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deadparrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:14 PM
Original message
Parents try to unadopt troubled boy
A talkative 9-year-old boy came to Helen Briggs on Valentine's Day 2000. She was a foster mother with years of tough love and scores of troubled kids behind her. But she grew to love this boy. Within the year, she'd talked her husband into adopting him.

Now, six years later, Briggs and her husband, James, a maintenance worker for the city of Alexandria, are taking the highly unusual step of trying to unadopt him.

In 2003, when the boy was 12, he sexually molested a 6-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl still in diapers. She said it was only then, as she waited outside the courtroom for his sexual battery hearing and caseworkers handed her his psychological profile, that she found out just how damaged the boy had been when he came into her life.

The Washington Post generally does not name the subjects of juvenile court cases.

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/15188209/
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. Didn't she think to look into this BEFORE adopting him???
I'm sorry. Children are not pound animals that you can just send back if you don't like them.

Am I the only person who has heard that a high percentage of foster children have psychological problems? As a foster parent wouldn't she have been told of this?
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. She sould have been told of this profile. But I bet it was
withheld intentionally to get him out of the foster care system.

What a horribly sad situation.
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Epiphany4z Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. exactly
there are new laws now that says they have to disclose all the info...but at the time this lady adopted this child there was no such law.
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theHandpuppet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
24. Bingo!
This news item sounds just like an experience a co-worker of mine had some 15 years ago. This co-worker and his wife adoped two troubled brothers (9 and 12, as I recall) into their family in what became a nightmare from hell experience. Turns out these boys were deeply disturbed and proceeded to sexually assault the other children in the household and threaten others with violence. They even snuck into their parents' room and threatened to kill the mother with a knife -- fortunately she woke up, only to see them standing over her with weapons raised. Not knowing what to do, they even tried having their biological children stay with grandparents while the boys got intense psychological counseling -- to no avail. They were all terrified of these two very damaged young boys. They even had locks put on all their cabinets and removed all sharp objects from the house,
afraid of being murdered in their sleep.

Turns out the adoption agency purposely withheld information about the boys background, which included sexual and other violent physical abuse. After over two years of trying and with their family torn to emotional shreds, they decided they had little choice but to "unadopt" the boys so they could try to put their family back together, including their biological kids who were by this time left with deep emotional scars. I don't know what happened after that because I left that place of employment. But I don't blame those adoptive parents one bit. They were trying to do what they believed to be a loving act and went to extraordinarly lengths to help those kids but they needed a lot more help than this couple could provide.

Sad, yes. A tragedy. But don't go blaming the adoptive parents until you've walked a mile in their shoes. I never will forget the day that adoptive dad came to work -- looking as if he hadn't slept in weeks, which he probably hadn't -- and talked about their decision. You could tell there had been a LOT of tears shed over this.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #24
48. Heartbreaking
What can be done with such children? The prospect of life-long institutionalization seems horrible, but you don't want them turned loose on the community either.

One doesn't want to imagine what kind of abuse "uncontrollable" children suffered to mess them up that badly.

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Epiphany4z Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. they may have looked
but some records didn't have to be disclosed at the time she adopted...they do now.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. I am not going to condemn her
If she was not told how damaged this child was--then that wasn't fair to her or her family.
During that time, full disclosure wasn't the law.
I have a friend who adopted two damaged children. They spent years in counseling and thousands of dollars trying to undo damage. It was impossible. The kids were damaged beyond repair.
They didn't un-adopt them, but it ended up ruining their marriage and racking up debt.
One of the adopted boys killed their pets, sniffed her underwear, and ended up with the girls in the family having to padlock their doors at night while they slept for their own safety.
There is a point where a human becomes irretrievably damaged.
It should be disclosed.
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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. I can't help but
ask, who decides 'when' the point where a human is irretrievably damaged?

And, who is to say that the children your friend adopted might NOT have faired differently under different circumstances.

