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Make a Difference for Foster Children
Townhall.com ^ | February 16, 2012 | Michael Reagan

Posted on 02/17/2012 6:44:26 AM PST by Kaslin

I am an adopted son. I am a very lucky adopted son. And as an adopted son I want all adoptees like me to have the same wonderful adoptive parents I was lucky enough to have.

My biological mother was an unmarried young woman from Ohio who had an affair with a married man. It was 1945 -- my biological father was in the Army and was shipped off to France to fight in the war while my mother went to California to give birth to me.

My mother made the painful decision to put me up for adoption. Thankfully, I was adopted by none other than the actor Ronald Reagan and his then-wife Jane Wyman. No youngster ever had more loving parents, despite their divorce.

Unlike me, however, many never find a loving permanent home. They grow up in a group home, or are shuffled from foster home to foster home. Tragically the majority of children who "age out" of foster care are not equipped to live as productive adults. Statistics show that they are less likely to graduate from high school. They are less likely to be employed and, even when they are employed, are more likely to have jobs that do not pay a living wage.

Moreover, they are more likely to experience violence, homelessness and mental illness. And they are more likely to fall victim to substance abuse and to be incarcerated. Females are more likely to have unwanted pregnancies. Our nation's foster children deserve better. They deserve the chance to be properly prepared for adulthood.

Jimmy Wayne -- country music singer, child advocate and my friend -- brought to my attention two bills now before the Tennessee Legislature -- HB 2337 in the House and SB 2199 in the Senate, which will allow youth in Tennessee to stay in foster care until the age of 21. As a national advocate for children, I strongly support this legislation and encourage all members of the Tennessee General Assembly to vote in support of it.

Children are often the real victims of divorce when parents, once apparently devoted to each other, suddenly become enemy camps with fathers on one side and mothers on the other. Tragically the children are sometimes forced to take sides in the marital combat, estranging themselves from one of their parents, perhaps forever.

In such an atmosphere, what should have been a loving home can be transformed into a field of strife. Children deserve better. Even foster children in good situations need more time to get their lives on track.

Join me in supporting an effort that will help make a difference.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: Tennessee
KEYWORDS: adoption; children; family; michaelreagan

1 posted on 02/17/2012 6:44:29 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

I was in and out of foster homes when I was younger and now have 3 kids but I’d love to have the chance to foster a child but when I found that the Govt tells me how to be a parents, how that child should be raised then it turned us off

BTW All my kids are honor roll A students, not one has ever been in trouble at school, all adults state how polite they are, yes sir no mam,, oldest is 14 , youngest is 9 and then inbetween.

yet I know a social worker who has a son and who has come to my house, , pals with my oldest.
Her kid cannot use a knife and fork, has no manners, never sat at a table to eat, just average student, eats with his fingers at aged 15 , never had a home cooked meal but only frozen microwave meals

Yet this social worker tells me how to be a parent


2 posted on 02/17/2012 6:51:33 AM PST by manc (Marriage is between one man and one woman,It's not a conservative view but a true American view)
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To: manc

Then try the adoption track. I have several friends who have gone through the classes and have adopted children from foster care. The beginning stages are the worst (the classes you have to attend where they tell you how to parent, the first few court dates if parental rights are still an issue, the home visit). Once the child is in the home the majority of the contact involves court preparations and getting permission if you want to take the child out of town.


3 posted on 02/17/2012 7:05:00 AM PST by PrincessB (Drill Baby Drill.)
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To: PrincessB

just so I am not getting this wrong .

Once I have adopted I still have to get permission to take the child out of town or do you mean I have to get permission while the adoption process goes through?

Thank you for taking the time to post that info BTW.

We did look briefly at adoption but the process takes so much time and money which we do not have.

We then looked at international adoption but boy that is costly and yet countries like the UK, Italy etc have children who need homes.


4 posted on 02/17/2012 7:12:39 AM PST by manc (Marriage is between one man and one woman,It's not a conservative view but a true American view)
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To: manc

We are in the last stages of the paperwork and training process to foster-to-adopt.

Yes, while you have foster children in the home you must follow the rules of the State regarding their care and discipline because during that time they are wards of the state. You must notify the agency/social worker when you go on vacation, etc. However, once you adopt the child is yours and you don’t need to maintain communication with the state about them.


5 posted on 02/17/2012 7:22:57 AM PST by Reddy (B.O. stinks)
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To: manc

You have to be a liberal to be a social worker which is a complete travesty. The assumption (erroneous) is that if you are not a liberal, you have no compassion.


6 posted on 02/17/2012 7:40:23 AM PST by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: manc
Your short post here today very neatly reflects the trouble we face today in our country. Thank you.

ML/NJ

7 posted on 02/17/2012 7:42:55 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: manc
Sounds like you have been a good parent.

But please don't blame “the government” for your decision not to be a foster parent. Do you not think the people who raised you had to put up with some bureaucratic BS to help YOU?

If you don't want to foster, or adopt, OK. But stop blaming social workers. People who have a fire in their heart would not be persuaded by such a weak excuse.

To adopt 2 kids we put up with all kinds of penny ante stuff -inspections of our house, having to write a “fire escape plan”, social worker visits and interviews of us and our neighbors and friends, financial records, tax returns for past 5 years, fingerprints, driver history checks, doctor exams, shots and letters, psychological evaluation, social worker checking the temperature of our refrigerator, having to install childproof locks (even though adopting older kids), painting the peeling paint on our porch step, letter from the vet about our dogs, follow-up SW visits for a year

yada yada yada. and when someone lost a piece of paper - we had to go start again

ya know what- the KIDS ARE WORTH IT because we were not "turned off" by petty stuff

8 posted on 02/17/2012 7:51:14 AM PST by silverleaf (Funny how all the people who are for abortion are already born)
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To: manc

Here you go and right in your state. Fees are based on a sliding scale and you don’t have to be Baptist to adopt a child.

