Thursday, September 07, 2006

Deborah Hage's Response to Barriers to Foster Care Adoption

Deborah Hage responds:

1. Lack of adequate post adoption services! Including grossly inadequate adoption subsidies, poor therapy, poor parent training, inexperienced caseworkers who don’t believe the parents when they describe bizarre behaviors.

2.Poor termination of parental rights policies implemented by judges and lawmakers and workers who invest so much time and energy in the maintenance of the child in the birth home that by the time parental rights are terminated the child is so emotionally and behaviorally disturbed “normal” parents in “normal” families can no longer manage them. Liz Randolph cites a statistic in one of her books that only 15% of the children in a particular study were ever successfully for the long term reunited with their birth parents once the child had been removed from the home. Yet it appears 90% of services are provided to reuniting the child with the mother, giving the mother services, training the mother, etc. Every day that passes before the child is permanently placed marks the passage of another part of the child’s ego dying.

3. Parents are under the misguided belief that children in foreign orphanages are healthier emotionally then those coming through the foster care system. Unfortunately, while it is not always true, it is true often enough that families buy into the belief. Parents also believe that children in foreign orphanages are more permanently separated from their birth parents. There is an underlying, media driven, fear that birth parents are always out there lurking in the bushes to get their child back and the justice system will force the child back into the arms of the birth parents.


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