HWNN, I ask this, because I personally, would by today's standards have been branded potentially irretrievably damaged- And while my life has many times been a 'living hell'- and I've f**ked up royally in many ways- I've worked hard to become a positive member of society-

My youngest child, a beloved young person who is now 13, who was seen as 'unadoptable' and who at birth was 'condemned' to a life far less than what he is demonstrating to the world was supposed to be 'impossible'- may have not thrived in an environment different that the one I was able to give him- Not to 'pat myself on the back'- but it just so happened, in THIS case, all the necessiary ingredients combined to make a 'positive' difference for everyone involved. And the fruit of my own womb has also proven to be a vital positive influence on this world-

Shall we euthanize those who 'appear' to be, or are deemed to be 'irretrievably damaged'? We do it to animals, on occasion- If only people tried to match children to parents as conciensiously as we do pets- If only children were given the compassion, understanding, patience, and oversight many 'rescued' animals recieve-

It's a hard situation- as sad, difficult problem. But the children are ALWAYS the victims- and grow up fighting not only their 'demons' but their 'legends'-

(disclosure IS important, but sometimes is also damaging in itself- How many people look at traits in their children that they find disturbing, and point to their spouse, or relative and say "s/he's just like __________!!!- instead of looking at the behaviour, and ways to address it, cope with it, or change it- without bias, blame, or unspoken disgust?)

peace,
blu
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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Who said anything about euthanasia?
This is a no win situation. The boy is far beyond troubled, but when it came to other kids it's obvious he is a danger to them. Giving him back doesn't help him any, but what about the other kids? Who is more important? How can anyone choose?

There are no winners here.

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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #13
20. what do
you do with an 'irrepubly damaged' person?

Who decides where that 'line' is???-
THAT is what I'm asking-

Do we institutalize him for life? ("death is not the worst of evils")- The 'system' has damaged him enough already don't you think???

WHO said "what about "HIM" when it really mattered?

You are absolutely correct, there ARE no 'winners' here- and that means what she is trying to do is NOT 'right'-
So, what about this f**ked up country of ours stops trying to export democracy to the world, and see about caring for our own bleeding, abandoned, and abused children? Instead of going abroad to create more????

I can't excuse the 'adults'- life doesn't come with a warrantee, nor is it 'fair'- and money shouldn't be our god. our idol that rules every decision we make in life.

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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #20
50. What would you do?
I would imagine, like me, you have no idea what you would do in her shoes. She has two other kids to take care of and she has to protect them, too. She's caught between this boy and the other children she's responsible for.

And yeah, this country is fucked up. No doubt about it and some people in it are as well. She made a choice no person should have to make and the best we can hope for is that this kid gets the help he needs.
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Epiphany4z Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. a good point
but if you don't know for instance that a child is FAS fetal alcohol syndrom..you go around getting misdiagnosed. My nephew has been called adhd ..but its different than that there is an edge to it...he has been called bi polar...but it doesn't fit that profile. Now that I know he is FAS I have a path to take...ideas of what will help and what would actually hurt.

I agree you have to be careful with labels ...like many things there is no black and white there is a whole butt load of gray. Each case taken on its own merits is the only sane way to for this sort of thing.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #12
21. To start with
These children couldn't have found a better home. It is rude of you to judge otherwise. These were two people who were committed to giving these children a good home. The boy was 4 when he was found wandering the streets in the cold. He directed them to the little girl who was 2. She was so malnourished that she never lost the belly that comes with such severe malnutrition. The kids were both hospitalized for weeks after being found. They had been physically and sexually abused.
Their mother drank and did drugs while pregnant and the children were horribly malnourished. Their brains just didn't stand a chance. The parents entered into counseling at the time when they got the kids so that they would know how to deal with them.
This is more than just abuse--it is pathology. Brain damage if you will. Not all children who grow up in these circumstances are irretrievably damaged, but unfortunately, some are. Some are able to pull themselves together and do good things and live positive lives--I have heard more than one story to attest to this.
I am sorry if you do not like the terminology irretrievably damaged.
Did you know about the young 8-year old who MURDERED her 2-year brother?
Buried his little body after luring him away from the family home? Of course this was after she started a fire at school. Happened in Denton, TX a few years back.
Thankfully homicidal tendencies are rare in children--but it does occur.
And yes--those are children who should never enter into society. They should be institutionalized. There is no cure for sociopaths.



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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. I completely disagree-
there is INDEED a chance that these two children COULD have found a 'better home'-
Does that mean your friends are 'bad people'? ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY NOT-
Have I said your friends are bad parents? again the same answer-

My son, though it is none of your buisness came from a background that would easily be compariable with the children your friends adopted. Not only that he had factors that should have insured that he not advance beyond very poor expectations based on clinical 'evidence'- reality is proving otherwise.

