Facing my own demons

adoption, adoption loss, life,

alternatives to adoption

One of my ideas for alternative to adoption, I admit I got from someone else. (I can not remember where I first heard about this, or I’d give that person credit. )

It was something I read months ago and it made me think… And think and think…

I’m not sure if it is a program that still exist today, but there used to be a little known government program that allowed teen mothers to live in a “foster home” with their child. Unfortunately, the teens that went to agencies because they had no support to keep the child, were never told about this program or the possibility that it may give them to keep their child.

It is my suggestion that there is not, in most cases, a need to change the parentage of the baby to full fill this need to share your love that you have in your heart. Not only can you give that love to the baby, but also to the baby’s mother. Instead of encouraging the teen mother to give up her legal rights as a mother, encourage her to go into a foster family type program. She could live with another family, older and more established in life and have a mentor type support while she learns to be a mother.

Of course, now you will have people ask, how can you have a childless woman or couple be a mentor to a young new mother. They don’t know any more about being a mother than she does. The point here is this would be the same woman, or couple that the agency would have handed the baby over to if there was an adoption.

In today’s normal adoptions, the woman, mother to be, has the right to choose the adoptive parents for her child, right? Well, I would say that most women in this situation would want to choose a person or couple who are more established then she is herself in life. Perhaps older than she is having more life experience. She would probably choose someone who already was well grounded in a career, so they would have more time to spend with her child.

These are the people who would be right for the “mentoring” foster care program. Perhaps they would be required to take some parenting classes as well… Even better, they could take the classes with the mother to be. They would become the emotional and mental support that the young scared mother would not other wise have. It would be a foster home for both the mother and the baby. The fostering couple perhaps could also provide some arrangement for child care while the young mother took some classes to learn a skill to gain her a better paying job.

Of course, the main goal of this program would be to teach the young mother how to stand on her own two feet and raise her child. To give her skills and confidence that she needs to be a mother on her own. It may only be a couple of years. If she stayed with the foster family during school that she and the child would remain, but it could be very rewarding, not only to this young woman and her baby, but to the fostering family who would see this woman grow as a mother because of their help and love and nurture. And they could build a life long friendship with the woman and baby if they so chose.

And each time a person or couple became a foster family to a new young woman, they’d feel a sense of accomplishment that they were able to help someone to make her own life better. And from each young woman they helped, they would also learn. Making them even more effective in helping a new woman and her child. 

Do you really believe that a woman can love her baby so much that she is willing to loose that baby so that she will have a better life would not keep that baby if someone would just show her how she could be the one to give her a better life?!

As for children who end up in foster care because of abuse… First of all, lets get this straight, being poor is not being an abusive parent! Making your child wear second hand clothing because you can’t afford to by retail is not abuse, it is not detrimental to their physical or emotional well being! Asking the government for help, such as food stamps or welfare so you can afford child care while you work two jobs, is not! Abuse! Not having finished  high school  does not make you an abusive parent! And taking your kids and leaving the only life you know, because your spouse is a danger to your kids, does not mean that you are not able to raise those kids alone! If one parent, father, or mother, is abusive, it doesn’t mean that both parents are. And if the non-abusive parent is willing to risk her life, or loose everything he has to save his children from abuse, than the so called Child Protective Services needs to get off their Butts and protect that parent, there by protecting the kids! (oh, while I’m added, a child that has been playing outside is going to be dirty! This is not a sign of abuse!!!!) And ripping children away from loving parents who have never hurt their children is not protecting the child, it is destroying that child! Some one needs to protect these kids from CPS!

Ok, so am I clear on this?! Good. Then what is to be done when a child really is being abuse? Well, of course, the first thing that must be done is to make the child safe. It must be established first that the child is being abused. The federal Government has got to stop putting a bounty http://WWW.dailynews.Com/news/ci_4308721 on the heads of children as to encourage CPS to tear apart families! First of all, there are so so many programs, far too many to count, that were created to help people change destructive behavior. Why are these programs not being used by the CPS to keep families together?!

When CPS becomes involved in the lives of a family, they demand that the parent or parents do certain things to prove they are worthy of parenthood. Join this group. Go to this class, get a job, stop drinking, stop drugs, Join AA, Join NA, take parenting classes, clean your house, clean behind your ears… jump this rope… While some of the things they ask of the parent/s are neccesary, when the parent does these things.. they jump through all the hoops because they’ve had a wake up call. They don’t want to loose their children and they clean up their lives and follow the program that is set up for them…. And then CPS says, it’s not enough, because of the past, we can’t trust you any more. You look good now… but someday you’ll go back to your old ways.

Suddenly, CPS is now “seeing” the future. They believe that they are on the side of right. They do not believe that anyone can change. They send these people to the help groups so that they can change their lives, but they don’t really beleave that it will do any good. OK, lets get a grip here! People make mistakes, all people! And people can learn from their mistakes and people can change!

But where should the children go when they can’t safely live at home with their parents? Their lives have already been turned upside down and back wards. They already have emotional scars that may never heal. Do we really think that the answer to their emotional and physical well being is to put them in a home of strangers? “Sally Sue, this is Mr and Mrs Person you’ve never Met, they are going to be your new Mommy and Daddy.” Does anyone else besides me see how insane this is?

