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Old 01-23-2013, 08:19 PM
 
Location: New York State, USA
142 posts, read 211,394 times
Reputation: 173

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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
As I do.

The truth is that we've made it pretty comfortable in this country--through the assistance we provide--for teenagers to parent.

Let's forget the obvious forms of assistance like Medicaid to pay for births, WIC to pay for early child nutrition, and TANF payments.

We also have: 1. special schools for teen mothers (so they won't feel "out of place"); 2. Support services like Medicaid nurses who go around to them and make sure they know about every dime of assistance available; 3. Housing subsidies (mothers with children get priority over single adults when there is a shortage of low income housing).

Than there is the vast change in social attitudes that has occurred. It used to be stigmatic to be pregnant and unmarried. Now, anyone who even dares suggest that there is something wrong with this runs the risk of being accused of being "bigoted", "judgmental", "cruel", or a host of other adjectives. Somewhere around 40% of all women conceive babies out-of-wedlock now. Certain Hollywood celebrities almost seem to revel in it. Considering they won't be on public assistance, that probably isn't my business. However, this behavior sends quite a message to hordes of unmarried girls about priorities in life. The lesson is being taught and unfortunately it is being learned by the less mature, the less intelligent, and the less motivated in society.

No, it doesn't surprise me that few teenagers place babies for adoption these days. Why should they? Getting pregnant isn't seen as stigmatic and paying for your pregnancy and affording a child are not an issue. Some may think that's a great way to raise a child. I beg to differ.
Hold on here, Mark. I am a social worker. I worked in homeless shelters where we set up services for homeless parents, mothers and fathers. What you say here is highly judgmental. If you were to meet the families I worked with, you'd be crying. All it takes is one accident at work, and the construction worker has a broken back. His wife and child are dependant upon his paycheck. Now they have no paycheck. When unemployment runs out, they can't pay rent and are evicted. A family in a homeless shelter. He needs retraining to a job that won't hurt his back, his wife needs childcare so she can train for a job. If they get jobs that are low-pay, the child is at risk, and the system removes the child.

One mother I worked with had four children. Her husband ran out on her. Without his paycheck, she was suddenly destitute. She lost her appartment and then lost her kids. I helped her get an appartment, follow the steps to get her children back, and helped set up interviews for her employment. The older children were in school, but the twins were toddlers and needed day care.

Honestly, the statements you make are myths themselves. Welfare is not a lifetime allotment any longer; Clinto took care of that with: five years and you are oof --- a lifetime total --- and if you need help after that, no welfare is there at all.

A little compassion goes a long way.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:21 PM
 
Location: New York State, USA
142 posts, read 211,394 times
Reputation: 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
It should also be noted that young teens may deliberately become pregnant in order to receive love. They idealize the idea of having a baby - that the baby (and perhaps the baby's father) will love them as much as they need love, and that they will receive positive attention for having a cute boyfriend and such a cute little baby. It's not uncommon for such young parents to have experienced inadequate parenting themselves, sadly, so they may view early parenthood as a positive choice that will fill in their emotional gaps.

Once the baby arrives, it may be treated much like a pretty doll by its young mother - sadly, once the cute, cuddly, pliable little baby becomes a stubborn little toddler whose favorite word is "NO!", younger (and some older) parents sometimes take their child's growing independence as personal rejection. Knowing little of typical child development patterns, young parents may take offense at perfectly normal, if difficult toddler behavior, and overreact with anger.

Teens having babies is not a positive indicator for success of either parent or child. However, teens with proper support of various kinds can successfully parent. But it's tough, tough work which requires much self-sacrifice and rapid gain of maturity and focus.
This is why we try to have programs in place to help teen parents. Again, compassion goes a long way.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:32 PM
 
Location: New York State, USA
142 posts, read 211,394 times
Reputation: 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
Anyway you look at it, teenage pregnancy is not good for the mother or the child.
If she were alive today, my dear friend who died at age 96, would tell you this statement makes a mockery of her. She married at age 16, had her first child at 17, had a beautiful portrait taken, went on to have 15 more pregnancies, and 3 infants died within days of birth, so 12 children who lived.

True, she was lucky she had a wonderful husband.

My grandmother had 12 children. And she was a teen mother, married.

There is a problem with our society in how we approach teen pregnancies. If we continue to put thm down, there will problems.

How many married men in their 30s actually give a damn about their kids? Many husbands run around and leave their wives because they just run around.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:05 AM
 
1,024 posts, read 984,837 times
Reputation: 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
It should also be noted that young teens may deliberately become pregnant in order to receive love. They idealize the idea of having a baby - that the baby (and perhaps the baby's father) will love them as much as they need love, and that they will receive positive attention for having a cute boyfriend and such a cute little baby. It's not uncommon for such young parents to have experienced inadequate parenting themselves, sadly, so they may view early parenthood as a positive choice that will fill in their emotional gaps.