Part of this is 'luck'- part is the fact that I don't believe there is any way to determine the outcome of ANYONES personality, or potential until after the fact.

You are quick to judge me as cruel in speaking about your friends- yet you know nothing about me except what little I've said here- I asked you how YOU would determine who was 'irretrievablely damaged'- you still haven't answered that-

And you haven't added the sickening, and startling fact that many of those children you would call 'irretrievabley damaged' are birth children in care of their birth parents-

Who calls the shots on this? And what kind of an institution? Set up some kind of secret 'societial tribunals' for kids- and send them away to their own "camp x-ray"?

It sounds SO easy to condemn people to lives of hopless detention- to wash your hands of the undesirables- WHO makes this decision? WHAT are the 'criteria'? are you going to wait until the children 'terrorize' others? or act 'pre-emptively'????

Same shit, different battlefield in my view-

I DON'T think your friends are bad- but had they birthed these children, and the children grown up to display the same behaviours, would they dispose of them as well?

think about it-
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. Project much?
Sheesh.
Not at all what I said--but what the hell? Why ruin a good rant.
Enjoy that soapbox you have perched yourself upon.
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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. read yourself again-
and step outside your box if you can-
If you still can't see the position I take, then all I can say is "I'm sorry"-

Are you a parent? A former foster child? An Adoptee? An adoptive parent?
Perspectives are different- I still ask you the question you refuse to answer-
Who would determine which children are "irretriveably damaged"?

Simple question- what is your answer?
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #33
38. I think you need to step OFF your box
You have personal pain. You don't have the objectivity you need to think clearly and rationally about this subject. I am a pediatric nurse so I have a pretty good working knowledge about children. I have seen things you may have never seen. I have seen the literature about this subject. It exists whether you want to acknowledge it does or not.
I NEVER said "I" was the supreme decider about this.
That was your projection.
I am not speaking of the children that come from these situations. I am not talking about kids that have behavioural problems. I am not talking about kids that are mentally challenged. I am not talking about kids that are learning disabled.
You want to put me in that box and I refuse to go there.
Children that show homicidal or sociopathic tendencies are damaged children just as an adult who showed the same tendencies would be.
I believe you are so subjective to this that you cannot understand that ALL children who are abused or neglected are NOT in the broad brush you are projecting me to paint.
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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #38
46. you are right-
I am not able to speak to this from an arms length position-
Nor am I able to speak to it from one who has not experienced the feelings of being one of the children you are trained to treat-

You have seen, you have read the literature.
I have lived the life.

Perhaps your literature, training and work will heal this world-
But it won't if people don't listen to those who have walked through the battlefield.

I didn't decree YOU to be the supreme decider on this- but your assertion that there are people who are so broken they can NEVER be of value to anyone, leaves the questions-

Where exactly is that line drawn, and WHEN?

WHO determines which 'wounded' people are 'beyond repair'?

Can you give a rational, logical description of this 'solution' you propose?

I'm talking as a person who has experienced the things you speak about- and who has come to understand that unconditional love- having at least one soul in this world who says "I CARE" no matter what, no matter WHAT- I will always love you, care for you and seek the best in you, can mean the difference between a life lost forever, and a reason to fight against the demons of our past.

And I'm done- Horsewithnoname- I appreciate your work on behalf of children. I'm not looking for a fight, or trying to pick nits- I'm speaking about something that is an issue that touches me in a very personal and profound way. Something I feel compelled to champion and vocalize- Our goals I don't believe are all that different- I just can't agree that giving up on a child is ever ok- and if you do, if you sincerly believe there is absolutely no hope for a child to ever have a meaningful life- then it would be kinder to just let them die.

That's my opinion. And it is no more, or less valuable than yours.
peace-
again i'm done-
blu
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. I support FULL disclosure. If they withheld information
deliberately then she is within her rights to do this.

Glad to hear the laws have since changed!
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #7
25. I will condem her!
If this "mother" gave birth to a child with a congenital birth defect would she abandon that child?

As an adoptee, I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly hurtful it is to hear stories like this. I was adopted as an infant, and although I was fortunate for the family that I was adopted into, I always kind of thought of myself as some kind of comodity that may be returned. Mostly that feelng didn't come from my parents, but from extended family and friends who always saw me as adopted, meaning I wasn't like other children who were genetically connected to their family.

