Skewing The Narrative

It is a fact that many adoptees will actually say they wish their natural, genetic, biological mother had aborted them.  It is also a fact that the government does NOT fund abortions, contrary to the messaging that comes out of evangelical, pro-Life and conservative interests with the hidden agenda of triggering people’s emotions in order to get their vote.  It is also true that the government is already funding some adoptions through a huge tax credit for the single adoptive person or couple.  The government also funds adoptions from foster care paying court expenses.  Many of these adoptions also receive an adoption subsidy, Medicaid and free tuition for the child.

And finally, I do speak from experience on this issue.  I am grateful for access to a safe, legal abortion back in the early 1970s.  That is a blessing that is increasingly hard to get access to.  This planet actually already has enough people and truth be told, more than is sustainable.

I do believe in letting nature take it’s course.  I believe that purging events such as the COVID 19 pandemic is an activity of this Earth.  I believe that predators cull out the weak.  Not that I wish to be a victim of either.  I believe in the kind of God that always knows what each of that God’s individual expressions will do in any given situation.  I believe in a life that is meant to teach our soul important lessons, make us more empathetic and give us a more tolerant perspective on human behavior.  I also believe there is never anything wrong going on, even if we are unable to truly comprehend what we are seeing.  And I do believe that humanity evolves and progresses and that includes what medical science advances including safe abortions and reproductive assistance.  Finally, I believe that death is only an experience in our human lives but personally, I believe in eternal souls living more than one incarnation.  We cannot kill a soul though we can kill the body that the soul moves about the planet with.

An image like the one above is offensive. Abortion and adoption have nothing to do with each other.  Speaking of government funding – why not help families stay together, fund the help that struggling families actually need and support them through a financial crisis ? What if government funded birth control ? What if society supported struggling mothers ? What if society held fathers to higher standards ?

While I’m at it – what about free health care ? Mental health intervention ? How about the government starts caring about drug addicts and puts more funding into rehabs and counseling ?

Some of these people who think like the image above should have to spend at least 9 months forced to serve as a walking incubator for someone they’ll never be allowed to meet again, and then have all proof that they gave birth to a child erased by changed birth certificates and sealed adoption records.  Yes, think about all of those mothers who have had that very experience.  One can get over a conception and abortion quickly.  One lives with the pain of having been separated from their child for a lifetime.

 

Plan B

It may seem strange to write about this but unplanned pregnancies are a leading cause of adoption.  Adoption results in often unconscious and definitely life-long trauma for the adoptee and for their mother from whom they are removed.  Ridding one’s self of the possibility quickly, results in less guilt and shame than an abortion, even when done by 3 mos gestation.  If definitely prevents the surrender of a baby to some stranger.

An interesting fact about this method is that it often fails obese women.  Weight matters in this regard.  This is an important consideration in the United States, where over 35% of adults are obese because obese women (with a body mass index, or BMI, of 30 or greater) became pregnant over 3 times more often than non-obese women when trying this method.

While the commercially marketed brand names are expensive and often kept in anti-theft cabinets, it is possible to obtain a generic.  I have read that with a coupon code from GoodRx the cost of a generic could be as low as $14.

Plan B is meant to delay or prevent ovulation. It does not “end the pregnancy”. Plan B is not an abortion pill.   It’s a heightened dose of birth control to prevent implantation. It’s not misoprostol or mifepristone.  So there is no danger of harming the fetus’s development, if a pregnancy develops after trying this.  Using this does slightly increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy.  If you’re already pregnant, it won’t work; but it will basically force you to have a period, if you’re not pregnant.

If you’re on Medicaid, they have an online site and will mail it and birth control to your home for free monthly.  And at pharmacies, it is often found on the shelf right next to the pregnancy tests and near the condoms! Don’t be in denial about unprotected sex.  Believing “Oh it won’t happen to me, I’m invincible” could prove to be wrong and then it is too late for the easy precautions.  Girls under 18, be aware that many states require a prescription to buy it at a pharmacy, making it much less accessible but you can actually buy it on Amazon, of course.

Beware though if you live in a conservative, religious right state like my state of Missouri – you may get a judgmental/religious pharmacist. There are tons of stories of women being blocked by pharmacists from getting it – either lied to or just told no.  And parents in these conservatively religious regions often don’t believe in sex education and tell their children to just say “no” with predictable results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morally and Ethically Wrong

An adoptive parent disclosed that she receives $4,000 per month in adoption subsidies for 3 children.  These children do not have any physical or intellectual disabilities.  They do not have any known medical conditions.

The fact is that states can pay not only foster parents but adoptive parents as much as $4,000 per month for 3 children.  Homeless parents are often working one or more jobs and still can’t find affordable, income-based housing.  How is this fair ?

Often adoptive parents are the first ones to say that the natural parents need to be able to provide for their kids “on their own”.

How can people not see why and how this is problematic and how morally and ethically wrong this is.  Some even justify this as a fair situation. Something is terribly wrong in our society that we do not give full support to struggling families but instead take their children away from them and pay complete strangers to care for them.

I didn’t even know adoption subsidies were a thing.

And to be clear, not EVERY adoption qualifies and it varies by state law. Often, there does have to be some kind of  ‘special needs’, though that is a broad category that includes sibling groups, children over 6 years, minorities as well as physical or mental disabilities.

Sadly, many of the original parents who surrender children for adoption do so because they believe not having enough money defines them as not being good enough to parent a child.

Here is one story to highlight the unfairness –

There was a couple who adopted a sibling group. This family makes a 6 figure income.  The couple was childless for 14 years. All of the adopted children received Medicaid, the family received a substantial subsidy, and all of the children were eligible to attend a public university of their choosing free for 4 years.