Once the baby arrives, it may be treated much like a pretty doll by its young mother - sadly, once the cute, cuddly, pliable little baby becomes a stubborn little toddler whose favorite word is "NO!", younger (and some older) parents sometimes take their child's growing independence as personal rejection. Knowing little of typical child development patterns, young parents may take offense at perfectly normal, if difficult toddler behavior, and overreact with anger.

Teens having babies is not a positive indicator for success of either parent or child. However, teens with proper support of various kinds can successfully parent. But it's tough, tough work which requires much self-sacrifice and rapid gain of maturity and focus.
These problems are not only teen parent problems. All of this can be true for adoptive parents, too:

Adoptive parents may deliberately adopt in order to receive love. They can idealize the idea of adopting a baby & what it will be like parenting a child that comes from a different family.

It's not uncommon for adoptive parents or anyone really to have experienced inadequate parenting themselves & they may also view parenting as a way to fill emotional gaps.

Once the baby arrives, it may be treated much like a pretty doll by its adoptive parents. Adoptive parents can also take their child's growing independence as personal rejection. Some adoptive parents experience post-adoption depression before the baby is even a toddler. Not expecting it to be so hard to parent an adopted child, adoptive parents may take offense at perfectly normal, if difficult adoptee behavior & also overract with anger.

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 01-24-2013 at 10:24 AM..
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,479 posts, read 43,619,078 times
Reputation: 47225
Quote:
Originally Posted by taulery View Post
If she were alive today, my dear friend who died at age 96, would tell you this statement makes a mockery of her. She married at age 16, had her first child at 17, had a beautiful portrait taken, went on to have 15 more pregnancies, and 3 infants died within days of birth, so 12 children who lived.

True, she was lucky she had a wonderful husband.

My grandmother had 12 children. And she was a teen mother, married.

There is a problem with our society in how we approach teen pregnancies. If we continue to put thm down, there will problems.

How many married men in their 30s actually give a damn about their kids? Many husbands run around and leave their wives because they just run around.
you are comparing apples and oranges. A century ago girls were expected to marry young and have big families. you were a spinster if not married by 21. hell, even in the 60's women older than 23-25 were considered spinsters with slim pickins. And remember there was no reliable birth control. With all the birth control available today there is little excuse for unplanned pregnancies. notice I said little and not no.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,479 posts, read 43,619,078 times
Reputation: 47225
Also I think Craig was mainly talking about teenaged mothers in his recent post. Anybody would have to have been living under a rock for the past few years not to be aware of the many heartbreaking stories of families in distress in this recession. I don't know anybody without sympathy for those families. And I agree we should do whatever we can for them to help them get back on their feet. But these folks only expect temporary help while it appears teenaged moms get on welfare for the long haul and then bring even more children into the mess.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,479 posts, read 43,619,078 times
Reputation: 47225
not saying it doesn't exist but most parents I know have children(either biologically or adopted) to GIVE love rather than to Receive love.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,479 posts, read 43,619,078 times
Reputation: 47225
I would go so far as to say most married men in their 30's do care about their children. Sorry if this has not been your experience. And just because a man runs around on his wife does not automatically mean he does not care about his children.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:18 AM
 
1,516 posts, read 1,842,081 times
Reputation: 3121
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Also I think Craig was mainly talking about teenaged mothers in his recent post. Anybody would have to have been living under a rock for the past few years not to be aware of the many heartbreaking stories of families in distress in this recession. I don't know anybody without sympathy for those families. And I agree we should do whatever we can for them to help them get back on their feet. But these folks only expect temporary help while it appears teenaged moms get on welfare for the long haul and then bring even more children into the mess.
I know that what I'm about to say is a bit off topic and not exactly adoption related so please forgive me. It does tie into what no kudzu is saying. In my area, I've seens quite a few younger girls, just out of their teens, casually have kids with whatever boyfriend they are seeing. Just spoke with an ex coworker last week and her daughter is having another baby with her current boyfriend that may not last. Seems like the concept of birth control is unknown. This young girl really never did step up to parent her first child (Grandma watched the child). Now she is repeating this pattern and having another baby. Her friends are doing the same thing and these babies are going passed around to whomever can watch them while they do their party things. I don't get it.

