A Flawed System

May 1, 2017
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Adoption is extremely common today and, over the years has gradually developed more law and agency involvement. The adoption process is profoundly time consuming due to agencies seeking a stable home to place a child. This is because parents are essential and play an enormous role in a child’s personality, emotional development/competence, behavioral habits and other factors. However, the adoption system is not perfect, a major flaw occurs when disabled kids are in the process of being adopted. There have been cases where they have slipped through the cracks of this flawed system and ended up in abusive homes, often suffering from malnutrition as well as mistreatment and harm. This increases the chances of the child being unstable because they lack the necessary emotional support a parent is expected to provide. There needs to be more attention directed to these horrendous cases of child abuse.

As previously mentioned, family is essential to a child’s development, since kids often tend to mimic the emotions and actions they’re exposed to. The parenting style a parent pursues effects greatly on the emotional outcome of a kid, it is crucial that parents are both physically present and emotionally invested in their child’s lives. If not, a kid can grow up in distress and be less engaged with others. Adoption and foster care agencies understand this vital concept, that is why they require adoptive parents to undergo a series of test and background searches to ensure a child can be properly raised in the potential household. However, not all agencies are the same and, some do less than thorough research on the future parents of a kid, this can result in the misplacing of a kid into a destructive home, possibly under the control of an abusive or alcoholic parental figure.

Misplacement is awful since research has proven that kids living with, for example, an alcoholic parent often go through depression, physical abuse, isolation, incest, tend to take on huge responsibilities at a young age and, have difficulty developing healthy relationships. That is just to name a few.  Although, if a child has a strong and healthy relationship with another family member/adult, they are least likely to suffer from these consequences but, not many have this luxury. In a survey taken by members of the school district of Alief, 59 people ranged in the 13-19 years of age. Out of the 59, (24%) of the teenagers reported having either a parent addicted to drugs, an alcoholic parent, or both. Out of these teenagers, 42% reported suffering from a type of disorder, either anxiety, APD or bipolar disorder. Lamentably, only half of them reported having another strong family member or adult they could turn to and confide in.

One requirement all selected adoptive parents must go through is pre-adoptive home screenings, this is needed to certify that the adoptive family meets all requirements and has the resources required to raise a baby/child. Some agencies go beyond and do background checks, they get up to date physicals, make home evaluations, require minimal of three letters of recommendation and, ask for copies of tax returns in order to confirm that the parents make the amount of money reported. Disastrously, not all agencies make the right calls when deciding to give an individual or individual's parental rights and custody of a child, especially when it comes to children with disabilities.

There have been cases where either adoptive parents or foster parents adopt children with disabilities in order to cash in on the welfare money given by the state which is determined mainly by age as shown in Figure 1.  A perfect example of this is a case that occurred roughly a month ago in which foster father, Cesar Gonzales, was accused of sexual abuse of the boys under his care. The agency handed him the boys even though he had a record of nine child abuse investigations. This just proves how horribly some agencies fail the system that is supposed to give children an opportunity at an excellent life. Greatfuly. the agency did home visits but, they were of no use since none of the boys would speak up due to being developmentally disabled. When he was finally arrested, the kids reported how the were often isolated, abused, and denied their basic necessities.

This has not been the only case in which something terrible like this has happened. A few months back, on December of 2016, there was a case where a woman,Sinclair in Figure 2, had adopted seven toddlers with special needs and had “taken care” of them, now they range from 14-16 years old. The cops that discovered the adolescents stated that all seven were held in a five by eight closet where they were locked in by deadbolts. In this room the kids, ate, slept, and did their necessities in front one another since there was no bathroom. There were obvious signs that showed the kids were malnourished as well as beaten. This went on for many years because Childs Protective Services don’t keep in touch with adoptive families once the adoption is granted unless they receive a complaint of abuse or neglect. It was discovered that the adoptive mother earned about $540 a month per kid which she used for her own desires as well as her husbands. Since these kids didn’t attend school, they now face even more challenges aside their own special needs. This is bound to take an emotional toll on all of them, especially now that all siblings are under the state’s protection and aren’t sure if they are all going to stick together.

Depending on what type of needs a child requires, the amount of money a foster or adoptive parent receives can vary from approximately $207 to $620 dollars a month per child. This non-taxable income money comes in the form of a check and is expected to be used to help pay bills and provide the child with their necessities, nonetheless, it can be assumed by the evidence provided above, that not all parents use the money accordingly.
It is important to focus more attention to the flaws in this system because many children are hurting and are affected by them. Children are being stripped of opportunities because present regulations aren’t working or aren’t being enforced enough. If changes were to be made kids would be able to be taken in by a home with improved home dynamics with people who are more qualified to meet their needs and care for them. This ties to the beginning statement where it was mentioned that an excellent and stable home is a must have for a child because once these kids are in proper hands, a door full of opportunities opens up. No child deserves to be treated harshly by anyone, especially not someone who is supposed to represent support and security. If we do nothing then we are promoting dysfunctional families which is the same as promoting abuse and troubled individuals.

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