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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cash incentives for adopters?

By Trace A. DeMeyer

That headline "CASH INCENTIVES FOR ADOPTERS" is the kind that keeps me up late.  An adoptee friend sent a story from Louisiana about cash incentives for people to adopt. (Read here: http://www.dcfs.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=newsroom&tmp=detail&articleID=380)
Yes, these ideas are from our good ol' federal government.
The Adoption Incentive Program was created as part of the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, which authorized incentive funds (like bonuses) to states that increased the number of children adopted out of foster care. This plan actually saves the states money, because once a child is adopted, the state no longer pays a monthly check to the foster parents.

The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (quite a fancy name) provided stronger incentives (more money) for states to find children adoptive homes (especially for older children and children with special needs). Let’s call them Special Children for this blog.
Why cash? People who plan to adopt still prefer white babies, as to be expected per adoption propaganda.

Why babies? Adoptive parents are convinced they can mold the baby to their expectations, the earlier the better.

For each SPECIAL child in Louisiana, the incentive awards are $4,000 for each foster child adoption; $4,000 for each special needs child; and $8,000 for each child age nine or older. Some of these things you simply cannot make up. Perhaps this is why the Mormons especially tend to foster and adopt several children at one time. One Dine friend was one of 10 adopted by a Mormon family who also made them work outside the home. 
We are talking serious cash coming each month per foster child - from the state and from the Mormon's own church coffers.
If a person wishes to raise and parent a child, even a Special Child, why would there need to be a cash incentive?

Well, let me see… These are kids who have been in the system a long time, or they are labeled bad kids because they act out their frustrations, or they are damaged goods because of abuse (emotional, physical or sexual) by caregivers and parents. There are horror stories that circulate among adopters that some of the older ones won’t bond.
A parent would have to be bribed with cash to adopt a damaged kid, right? What kind of parent would that person be, really?

In total, HHS awarded more than $32.5 million to Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
These are your tax dollars. 
In a perfect world, if you want to raise and parent a child, you call your Department of Children and Family Services and get trained to be a foster parent. You do not legally adopt but become the child's legal guardian and you preserve contact with the child's first family. In this perfect world, federal dollars are spent to preserve, not separate, children from their families.

All Children are sacred and need our protection. Why aren't we there yet?

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Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

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