Foster kids pull no punches describing cracks in the system

BY JAMES BURGER, Californian staff writer
jburger@bakersfield.com | Wednesday, Dec 09 2009 06:02 PM

Some of the biggest critics of Kern County's foster care system are its foster children.

On Wednesday four of them got a chance to speak.

Cody Sanders has been through more than 20 schools and -- as best he can guess -- more than 60 social workers in the 14 years he's lived in Kern County's foster care system.

He's been hit by foster parents. He has been ignored by social workers when he reported the abuse.

But the biggest pain he's faced, he said, has been the repeated violence of being shuttled from foster home to foster home -- bidding farewell to a long string of people who didn't really want him.

Cody spoke at a public forum for foster youth in the hopes foster parents will hear his message.

"I don't even want to hear excuses," he said. "I don't want to hear you tell me why you're not going to follow through with what you said you were going to do. It's wrong to screw around with someone's emotions and then throw them back into the cycle."

Jamice Freeman, 17, told a crowd of social workers and foster parents she's been been removed from homes so many times it has become impossible to trust.

She hopes foster parents will stop and think before taking in a child.

"We need not to be treated differently because we already have the feeling like we are (different)," she said. "Do not do it if your heart is not in the right place. Do not waste your time. Do not waste our time, because we go through enough heartbreak. We don't need you to add on."

Four of the more than 1,000 "permanent" foster children in Kern County -- children who will never be allowed to return to their biological parents -- spoke at the Wednesday morning forum.

While speaking bluntly about the pain they've suffered and the failures they've seen in the system, they said they believe the system saved them.

Jamice, who was put into the foster care system while in the fourth or fifth grade, said she remembers feeling a mix of sadness and relief when she was taken away from her birth family.

"Nobody wanted me around. They didn't want me. They didn't love me," she said.

But she said her birth mother was the most influential person in her life because "by screwing up" she gave Jamice a chance at a better life.

Phillip Fite, 17, said he was mad and confused when he was taken away from his family at age 6.

But he probably wouldn't be here today if he had stayed, he said.

"It wasn't the best living conditions," he said.

Still the only person he can truly talk to and trust is "Jesus, God, whatever you want to call him."

The foster children had strong words for social workers who have treated them like statistics, ignored their requests for help for weeks and made only the minimum effort to know them and make their situation better.

"Please do a background check on what children have said about the people you are going to place us with," Jamice said. "If 10 kids have said the same thing, we aren't lying."

But most of the children's message was aimed at foster parents.

Alex Pachis, 15, said parents aren't getting a "peachy" child when they take in a foster child.

Parents have to embrace the foster child as if they were blood and be ready for trouble.

"Be consistent with your kids. Be there for them," Alex said. "Treat me with the same respect that you would give to your own child. Do that and I'll be good."

Alex has been in foster care for fewer than two years and he's been lucky, he said, to find a family that makes him feel at home.

But Jamice said she's been promised love and care by foster parents so often only to see it yanked back out of her grasp again and again.

"They tell you they're going to take care of you. Then three months later you meet the real them," she said.

Then the talking starts, she said. Later there are family maintenance meetings with social workers.

At those meetings, Cody said, the foster parents and the social workers mention a couple positive things about him and then rattle off a long laundry list of every reason why he is broken and wrong.

What foster children need is for their parents to accept even the worst parts of them, he said.

"I've made plenty of mistakes in my life, but I've never had anyone to catch me when I fell," Cody said. "What it's going to take is for you to keep that kid through their worst."

Despite the pain they've experienced and the fierce shield of independence they've built around them, the foster children maintain hope they can make a difference with their stories.

Jamice said she was speaking for every foster child with which she's ever shared a story of pain.

Elena Acosta, assistant director of Child Protective Services in the Department of Human Services, said the agency hoped the children would be as candid as they were.

It's not easy to hear children say they have been failed by social workers and foster parents, Acosta said, but someone has to listen.

"We can't improve the system unless we hear from the people we serve -- and that's foster children," Acosta said.

Child Protective Services needs to better train social workers and foster parents and convey the serious, tough responsibility the foster system demands, she said.

"Stepping up for these kids is going to mean unconditional commitment," Acosta said.

Jamice said she believes she will one day be a foster parent.

"I would teach you guys how to do it right," she said.

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Open Minded?

But the biggest pain he's faced, he said, has been the repeated violence of being shuttled from foster home to foster home -- bidding farewell to a long string of people who didn't really want him.

Four of the more than 1,000 "permanent" foster children in Kern County -- children who will never be allowed to return to their biological parents -- spoke at the Wednesday morning forum.

