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Old 04-10-2013, 02:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
I guess each state is different but all of these things were covered in our classes and we must do continuing education to maintain our license. We even had two adult adoptees speak to us about their experiences. The county also offers sessions that consist of a panel of adoptees.
Even my parents received counseling that covered all of the things I mentioned, but that doesn't mean counseling cannot or should not be improved today. I think it's good that PAPs must have continuing education to maintain a license, however based on much of what has been said on these forums it is clear the education being given is either not thorough enough &/or not adoptee-centered.

For example no PAPs should walk away from classes believing it is unfair that they are held to a high standard -- they should walk away fully understanding why it is so essential that they are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
Basically, who someone is is more important than what they have.
All great points, Lizita. & in this post you have highlighted why adoption does not necessarily give someone a better life. In the end qualities that are not screened for matter more than material things.

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 04-10-2013 at 03:18 AM..
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
In our class was a very naive woman who was a lesbian and a very "stereotypical looking" one at that. She was absolutely in love with a 9 year old boy she met while helping out with some sporting activities. She and her partner decided they would be his foster family and it would be successful not withstanding the fact he had already been in 3 foster families with a great deal of trouble. Her intentions were great but her expectations were skewed. During the class someone asked her how she thought she would get past the sexuality issue and right in front of the instructor(the same woman who would be very much involved with the kids placement) she answered "Oh I'll just tell them (partner) is my roommate." Instructor just smiled sweetly and the rest of us sat there with our jaws down to the floor. I was not surprised when the lovely young woman dropped out of the classes after only about 6 weeks.
Not sure why it would matter how she looked, but it sounds like she was being flip in response to a rather ignorant question. Perhaps she left to find classes that would be more LGBTQ friendly?

If I were the instructor I would have said something like, "There is no sexuality issue here. All parents should discuss any intimate partner staying in the home in the same way (honestly & in an age-appropriate manner)."

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 04-10-2013 at 06:15 AM..
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
Is the above really what is needed to be a good parent? To me personal qualities are much more important. ...Basically, who someone is is more important than what they have.
Lizita, your post was too long for me to quote all of it. But basically what you described cannot be measured. What Mark posted are measurable qualities, not absolutes. There is no screening process that will weed out everyone who isn't an ideal parent. This is impossible. Improvements can be made, but guarantees cannot. Even in bio families, every parenting style is different.

For you, the overweight foster mother and foster father who had a criminal background were better able to handle you and another boy in their home. Even better able to relate. Perhaps, due to your desire to run away from home and live on the streets, their background made you feel more comfortable with them? Who knows, I'm only speculating. But, I'm sure you realize now, as an adult, that their lifestyle would not have been as intimidating to you as the two advanced degree holding therapists who were more "uptight" and less informal. These are personality traits. And neither set of foster parents were really "better" or "worse" than the other, just different. For your personality, it appears you fit better with the less structured and informal environment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
Absolutely nothing I listed would NOT apply for any children/babies available for adoption today.

LOL. How old do you think I am, Jaded? NO criteria for adoption or adoption laws that impacted adopting people like me here (or the majority of other states) have changed since I was adopted. Mostly states who have re-instated adult-adoptee rights have changed.

The ASFA did not apply to me. In reality THAT is actually what is not relevant here.
No one is saying what you've said would not apply. We're saying it isn't measurable. It is all subjective. I have no idea how old you are. You made a statement that was untrue, I merely provided facts that laws have changed and adoption has changed. Simply because a law does not or did not apply to YOU doesn't mean it doesn't count. It is very relevant because you brought up the subject and now cannot admit it was a false statement. Adoption has changed over the years, in part because the laws governing them have changed. This was my point. It's not about what criteria and laws ONLY affected you.

Every adoption is different and should be respected as such.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
Even my parents received counseling that covered all of the things I mentioned, but that doesn't mean counseling cannot or should not be improved today. I think it's good that PAPs must have continuing education to maintain a license, however based on much of what has been said on these forums it is clear the education being given is either not thorough enough &/or not adoptee-centered.

For example no PAPs should walk away from classes believing it is unfair that they are held to a high standard -- they should walk away fully understanding why it is so essential that they are.
Re bolded: Again, just because you don't agree with the opinions of others doesn't mean the training is bad or not acceptable. Education should provide information and allow the receiver to develop his/her OWN opinions about issues and ideas that are not fact-based. Adoption education should never be designed to get all PAPs thinking alike, as if they are robots. They are humans, individuals, and should always be allowed to have their own opinions about any subject, including adoption.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
Not sure why it would matter how she looked, but it sounds like she was being flip in response to a rather ignorant question. Perhaps she left to find classes that would be more LGBTQ friendly?

