Negative Effects of Foster Care and Adoption what they don't want you to know

PSYCHOLOGY OF THE ADOPTED CHILD.

Clothier. F. MD. 1943.

Clothier says in her paper in Mental Hygiene (1943). “Every adopted child at some point in his development, has been deprived of this primitive relationship with his mother. This trauma and the severing of the individual from his racial antecedents lie at the core of what is peculiar to the psychology of the adopted child.

The adopted child presents all the complications in social and emotional development in the own child. But the ego of the adopted child, in addition to all the demands made upon it, is called upon to compensate for the wound left by the loss of the biological mother”.

The child who is placed with adoptive parents at or soon after birth misses the mutual and deeply satisfying mother and child relationship. The roots of which lie deep in the area of personality where the psychological and physiological are merged. Both for the child and the natural mother, that period is part of the biological sequence, and it is to be doubted whether the relationship of the child to it’s post partum mother, in its subtler effects, can be replaced by even the best of substitute mothers.

But those subtle effects lie so deeply buried in the personality that, in the light of our present knowledge, we cannot evaluate them.

Clothier says: “We do know more about the trauma that an older baby suffers when he is separated from his mother with whom his relationship is no longer parasitic, but toward whom he has developed active social strivings”.

For some children, and in some stages of development, the severing of a budding social relationship can cause irreparable harm. The childs willingness to sacrifice instinctive gratifications and infantile pleasures for the sake of a love relationship has proved a bitter disillusionment, and he may be reluctant to give himself into a love relationship again.

The child who is placed in infancy has the opportunity of passing through his oedipal development in relation to his adoptive parents without an interruption, that in the childs phantasy, may amount to the most severe of punishments.

Because of the love the baby has come to need to receive from his mother and to give to his mother, he accepts his first responsibility in life, namely toilet training. He gives up infantile sources of pleasure for the sake of his mother, who’s love he wants to hold and whom he wants to please.

The child who lacks the motivation of a growing social and emotional relationship with a highly valued love object, does not accept training in a spirit of co-operation. If he accepts it at all, it is likely to be in response to fear of the consequences of wetting and soiling. Many children use persistent wetting and soiling as a method of expressing their antagonism to a mother with whom they have not experienced an early, satisfying love relationship.

Brisley. (1939) points out that the illegitimate baby (and this applies to the prospective candidate for adoption) is under abnormal pressure to “be good”. This implies first being quiet and taking feeds well, and later, accepting toilet training at an early age. This emphasis Brisley suggests is a “contributing factor to the insecurity and feeling of aloneness which seems characteristic of the illegitimate child.”

Clothier goes on to say, “that every child, whether living with his parents or with foster parents, has a recourse to phantasy when he finds himself frustrated, threatened or incapable of dominating his environment. For the adopted child it is not a phantasy that these parents with whom he lives with are not his parents, it is reality.

For the adopted child, the second set of parents are obviously the unknown lost real parents. His normal ambivalence will make use of this reality situation to focus his love impulses on one set of parents and his hate impulses on another. He finds an easy escape from the frustrations inherent in his home education by assuming the attitude that these, his adoptive parents, are his bad and wicked persecutors, whereas his dimly remembered own or foster parents, from whom he was ‘stolen’ are represented in his phantasy as the good parents to whom he owes his love and allegiance”.

1960

FANTASIES AND BEHAVIOUR OF THE ADOPTED CHILD;

Marshall D.Schechter. M.D., Beverly Hills California.

In his paper on the Observations of Adopted Children.

In a series of cases seen by him the percentage of adopted children was 13.3 as compared with the national average of 0.134. This indicates a hundredfold increase of patients in this category compared with what could be expected in the general population.

Toussieng (April 1958) of the out patients and admissions service said that one third of all patients coming to the Menninger out patient clinic were adopted.

Schechter, goes on to say. The striking thing in most cases was that the feature of their adoptive status played a significant role in the underlying dynamics of the problem.

He observed in many of his case studies on adopted children symptoms relating to such things as fantasies and “acting out” regarding the real parents, i.e. their appearance, their names and killing and murder especially toward their real mother.

Observations also included outbursts toward the adoptive parents telling them they would not do as the parents say because they were not their real parents. He also goes on to say that adopted children suffer symptoms of depression, feelings of incompleteness, phobic fear of abandonment, anxiety, aloofness and distancing of them selves which made close relationships impossible.

Schechter also noted hyperactivity and unmanageability in children of a young age. He also observed,
particularly with one child, that it had relationships of the same quality with strangers as his parents, namely, superficial and dominated by a driving need to have his impulses satisfied immediately. The child could easily be comforted by a stranger as easily as by his mother.

In the behaviour of young adopted girls Schechter observed instances of such things as sex-play, exhibitionism, seductiveness and regression.

He also noted in cases of adopted boys, problems of lying, stealing, and lack of integration with others.

Schechter’s observations of the adoptive parents were that often the adoptive mothers had intense feelings of inadequacy regarding their womanly functions that contributed to an over protectiveness to the children. These feelings also served as a constant reminder of her barrenness, stimulating her need to tell the story of “the chosen one”.

Prior to adoption, some of these people had recognized emotional problems within themselves. Some had thought of the children as potential saviours of their marriage. Some felt that a child was essential to prove their masculinity.

Toussieng. (1958) commenting on the repetition of the story of adoption and of how “we picked you” suggests that the real parents did not want him and therefore were bad parents. Therefore, though the parents stress the wanting aspect they at the same time play the “abandonment theme”.

The belief of “I’m no good: because my parents gave me away because I was no good and I am going to prove them right” is not uncommon in adoptive children.

In his comments Schechter reports we could see how the idea of adoption had woven itself into the framework of the childs personality configuration. It played a role in symptom formation and object relationships. It certainly had an effect in later development, giving the stamp of antisocial behaviour and that of a paranoidal system.

He summarises by stating ” The patients in this paper do not have a fantasy about being adopted, they were adopted. Their daydream, which cannot be combated by denial, is the connection with their real parents. Who were they? What were they? Why did they give me up? Do I have any living relatives? What was my name, etc?

Clothier. (April;1943) states. A deep identification with our fore-bears as experienced originally in the mother-child relationship, gives us our most fundamental security. . . Every adopted child at some point in his development has been deprived of his primitive relationship with his mother. This trauma and the removal of the individual from his racial antecedent lie at the core of what is peculiar to the psychology of the adopted child.

Toussieng (1958) states; the adolescence of the adopted child seems to be a particularly difficult one because it is harder for adoptive adolescents to accept their rebellion against the adoptive parents, to give them up as love objects. Furthermore, I have now seen a number of cases in which children in adolescence start roaming around almost aimlessly, though some times they are seeking someone or some thing. They seem to be seeking the fantasised “good real parents”.

Benedek (1938) presents an important concept regarding the development of confidence based on
mother-child relationship. This is the area so sensitive in these adopted children and which can be found to under-lie so many of their disturbances.

1962

DISABILITIES IN ADOPTED CHILDREN AND ADOPTIVE PARENTS

Dr. Povl W. Toussieng. M.D.

Dr Toussieng was a child psychiatrist at The Menninger Clinic Topeka, Kansas.

