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BS: I don't know what to say

Bert 08 Mar 00 - 11:31 AM
JamesJim 08 Mar 00 - 11:42 AM
fulurum 08 Mar 00 - 12:18 PM
catspaw49 08 Mar 00 - 12:32 PM
paddymac 08 Mar 00 - 01:02 PM
rangeroger 08 Mar 00 - 01:10 PM
Liz the Squeak 08 Mar 00 - 03:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Mar 00 - 03:31 PM
Sorcha 08 Mar 00 - 05:13 PM
wysiwyg 08 Mar 00 - 08:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Mar 00 - 08:10 PM
Bugsy 08 Mar 00 - 08:15 PM
Sorcha 08 Mar 00 - 08:18 PM
wysiwyg 08 Mar 00 - 08:23 PM
catspaw49 08 Mar 00 - 09:52 PM
paddymac 08 Mar 00 - 10:19 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 08 Mar 00 - 10:43 PM
Gary T 08 Mar 00 - 10:47 PM
catspaw49 08 Mar 00 - 10:50 PM
Troll 08 Mar 00 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,The Beanster 08 Mar 00 - 11:55 PM
Escamillo 08 Mar 00 - 11:57 PM
Sorcha 09 Mar 00 - 12:20 AM
BlueJay 09 Mar 00 - 03:45 AM
GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere) 09 Mar 00 - 07:41 AM
Mbo 09 Mar 00 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,Neil Lowe 09 Mar 00 - 09:35 AM
catspaw49 09 Mar 00 - 10:53 AM
Wolfgang 09 Mar 00 - 11:35 AM
catspaw49 09 Mar 00 - 12:10 PM
catspaw49 09 Mar 00 - 01:39 PM
Bert 09 Mar 00 - 01:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Mar 00 - 02:11 PM
catspaw49 09 Mar 00 - 05:49 PM
Osmium 09 Mar 00 - 06:39 PM
wysiwyg 09 Mar 00 - 07:03 PM
GUEST,The Beanster 09 Mar 00 - 08:03 PM
catspaw49 09 Mar 00 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,The Beanster 09 Mar 00 - 09:54 PM
Amos 09 Mar 00 - 10:04 PM
katlaughing 10 Mar 00 - 12:53 AM
Wolfgang 10 Mar 00 - 09:23 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Mar 00 - 05:07 PM
katlaughing 10 Mar 00 - 05:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Mar 00 - 06:14 PM
katlaughing 10 Mar 00 - 06:37 PM
JedMarum 10 Mar 00 - 06:45 PM
Osmium 10 Mar 00 - 06:59 PM
Sorcha 10 Mar 00 - 07:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Mar 00 - 07:15 PM

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Subject: I don't know what to say
From: Bert
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 11:31 AM

about this I'm speechless.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/et?ac=002427524251977&rtmo=aTX4u9hJ&atmo=tttttttd&pg=/et/00/3/8/wbab08.html


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: JamesJim
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 11:42 AM

Good thought!


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: fulurum
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 12:18 PM

that about sums it up


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 12:32 PM

Yeah....better than a lot of the threads we've been running lately.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: paddymac
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 01:02 PM

Hmmm!


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: rangeroger
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 01:10 PM

Aha,just as I suspected.


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 03:15 PM

The word for today is:

Theodolite!

Now try and fit that into a conversation when you don't know what to say!!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 03:31 PM

This light is ok, but theodolite isn't working the way it should.


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: Sorcha
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 05:13 PM

"Where's the light?"
"Right here"
No,theodolite"
Just spit it out, Bert. And let's be sure it's the TRUTH!


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 08:04 PM

It's here in US, too, see US News or Newsweek of last few weeks, can't recall which, or which week.


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 08:10 PM

Now something's happened to reinstate the link, we can see what it was Bert was speechless about. I'd just taken it as a crafty way to start a daft thread about incoherence.

The idea of the baby bank is disconcerting - but babies do get left on doorsteps and bus shelters by mothers who can't see any way they can manage to look after them. Far better if they can be left somewhere safe. Far better for the baby - and for the mother, whatever she ultimately decides to do.

I am very puzzled by why anyone would think it's not a good idea, and yet I know that there has been sonme sharp criticism - if the idea is that this might make it easier for a mother to abandon her child, that's an appalling way of thinking. It's in effect saying that society should use the risk of a child dying of cold on a doorstep as a way of putting pressure on the mother to keep looking after it.


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: Bugsy
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 08:15 PM

I was going to say "What is the world coming to." but I see we are already there.

God save us from uncaring parents.

Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: Sorcha
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 08:18 PM

I think it is somewhere in Texas, that a woman has started a program to prevent dead babies in dumpsters,etc. as an alternative to abortion. Well, abortion has it's up side,(ask me!), but dead babies are definitely a DOWNER!


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 08:23 PM

One of many slippery slopes, eh?

I see so many stories now on the news that are about the normalization of EXACTLY what the ethicists of 10 years before SWORE we fine humans would never allow to happen. These stories then go on to include today's ethicist SWEARING that the next dire possible development can't POSSIBLY happen...

And yet we have the obverse-- remember the way recyclers were sure NO ONE would ever "get" recycling, and now it is widely taken for granted?

A society evolves, and we can only even-dimly see the part we are in at each given moment. That's where value judgments have to be made, IMHO. In the RIGHT NOW.

So which things are OK to allow/assist to evolve, and which not??? I guess we can agree to disagree on Who or what made the rules, but wouldn't you agree that we are in charge of what we decide to do, allow, and support?

Our human tendency is to follow the energy being allocated to our own natural knee-jerk reaction, and start the kicking contest in our rush to understand what we are too small to understand.

