There is a growing need for foster parents in Indiana. Many children have been taken from their homes and put in foster care because of the growing substance abuse problem in the state. Department of Child Services has already completed 1,800 adoptions this year. Three years ago, only 1,000 children in Indiana were adopted.
Mary Beth Bonaventura is the Director of the Department of Social Services in Indiana. She stated that there is a great need for foster homes. This is the most children that DCS in Indiana has had in custody at one time. There are currently 23,000 children in foster care in the state.
In many cases, the children stay with their extended family until they are adopted. Children are sometimes able to be reunited with their biological parents. However, this can be a difficult process. It can also be a long process. It is especially important for older children to be in a good home.
Some children who grow in foster care end up struggling with addiction or go to jail. However, many of them are able to become successful adults because they get put with a good family. Mary has a personal story of a child who grew up in foster care. There was a boy who was struggling and fighting with everyone. His life changed for the better after he was placed with the right family.
He graduated from high school with honors. DCS has a program called the Indiana Heart Gallery. This program promotes adoption by sharing photos and success stories of children who have been adopted. This program was created by the Indiana Department of Child Services in 2007.
Prevalence of the Foster Children
According to the recent data from the United States Children’s Bureau www.chidwelfare.gov , there are approximately 380,000 children in foster care in the United States. These children are either abandoned or abused by their family members. As a result, it becomes difficult for them to continue living with their relatives.
The affected children are both male and female. However, there exists a slight bias towards the male. These children experience emotional distress due to the difficulties they encounter in life. The problems are worsened by the fact that majority of the children are still young (averagely 8 years)
Reforms to Encourage Adoption of Foster Children
Recently, the Australian authorities have adopted a method aimed at encouraging the parents to adopt foster children. The reforms advocate for rewarding of the parents that adopt these children www.humanservices.gov.au . The government has set aside $90 million to fund the reforms over four years.
Those parents that adopt young children of up to four years will receive a fortnight allowance of $488. On the other hand, the parents who adopt teenagers will receive a relatively higher allowance of up to $738 every fortnight.
Benefits of the Reforms
These efforts are meant to encourage parents to adopt the foster children regardless of their economic status. Traditionally, the adoption was seen as a preserve of the rich in the society. This was primarily due to the cost implications that come along with adopting a child.
The Role to Be Played By Both Parties
The parent (s) of the adopted child is expected to provide love and care to the children. They are also obliged to offering the basic needs to the children. Additionally, they should ensure that the child is well educated. This would go a long way in ensuring both mental and physical stability. The child is expected to get all the required social amenities from the parent.
On June 30, 2017, Carson Peterson became the adopted child of Tex and Rene Peterson after more than thirteen years in foster care, says Nicole Pelletiere (18-year-old who spent nearly 13 years in foster care adopted into forever home). Why was it so hard for Cardon to get adopted? With 68,000 children in foster care, it is a miracle he was found by the right family. Not only are there so many children in foster care, they are not all listed on the California foster care system’s website, California Kid Connection/]. For every child that is listed, there are at least 95 children that are not put up on the site, lowering their chances of ever finding their forever home. How would the Petersons even found Carson if he wasn’t listed? They would have had to be major advocates and have made phone call after phone call to find an unlisted child. One of the other big problems is the way the foster care system works in California. According to Jeff Catz of the Huffington Post, “California is one of about ten states that have a state-supervised and county-administered approach to foster care” (California adoption – Why Is It So Hard to Adopt from Foster Care?). This approach means that each county is a system within the statewide system and inter-county adoptions are rare and hard to process. Between the massive number of children in the the foster care system, the large number of those children not listed on California Kid Connection, and the bubbles that counties have become within the state, it is no wonder it took thirteen years for Carson to finally find a permanent, loving home.
It has been a very long and difficult road for Carson Petersen. The 18-year-old has been in and out of the foster care system since his mother killed herself when he was only three. He was briefly taken care of by his biological father. However, that did not go well and Carson wound up back in foster care again. Carson admits that he started to lose hope of ever belonging to a family like most people. However, his dream finally came true when he was officially adopted by Renee and Tex Petersen. The adoption was made official at the Fresno County Superior Court on June 30th. Carson is currently a senior in high school.
Carson has actually been a part of the Petersen’s family since 2014. However, Carson asked his foster parents to officially adopt him late last year. They knew how much such a gesture would mean to Carson. The Petersens have a biological son, Hunter, who is 18 as well. They also have a young son and daughter who are both adopted. Carson hopes that his story can be an inspiration to kids who still find themselves in the foster care system after many years. He believes that it is very important to never give up hope.