Dr Toussieng suggests that adopted children seem more prone to emotional disturbances than non-adopted children; he concludes that their conflicts are caused by their adoptive parents unresolved resistance to parenthood.

He says that in spite of careful screening of adopted children and their prospective parents prior to adoption, a disproportionately large percentage of these children eventually come to psychiatric or other professional attention because of emotional, educational or social problems.

The fact that sixty one percent of the first and only child in an adopting family were particularly prone to disturbances suggested that they should look elsewhere than in the children themselves for the factors contributing to later disturbances. The children presented at the Childrens Service tended to present many severe difficulties.

Toussieng also acknowledges that severe emotional disturbances and personality disorders are
over-represented among adopted children and that they may have severe emotional difficulties that may never come to the attention of professionals.

He points out that on reaching adulthood some children become obsessed with finding their real mother because they had revealed a feeling of never having been really attached to their adoptive family and never had the feeling of real belonging.

Toussieng refers to Deutsh (1945) where she discusses the influences of unconscious attitudes and conflicts on the abilities of the adoptive mother to be motherly toward their adopted children. She believes that an adoptive mothers failure to develop motherliness is the major cause of later disturbances in the child. They (the mothers) view the adopted child as narcissistic injury, as evidence that they themselves are damaged. The child in trying to identify with such parents may well acquire shaky and defective introjects.

Toussieng summarises by stating “children who have been adopted at an early age and/or who have not been exposed to psychological traumatization before adoption seem to be more prone to emotional disturbances than non-adopted children.

1963

ADOPTED CHILDREN DISABILITIES.

Michael Humphrey and Christopher Ounsted.

Michael Humphrey, M.A. B.Sc Principal Clinical Psychologist. Warneford and Park Hospitals.

Christopher Ounsted. D.M.,D.C.H., D.P.M., Consultant-in Charge Park Hospital for Children.

In a control group of 41 early age adoptees they distinguished the following symptoms. Emotional reactions (tantrums, negativism, jealousy). Enuresis, anxiety, disturbed social behaviour, aggression, withdrawl, stealing, cruelty, destructiveness, lying and encopresis.

They were impressed with finding out that one in two children adopted late had been stealing as compared to one in four children adopted at an early age. The action appeared in several cases to be expressly directed at the adoptive mother, either from a sense of rejection (in some cases well founded) or as an appeal for more individual attention. Sometimes the money would be spent on presents for friends in the hope of gaining popularity. Some of these children have stolen compulsively over a long period with no sign of remorse.

They found the adopted children suffered from varying degrees of parental deprivation, neglect, parental rejection or at the opposite extreme, over-indulgence, mental or physical illness sufficient to impair the quality of parental love, and jealously of a sibling born before or too soon after the adoption.

1963.

FANTASY OF ADOPTED CHILDREN AND ADOPTIVE PARENTS.

Schechter.M. Carlson.P.V. Simmons. J.Q. and Work. H.H.

In a paper submitted to the Childrens Bureau, US Department of Health Aug 1963.

The factor of adoption played a consistently important role in the genesis and perpetuation of the given
symptom picture. Two major hypotheses were suggested for the higher incidence of psychological disturbances in the adoptee. Firstly the adoptee may intra-physically continue a split between good and bad in his infantile object relations, since in reality he has two sets of parents. Secondly, the adoptive parent is often confused in his or her role due to unconscious guilts and hostilities and tends to project this disturbance backward into the heredity of the child i.e. the natural parents.

Phipps(1953) mentioned the tendency of parents to speak about the heredity of the child as the major causative factor in behavioural difficulties.

Lemon E.M. (1959) referred to the difficulty that the adopted individual has in dealing with communication concerning his adopted status with a resulting tendency to weave factual material together with much fantasied material in his thoughts as he seeks his natural parents.

They went on to say that these patients perceived their adoptive parents as inadequate especially with the setting of limits and viewed their natural parents as their adequate set of parents.

Livermore J. B (1961) suggests that the adoptees have specific problems in identification, since the adoptive mother constantly reactivates primitive unconscious fears that her own insides have been destroyed.

They summarised by saying. “We feel that we have offered substantial evidence from many sources that the non-relative adopted child may be more prone to emotional difficulties”.

1967.

ADOPTED CHILDREN.

A statement from the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 1967.37 402. Mid-Fairfield Child Guidance Centre Norwalk Connecticut.

The number of adopted adolescent children who are referred to our centre and other centres is larger than their ratio in the general population. “We are impressed with the extent to which these children are pre-occupied with the theme of their adoption”.

They go on to talk about the similarity of the traits and attitudes in these children which they refer to as the “Adoption Syndrome”.

1970.

DISABILITIES OF ADOPTED CHILDREN.

Dr Christopher Ounsted, MA, DM, MRCP, DCH, DPM.

Dr Ounsted states that in the late fifties it had become apparent to him and his colleagues at the Park Street Hospital for Children that they were seeing an unexpectedly large number of adopted children. Many of the children owed their disabilities either to some inate handicap or to defects in the structure of their families, such as having parents who were psychotic, inadequate, psychopathic, defective, or in some other way not able to fulfil their parental roles adequately.

Ounsted noted that of the symptoms of adopted patients, compulsive theft was more significant.

1971.

ABUSE.

Henry Kemp. Archives of Diseases in Childhood (1971) states that some children may be more vulnerable to abuse than others. Among them are the hyperactive, the precocious, the premature, the stepchild and the adopted.

1974.

IDENTITY:

1974 Dr Triseliotis in his research paper on Identity and Adoption, gives examples of adoptees views on identity.

1st adoptee,
“I look in the mirror and cannot recognise myself”.

2nd adoptee,
“I feel there is something about adoption that gives you a feeling of insecurity as regards just
exactly who you are”.

3rd adoptee,
“I feel that I am only a half a person, the other half obscured by my adoption”.

4th adoptee,
“I never really felt I belonged. I feel empty and I find it difficult to make friends or be close to
people. I have been hovering on the edge of a break down”.

One of the main anxieties of adoptees is the fear of being different and somewhat set apart from the rest.

The adopted child has to gradually accept the loss of his natural parents and the “rejection” this implies. Yet he has to also accomodate a preferably positive image of the original set of parents and their genealogy in his developing self.

Children who are adopted into a different culture will still need to identify with aspects of their original heritage.

1975.

ABANDONMENT.

Bennett Olshaker, MD. In his paper “What shall We Tell the Kids”, he notes that the adopted person has to contend with the feeling that he was abandoned, but we can try to help him in a positive manner by portraying his natural parents in a positive manner. He goes on to say that some adoptive parents may feel that their childs’ parents were immoral for having a child out of wedlock. These sentiments create difficulties for the parents when the child has questions regarding sexual matters.

1976.

ADOPTED CHILDREN ADMITTED INTO RESIDENTIAL PSYCHIATRIC CARE.

Harper.J.; Williams. S. 1976.

This was an investigation over a period of five years from 1969-1974 into 22 adopted children admitted into the childrens unit at North Ryde Psychiatric Centre. Six were referred at age eleven and over, three were referred before their fifth birthday and the remaining thirteen fell between five and ten years and eleven months.

