Archive for December 2nd, 2007

No matter that I’ve just been burnt to a crisp by a faction of the adoption “community”, I can’t stay away. Having not posted any adoption-related news in days, there is so much catching up to do!

Authorities in Toronto are asking for the return of a 5-year-old girl who has been taken from her legal guardian by her birth parents and has disappeared.

Apparently, the child, removed from parental custody in March, has a medical condition that needs attention and there are concerns that the birth parents will not attend to her needs.

Here’s a strange story out of Kentucky from Fox … is that a redundancy? … about foster parents who lost their license after refusing to give up the part of their religious observance that involves the handling of live rattlesnakes.

You know … I don’t have much of a problem with that, actually, but it’s turning into an issue of rights as the couple sues the agency claiming a violation of their constitutional rights.

Go ahead and wrap a few rattlers if you like, I say, but it better appear on your homestudy!

There’s a spate of stories on efforts to get parents to straighten up and fly right. This one may not be available for long, as I can’t get the link generator to give me one that will last a lifetime, but is worth a read while it’s up.

Titled “Teen Parent Maturing Into the Role”, it is about just that … a fifteen-year-old with a year-old baby doing her best to raise her son and herself at the same time. She has goals and ambition and has a hard road ahead.

I did that myself, and I wish her the best.

From Scotland, we have this look at efforts there aimed at helping young parents kick their drug and alcohol problems.

The issue was blamed for the city council receiving a shocking HMIE report into its services aimed at protecting vulnerable youngsters. Inspectors claimed that the council was too slow and disorganised in the way it removed at-risk children from potentially harmful situations.

Councillor Marilyne MacLaren, the city’s children and families leader, said the service was stretched because of the rising number of referrals of children whose parents had drug and alcohol problems.

The plan is to throw £30,000 (almost $62,000) at the problem in one city, in addition to the £396,000 (more than $814,000) annually spent, focusing on issues of homelessness and establishing a “stable home life” that will “make it easier for them to stay away from drugs and alcohol.”

On somewhat the same topic, an opinion piece out of Boston suggests that a ban on spanking being discussed in Massachusetts these days isn’t the way to go because, “parents need help, not bans.”

I’d say the issue is more that children need help, and banning a swat on the butt from a loving parent does nothing to alleviate the beatings and abuse far too many kids suffer daily. In other words, is everyone missing the point on this?

The government of Japan is about to get into the swing of foster care, hoping that allowing foster parents to care for kids in some numbers will shift the focus from institutions to family environments.

Under the new system, one foster family will be able to take care of five or six children who are not able to live with their parents. Unlike in children’s institutions, where many children are taken care of, the system is expected to provide more individual care and a homelike environment for such children.

According to the ministry, there are about 40,000 children who need homes for such reasons as ailing parents, suffering abuse or being orphaned. About 90 percent of such children live in orphanages or baby homes, while 9 percent of them live with foster parents.

The new opposition leader in Australia has come out in favor of removing discrimination in many areas that relate to gay couples in the country, but will not support gay marriage, adoption or access to fertility services.

“Every Australian, as far as taxation, social security and those things, should be treated equally.”

But he rejected going further, declaring marriage as only between a man and a woman.

“It is the foundation of our society. I do not support gay marriage. I do not support gay adoption. I do not support gay IVF,” he said.

In other words, equal, but not that equal.

A young boy in China spent some time collecting bottles to cash in and donated the money to kids in AIDS villages in Henan.

Good for him, but with no good deed getting by without spin, he was awarded a national award on CCTV (China’s English language television news channel … the terrible propaganda machine we get here every day now.). Not big on subtle in that part of the world.

On the older parent front, this from the Sunday Times in London, a look at what can be the hell of fertility treatments past the age of 40, and the reality of how it works, or doesn’t.

I am put out by the way childless women of my age (41) have started talking breezily about IVF as though it were a procedure not dissimilar to Botox. IVF involves artificially inducing the menopause and then reversing it. It’s hardcore. You don’t just go and have it done in your lunch hour and then forget about it, and from what I observe it puts incredible stress on relationships (and sex lives).

The point seems to be to have your kids earlier. That works, but so does adopting them, even after your eggs have withered.

If you’re worried about getting along with your kids when you’re really old, a new study from Purdue University has found that relationships between parents and kids improve with aging.

“Some children reported pestering their parents more about health issues and being unsure if parents were ignoring them,” Fingerman said. “While we expected that children might feel demanded upon or stressed by their parents’ health declines, most of the participants focused on positive changes, such as trying harder to spend time together or talking more or feeling closer and appreciated.”

That’s good to know.

And finally, those with pre-birth matching might want to try to encourage an expectant mother to eat her greens, and not just for good health. New studies are showing that children born to broccoli-eating women tend to like broccoli, and that counts across the vegetable board.

You can also get a propensity toward veggies going by eating them yourself, then doing the adoptive breastfeeding thing.

If these tactics aren’t possible, you may just have to adjust to the fact that promoting the consuming of the green and leafy will forever be a mission. That’s been my fate, as Sam does not consider the possibility that anything green … other than lime Jell-O and Lifesavers … is food. I think it’s a safe bet that his birth mother didn’t come across many brussels sprouts during her pregnancy, and he does show no aversion at all at the idea of eating fried spiders.

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