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Old 04-16-2013, 12:15 PM
 
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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!
I think in an ideal world that all people would have to meet minimum standards to parent. However, we don't live in an ideal world and I can see hordes of problems with making biological parents "pass a test" or "get a license" before they parent:

1. The first reason is simply that a majority of people would go beserk if you tried to do it.
2. Whether it ought to be or not, its unconstitutional under the way the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment has been interpreted.
3. It would be too expensive to screen everyone.

I do think, though, that a strong argument could be made for requiring some type of screening for step parents moving in with step children. Maybe someday society will do that. I think the statistics on abuse from step parents would justify such a precaution. Still, I think, rightly or wrongly, its decades away.

I think adoptive parents can easily get into a mode of thought where we feel like we are victims in a sense. I do believe that adoption is often too difficult. I do believe many young mothers ought to be giving more thought to it--and doing it. I do believe the welfare system provides too many benefits for unwed mothers in America. That being said, I try and put myself in the shoes of an adoption worker determining whether to place a child with a couple or a single person. Its a terrific responsibility and one I understand that they cannot take lightly.

I don't know if this will help, Warren. I think there is a satisfaction of sorts to be obtained by adoptive parents when you survive the process and you are approved. I have friends and relatives that I know could not have made it through. It says something about you, when virtually all of your personal, financial, social, and occupational life is put under a microscope of sorts and you pass. I take some pride in that. And, not only do I think of myself as an "above average parent", I'm not afraid to say so either. I see myself as having a basis for that statement.

I think there are unnecessary and often duplicative parts of the process that could be waived for some couples and would not weaken it. For example, my wife and I waited seven years for our second adoption and were forced to pay to update our record every year for that seven year period. Maybe that wasn't necessary. Although, the adoption workers would have told me "you just never know, maybe in the sixth year, you'd have done something wrong". I can't ever fully resolve questions like that in my own mind. So, in the end, I'll go with what the adoption workers think.

I will also say this: As thorough as the vetting process is there are some things I found that were not asked. No, I won't get into it. However, no one should think that the vetting that goes on is perfect. It is good, its pretty comprehensive, and its an improvement on what it was years ago.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:25 PM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,865,258 times
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Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
I think in an ideal world that all people would have to meet minimum standards to parent. However, we don't live in an ideal world and I can see hordes of problems with making biological parents "pass a test" or "get a license" before they parent:

1. The first reason is simply that a majority of people would go beserk if you tried to do it.
2. Whether it ought to be or not, its unconstitutional under the way the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment has been interpreted.
3. It would be too expensive to screen everyone.
Also, recommending children should be removed from those that don't fit certain "standards", one tends to get into the murky waters of eugenics.

Why I felt education was important is not because it is a cure-all or fix-all but because every little bit helps.

Quote:
I think adoptive parents can easily get into a mode of thought where we feel like we are victims in a sense. I do believe that adoption is often too difficult. I do believe many young mothers ought to be giving more thought to it--and doing it. I do believe the welfare system provides too many benefits for unwed mothers in America. That being said, I try and put myself in the shoes of an adoption worker determining whether to place a child with a couple or a single person. Its a terrific responsibility and one I understand that they cannot take lightly.
I do feel that counselling re parenting options needs to be geared to each individual. Counselling designed as a fishing exercise tend to net the wrong types of fish.

What I do find rather bemusing is that I keep hearing people complain about teenagers deliberately getting pregnant and then suggesting adoption would be the answer to that problem. If someone deliberately gets pregnant, they are hardly going to consider adoption as that rather takes away the point of them getting pregnant. Thus education beforehand and also helping teenagers with self esteem issues (eg those who feel that the only future they have is as a mother because of feeling they have no future in the workforce) are more likely to help prevent teenage pregnancy.