Symptoms in the children ranged from depression, aggressive acting out behaviour to stealing. In some
instances stealing was a desperate attempt to buy friendship since the stolen money was to buy sweets and toys for peers. In other instances it seemed to compensate for the loss of the real mother by acquisition of material goods. In all cases it could be seen as a cry for help.

In some instances admission to the unit signals the relinquishing of parental responsibility as evidenced by eight cases where the child was made a ward of the state and placed in a child welfare home. A summary of the various outcomes indicated that they on the whole were unsatisfactory with one third settling back into their adoptive families with a positive prognosis and two thirds demonstrating a breakdown or possible breakdown in the adoptions.

Family trauma and parental pathology was investigated since it was felt that the stress of adoption could not alone account for the severity of symptoms and outcomes in the children. In terms of family trauma one mother and one father suicided after a history of depressive illness, one set of adoptive parents were murdered, two fathers were killed in car accidents with the adoptive child present and three fathers were unusually violent and aggressive men.

In seven cases, the mothers had a history of psychiatric illness prior to the adoption, including one with a schizophrenic illness. In the case of the seven mothers and three fathers for whom a psychiatric diagnosis was made after the adoption, one can only speculate on the degree to which extra-familial stresses and internal pressures contributed toward this decompensation.

1980.

ADOPTED ADOLESCENTS.

Rickarby. G.A. Eagan. P. 1980.

Rickarby and Eagan say that in their and others studies, there has been consistent evidence of morbidity of various types in adopted adolescents. He states that adoptive families are four times more as likely as biological to seek help for their distress. Acting out, degrees of depression, identity crisis and special roles, (the bad one, the mad one, or the sick one) may constitute an adolescent’s expression of a families dysfunction.

With the added issues of adoption, adolescent development crises become more difficult and the concomitant distress and behaviour exaggerated. These situations include the adolescent who is unable to communicate to others his frightening or idealized fantasies about his biological parents and who cannot readily accept the identity expected of him in his adoptive family and the adopted adolescent who is struggling to cope in a family beset by marital conflict or mental illness.

Cultural fables may have a destructive aspect on the adopted adolescents development. One such fable is “the chosen child”. This is often a source of great anger to the child whose experience of his family has not been “good enough”. His anger is directed at the adoptive parents because these people “chose him”.

Another fable is that of “the poor child whose parents did not want him” and who was adopted by the bountiful parents to whom the child should be ever more grateful.

1985.

ADOPTIVE ANXIETY, RAGE AND GUILT.

Silverman. M.A. 1985. Discusses in his paper that when adoptive status is foisted upon a child, the child is encumbered with so many problems that he or she is at risk of developing a host of psychological problems. This is particularly so if the child learns of his adoption at an early age.

These can be unhappiness, separation problems, difficulty knowing and learning, aggressive fantasies and acts, preoccupation with knives and other weapons, and his feelings of being deprived and robbed.

Adoptive status tends to affect multiple aspects of the developing personality. It interferes with the childs sense of security, the modulation of and channelling of the childs aggression, the development and resolution of the Oedipus complex, super-ego formation, and identity formation.

To lose a parent early in life, especially when there is a felt element of cruel rejection and desertion, as there tends to be when a child is told of adoption while still in the throes of “sadistic-anal” ambivalence and the hostile-dependent struggles of the reproachment crisis of separation-individuation, mobilizes in tense fear and rage. The rage at the abandoning parents is in part directed toward the adoptive parents.

In part the rage is turned back on the self, contributing to the fantasy that the child was abandoned by the original parents because he or she was bad, troublesome, greedy, and destructive.

Silverman goes on to say “nearly every adopted child or adult I have treated sooner or later has revealed the fantasy that the reason for the adoption was the biological mother died in childbirth, which tends to be depicted as a tearing, ripping, bloody, murderous affair in which the baby gains life by taking the life of the mother”.

The adopted child not only needs to learn about pregnancy and childbirth to solve the mysteries of his or her origins, but also needs to find out if he or she is really a murderer! Adopted children often entertain the fantasy that the original father too has died.

1986.

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER IN ADOPTEES.

Wilson. : Green. : Soth. : 1986. Report that many adopted adolescent patients in their hospital (10 out of 21) have received a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. This diagnosis, made official in the American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd edition 1980), includes the following symptoms: impulsivity or unpredictability in areas that are potentially self damaging, a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships with idealization, devaluation and manipulation, inappropriate intense anger.

Identity disturbance was manifested by uncertainty about several issues relating to identity, intolerence of being alone, affective instability, physically self damaging acts, and chronic feelings of boredom and emptyness. It is theorised that this disorder arose because of deficits in early parenting experiences which did not enable the child to develop a core identity, so they didnt feel part of a fused dyad, which explains their fear of abandonment and intolerence of being alone.

1988.

ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR IN ADOPTEES. ADOPTED CHILD SYNDROME.

Kirshner.D. Nagel.L. 1988.

Is there a distinct pattern of presenting behaviours and symptoms among adopted children and adolescents referred for psychotherapy? Some clinicians and clinical researchers whose day to day observations strongly suggest that such a pattern does, in fact exist. The senior author has observed extreme provocative, aggressive, antisocial, and delinquent conduct much more consistently among adoptees than their non-adopted counterparts.

Behind the recurrent behavioural and personality patterns there have emerged emotional and psychodynamic issues specifically linked to adoption.

Schecter, Carlson, Simmons, & Work (1964) looked at adopted and non-adopted children in a psychiatric setting and found a much greater occurrence of overt destructive acts and sexual acting-out among adoptees. Menlove (1965) used a similar sample and found significantly more aggressive symptomatology among adoptees. Although several predicted differences were significant, adoptees had significantly more hyperactivity, hostility, and negativism, and significantly more of them had passive-aggressive personalities.

What then is the adopted child syndrome? On the behaviourial level, it it is an antisocial pattern that usually includes pathological lying, stealing, and manipulativeness. Fire setting is sometimes seen and promiscuous behaviour is common.

Typically, the child seeks out delinquent, antisocial children or adults often of a lower economic class than the adoptive family. Provocative, disruptive behaviour is directed toward authority figures, notably teachers and parents. The child often threatens to run away, and in many cases repeatedly does so.

Truancy is common, as well as academic under-achievement and, in many cases there are significant learning problems. There is a typically shallow quality to the attachment formed by the child, and a general lack of meaningful relationships. The child reports feeling “different” and “empty”.

Yet the parents of most children with the Adopted Child Syndrome exhibit a pattern of tension and denial surrounding the issue of adoption. It soon becomes apparent however, that communication about adoption is not simply absent; much worse, the parents are tacitly communicating a message that the topic is dangerous and taboo.

The child, sensing his parents’ insecurity and anxiety, is left to imagine what terrible truths they might be hiding. He feels an ominous pressure against voicing his feelings and curiosity. He senses that his adoptive parents would feel his interest in his birth parents was disloyal. He not only experiences a dread of the truth but also the stifling of his normal curiosity.

1988.

IDENTITY IN ADOPTEES.

Treadwell Penny, talks about Dr F.H. Stone, former consultant in child psychiatry at the Royal Hospital for sick children in Glasgow. Writing about the problems of identity experienced in adolescence by adopted children,
Stone says:

“When there are emotional problems, really basic problems connected with identification, something is likely to happen. Instead of the young person playing roles, he may very actively take on a particular favoured role, which he proceeds to live, and this role tends often to be the least in favour with the parents or other adults who care for this young person.