Phillip Fite, 17, said he was mad and confused when he was taken away from his family at age 6. But he probably wouldn't be here today if he had stayed, he said. "It wasn't the best living conditions," he said.

"I've made plenty of mistakes in my life, but I've never had anyone to catch me when I fell," Cody said. "What it's going to take is for you to keep that kid through their worst."

I'm not the most popular contributor to this forum - not by a long shot.  Perhaps it's because I don't believe adoption per se is inherently abusive, which seems to be the recurrent theme in comments from some of the regular contributors here.  Perhaps I shouldn't take it so personally, I know.  I'm only human.  It hurts, sometimes more than others.

I would like certain moderators to know that I've been reading here far more than I've posted on this forum.  I would like to think I have an open mind and will continue to expose myself to the failings of the child placement system, unlike some others here who limit their exposure only to those adoptions which have failed the children they were supposed to protect.  Evidently, a "successful" child placement (through adoption) seems to be too painful for them to even acknowledge.

I am reminded of a comment posted some months ago by an adoptee to this forum in which she considered herself "lucky" to have had good adoptive parents.  Her comment was met with disdain and a small degree of ridicule.  Subsequently, she felt the need to apologize for having stated she had a good adoption experience.  I think that's sad, but speaks volumes about the emotional discourse so prevalent on this forum.

I would challenge regular contributors to this forum to have an open mind much like the open mind they demand from their readers.  We need to look for the good in adoption and preserve what works for children as well as expunge the greed and corruption which fails so many children.  To do one without the other is tantamount to throwing the baby (or older child) out with the bath water. 

Adoption is what it is.  Like any other human social construct (i.e. marriage and family) there is abuse, greed, power struggles, and corruption.  Adoption is only as good (or bad) as the parties involved.  The need for reform is great and our foster children deserve nothing less than our continued vigilance towards improving the system.  This much we can agree on and PPL deserves credit in advancing its agenda.  One abused or severely neglected child is one too many, whether it be in a natural family or an adoptive one.

Thanks for posting this article regarding this country's older foster children.  Some of them no longer have the option to return to their biological families, at least until they're older and no longer vulnerable children.  For many of them adoption ends the cycle of abuse and/or neglect. For many of them adoption is a viable option to end the constant placements and add some much needed stability during their childhood years.

But we can't discuss that here.

Dad

 

 

but Dad I think the point is

but Dad I think the point is WHY CAN'T the government do a better a job; if the kids are getting treated just as bad or worse than in birth homes, why take them away anyway?

and to the foster parents defense, many of them can be great, but the system and stupid mean cruel social workers screw everything up...

if you are going to bother to take a child away, spend all that money.... then make their life better or don't take the child away at all...

Indeed!

We feature abuse post placement stories - keeping that a main focus - so others can see how adoption is not always the positive experience most would like to think it is.

Unless a problem is acknowledged, and taken seriously, how can child/family services get better?

Adoptionland does not need yet another website that praises the workings of foster/adoptive parents and the adoption industry.  Adoptionland needs more voices, more groups, websites, and more media outlets that dare to be different... that dare to go beneath the feel-good surface.  We need more (not less) people raising serious concerns and addressing significant problems known to exist in child placement practices, so all fostered and adopted children can be given a better childhood experience.

People need to see the abuse, the corruption and the flaws so improvements can be made and adoptees don't have to tell their stories, in disgusted angry secret.

 

 

Agreed

Some of them no longer have the option to return to their biological families, at least until they're older and no longer vulnerable children.  For many of them adoption ends the cycle of abuse and/or neglect. For many of them adoption is a viable option to end the constant placements and add some much needed stability during their childhood years.

I fully agree... living with a good decent family can do a world of good.  Unfortunately, not every foster/adopted person is given that gift through an adoption agency. 

Care to discuss why this is?  Why, in spite of the advertised promise adoption offers, why are adopted children still being sold to grossly dysfunctional families and abusive homes?  Why, after all these decades, are many adopted children still being placed in very dangerous and unhealthy/unstable living situations? I have read stories from your own personal experience, and I have to admit, on a written page, it seems as though the agency you worked with did all the right things.  But are we to think all adoption agencies are as good?  Are we to pretend bad agencies do not exist?

Maybe instead of being so critical of our perspective, you can help readers by sharing with us your own personal opinion --  what makes a good adoption agency, a good AP, and a good adoption experience?

personal feelings

As the resident moderator of this website, I see it my task to respond here, even though I believe we have been here several times before.

