Bill allowing faith-based ojections to adoption placement passes Texas House

A bill that would give foster care and adoption agencies that receive state funding in the Lone Star State the ability to refuse to place children with families they disapprove of based on religious grounds — including those of same sex and transgender people – has recently been passed by the Texas House of Representatives.

 

According to an article that appeared in the New York Times (www.nytimes.com/2017/05/11/texas-adoption-bill-religous-grounds), the bill must still pass the Texas Senate. It also allows agencies to cite religious objections in denying contraception and abortion services to teenagers.

 

Those who support the measure argue that it will permit social service agencies and organizations to pursue faith based policies while protecting them from facing discrimination lawsuits, the New York Times said.

 

Among the groups applauding the passage of the measure in the House was the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops. In a statement, the bishops said they look forward to the bill’s quick passage by the Senate.

 

If the bill passes, it would make it illegal for Texas to penalize an agency if it denies service to someone based on religious grounds. Opponents argue that the bill might unfairly potential adoptive parents who are non-Christian; those who have inter-faith marriages; those who have been divorced and remarried and atheists.

 

In 2015, a federal judge ruled that the Texas Child Protective Services Division exposed children to an unreasonable risk of harm, thereby damaging their constitutional rights. Rep. James Frank, who authored the bill, said it simply allows agencies to operate without the fear of legal reprisals.

 

Opponents of the measure say it would make a child’s path to adoption more difficult by taking away the ability of gay and transgender people to adopt.

 

About 22,000 children in Texas are awaiting foster home placement. Both Alabama and South Dakota have passed similar laws.

 

 

Alabama Family Adopts Three Chinese Children

Shaun and Anna Lokey are a married couple who live in Alabama. They have three of their own biological children. However, they felt that there was something missing in their life. This made them interested in adopting a child from another country. Shaun’s parents were going to adopt a child when he was a young boy. However, a relative of the child decided to raise him before the adoption could become official. Shaun thought about that experience and made the decision to investigate everything that is involved in adopting a child. He found out the process was not as hard as he thought it would be.

 

The Lokey family eventually found out that China was one of the easiest countries to adopt a child from. This is because China has the largest population in the world. Therefore, they have many unwanted children who are in desperate need of a loving home. The Chinese government carefully looks into the backgrounds of all parents who are interested in adopting a child. However, the process does not take very long once it gets started. The one negative thing about the adoption process is the amount of money that is required. It can cost as much as $50,000 to adopt a child. Travel to a place like China can be expensive. There are also many forms that need to be filed and the licensing process that the adopting parents must go through. Fortunately, there are a variety of programs set up by the United States government that offer grants to parents interested in adopting a child.

 

The Lokeys eventually decided to adopt three children from China. They originally only intended to adopt one child. However, they realized as soon as they got to China that there were many children who needed a home. They visited an orphanage and fell in love with some of the children. They made plans to adopt two additional children during their visit. They are happy with their decision.

 

Is Adoption The Right Option for You?

Being the parent of an adopted child can be difficult, but it is well worth it considering the fact that you’re giving a child a beautiful and loving home that they can feel comfortable living in. The problem that many parents face is the often grueling process involved with adopting a child. It can take years and tens of thousands of dollars just to adopt one child, whether you’re doing so in your home country or in another country altogether. This is a price that a lot of parents simply cannot afford, so it’s not the right option for just anyone who wants to adopt a kid.

 

When you make the decision to adopt, your first step is to work with a local adoption agency to find the right fit. Don’t be surprised if you and your partner are examined from top to bottom to ensure that you’re good parents for an adopted child. This means that the agency will look at your finances, jobs, savings accounts, health screenings, psych evaluations and criminal records just to make sure that you’ll make good parents. There is a lot more that goes into adopting a child than goes into having babies naturally, which is often a shame because most parents won’t adopt because of the strict regulations.

 

However, if you’re able and willing to go through the process, adoption is a beautiful option for many families who want to add to their household. It’s a great choice for infertile couples who simply cannot have children on their own. It’s also perfect for parents who already have kids but want to adopt because they would like to help save homeless babies and children. If you’d like to adopt an older child, there are many kids and teens in the foster care system who are all looking for loving homes. This is another option for those who want to go through the adoption process and help kids who are in need.

 

How Adoption Changed A Family’s Life

Steve and Patti Fisher, who live in Lawrence, KS, are the parents of two adopted children. They have a 7-year-old daughter named Prudence and a 5-year-old son named Shawn. They officially became a part of the family in May 2017. Prudence and Shawn lived with the Fischers off and on as foster children four years prior to being adopted.

 

Now that Steve and Patti are officially parents, they want to educate other people about the joys of adopting a child. They will be hosting an event on June 11. The event will educate people about becoming a foster parent and helping people decide whether it is right for them.

 

The number of children being taken in by Department of Children and Family Services is increasing. Patti stated that people who want to be a foster parent but are waiting for the perfect moment do not have to keep waiting. She stated that life is never perfect. If you wait for everything to be perfect, then you will be missing out on a lot of life’s special moments.

