5 May, 2006
The resentment of foster parents and adoptive parents
By Marianne Haslev Skånland (Skanland)
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This article was posted by Marianne Haslev Skånland to the Join-Hands discussion forum on February 6, 2001. (The web address (http://www.join-hands.com/
) later seems to have been taken over by people with an agenda very different from protecting families from destruction by the CPS.) The article is very slightly revised for in 2006.
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I am depressed at the moral condemnation dished out by many foster parents, against real parents whose tragedy is that their children have been abducted, and against foster children who are clearly unhappy in their foster-jails and come out in revolt against those who keep them away from their real family and from a meaningful life.
One example of this attitude is a "Foster mom in Canada" who started a debate on the Deja site in December 2000 but has apparently not liked the criticism she has encountered and has withdrawn, after slinging some contempt on Neal Feldman, whose postings are knowledgeable and to the point.
Although she is no longer in the debate, I have some thoughts about the contents of this foster mother's letters and many other similar postings on several web-sites.
Such letters as those mentioned above express, in a rather open way, what so many foster and adoptive parents seem to think and feel: that anybody who questions or opposes their intention of doing good to what they think are unwanted or abused children by taking them away from their family – are unworthy, sick, criminal, contemptible rascals.
Yet the foster mother in Canada is not at pains to hide her own brutal and fairly uncivilised resentment; it seems rather uncontained. She verbally attacks parents as well as their children who have been under her care, and shows clearly one part of the reason why it is that foster care is a tragedy to our societies.
Her letter speaks about "natural parents" having a chip on their shoulder. Did the Jews and the gipsies and homosexuals and oppositionals put into concentration camps by the Nazis have chips on their shoulders also? Many ordinary Germans despised, resented and hated them too and believed that Hitler & co provided them with camps in order to "teach them to work properly and not harm decent society".
It is necessary to realise that for parents to have their children taken away and to be powerless to help their children against the CPS, the courts, and foster parents, is probably an even worse torture than being in a prison or a concentration camp oneself.
I also do not need to remind Americans of the way many whites explained away whatever they did to their black slaves through attitudes of "In reality they are better off in our care", "Well, they don't have family feelings the way we do"; "They are nasty – uncivilised – ungrateful – ". We should probably all re-read "Uncle Tom's Cabin" – at lot of the descriptions there are not about physical abuse of blacks but about the way husband and wife, mother and child, are traded away in different directions. When you are not free, your overlords cease to see you as a living, suffering being.
And just in case you think I put myself on my high horse above Americans: No, we have a long history of atrocities in our welfare states in the Nordic countries too, and it still goes on. Read, for example, the book Eugenics and the Welfare State - Sterilization Policy in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland, edited by Broberg and Roll Hansen, about the forced sterilisations of gipsies, oppositionals, retarded people (a labelling quite often unfounded, even) – all those whom our social engineers wanted to stamp out when building the perfect society. We have never been one inch more humane or freedom-loving than other nations, and I blush with shame each time Norway loudly tells everyone else (preferably far away) to model their practice of human rights on ours.
So people who hold other people's children should be careful about looking down on parents and their confiscated children – the road is a short one from a condemning attitude towards people one does not like, to doing very real harm.
There are no parents but natural parents – everything else is social engineering which tries to work without the help of nature and very often in conflict with nature. It is rather ironic: Most of us, not least feminist social workers, are against forced marriages. We are healthily reserved about planned marriages too, among other things because the dividing line between a planned and a forced marriage is pretty thin. But then people in the fostering and adoption business seem to be for planned and even forced families of parents and children!
The above-mentioned foster mother claims that nobody comes to the attention of the CPS without good reason. I hear this self-satisfied folk-wisdom from the general public here too. They evidently believe they are great detectives, deep logicians. But yes, families do come to the attention of the CPS for no legitimate reason. And even in those cases where there is a reason, the actions of the social services are harmful and destructive to the children as well as to their parents.
A regular feature in a foster "career" is that when a foster child is allowed a rare meeting with its family, the child becomes unruly, ill, "difficult" afterwards. Yes, no wonder. They have had a glimpse of paradise when the road back to it is shut. We would all react in a similar way if we were kept from those we love desperately, then were allowed to see them briefly, and could not understand why we could not be reunited with them but were kept forcibly away by someone else. But "love" and "longing" for one's very own are concepts I never seem to find in the argumentation of social workers, their psychologists, or their tools: foster parents and adoptive parents. One must, however, surely be a social worker, a psychologist or a foster parent NOT to understand such very natural reactions in a child.
You should see the statistics of how foster children fare, apparently all over the world. The numbers who flee from foster homes are considerable, over 40 per cent at least. Some escape again and again, in spite of the frightening ordeal it is to be chased by the police and brought back to their jail by force. The majority of adults who have grown up in foster homes tell us that they never felt at home, not even safe, that they never gained a home for life or a real family who loved them no matter what. They can tell us that they have thought about their real family all through the long wasted years, even every day in many cases.
More food for thought: Adoptive children run away too, in spite of the sifting of people who want to adopt and the perfection (according to the social bureaucrats) of their personalities and their homes. Adopteds regularly leave their adoptive home earlier than other children do. This can reasonably be interpreted as a late break-down of the adoption. In the US a few per cent of adoptive parents change their minds - having the child in their home was not so idyllic after all and they bring the child back to the CPS for adoption away again to somebody else. (In comparison, how many real parents consider adopting away their children because the children are difficult to handle or not up to their expectations? I can tell you that it does not run into per cents, it is extremely rare.) In Germany, where adoption is legally speaking an ordinary contract and can be dissolved, over 30% of adoptions seem actually to be dissolved. Such facts are kept confidential; we are not supposed to learn about them.
It seems obvious, from what the resentful person in Canada tells us about how horrible the foster children in her house have been, even setting fire to her home and abusing her and her family, that those foster children have not felt her to be anything like a real parent. They have no love for her, and are not even grateful because she kept them alive when their parents were not allowed to do it. No wonder, since she hates them and their parents so, and since she has acted just like the CPS do and is so entirely without any realisation of how self-servingly she judges other people.
As long as people in the foster care industry have the attitudes that such letters reveal, they do very real harm to children and their parents.