Indeed, Dad, you are not the most popular contributor on this website, and your passive-aggressive statement you are not popular by a long shot, doesn't do much good either. Your less than stellar popularity on PPL is not because you are the only one who doesn't believe adoption is inherently abusive, I have yet to see the first one on PPL making such a claim. You do take the critique towards the adoption system far too personal, in that I do agree with you. Your impopularity on PPL is because of the attacks you make against our message, and it has cost us several members, most of them adoptees that have been abused in their adoptive families. Several abused adoptees don't feel safe to post here because of you.

I have said it many times before, and I will repeat it once more. This website exists to expose the wrong doings in child placement, we are not here to glorify adoption. We are not here to say: Dad, what a wonderful job you did adopting your children. If you need those strokes, this is the wrong place to be. There are literally hundreds of websites and forums where people will perform the requested ass kissing. Not here, sir.

The issues of abuse post placement, child trafficking, coerced adoption, father's rights violations, disrupted placement are far more important than the fragile ego of some adopters. If none of the issues we discuss applies to you, I am really happy, both for you and your wife, but most of all for the children placed with you. There are enough adoptions and foster care placements that don't go well and that is what we focus on.

I really don't understand why it hurts you personally that we archive, document and discuss cases that do not relate to your experience. I could understand it when you said it hurt reading these stories because of the horrors some children go through. I know that feeling. Of the more than 400 abuse cases archived on this website I have added at least 70%. I have read several thousands of news paper articles and court documents describing the atrocities some children experience. And you know what, I won't complain about the hurt I experience reading those articles, because it is nothing, absolutely nothing compared to the hurt experienced by the children that are being abused.

After having been a member of this website for more than a year and a half, I would expect you to know what this website stands for. Many of the adoptive parent members we have, send me articles about wrong doings. Point out abuse, corruption, malpractice. Some of them add cases or provide articles and court documents to cases. From you I have received none of that. Instead you whine about the fact we don't pay attention to the good adoption can do. Let me be frank with you. We will not do that. This website exists to expose the wrong doing, not suck up to needy adopters.

In the year and a half you have been a member of out website, I have read one interesting post from you, the story of the trip you made with your daughter to meet members of her biological family. That was something I greatly appreciated reading. At last Dad dared to get personal, and you know what, it was the only time you didn't get slaughtered.

Unfortunately your membership up till now has resulted in only that one interesting post. The rest is misrepresentation of what we stand for. I know I challenge the need for the institution known as adoption. It is demonstrated in countries like Sweden and the Netherlands that adoption can be a rarely used instrument in child welfare. It is possible not too use this very radical measure in many cases. I am all for the best interest of children, and I believe that all measures should be considered in every given situation. With adoption as the preferred outcome in the permanency ideology en vogue these days, I don't see such a considerate evaluation of options, and we will keep pushing back until every child ending up in the child placement system gets the best care possible given the situation it is in.

As long as there is an economic bias in favour of adoption over measures such as family preservation, reunification, kinship care etc., as long as adoption is making people more money than it doing children good, adoption will receive flak from me. That's what we stand for, and no adoptive parent's hurt feelings is going to change that.

Passive Aggression

Thanks for your comments, Neils.  I would like to address a few of them if you will allow me the opportunity to do so.

I was unaware that several members have left PPL because of my posts, especially those members who have been abused by the child placement industry.  I thought Adult Aftermath (your private forum) was created as a safe place for those members who were too fragile for your "open" forum.  If you want to keep alternative viewpoints off your boards, perhaps you should close and lock your portal door to keep undesirables like me away.  After all, this is an open forum and you seem to invite anonymous readers and contributors.

I do know at least one abused adoptee who left not because of my posts, but because of moderator censorship.  I know this because she told me so in a private message.  I will not betray this confidence publicly, but you have my permission to read my PPL In Box for a message dated Sept 21 2008.  Ironically, this was from a frequent contributor whom I highly respected and learned a lot from even though we had several spirited disagreements.  According to her, she was banned from PPL around the time of the sick joke about adoptive parents "riding the babes".  I simply don't have the power to do that, Neils.

As for passive aggressive comments, guilty as charged.  But no more so than the passive aggressive comments which dominate your board every single day.  After all, 99.9% of adoptive parents will "claim" their adoptions were done ethically and to a moral standard.  It's clear what what the underlying message is here:  one in a thousand adoptive parents are actually honest about the  theft  purchase  method by which they  stole  kidnapped  acquired their adopted children.

One man's passive aggression is another man's sound reasoning, it seems.  I guess it all depends on your viewpoint.

