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Old 01-27-2013, 09:33 PM
 
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Each adoption is unique. Therefore, each experience is unique. But I believe that the reality of adoption for some adoptees is too painful to admit to. I support sensible reform, but not an overhall of or ending the system.

Adoption is a way to build a family as well as to provide a family to a child who does not have one. And, I see nothing wrong with infertile couples who seek adoption as a way to have a baby, children, a family. Some adoptions are a result of an adoption plan; others are due to a birth parent's rights being terminated by the state.

Outside of at-birth relinquishments, and unwanted children that result in adoption plans, the fact is that abuse of children is a reality of our world. This abuse is almost always by a child's biological parent(s) and is the primary reason children are removed from their home. International adoptions also "save" children from fates that are similarly dim. To ignore these facts is to accept the idea that children don't deserve better lives if it means placing them in the homes of parents who want them. Adoption exists because abuse exists, mother's not wanting to parent exists, and birth parents unable and unwilling to parent exists.

So, in the absence of child protective services and parents who want children, where would these babies and children go?

See report: National Child Abuse and Neglect Report.

From the report (in summary pages, pg letter "x", "Who abused and neglected children":

Quote:
More than 80 percent (81.2%) of duplicate perpetrators of child maltreatment were parents, and
another 6.1 percent were other relatives of the victim.

Of the perpetrators who were parents, more than 80 percent (84.2%) were the biological parent of
the victim.

More than two-fifths (45.2%) of unique perpetrators were men and more than one-half (53.6%)
were women.
"How many children died from abuse or neglect" (an average of 2.07 per 100,000):

Quote:
Nearly 80 percent (79.4%) of all child fatalities were younger than 4 years old.

More than 30 percent (32.6%) of child fatalities were attributed exclusively to neglect.

More than 40 percent (40.8%) of child fatalities were caused by multiple maltreatment types.
Other facts from the report (summary section page letter "ix")
  • The highest rates of abuse occured in children aged 0-1 (20.6 per 1,000)

So, when "strangers" care more for a child than his or her biological parents, and adoption allows for children to be loved and properly cared for, by "strangers", then adoption will never go away.

A great article about the myths of domestic adoptions

Share your thoughts...
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Warren, OH
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Excellent informative post. Thank you.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:45 AM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,986,707 times
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Thank you Warren! It's interesting how positive threads are being ignored by some...
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,217,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
Thank you Warren! It's interesting how positive threads are being ignored by some...
I appreciate the links as they confirmed the observations I have drawn through my experience in CINA (Child in Need of Assistance) proceedings, as well as my experience on a state-wide family law hotline.

For example, the data indicates that only 6% of the perpetrators were teens, while a whopping 68% of the perpetrators were between the ages of 20-39. Heck, even those perpetrators between the ages of 40-49 were more likely to abuse/neglect the children than the teens, with a participation rate of 16%. Who would have thought?! Well, actually me. Because not only did I see it in court, I also provide legal advice to both participants and reporters of abuse seeking assistance through the hotline.

BTW, the report does not show that adoptive parents are less likely than bio parents to abuse their child. In order to reach that conclusion, the report would have had to calculate the ratio of birth parents to adoptive parents in the general population and compare that ratio to those found to be perpetrators.

Overall, I found the report encouraging. However, examining the tables closely I noticed that, in general, the states providing the least amount of support to caregivers had a significantly higher child fatality rate. (Texas and Florida were absolutely obscene).

I was also happy to read your second link, the one that describes the beneficial effects of open adoptions.

Thank you for the links.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:01 PM
 
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You're welcome. To comment on your observations, this thread isn't about who get's pregnant, or who abuses children, just that it occurs and that children are removed because of it.

Thanks.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:00 PM
 
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I have not seen one person in this forum ever even imply that children should stay in abusive situations. And I hardly see anyone ignoring the fact that children are abused by their biological family members and other arrangements need to be made. Some simply feel that adoption can exist in a different way than it does now--a way that is legally respectful of the adoptee as an individual. It is entirely possible for a child to be removed from an abusive home and placed in a safer environment without altering his or her birth certificate. The adoptive parents can be listed on an adoption certificate, the biological parents can be listed on the birth certificate as is done for all citizens. How does wanting this suggest that children should remain in dangerous situations?