Jesus. You either take a person into your family--to be a part of your family--or you don't. I cannot begin to tell you the difficulties I had with my son--my biological son. It never occured to me to give up on him or throw him away, why should adopted parents be given that option? :grr:
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Not to discount your pain
but birth parents abandon babies everyday--with and without birth defects.
But it isn't the same thing.
The birth parent has the knowledge of EVERYTHING that baby has been exposed to. Why begrudge the adoptive parents the rights to know these things?
The excuse that is might make them "unadoptable" is simply that. An excuse.
It might make a child unadoptable to one family--but adoptable to the right family.
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. No child comes with guarantees
Yes, biological parents abandon their children but there is a social stigma attached to that as there should be for adoptive parents. There should be no difference to how the lifelong commitment of parenthood is viewed.
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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #26
34. "abandon babies"------
birth parents who abandon children do NOT have the knowledge of everything a child has been exposed to-
NOR, to birth parents of babies they abandon, have FULL KNOWLEDGE of their own biological history- often times records are very poorly kept, absent, and cleverly mis-leading.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #34
40. You are irrational.
A BIRTH mother KNOWS her prenatal history better than anyone else. Nobody knows better what that baby has been exposed to better than she does.
Quit putting your thoughts into my words.
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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #40
47. you aren't
listening. There is, I'm sure you know, very reliable evidence that many severe mental illnesses that have strong genetic tendencies. Among them are Schizophrenia, Bi-polar disorder, and Depression.
Also, birth mothers may 'know' their pre-natal history well, but they may not know- (or be in denial about) what they are doing is affecting their baby- Alcohol is a big one- And the genetic components that the father bring into the situation also affect the child.

Recall that one of the citations in this article refered to a couple who had adopted a child who was the offspring of a mentally retarded couple- No mention of any drug/alcohol abuse on their part- no mention of physical or sexual abuse- but the child had a deadly genetic defect- and THAT is why they brought this case to court.

I'm not 'irrational'- emotional? I clearly cannot deny that- but I'm very 'rational' HWNN- despite your assertions to the contrary.

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Epiphany4z Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #25
30. she might


*********************************************************
If this "mother" gave birth to a child with a congenital birth defect would she abandon that child?
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

she might put it up for adoption.




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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #25
32. you speak
to my soul..... and I respond with tears.... I NEVER want my beloved adopted son to ever feel that he is anything but a complete and FULL part of my family and my life. Unfortunately he is ethnicly 'different' from me and his siblings which is a constant reminder- But, and I say this in all honestly- he is FAR more like me than my oldest son, who is red-haired and freckled, with all the physical features we share...... but it is my youngest, who I connect with, and who understands me, and I him in personality, perspective, and passion- We have the same 'quirky' way of seeing the world- and are bound together in ways I treasure and marvel at-

As a very wise lawyer who helped my little family said- and the judge who was 'ruling' on our behalf- when a person chooses to enter into an adoption, they do so with MORE intention, and obligation than many 'birth parents' and as such 'owe' that child a larger loyalty than some children who are the result of 'one night stands'-

I would never give up on any of my kids- I may not be much, but they're stuck with me :crazy:- and I'm so sad and angered that you experienced, and that adopted kids in general have to experience the ridiculous notion that they should ever have to fear 'being returned' for any reason.....

May you and your family know peace, healing, comfort, and contentment-

blu
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #32
37. You sound like a wonderful mother
My mother never saw me as her adopted daughter--I was her daughter. She was incredibly hurt by others who would refer to me as adopted, and she gave those people a piece of her mind! It is unfortunate that society emotionally segregates adopted children from biological children. As much as I dislike Ronald Regan's rw son, I despise it when people always qualify his place in their family as "the adopted son"--no wonder he has issues!

Thank you for caring, and thank you for being a wonderful mother. :hug:





I decided that one hug wasn't enough :)
:hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug:
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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #37
49. If I
was your Mom, my heart would rejoice to hear you speak- And you give me great hope that my son will never doubt the love I feel for him and always will- and that someday this world will wake up.