Finally, you are correct in that I haven't forwarded case or abuse files for you to archive.  They do not offend me as you seem to insist that they do, although I admittedly disagree with some the general conclusions drawn from them.  For the record, I don't collect happy sappy adoption stories to post elsewhere either, despite your claim that I want to glorify adoption.  I have, however, made a small financial donation to PPL to access a casefile database and tried to get others to do so as well.  I've also contributed privately to the cause of open records and continue to lobby my state representatives for foster care reform.

I'm going to close now because I'm starting to ramble (blech).  Bottom line, you can ban me from this forum or simply ask me not to post anymore.  I promise to honor such a request coming from you.

Dad

Focus on what needs to be fixed

Dad,

I am going to address this as a poster/reader/contributor and an AP. Our youngest daughter was adopted through a legal adoption. No coercion, no broken laws or shenanigans. We now have contact with her bio family and this has been a positive experience for all. Of course there are times when to her part of her life seems like a real bummer that she was relinquished in the first place-which she has openly spoke about-and there are times when she is just a joyous happy little girl. If I were to take this one experience and try to paint the majority of adoptions this way it would be a disservice to what is actually going on out there. Her adoption was I believe a good option for her. So, from where I stand it doesn't need much discussing in forums. What needs to be discussed are the placements and systems that are failing children and believe me, they are failing miserably. PPL is serving this purpose because things need to change.

Too many kids are abused, too many kids are being taken away from bio families who did not understand international adoption, too many foster and adoptive parents are not adequately screened, too many social workers are approving people to adopt who should not, and too many children are being treated far worse than any child deserves in our child welfare system.

This will not change unless eyes are wide open.

we don't ban

Except for spammers (people that only sign up to post unrelated commercial links), we have never banned anyone from our website. It is certainly true, I closed one particular thread, more than a year ago. At the time, I made a joke that was too crude and the discussion following was in my opinion getting out of hand. To prevent further escalation and personal attacks, I decided to close that one particular thread to let things cool off.

One of our members couldn't tolerate that action and decided to leave. Her account has never been blocked, and if she so desires she can still log on and post. The statement from that particular member she was banned is not true. She decided I was a fascist for closing a thread and walked off. End of story.

I am glad you acknowledge your own passive aggression, but I disagree with your rebound. Your paraphrase of Kerry's comment is incorrect in the first place.

Kerry wrote:

I bet 99.9% of all AP's would publicly state, the agency they used is not at all associated with liars, scammers, and cheats.  I bet 99.9% of all AP's would say they are too smart to be taken-in by smooth operators looking to make a large salary.  I bet 99.9% of all AP's would like others to think they are just too smart to be associated with people out looking to make a quick buck or great (powerful) connection.

The statement made is that 99.9% of AP's would not publicly state that their adoption agency is involved in any form of malpractice or corrupt practice. This is actually an astute observation. When visiting websites where adoptive parents tend to flock, there is very little room for honest discussion about malpractices and corruption. Many AP's tend to defend the adoption agency they have been customer of, despite evidence of wrong doing. This is especially true for prospective adoptive parents, who don't want to lose their position on the waiting list. Many of the adoptive parents active for ethical reform, all of them victims of adoption agencies themselves, have time and again told me how they were shunned by other adopters and prospective adopters for telling the truth.

The fact you read something into Kerry's comment that is simply not there, is telling of the way you interpret things, and has ever since you signed up been a source of friction. You seem convinced we actually believe all adopters are abusers. You seem convinced we actually believe adopters steal or kidnap children. Both are a figment of your imagination only, and apparently the result of knee-jerk defensiveness.

We do demonstrate that abuse happens in adoptive families, something I believe is not excusable. Abuse in adoptive families demonstrates that adoption agencies fail to properly vet certain adopters, in many cases despite serious red flags. It demonstrates that proper regulation of adoption and home study agencies does not take place. Adoption professionals have failed each time a child ends up being abused in its adoptive family.

Over the years we have collected many cases of child trafficking, especially in the context of inter-country adoption. These cases are not a matter of opinion, but real demonstrable facts that children are being stolen, or obtained through coercion. The actual crime is not committed by adopters, often even adoption agencies themselves are not directly involved. Still, I lay some of the blame with adopters in those cases.

It was not without reason Canada decided in 2001 to close its borders for inter-country adoption from Guatemala. There were too many irregularities and the practice was persistent. In that same year the United States imported 1610 children from Guatemala. The following six years the number of children adopted from Guatemala grew with nearly 300%. The reason for this growth was simple. Adoption from Guatemala was relatively fast and their was a steady supply of healthy infants. Many adopters dislike waiting times and they often have a preference for babies.

