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Old 04-10-2013, 11:29 PM
 
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Quote:
1. Not so much income, but stability of employment.
This depends. Steady employment at McDonald's and living in a box or Moms basement - probably should not adopt. Even if they manage a one bedroom apartment, they have no business taking on a child on minimum wage no matter how stable the job. There has to be some limit. People should not be allowed to adopt just to increase their welfare payments. I think not on assistance of any kind should be a requirement. Also the type of employment. Drug dealer, hit man, prostitute may all be stable jobs, but probably not a good parent. Then you get into some legitimate jobs that may be a concern. CIA operative? Playboy Bunny? How about Hugh Heffner? He has a steady job.
Examples of working at McDonald's or for Playboy Magazine are extreme examples. Of course, a rule of reason has to be applied to this measurement. However, what is absurd is to suggest that stable employment should not be an important factor in determining suitability to adopt. Bums and the habitually unemployed are not acceptable candidates. One should not need to be wealthy or have a high income to adopt. Honestly, I wonder what point you are trying to make here.


Quote:
2. Absence of a criminal record.
Depends on the type of crime. Not every crime demonstrates someone is an unfit parent. Drunk driving at age 21 does not make them a criminal unfit for parenting five years later. Vehicular manslaughter (i.e. gal ran over a kid while texting when she was 22, should not disqualify her at 30 if she learned her lesson). Even vandalism, or B & E when a kid, has no relationship to parenting competence at age 35.
I agree that a record which has petty crimes should not rule one out to adopt. I don't think I said that anywhere in this criteria. By the same token, I would consider it grossly negligent for agency or attorney to fail to obtain a BCI and thoroughly review it before placing a child for adoption.

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3. Absence of proof of a drug or alcohol problem.
No. This is wrong and shows a fundamental misunderstanding of addiction issues. To start with, this should be limited to an unmanaged alcohol problem. Stand outside an AA meeting when it ends sometime, you will likely meet people from your church or circle of friends who you believe to be fabulous parents. Secondly, it may apply to a completely out of control alcohol problem, but there are millions of functioning alcoholics in our country. Millions of them do a decent job raising kids. That is like excluding people who have one arm, or are in a wheel chair, or people who have torrets disease. Besides who determines what constitutes "proof" of a drug or alcohol problem? A lot of kids who were teens and 20s in the 1970s and 1980s have drug convictions. Does Bill Clinton get excluded as an unfit parent? He says he did not inhale. What about people with Medical marijuana prescriptions for anxiety? Exclude them? Is it ok if they take Zoloft or whatever for their anxiety instead?
I could not in good conscious place a child with a reformed or unreformed alcoholic. I would differentiate from this though someone who when they were 21 was arrested for DUI. Some would define this as alcoholism. I would define one such violation of the law as immaturity, so long as there was no evidence the problem was continuing. I am well aware that millions of alcoholics are raising kids. I still could not in good conscious place a child for adoption in this sort of setting. Alcohol counselors would define whether such a problem exists. Again, Bill Clinton's brief use of marijuana meets my "immaturity" criteria rather than that of a full blown user. Prescription drug use should be generally acceptable. The exception would be someone who was medically determined by a physician to have a prescription drug abuse problem.

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4. Duration of marriage and absence of evidence showing separations during the marriage and heaven forbid, domestic violence.
Again no. Would you then exclude single people who want to be parents? homosexuals who live in states where marriage is not permitted? People with personal beliefs against the ritual of marriage but who are otherwise permanently committed to each other? Domestic violence I can agree with, but that woudl only be based on criminal convictions. Unproved allegations should not be considered. Investigated maybe, but that alone should not disqualify someone.
My criteria applies to those who are married. Single people would not be barred from adopting. I never said one had to be married to adopt. I have no problem with gay adoption. Domestic violence could include more than convictions. I would say that any report of DV to the police would need to be explained. Adoption workers would have to be convinced that either the report was false or the conduct involved no violence or something that could barely be described as violence to satisfy me.


Quote:
5. Credit scores (not so much to show wealth), but to show constancy and integrity when it comes to paying bills.
Absolutely not. Poor money management skills do not show anything about constancy or integrity. If someone got upside down in the housing crash they should never be allowed to adopt? If a family tired and failed three times at their small business before they got it right, they should not be allowed to adopt? If potential dad guaranteed his brothers loan and his brother flaked and defaults, that makes the potential dad unfit? Credit scores are a dumb measure of anything really. They are too easy to play with. I had a terrible credit score. I spent a year getting false and fraudulent items off my credit report. I also discovered it would be pretty easy to get legitimate items off your credit report as well. It is meaningless both bad reports and good ones.
People with poor money management skills shouldn't adopt. I don't have a problem saying that. A certain number of people who play by all the rules in life will end up bankrupt because of sickness, being laid off, a bad economy, or some unpreventable misfortune. However, those who manage money poorly are not suitable to adopt. In addition to affecting a families finances, money problems are the single largest cause of divorce. I would suggest that a family that continually fails trying to start a business should quit and get jobs working for someone else. The credit report criteria should be subjected to a rule of reason. If you have fraudulent items on the report and can prove that's dragging you down, that excuse is acceptable.


