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For the sake of the children
December 16, 2011 7:30 AM   Subscribe

In the state of Virginia, it is now legal for licensed adoption agencies and foster facilities to discriminate on the basis of a potential parent's sexual orientation, religion, age, gender, disability, political beliefs, or family status.

Virginia allows married couples and single people to adopt or become foster parents, but bars unmarried couples from doing so. Former Gov. Timothy Kaine’s Democratic administration added an anti-discrimination provision in 2009, but it didn’t become a flashpoint for public debate until this year, when conservative legislators and groups complained.

The board voted 7-2 on April 20 to strip the protections barring adoption agencies from discriminating against prospective parents. The rules were finalized yesterday.

There are 81 private child-placement agencies in Virginia, and 42 of them are faith-based, agency officials said. At least 1,200 children statewide are in foster care.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (60 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Okay, I have seriously always wanted to be able to say this, accurately and in-context:

You assholes. Think of the children!
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:32 AM on December 16, 2011 [46 favorites]


Virginia is for lovers
posted by The Whelk at 7:36 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Can someone please explain to me how this is not super-illegal under federal law? I thought discrimination due to religious bias, gender and disability in particular were pretty widely protected classes. Does it just... not apply in the case of adoption?
posted by WidgetAlley at 7:37 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Virginia is for Ken Cuchinelli Lovers. Ugh.
posted by priested at 7:39 AM on December 16, 2011


Enraging.
posted by prefpara at 7:40 AM on December 16, 2011


So married couples and single people can adopt but unmarried couple regardless of orientation cannot? How would this remotely pass any sort of judicial review?

It seems that religious organizations can be discriminatory but you could say that if you engage in discriminatory behavior then no state funding for your organization for instance.
posted by vuron at 7:42 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, in every single thread on fertility, someone tends to bring out a comment that tends to look something like this:

UGH WHY DO PEOPLE SPEND SO MUCH TIME AND MONEY ON CONCEIVING BABIES WITH TEST TUBES AND SHIT JUST SO THE BABIES LOOK LIKE THEM WHEN IT'S EGOTISTICAL WHEN THERE'S SO MANY ORPHANED CHILDREN IN THIS WORLD THAT NEED PARENTS WHY CAN'T THEY JUST ADOPT?

Well, the answer is that they're not a young, healthy, Christian, straight, white, Conservative Republican couple.
posted by griphus at 7:43 AM on December 16, 2011 [43 favorites]


It's only fair then to remove the rest of 20th and 21st century progress from Virginia too. I hope they weren't too fond of the internet or flush toilets.
posted by Foosnark at 7:44 AM on December 16, 2011 [13 favorites]


The Cooch certainly makes politics entertaining around these parts. The guy is completely out of his tree.
posted by emelenjr at 7:45 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is why I wish Northern Virginia would secede from the rest of the state. We didn't vote for the current VA-Taliban leaders, and we're constantly being embarrassed by them.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:47 AM on December 16, 2011 [17 favorites]


Virginia groups opposed to discriminating against would-be adoptive and foster parents based on factors including sexuality and religion said on Thursday they may sue after a state board's decision.
posted by zarq at 7:47 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


They've already been tacitly doing this for years.

I know a lot of gay couples in the DC area, and none of them have even considered Virginia for adoption. Usually, they have to travel a fairly considerable distance to find a LGBT-friendly adoption agency.

I have another (gay) friend who was asked to be a sperm donor for a female couple that he's very close with. He was ultimately turned away from sperm banks in 4 states (including some with nondiscrimination clauses) as "ineligible," which after a great amount of pushing would lead the clinic to admit "because you're gay." Even after explaining that the couple already knew this, and had known him for 20+ years, none of the clinics would budge.

The sad part is that this guy is squeaky clean. I can't possibly imagine him being "riskier" than the average heterosexual sperm donor, and the 5-month quarantine period for donated sperm should be sufficient to catch a latent/undetectable HIV infection. Eventually, he drove several hours away to another clinic, dodged any questions about his sexuality (with the full consent and knowledge of the two girls he was donating to), and they took his sample.