Quote:
I don't know if this will help, Warren. I think there is a satisfaction of sorts to be obtained by adoptive parents when you survive the process and you are approved. I have friends and relatives that I know could not have made it through. It says something about you, when virtually all of your personal, financial, social, and occupational life is put under a microscope of sorts and you pass. I take some pride in that. And, not only do I think of myself as an "above average parent", I'm not afraid to say so either. I see myself as having a basis for that statement.
I have no doubt that you are an "above average parent", Mark. I would assume though that the basis for that statement would be your many years of parenting, not the fact that you survived the process.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:26 AM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,989,132 times
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Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
I think there is a satisfaction of sorts to be obtained by adoptive parents when you survive the process and you are approved. I have friends and relatives that I know could not have made it through. It says something about you, when virtually all of your personal, financial, social, and occupational life is put under a microscope of sorts and you pass. I take some pride in that. And, not only do I think of myself as an "above average parent", I'm not afraid to say so either. I see myself as having a basis for that statement...However, no one should think that the vetting that goes on is perfect. It is good, its pretty comprehensive, and its an improvement on what it was years ago.
There was so much in your post that I believe a lot of PAPs and APs can relate to, but I'm only going to talk about some of the points you make. The above are indeed very descriptive of what many APs experience and feel. Sometimes it's hard to articulate to our family and friends why we would put ourselves through what you've described (in your full post) and yet we critique AND defend the process.

In some sense, I do believe APs are better prepared to parent at the time of adoption than some biological parents are at the time of pregnancy and/or birth of their child. I really don't understand where the criticism comes that APs are not sufficiently "trained" or "educated" and that PAPs need to be "informed" about this and that, yadda yadda yadda. The process is not perfect, as you've stated, and I don't believe it ever will be...I mean, it is not something that can really be perfected - dealing with humans - it can only be improved and made more efficient and effective.

Also, now that I think about it, some of the personality characteristics that were suggested to be screened actually are. They are tested in an indirect way: How does this person handle pressure? Deadlines? Can they attend (on time) and complete a series of classes? Do they return phone calls? Have I caught them in a lie? When we speak on the phone, are they short and abrupt, happy, or indifferent? These personality qualities do come through to the social workers while PAPs are being vetted. And some PAPs simply check out! They don't see it through. But when you are a parent, it's not that easy to just "check out." Especially when you are asking to become one. So, those of us who stick it out, are in some ways actually proving we can handle a lot. A lot of uncertainties, pressure, and opening up our lives and our privacy. One could argue that parenting involves all of these things!

But one word came to mind when I read your post. "Entitlement." This word is used on this forum in a very negative way towards APs and PAPs. I usually ignore it, but I decided to give it some thought and found this description:

Quote:
An entitlement is the right to a particular privilege or benefit, granted by law or custom.
Source: Vocabulary.com

Well, I can honestly say that the process my DH and I went through and continue to complete has definitely prepared us for a child. We are both very confident about that. Did we need it? Who knows. But, there is a sense of pride knowing that our "entitlement" was earned.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:21 AM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,865,258 times
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Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
But one word came to mind when I read your post. "Entitlement." This word is used on this forum in a very negative way towards APs and PAPs. I usually ignore it, but I decided to give it some thought and found this description:



Source: Vocabulary.com

Well, I can honestly say that the process my DH and I went through and continue to complete has definitely prepared us for a child. We are both very confident about that. Did we need it? Who knows. But, there is a sense of pride knowing that our "entitlement" was earned.
You might find the following article interesting as it describes the difference between entitlement vs ownership. It is an article written for adoptive parents.

entitlement vs. ownership adoption

Quote:
In her book Raising Adopted Children, author Lois Melina states: Developing a sense that a child "belongs" in the family, even though he/she wasn't born into it, is a crucial test for adoptive parents. Unless parents develop a sense that the child is really theirs, they will have difficulty accepting that the child is really theirs. They will have difficulty accepting their right to act as parents.