Quote:
6. School records including grades.
Only smart people can adopt? How elitist. You are also cutting out anyone with ADD, or people who had bad parents, or maybe had someone die during high school. People who quit school to start a business to support their family - out. Lets give them an IQ test too. In fact, if smarter people are better parents, just require mensa membership.
I said school grades and records should be evaluated. These are not high on my list of priorities. However, they do contain useful information. Someone with a long string of F's, should be looked at and asked to explain what the problem was. Poor citizenship grades may be indicative of a problem as well. If all other aspects of an applicant's life were in order, bad grades wouldn't stop me from allowing someone to adopt.


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7. Medical records to establish that adoptive parents are actually in reasonably good health.[/b]
Why? Sick people should not have children? You cannot raise kids if you are in a wheel chair, or have asthma? What about the flux? Parkinsons?
Well, gee whiz. For starters, I think adopted kids are entitled to reasonably healthy parents. I would actually disqualify some parents based on the very conditions you cite. I wouldn't disqualify someone for having the "flux". I think you mean "flu". If you do, its absurd to bring that point up. Its not what I'm talking about and unless you are daft you know that.

8. Mental health records if any. Seeking counseling certainly shouldn't disqualify adoptive parents, but evidence of severe mental health disturbances clearly should disqualify them.

[quote]I would agree with this, IFF some sort of objective criteria can be established. what is a severe mental health disturbance? Depression? You just excluded almost every woman who ever had a child. So if someone attempted suicide in high school they should never be allowed to adopt? How about a note from a therapist saying in their subjective opinion, this person is or is not suitable to raise a child? If someone suffers from extreme anxiety can they still adopt? Who will determine what mental health issues constitute a severe disturbance as opposed to a minor or medium disturbance? how is this ever going to be determined on a practical level anyway? Not sure how you get this. Social Worker: "Do you have any mental health records?" Psycho killer/child molester: "No. none. I have never been to any kind of therapy." (Being committed for five years is not therapy is it?) SW: " Ok great, I can check off that box on my form..

Its all part of the total evaluation for the process of adoption. Adoption workers should be able to determine what's a relatively minor issue and what's more serious. For example, I think ordinary depression controlled by SSRI medication and counseling should not bar one from adopting. On the other hand, I might feel very differently about a long history of manic depression. The support system that the applicant has may be an important factor as well. It is true that some people without a mental health history may have severe mental health conditions. The interview/question and answer process will ferret most of these people out. If someone slides through after all this, there may be nothing that can be practically done to avoid it.



Quote:
Writing Samples?! So English majors are more suitable parents than engineers? Many engineers cannot write a complete sentence and are incapable of communicating thoughts in writing (except to other engineers). I learned this teaching a comp class for engineering students. Will you make native English speaking also a requirement? Can the sample be in Spanish or Greek? Who is going to grade these writing samples and based on what criteria? So they also must have test taking skills? That eliminates a friend of mine who is a brilliant lawyer and musician. He cannot take a test to save his life. They had to make special accommodations for him in law school and he had to take the bar twice or three times to pass. However he is a stellar transactional lawyer, a good man and a great parent. He should not be an adoptive parent? Illiterate people cannot be parents?
I wouldn't approve someone who is illiterate to parent. These skills are too critical in the 21st Century to simply argue otherwise. I think your points about engineers and such are specious. People have different talents that lie in different areas. This usually comes out and should be something that the engineer explains in his answers. I also suspect such people would get help from someone with a few literary gifts when they answer the questions. I don't expect perfection here, but these kind of answers are truly a vital part of an evaluation process.

With respect to the reference issue, most people can get someone to exaggerate or perhaps even lie for them. Nevertheless, a skilled interviewer can usually figure out whether its real or some sort of snow job. I do this all the time and I can smell "snow jobs" a mile away.

Quote:
No they should not be considered. This merely allows the case workers to impose their personal preferences and bias. In some areas Republicans would not be able to adopt because the case workers would deem them non-compassionate, or unable to make good decisions. In other areas democrats would not be allowed to adopt because they would be deemed out of touch with reality, or financially irresponsible.
Subjective factors are a vital part of the evaluation process. I just believe they should not be as important as the objective criteria I have established because there is too much opportunity for abuse by social workers who have an axe to grind. There are many fine social workers. However, I have encountered others that are simply on a power trip. If they want to disqualify applicants for purely subjective reasons they better be able to spell out in clear and definite terms why that is and support it with evidence of some sort.