And so we see again and again in our clinics the parents of teenagers who come to us in utter
despair and say `Not only are we worried about the child, but the very things we have always been most afraid of: thats what he is doing’. If it was drugs then it was drugs; if it was promiscuity it was promiscuity; if it was failure to learn then it was failure to learn”.

Psychologist Erick Erickson. . . calls this a “negative identity”. One can readily appreciate the relevance of this to the adoptive situation, because here we see the danger, in the confusion or embarrassment of explaining to the child about the natural mother or father, of denigrating them either as people who abandoned him, who did not care for him, or who had certain attributes of personality or behaviour. The danger here is that this will backlash, and later on, especially in adolescence, this is precisely the mode of behaviour which the child adopts in his “negative identity”.

1988.

WHY DO ADOPTEES SEARCH?

Robert.S. Andersen asks; “What then about the question as to why the adoptees are searching? This question can be paraphrased thus: “Why are you interested in your mother, your father, your sisters, brothers, grandparents, cousins, nieces, nephews, ancestry, history, aptitudes, liabilities – in short why are you interested in you?”

This is the tragedy, that adoptees more often than not do not feel justified in living life as it is, but have to come out with socially acceptable excuses to justify their interest, needs, and their lives.

They cannot be honest with themselves or others because the conflictual forces, external if in the form of “how could you do this to your adoptive parents”, or internal if in the form of “she gave me up and I do not want to give her the satisfaction of knowing that it matters”, interfere with the living of life from their own original position.

Searching, is not simply an intellectual activity for the adoptee. There is an emotional component as well, and it is my belief that this emotional component is the most important part. If one genuinely wonders why adoptees search, I think that a comprehensive answer must include the following: On one level, adoptees search so they might see, touch, and talk to their biological mother – the search is an effort to make contact with one’s biological family. On a different level (the bottom line), it is something more than this. I think that the search is most fundamentally, an expression of the wish to undo the trauma of separation.

Adoptees either hope (unrealistically, but not necessarily unexpectantly) to relive the life that was lost at the time of the separation, or hope (more realistically) to heal the wound caused by the separation, and therefore provide a more solid base for their lives.

1991.

SEVEN CORE ISSUES OF ADOPTION.

Kaplan.S.; Silverstein. D.:

1.Loss: Adoption is created through loss. Without loss there can be no adoption.

2.Rejection: One way people deal with loss is to figure out what they did was wrong so they can keep from having other losses. In doing this, people may conclude they suffered losses because they were unworthy of having whatever was lost. As a result they feel they were rejected.

3.Guilt and shame: When people personalize a loss to the extent that they feel there is something
intrinsically wrong with themselves that caused the loss, they often feel guilt that they did something wrong or feel shame that others may know. (Silverstein).

4.Grief: Because adoption is seen as a problem solving event in which everyone gains, rather than an event in which loss is integral, it is difficult for adoptees, adoptive parents, and birthparents to grieve. There are no rituals to bury unborn children, roles, dead dreams and disconnected families.

5.Identity: A person’s identity is derived from who he is and what he is not. Adoption threatens a persons knowing of who he is, where he came from, and where he is going.

6.Intimacy: People who are confused about their identity have difficulty getting close to anyone, Kaplan says. And people who have had significant loss in their lives may fear getting close to others because of the risk of experiencing loss again.

7.Control: All those involved with adoption have been “forced to give up control” said Silverstein. Adoption is a second choice. There is a crisis who’s resolution is adoption.

1991.

THE BABY.

Unlike the adoptive mother the baby has experienced pregnancy. The child-in-the-womb has built up a a rhythmical biological bond with the woman who will not be his mother. Prenatal psychologists believe the adopted baby has to learn to separate from the mother he has known in-utro and form an attachment to the new set of parents. Some adoptive parents believe this too.

They feel that the newborn baby has already had intimate prenatal and birth experiences and possible
memories from which they are excluded. These parents interpret the babies cries or discomfort as pining for the birthmother’s smell, her touch, the sound of her voice or naturally synchronized rhythmicity. Such hypersensitivity and fear of rejection by the the baby may reflect the adopting parents own unconfessed preferences for a “natural child” of their own.

Arrival of an adopted baby revives the sense of having “stolen” a child they were not entitled to have. In addition, fantasies about the babies unknown conceptual and genetic history contribute to difficulties in falling in love with the little stranger who is to be part of their lives.

1991.

THE PRIMAL WOUND.

Verrier Nancy, 1991, believes that during gestation a mother becomes uniquely sensitised to her baby. Donald Winnicot called this phenomenon, primary maternal preoccupation. He believed that toward the end of pregnancy, the mother develops a state of heightened sensitivity, which provides a setting for the infants constitution to begin to make itself evident, for the developmental tendencies to start to unfold and for the infant to experience spontaneous movement.

He stressed the mother alone knows what the baby could be feeling and what he needs, because everyone else is outside his experience.

The mothers hormonal, physiological, constitutional and emotional preparation provides the child with a security, which no one else can. There is a natural flow from the in-utro experience of the baby safely confined in the womb to that of the baby secure within the mothers arms, to the wanderings of the toddler who is secure in the mothers proximity to her. This security provides the child with a sense of rightness and wholeness of self.

For these babies and their mother, relinquishment and adoption are not concepts, they are experiences they can never fully recover from. A child can certainly attach to another care giver, but rather than a secure, serene feeling of oneness, the attachment is one in which the adoptive relationship may be what Bowlby has referred to as anxious attachment.

He noted that “provided there is one particular mother figure to who he can relate and who mothers him lovingly, he will in time take to and treat her as though she were almost his mother. That “almost” is the feeling expressed by the adoptive mothers who feel as if they had accepted the infant but the infant had not quite accepted them as mother.

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Why Closed Adoptions should be Illegal by Annika Valour

 

I am a child of a partial adoption (stepfather) and a social worker.  My situation was open because I was nine years old and already very much aware of who my biological paternal family were.  As a social worker but also in many personal connections that I have, I am painfully aware of what adoption does to destroy a child and their identity. It is worse when the child knows nothing about thier biological beginnings.

As a social worker, I’ve witnessed partial families adopted while their older siblings must now be pushed away from their own family.  In partial adoptions the siblings have no more rights to visit each other than parents do.  So this means the children are blamed for their parents mistakes and they too are punished.  This was a painful job for me as a professional because I was dealing with the emotions of the older children.  One of which was mentally retarded and how no understanding of laws and ethics.  Imagine what this was like trying to explain to this teenager why they could no longer speak to or see their younger siblings.

Social services workers often have no relationship to adoption (on a personal level) and therefore have no empathy of what this must be like for a family.  Often families are blamed in social services anyway and are seen as the bad guys.  They aren’t.  They are just ignorant people who came from a similar lineage.  They didn’t know any better.