 

Prudence and Shawn moved in with the Fishers in July 2013. They were moved to family placement three weeks later. They came back to live with the family permanently in January 2014. The biological parents had supervised visitation. In 2015, the children were temporarily placed with their biological father.

 

Patti and Steve visited the children while they were living with their biological father. They knew that it was not safe to live Prudence and Shawn with their father. They called the agency and stated that it was not safe to live the children there. The adoption process started in early 2016 when the biological parents signed over their rights.

 

Patti and Steve admitting that being parents is a tough job. However, they would not change anything about it. They also stated that the advantages outweigh all of the concerns that they have.

Intercountry Adoption Rates Falling Globally

Global rates of intercountry adoption, adopting children from other countries, are taking a nosedive, according to Peter Selman, expert in intercountry adoption who works for Newcastle University.

 

Since 2004, the numbers have dropped by more than 200 each and every week. They’ve halved since 2004. Italy has managed to maintain its adoption numbers, being the only country in Europe to do so.

 

One of the key factors playing a role is strict US adoption laws, which allow US birth mothers to choose their adoptive parents. They are far more likely to choose an American over someone from another country.

 

Another factor is the 1993 Hague Convention, which is set up to guard against abuses and further regulate intercountry adoption. Countries that sign up have to follow strict guidelines that may include passing on adoption requests from certain countries it would have previously approved. Ireland signed up for the convention in 2010, which adds another western country to the list.

 

Prospective parents in Ireland looking to adopt now can’t look for children in many of the countries that would have previously been considered and now have to look to countries like the US, which as mentioned previously, doesn’t often ship their children out of country.

 

It’s also possible that these numbers are just tied with declining birth rates. As the adult working population spends more time at work, the desire to have children goes down. Couples that may have previously been interested are no longer interested, especially with the mounds of paperwork and time it takes just to get approved for an adoption these days.

 

There are also scientific advancements in fertility treatments. Couples that may not have been able to previously have children can now in some cases find success. All of these factors can contribute to these declining rates, and it doesn’t seem that they will soon make a recovery.

 

Are Governments Placing Restrictions on International Adoption

Adoptive parents face many barriers to a successful and mutually beneficial adoption process, including the enormous amount of money required to finalize the adoption. Many Americans are struggling to determine why international adoptions have become almost three times more expensive than domestic adoption. In a recent New York Times article, a contributor discusses the possibility that foreign governments are adding undue and unnecessary restrictions to the foreign adoptive process in an effort to limit the number of children adopted to other countries.

 

 

There are an estimated 140 million orphans currently living in the world with thousands of new children being orphaned on a daily basis. People with generous hearts who wish to alleviate this world wide problem are often met with hurdles that should not exist in the adoption process. While an adoption should, in ideal terms, consist of a legally binding agreement between two or more persons transferring the rights to the child from one parent or governing body to another, it is often a process riddled with difficulties.

 

Government officials in several countries including the United States and Canada have been attempting to limit the interference that some governments have in the international adoption process. Many governments limit these adoptions in hopes that the children born in these countries will be educated as citizens of these countries. This way, these countries can benefit on the productivity of both natural citizens and orphans alike. Several members of the United Nations have argued that this position is cruel and is not considerate of the well being of orphaned children. While many parents in wealthy nations would like to use their considerable resources to care for orphaned children, legal red tape and endless stipulations often prevent them from doing so.

 

As a response to the legislation passed by countries like China to place limits on international adoption, UN officials have developed an international effort to pair orphans with supportive families from around the world who desire to adopt internationally.

 

Interesting Ways to Raise Money For Adoption

A recent Forbes article discussed interesting new ways that adoptive parents could raise the money to pay for adoption procedures. Even as adoption increases in popularity in the United States, the costs associated with the process increase faster. Perspective adoptive families must pay attorney’s legal fees, fees for home studies, domestic infant adoption costs, private agency costs, inter adoptive agency costs, and a host of other costs depending specifically on the type of adoption occurring. The legal hurdles and unplanned events in an adoption can cause the rate to skyrocket past the already expensive standard that already exists. In response to the these costs, many Americans have had to come up with creative ways to raise the money for adoption.

 

Budgeting With a Vengeance

The term, “super budgeting” is used to described the intense way that many couples cut out excessive spending in order to save for adoption. Couples have moved out of apartments and into tiny homes in an effort to avoid expensive monthly rental rates and put the saved income toward adoption fees. One couple, the Morts of Pennsylvania, saved over 20 thousand dollars annually and placed it toward their adoption fees.

 

Picking Up Odd Jobs

Another couple seeking to adopt in Wyoming made headlines for picking up odd jobs for eight years before earning enough to pay for adoption. Jobs that can boost income are often available and the extra effort in completing them could all but pay for the adoption process. It has actually become frequent for perspective adoptive families to develop side businesses to fund adoption.

