Tuesday, January 29

Disposable Kids???

I've heard about this adoptive parent who decided to give up on her deaf child. For those of you who didn't hear about this, I will recap. There was a family who had a deaf child for more than one year, she had friends at school and was starting to communicate using ASL. They tried to get the child a cochlear implant but found out she was not a candidate for hearing aids or implants. The family thought that the child would learn to hear and speak. The mom got pregnant and decided it was too hard on their family to continue working with this child and the child went back to the agency.

I will try to get through this without being judgemental which will be hard for me on this one. I am a foster and adoptive parent so I guess I have something in common with this mother, but that is about as far as the similarities go. Foster children already have a difficult time since they have already loss their biological parents and it is difficult for me to comprehend putting a child through another tragedy.

I do not know how old this child is, but we can say that she is over 1 year old and since she was in school we can say that she was over 4 years old. I almost don't want to publish this statistic but I will because this story is all too common. When you commit to being a foster parent, you are committing to the child that you receive. Here are the national statistics for a disruptive placements :

  • Less than 1% of infant adoptions disrupt.
  • 10% to 12% of adoptions of children aged three and older disrupt.
  • Of children placed for adoption at ages 6 to 12, the disruption rate is 9.7%.
  • Of children placed for adoption at ages 12 to 18, the disruption rate is 13.5%.
  • Of children of any age with special needs placed for adoption, the disruption rate is 14.3%.
Over 100,000 children in the US are waiting to be adopted. Most children wait on average of 4 years before they are adopted. Over 35,000 children "age-out" of the system each year. Out of these children, 70 % will be homeless, 88% will be incarcerated at one point, 40% are on welfare, 40% do not graduate high school and 40% of the girls have a baby within 2 years.

I am not sure of the statistics of when a child become difficult to find an adoptive parent. But in 2004 when we started our journey, it was age 5. That is why we made our criteria for fostering children start at age 5. We wanted a child that may not otherwise be adopted. It makes me nauseous to think about leaving a child out there that I knew that I could help.

There just is simply no substitute for the unconditional support, guidance and love that families can provide adoptable children. There is no reason for those stats to be a part of our society!!

We have had children come in and out of our home, but it has never been our decision for any of our children to leave & I am proud to say that! We have been through mental institutions, RAD, ADD, PTSD & now Ushers Syndrome with our kids. I cannot fathom turning any of these kids away because of their circumstances. Under each one of these things lies a child-a loving & caring child. It may take you years to uncover that child, but how can you say that child is not worth years of your effort.

How will this mom be able to look at her biological child when he/she is born and say "I traded a child for you"?

I also know that it is difficult with a special needs child and it requires a ton of your time, but again how can you say that it is not worth it. Most of these children have been through hell already, more than what most people will experience & you can't get off your cushy behind to assist this child that you committed to. Sorry - now I'm being judgemental, I told you it would be hard for me.

Now, the compassionate side of me says that you do need to do what is best for your family and if that did not include what is best for this child then maybe it is better that it did not go on any further. I pray for this family and the choice that they made. I pray for this child that she can forgive, find a good forever home who can accept her for who she is - a beautiful child of God with unique abilities to change her world.


Michelle D said...

I'd love to adopt that deaf child but problem is that my husband's not into adoption thing. He thinks it's such a hassle and very costly. My heart goes out for that deaf child!

kw said...

I thought she was a baby. It's even worse to learn she is an older child because she really does understand the rejection. Oh this will hurt so much. It hurts my heart to even think of it. How COULD they?? The pain, suffering, and trauma they've caused is way beyond forgiveness. They don't deserve to be parents. I feel sorry for their natural child yet to be born.

Ashley's Mom said...

I wonder if part of the blame for the disruptions should go to the adoption agencies and social service agencies who don't do a good enough job of preparing potential adoptive parents? Are those organizations under such mandates to place children, that they sugarcoat the problems pre-adoption?

The agencies I have used for my adoptions have not given true pictures of the difficulties every one will face in adoption, nor was I given strategies for dealing with those difficulties.

With that said, at least in my state (Virginia), there has been a grant for several years now for the creation of an Adoptive Family Preservation program. It provides training, respite, support groups, etc. for families post-adoption. It has been very helpful to me. I just wish more families would avail themselves of the resources.

Jullian age 13 said...

I think more people should try to be around deaf people alot of them are like 'oh their deaf they can't talk or know what i am saying'. that's STUPID not to be offenseve or nothin' but tons of deaf people (like me)can talk and lip read. those people are so wrong.