This reminds me of the time that Virginia accidentally made it effectively illegal to be a single parent when they passed their marriage amendment, thanks to the way that they worded it. Cuccinelli has opted not to interpret the law this way, even though the text of the amendment makes it abundantly clear that any legal benefit of marriage may not be conferred onto anything other than a married heterosexual couple.
posted by schmod at 7:48 AM on December 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Can someone please explain to me how this is not super-illegal under federal law? I thought discrimination due to religious bias, gender and disability in particular were pretty widely protected classes. Does it just... not apply in the case of adoption?

Looks like this was rejecting a rule change, so the action itself can't be any more illegal than the status quo already was.
posted by smackfu at 7:48 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can someone please explain to me how this is not super-illegal under federal law?

Because removing provisions which bar discrimination are not the same thing as inserting provisions which permit it. A couple who feels they have been discriminated against may still have a case under general constitutional principles (state and federal), but they won't be able to rely on a specific state statute.

This is of particular interest, because the state statute seems to have gone far beyond the rather minimal anti-discrimination protections which are in the constitution. For example, discrimination on the basis of age, gender, or sexual orientation are not actually banned by any particular constitutional provision the way discrimination on the basis of race or religion is.

But the short answer is that there's no constitutional problem with removing protections that go beyond those provided by the Constitution.

Which makes the lead-in to this post kind of misleading. Removing a bar on discrimination is not exactly the same thing as authorizing it.
posted by valkyryn at 7:48 AM on December 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


(So I'm not sure where the "it is now legal" wording comes from, either.)
posted by smackfu at 7:49 AM on December 16, 2011


You are welcome in Maryland. However, as we all know, "Maryland is for Haters".
posted by josher71 at 7:49 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Can someone please explain to me how this is not super-illegal under federal law? I thought discrimination due to religious bias, gender and disability in particular were pretty widely protected classes. Does it just... not apply in the case of adoption?

That's right. The Civil Rights Act 1964 applies to things like hotels and restaurants, not private adoption agencies. In fact Florida bans all "homosexual persons" from adopting children, even as individuals.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:49 AM on December 16, 2011


It's only fair then to remove the rest of 20th and 21st century progress from Virginia too. I hope they weren't too fond of the internet or flush toilets.

It's weird the way reactionary atavists will still embrace technology while eschewing social progress. There are a lot of people in my neighborhood that walk or run every morning for exercise, at regular times. Quite often as I drive to work, I see a particular woman out walking, always dressed frum, and always with an iPhone to her ear. It's jarring.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:50 AM on December 16, 2011


MSNBC reports that a lawsuit is brewing. This is kind of exciting, I have never been able to say this before but... I'm going to see if I can work on it. Wow, being a real lawyer is amazing.
posted by prefpara at 7:51 AM on December 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


The Civil Rights Act 1964 applies to things like hotels and restaurants, not private adoption agencies.

And the protected classes are generally race, color, religion, national origin, and sex. Not sexual orientation, at the national level.
posted by smackfu at 7:53 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Johnny Wallflower: "This is why I wish Northern Virginia would secede from the rest of the state. We didn't vote for the current VA-Taliban leaders, and we're constantly being embarrassed by them."

I certainly agree in principle. I'd be totally happy with NoVA, DC, PG County, and some of the surrounding areas forming a new state, but that will never happen. Richmond needs NoVA as its piggy bank.

Also, not all of NoVA voted against the cooch, and the ones who voted against him didn't do so by huge margins. In fact, the inner suburbs were some of the only places where Cuccinelli didn't take a majority. The other dirty little secret is that he's from Fairfax County:
Alexandria		Stephen C. Shannon	65.13%
Arlington County	Stephen C. Shannon	67.58%
Fairfax			Stephen C. Shannon	50.33%
Fairfax County		Stephen C. Shannon	52.27%
Fauquier County		Ken T. Cuccinelli II	67.16%
Falls Church		Stephen C. Shannon	66.78%
Fredericksburg		Stephen C. Shannon	53.83%
Loudoun County		Ken T. Cuccinelli II	58.86%
Manassas		Ken T. Cuccinelli II	60.76%
Manassas Park		Ken T. Cuccinelli II	59.41%
Prince William County	Ken T. Cuccinelli II	56.67%
Stafford County		Ken T. Cuccinelli II	64.88%

posted by schmod at 8:00 AM on December 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's weird the way reactionary atavists will still embrace technology while eschewing social progress.

