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The United Family Rights Association's Position Paper on Foster Care and Adoption
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As written by Karissa Elizabeth Ann Lowell
National Director of the United Family Rights Association

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Karissa Elizabeth Ann Lowell

The United Family Rights Association-Nationwide is very concerned about the problem within the foster care system and the children that are placed within the foster care system.

 

We are more concerned about the children that have become paper orphans and have no next-of-kin on record because their parents have lost all rights on their children.

 

These paper orphans will have no next-of-kin to place on an application under person to contact in case of emergency. These children at an early age or later on placed into this system have no independent living skills or psycho-social skills that will help them with the transition back into polite society from foster care.

 

These independent living skills and psycho-social skills are vital so these young adults can successfully live on their own once released from the system.

 

The United Family Rights Association is more concern about the foster care social workers and foster care givers that don't come together and at the age of 17 start to prepare these young people to reenter society.

 

Children that have no next-of-kin on record should at the age of 18 if placed into an adoptive home or at the age of 18 or 21 in placed in to foster care should be able to readdress the Court that pronounced their parents rights terminated on them to have their parents rights restored so therefore, they have a next-of-kin on record. This way the child will not be a no one's child.

 

Furthermore, any adult child victim of CPS should be able to readdress the Court that terminated their parents rights on them and explain to the adult child victim why the Court and CPS took such as action as to terminating their parents right on them and the adult child victim should be able to respectfully request that their parents right be restored to them.

 

If the child victim of CPS was of an age to understand that which was about to disrupt their lives the adult child victim should have the right to readdress the court and the state pay general damages for pain and suffering to the adult child victim of CPS

 

General Damages is referred to below: Monetary recovery (money won) in a lawsuit for injuries suffered (such as pain, suffering, inability to perform certain functions) or breach of contract for which there is no exact dollar value which can be calculated. They are distinguished from special damages, which are for specific costs, and from punitive (exemplary) damages for punishment and to set an example when malice, intent or gross negligence was a factor.

 

Furthermore, the adult child victim should be compensated for punitive damages due to gross negligence caused by CPS, Foster Care taker or alternative care taker other than “the true and natural” parents through their placement in their new environment

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Adult Children Victims placed into foster care according to state laws can remain in foster care until 21, and they are not fully emancipated until they are 21 years of age and released out of the foster care system.

 

If the adult child victim was placed into a permanent adoptive home placement the adult child reaching the age of majority which is 18, if the adopters haven’t petitioned a Probate Court to retain the guardianship of the adult child due to mental or a physical disability, should be able to readdress the Court until the age of 21.

 

Any alternative care taker of a child, other than his or her “true and natural” parents should not be able to petition The Probate or District Court, whatever Court handles Guardianship petitions should have clear and convincing evidence that the adult child can in no way take care of his or herself at all. If the child is able to take care of his or herself and his or her daily and basic needs, hold either a part time or full time job is not disabled enough to warrant that the Probate or District Court award the alternative caretaker’s the adult child’s guardianship.

 

Adult child victims of CPS need to be taught independent living skills of money management, maintaining and keeping clean their apartments, how to shop for food and clothes, how to wash their clothes, and how to manage their anger and learn how to resolve their conflicts in a positive manner.

 

Anger and conflict management also falls under psycho-social skills as well, after all if these young paper orphans are to be sent back out into polite society, they will need to learn these very important skills.

 

Every adult child victim of the CPS system needs access to vocational testing, evaluation, and training. This way once they are released from the foster care system they will have a viable useable skill to help them enter into the workforce.

 

Assessment of every adult child victim either placed into foster care or adoptive care needs vocational testing, evaluation, and training. In this way, neither the state nor the adopter can and will be able to run down to social security immediately apply for Social Security SSI benefits for a child that is about to be loose from either foster care assistant payments or adoptive assistant payments.

 

Nothing is more crueler than having a foster parent or an adoptive parent run down to Social Security and apply for Social Security SSI payments and placing the adult child into extreme poverty. To place that child into extreme poverty is cruel and unusual punishment.

 

The transition from adolescence to adulthood is hard enough on those of us that were not a part of the child welfare system. Therefore, it cannot be easy on those adult child victims that have been placed into foster care or adoptive care and not given the psycho-social skills and independent living skills to make it outside of the foster or adoptive care system.

 

While foster care children have one set of problems the children that have been adopted out of the child welfare system have a whole set of different problems and many adoptive children come down with adoptive child syndrome.

 

Adoptive child syndrome is not imaginary like so many people think it is. A child adopted is not adopted or “taken as one's own child, like the old definition means.

 

Today adoptive parents are allowed to relinquish their own parental rights to children they have adopted out of the child welfare system and litigate a wrongful adoption lawsuit against the child welfare system, state, and anyone that has to do with the adoption placement. The results of these lawsuits are that the child is replaced back into the child welfare system, and the adoptive parents are awarded damages.

 

While foster children have no legal kin on record, adoptive children have a legal kin on record, but it is not the child's “true and natural” parents.

 

Adoptive children have their own set of problems and when their adopters have children of their own they often place exceedingly high expectations upon the child they have adopted and compared said children to one of their own natural children.

 

Some adopters come back and state later on that they regret adopting the child they have adopted out of the child welfare system because the child has prolonged unresolved mental health or physical problems that caused them to spend more money on what they were prepared to spend on a child they had taken out of the welfare system. 