How about relatives? Why can’t these children live with blood relatives? Do you think that just because one person in a family is abusive that everyone in that blood line family is tanted by a “bad” gene? Grandparents, Sibblings of the parents, or even cousins… So many posibilities of keeping the children in their own family. Why do we insist on taking a child’s family away from them?! And while we are at it, why do we take their name away?! What is the purpose of this?! How does changing the child’s name and teaching the child to call strangers mom and dad help the child?

The idea of legal guardingship should be the answer to this quandry. http://motherhooddeleted.blogspot.com/2006/09/what-is-anti-adoptionist.html is a good article that helps explain how legal guardingship could be the answer for these kids.

While we’re at this site, be sure to check out her most recent post explaining how adoption does not always make a child safe from abuse. http://motherhooddeleted.blogspot.com/

While there is an exstensive screening process for potential adoptive parents… And I believe, (want to believe) that the rules of this screening process are much tougher now than they used to be. Once the adoption is final the a-parents are on their own. There is no one that remains to make sure this newly adoption made family are bonding and having no problems. No one actually looks to see if these total strangers really do learn how to “be a family”


September 10, 2006 - Posted by | Adoption


  1. Great post, girl. I wish that someone would have told me about the things that could have been done to help me. I even brought up wanting to be placed in a foster home with my daughter until I was 18 and was told that it was impossible.
    Given the circumstances, it would have worked out had I been able to get the support that I had needed, because I had zero, maybe even negative zero support from my family.

    Comment by Leanna Burt | September 10, 2006 | Reply

  2. I have thought a lot about doing foster care for a teen mom and her baby. I think I might do it when my little guys are in school. I know I am better with young children than teens, though, so I might not be so good at the job. My own teenage son was easy as teens go and I have not much experience with teenage girls. I don’t know if I have the temperament for it LOL but I think I could learn and I have a connection to God’s Grace… so maybe….

    When I was pregnant and becoming a mom I was living with three other single women, sharing a house. One of them was a teen mom who was homeless and pregnant when we met her (at a food bank). We needed another room mate and she needed a place so we invited her in. She was planning on adoption when she moved in but at birth changed her mind and her daughter was a treasured member of our household. It was a great experience for all of us. That’s the kind of thing I would like to repeat. My oldest son and her daughter were toddlers together and it was great.

    Comment by cloudscome | September 10, 2006 | Reply

  3. I should also say I didn’t think of myself as her mentor or foster mom or anything like that, just a friend and housemate. Even though we all helped her learn about checking accounts and job training and stuff like that. I was about 10 years older than her and ALSO became an unwed mother while we shared the house, so I couldn’t see myself as in any position to lead. I think it was better that way too.

    Comment by cloudscome | September 10, 2006 | Reply

  4. There are some programs in some states that have family foster care programs, in which a teen mom or dad can live with a “foster family” with their child. It’s not standard, however, like most things about child welfare.

    There are also mentoring programs in some states as well. I have been a mentor to teen moms on and off for the past 6 years through a program in my area. This particular one was for teen and young moms age 13-24-ish.

    People need to be creative and think outside the box instead of relying on the cheapest and most social-control form of “resolution” to child welfare issues.

    Comment by harlowmonkey | September 11, 2006 | Reply

  5. Sheri, this is a wonderful idea. Well stated, now where do I go to sign up to be a foster mom to a teenager and her child?
    I wish I didn’t work so many hours, I’d love to do it. I think it is time child welfare changes their attidude about the way
    the system runs. I’m glad to hear that this does exist in some
    states. I hope that more states adopt this concept. (I just read Harlowmonkey’s comment)

    Love, Kel

    Comment by Kelly | September 11, 2006 | Reply

  6. Leanna, thank you for your comment. And yes, I believe that most, if not almost all of the young mother’s who relinquished their baby because they were alone, would have jumped a chance like this if they had been told about it.

    Cloudscome, I do hope that you do become a foster parent to teen/s with babies! I think you would be great for that! Remember your friend who made a choice to keep her baby, it sounds to me that she did because she felt she had support when she became your and your friend’s roommate. That’s what it’s All about!!!! You would become a friend, a confidante and a mentor. Would it be easy? Well, proably not at times… but it’s all about life, so there would surely be bumps in the road, but man… just think of the rewards!!!

    Comment by sheribat | September 11, 2006 | Reply

  7. Harlow’s monkey, thank you for confirming that this program does still exsist in some states. I only wish they would strive to use it!

    I love that you are a mentor for young moms! With the heart and intelligence that I have read in your writings, I know you are a great mentor! I would love to do that!

    Kel, You also would make a great foster mom, for teen parent/s or a great mentor! You have so much heart! You know that you’ve already took it yourself to mentor at least one teen that I know about… and I wonder if there were not more that you didn’t think about.. because you proably have helped people so many times thru crisis times and never even thought about it. It just comes natural to you…If that could be harnessed… wow what a difference you could make in this world!

    Comment by sheribat | September 11, 2006 | Reply

  8. So many good ideas here. And I believe, as others have commented here, that these kinds of fostering programs are being started in some areas. Hopefully the news will spread and more will be started.

    The quickness to presume that lack of monetary wealth equals an abusive home truly disturbs me. Our US culture has become so overwhelmingly materialistic that we simply disregard and discard people and ways of life that don’t meet the material standards. I think this certainly plays into the speed with which we jump to adoption as the only solution for families in need.

    Comment by Margie | September 16, 2006 | Reply

  9. Good ideas expressed here. Thanks for posting the links too.

    Comment by MaeDay | September 16, 2006 | Reply

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