Monday, April 28, 2008

My response to Jack's "30-Something Grandmothers"

See here.

I have my not-so-humble opinions about the current state of affairs including affairs among the very young that result in childbirth: I think it's child neglect for a baby to be raised by a parent under the age of 18. If that makes me politically incorrect, so be it. In my opinion, the whole point of child welfare laws should be to protect children, not their parents. A person who's too young to be able to raise a child properly shouldn't be allowed to raise one. We don't let 15-year-olds drive, vote, or drink. Why should we let them raise children?

The cynic speaks: Why does the law allow children to raise children? Answer: Money. If the government (local, state/provincial, and/or national) takes custody of a child, the government is financially responsible for that child. Insisting that all children born to parents under the age of 18 be turned over to the government to be raised in an orphanage and/or by foster parents until, one would hope, adoption, would cost Joe and/or Jane Taxpayer a fortune. We leave the responsibility to the parent(s) because we refuse to pay for it ourselves--even though it's innocent kids who suffer the consequences.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because in the United States, we hold it to be true that our Creator has endowed us with certain unalienable rights. As a result, one is to be left alone in the absence of a violation of law.

The teen parent that you don't approve of apparently broke no law, yet you want their child taken away because you don't approve of them? That's statist. We don't "let" people rear children... parents have an inalienable right to rear their children unless they are neglectful or dangerous. That negative right allows people to rear their children, even if you, or the majority, do not approve of their coupling, whether it is because you don't approve of their age, or a mixed race coupling, or any other discriminatory reasoning to believe that children should be taken away.

Mon Apr 28, 06:50:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"parents have an inalienable right to rear their children unless they are neglectful or dangerous." My point is precisely that for one child to raise another is, by definition, a form of child neglect. I would not make that case for any adult, married or unmarried, of any race or ethnic or religious group or combination thereof, or of any sexual orientation: I deem any person over the age of 18 capable of raising a child unless proven otherwise. Anyone old enough to serve in the military is old enough to raise a child. Anyone too young to be trusted with a gun is too young to be entrusted with a baby.

Mon Apr 28, 09:42:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I repeat, "In my opinion, the whole point of child welfare laws should be to protect children, not their parents." I think that far too much attention is paid to the rights of parents and far too little to the right of children to be raised by those capable of raising them properly and with love. Just ask any foster parent what hoops they have to go there to obtain a termination of parental rights and adopt their foster child, even in a case in which the child has been living with the foster parent for years.

Mon Apr 28, 09:51:00 PM 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sending me the link. The parents of children in foster care are not always teens and some teens, usually with the help of their families - do fine jobs of raising their children.
In general - it is in the best interest of the child, for the system to work with the biological parents so that the child can be raised by the bio-parent, this is even if they don't have the same earthly comforts as the biological parents.
The system is far from perfect, I know this better than many - but if we are talking about what it is the best interest of the children - it is to protect them from abuse and neglect - not take them from their teenage parents if they have not been found to be neglectful or abusive - even if a foster family is equipt - on paper, to do better. Children yearn for their bio parents - they just do. If they can stay with them, they should.
Foster parents and adoptive parents are there when this is not possible.

Mon Apr 28, 10:22:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

TikunOlam, thanks for sharing your perspective as a foster parent.

"The parents of children in foster care are not always teens" True enough.

"some teens, usually with the help of their families - do fine jobs of raising their children." Perhaps I'm being too harsh. But then again, from my own perspective, help from adults is what makes the crucial difference.

I'm not so concerned about the "earthly comforts" that might more likely be provided by wealthier foster parents as I am about the parents' wealth of experience, or their lack thereof. But it does seem to be the case, as you say that "Children yearn for their bio parents - they just do." It seems to me that many adaptive children seek out their biological parents. That does speak in favor of efforts to keep a child with her/her biological parent(s).

I'm still hoping to hear from another foster parent and J-blogger who's attempting to adopt the toddler that the blogger and spouse have raised since infancy.

Mon Apr 28, 11:03:00 PM 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am assuming you mean MoChassid - I am sure he can will have some opinions on this.
It is so difficult to know what will be best for a child. You can never know what would have been if the other road were taken.
Working with many children who have been or are in foster care, I know that each situation is vastly different than the next. I just know that I feel very strongly that the philosophy of the system - at least in my state is on the right track - that every effort should be made to work with the bio parent in efforts to make it possible for them to provide adequate care for their children but that children deserve a permanancy plan - not wait around in foster care indefinitely while the parents try to get their acts together. In my state there is now a newer protocol which requires a permanancy plan to be a done deal by the 12-15 month mark. Either the parents shape up - or their rights get terminated and the child becomes legally free for adoption. Not sure if it is implemented quite so well yet, but it is certainly in the best interest of the children involved.

Tue Apr 29, 01:05:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Amen--let's hear it for permanency plans within 12-15 months!

I do hope that MoChassid will join this conversation. I'm interested in hearing his perspective as both a foster parent (for some previous children), a would-be adoptive parent (for his current foster child), and a lawyer.

Tue Apr 29, 01:25:00 AM 2008  

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