Defunding Foster Parents

If a biological parent can’t financially support their children, they are taken away. Yet the state funds foster parents to keep other people’s children. If you want to raise these children, you should be able to afford to do that first.

Case in point – a woman has NINE foster children and says that without funding from the state, she would only be able to care for THREE.  Needless to say that having 9 foster kids in one home would constitute that home as being a “group” home. Different standards should apply plus a lot more monitoring.

The requirements for providing foster care do vary by state.  I read that in Texas, you’re classified a group home if you house more than six kids. You are also required to have someone awake overnight on staff.

Defunding foster parents would cut down on abuse and neglect perpetrated by foster parents. However, given the current reality foster parents should not be allowed to have so many children in one home – unless they’re a sibling group. Three or four should be the maximum.

The state really should be funding parents instead of removing children in some cases. There are definitely cases where the children may need to be removed to allow the parent to get treatment/therapy/better parenting skills, etc but sometimes a parent just needs some utilities paid or other financial assistance, until they get back on their feet.

For more perspective, here is one former foster youth’s experience – group homes do have a bad reputation.  I do strongly believe that with on site treatment, reputable staff and good funding it is possible to create group homes with less risk of abuse. I’ve been in 36 foster homes, in which 33 were abusive or neglectful. I’ve been in 3 group homes that were amazing. All that said, I do believe the state should be funding parents before any stranger, if it will keep a family together.


Sad And Heartbreaking

I find myself in such an awkward position.  I have come to see that adoption is not the happy, rosy picture the industry wishes to paint because it is so lucrative.  Even so, but for adoption, I would not even exist.  What a quandary.

So to get real – adoption is never about the child who becomes an adoptee.  This is the reality.  As difficult as it may be to accept and understand.

Certainly, I am anti unethical adoption.  My mom’s adoption was unethical.  My maternal grandmother was pressured and exploited in a difficult situation that to her unending sorrow resulted in losing the baby girl she fought so hard to keep.  It wasn’t her fault.  She was a victim of Georgia Tann who was a master at the art of separating mothers from their children.

Even though my existence is decidedly an effect of two adoptions (both of my parents were), that does not mean that I cannot see the problems with adoption – especially for the child who is forever wounded in a deep place and may not even know what the actual source of their emotional pain is.

So, it is not positive or beautiful to take another women’s child.  Period.  There has to be a better way and that is to provide for a family to remain intact.

And there is also the issue of the father.  Yes, some are unconcerned about the child they helped to create.  It may also be true that others that never get a chance.  I believe my dad’s father never even knew he existed.  Since he was married, my dad’s mother probably simply never told him and handled it herself.  My dad was so much like his father that I believe they would have been great friends.  It wasn’t her plan initially to give my dad away, though at 8 months, she let him go for adoption.

Everything about the act of adoption is sad and heartbreaking – for the adoptee certainly – but I also believe for the natural, original parents as well.

What Was And Never Should Be

~ 1997 ~

Growing up, I had something my parents didn’t, my real genetically related mom and dad.  I don’t know at what age I first learned that both of my parents were adopted.  It was just a fact of life and one that I never judged to be good or bad for my entire childhood.  Their adoptive parents were my grandparents and aunts, uncles and cousins I acquired in that manner were just that.

Adoption was so accepted in my family that both of my sisters ended up giving up a child to adoption.  Parenting was seen as something any adult human being with good intentions could do.  So my nephew ended being raised by his paternal grandparents and my daughter ended up being raised by her dad when he remarried a woman with a daughter and they had a daughter together, thus creating a family for her that I could not give.

Though I felt a piece was missing in my life – my cultural heritage that had been passed down by those unknown people who gave my parents life – it wasn’t until my mom started investigating her own adoption – after learning in the early 1990s, the story of the scandal that surrounded Georgia Tann’s work – that I became aware that all was not as it should be in adoptionland.

By the grace of a loving energy, I have been able to discover who all 4 of my original grandparents were since my parents died.  It saddens me that they didn’t have the opportunity to know about these people themselves.  I now know of cousin and aunts that I am genetically related to.  I still cherish the family adoption brought to me as well.

What I never expected was the education I would receive along with learning my genetic roots about the damage done in the name of a profit-motivated industry taking babies from their mothers and giving them to the people who had money and could not have their own children for whatever reason.

What once was accepted and “natural” in my understanding – adoption – is now seen for the travesty it has been but thankfully, even that is changing in this world that continuously does.


It may seem harsh but for a lot of adoptees, the giving up was a betrayal.  The handover that can be felt by the adoptee, continually felt throughout their life.  The rejection.  The abandonment.  The unanswerable questions.