That said, you are specifically focusing here on children who's safety and lives are at risk, yes? You do realize that this is not the only way adoptions occur? Adopting a child from foster care or a foreign orphanage is quite different than the myriad of domestic infant adoptions that are arranged before a child is even born. It's not like all PAPs are lining up to save all kids in foster care who were abused by their biological parents. Many are looking for a pregnant woman without sufficient resources. They want a newborn infant who hasn't even had a chance to get abused by his or her biological parents. And they will get on a waiting list and completely bypass all of the abused children "languishing" in foster care to stake claim on an unborn baby. This too is a reality of adoption.

You claim this is a "positive" thread. Which okay I get. The point is to highlight that some children need to be removed from abusive situations. I don't think anyone here would argue with you on that. And for the children who end up in safe, loving and secure adoptive homes (albeit with an unnecessary altered birth certificate), perhaps adoption is best. I agree with you there but I would prefer for said adoption to occur with out the altering of the adoptee's birth certificate. But do you assume that all adoptees are safe and secure in their adoptive homes and that adoption guarantees for an adoptee a life free from abuse? If so, that might be a tad bit idealistic. People who adopt are human after all. Or do you assume that all people who adopt are super human and therefore do not abuse? What about the children who were not "saved" through adoption and instead found themselves in similar abusive circumstances to that they experienced in their biological homes? Do we just ignore the realities faced by adoptees who endure abuse at the hands of their adopters? Do you suggest we focus on only on the "positive" statistics and ignore the rest?

I don't like thinking that any child is being abused in any situation by anyone. And I am not willing to sacrifice the adoptees who are abused by their adopters to promote adoption as saving children "most of the time." Perhaps you are comfortable with "a few adoptees" being abused as long as the others end up in more positive circumstances. I'm not.

That said, I'm all for children being in safe, secure, loving environments. I would just like the mechanism through which this occurs to be more respectful of the adoptee as an individual than it is now.

Last edited by gcm7189; 01-28-2013 at 05:18 PM..
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Warren, OH
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This thread isn't about birth certificates though. It's about the positive impact that the institution of adoption has on children, families and society.

I am not a person who supports the "preservation" of the birth family. That idea first came into existence about 40 years ago and the net result has not been good. Children linger in foster care longer than they need to be, when it is painfully obvious that this particular group of human beings who are genetically related is violent, negligent, addicted or dysfunctional in some way.

The original purpose was to make amends for past abuses of power which no one denies.
One egregious example of this was the Orphan Trains which operated in the United States from after the Civil War until about 1930. The Orphan Train movement coincided with the influx of immigrants from Central, Southern and Eastern Europe and the extreme poverty and overcrowding conditions in American easy coast cities.
In the name of social engineering, and societal improvement, the children were sent west and south to mostly agricultural communities and frequently used as farm hands. Some were treated better than others.

Now the stakes have changed. And the tables have turned. People, young unmarried people are parenting children with out the resources to do this. They may not all be teenagers, but many are under 25 and have no or little education. Most abuse occurs in lower socioeconomic situations, and most frequently at the hands of a significant other of the child's parent who is introduced into the family and not vetted in anyway and who has only a tangential connection to the child.

Adoptive parents today are not looking for farmhands. That is not the issue. The mediun age and income of an adoptive parent as well as his or her education and motivation to parent is high. Higher than in intact biological families.

Adoption takes kids who are at risk out of dangerous situations and puts them into better ones. Mostly, adoption WORKS. We tend to hear about it when it does not.