Thank you dear sister, for the hug(s!), for speaking up- for the warmth and wisdom with which you use your voice-

Your words speak healing and love-
thank you, so very much

blu

:hug: :pals: :hug:
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. a friend adopted five siblings who were damaged as hell. they often
don't tell you. They had to lock her into her room at night because she tried to kill the others and her and her husband with scissors. Don't jump to conclusions on these things. Too damned often they are kids with habits untold.
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Epiphany4z Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. I read this story today
very sad indeed. I am raising my nephew who has fetal alcohol syndrome and its a hard road without the child having been abused I can only imagine with this boy in the paper.

without all the abuse the boy in the article suffered he would probably need life long help depending on the FAS severity. Add to that the abuse and further brain damage I can believe that this woman cannot help this child. Infact some doors for help for the boy are probably closed because he has a family. This may be for the best.

Now they have to disclose if a child has been abused or suffered things like fetal drug and alcohol abuse ect...I don't think they had to when she adopted ...sad story all around....FAS is a sad story...look up some facts on it...booze is more harmful to developing fetus than crack, or herion...and all it takes is one drink at the wrong time in fetal development to cause the damage.
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Divernan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
6. 25% of adoptions of older kids are "dissolved"
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 12:39 PM by Divernan
according to this article. I had an acquaintance who made a very lucrative living arranging private adoptions of children from Russia. These little kids were very popular with their blond hair and blue eyes. Unfortunately, most of them had psychological problems and some had very severe physical problems - stemming from being born to alcoholic mothers who drank throughout their pregnancies, and being immediately placed in institutions were they were kept in cribs pretty much round the clock, right up until the time someone chose to adopt them - as old as 6 years - never learned developmental skills and worse did not experience emotional bonding during the critical first years of life. The adoptive parents found themselves in a nightmare with violent acting out and physical attacks by these small kids on family members, family pets, neighbor's kids, etc.. Of course the private agencies will neither accept the child back nor refund the huge fees. My point is that while individual states may require sharing information, the private agencies can give a wink and a nod to foreign governments (who want to get rid of damaged children) in order to keep making their profits from private adoptions.
More from the OP's article:
The first "wrongful adoption" lawsuit was won in Ohio in 1986. Parents were told the 16-month-old they adopted was a healthy infant born to a teenage mother. When the child later developed a fatal disease and exhibited mental disorders, the parents discovered he was born to two middle-age mental patients.

Since then, states have enacted a patchwork of laws and written disclosure policies. Some states, such as Texas and Ohio, give adoptive parents access to a child's entire case file. In Maryland, social workers are required to prepare a written background summary and ask adoptive parents to sign it. Virginia's disclosure policy has no written requirement.

"I have seen so many adoptive parents come back and feel so angry and cheated that we didn't tell them about a child. And we did tell them," said Judith Schagrin, a Maryland social worker. "It's just that at the time, they were so hopeful and looking through a lens of love that they couldn't hear what we were saying." But sometimes, because of the high turnover of case workers, information gets lost, assumptions get made, mistakes happen -- especially if the child is older. Especially if they've bounced around foster care for years. And especially, Schagrin said, if their sad and broken histories might scare away potential foster or adoptive families.

That pressure has intensified since 1997 because of a federal law that rewards states as much as $6,000 for every foster child adopted. "I have seen caseworkers. They think, 'Oh, the family won't adopt the child if they know everything," Schagrin said. Most adoptions take, especially for infants. But for children over 12, as many of 25 percent of the adoptions don't. They simply dissolve.
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moc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #6
42. Many of those children have attachment disorders
which are extremely difficult to treat. It's very sad. I've heard some very sad stories about these situations. I have to say unless someone has walked in their shoes, you shouldn't judge.
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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
8. What does a person do?
The boy has already been traumatized and giving him back will probably even inflict more damage that will make him unacceptable to be in society.

Then what the boy did would frighten any parent.

:shrug:

This is a tragedy for all involved. :(
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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
9. This is so sad on many levels, but the adoptive
parents can't pretend that they didn't have SOME reason to be wary- Why, for example was the boy on psychotropic meds? Would they NORMALLY leave a 12yr old adolescent boy alone with young foster children un-supervised?