It is a forever loss – permanent.

Even in the pre-verbal infant – adoption – is “remembered” on an emotional, cellular level.  This in turn causes lots of behavioral and self-worth related issues.  Often the adoptee can not explain why they feel as they do.  Why they act out like they do.  Their anger is in a very deep place that cannot be released because the adoptee is unable to express the emotional context of their feelings in language.

It is impossible to proclaim adoption good or bad in all circumstances.  There are true orphans and then there is the exploited single mother.  There is the profit motive to take her baby and sell it to a couple who has the means to meet the demanded price.

All children are priceless but the adoptee has been priced and that price paid, not only by the adoptive parents but by the original parents and their kin – and most especially, always, by the adoptee’s own self.

Follow The Money

How did the effort to find homes for orphans who no family would claim or street urchins who did a bit of mischief turn into an industry motivated by profits ?  Just follow the money.

In 1916, adoption was so uncommon, children were placed in “foster” homes where they were expected to “work” in return for their keep.

Before that, throughout history, babies were routinely murdered at birth by their parents. Infanticide was practiced and condoned even in ancient Greece, endorsed by Aristotle and Plato.

It is grim. Sickly, disabled or female infants were suffocated, drowned or dashed against rocks. More often unwanted children were “exposed”, abandoned in marketplaces or on hillsides. Most died of starvation, others were forced into slavery or maimed for exhibition.

When my oldest son was an infant, I became aware of this song as performed by Peter, Paul and Mary – it is grim.

Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry
Go to sleepy, little baby
When you wake you shall have
All the pretty little horses
Way down yonder in the meadow
Lies a poor little lambie
Bees and butterflies, picking out its eyes
Poor little thing’s crying, “Mami”
Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry
Go to sleepy, little baby

Poverty was so pervasive and contraceptive methods so ineffective that the killing of children continued. Infanticide was the most common crime in Western Europe between the Middle Ages and the 18th century.

The first orphanage in the US was established by Ursuline nuns in 1727 but such institutions were rare. People were reluctant to support homeless children financially.

When adoption became a profitable business, there was an improvement for many of the most unfortunate children.  Then, exploitation of women who would have rather raised their children became a profitable enterprise.  After that, corruption set in.


I came across a perception recently that adoptive parents are always hungry for stories coming from adoptees.  That what they are really seeking is approval that they are doing the right thing.

As adoptees are speaking up more in these modern times about how adoption has impacted their lives and affected their choices, the people who always had the privileged position in the adoption triad are now questioning their motives (or should be, if they aren’t).

What’s been done cannot be undone and the results are a fact of life.  That is the case for all of the adoptees in my own inner family circle.

But caring people should be paying attention because prospective parents could still seek to help a life be more stable by looking to the foster care system and offering a permanent solution for the older youth incarcerated within it.

Society could find it in it’s compassionate heart to be supportive of young women who find themselves pregnant with inadequate resources to parent their child.  We could find ways to help them rather than leave them at the mercy of a profit focused business model seeking to effectively sell their babies away from them.

Every person and every action affects the whole collective.  It is said that the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can cause a tsunami of good around the world.  Adoptees are fluttering their wings these days.



There is a game similar to Candyland that I became abundantly aware of as I expanded my own understandings about the impacts of adoption.

There is an overly romanticized and idealistic love affair going on with adoption that brings to mind unicorns, rainbows and puffy hearts. In Adoptionland, clouds are made of spun sugar and the roads are lined with red licorice – nothing bad every happens in Adoptionland. All of the adopted children feel nothing but gratitude and their only goal in life is to make adoptive parents dreams come true.

The truth is that is marketing bunk.  Follow the money applies here as it does in many other situations.  The goal of the game is to take a newborn baby from its mother and give it to complete strangers who have enough money to pay for the baby.  The game has been so entrenched that this selling and buying of babies has been legalized and hidden as fees, etc.

For many adoptees, adoption is an extremely complicated experience rife with confusion and mystery – mostly because the adoption industry doesn’t respect adoptees nor seek to serve their needs.

It may seem unbelievable but there really are people out there fighting against the restoration of an adoptee’s right to obtain her own, factual, birth certificate.

There are adoptive parents who relegate the original parents of the child they are so privileged to be raising into the role of “birth parent” only – like their only role in the life of their child was to give birth to that child – so they could adopt it. Much like a surrogate mother in some reproductive situations.

Some adoption agencies charge higher fees for white newborn babies but much less for black infants.  There are states who work to make open adoptions unenforceable.

All of these unbelievable but true aspects of adoption are totally acceptable with most of the people in our adoption-focused culture.  One has to intentionally seek to inform themselves to begin to understand the truth.