But children DO need a long-term, safe, loving, and supportive environment.  There is a difference between a closed and an open adoption.  Social services will pretend that it is open because the adoptive parents know the information of the parent.  In reality, once the adoption papers are signed, the children become the property of the adoptive parents in the sense that they now control the child’s lives.  They change their names and determine what they will know and will remain oblivious too.  Birth records are sealed and new birth certificates created in all adoption situations and thus the child’s true beginnings are erased and put in a vault.  Legally one can go to court and request (as an adult) to open the case and retrieve the original birth certificate.  That is if they even know they were adopted.

I believe adoption should be re-assessed and new laws put in place as to what this means on a national, even international level.  No matter what your birth certificate says, the DNA never changes.  A child has a right to know who their biological parents were for medical reasons as well as to preserve their identity.

In every adoption I have been privy too, or known of, egotism played a huge role.  There is something very strange that happens to people when they are now choosing their own destiny through that of a child.

What happens to children who are adopted?  Teenage life is hell.  It is no different from that of a child who is a homosexual.  Identity confusion for an adopted child is great as they look at themselves and their parents and see an obvious difference.  Even those raised with love and a good family still know they are not part of the mix.  Adoptive children are generally very rebellious and experimental with their own choices.  That is because there is anger, frustration, guilt, and confusion as to why they were adopted.  There will also be a curiosity about what their birth family looked like.  I will never forget the time I went to the country of my ancestors and saw my own culture for the first time.  I felt like I came home.  I felt a sense of happiness that I had never felt before in my life.  Emotionally I was distraught for some time on my return as I felt a sense that I had left part of myself behind.  Even the first time that I saw my birth father after about 20 some years, the feeling was rather deja vu.  I knew him from somewhere deep in my past and I wanted to remember all those moments.  However, I was so young when he left and emotionally vulnerable with an adoption that I was forced into.  Thus the pain of the adoption erased many memories.

Looking upon others who look like you is a way of feeling as if you belong.  If you study yoga, as I have for many years, than you probably learned the Sanskrit words for the asanas.  The sound of a word that dates back thousands of years is a very spiritual process.  Looking into the face of the one who brought you into the world and having knowledge of their roots is also spiritual.  You see yourself and you see your ancestors.

To put this in another way, I am currently doing my chart on ancestry.com.  The further I am able to go back the more my room fills up with the ghosts of those who came before me.  I am also able to see how the decisions I have made have a metaphysical connection to those before me.  The more you understand about your roots the more grounded you can become but also the stronger your self-esteem.

This blog is dedicated to children who are raised in ways that are not conscious of their psychological, mental, and physical futures.  To those who commit errors in a desperate attempt to get someone to notice them.  To acknowledge that they exist and have something to say – even if they don’t know what they want to say.  Juvenile forensics is based on children who have not come to terms with their identity, among many other challenges the average person can not even imagine.  Yet we adults, who think we know better, continue to chase the same ridiculous standards of living and follow the same rules without giving any thought to what consequences will be there down the road.  In social services and family law courts the only concern is getting the child a long-term legal family to take responsibility for the kid – so they don’t have to.  Short term answers are favored over philosophically analyzing the effects of such a decision.  Laws around adoption are designed to deal with the matter at hand as per the codes in the book.  Laws can be changed but we have to want them to.

http://madeguilty.wordpress.com/

he Adoption Target and its effect today


 

The Adoption Target and its effect today

The Sunday Express today has a story about how over a thousand children each year
continue to be wrongly adopted as a result in part of an error in calculating
the adoption target.

Christopher
Booker today in the Sunday Telegraph
 looks at an additional two case
studies.

There is a lot of misinformation spread by civil servants (and parroted by ministers) about the adoption targets.

Each English Council with childrens services responsibility had a specific local target known as BV
PI 163 or PAF C23. (Those are “Best Value Performance Indicator” or “Performance
Assessment Framework”.)

This was calculated as the number of children adopted from care each year by that local authority as a percentage of the total
number of children that had been in care for at least 6 months as at the 31st of
March of the same year. (The years go from 1st April to 31st March same as the
financial years).

All local authorities had specific funding to encourage adoption and some also had financial rewards from the government for hitting
their local target.

From April 2006 the adoption target was redefined to be a permanence target which included Adoption, Residency Orders and Special
Guardianship orders.

This was scrapped from 1st April 2008.

The target, therefore, had the effect of skewing local authority decision-making up
to and including the year that ended in 31st March 2008 (which is called in the
stats 2008).

The first government lie is to pretend the target only lasted until 2006. It was redefined in 2006, but lasted until 2008.

Some local authorities (eg Merton) still have such a target. These targets, however,
are not nationally agreed.

The mathematical error is to have as the numerator (children per year) and the denominator (children). This does not give
a percentage. A percentage is a dimensionless number. This gives a dimension of
(per year).

The problem is that it was generally thought that the proportion of children being adopted was in fact relatively low when it was far
more common.

An example of this error of thinking can be seen in Ofsted’s
APA of 2008 or Alan Rushton’s paper from 2007.

Outcomes of adoption
from public care: research and practice issues
 written by Alan Rushton
includes the following:

Nevertheless, it would be wrong to think that any wholesale moving of children from birth families into adoptive families is
taking place. Adoption from care concerns just a small proportion (6%) of all
looked after children in England (Department for Education and Skills, 2005) and
so remains a relatively uncommon solution to the needs of these young
people.

The problem is that the proportion is not a
“proportion”.

If we take all the children that left care aged under 5 in 2005 (4,200) we find that 2,100 were adopted. That is 50%.

Realistically as children get older they are less likely to be adopted. Those children that go
into care above 10 are often those that do so because their parents cannot cope
with their behaviour. It is, therefore, unlikely that they will be
adopted.

In 1997 2,000 under 5s left care, but only 640 did so through adoption. That is a lower percentage (because a higher proportion went home to
their parents). However, it is still 32% which is a lot more than the 6% figure
that is quoted.

The argument that was put by the government is that they were dealing with children “languishing in care”. Superficially you could say
that there was an increase in the number of children leaving care and those were
those which ceased languishing in care (again looking at those aged under 5).
However, you find in fact that the difference between the number taken into care
and that leave care still remains at about 2,000 per year (although 2010 was in
fact 2,800).

What you find, in fact, is that when the pressure for adoptions started (which was actually earlier than the adoption target) that the
numbers taken into care also increased. There are anecdotal reports of local
authorities looking for potential adoptees (called by some practitioners
adoptible commodities).

Hence what was a laudable objective was based upon a misunderstanding of the statistical picture. Furthermore there is a
continuing problem.

Practice has not substantially changed although there has been a relatively small drop of in permanence numbers (which includes a
higher reduction in adoption numbers, but still to a much higher position than
pre the adoption target).

As far as the under 5s are concerned the 2010
figure was 2,000 compared to the 2005 figure of 2,100.

Furthermore we now have the nonsense from Martin Narey who compares the historic numbers of
theoretically voluntary adoptions (in an era before better contraception,
abortion and changing social attitudes led to large numbers of babies being born
inconveniently and being adopted) to those forcibly removed from families
through the use of some corrupt experts and a legal environment which is biased
against non-institutional parties.

The Government Minister is also calling for more adoption from care without having any evidence base to identify
which children it is that need to be adopted.

There is undoubtedly a big problem with reactive attachment disorder. This appears to be caused at times by
babies being removed at a very early age and then getting insufficient personal
attention.