This isn't an isolated story. My other friend's daughter just pumped out her 4th child with drug addicted boyfriend who just died of a herion overdose a few months ago. My friend had to take guardianship of the kids while her daughter got help. This pattern has been doing on for almost 10 years and the two oldest boys show signs of post traumatic stress. They have never known a stable life. The daughter just regained custody and moved in with another guy. I pray for them.

Both young girls started this pattern when they were 19/20 years old and have had troubles getting out of the rut. Not saying this happens to all very young girls but seems to be a trend amongst some of my coworkers' kids/acquaintences and I can only listen to their stories and hope for the best.

Again, a bit off topic but wanted to expand on what no kudzu said.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:13 PM
 
9,158 posts, read 9,232,316 times
Reputation: 28672
Quote:
Hold on here, Mark. I am a social worker. I worked in homeless shelters where we set up services for homeless parents, mothers and fathers. What you say here is highly judgmental. If you were to meet the families I worked with, you'd be crying. All it takes is one accident at work, and the construction worker has a broken back. His wife and child are dependant upon his paycheck. Now they have no paycheck. When unemployment runs out, they can't pay rent and are evicted. A family in a homeless shelter. He needs retraining to a job that won't hurt his back, his wife needs childcare so she can train for a job. If they get jobs that are low-pay, the child is at risk, and the system removes the child.

One mother I worked with had four children. Her husband ran out on her. Without his paycheck, she was suddenly destitute. She lost her appartment and then lost her kids. I helped her get an appartment, follow the steps to get her children back, and helped set up interviews for her employment. The older children were in school, but the twins were toddlers and needed day care.

Honestly, the statements you make are myths themselves. Welfare is not a lifetime allotment any longer; Clinto took care of that with: five years and you are oof --- a lifetime total --- and if you need help after that, no welfare is there at all.

A little compassion goes a long way.
Of course, society should be compassionate. Of course, there are people who have a genuine need in this community. Of course, we shouldn't turn our backs on them.

If someone loses their job, I have no problem with them receiving unemployment benefits and food stamps while they look for work. If someone truly becomes disabled I have no issue with them receiving social security disability benefits and medicare. I have a friend who became disabled at 42 years of age because of multiple schlerosis. He's the textbook case for why we have social security disability. If a young family makes bad financial decisions, I'm not opposed to giving them some short term assistance. If a woman with children is deserted by her legally married husband, I'm all for allowing them to have TANF and food stamps until the mother can acquire some job skills and go to work. Office of Recovery Services should pursue her husband though for child support if he won't pay it voluntarily. Except for the disabled person though almost all these people are short term recipients of public assistance.

The problem is that almost every situation you described is different than a young single woman getting purposefully pregnant. Many of these women have families. Their families should be their first means of support if they are determined to keep their child. I'll make the bold statement that no other group relies on public assistance as much as young unmarried single mothers do. Their numbers are so great that virtually all of our welfare programs are designed around them. WIC was created because of concerns that they lacked the income to obtain formula and other resources to feed their infants. I, on the other hand, paid roughly $4 a can (per day) for pre-made formula for my son and daughter at Walmart. Medicaid pays for over 1/2 of the cost of delivering babies in some cities and in some states. The vast bulk of the recipients are again, single women, who never got married. Whenever, one of these women needs housing and applies for subsidized housing, their names go to the top of the list. The single guy who struggles to get by on low-paying, part time work is sent to the homeless shelter. He is less of a priority than these women are because they have babies. This group of single women and their children are the largest group that is the recipient of food stamps. Food stamps are costing the taxpayers $57 billion a year now.

One thing that makes me particularly angry are special schools for teen mothers. These schools exist locally and probably in all parts of the country. They were created because of a concern that teen mothers would drop out of school if they felt "uncomfortable" in public schools. Gee whiz...When you get pregnant out-of-wedlock and your 16 or 17 years old, you ought to feel uncomfortable. The system shouldn't be set up to cater to your every want and need. I say such mothers should attend ordinary public school. And, no, I don't feel its judgmental or coercion or whatever if someone suggests to them that they ought to consider adoption as alternative to keeping and raising a child that they can't afford.

You mention you are a social worker. I have no beef with social workers per se. Its a necessary occupation and as I've said above, I do think assisting the poor is reasonable in many situations. I've also noted though, that social workers as a group tend to be unwilling to face the fact that some people are simply not suited to raise children. Others may be suited, but a realistic appraisal tells you that they don't have the economic means to do so. I also think there is a tendency in your profession to sometimes make excuses for people where it is to society's detriment to make those excuses.

Adoption shouldn't be seen as an automatic solution for all these situations. However, at the same time I believe if some of our social welfare programs were less generous it would result in more people who shouldn't be parents placing children for adoption and relieving taxpayers of some of their burden.
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