Disturbing look at the practice known as “re-homing” adopted children

This Reuters article discusses what happens to children who are “re-homed” by parents who no longer want to parent them.  Children are not objects to be discarded when adults find they cannot or are unwilling to parent them!

I find this article disturbing on so many levels and I beseech anyone who is considering becoming a parent to really and I mean REALLY think about parenting in its entirety.  Think not just about the wants and the haves, the things we see on the glossy pages of a magazine or in the 30-minute sitcom, instead think about the possibility of being the parent of a child with severe mental health and/or medical needs.  Think about parenting in terms of the worst case scenario and whether you are TRULY ready and able to parent a child through that.

I urge you to be honest with yourself, don’t just say, “we can handle anything and we’ll love our child no matter what”.  Think about having a child who needs 24-hour care, or a child who throws chairs and destroys everything in your home, think about a child you can’t take into public because they can’t tolerate crowds or e noise, a child who cries 13-16 hours a day, a child who must be hospitalized, think about….If you can say “yes” to all of that, then you are ready to be a parent.

Parenting is not about doing it when it is convenient or when you are in the “mood”.  Parenting is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week  job.  Children are inconvenient, they get sick at the worst times, they have nightmares when we have a big presentation the next day, they have tantrums in the middle of the grocery store, they swear and throw hymnals in the middle of church-they are on their schedule not ours. But once we agree to be their parents, whether through birth, adoption or foster care, we are their parents for the long-haul we don’t get to “re-home” them or discard them like an old pair of shoes.

I know and understand the reality that some children may not be able to safely stay in the home but it is NOT an option to “re-home” them to someone you find on the Internet.  I am also not naïve and know the system does not do a good job of helping those families who are in dire need.  However, these are precious children who in many cases have already experienced a hell here on earth.  They are entrusted into our care and deserve to be treated better than yesterday’s garbage.

As parents we often face the most difficult choices imaginable but once you make the choice to be a parent it is your duty, your responsibility.  If you find yourself in a situation in which you are unable to parent a child who has been placed in your care, you cannot give them away but must fight to find a placewhere they can be cared for and get the services they need.

For:  There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”  ~Nelson Mandela

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