Whether this policy will be shifted before enough of the people who have been through it create an outcry is unclear. A lot of damage is
being done – particularly to the children – by a policy based on mathematical
errors and a lack of intellectual rigour in policy setting.

The real flaws in the decisionmaking remain hidden, however, by the secrecy in the system
and desire to protect the backs of those people who earn money from the system.

http://johnhemming.blogspot.com/

The Negative Affects of Foster Care

 

The negative effects of foster care

Individuals who were in foster care experience higher rates of physical and psychiatric morbidity than the general population.[24] In a study of adults who were in foster care in Oregon and Washington state, they were found to have double the incidence ofdepression, 20% as compared to 10% and were found to have a higher rate of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than combat veterans with 25% of those studied having PTSD. Children in foster care have a higher probability of having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and deficits in executive functioninganxiety as well other developmental problems.[25][26][27][28] These children experience higher degrees of incarcerationpovertyhomelessness, and suicide. Recent studies in the U.S., suggests that, foster care placements are more detrimental to children than remaining in a troubled home.[29][30][31]

Neurodevelopment

Foster care has been shown in various studies to have deleterious consequences on the physical health and mental wellbeing of those who were in foster care. Many children enter foster care at a very young age, a period where the development of mental and psychological processes are at one of their critical peaks. The human brain doesn’t fully develop until approximately the age of twenty, and one of the most critical periods of brain development occurs in the first 3–4 years. The processes that govern the development of personality traits, stress response and cognitive skills are formed during this period. The developing brain is directly influenced by negative environmental factors including lack of stimulation due to emotional neglect, poor nutrition, exposure to violence in the home environment and child abuse.[citation needed]

Negative environmental influences have a direct effect on all areas of neurodevelopment: neurogenesis (creation of new neurons),apoptosis (death and reabsorption of neurons), migration (of neurons to different regions of the brain), synaptogenesis (creation ofsynapses), synaptic sculpturing (determining the make-up of the synapse), arborization (the growth of dendritic connections ,myelinzation (protective covering of neurons), and an enlargement of the brain’s ventricles, which can cause corticalatrophy.[citation needed]

Most of the processes involved in healthy neurodevelopment are predicated upon the establishment of close nurturing relationships and environmental stimulation. Foster children have elevated levels of cortisol, a stress hormone in comparison to children raised by their biological parents. Elevated cortisol levels can compromise the immune system. (Harden BJ, 2004).[32]Negative environmental influences during this critical period of brain development can have lifelong consequences.[33][34][35][36]

Epigenetic effects of environment

Gene expression can be affected by the environment through epigenetic mechanisms. Negative environmental influences, such as maternal deprivation, child abuse and stress[37][38] have been shown to have a profound effect on gene expression, includingtransgenerational epigenetic effects in which physiological and behavioral (intellectual) transfer of information across generations-not-yet-conceived is effected. In the Överkalix study in Sweden, the effects of epigentic inheritance were shown to have a direct correlation to the environmental influences faced by the parents and grandparents.[39] Many physiological and behavioral characteristics ascribed to Mendelian inheritance are due in fact to transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. The implications in terms of foster care and the cost to society as a whole is that the stress, deprivation and other negative environmetal factors many foster children are subjected to has a detrimental effect not only their physical, emotional and cognitive well-being, but that the damage can transcend generations.[40][41][42]

In studies of the adult offspring of Holocaust survivors, parental PTSD was a risk factor for the development of PTSD in adult offspring in comparison to those whose parents went through the Holocaust without developing PTSD. The offspring of survivors with PTSD had lower levels of urinary cortisol excretion, salivary cortisol and enhanced plasma cortisol suppression in response to low dose dexamethasone administration than offspring of survivors without PTSD. Low cortisol levels are associated with parental, particularly maternal, PTSD. This is in contrast to the normal stress response in which cortisol levels are elevated after exposure to a stressor. The results of the study point to the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms.[43][44]

Epigenetic Effects of Abuse

“In addition, the effects of abuse may extend beyond the immediate victim into subsequent generations as a consequence of epigenetic effects transmitted directly to offspring and/or behavioral changes in affected individuals. (Neighh GN et al.2009)[45]

It has been suggested in various studies that the deleterious epigentic effects may be somewhat ameliorated through pharmacological manipulations in adulthood via the administration of nerve growth factor-inducible protein A,[46] and through the inhibition of a class of enzymes known as the histone deacetylases (HDACs). “HDAC inhibitors (HDACIs) such as Trichostatin A(TSA); ”TSA can be used to alter gene expression by interfering with the removal of acetyl groups from histones”, and L-methionine an essential amino acid, have been developed for the treatment of a variety of malignancies and neurodegenerative disorders. Drug combination approaches have also shown promise for the treatment of mood disorders including bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression.”[47][48]

Post traumatic stress disorder

 

Regions of the brain associated with stress and post traumatic stress disorder[49]

Children in foster care have a higher incidence of Post traumatic stress disorder(PTSD).In one study (Dubner and Motta, 1999)[50] 60% of children in foster care who had experienced sexual abuse had PTSD, and 42% of those who had been physically abused fulfilled the PTSD criteria. PTSD was also found in 18% of the children who were not abused. These children may have developed PTSD due to witnessing violence in the home. (Marsenich, 2002).

In a study conducted in Oregon and Washington state, the rate of PTSD in adults who were in foster care for one year between the ages of 14-18 was found to be higher than that of combat veterans, with 25 percent of those in the study meeting the diagnostic criteria as compared to 12-13 percent of Iraq war veterans and 15 percent of Vietnam war veterans, and a rate of 4% in the general population. The recovery rate for foster home alumni was 28.2% as opposed to 47% in the general population.

“More than half the study participants reported clinical levels of mental illness, compared to less than a quarter of the general population”.[51][52]

Eating disorders

Foster children are at increased risk for a variety of eating disorders, in comparison to the general population.

Obesity children in foster care are more prone to becoming overweight and obese, and in a study done in the United Kingdom, 35% of foster children experienced an increase in Body Mass Index (BMI) once in care.[53]

Hyperphagic Short Stature syndrome (HSS) is a condition characterized by short stature due to insufficient growth hormone production, an excessive appetite (hyperphagia) and mild learning disabilities. While it is believed to have genetic component, HSS is triggered by being exposed to an environment of high psychosocial stress; it is not uncommon in children in foster homes or other stressful environments. HSS improves upon removal from the stressful environment.[54][55][56]

Food Maintenance Syndrome is characterized by a set of aberrant eating behaviors of children in foster care. It is “a pattern of excessive eating and food acquisition and maintenance behaviors without concurrent obesity”; it resembles “the behavioral correlates of Hyperphagic Short Stature”. It is hypothesised that this syndrome is triggered by the stress and maltreatment foster children are subjected to, it was prevalent amongst 25 percent of the study group in New Zealand.[26]

Bulimia Nervosa is seven times more prevalent among former foster children than in the general population.[57]