They want all of the benefits of social and technological progress, without anything of the things that make them feel icky. It's not weird, but it is stupid.
posted by asnider at 8:07 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


To The Whelk^: Virginia is for Lovers Haters.

FTFY.

Virginia is bizarroland. I'm surpised that the proximity of the Mega-Churches to the Dulles Tech Corridor didn't cause Northren Virginia to collapse into a singularity, but somehow Rt. 66 is still out there, intact.

And WTF is going on with the RNC running against Tim Kaine\s record in Virginia, even though he's been out of office for 2 years, driven out by the Tea Partier's Mid-Term referendum?

I'm a provincial, Cosmopolitan D.C. resident, living across the river from the 19th c.

Other than Costco, I've got to loathe it.
posted by vhsiv at 8:10 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Keep on voting for Republicans and no matter what your motivatuion/fears/pretend independence motives might be--this is what you get.
posted by Sparkticus at 8:15 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


vhsiv: "Other than Costco, I've got to loathe it."

We're getting a Costco! It's going to be awful, and a blight upon the neighborhood it's in, but it'll still be better than driving to Virginia.
posted by schmod at 8:15 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, we've banned gay marriage by state constitution and now this. If we're going back to the 1960s, can we also get Jimi Hendrix back?
posted by introp at 8:16 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Of course, since this is 1960s Virginia, we'd be forced to call Jimi a ni@#$&.
posted by introp at 8:17 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Abortion was legal in Virginia in the 1960s, so I'm pretty sure the conservatives want us to go to an even earlier time.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:23 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I know a lovely lovely older straight couple that got married recently-ish because despite being quite well off and perfectly happy living in sin for the past 5 or so years, they couldn't foster children in the state where they live. They haven't received a placement yet, but I will be so jealous of that kid(s) when they arrive. (I've done a small amount of time in fostercare myself, I'm aware that the situations that get one placed into care are nothing to be jealous of. But this is one awesome couple.)
posted by bilabial at 8:24 AM on December 16, 2011


It's going to be awful, and a blight upon the neighborhood it's in, but it'll still be better than driving to Virginia.

This happens to be my neck of the woods. I'm not so sure that the aweful, crime ridden 70's Cabrini Green style housing projects and bombed-out industrial park will be "blighted" by a Costco. Sadly, they will have to clear some ten to twenty year old scrub trees though.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:38 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have the sudden perverse desire to open an adoption agency in Virginia that will discriminate against wannabe parents if they're Christian, heterosexually married, and have politics I think suck.
posted by rtha at 8:41 AM on December 16, 2011 [24 favorites]


It's only fair then to remove the rest of 20th and 21st century progress from Virginia too. I hope they weren't too fond of the internet or flush toilets.

In my experience there is at least a distinct ambivalence about pretty much everything after 1865.
posted by Naberius at 8:47 AM on December 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


As a native, and lifelong, Virginian may I say, unequivocally, Virginian government sucks donkey balls.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:04 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's only fair then to remove the rest of 20th and 21st century progress from Virginia too. I hope they weren't too fond of the internet or flush toilets.

Hey, don't blame us NoVa'rs - it's all those down south assholes in Real Virginia that drag this place through the dirt. I'd almost want the northern tip of VA to be absorbed into MD, if that wouldn't make me a ::shudder:: Marylander.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:10 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Don't forget that Virginia is about to shut all but 2 Planned Parenthoods in the entire state. If you're an uninsured mixed-race, Muslim or bisexual couple that suddenly can't adopt in Virginia...I hope you didn't want low cost prenatal or family planning either.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:11 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think that most people from outside of Virginia don't realize that the state has four or five separate cultural regions that have been gerrymandered back and forth by both sides for over a century. Northern Virginia is not the only 'stronghold of sanity' in the state.