Florida Baptist Children’s Home:

http://www.fbchomes.org/1/adoptions.html

By the way, they do have basic criteria you must meet but they are not hard. Not implying that you are one but they also do not adopt children to queers, they can be that selective because they do not accept government funds.


9 posted on 02/17/2012 7:55:15 AM PST by Graybeard58 (Eccl 10 v. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.)
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To: manc
There are many grants and aid programs for people willing to adopt, start with your church, then your denomination, then other similar faith based groups

If you are willing to adopt a child who is not a healthy white infant, there are many fee reduced programs

Adopting a child internationally costs about the same as buying a new car, but there is a huge tax deduction that covers lot of it if you time it right

Domestic or international- do not get hung up with critics (especially who have NOT themselves adopted) it is a child who needs parents Start networking with adoption agencies and parent groups - IF you have the fire in your heart

10 posted on 02/17/2012 7:58:27 AM PST by silverleaf (Funny how all the people who are for abortion are already born)
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To: manc

http://wacap.org/WaitingChildren/tabid/73/Default.aspx

another program that offers subsidized costs


11 posted on 02/17/2012 8:02:00 AM PST by silverleaf (Funny how all the people who are for abortion are already born)
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To: yldstrk
every social worker I've come across is a lunatic liberal. The woman I described who works as a social worker at a public school is nuts. A kid got into trouble at school and so is suspended for 10 days. Her parents, who have 6 kids and this girl is the second youngest got into trouble but now for two months this social worker has ordered the parents to go to counseling for two months. Two frigging months and yet her girl did a silly thing by bringing in tablets on a dare in 6th grade. All the other children these parents have are either in college or college bound with good grades no trouble. The social worker originally from Canada has one 15 year old who is pals with my oldest. The 1t5 year old cannot even use a knife and fork, just has frozen microwave meals, the social worker has never cooked a meal in her life for him, she never talks to her son, has no clue about her son and yet she orders these other parents to counseling. It totally blows my mind how a crap mother has the authority to order other parents to basically parent class while she's a crap mother herself.
12 posted on 02/17/2012 8:19:50 AM PST by manc (Marriage is between one man and one woman,It's not a conservative view but a true American view)
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To: Kaslin
I am a former what is called kinship foster parent in Tennessee. Folks DCS or Department of Children's Services in Tennessee as it is called is a Liberal Agenda from top too bottom organization. They don't care if kids have a loving stable home while in custody. While in state custody both the children and their foster parents especially if kin will be threatened, harassed, drug into court on very short notice, have all efforts to help the kids undermined by both birth mother and father and DCS.

Too help kids in Tennessee the first thing that must be done is the Tennessee Legislature re-write the laws, rules, and guidelines, for foster care, and open up the foster care program to encourage adoption rather than the agenda of reunification with parents who abuse their children. I don't mean minor or non abuse I mean real ones where the kids still go back. The current Mother focused policies need too stop. This is about what is best for the kids. Their policy is every child needs their mother no matter how bad she herself or one she allowed abused them. That policy is sick and wrong.

I tell you from first hand experience that a mothers boyfriend can abuse her children with her knowledge, the kids be taken into custody, the mother given a choice the kids or him and she picks him. That is not enough in Tennessee to terminate rights. Instead the kids stay in foster care till Parent Party Time is over or a Liberal Judge on appeals rules to return them on some minor technicality and the cycle repeats.

The system in Tennessee is broken.

DCS and the Liberal Courts have taken foster care and what was once the policy of relatives placement and adoption and made it to where kids even some six years old now time out at 18 in foster care. Kinship foster care thanks to the apathy of DCS and the court is a very dangerous task in this state. DCS does nothing about threats from parents against foster parents. DCS also SHOPS for Therapist for the kids who will place the birth mother in the best possible light. As I said their agenda is reunification at almost all cost. They will lie to achieve that goal.

I have attended DCS parenting classes and became a certified foster parent as all persons taking in their own kin must now do. I've also been in classes with foster parents going too the classes looking too adopt. Many kids do need homes but current laws and policies prevent it for most kids in this state. If by some small miracle rights of parents are finally terminated the kids are usually severly emotionally damaged. This needs to be stopped.

I have been posting replies in all DCS related articles in www.knoxnews.com under the user name tnvarmit#526548 or tnvarmit. A search in Yahoo or Google with my user +DCS from that site goes into the problems in DCS a lot deeper.

Kids deserve good homes. No kid deserves abuse and no parent should be allowed chance after chance. As well there are some things that should bring immediate parental rights termination upon conviction. I can say this much. In the case I was involved in innocence of the accused and convicted was not even an issue as it was admitted.

13 posted on 02/18/2012 1:05:59 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: manc

Some case wokers by that I mean LCSW’s who help the kids deal with the abuse and heal are pretty good. But they get underminned by caseworkers in the state DCS who like the defense will go nuclear on them in court if the mother isn’t seen as a saint. LCSW’s in my state shy away from going to court for this very reason.


14 posted on 02/18/2012 1:15:22 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: manc

From what I’ve read in the media Florida’s Children’s Services actually looses as in they don’t know where they are, kids in state protective custody. You are right it is 100% Liberal driven and we who have been through these systems or dealt with them know it first hand.


15 posted on 02/18/2012 5:00:36 PM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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