Disorganized attachment

A study by Dante Cicchetti found that 80% of abused and maltreated infants in his study exhibited symptoms of disorganized attachment.[58][59] Children with histories of maltreatment, such as physical and psychological neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse, are at risk of developing psychiatric problems.[60][61][62][63] These children may be described as experiencing trauma as the result of abuse or neglect, inflicted by a primary caregiver, which disrupts the normal development of secure attachment. Such children are at risk of developing a disorganized attachment.[62][64][65] Disorganized attachment is associated with a number of developmental problems, including dissociative symptoms,[66] as well as depressive, anxiety, and acting-out symptoms.[67][68]

Child abuse

Children in foster care experience high rates of child abuse, emotional deprivation, and physical neglect. In one study in theUnited Kingdom ”foster children were 7-8 times, and children in residential care 6 times more likely to be assessed by a pediatrician for abuse than a child in the general population”.[69]

Poverty and homelessness

 

New York street children; 1890

Nearly half of foster kids in the U.S. become homeless when they turn 18.[70][71] ”One of every 10 foster children stays in foster care longer than seven years, and each year about 15,000 reach the age of majority and leave foster care without a permanent family—many to join the ranks of the homeless or to commit crimes and be imprisoned.[72][73]

Three out of 10 of the United States homeless are former foster children.[74] According to the results of the Casey Family Study of Foster Care Alumni, up to 80 percent are doing poorly—with a quarter to a third of former foster children at or below the poverty line, three times the national poverty rate.[75] Very frequently, people who are homeless had multiple placements as children: some were in foster care, but others experienced “unofficial” placements in the homes of family or friends.

Individuals with a history foster care tend to become homeless at an earlier age than those who were not in foster care and Caucasians who become homeless are more likely to have a history of foster care than Hispanics or African Americans[citation needed]. The length of time a person remains homeless is prolonged in indiviuals who were in foster care.[76]

Suicide-death rate

Children in foster care are at a greater risk of suicide,[77] the increased risk of suicide is still prevalent after leaving foster care and occurs at a higher rate than the general population. In a study of Texas youths who aged out of the system 23 percent had a history of suicide attempts.[78]

Swedish study utilizing the data of almost one million people including 22,305 former foster children who had been in care prior to their teens, concluded:

Former child welfare clients were in year of birth and sex standardised risk ratios (RRs) four to five times more likely than peers in the general population to have been hospitalised for suicide attempts….Individuals who had been in long-term foster care tended to have the most dismal outcome…former child welfare/protection clients should be considered a high-risk group for suicide attempts and severe psychiatric morbidity.[79]

Death rate

Children in foster care have an overall higher mortality rate than children in the general population.[80] A study conducted inFinland among current and former foster children up to age 24 found a higher mortality rate due to substance abuse, accidents, suicide and illness. The deaths due to illness were attributed to an increased incidence of acute and chronic medical conditions and developmental delays among children in foster care.[81]

Poor academic prospects

Educational outcomes of ex-foster children in the Northwest Alumni Study;
  • 56% completed high school compared to 82% of the general population, although an additional 29% of former foster children received a G.E.D. compared to an additional 5% of the general population.
  • 42.7% completed some education beyond high school.
  • 20.6% completed any degree or certificate beyond high school
  • 16.1% completed a vocational degree; 21.9% for those over 25.
  • 1.8% complete a bachelors degree , 2.7% for over 25, the completion rate for the general population in the same age group is 24%, a sizable difference.

Foster care has been proven in innumerable studies to not be conducive to academic performance. In a study conducted inPhiladelphia by Johns Hopkins University it was found that; among high school students who are in foster care, have been abused and neglected, or receive out of home placement by the courts, the probability of dropping out of school is greater than 75%.[82]

State abuses in the United States

Drug testing

Throughout the 1990s, experimental HIV drugs were tested on HIV-positive foster children at Incarnation Children’s Center in Harlem. The agency has also been accused of racism, some comparing the trials to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, as 98 percent of children in foster care in New York City belong to ethnic minorities.[83]

Unnecessary/over medication

Studies”[84] have revealed that youth in foster care covered by Medicaid insurance receive psychotropic medication at a rate that was 3 times higher than that of Medicaid-insured youth who qualify by low family income. In a review (September 2003 to August 2004) of the medical records of 32,135 Texas foster care 0–19 years-old, 12,189 were prescribed psychotropic medication, resulting in an annual prevalence of 37.9% of these children being prescribed medication. 41.3% received 3 different classes of these drugs during July 2004, and 15.9% received 4 different classes. The most frequently used medications wereantidepressants (56.8%), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder drugs (55.9%), and antipsychotic agents (53.2%).

Concomitant psychotropic medication treatment is frequent for youth in foster care and lacks substantive evidence as to its effectiveness and safety”.[84]

– Psychotropic medication patterns among youth in foster care., Pediatrics 2008

Psychiatrists prescribed 93% of the psychotropic medication, and it was noted in the review of these cases that the use of expensive, brand name, patent protected medication was prevalent. In the case of SSRIs the use of the most expensive medications was noted to be 74%, in the general market only 28% are for brand name SSRI’s vs generics. The average out-of-pocket expense per prescription was $34.75 for generics and $90.17 for branded products, a $55.42, difference.[85]

Sexual abuse and negligence

One study by Johns Hopkins University found that the rate of sexual abuse within the foster-care system is more than four times as high as in the general population; in group homes, the rate of sexual abuse is more than 28 times that of the general population.[86][87] An Indiana study found three times more physical abuse and twice the rate of sexual abuse in foster homes than in the general population.[87] A study of foster children in Oregon and Washington State found that nearly one third reported being abused by a foster parent or another adult in a foster home.[88] These statistics do not speak to the situation these children are coming from, but it does show the very large problem of child-on-child sexual abuse within the system. There have been several notable lawsits concerning sexual abuse and negligence that caused review of the foster care system in some states:

In 2010, an ex-foster child was awarded $30 million by jury trial in California (Santa Clara County) for sexual abuse damages that happened to him in his foster home from 1995 to 1999.[89][90] The foster parent, John Jackson, was licensed by the state, despite the fact that he abused his own wife and son, overdosed on drugs and was arrested for drunken driving. In 2006, Jackson was convicted in Santa Clara County of nine counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a child by force, violence, duress, menace and fear, and seven counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.[89]The sex acts he forced the children in his foster care to perform sent him to prison for 220 years. Later in 2010, Giarretto Institute, the private foster family agency responsible for licensing and monitoring Jackson’s foster home and others, also was found to be negligent and liable for 75 percent of the abuse that was inflicted on the victim, and Jackson himself was liable for the rest.[89]

In 2009, Oregon Department of Human Services agreed to pay $2 million into a fund for the future care of twins who were allegedly abused by their foster parents; this was the largest such settlement in the agency’s history.[91] According to the civil rights suit filed on request of twins’ adoptive mother in December 2007 in U.S. Federal Court, the children were kept in makeshift cages—cribs covered with chicken wire secured by duct tape—in a darkened bedroom known as “the dungeon.” The brother and sister often went without food, water or human touch. The boy, who had a shunt put into his head at birth to drain fluid, didn’t receive medical attention, so when police rescued the twins he was nearly comatose. The same foster family previously took into their care hundreds of other children over nearly four decades.[92] DHS said the foster parents deceived child welfare workers during the checkup visits.[91]