This family was not some 'starry-eyed' innocent young couple who were desperate to fill their home with children- They were apparently seasoned foster parents, and as such, should not only have KNOWN that kids who've been tossed around from home to home, come with a LOT of baggage- no matter how kind or loving or gentle you may be with them, or they APPEAR- Wounds of the kind, this boy was carrying can lie dormant for years, or come out in ways that do not affect others in such dramatic ways (alcoholism, addictions, self-destructive behaviours)-

A 'forever family' is something ALL children need and deserve- Being deserted now, is proof positive to him, that he is 'damaged goods'- worthless in the worlds eyes- his own worst nightmare and fear come true- My heart breaks FOR him- fuck the money- The state will bear the burden of his full care eventually-
I despise this 'system'- where children are treated like used cars, and the 'junkyards' are full of potential 'gems' good, reliable, valuable, unique, precious humans, who, but for a HUGE amount of effort, persistance, patience, and care are very 'salvageable.'

Animals are given more of a chance than many foster kids- and the background checks are sometimes far more detailed and thorough-

how sad, how very sad----- The children of our own wombs come without 'warrantees' and we often don't have all the 'history' on their potential future 'issues'-

I wonder if Mrs.Briggs Christ, would seek to 'un-adopt' her?

fie- fie on this f--d up world.
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Epiphany4z Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I must tell you
the fact that this kid has a family they can bill for any required help may be closing doors to help for him. I know , I fight this fight everyday. And let me tell you things have not gotten easier with the whole no child left behind and Medicare switching over to hmo...more doors are being closed everyday.

The best thing for this boy may be what she is doing...non of this situation is ideal..but she also has a responsibility to protect her other children from him. I am sure this is a very hard choice.
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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. then the fight is not to 'rid' herself
of the child- the fight is to ADVOCATE for this young mans future-
He ISN'T going to look at her 'unadopting' him as her doing anything 'for HIS best interests'- he's going to see it as yet another rejection, another trust broken, another affirmation that he is - 'trash'-

He SHOULD be elegible for medicare coverage- SSDI- he should be able to recieve services, based on his needs- and his obvious disability- There are Disability Rights Groups all over the US fighting for the rights of dis-enfranchised kids like him-

As for the protecting her other kids from him-..... did you read the entire article? I did, it took a while to get it to load (dial-up here) but he has not lived with her since the incident in 2003 from what I read.---- AND, she has a RESPONSIBILITY to HIM- she and her husband CHOSE to adopt him- no one forced them into it- and no child comes with a 'warrantee'-

As a former foster child, and a birth mother as well as the adoptive mother of a 'special needs' child, I speak as one who feels for all sides in this issue-

Children don't ask to be born- they NEED to be nurtured, loved, and valued. Until the day we embrace that for the enormous challenge it is, this world will be filled with sorrow, violence and suffering.

off the soapbox, and wishing that day were here-
blu
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Epiphany4z Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. and if this boy
hurt one of her other children or gawd forbid kills one of them...will that too be her fault?

I am a former foster child as well and the mother 4 bio children all normal and my nephew since he was 4wks old ..he is now 6 i love him like my own. My nephew is eligible for SSI and medicade and I am having to really fight hard to get all he needs. Doors are closed to him everyday and he is not the danger this child in the article seems to be. I know all about what is available and what is not and truly letting him go may be the best thing she can do.
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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. If she
were to knowingly and 'recklessly' leave this young man (who is not living with her but in an institution according to the article, and has been since the incident in 2003) in a situation that could ostensibly result in one of her 'other' children being hurt or killed, then she would indeed bear SOME responsibility. Don't YOU think???

Yes, you have to fight like HELL- to get kids in need the services they not only deserve, but MUST have- but we have to do that for our 'own' biological kids too- and the thought of giving up on a birth child of mine, because to put them in the care of the state would make them eligible for 'state paid care' wouldn't even be an option-

I too, know about what is 'available' and how frickin hard we have to fight- and how frustrating, and infuriating it is,- but I disagree that abandoning him is the 'best' thing she could do- giving up on someone, saying 'it's for your own good' means shit to a kid- especially one who has been played by the system the way this kid has.

She should NEVER have adopted him, if she wasn't willing to be in it for the long haul-
That was HER choice, (and her husbands) and they bear the responsibility of that choice- if only that they live with the knowledge that they abandoned a child who needed them more than the ones that come with 'minimal financial re-embursments'-

Parenthood by adoption is a serious undertaking. A life-long commitment.

Do you excuse people who adopt a cute puppy only to abandon them when they grow up, and turn into problem dogs? Shouldn't a child at LEAST expect that kind of commitment? Shouldn't SOMEONE 'advocate' for the child????? Child Abuse became unlawful only because of the society to protect cruelty to animals-..... what a screwed up world this really is.....