Quote:
Apply this set of factors, and it pretty much guarantees no child will be adopted ever. All six nearly perfect people are having their own children, They are not adopting right now.

We need a more streamlined adoption system, not a more restrictive complex and time consuming one. From what i am told out system does not work. Few children get placed. It is too complex, too limited and too subjective. Yes slamming more kids through the system will result in more errors, but it will also result in more placements and they are not preventing bad placements now. If preventing bad placements is the absolute prime goal then they should not place an kids at all. Just keep them on government farms or whatever they do with them now.

I think they foster most of them and the foster system is rife with abuse. I do not see how that is superior to adoption. At least adopting is a long term commitment to the child.
I hated being held to such a high standard of perfection. However, my wife and I met all the criteria above including the subjective ones. So did about 20 other parents in a group that eventually adopted infants with a private agency.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:23 AM
 
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I agree with Mark's answers in post #51...

And lets face it - especially in domestic infant adoption (voluntary) - the mothers are counselled to choose adoption because it is supposed to provide:

Stable home that excludes DV, Criminal activity, drug or alcohol abuse, with parents that are mature and have been mentally and physically screened, educated, financially stable people ready right now to provide the baby with a "better life"...

The subjective criteria is crucial though and must be part of it. Power trippers show up everywhere, but a good homestudy agency would also have a grievance process to ensure fair play and quickly weed out power hungry people.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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The simple answer is "The same people who are allowed to have their own children". Why would adoption impose any different requirements or qualifications on who can parent? Just enforce a one-per-year limit, so you don't have people downloading wholesale lots of children.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artful Dodger View Post
I agree with Mark's answers in post #51...

And lets face it - especially in domestic infant adoption (voluntary) - the mothers are counselled to choose adoption because it is supposed to provide:

Stable home that excludes DV, Criminal activity, drug or alcohol abuse, with parents that are mature and have been mentally and physically screened, educated, financially stable people ready right now to provide the baby with a "better life"...
Now days bio moms get to choose the family they want to raise their baby. If the mom feels that it's an issue that a PAP has history of alcoholism, bi-polar disease or something else in the past then she is free to say no if she doesn't think these people will provide this better life. But considering that she has a choice I see no reason why the agency doing the home study should deny people because of something in the past or something that has nothing or little to do with being a good parent. If someone who is a recovering alcoholic is suitable enough to be president of the most powerful country in the world I think such a person could also be suitable to be a parent, biological or adoptive.

Domestic infant adoption is also not the only kind of adoption there is and the circumstances in other kinds of adoptions are different. Should requirements be different for different kinds of adoptions?
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
The simple answer is "The same people who are allowed to have their own children". Why would adoption impose any different requirements or qualifications on who can parent? Just enforce a one-per-year limit, so you don't have people downloading wholesale lots of children.
In domestic infant adoption, it is probably more a marketing thing. There is a high demand for infant newborns and organisations like the NCFA are doing their best to try and find ways to fill that demand. Part of that is trying to convince women that they really don't have the "requirements or qualifications to parent" - quite often this has nothing to do with their intrinsic qualities but purely due to the fact that their pregnancy was unplanned - a lot of the counselling involves subliminally sending the message that unplanned=unready. Also, one of the most effective ways of convincing a women that someone else should parent her child is to use the "so what do you have to offer compared to an adoptive parent" - thus, it follows that the adoptive parents on display need to "look good".
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Out West
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Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
If they know a child was abused they are not going to spank or threaten spanking unless it appears the only option. If they do use spanking or threats of spanking and they get a panicked reaction, or no reaction at all, they will not continue to use it.
In a dream world. That's not reality. It's fantasy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
To me personal qualities are much more important...Basically, who someone is is more important than what they have.
This. A thousand times, this.

Yes, you want someone who isn't going to end up on the streets with the kids but one does not have to be "well off" to be considered, "the best option". Not all of those who are, "well off", have a clue what they're doing. Ask me how I know. I would have much more preferred less money but more love, not the opposite.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:25 PM
 
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Only married, heterosexual couples should be allowed to adopt. Moderator Cut. A child needs a mother and a father.