If I were the instructor I would have said something like, "There is no sexuality issue here. All parents should discuss any intimate partner staying in the home in the same way (honestly & in an age-appropriate manner)."
This was stated because she was in no way trying to appear straight or hide her sexuality. Severe haircut, manish dress etc. And she was not flip--she honestly did not stop to think she was proposing to lie to the very woman who would be a major part of the decision. And believe me, this was in rural Georgia and her sexuality DID matter which I agree should not have. The agency (I think it was Kid Peace or something like that) had religious affiliations. I firmly believe LBGT should be equally considered for adoption but this was not going to happen 12 years ago in this part of the country. I saw her not too long after this and she told me she and her partner broke up over this boy cause the other woman simply did not want to parent and she felt she was being coerced into something she clearly did not want to do. God only knows what happened to the boy.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
No one is saying what you've said would not apply. We're saying it isn't measurable. It is all subjective.
Did I say anything about those things being measured or objective? Beyond that you also responded to a comment referencing my post with this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
Your bolded statement. True. Again, it would depend on when and where a child was adopted. Many issues discussed on this forum delve into specific era's that are simply no longer applicable with regard to how PAP's are screened and what is required to become an adoptive parent TODAY.
Quote:
It is very relevant because you brought up the subject and now cannot admit it was a false statement. Adoption has changed over the years, in part because the laws governing them have changed. This was my point. It's not about what criteria and laws ONLY affected you.
You brought up the topic & perhaps I should have been more clear at first -- the same laws & criteria that applied for my parents apply for PAPs TODAY. VERY FEW adoption laws have literally been changed (overturned for example) since I was adopted, but of course some have -- which I already acknowledged. Have any laws been overturned or even created that are relevant to the point I was trying to make? Not that I know of & not that you mentioned.

No adoption law has drastically changed adoption in any state since I have been born, like you claim. That is & was always the point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
Re bolded: Again, just because you don't agree with the opinions of others doesn't mean the training is bad or not acceptable.
I never said it did. But likewise just because training reinforces your beliefs/opinions does not mean training cannot or should not be improved.

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 04-10-2013 at 02:43 PM..
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
Lizita, your post was too long for me to quote all of it. But basically what you described cannot be measured. What Mark posted are measurable qualities, not absolutes. There is no screening process that will weed out everyone who isn't an ideal parent. This is impossible. Improvements can be made, but guarantees cannot. Even in bio families, every parenting style is different.
My point is that good grades, clean background and good credit are bad ways to weed out prospective foster or adoptive parents because people who don't meet these requirements can be wonderful parents. In my opinion every family should be judged on a case by case basis without having to meet standards that have nothing to with being a good parent.

I also disagree that it's impossible to measure personality, mentality and viewpoints. We do it all the time with our cats and I'm pretty sure that the same could be done more extensively with people wanting to adopt children. In fact employers often do personality tests on prospective employees. Something similar could very well be done by qualified social workers. We, the rescue, use a three page application with open ended questions to try to find out how the adopter feels about certain issues and everyone involved in reviewing applications knows what we are looking for. The application, emails and meeting give us a very good view of who these people are and what kind of pet owners they will be. An extensive screening process done by several people to avoid bias could definitely give the reviewers a picture of who the PAP's are which would allow them to measure their qualifications as parents. It's not impossible.

Of course different kids are a good match for different kinds of families. It doesn't mean that one is better than another. However, I do believe that there are certain red flags in prospective adoptive or foster families that should warrant more research and possibly denial of adoption/foster regardless how good someone's grades and credit is. For example, I think it's troubling when someone who is wanting to adopt older children thinks it's perfectly okay to change the name of a 12-year old, regardless of what the kid thinks about it, because the adult thinks the name is trashy and because the adult believes that it's the right of parents to name children even though this is a 12-year old and not a nameless newborn which is the type of child parents normally have to name. In fact I think it's troubling that a PAP would view their new child as having a trashy name as, by extension, they will likely view the name giver (bio parent) as trashy which is a huge problem, imo. I also think it's a problem when a PAP believes that adopted children should not have any attachment to the past and just start over and adjust to the new family. This kind of mentality is a huge problem if you're wanting to adopt, especially older kids. At the same time someone who is more understanding, compassionate and open minded but has bad credit, a distant history of alcoholism and no advanced education should not be rejected as that person could be a wonderful parent.

I agree that it's impossible to weed out unsuitable parents or guarantee that none will slip through but attempts should be made using standards that are relevant.
One can argue that some of the items on Mark's list are class related which I believe is unfair. Contrary to what some believe upper class people aren't better parents. As it is right now adoption is almost exclusively for upper and upper middle class families and I don't believe that's fair, right or in the best interest of the kids. Like the TV commercials aiming to recruit adoptive families for foster kids say - "kids don't need perfect parents".
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Liberal Coast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
People should not be able to discriminate based on sexual-orientation, religion, political belief, etc. However, social workers should be able to apply judgement regarding which parents are compatible for adoption based on things like attitudes about spanking or their their ability to recognize the importance of contact/information for adoptees & the compassion they feel for adoption loss.