Carson does not have any plans for his immediate future. He is not sure if he wants to attend college. He just wants to focus on spending time with his family right now. The family has a vacation to Europe planned for later this year. Carson has never been able to travel outside of the United States. Needless to say, he is very excited about this new adventure in his life. Carson did admit that he wants to learn a foreign language because he is interested in other cultures.
Many children struggle to find a stable set of parents in the foster care system. Most parents who are interested in adopting want a very young child. This makes it very difficult for children over the age of eight to get people to be interested in adopting them. This often causes them to languish in the foster care system for many years. Studies have shown that children who spend a large portion of their childhood in a foster home often commit crimes and do poorly in school. Fortunately, Carson did not fall into either of those categories. He is a great student.
Many step parents, foster parents and wonderful individuals step up to become true parents to children. Being a parent is not something that everyone can do, if it were then foster care wouldn’t be over filled with children in need of loving families. Recently one ten year old California boy understood exactly what a real father was. When Kalani Watson asked his mother how he could make his last name the same as hers and his step dads she explained the entire process to him. Kalani loves his step dad Brandon Williamson and decided to ask him to officially adopt him. During his birthday party Kalani read a note that he wrote and Brandon agreed to begin the adoption process. It will take some time but it will create the sense of family that Kalani is seeking.
In a simliar incident, foster mom Milli Holloman made a decision to start the adoption process of her foster child Vera Wren. She knew that she was missing something from her life and that she needed to be Vera’s mom. While Milli didn’t intent to gain any publicity for her adoption she hopes that her viral photo shoot inspires more people to open their homes and hearts to becoming foster parents. One the adoption was completed, Milli decided to incorporate a photo shoot for her friends and family. She is a photographer and wanted each person who had a part in the adoption process to hold up a sign stating what their part in the process was. A judge held a sign that read “Today I Saw A Happy Ending” and her nieces and nephews held a sign that said “Today We Have Another Cousin”. Adoption and fostering can change the lives of children seeking stability and love.
In a recent article on the Huffington Post, an Indian-American mother shares her story of adopting two white girls. She and her husband decided to adopt the twins after fertility problems, later giving birth to a biological child as well. The author says she loves all her children equally.
Though she tries not to make race and culture an everyday serious discussion, the author says it creeps into life often. From sending lunch boxes full of traditional Indian foods to school with her kids to actively seeking out a diverse group of friends, parts of life that other moms barely think about are always on her mind. Though she admits it would make her and her children’s lives easier to just pack a lunch like all the other kids eat, this mother makes an effort to immerse all of her kids in their culture.
Despite her efforts, the author always experiences racial awareness whenever she takes her children out in public. Whether they mean to be insensitive or not, people ask her questions that make her heart sink. From “What are they?” to “Are you their nanny?” to “Where are their parents?”, questions from strangers make this mom feel awkward and scared for her twins’ future.
Though it comes with daily struggles and hardships, the author says she is happy about her family’s unique traditions. The combination of Indian and American customs are what makes her family one of a kind. She also notes that growing up Indian-American as white girls gives her kids a unique outlook on life. From knowing how to cook traditional dishes and speaking Tamil to forcing people to feel sheepish for making assumptions about them based on their names, these girls have a bright future.
Hill Harper always wanted to be a father, but he always envisioned himself doing it the traditional way. He thought that he was going to get married before he started his family. He did not plan on becoming a single father, but he is happy to be a new father.
Hill recently adopted an 18-month old boy named Pierce. He stated that adopting Pierce was the best decision he made in his life. He believes that fate brought him and Pierce together.
Hill began thinking about adoption in Spring 2015. At first, he did not think that he was ready. However, a close friend told Hill that he would make a great parent. Hill contacted an attorney who told him about the process of adoption. The attorney told him that there was a woman who was getting ready to get give birth and was looking for someone to adopt her child.
Pierce was born in December 2015. Hill was there when the baby was born. He also cut the umbilical cord. Hill admitted that he was afraid to adopt the baby at first. He knew that his life was going to change forever. However, the fears that he had are small compared to the joy that he has gained.
Even though Hill is a single father, he has a lot of help. His mother and other close relatives are helping him. He is also getting help from his girlfriend.
There were a lot of things that Hill did not do before he became a parent. The first time he changed a diaper was 18 months ago. However, he is slowly getting the hang of parenting. He is cherishing every moment that he spends with his son.
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.
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.
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.