Several lawsuits were brought in 2008 against the Florida Department of Children & Families (DCF), accusing it of mishandling reports that Thomas Ferrara, 79, a foster parent, was molesting young girls.[93][94] The suits claimed that even though there were records of sexual misconduct allegations against Ferrara in 1992, 1996, and 1999, the DCF continued to place foster children with Ferrara and his then-wife until 2000.[93] Ferrara was arrested in 2001, after a 9-year-old girl told detectives he regularly molested her over two years and threatened to hurt her mother if she told anyone. Records show that Ferrara had as many as 400 children go through his home during his 16 years as a licensed foster parent (from 1984 to 2000).[93] Officials stated that the lawsuits over Ferrara ended up costing the DCF almost $2.26 million.[94] Similary, in 2007 Florida‘s DCF paid $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged DCF ignored complaints that another mentally disabled Immokalee girl was being raped by her foster father, Bonifacio Velazquez, until the 15-year-old gave birth to a child.[95][96][97]

In a class action lawsuit Charlie and Nadine H. v. McGreevey[98] was filed in federal court by “Children’s Rights” New York organization on behalf of children in the custody of the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS).[99][100] The complaint alleged violations of the childrens’ constitutional rights and their rights under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, theChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment, 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, theAmericans with Disabilities Act, and the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA).[101] In July 2002, the federal court granted plaintiffs’ experts access to 500 children’s case files, allowing plaintiffs to collect information concerning harm to children in foster care through a case record review.[99] These files revealed numerous cases in which foster children were abused, and DYFS failed to take proper action. On June 9, 2004, the child welfare panel appointed by the parties approved the NJ State’s Reform Plan. The court accepted the plan on June 17, 2004.[100] The same organization also filed similar lawsuits against several other states in recent years that caused some of the states to start child welfare reforms.[102]

[edit]The lost children (Australia)

 

Children of the United Kingdom’s Children’s Migrant Programme

An estimated 150,000 British children were sent to overseas colonies and countries in the commonwealth such as Australia. This practice was in effect from the beginning of the nineteenth century until 1967. Many of these children were sent to orphanages, foster homes and religious institutions, where they were used as a free source of labor and many were severely abused and neglected. These children were classified as orphans although most were not. In the period after World War II the policy was dubbed the “Child Migrants Programme”. The prime consideration was money as it was cheaper to care for children in commonwealth countries than it was in the United Kingdom. At least 10,000 children, some as young as 3, were shipped to Australia after the war,[103][104] most to join the ranks of the “Forgotten Australians“, the term given for those who experienced care in foster homes and institutions in the 20th century. Among these Forgotten Australians were members of the “Stolen Generation“, the children of Australian Aborigines, forcibly removed from their homes and raised in white institutions. In 2008 Australian Prime MinisterKevin Ruddapologised to the approximately 500,000 “forgotten Australians” and in 2010 British Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued a similar apology to those who were victimised by the Child Migrants Programme.[105][106][107]

References

  1. ^ Dorsey et Al. Current status and evidence base of training for foster and treatment foster parents
  2. a b Pew Commission on Children in Foster CareDemographics of Children in Foster Care
  3. ^ “Fewer U.S. kids in foster care”. Burlington, Vermont: Burlington Free Press. 1 September 2010. pp. 1A.
  4. ^ Adopt Us Kids About Foster Children
  5. ^ Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care
  6. ^ Children’s Bureau Website – Child Welfare Monitoring
  7. ^ Richard Barth, Institutions vs. Foster Homes, the Empirical Base for a Century of Action (University of North Carolina, Jordan Institute for Families, February 17, 2002; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Report of the Surgeon General’s Conference on children’s mental health: A national action agenda. Washington, D.C: Government Printing Office, 2000.USGPO
  8. ^ Adopt Us Kids
  9. ^ JSTOR, Judith K. McKenzie. Adoption of Children with Special Needs, Brookings Institution: The Future of Children, Vol. 3, No. 1, Adoption (Spring, 1993), pp. 62-76
  10. ^ Child Abuse is Child Protection is Mental Health Treatment is Drugging Children
  11. ^ 1992-93 Santa Clara County Grand Jury, Final Report, Investigation: Department Of Family And Children’s Services, 1993.
  12. ^ Children’s Bureau Express Online Digest:
  13. ^ U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Child Maltreatment, 2004, Figure 3-2, HHS.gov
  14. ^ As of March, 1998, four months after ASFA became law, there were 520,000 children in foster care, (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, AFCARS Report #1.HHS.gov It took until September 30, 2005, for the number to fall to 513,000 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Trends in Foster Care and AdoptionHHS.gov
  15. ^ Children’s Defense Fund, Fostering Connection to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act: Overview,Childrensdefense.org
  16. ^ National Conference of State Legislatures, NCSL Summary: Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008NCSL.org
  17. ^ ROGERS v. COUNTY OF SAN JOAQUIN, No. 05-16071
  18. ^ Title 42 United States Code Section 1983
  19. ^ “Civil Rights Complaint Guide”.
  20. a b “Santosky v. Kramer, 455 US 745 – Supreme Court 1982″.
  21. a b “In re TJ, 666 A. 2d 1 – DC: Court of Appeals 1995″.
  22. a b c d e f Microsoft Word – 071108 Child protection 05-06 printers copy.doc
  23. ^ Lawlink NSW: Research Report 7 (1997) – The Aboriginal Child Placement Principle
  24. ^ McCann, JB; James, A; Wilson, S; Dunn, G (1996). “Prevalence of psychiatric disorders in young people in the care system”. BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 313 (7071): 1529–30. PMC 2353045PMID 8978231.
  25. ^ Pears, K; Fisher, PA (2005). “Developmental, cognitive, and neuropsychological functioning in preschool-aged foster children: associations with prior maltreatment and placement history”. Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP 26 (2): 112–22. PMID 15827462.
  26. a b Tarren-Sweeney, M; Hazell, P (2006). “Mental health of children in foster and kinship care in New South Wales, Australia”. Journal of paediatrics and child health 42 (3): 89–97. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1754.2006.00804.x.PMID 16509906.
  27. ^ Pecora, PJ; Jensen, PS; Romanelli, LH; Jackson, LJ; Ortiz, A (2009). “Mental health services for children placed in foster care: an overview of current challenges”. Child welfare 88 (1): 5–26. PMC 3061347PMID 19653451.
  28. ^ Karnik, Niranjan S. (2000). Journal of Medical Humanities21 (4): 199. doi:10.1023/A:1009073008365.
  29. ^ Microsoft Word – doyle_fosterlt_march07.doc
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[edit]Further reading

  • Hurley, Kendra (2002). “Almost Home” Retrieved June 27, 2006.
  • Carlson, E.A. (1998). “A prospective longitudinal study of disorganized/disoriented attachment”. Child Development 69 (4): 1107–1128. PMID 9768489.
  • Knowlton, Paul E. (2001). “The Original Foster Care Survival Guide”; A first person account directed to successfully aging out of foster care.
  • McCutcheon, James, 2010. “Historical Analysis and Contemporary Assessment of Foster Care in Texas: Perceptions of Social Workers in a Private, Non-Profit Foster Care Agency”. Applied Research Projects. Texas State University Paper 332.

[edit]External links