Foster Parents: Saving A Child’s Life Isn’t Always Easy
By Diane Ponist
I recently found myself in a battle and learned that someone that was supposed to be on my team, wasn’t. I thought that everything was going great and it was a walk in the park. Then I learned that that someone who was “apparently” on my side is raising issues and pointing the finger in my direction for being at fault. We were supposed to be on the same side on behalf of the child’s safety. I now realize this person is against me for all the wrong reasons.
Our second Foster child, for safety reasons, we will say “Carmen” was placed with us as a respite. He was supposed to be temporary, staying with us for a maximum of 2 weeks. A few weeks went by; he had major issues from the start, melt downs mainly. In only a couple of days in our home, we worked through a lot of those issues. We were seeing that he is an extremely lovable little 2 year old boy.
Once the 2 weeks’ time period came and went, we got a call from the Foster agency. They asked if we were interested in him staying full time, the previous Foster family did not want him back. We agreed and then 3 hours later, we got a return call, asking if we would also adopt him as well. We went from a temporary situation to very permanent within just hours. We were advised his bio parents are 19 years old; they cannot support themselves, let alone Carmen.
As time went on both bio parents were messing up and not doing what was needed to get him back. Everyone told us their rights would be terminated at the next court hearing. Carmen had been in Foster care for 2 years at that point. When the court date finally arrived, we heard after-the-fact, that the bio mom now had unsupervised visits for 6 hours a week. We were puzzled, how could this be the complete opposite of what we were told.
Three more months went by and the next court date approaches. Same thing, bios are not doing anything in the right direction. Carmen was going to be TPR’d(termination of parental rights) this time without a doubt. Both bios were even in legal trouble and had not made efforts to house Carmen. The judge decided unsupervised visits would continue, regardless of all the red flags that had gone up.
Now, since we have stepped in to get to the bottom of this, we learned the truth of why this child is still in the system. The case worker, from our agency, is not a fan of biracial families or same sex couples. Each time the case worker went to court, she just so happened to leave out all the negatives and red flags that had been going on during the visits. What we learned is she would have rather put Carmen in a very unsafe, insecure situation, than being adopted by a same sex couple of a different race/ethnicity than the child.
Thankfully, Carmen has a new case worker. All that matters is his safety…that should have always been the priority. How in this day in age does it matter what you look like, when you are saving someone’s life? Yes we are a same sex Caucasian married couple, with all interracial children. Yes we are covered in tattoos and I have a Mohawk. But what our family also has is more love than anyone can dream of. If we know how to love no matter the color, why does anyone on the outside really care? Too many people are in positions for the wrong reasons and can sadly ruin someone else’s life, based on personal beliefs.
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