I am for reform too. I think that rights should be terminated immediately when a child has been the victim of reckless endangerment, severe abuse, sexual abuse, and sadism.
No amount of parenting classes will rid a person of a personality disorder. You can't teach sanity and compassion. I am also not for the placement of "legally at risk children" who are routinely offered for adoption by social services. Why not wait until the legal issues are ironed out before putting them on a web site? Terminate or wait,

The problem of birth records to me, pales in comparison to the problem of child abuse.

Adoption needs to be protected and supported as an institution. President Clinton initiated the Tax Credit to encourage adoption and President Bush (II) further increased it.
It's popular with most Americans who see adoption in a positive light.

Child abuse, neglect and murder does occur in every socioeconomic strata and with parents of every age. However, it more frequently happens with younger, poorly educated parents who still want to party and have fun.

Adoption is a protective factor in society and, for the most part, it builds strong, healthy and exceedingly happy families.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:59 PM
 
Location: California
167 posts, read 153,342 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warren zee View Post
This thread isn't about birth certificates though.

It's about the positive impact that the institution of adoption has on children, families and society.
Along with recognizing that adoption can have a positive impact on all of the above, we should also recognize the fact that adopted children come with a prior history which is uniquely their own, and that would naturally include the child's OBC.
Quote:

I am not a person who supports the "preservation" of the birth family.
Thankfully, the family courts would not agree with you in most cases here in the US. They view it in the child's best interests to be raised by their family of origin which is why the system of foster care is put into place for families in crisis with the goal of reunification.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:37 PM
 
Location: California
167 posts, read 153,342 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
So, when "strangers" care more for a child than his or her biological parents, and adoption allows for children to be loved and properly cared for, by "strangers", then adoption will never go away.

A great article about the myths of domestic adoptions

Share your thoughts...
From your great article linked above. (*see below for an excerpt from your source above)

See it really is a myth that biological families of origin desire to be cloaked in anonymity. No "strangers" in today's transparent type domestic adoptions where everyone tries to act in the child's best interests.

"While almost every aspect of adoption is different than it was in the past, it is within the family matching process that the most change has occurred. In private and agency adoptions, rather than merely being assigned a baby to adopt without any background information to share with the child as he or she grows, adopting parents now usually meet or talk with the birth family. Birthparents, by the same token, are empowered to choose which family will adopt their child. Birth families are more likely to have access to counseling and independent legal representation, and, together with the adopting family, determine the nature of contact after the adoption. (Visit adoptivefamilies.com/birthparentperspective to see data from the Early Growth and Development Study results, which offer a glimpse of birth families' choices and attitudes throughout the adoption process.)
Almost everyone involved in adoption today -- adopting parents, birthparents, and adoption professionals -- embraces this new transparency as an antidote to the confidentiality of the past. Birth families are reassured that their child will be well cared for; adopted children have the answers to questions that arise over the years.
Today, families who've adopted domestically often say that initial concern about the role of birthparents is replaced by gratitude for the opportunity to know their child's family of origin. They note the positive aspects of adopting domestically: the opportunity to parent a newborn, and the knowledge they possess about their child's medical and social history."
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:02 PM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,862,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
Each adoption is unique. Therefore, each experience is unique. But I believe that the reality of adoption for some adoptees is too painful to admit to. I support sensible reform, but not an overhall of or ending the system.
First of all, I sometimes wonder whether many online conversations about adoption can be derailed because everyone has a different definition of adoption. Thus, one person might be talking about adoption as in the very general "one family caring for a non-biological related child" and others may specifically be talking about the "modern form of adoption with its laws designed to permanently separate the child from one family to place with another". Thus we can be talking about entirely different things.
Quote:

Adoption is a way to build a family as well as to provide a family to a child who does not have one. And, I see nothing wrong with infertile couples who seek adoption as a way to have a baby, children, a family. Some adoptions are a result of an adoption plan; others are due to a birth parent's rights being terminated by the state.
First of all, see above. Secondly, I, speaking only for myself, have made it quite clear that I feel that the reasons for adoption to exist as an entity and the personal reasons that people have to adopt are two different things. Thus I feel that adoption should only exist as an entity to provide families for children who need them. Adoptive parents/families are resources for these children. There are myriad personal reasons why adoptive parents may wish to adopt. One would in fact hope that their personal reason does involve wanting to raise a child to parenthood. So in that case, we are not too far apart, as I also see nothing wrong with "infertile couples who seek adoption as a way to have a baby, children, a family". However, what I do have a problem with is when people say that adoption as an entity should exist to provide children for families because because what happens is organisations like the NCFA feel that ways must be found to increase the number of birthmothers to fill the demand.