 

It is a common known fact that when a person adopts a child out of the child welfare system that the parents get reimbursed for legal fees up to 2,000, and they are also eligible for adoptive assistant payments from the state. How much adoptive parents get paid is according to the state and county they live in.

 

Adoption payments may be higher if the adopters adopt a child that is over the age of five year old, if the child is disabled or a minority child, or comes from a group of two or more siblings and if the child is over the age of 12 year old.

 

Foster parents receive the same amount in the form of foster care payments and often the money is not used for the care of the child but the foster parents as well as the adopters squander the money away on themselves.

 

The remedy to this is that once a child is placed into the foster care system and the state starts to pay foster care payments that the Court appoint a trustee to oversee the foster care payments of children that are placed into foster care and this will further ensure that the children in foster care get what they need.

 

Furthermore, once a child is placed into the foster care system, their case should be given and monitored even more so once they are placed into a foster home. The foster care worker should be dedicated and willing to work with both the foster parents and the child placed into foster care to ensure the child receives everything the child needs.

 

Foster care workers should be made to monitor their cases on a weekly basis, and they need to be made to understand that weekly visits be made out to the foster home to ensure that the child is not being abused, neglected, by the foster parents.

 

Foster children reaching the age of 16, should be prepared for release, as soon as they turn 18 years of age.

 

The Transitional skills should be taught to all foster care children starting at the age of 16 and if need be continued up until the age of 21 depending upon the maturity of the foster care child. Each foster care child needs to independently to be tested and evaluated if they are ready to be transitioned out of foster care into polite society.

 

Maturity is the key here if the foster care child can take care of his or her basic needs in life, they have viable useful skills to enter the workforce and can support and can take care of themselves.

 

They are able to resolve conflicts and manage their anger and to seek out community based services for mental and emotional problems, and vocational services to help them obtain vocational skills and job placement. This way these children now adults will not need to depend on Social Security SSI and live in extreme poverty.

 

Social Security should only be applied for if the child is so disabled that there is nothing he/she can be trained for by state vocational services. All this must be well documented by psychiatrists, psychologists, vocational rehabilitation service specialists and other persons with training in the mental health profession or if the foster care child is so disabled due to a physical disability.

 

There are many different degrees of mental retardation and not all require that the adult child be placed on Social Security SSI.

 

It is best if the adult child is mildly mentally retarded or has a developmental disability that is an onset before the child's 22nd birthday that the adult child is given a thorough psychological testing and evaluation to determine the extent of retardation. It may also help by understanding that the child has other problems besides mental retardation and a developmental disability.

 

There is a world of difference between a developmental disability that develops before the child’s 22nd birthday and a disability that happens after the child’s 22nd birthday.

 

Every foster and adopted child has the potential if they are given the right tools to bring it about.

 

An adoptive child may seem happy, but underneath, he or she is terribly unhappy. He or she is often expected to do more to prove themselves to their adoptive parents. They are often treated entirely different from their adoptive parents natural children.

 

Adoption no longer means “to take as one's own.” If that was the case anyone that adopts a child would treat the child the same way as they treat their own natural children.

 

The creation of paper orphans has definitely got out of hand and the truth be known that most adoptive parents that adopt a child out of the child welfare system has already looked into what benefits the child receive from the state and what the adoption payments for the child are.

 

This is an incentive for people to adopt these children that should have never been taken away from their own parents at all.

 

Every day thousands of parents throughout the United States are falsely accused of child abuse, child neglect, a child that the state adjudges that is in the need of services and dependency, parents that have suffered economic setbacks, parents that have committed non-violent crimes and parents that have what CPS terms as unresolved mental health problems and physical health problems. If that doesn't take the cake they can use a little tool known as “substantial risk of harm” which is their definition of poverty?

 

What is the true definition of an orphan it is a child that has lost their true and natural parents to death, natural disaster, war, or auto accident? This means that their parents have a death certificate filed with the state that they died in.

 

Adoption was meant to give these children that had lost their parents to death, natural disaster, war, or auto accident and that are truly dead a second chance to have a mother and father and a new home rather than be placed into a group home, foster home, boy's or girl's ranch, or any other alternate temporary home.

 

Foster care was meant to be temporary, and it was meant to be used as a short term placement until which time the child could be returned home to his or her parents.

 

Foster care has now become a long term problem with no viable solution at hand. Foster care is a problem and a long term problem and there needs to be a solution to it.

 

If an adoptive home can't be found for the children taken away from parents on false allegations and other unjust reasons the state, judicial system, and CPS systems needs to be honest and truthful to the children that understand that they might not be able to be placed into a permanent home due to any number of reasons. The main reason is age, minority, number of siblings, or disability.

 

These children in these groups will linger in foster care until it is time for them to be set free from the foster care system and most of them will have no where to go and have no family to turn too because the Court terminated the child's parental rights to the parents.

 

Some will make it and some will not. Those that make will make it because they were given the tools to make it in the real world and other will not because they were not given the tools to make it in the real world.

 

Foster Care and Adoption are not the answer the answer is that if the true and natural parents are given that what they need to take care of their families there would be no need for foster care or adoption other than set forth above.

 

©United Family Rights Association-Nationwide 2008.

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