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Be an Adoption Advocate … Advice to the President

cluelessandconfusedbwWhile I’m waiting for my wife to wake up on Saturday morning, I re-read an article in Readers Digest called “Memo To The President” is the January 2009 issue. It was advice from statesment and women in politics to President Obama. Read it, it’s is very interesting and contains many things most Americans would also like to say.

The one portion by Grover G Norquist I would like to highlight (part praise and minor rant) is the part on adoption. If you read the article online it is on page or part 3 of the article. If you are reading the regular sized print edition, it is on page 171.

The advice to President Obama is to set a goal to get every child adopted the first year in office. The general advice is great, so rather than summarize, I’d rather have you Click Here to read the article, and then come back to this post and read on.

IN SWB’s opinion, this goal is impossible. Below are the reasons after talk to many friends trying to adopt, or that have. I’ve also heard stories over the years from an Aunt and Uncle that graciously served as foster parents to 124 children (even the hard ones … babies the came from drug addicted mothers, etc). The kind of children that would dream about being in a home.

Reasons:

  • The process. It’s too hard, too timely, and too complicated. I agree 1000% for background checking to make sure a child goes into a good home – but many times the government fails in that anyway. The whole checking process needs reformed.
  • The financial cost. Due to the long and broken process – many people that I have talked to feel that you can only afford to adopt a child if you have two six digit incomes. The fear is that when all of the legal costs are paid for (yes, there are non profits that help, but their funding is usually tight too), the prospective parents are worried they may not have enough money left over to properly take care of a child. My wife and I would probably be open to adopting a child, but by the time we paid all the legal fees we would probably not be able to support that child.
  • The emotional cost. After going through the process, which many say is rewarding, but with the sometimes cost of being emotionally drained by being constantly questioned whether or not you would be a good parent – some wonder whether they would have enough left to give emotionally to a child after the process of adoption or trying to adopt.
  • Promotion and help. The government needs make it easier and once that is done, promote how much easier it has been made adopt a child. They then need to provide help for those prospective parents that still feel or think the process may be too hard. Those costs to the government will be much less than the cost of taking care of children with no families.
  • Involvement. Don’t just say people need to get involved. Give them ways they can be involved at getting children adopted. Family services in all of our states are forced to waste too much time on bureaucratic garbage which the could be using to get others involved in helping children get adopted.

Now, people have been trained by society (and the news, etc) to say that if you can’t make it through the tedious adoption process you really didn’t want it. SWB completely disagrees. We have met too many people that would love to adopt and would be much better persons to raise children than many that have been granted the right to adopt a child. Therefore, because of the “process” in place, many children remain homeless, and the community’s ability as a whole to raise those children is hindered by that process.

So, SWB’s additional advice to the President is this: Do good background checks on prospective parents (not based on incomes or credit ratings, or even sometimes criminal records), but base them on whether the prospective parents have grown through any of their mistakes (or sins if you want to call them that) well enough to teach a child how to not make those sames mistakes, and how to grown by learning from the ones they do make.

Why did we label this clueless and confused article: We feel the government is “clueless and confused” in that prospective parents have to be or are made to feel they need to be perfect people (which is completely unobtainable) to adopt a child that really needs a family. That issue needs corrected way before President Obama can even become an advocate for adoption.

For those interested, Click Here for a link to The Pennsylvania Public Welfare’s page on Adoption in Pennsylvania. Ther are many other resources (some listed in this link), so please out the link and others on the internet.  Just search on something like “Adoption in {insert your state’s name here}”.

-SWB

PS – If you have the ability by current day’s requirements to adopt, please do it. If you do not want to adopt, fight for those that don’t have as much as you and do want to adopt. Children should not be born to be left out in the rain.

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