Despite the fact the overwhelming majority of adopters do not actively falsify paperwork, or steal children, doesn't make them entirely innocent either. Many adopters rather look the other way. Why else was it that the Guatemalan gravy train kept running? Why are people nowadays so eager to get a child from Ethiopia, despite evidence of child trafficking and other irregularities?

Still, I lay most of the blame for child trafficking, coercion, abuse, father's rights violations with the child placement system and the regulatory bodies at the state level.

In your own home state, where, according to your stories, you apparently have found a pretty strict adoption agency, there are more adoption agencies than in any other state. The reason: lax regulations and little oversight. Despite these lax regulation, it is still possible that some adoption agencies work pretty ethically. I know of one Texan adoption agency that tries to do things according to high ethical standards too, despite the fact that Texas as a whole is an ethical nightmare.

I am glad these agencies exist and I would welcome them on our site.

Finally, for me, cases of abuse in adoptive families and cases of child trafficking are offensive and that's why this website exists. If you don't find that offensive, then we apparently have a very different perspective on things.

Bottom line, even though I often find you very annoying, I am not going to ban you for presenting an opposing point of view. I value the openness of this website and would always defend your right to speak your mind. However, that doesn't mean I won't fight you tooth and nail when in complete disagreement with you.

Apparently Not

Finally, for me, cases of abuse in adoptive families and cases of child trafficking are offensive and that's why this website exists. If you don't find that offensive, then we apparently have a very different perspective on things.

A-parently not, Neils.  (Sorry, I couldn't help myself.)  My comments were in response to your original statment:  "I really don't understand why it hurts you personally that we archive, document and discuss cases that do not relate to your experience."

I do find child abuse offensive, but I don't take offense at the fact you post them.  What offends me at times are the general conclusions drawn from them about adoption and adoptive parents.  That is what I meant to say.  My apologies for not being clear.  But if you sincerely believe I don't find child abuse offensive as you seem to imply in your response, then might I suggest we both share the responsibility of  this huge little misunderstanding.

I also stand corrected about the banishment of members from this forum.  I had every reason to believe what was clearly communicated to me in a private message followed by the complete and total (albeit voluntary) withdrawal of a very active member and poster.

But I have to ask... do you really think I post here because I want stroked.  Are you kidding me?  Seriously?   I must have missed my moment of glory somewhere.  I don't think egotism is the issue.  Masochism perhaps, gauging by the "slaughter" (your word) I've received on this forum and the "friction" I've created while waiting to be stroked.

I know I'm annoying to you.  That's OK.  I've actually been banned from 3-4 forums over these many years.  One pro-adoption, one anti-adoption, and one pro-international adoption.  Heck, even AOL Adoption gave me a 30 day suspension back in the early days (1994).  You're in good company, Neils.

I read your post a while back about how your adoptive father felt disappointed in you.  Admittedly, my wife and I are struggling with raising our 19 year old adoptive son and the last message we want to communicate to him is that we love him somehow less because he's adopted.  I know it has to be on his mind and there's nothing I can really do about that.  Your post gave me insight, a chance to get into his head.  And as a result of your post I had to ask myself what I would do differently if he were my biological son.  I still haven't come up with the answer to that one.  I'm sure you will draw your own conclusions.

I would have a lot to more contribute on a personal and anecdotal level, but two things keep me silent.  First and foremost is my family's privacy.  I do not have permission to blab my children's stories on the internet and therefore guard my family's anonymity with a passion.  I hope you can understand and respect this.

Secondly, I still don't feel safe opening up here given the obvious acrimony adoption (and adoptive parents) receive in general on this forum.  I'd liken it to a voodoo doll opening up in a pin cushion factory.  There's a second biological family reunion on the not-so-distant horizon.  We'll have to wait and see.

Thanks for your kind words, Neils.  It's time for me to shut up for good now, so I'll take a voluntary hiatus from posting on Pound Pup for a while and go bother someone else.  Have a great holiday season.

Dad

 

 

Safety and grief

I still don't feel safe opening up here given the obvious acrimony adoption (and adoptive parents) receive in general on this forum. 

Ironically, this is the same sentiment many adoptees have shared, privately with me.  Sadly... unfortunately... this clashing of forces exists on every adoption group I have been in, and like you, "Dad", I have been banned by those who claim to support open discussion.  [To this I have to laugh, because I imagine suits in the adoption industry get very happy when internal piss-fests take place between members of the adoption triad.  Why?  Because if members are arguing and debating among themselves, it means time and focused attention is being taken away from the issues that really need to be addressed and attacked.]