Quote:
Outside of at-birth relinquishments, and unwanted children that result in adoption plans, the fact is that abuse of children is a reality of our world. This abuse is almost always by a child's biological parent(s) and is the primary reason children are removed from their home. International adoptions also "save" children from fates that are similarly dim. To ignore these facts is to accept the idea that children don't deserve better lives if it means placing them in the homes of parents who want them. Adoption exists because abuse exists, mother's not wanting to parent exists, and birth parents unable and unwilling to parent exists.
Not a single person on here is against removal of children in danger. We all accept that there will always be cases of children needing to be removed from the biological families. However, many of us are domestic infant adoption adoptees and many of us do hope that it doesn't go back to the times surrounding our adoptions, i.e. when at no time did anyone support our bparents parenting their own children purely because they didn't have a ring on their finger or a partner, rather than because of their intrinsic worth. It is all very well saying, those were the times, however, do we want those times back again? I can only speak for NZ adoption but I do know that programs that were available earlier to help unwed mothers were not available in the 60s because if those programs had been available, women might have taken advantage of them and thus reduced the number of babies available. Also, women were made to feel that they weren't important in any way to their unborn child so when they were asked what they could offer their child as opposed to adoptive parents, they were more or less making their lists out as if both they and the adoptive parents were strangers to their child.

Quote:
So, in the absence of child protective services and parents who want children, where would these babies and children go?

Again, back to the beginning where I mentioned the definition of adoption - no-one is against non-related people caring for children. No-one has suggested removing child protective services. Many have mentioned alternative types of outside of home care. No-one is suggesting the children stay with their biological families if they are in danger.

In regards to "parents who want children", did you ever read my document that I posted re adoption in NZ. NZ actually did run out of adoptive parents and thus what happened is, first of all, the agencies (which in Auckland seemed to be mainly private mothers homes, the rest of the country seemed to the government agencies) had to change their tactics. The mothers homes which originally opened to care for unwed mothers and to help them raise their children back in the early 40s and which then changed to adoption clearinghouses in the 50s/60s, then changed back to homes for those women who wanted to raise their children, in the end they closed down altogether.

Quote:

See report: National Child Abuse and Neglect Report.

From the report (in summary pages, pg letter "x", "Who abused and neglected children":



"How many children died from abuse or neglect" (an average of 2.07 per 100,000):



Other facts from the report (summary section page letter "ix")

  • The highest rates of abuse occured in children aged 0-1 (20.6 per 1,000)
So, when "strangers" care more for a child than his or her biological parents, and adoption allows for children to be loved and properly cared for, by "strangers", then adoption will never go away.

No-one is wanting alternative care for children to go away. We accept that it is necessary. However, what many on here have a problem with is the finding of children for families who want them.

A great article about the myths of domestic adoptions
In regards to domestic infant adoption, all I hope for is that any women considering adoption gets proper and unbiased counselling - surely something we can all agree on? I was astounded when I first came across the NCFA birthmother awareness training scheme (created about 5-10 years ago), I didn't think it was real. I will say that, funnily enough, it did actually help me to understand why so many women relinquished their children in the 60s.
Quote:

Share your thoughts...
One interesting thing about the US vs say NZ, Australia etc is that whenever sociologists in NZ/Australia walk about the reasons why adoption figures dropped, they first of all talk about the introduction of a mother's benefit, better contraception and only then mention abortion whereas in the US, whenever I hear sociologists talk about the reasons why adoption dropped, they always talk about abortion first and then introduction of social serves and better contraception.
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