Hampton, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Newport News, Chesterfield and what was once the city of South Norfolk (now parts of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake) are all very deeply blue, but they were basically gerrymandered as sequestration spots for blue (predominantly african american) votes. Addtionally, Charlottesville, Petersburg, Franklin and Emporia - very small cities with either universities, agriculture or declining industry, have significant Democrat and Liberal voting records.

Nationally, Virginia could count as a swing state, but locally it is very hard for a district to change colors (entendre fully intended). The GOP has only just taken back the state Senate, which has emboldened them a bit.

Writing off the whole state as a conservative toilet is a painting it with a bit too-broad of a brush.

And with that said, i'm still deeply ashamed to be from here for what our state continues to do to people who aren't WASPs. It's truly sickening.
posted by Fuka at 9:16 AM on December 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


I have the sudden perverse desire to open an adoption agency in Virginia that will discriminate against wannabe parents if they're Christian, heterosexually married, and have politics I think suck.

Why not?

A lot of the religious adoption agencies exist because birth parents think that they're providing a better life for their child by placing them with adoptive parents who have that faith. This premise may be roughly on par with the general premise that parents have a good idea of what's good for their kids, but that general premise is one we pretty much adopt as a working one as a society, outside of a few exceptions like abuse and required education. I can't see any good reason why it should be disregarded when it comes to birth parent preferences about where the kid goes. Having agencies that distinguish on grounds birth parents care about is one way to do it.

There probably should also be an agency for people who think that religion will mess their child up and want their kids to go to a nice rationalist home, or an open and sex-positive home, and if Virginia generally allows distinction based on sexual orientation, religion, age, gender, disability, political beliefs, or family status, it sounds like that's been blessed, and if rtha or anybody else once to create an agency that serves those needs, I don't see any reason why it shouldn't exist.

The one thing that should be done about this? If an agency exists to serve certain biases, it should be up front about that. If it claims it doesn't, some statistical review is probably in order. Other than that, let the birth parents choose an agency.
posted by namespan at 9:18 AM on December 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


As a proud VA resident (self-link), I have to say: "Dammit, us."
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:24 AM on December 16, 2011


This is why I wish Northern Virginia would secede from the rest of the state. We didn't vote for the current VA-Taliban leaders, and we're constantly being embarrassed by them.

HEY! Way to demonstrate the elitist snobbery the right portrays NOVA as having. If you don't want the mountains, valleys, lakes, and rivers of the rest of the state, then don't let the door hit you on the way out. We didn't vote for McDonnell or Cuccinelli here in Roanoke either.

Tim Kaine is running for Congress, just in case anyone wants to put their money where their internet-rage is.
posted by headnsouth at 9:32 AM on December 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


schmod wrote I know a lot of gay couples in the DC area, and none of them have even considered Virginia for adoption. Usually, they have to travel a fairly considerable distance to find a LGBT-friendly adoption agency.

While I can understand not adopting in Virginia, I have a lot of contacts in the adoption world, and know of several DC agencies that routinely help gay couples (and singles) to adopt. Please drop me a line if you need me to refer anyone.
posted by OmieWise at 9:33 AM on December 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think the idea of founding a private adoption agency that discriminates against Christians, married couples, and Republicans is an awesome one. Crank up the ridiculosity to the max. "Oh, you're both white? Sorry, no can do."
posted by zomg at 9:37 AM on December 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Virginia is hardly alone on their stance here. This is a map showing gay adoption rights by state (from the ACLU - Oct. 2011). This chart is more specific about what is possible in each state (skip past europe). I think the most chilling part of that map is that so many areas are uncertain. You just don't know if you can adopt or if you'll be turned away, hell maybe they'll take your kids away at some point. Not a lot stopping them right now. We need federally recognized gay marriage.
posted by Craig at 9:39 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


HEY! Way to demonstrate the elitist snobbery the right portrays NOVA as having. If you don't want the mountains, valleys, lakes, and rivers of the rest of the state, then don't let the door hit you on the way out. We didn't vote for McDonnell or Cuccinelli here in Roanoke either.