So if the real issue here is about safety, (not wanting to be attacked), let's discuss that.  While I can understand how much it stinks to be an innocent person feeling wrongly attacked, just for voicing a personal opinion (story of my life)... I'd like you, "Dad", to consider what it's like being a victim of adoptive family abuse, knowing -- fearing -- each time you allow to open-up to people, the same dismissing theme and message gets thrown back by some seemingly angry and annoyed AP.   I get it... I really do.... good AP's do not want to be likened to or associated with bad AP's.  Unfortunately, logic doesn't always operate when triggered emotions step-in.  Please consider how many of the articles, subjects and topics can be very triggering for adults who have experienced rape, brutal beatings, starvation, isolation and profound forced secrecy, and consider how the following reads to an angry adoptee trying to share personal insights/feelings, from personal experience:

Evidently, a "successful" child placement (through adoption) seems to be too painful for them to even acknowledge.

Yes, for some of us, we are not ready to discuss successful placements simply because many of us still feel as though our issues have not been fully recognized and our feelings have not been validated.  I liken this to any human tragedy -- If you've lost everything you had (tangible and intangible) to a house fire, would you really want others telling you how great moving to a new neighborhood is?  At some point, victims of traumatic events need acknowledgment and validation... empathy... not constant reminders how things can be different. [In this regard, as an AP, please keep in mind it's not what you say, it's what you represent knowing an implied tone or suggested idea can trigger a combative response.]

At PPL, the adults who has been fostered or adopted and later abused by the foster/adoptive family will always be given more freedom in expression than any parent (bio or adoptive).  Reason?  Their whole lives have been one huge lie and secret, they were forced to endure, and then they were forced to act as if everything was not only better, but great.  Living victims of post placement abuse are survivors who have lived through some really horrible difficult things; they deserve time and attention, whether it's easy to give and tolerate, or not. 

Compared to most open forums, I tend to think PPL is more user friendly and polite than some, but given the subject-matter, it's hard not to expect triggered emotions and uncensored attacks.  We're not discussing items purchased through a catalogue company, we're talking about children who have been removed and ignored.  We're discussing topics like child abuse, neglect, drug use, and broken relationships.  Not easy pills to swallow, especially if these are  problems experienced by a person with PTSD. 

I find it very sad so much unresolved hostility exists between adoptee and AP, but I find it more sad that AP's can't see what a seemingly innocent attack does to a person who was forced to endured so many secret attacks and below the belt blows.  I am the first to admit, all my life people have complained I am far too sensitive to certain things.  The part that hurts is knowing I wasn't always that way... events, people, and their reactions have made me super hyper-sensitive, a trait I am trying to change.  [Sometimes it's not so easy teaching an old dog new tricks, it is?]

During your hiatus, I hope you can ponder the sort of feelings -- grief, anger, resentment, sorrow and sadness --  abused adoptees have to process and experience once they realize what happened to them did not have to be.  The way I see it, if workers within the child protective/ adoption industry were making sure each child placed was going to be safe, many of us would not be feeling so much tension and animosity.

In general

But I have to ask... do you really think I post here because I want stroked.  Are you kidding me?  Seriously?   I must have missed my moment of glory somewhere.  I don't think egotism is the issue.  Masochism perhaps, gauging by the "slaughter" (your word) I've received on this forum and the "friction" I've created while waiting to be stroked.

To be honest, I have no idea why you visit this website. Your posts are usually of a nit picking nature, when you seem to detect an over-generalization. Apart from a rare contribution of a more personal nature, your responses are by and far triggered by an omission of the words "some" and "many".

Sometimes when topics are particularly emotional people tend to over-generalize. Just look at the comments posted on news sites and political blogs on the currently hotly debated issue of health care reform and you will notice that comments like "the republicans/democrats/members of congress are all in the pocket of the insurance companies", are very common. People are angry about either having to pay for other peoples health care cost, or they are angry that those people needing care most are most likely to be rejected coverage. In either case, people tend to forget exceptions when they are confronted with something that hits them hard.

On this website the issue of abuse in adoptive families is just as emotional an issue as health care reform issues are on political websites. So occasionally an over-generalization slips into a comment. In the heat of the moment not all nuance is always applied.

I take pride in the fact that this website has not become a bashing orgy like so many websites are, and it has surprised me how most contributors to this website don't use over-generalization all that often. But when the occasional omission of the words "some" and "many" does take place, there is an almost 100% guarantee that you will react to it. So in that sense you are our petty little over-generalization watch dog.