Last edited by Jaded; 04-15-2013 at 03:09 AM.. Reason: Offensive language
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Warren, OH
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Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
I think precisely because intangible qualities are so hard to measure that the system ought to focus on things that are objective and are tangible. For example:

1. Not so much income, but stability of employment.
2. Absence of a criminal record.
3. Absence of proof of a drug or alcohol problem.
4. Duration of marriage and absence of evidence showing separations during the marriage and heaven forbid, domestic violence.
5. Credit scores (not so much to show wealth), but to show constancy and integrity when it comes to paying bills.
6. School records including grades.
7. Medical records to establish that adoptive parents are actually in reasonably good health.
8. Mental health records if any. Seeking counseling certainly shouldn't disqualify adoptive parents, but evidence of severe mental health disturbances clearly should disqualify them.

I would recommend two interviews given to two separate adoption counselors. Writing samples should be submitted as well. Questions asked in person and in writing should be open-ended, rather than calling for short and simple answers.

References should be given and always consulted.

Qualities like compassion, adaptability, and decision making processes should be considered. However, all these qualities are very subjective. Adoption workers, like all people have their prejudices and biases. This is why the process should be as objective as possible.

I know that we were considered unfavorably compared next to another couple in our own neighborhood. That couple has subsequently had many problems. Father served 28 months in prison for a theft offense. Mother and Dad have been separated. Couple lost home when mortgage was foreclosed. None of those things have ever happened to my wife and I, yet we were thought of poorly when compared to this particular couple. I can only guess its because I was not one to spend a lot of time cracking jokes and warming up to the adoption workers. Such is life. However, what I have describes highlights the failings in basing a process like this on subjective factors.

These all sound reasonable. However, why don't biological parents need to be interviewed first?

Bio parents can have 20 kids (the Duggars) be 17, not know how to write a check, and have horrible credit - even be unemployed - and everyone gets in an uproar if it's suggested that there should be any restrictions, whatsoever on bio parents - even when those parents are juveniles!
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by warren zee View Post
These all sound reasonable. However, why don't biological parents need to be interviewed first?

Bio parents can have 20 kids (the Duggars) be 17, not know how to write a check, and have horrible credit - even be unemployed - and everyone gets in an uproar if it's suggested that there should be any restrictions, whatsoever on bio parents - even when those parents are juveniles!
Personally, I feel the intangible qualities are the more important ones.

I do think there are a lot of clueless prospective adoptive parents (as well as many great ones). However, rather than excluding them from adopting, educating them is often a better step. Even the great ones can learn.

As for biological parents, rather than excluding them from parenting, educate them to bring them up to the level desired. Help them find ways to become better parents. (usual disclaimer that that won't work with everyone) One of the reasons the Home Builder child welfare program apparently works so well is that instead of writing the family off, it helps them to find ways to improve themselves to the level desired.

As for expectant parents who end up receiving "options counselling", in a way the "counsellor" acts like an exclusion-type home study, eg: "this, this and this could be improved in your life? Well you shouldn't be parenting then - chose adoption", rather than an encouraging-type homestudy "this, this and this could be improved in your life? Well, why don't we see how things can be improved". I think most adoption study adoptions that have an education package attached to them are more of the encouraging kind: , eg "you are clueless about this, this and this? Then why don't we make your more cluey" rather than "you are clueless about this, this and this? Well, why don't we see how things can be improved".
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by warren zee View Post
These all sound reasonable. However, why don't biological parents need to be interviewed first?

Bio parents can have 20 kids (the Duggars) be 17, not know how to write a check, and have horrible credit - even be unemployed - and everyone gets in an uproar if it's suggested that there should be any restrictions, whatsoever on bio parents - even when those parents are juveniles!
Would you feel the same about the Duggars if the Duggars had adopted their 20 kids? As much as I dislike Jim-Bob, one thing I suspect that he is good at is dealing with finances. I do know that before they decided to start their family, they put themselves in as good a financial position as possible. The show assists in that regards as well -

For those who can't write checks, be unemployed, help them to help themselves improve their situation. A lot of the time, it is low self esteem. Sometimes, little tiny things can help people get a job. For example, for some people going to interviews who are reaslly poor, they may not have the right clothes and will lose out on that fact alone. Some places will help provide clothes for interviews etc.

There are many wonderful church organisations out there as well. Do people know about them?

Btw does a horrible credit rating necessarily exclude someone from adopting? I am managing my money very well now but I probably do have a horrible credit rating. It should be about qualities NOW. That is why I agree with a lot of Mark's list but more as it relates to NOW. For example, one doesn't want someone adopting who is on drugs right now, who is swimming in debt right now but if these were part of their past and they are now reformed, should they be excluded?

Also, there may well be APs who are regular drug partakers but as long as they present a good face to the world and have never been arrested, then is a homestudy going to pick that up. For example, I am sure there are many partakers of coke who have adopted.
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