress dot carrie at gmail dot com. I'll send them along with my letter. Either she needs to get some education or she needs to be out of a job, as far as I am concerned. And anyone who is above her in charge of this program needs the same thing. For those of you in the adoption process, here's a lovely way to get your feelings out towards a clueless social worker without jeopordizing your own placements. (I don't have anything against social workers, btw. They are, for the most part, unsung heroes of our society. But some are bad, and when they are bad it can screw people up their entire lives).

Merry Christmas, by the way. And Yule or Solstice too.

1 comment:

bethee said...

I can't believe this. That SW needs to be re-educated. As an adoptee, I am beyond insulted. I won't vent here, as you've said it quite elequantly, but g'damn'it. This makes my blood boil.

Ok, so I'm changing my view of "re-educated" to shot.

b/from the ducks.