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Epiphany4z Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. I bet he can't be kept in that
institution forever because he has a family to go back to....and you cannot watch these children every minuet of the day...you have to pee sometime.

I would excuse someone who adopted a puppy then brought it back admitting they cant handle it. What is the alternative? What is worse to keep then when you know you cannot handle it...that often leads to abuse.

Just like any mother who gives her child up for adoption..i don't look at them and blame them ..I am aww of the ability to admit they cannot raise the child...to love something enough to let it go...that takes a big heart.

Nobody is saying you should be tossing kids out because they are little trouble or have medical issue but this boy is violent ..beyond the womans control there is no sin in admitting she cannot handle it.
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cally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. I think you have more financial help if the child is a foster child
I knew this woman who chose to not adopt her foster child because she had more psychiatric coverage, medical coverage, and educational help if they remained in foster care. The whold system is insane. I honor those who succeed and try. I'm thinking of trying to provide foster care of adopt an older child once my biological children leave home. I decided against it while they were still at home.
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Epiphany4z Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. yup
that is why I have never adopted my nephew. I would love for him to have our name but it would close some doors for him.
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
23. link no longer works
>> When the boy came to her, he was taking medications for mental illness, depression, delusions, seizures and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. He was considered a "therapeutic" foster child, one that comes with extra emotional, medical or behavioral baggage and a heftier monthly subsidy.

and

Briggs said she thought the medications were for hyperactivity. When the child began complaining of headaches, she took him to a psychiatrist caseworkers recommended. She asked if the boy needed all the pills. The psychiatrist, records show, said no.

"When he told me he was hearing voices, I told him it was just his conscience talking," she said.<<

The posted link no longer works, but I managed to snag these little tidbit before it went *poof* so to speak.

There was more too, a lot more!

:kick:

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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #23
35. link works again
This part is back:

>> A religious woman and active in her Sword of Spirit Deliverance Ministry Pentecostal Church, Briggs said being a foster mother is a calling. She's on disability, she explained, so it's one of the few things she can do to supplement her husband's blue-collar wage. <<

The part that is not back is how the boy would get a "good whopping" now and then.

This woman deserves nothing IMO. NOTHING!

:kick:
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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #23
39. It's still working for me-
but this issue is striking too close to home for me to have a level of discourse that it deserves.

'I can't take him back'
Records show that caseworkers are vehemently against Briggs terminating her parental rights. "At least, if his parents win the lottery and die, he will inherit," one wrote in an e-mail. Some think she has rejected the boy because she needs the money she gets from foster children.

"That's a lie," Briggs said angrily.

A religious woman and active in her Sword of Spirit Deliverance Ministry Pentecostal Church, Briggs said being a foster mother is a calling. She's on disability, she explained, so it's one of the few things she can do to supplement her husband's blue-collar wage.



Mrs. Briggs says it's a lie that finances are fueling her- but they are- and THAT should not be a part of the issue.-- This government has to wise up- I believe this young man should recieve all the help available to him without bankrupting his family.- or forcing them to abandon him.

But, here is the saddest part for me:


"The system needs to be revised. That's why I'm doing this," she said. "I should have known about the child. Because people get hurt."

And then there is another reason, one that woke up late one recent morning and, yawning, shuffled downstairs in fluffy white slippers with bells on the toes and nestled onto Briggs's ample lap: a little girl of 5, the child of a former foster daughter and Briggs's legal ward.

"I can't take him back," Briggs said, stroking the hair of the child she chose to keep.



And if this 'ward' who hops on Momma's lap grows up to have severe problems, when she's no longer the sweet little 5 yr old- what then?

We all grow up- and some grow old- but we all remain children in some part of our being- and we all need to feel we are valued and loved- no matter what.

I'm done-

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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #39
44. yes but
page 3 is missing! :grr:

Tells you a whole lot more about this "situation".

It angers me.

My own mother was "adopted" and oh what a "fine" life she had (dumped at age 13). :(

:kick:

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silverlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
36. I am so offended - due to a personal story
I'm a little late into this thread - It took me a while to decide to post this.