She further says that a follow-up study by Benson Jaffee and David Fanshel suggests "that the amount of entitlement parents feel can be determined by looking at the extent to which they take risks with their children, deal with separation, handle discipline and discuss adoption with their child and others."
Note that the article is talking more about feeling "entitled" to the child one has already adopted. It is not about feeling more entitled to parent than others.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:28 AM
 
1,014 posts, read 988,013 times
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Originally Posted by susankate View Post
You might find the following article interesting as it describes the difference between entitlement vs ownership. It is an article written for adoptive parents.

entitlement vs. ownership adoption

Note that the article is talking more about feeling "entitled" to the child one has already adopted. It is not about feeling more entitled to parent than others.
Exactly. There is a big difference in feeling entitled to a child before you adopt them, & feeling entitled to raise the child you have already adopted. No one is owed a child simply because they want one, even if they were willing & able to meet certain standards. That is why I said it is a privilege to be entrusted with parenting -- once you are, of course you are entitled to raise your child.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:01 AM
Status: "LILY DALE!" (set 12 hours ago)
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,678 posts, read 23,289,071 times
Reputation: 48876
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
There was so much in your post that I believe a lot of PAPs and APs can relate to, but I'm only going to talk about some of the points you make. The above are indeed very descriptive of what many APs experience and feel. Sometimes it's hard to articulate to our family and friends why we would put ourselves through what you've described (in your full post) and yet we critique AND defend the process.

In some sense, I do believe APs are better prepared to parent at the time of adoption than some biological parents are at the time of pregnancy and/or birth of their child. I really don't understand where the criticism comes that APs are not sufficiently "trained" or "educated" and that PAPs need to be "informed" about this and that, yadda yadda yadda. The process is not perfect, as you've stated, and I don't believe it ever will be...I mean, it is not something that can really be perfected - dealing with humans - it can only be improved and made more efficient and effective.

Also, now that I think about it, some of the personality characteristics that were suggested to be screened actually are. They are tested in an indirect way: How does this person handle pressure? Deadlines? Can they attend (on time) and complete a series of classes? Do they return phone calls? Have I caught them in a lie? When we speak on the phone, are they short and abrupt, happy, or indifferent? These personality qualities do come through to the social workers while PAPs are being vetted. And some PAPs simply check out! They don't see it through. But when you are a parent, it's not that easy to just "check out." Especially when you are asking to become one. So, those of us who stick it out, are in some ways actually proving we can handle a lot. A lot of uncertainties, pressure, and opening up our lives and our privacy. One could argue that parenting involves all of these things!

But one word came to mind when I read your post. "Entitlement." This word is used on this forum in a very negative way towards APs and PAPs. I usually ignore it, but I decided to give it some thought and found this description:



Source: Vocabulary.com

Well, I can honestly say that the process my DH and I went through and continue to complete has definitely prepared us for a child. We are both very confident about that. Did we need it? Who knows. But, there is a sense of pride knowing that our "entitlement" was earned.
You make excellent points. The very adoption process is not intrinsically pleasurable - as opposed to the process of getting pregnant.

We are tested from the get go. The home study, is; in a way, a piece of cake. At least it's a discrete event. It has a beginning and an end. The process does not.

It's a gut wrenching, soul testing process, with hopefully, a very happy ending.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:24 AM
 
1,014 posts, read 988,013 times
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Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
I think adoptive parents can easily get into a mode of thought where we feel like we are victims in a sense.
Yes, I agree. It's important for PAPs to remember adoption should first & foremost always be about what is in the best interests of the children being adopted. If they do, they probably also realize what is most unfair is for children to be adopted by people who fail to meet certain standards &/or have not been educated on adoption issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
Well, I can honestly say that the process my DH and I went through and continue to complete has definitely prepared us for a child. We are both very confident about that.
Going through the process to adopt does not necessarily prepare one for all the challenges that are unique to raising an adoptee & there really is no way for anyone to know how prepared they are until they have actually raised a child who is adopted.

Here Tiff describes her frustration with the education provided when adopting her daughter:

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffjoy View Post
I said to my husband the next morning, "There was #764 of the Things They Don't Tell You About Adopting." It angered me, this lack of preparation for actually adopting a child. I should have known about this possibility- someone at the agency should have talked about it. I went through the mandatory classes (mandated by my state of CA), and nothing like this was ever discussed. I'm thankful my friend has a lot of experience with newborns seperated from their mothers and was able to help me through it.