And it won't matter how progressive or qualified the candidate you vote for is either if you lose the NOVA liberals.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:43 AM on December 16, 2011


The Washington Blade article says - or seems to say- that the board rejected for the second time a proposed anti-discrimination statute. So was the anti-discrimination statute already on the books, or was it a proposed change to existing practice? Just want to clarify.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 9:47 AM on December 16, 2011


Blacksburg resident here. For the past few years, my wife and I participated in what was called emergency foster care: 21 day max placement, no stipend. We received placements both through an agency (VEFC*) and directly from MC Social Services. However, a few months ago VEFC informed us that they were pulling out of our area. Not because there's a lack of children who need the service, but because their funding dried up. Social Services has told us they are ending their program as well. So the situation appears to be: fewer funds, fewer agencies, more discrimination. It's nice that everyone has the children's best interests at heart. We have long-term foster care training lined up in 2012, and hopefully our atheism won't be an issue (though the thrust of the discrimination is more 'AAAAH GAYS' than 'AAAAH HEATHENS').


And those who want NOVA to succeed: you guys sure enjoy sending your kids down here to get an education. I'd hate for you guys to have to pay out-of-state tuition just to prove a mistaken point. Montgomery was blue in 2008, and there was lots of outrage when The Cooch said it was against the law for VT to protect gays against discrimination, enough that Governor RegentU had to step in.

*VEFC appears to be quasi-faith-based. Their board and staff have a lot of churchgoers/officials/etc in their ranks, and our training was held in a church during off-hours. They never asked about my atheism, and I never told 'em, so I don't know where they stand in all of this.
posted by whowhom at 9:49 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


...it would help if I could spell secede....
posted by whowhom at 9:51 AM on December 16, 2011


Man, you've really got to hate the gays in order to protect the rights of adoption agencies to discriminate against almost anyone they want.

"We were cool with not discriminating based on religion, age, gender, disability, political beliefs, or family status, but if we have to not discriminate against gays, well, we'd rather just be able to discriminate against everyone."
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:04 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


This will all be sorted out when the Supreme Court invalidates the Defense of Marriage Act, right?
posted by exogenous at 10:08 AM on December 16, 2011


I am a Northern Virginia resident (straight, white, married, Catholic). When my husband and I first started the adoption process, we went to an information session at Catholic Charities, and were totally put off by their judgemental attitudes. We decided to keep looking, and found Adoptions Together, a Maryland-based agency known for its acceptance of ALL families. AT had just opened up a Virginia office because of the increase in interest here; our children were born in Maryland and we finalized in Maryland. We meet up with the wonderfully diverse AT group at their annual gathering, and our kids have always known that families come all sorts of configurations.
posted by candyland at 10:16 AM on December 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


In fact Florida bans all "homosexual persons" from adopting children, even as individuals.

Not anymore--that got struck down last year by their state appeals court, because it was found to be unconstitutional. (Which makes me think that Virginia won't stick, so passing a law blatantly in light of that fact strikes me as just asshole posturing on a grand scale.)

(It was a bit jarring for me to click through to Craig's chart and see Florida on a par with my own dear home state of Connecticut--I'd gotten so used to thinking of them as bigots.)
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:29 AM on December 16, 2011


Yes, AT would be at the top of my list.
posted by OmieWise at 10:37 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm still wondering if the law Virginia passed a few years ago that prohibits the state from recognizing contracts that people make with each other if those contracts resemble marriage benefits has gotten tangled up in the legal system yet. I can't believe that no one has sued, but perhaps it just hasn't been enforced yet, or enforced against someone with enough savvy to know to call the ALCU or one of the gay legal groups to begin the process. If anyone knows, I'd be interested in reading about it.
posted by rtha at 11:03 AM on December 16, 2011


This will all be sorted out when the Supreme Court invalidates the Defense of Marriage Act, right?

Don't be too sure.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:20 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


On a minor note, that should read Commonwealth of Virginia. (from a Native Democratic Virginian)
posted by Atreides at 12:51 PM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I see that once again, as far as the government is concerned. it's Virginia vs. Loving.
posted by mephron at 1:22 PM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


...it would help if I could spell secede....