No one said people should be screened for perfection -- but screened for compatibility? ABSOLUTELY.

Again, the majority of children are not stuck in the system because adoptions are not "easy enough." They are stuck in the system because children who are POC, older, abused, &/or special needs are not as in-demand as infants/toddlers.
They're stuck in the system because of what the system does to them. Many, many more people would adopt from the system if the system didn't mess the kids up so much. I know loads of social workers who adopt internationally because of what the system in this country does to the kids.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by psr13 View Post
They're stuck in the system because of what the system does to them. Many, many more people would adopt from the system if the system didn't mess the kids up so much. I know loads of social workers who adopt internationally because of what the system in this country does to the kids.
Frankly, as much as we considered adopting domestically, adopting through the foster care system scared the heck out of us. I had several coworkers who were foster parents and their stories terrified us. Since we were open to an older child, international adoption seemed to be a better fit for us at the time. I think it takes a special sort of person to be a foster parent.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psr13 View Post
They're stuck in the system because of what the system does to them. Many, many more people would adopt from the system if the system didn't mess the kids up so much. I know loads of social workers who adopt internationally because of what the system in this country does to the kids.
There is some truth to this. This is the reason that in California they shortened the time for reunification to 18 months. From the time the child is removed to TPR (terminating parental rights). The Calif. social workers whom we spoke to said that the system listened to older adoptees who aged out of foster care who told them - I'm summarizing - our parents may have been the reason we were removed from our homes, but being placed back with them only to be removed again, over and over, and then lingering in foster care, moving from home to home, did much worse. I think one adult adoptee was moved over 20 times in his life in foster care!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linmora View Post
Frankly, as much as we considered adopting domestically, adopting through the foster care system scared the heck out of us. I had several coworkers who were foster parents and their stories terrified us. Since we were open to an older child, international adoption seemed to be a better fit for us at the time. I think it takes a special sort of person to be a foster parent.
Very true. It does take a special person. We knew that adopting an older child (over 5 years old) from foster care would not be a good fit for us. We also knew we couldn't support reunification in situations we felt were unfair to the child, which is the primary role of foster parents. The majority of kids in foster care are reunited with their bio families; even when abuse is a known threat. Sad.

When our close friends and some family learned we wanted to adopt and had chosen the foster care route, every foster parent I know told us (me) to adopt and infant/toddler (preferrably under age 3). One really close friend of the family flat out said - "you want an infant." She's been a foster mother for over 25 years! I trust their opinions and years' of experience. And, after going through the initial process, am glad I did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
My point is that good grades, clean background and good credit are bad ways to weed out prospective foster or adoptive parents because people who don't meet these requirements can be wonderful parents. In my opinion every family should be judged on a case by case basis without having to meet standards that have nothing to with being a good parent.

... At the same time someone who is more understanding, compassionate and open minded but has bad credit, a distant history of alcoholism and no advanced education should not be rejected as that person could be a wonderful parent.

...One can argue that some of the items on Mark's list are class related which I believe is unfair. Contrary to what some believe upper class people aren't better parents. As it is right now adoption is almost exclusively for upper and upper middle class families and I don't believe that's fair, right or in the best interest of the kids. Like the TV commercials aiming to recruit adoptive families for foster kids say - "kids don't need perfect parents".
I can only answer for California. But the Foster parents and Adoptive parents I know range in wealth and educational background. In our sessions alone, the income brackets and education levels varied (we got to know one another pretty well). Perhaps other states make material wealth more of a priority, but I don't know.

One other thing to consider is that foster and adoptive parents must be able to care for the children in their homes without the stipened they receive. IOW, you won't be approved if you cannot pay your own rent, have no means of transportation, and are not working, simply because the state will be paying you a stipened each month. Even though personality-wise you would be a wonderful parent. The money is to supplement, not to sustain. I don't believe you were claiming this, but just wanted to point it out.

Last edited by Jaded; 04-10-2013 at 05:23 PM.. Reason: changed one sentence
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by psr13 View Post
They're stuck in the system because of what the system does to them. Many, many more people would adopt from the system if the system didn't mess the kids up so much. I know loads of social workers who adopt internationally because of what the system in this country does to the kids.
So you are saying that the "system" [I asume you mean the state systems who remove children from their homes - whether to fostering or institutionalization] is worse than the systems which exist in those places people adopt from? China? Guatamala? Russia? etc etc etc?

Interesting - - which countries did they adopt from which had this superior system?

I am not the biggest fan of DYFS - mainly because they are overworked, over cased, and I can't understand how the public expects them to be able to truly do the job expected of them with so many cut resources. But really - they do a better job with kids in ?? wherever - Guatamala?
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