 

Accept Donations

With the increase in popularity of crowdfunding sites like Go Fund Me, families have also been raising money for adoption through the intake of donations. The Beverlys of Minnesota raised 30 thousand dollars for the adoption of their youngest daughter by creating a crowdfunding account. These sites can be extremely beneficial for families and can allow money to be saved for the actual raising of the child.

 

Pinterest To Provide Benefits for Employees Adopting Children

The social media website, Pinterest, has recently made headlines because of the company’s inclusion of adoption and surrogacy insurance in its already well rounded employee benefit package. The company has become well known for its treatment of employees and has earned a coveted position Forbe’s best places to work list. The company is adding adoption and surrogacy benefits in response to a published report regarding the overwhelming shift in American families toward alternate ways of parenting. These new changes to the benefit changes are expected to increased the overall employee satisfaction rate with Pinterest’s facilities.

 

Pinterest was developed and launched in 2009 when an innovator decided that social media users could be engaged by an idea-oriented website (as opposed to a more interactive Facebook or Twitter themed website). Pinterest’s idea focused, visual website became popular within a year of its initial launch. The site centered around photos of home decor, fashion, art, and exercise and gained 1 million users in its first year. The company continued to experience large amounts of success in a relatively short period of time. Company heads developed corporate offices and expanded Pinterest’s brick and mortar facilities to 14 different states.

 

By the early part of 2012, Pinterest had amassed nearly 12 million new subscribers and had expanded its employee count to over 1500 individuals. During this time, Pinterest executives intentionally cultivated a work culture that allowed employees to receive a unique experience. Employees were encouraged to view themselves as contributors to the creative experience that Pinterest provides for its subscribers. In an effort to help this process along, employees were paid highly competitive salaries, received lucrative bonuses, and received three months of paid maternity and paternity leave. In fact, Pinterest’s benefit package is considered one of the most progressive packages available in todays’ market and is often listed as the reason that employees choose to work in the facilities. The company announced recently that it would continue to change the benefit package to better ensure that employee needs are met with regards to family planning.

 

The World of Foster Care

Recent studies have made new discoveries about the life of an adopted child and his or her parents. While foster care aims to provide these children with a normal lifestyle, there are key differences that cannot be overlooked. Using the term adverse child experiences (ACEs), foster children are at nearly double the risk of these difficult situations. Many of them see parents hitting one another or arguing vehemently on a daily basis. These violent actions can have negative effects on the child’s life and the way they conduct themselves in society. Parental divorce is also much more likely to occur. It is a common misconception that adoption only affects the child. Even though the couple might be harmonious upon adoption, their views on the world can change over time. These risks have increased over the past decade, and experts want to put an end to this trend.

 

Income is another major implication. Adopted children are more likely to be placed in low income households that do not have adequate resources to support their youth. In other cases, the parents might be unwilling to make a full economic commitment, leaving the child with few other places to go. In coming years, the national federation is looking to impose economic rules that will guarantee hospitality for each child. They refer to moral standards across the globe when making decisions in this manner. Adoption is supposed to be an intimate process that links strangers in incredible ways. When this bond is broken due to unfortunate living circumstances, something needs to change. The world of foster care has changed for the better and worse over the past few years. If we can enlighten people about these harsh realities, they will be more inclined to support movements that fund abortion. As tough as it is, adoption has limits that we need to overcome.

 

Couple’s Lives Changed For The Better After Adopting Three Children From China

When Shaun Lokey mentioned that he wanted to adopt children, his wife, Anna, was unsure about it at first. Anna did not think that she would be able to take care of the children. In fact, she did not think she was being a good mother to her own children.

 

Anna was also hurt by something that happened earlier in her life. Her parents had wanted to adopt a little girl, but the adoption was never finalized. The girl’s relative decided that they wanted to raise the child.

 

When Anna mentioned that she did not want to adopt a child, Shaun did not discuss the topic with her for a few years. He showed Anna an adoption video, and she changed her mind. Shaun reassured Anna that adoption was not about being a perfect parent. It was about participating in the children’s lives.

 

Anna eventually agreed to adopting the children. The Lokeys were already parents to three children, and they decided to adopt three more. Anna once thought that it would be a burden to take care of someone else’s child. She now considers it a privilege.

 

The Lokeys’ children were adopted from China. More Chinese children are adopted in America than any other country in the world. One of the reasons that the Lokey decided to adopt children from China is because the adoption process was straight forward and easy. The adoption costed anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000. Most of the expenses were related to travel.

 

Shaun encourages parents who are interested in adopting children should look into different programs. Lily was the first child that the couple adopted. She was adopted in 2010 when she was two-years-old. Judah was the second child. He was adopted in 2012 when he was six-years-old. Milo was adopted in 2014 when he was three-years-old.

 

Anna and Shaun have had their share of challenges with the children. The language and culture barriers were just two of the many challenges the couple faced. However, they have managed to adapt.