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 04-17-2013 at 08:11 AM..
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:13 AM
 
11,151 posts, read 14,158,269 times
Reputation: 18796
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Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
In some sense, I do believe APs are better prepared to parent at the time of adoption than some biological parents are at the time of pregnancy and/or birth of their child. I really don't understand where the criticism comes that APs are not sufficiently "trained" or "educated" and that PAPs need to be "informed" about this and that, yadda yadda yadda. The process is not perfect, as you've stated, and I don't believe it ever will be...I mean, it is not something that can really be perfected - dealing with humans - it can only be improved and made more efficient and effective.
Really? Most expectant parents I've known have done a LOT of reading and research on infant care, child development, etc., etc., etc. Very few of them go into it without extensive preparation.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
But one word came to mind when I read your post. "Entitlement." This word is used on this forum in a very negative way towards APs and PAPs. I usually ignore it, but I decided to give it some thought and found this description:



Source: Vocabulary.com

Well, I can honestly say that the process my DH and I went through and continue to complete has definitely prepared us for a child. We are both very confident about that. Did we need it? Who knows. But, there is a sense of pride knowing that our "entitlement" was earned.

The way I view "entitlement" vis a vis adoption is this:

"That woman is (poor / young / single / other negative descriptor of your choice) whilst I am (financially stable / married / older / other positive descriptor of your choice). Therefore, SHE doesn't "deserve" to raise her baby, but *I* do."



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
Also, now that I think about it, some of the personality characteristics that were suggested to be screened actually are. They are tested in an indirect way: How does this person handle pressure? Deadlines? Can they attend (on time) and complete a series of classes? Do they return phone calls? Have I caught them in a lie? When we speak on the phone, are they short and abrupt, happy, or indifferent? These personality qualities do come through to the social workers while PAPs are being vetted. And some PAPs simply check out! They don't see it through. But when you are a parent, it's not that easy to just "check out." Especially when you are asking to become one. So, those of us who stick it out, are in some ways actually proving we can handle a lot. A lot of uncertainties, pressure, and opening up our lives and our privacy. One could argue that parenting involves all of these things!

And yet, between 10-25% of adoptions disrupt. /Adoption Disruption and Dissolution (pdf document) / Child Welfare Information Gateway.


I thought the primary factors associated with disruption were very interesting:

(Note -- The following information is not copyrighted and may be freely distributed as long as it's accompanied by this credit: Child Welfare Information Gateway. Available online at http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/s_disrup.cfm)

Child Factors:

Older age
Presence of emotional and behavioral issues
Strong attachment to the birth mother
Being a victim of preadoptive child sexual abuse

Adoptive Family Factors:

Being a new or matched parent rather than the child’s foster parent
Lack of social support, particularly from relatives
Unrealistic expectations
Adoptive mothers with more education

Agency Factors:

Inadequate or insufficient information on the child and his or her history
Inadequate parental preparation, training, and support
Staff discontinuities (i.e., different workers responsible for preparing the child and family)
Having more caseworkers involved with the case
Not having sufficient services provided

I think many of ^^these^^ speak directly to Moderator Cut why the training and information ARE, indeed, important.



.

Last edited by Jaded; 04-17-2013 at 05:25 PM.. Reason: Personal attack
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:59 PM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,989,132 times
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Originally Posted by susankate View Post
You might find the following article interesting as it describes the difference between entitlement vs ownership. It is an article written for adoptive parents.

entitlement vs. ownership adoption

Note that the article is talking more about feeling "entitled" to the child one has already adopted. It is not about feeling more entitled to parent than others.
I don't believe "ownership" and "entitlement" are the same.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:01 PM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,989,132 times
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Originally Posted by Green Irish Eyes View Post
The way I view "entitlement" vis a vis adoption is this:

"That woman is (poor / young / single / other negative descriptor of your choice) whilst I am (financially stable / married / older / other positive descriptor of your choice). Therefore, SHE doesn't "deserve" to raise her baby, but *I* do."
Interesting. I don't view entitlement this way.
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