I have taken children into my home. Never has this been through the foster care system. It's amazing how they have come to me. One was an eleven year old girl that is my stepdaughter. Her father had unsuccessfully been trying to get custody for many years, but although he 'knew' that things were not right with her mother, he couldn't "prove" it. Finally, after finding drugs in the home, the father was called to come and get her. As in the above story, the adults and other authorities knee nothing more than the drug situation. She was nine at the time. She molested my two younger granddaughters. She was arrested. The courts worked with us and, for a time, she came to stay with me. Counseling was required, but the court system was amazed at a stepmother (my daughter) who could forgive this, work hard to keep her children safe, and work with counseling and the courts to have her returned to her home. It's been four years now. She is a healthy beautiful human being and I am glad to call her my granddaughter. Counselors will tell you that if sexual abuses are caught at a young age, they can be overcome. She was fortunate to have a counselor that specialized in sexually abusive minor females - not as uncommon as some would like to think.

I have had a homeless woman live with me for a month while she arranged to find other housing. She never bathed for the entire month. This, however, was not part of the agreement.

I now have a seventeen year old boy who's father is mentally ill. The father spent months in jail, never speaking a word, until his sister was able to get him to Canada. Fortunately, he had dual citizenship and now is receiving health care. I am dealing with pride. I am dealing with alcohol and with a violent nature. Things get better everyday. Some days, it's two steps forward and one step back. I hope he knows that he is safe, that there is nothing he can do to force me to break my end of our deal.

And then there is my seventeen year old daughter. I bore her through my soul when she was four months old. We paid for her with a Discover Card. (At least it was good for something.) Biologically, she is my step granddaughter, but she will always be my daughter, for better or for worse.


Because, therein lies the hope.
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moc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
41. My husband treats children in therapeutic foster care.
He's a psychotherapist in private practice. The vast majority of his caseload are children in therapeutic foster care. Many of his patients have diagnoses similar in severity to that described for the boy in this article. He also does transitional work with families going through foster-to-adopt. However, most of the kids going through adoption have much less severe problems.

What I can't understand is why the child wasn't receiving ongoing treatment at the time of placement. If he'd been d/c'd from a psych hospital, he should have gone into outpatient treatment. I couldn't find any information in the article indicating that was the case. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the foster care workers didn't fully disclose with the family and dumped him on the family without ongoing treatment. I don't know anything about the foster care system in Virginia, but I can totally see it happening.

Sounds like a sad situation all the way around.
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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
43. What a completely tragic story
:-(
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goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
45. Not the first time this has happened
I know of one case in Wisconsin where the parents unadopted a kid while he was in a juvenile detention center.

Same thing, the background was withheld and the nightmares came out as the kid got older.

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johnaries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
51. Sometimes, you have to drop the ego and admit your limitations.
I went through a very similar experience. My ex was the "black sheep" of a large Southern family - and I mean a Southern Matriarchy that valued Emily Post above any religion. She was the black sheep simply because she didn't conform and liked to ask "why?". Who among us at DU would not have rebelled?

However, her elder sister had a very beautiful and intelligent child who rebelled not by asking questions, but by using her talents to con every-one she came into contact with. Prostitution, theft, check-kiting, convincing relatives to send her money for a bus-ticket in a "prodigal-child" plea and then cashing the ticket money to buy drugs. A very beautiful, intelligent girl who decided to use her talents to scam and deceive every other living being - stranger, friend, or relative.

She had a child. A very beautiful, intelligent, talented girl. And she taught this beautiful little girl the "basics" very early - how to skip out on a motel bill, how to shoplift, how to masturbate before the poor girl even had a period.

How to lie.

We took custody of her when she was seven. I SWEAR TO GOD I did the very best I could. This little girl had so much to offer. She liked dance, we encouraged that. We took her to the ballet, to ethnic dance exhibitions,.. I encouraged her as she practiced improvised dance whenever she asked me to watch. She did an improvisational dance at her elementary school that took everyone's breath away.

And yet, we could never stop her from lying. She would do things that would get her in deep trouble, sometimes just to see if she could get away with it! After meetings with all of her teachers and guidance counselors and two different child psychologists - I had to admit that I simply was not up to the task.

I'm normally very good with kids! Kids, and dogs, love me! I can usually communicate with them very freely and easily.

But you have to recognize your limitations. I helped poor Brittany all I could. If I tried to continue out of ego, I would have done more damage than good.

Just like her real mother.
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