If you would really contribute to this website and add to our mission to bring awareness to the many wrong doings in child placement, I wouldn't find that pettiness all that annoying. When you wrote about your daughters reunion with her original family, I hoped that would encourage you to be more open about your personal experience. I respect your privacy and understand you cannot just tell everything about your children. Still there is plenty of room to talk about your personal experience without divulging too much private information.

So far I have only seen positive responses to the rare personal comments you made. You get slaughtered when being petty, not when being vulnerable. I wish you could abide by that same principle, but unfortunately you tend to become petty when people are showing their vulnerable side. That´s the reason why some abused adoptees have left this website. Some of the personal discussion does indeed take place behind closed doors in our Adult Aftermath section, but some abused adoptees want a larger audience to know what has happened to them, to reach out to other abused adoptees, to let them know they are not alone. Often those discussion get emotional and not every statement made is as nuanced as can be.

It is most discouraging for abused adoptees when in those case, you assume the nit pick police role you are so infamous for. It makes that abused adoptees don´t feel safe on one of the few websites that pays attention to the issue.

So where members of this website have been most graceful towards your rare personal stories, you don´t seem able to reciprocate.

Finally, a personal peeve of mine. I would hate it if my adoptive parents would try to get inside my head. I would personally experience that as an invasion. Maybe that´s the result of my experience, maybe that´s a more general trend.

"Evidently, a "successful"

"Evidently, a "successful" child placement (through adoption) seems to be too painful for them to even acknowledge."

Dad,
Let me point something out for you that you might not get on your side of the fence.

You are correct it is painful to acknowledge you know why?
Those success came at the cost of the rest of our failures. Many of us suffered so badly.... while only a few of us actually are helped.

For every 1 success in foster care their is like 1000 epic fails. Alot of us suffered so that those little few could succeed.

Like really does the pro-side think that a few success stories that there are excuse the rest of our suffering or justifies placing child in danger by the thousands daily?

I mean with such a large number of children on such a massive scale... a few successes is nuthing to brag about or should it even be used to justify the existence of foster care.
if we are to be stolen from our families then we best be getting the help. But we do not we get taken out of the frying pan and thrown directly into the fire.

The success stories are fluke! Not by design.

If we are to be stolen "For our own good" then it should be for our own good... but it's not... no one has the right to judge my parents but me!

These clowns have no business interfering with our lives and breaching every single human right we are supposed to have to think otherwise makes you more of a Nazi then Hitler himself.

Social engineering is what CPS is. Nuthing more. I hope you will listen to our show when we cover the creation of CPS and what we are refereed to as and the discrimination that it was built on.

Now you don't gotta be black to persecuted.. you just have to be poor.

CPS is the biggest form of discrimination ever formed in a human society.... and how many support it is just truly more disturbing then my time in foster care it's self.

Kids are stored in foster care while they are waiting to be sold to a nice placement? Like does anyone wonder why some of the kids they get are so psychotic? When you store human children like cattle and abuse them... that is normally the end result. I could see how not being in foster yourself you couldn't understand that. Or would try to use the few fluke success stories to justify a system that does 100 times more harm to children then it could ever do to help them. Talk about the blind leading the blind...

(No offense to blind people I have met many smarter then me..lol... I even know a blind hacker who my skills don't even compare to...lol..)

It would be like sony releasing 1000 DVD players and only 4 of them worked. And then starting a campaign with the slogan... "4 is better then none" To try to get everyone to buy the broken DVD players... anyways

It's totally not logical in anyway shape or form.. but the industry is trying their hardest to make it seem logical to you all... and somehow... they have been very successful.

I am not sure if I should be angry or laugh at you all...I'll send you the verdict.

Sadly these are children and not dvd players.... but you wouldn't know it.

CPS PUT DOWN THE MONEY AND STEP AWAY FROM THE CHILDREN!

This is what bugs me...

It bugs me that adoption is seen (and used) as the solution to problems within the care-system.  Adoption is the solution to bad orphanages; adoption is the solution to bad foster care; adoption is the solution to a myriad of social problems, meanwhile those problems are not being fixed!

Why are these problems not being fixed -- because the adoption solution is so financially successful?

Adoption is not the solution

Adoption is not the solution in fact it is one of the main causes. Where do you think they get all these children you adopt from? You really think the demand of children comes anywhere close to the amount legitimately abused?