The kids never had to do “without” the basics growing up (though they did not have their biological mom which is always a significant loss). All of the children are now adults.

The husband does very very well in his profession. The couple never actually “needed” a dime of assistance nor did they ever have to pay for healthcare for the children. To their credit, the couple did make trusts for the children.

It is just hard to understand why a sibling group is automatically considered “special needs” . Why is this kind of financial support not “income based”, like every natural parent would be faced with ?

And this is basically political. Universal health care, living wage, other so-called “socialist” policies would address all these issues struggling families face.  Hard core capitalist each have their own version of America.  No one would ever need to remove children from parents simply for poverty. Not doing this creates an insanely expensive, ineffective child welfare system, and a lot of suffering. And again, this is a voting issue.

Aging Out

This is inevitable and it happens to every child who is in foster care until they are 18.  Today’s story of a girl aging out goes this way –

My son’s girlfriend is living with us. She is just aging out of foster care and I would like some help finding supports to put in place. Her mother is deceased and her father is incarcerated (I hate to give too much info but I don’t know if that changes her eligibility). She needs health insurance and is trying to go to college. They are planning to move cross country in a few weeks so I am trying to help her as quickly as possible. Any info on where I can turn for help for her is appreciated. She is a sweet kid.

Sharing some answers that may help someone else with similar circumstances.

For the health insurance, simply aging out of foster care could make her eligible for Medicaid.  This does vary by state.

One recommendation was actually to enlist in the Army – this can be full time, reserves, or National Guard. They offer many college incentives plus a good bonus, stable income, and health care. Many (including the person suggesting this) that joined the military found it was a great opportunity for them.

It was mentioned that she may qualify for SSI due to the death of her mom. Depending on why she went into foster care she may qualify for VOCA (is that The Victims of Crime Act ? – the state may have filed an application or she may not even know that it’s available to her).

This does NOT seem generally known but someone said – If she is under 21 most states offer foster care until 21.   It’s not nearly as invasive as it is for kids under 18. She can get a monthly stipend to put towards housing, Medicaid, and other help as long as she meets the requirements – typically in school or working at least part time.

There is a Preparation for Adult Living program that is part of Child Protective Services agencies that exists to help teens aging out of foster care.  So contacting the coordinator of that program to inquire about benefits could be helpful.

There is The Free Application for Federal Student Aid which may give special consideration to youth aging out of foster care.  There may be other scholarships available – this organization may be able to help Foster Care to Success.  A student like her should qualify for a full Pell grant.  Depending on the state, she might be eligible for reduced or free state college because she was in foster care.

Finally, one more link.  iFoster has programs to assist Transition Age Foster Youth.

 

 

How Poverty Affects Adoptions

I don’t know if anyone has done a study on the percentage of children given up for adoption due to simple poverty (and poverty is not simple, I realize this).  I know it was a factor in both of my grandmothers losing custody of my parents and it was certainly a factor in my losing custody of my daughter.  Divorce and lack of child support left me desperate enough to temporarily leave my daughter with her paternal grandmother.  That ended up with her staying with her dad and a step-mother for the remainder of her childhood.  It was a factor in my sister losing custody of her daughter – she was denied government assistance because she was living with my parents during her pregnancy.  Therefore, because they didn’t want financial responsibility for my sister and her child, they pressured her to surrender her daughter to adoption.  This is all in only my own family of birth.

Someone asked – Do you believe that financial illiteracy is the reason people are poor and that programs teaching life skills like checking, bank accounts, and savings would work to eliminate poverty ?  While these skills are useful for any maturing adult, I don’t think they would eliminate poverty. Rich people have bigger safety nets. Financial illiteracy is not the reason people are poor and there are rich people who don’t know how to manage their money as well.

Someone answered the question – why are people poor ? With this – Capitalism. Rich people exploit others to gain wealth, keep money/land/resources for themselves, create systems that work to their advantage (and poor people’s disadvantage), pass it on to their kids who in turn use their wealth to get richer. Scarcity mindset is real and in my experience rich people are the most paranoid about losing any wealth. There is more than enough to take care of each other but our system doesn’t by choice. Some people think “if only poor people managed their money, they could accumulate wealth.” This completely misunderstands how wealth is acquired and horded in this country.

Generational and systemic poverty plague the poor. How can you climb a ladder in a system built to make the rich richer and keep the poor poor ? Our economic system is built upon the 1% wanting to make that difference bigger every day.  How can anyone achieve socioeconomic upward mobility when your grandparents were poor.  Therefore, your parents had to sacrifice an education and instead find work to support themselves and their families.  Then their children end up in the exact same situation. The deck is simply stacked against the impoverished.  This tends to become a *major* generational trend.  Even assistance is created in such a way that it keeps the poor poor.

Case in point – Medicaid and Food Stamps. As soon as a person gets a non-minimum wage job, they lose  their benefits.  Without these, health care and groceries are significantly more expensive than slightly above minimum wage will cover. The result ?  You’ve either got a person making $20/hour, but barely making ends meet if at all.  Or a person without resources and access to food and healthcare, simply because they would rather be self-supporting.

One mother wrote – I gave up my first two kids to adoption because I was broke.  I didn’t know how much help shelters could be.  I kept my third child thanks to a shelter and I got on my feet.  I now have a place of my own for us to live in.  I wish I would have known how to keep my children before.

I do believe as a society we can do better than we have been doing.  I don’t know how we get there.  If we supported families adequately, children could remain where they want to be – in the family they were born into.