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' til ya do suck seed!" -- Curly
posted by kirkaracha at 1:50 PM on December 16, 2011


I am a Virginia native/resident, and I hate this nonsense.
posted by 4ster at 4:34 PM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I lived in Richmond (on the outskirts in Chesterfield county). After that ridunkulous law was passed against couples not married having any of the same rights, we encountered the most petty uses of that law. For example, we were told that the law meant we couldn't register for a prize for a cruise. I also had a really bad experience with a doctor in the area. Anyway, when it is such petty stuff there's no way I was gonna go to the ALCA and it just wears you down. I was so relieved to move back to Maryland 5 years ago :/
posted by Librarygeek at 8:03 PM on December 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Former Virginia resident here, born and raised. One board member out of five mentions that she had to vote against this because the science doesn't support that these traits make people bad parents. ONE. And I lived there, and I know some of the schools are not that great, but they *did* teach separation of church and state. I remember it. And the private adoption agencies might not be government agents, but the Virginia Board of Social Services is.

The least surprising thing about this is the anti-gay part. The most surprising how this discriminates against *everybody*. I knew Virgina used to be backwards and homophobic, and I imagine the real intention of this stupid, stupid thing is to discriminate against gay people. But, you can literally use this to discriminate against... everybody.

Take religion, to start. Its not just the Jews and the heathen atheists who get no babies, but you don't go to church enough and it is the wrong church anyway, so no baby for you. As for age, this could pretty flexibly be used against both younger and older potential parents. Gender, well here I would imagine is how you weed out your single fathers. And disability, I believe as someone else here at Metafilter noted, well diabetes is a disability. Minor health condition? How about depression, have you ever sought treatment? Oh, I see one of them handicapped stickers on your car. No kids for you. Political beliefs, I can't even believe that is here. Do they ask to see your voter registration card? As for family status, that is so vague I don't even know what it means, so I imagine that would be used to get rid of anyone left over.

I am so enraged.
posted by santaslittlehelper at 8:04 AM on December 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well on age, disability, single parent status and income...

These are exactly the methods used to encourage women to place to begin with.

"Your child needs a two parent home."
"Your child needs a family environment with money"
"Your child needs a mom and a dad."
"Your child needs people who are older and more mature. You're too young"

And of course any disability in a women with an unplanned pregnancy, or struggling to parent and needing resources to do better, is going to be radically adding to the stigma against her.



Agism, classism, ableism, christian values, celebacy outside of marriage... These are the tenets of adoption advertising and when women and young girls are "counselled" on adoption they'll be treated to a host of studies showing how low income, single, mentally ill, depressed, or emotionally struggling parents turn out unhealthy children and if they REALLY LOVE their children they will... "put the child first" which means voluntarily place the child.

Meanwhile, if you're going to use agism elderly people have obstacles to parenting as well, mentally ill people even medicated can have impairments to parenting, being a single parent can be harder even if you have money, being low income can make it hard to parent.

In general, everyone in society is fine with generating enough stigma against moms in crisis to make them feel unworthy of their children and willing to give them up, but when it gets turned on potential adoptive parents, suddenly it causes unease.

"Well I really like mocking and degrading teen parents, but you're telling I could be judged for wanting to parent in my fifties? You don't know me!"

Tell me about it.

The answer is not that adoption can't have a place when biological parents are physically dangerous to their children, or unwilling to provide or parent their children and nothing can be done about it.

That's exactly what adoption should be for. But the very same stigma used by for profit agencies trying to get babies and children for "good potential adoptive parents" from the "bad unworthy biological mothers" doesnt feel so good when it's turned around does it?

We need to provide better and more empowering services for parents who need help. That includes, instead of judging sets of people as unworthy of parenting--- acknowleding a lot of people are members of demographics that have worse statistical outcomes for children and instead of jumping on these parents with hate and claims of their unworthiness-- finding out what could be done to suppor them better so their children can have better outcomes.
posted by xarnop at 2:22 PM on December 19, 2011


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