I can’t even imagine a world where giving back a child is an option, but according to this article, not only is it an option, but it happens enough that there are whole organizations based on “secondary placements” when “adoptions [go] awry.”
You mean when a family gets a kid they don’t want? I’ve expressed more than once (Nature vs Nurture, Disney and Abandonment, and others) that I have a fear of being unchosen, but I always thought it was in my head; it was an unfounded fear that stemmed from the semi-perfectionist teachings that are thrust upon the women in my family, but not the males. I had no idea that such a thing actually happened!
And to use the experience of giving away a child as a way to gain favor to become foster parents is even worse! Oh I see here that you have experience giving children away once you’ve gotten them. Welcome to the foster care circus!
Having read the article, I think there are 2 intrinsic problems with this situation: first of all, these people had kids of their own to begin with. There was no need for them to have another child, which brings us to the second problem: selfishness. They weren’t trying to bring a child into their lives because they needed him, or to help him out of a dangerous situation. They wanted to have a large family, Brangelina style, and were willing to bring an outsider in, one from Haiti.
First of all, there are lots of children in the United States that need loving homes. Adopting a child from Haiti, while generous, is a publicity stunt. It is a way to be the hip, cool people on your block by adding a refugee into the mix. The mother, Stacey Conner, is even quoted as saying “Having an instant multicultural family was magical…”
Because that’s the message you want people to get about you: You are so racist that you feel the need to point out how cool it is that you adopted a child (or in this case children, plural) outside of your own race.
Then, when the oldest boy, whom she only refers to as “J”, became difficult, she realized that she was in the wrong: “I was committing the worst maternal sin: I felt like I loved one child less than the others.” Had she killed the boy instead of just passing him onto another family, that statement would have been enough to convict her. It shows premeditation.
Now, I am in no way suggesting that giving away a child be compared to murder…
Wait, no, that may be exactly what I’m suggesting!
Had this been her biological child, she would not have not been so quick to pass him onto another family, as if returning a broken toy. The implication is that biological children are more intrinsically valuable to parents than an adoptee. Furthermore, since they also adopted a younger child and kept that one, they are also suggesting that younger, cuter children are more valuable as well. We’ll see this come up again once they are foster parents. The first child “placed” with them was only 3 months old. That gives the boy plenty of time to be cute before they decide to get rid of him.
If “J” had been their biological child, they would have sought therapy sessions, doctors, maybe even medication. Also, though this is speculation, I do think it’s safe to say that had the older child been the bio-child and the younger children been the adoptees, they would have probably chosen to give back the adopted children because obviously the older one was feeling trauma due to having younger siblings just suddenly appear out of thin air, or some such other nonsense.
As an adopted child myself, what they did was to make my worst nightmares come true. Adopted children, particularly children of a different ethnicity than their adoptive families, have a hard enough time adjusting. I was adopted from birth, and yet I still had a hard time adjusting to the racial differences, once I was old enough to understand what they really meant.
I didn’t have many friends that looked like me, and I had to explain many times why I was a different color than my parents. Children who I wanted to associate with, because they resembled what I was familiar with at home, sometimes wouldn’t accept me because they came from racist families and didn’t understand why I didn’t realize we weren’t the same. In second grade, I had a little girl call me the N-word. I didn’t know what it meant at the time, but I knew she was saying it to me, and it wasn’t a nice thing…
Sometimes people, especially people like the “mother” (and I use the term loosely) in this article, forget about the burdens adopted children have. Yes, they get taken out of bad situations, but it’s not all sunshine and roses in the new homes either. The fact that this kid would climb into the laps of strangers suggests to me that he was desperately trying to find someone to relate or belong to. He was looking to be loved! Instead, she passed him off onto another family, like a broken, hand-me-down doll.
Perhaps I’m being too harsh on this poor woman. Obviously in the 8 months she had him she tried her hardest… Because 8 months is certainly long enough for him to adjust. It only takes a week to get the nicotine out of your bloodstream when you quit smoking, so after a week, all former smokers are fully adjusted, right?
Periods of adjustment are different for different people. This was a child looking to be loved. He wanted to be someone’s center of attention.
As a teacher, I can tell you (and this is the only break I’m willing to give this woman) she was given bad advice. As a teacher, one of the things we are taught is that positive reinforcement is much better than negative reinforcement. Children who only get attention when they are bad, will continue to be bad because that’s the only way they know how to be noticed.
The social worker that suggested “24-hour eyes-on parenting” really has no idea how kids function! If being bad and pinching and hitting the younger kids was what got him the attention he was seeking, of course that behavior is going to continue! Had she put him in a room by himself and let him have his tantrum and then went to check on him when he was quiet and well behaved, she would have noticed a difference. And quickly!
Kids are not dumb. They know how to work an adult… They know how to get what they want. They observe and learn. Their little brains are hardwired to do nothing else! Even playtime is a time for learning!
And while we’re on the subject of learning, this woman says she learned that “starting life with the experience of love is good. Now I know when and how I can give it.”
When did love come with strings or footnotes? This woman, like Jon Snow, knows nothing.