Adoption and people wanting to adopt and people wanting to make money selling other peoples children have facilitated the number of kids taken into foster care to try to meet the quotas of adoption. They don't want to spend alot of money storing the children otherwise the profit ratio narrows.

And as a result we have a foster care system that is a nightmare like no other... all just so you can buy a child... Adoption is a main reason we are stolen from our families and forced to live like animals... adoption is not a solution adoption is the problem at least for those of us who are abducted from our homes.. by wanna be heroes who have absolutely no idea what they are doing...

Snake oil

Ever since the introduction of the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (AACWA), the US has been in a permanency craze. Research in the mid 1970's showed that children being adopted, on average, fared better than children in long term foster care. AACWA formalized this idea into a law that defined any other form of child placement than family reunification and adoption as temporary. Only family reunification and adoption are seen as permanent. The goal of AACWA is to achieve permanency.

From the perspective of cost containment, permanency makes some sense. Children living with their original family, after family reunification don't cost the state a cent, and children living with adoptive parents cost the state much less than children living in foster families or in institutions.

Unfortunately AACWA pits child placement forms against one another and led to the creation of a preference ladder. Adoption is seen as better than foster care, which is seen as better than institutionalization. Family reunification and preservation is often overlooked, mostly because it is relatively cost effective, so the organizations involved don't make enough money to lobby for their approach.

Ironically, in a society where special interests have a big influence on political decision making, providers of cost effective solutions have less bargaining power than those that waste a lot of money.

The studies that led to AACWA and the permanency ideology mainly looked at averages, and that has hugely contributed to the child welfare mess we are now in. It may be true that 70% of children fare better in adoption than in long term foster care, but deciding that adoption should therefore be the preferred solution, ignores the fact that for 30% of the children it is a less favorable solution. Of the circa 150,000 adoptable children in the American child welfare system, adoption will not be in the best interest of nearly 50,000 of them.

A one-size-fits-all approach as promoted by the permanency ideology is only warranted when one size indeed fits all, i.e. when 100% of children fare better being adopted than in long term foster care. When not all children are being served well by one particular approach, all options need to be remained open and each option should be evaluated in the decision making process about the placement of a particular child.

The response to the studies that led to permanency was also a lazy one. It stopped the search for even better solutions. Adoption was defined the panacea for all problems, yet it overlooks the fact that adoption is a very extreme measure.

Critics of adoption practices are often depicted as radical, yet I would like to argue that the measure of adoption itself is radical. Adoption not only severs the ties between a child and its original family, it also severs the ties between a child and the child protective system.

As long as a child is placed under a protective measure, either through foster care, institutionalization or family reunification, child welfare authorities have a responsibility towards the child and have possibilities to monitor the situation. When adoption takes place that all stops abruptly. Any unsolicited interference with the child's life becomes an invasion of privacy, after adoption. From the moment an adoption is finalized, all contact between the child welfare authorities and the adoptive family is voluntary.

On top of that, contact with a child's original family becomes entirely voluntary too, after adoption. Only if adopters are in favour of such contact, will it be made possible, irrespective of whether that is in the child's best interest or not.

Given the radical and drastic nature of adoption, it should be carefully weighed against other child placement forms. There are certainly situations where adoption is in the best interest of a child, but in many other situations legal guardianship would give a child just as much protection and care, while being much less drastic. In some situation institutionalization really is in the child's best interest, such a measure should not be shied away from in certain situations, just because it is ineffective on average.

Finally, the real issue is of course the poor state of preventive measure. Grandma was right when she said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Unfortunately, in commercial society that leads to a preference for cure, because there is more money to be made that way.As a result child protective services have become a cash cow for many organizations, especially since the administration of the programs is a state affair, while much of the funding is federal. States have very little incentive to choose prevention over cure, in the end the federal government will foot the bill. The money thus received can keep a lot of people in the state happy, while at the same time the lives of many children is being ruined because of unnecessary interventions.

Critics of adoption

Critics of adoption practices are often depicted as radical,

Odd... I am a critic, I am not a radical... I am one of their victims how does that make me a radical?

OH... I know it must be the colorful ways I choose to express myself and my willingness to talk about being abused and used to make child porn.... like it's totally normal. I think that is the only radical thing about me....lmao...

Niels I love ya and your posts sometimes...

fostercare

I grew up in foster care in S.B.D.C and my thoughts on the subject at hand is they need to make it to where any one who takes your kids away just because you grew up in the system, as i say it not so lightly the same system that was supposed to protect me failed me, also as well as the abuse you endure from the emotional ,mental and physical abuse is unacceptable and there needs to bee a change for the better .

Pound Pup Legacy