As an alternative to making this another thread with yelling at each other in it (I am not saying this one means to or necessarily does have that effect!!!), I propose we take that thought with us as we look around ourselves for the nest few days, and come back to me with what we think about the spcifics of what we see.....


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 09:52 PM

As a foster parent of over 30 kids, I got a few comments, but another diatribe won't change the world.

Almost every child we have had in care suffered from something that only within the past ten years have we recognized, and yet it accounts for the behaviors and problems associated with many children and virtually all those in alternate placement. Now I hate tags as much as the next guy, and I really hate the "syndrome" thing......but folks, this one is real, documented, proven, and epidemic. Its called "Attachment Disorder." When a child, especially as an infant, does not get the response needed to his demands for basic needs, he looks elsewhere. Given a prolonged period of inattention, the infant develops the ability to get what he needs from himself. Sound nuts? Its not. The behaviors manifested later in the child's life have little to do with being stand-offish as you might expect. Indeed, as youngsters of 4-12 they are the most adorable, huggy, lovey, smiling, friendly, outgoing, and seemingly sweet children you would ever want to meet......right up to the point they kill your dog, beat up an infant, or set fire to your house.

If almost all of the kids we've had in care had been placed for immediate adoption (...and the adoptive process wasn't an expensive and hoop dancing contest for prospective parents...that's another story) they would ALL have been better off, including my son Michael. He exhibits certain signs, even though he came to us at 9 months of age. For him, its more a failure to thrive situation and it has delayed him in school although he's socially and artistically greatly beyond other kids his age.

Lot of things need to change folks....but in the meantime, what do we do with the kids?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: paddymac
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 10:19 PM

Want 'em and love 'em, or don't have 'em.


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 10:43 PM

Aye Spaw you are a decent fellah... too many people are abandoning babies and any way we can provide an alternative way of saving them, then I for one support it. Lamentable though it may be, if it saves a life that has to be valuable. The sanctity of life must be preserved; but I also say that it is too easy to create it, and not follow through with the responsibility of nurturing it. Sad Sad Sad Human condition. Yours,Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: Gary T
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 10:47 PM

So they keep the babies for three months, in the hopes that some mothers might change their minds and reclaim their children. But the drop-off is such that the mothers are unfilmed and unidentified--how will anyone know whose kid is whose?


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 10:50 PM

Crude as this may sound Gary, I imagine they have a claim check system of some sort.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: Troll
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 11:26 PM

I had a whole diatribe ready to post but I realized that Spaw said it all.

What DO we do with these kids?

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: GUEST,The Beanster
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 11:55 PM

Spaw did say it all. We do need to find a way to rescue kids from moms who don't want them or can't take care of them. Kids who are neglected and/or mistreated especially between 0-3 yrs are at enormous risk for becoming conduct disordered teens and antisocial adults. Since these babies have experienced the world (a world, for them, from which there is no escape) as hostile and unsafe at such an early age, they cannot form an attachment to their caregiver (usually, Mom--who's supposed to provide love, safety, etc.) and therefore, that attachment is never globalized to other people, animals, etc.--or even themselves. Since their world view is one of misery and mistrust and they feel victimized and misunderstood, they tend to make the first strike and can become predators.

I always feel terribly sorry for well-meaning folks who are dying to be parents, so they take a trip to the former Soviet Union (or wherever) adopt a baby they know nothing about, or a toddler who is already showing signs of behavioral problems and they think that all the child needs is enough love and he/she will be alright. Attachment Disorder does not go away. Most often, the damage is done and cannot be undone.

This idea the Germans have sounds alarming at first, but this is such a horrific situation with all these babies either neglected, abused or left to die. If they find that this will save kids' lives, more power to them.


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: Escamillo
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 11:57 PM

Namibian Rhynoceros are being moved to Australia or being mutilated to save them from illegal hunters. Baby gorillas are being taken from their habitat to save them from starvation. Baby trees in the far south of Argentina are being saved from forest exploiting companies. Hungarian and German (or immigrant ??) babies are being saved by easing their separation from their mothers. All the same.
Why don't they enlarge that hatch and put a large sign: "GET HERE YOU AND YOUR BABY - WE WILL HELP YOU BOTH" ?? No, that's too revolutionary - and too expensive, it would cost almost the same as a war aircraft.
ajjjj... - Andrés


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: Sorcha
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 12:20 AM

Crying again, for all the unwanted, lost children of what ever species........ref: Attachment Disorder--yes, I am absolutely sure this exists; was it the Catholic Church that said, "Give me a child until he is five, and then he is mine?" And, "THEY" won't let us be foster parents because we do not have a private bedroom and bath........


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: BlueJay
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 03:45 AM

Spaw, you nailed it. It seems like almost DAILY we see in the newspapers of babies being found dead or abandoned in the grocery store. I can't imagine the dire straits which lead to this, especially when the support system DOES exist. I know from personal experience that a little bit of counselling at this critical time goes a long way. If not to keep parents/child together as a famli;y, then that there are good alternatives. Spaw, you obviously know much more than I about the foster care system. But I'd rather see ANY baby, bonding with ANY caring adult from birth, than abandoned. How fortunate are those of us living in affluent societies. I just saw tonight on NIGHTLINE, about Zimbabwe, where a hellish percentage of young parents are dying of AIDS, and one quarter of the children are also infected. In many cases, the only ones left to care for these children are the GRANDPARENTS, as they are the only generation pretty much unaffected by the disease. We must be able to do more in our affluent society. Shed a tear, say a prayer. Watch NIGHTLINE tomorrow night for more on this subject.


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere)
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 07:41 AM

I saw this, astonished, but it isn't new, or "what are we coming to?" In ancient Athens, there was a place where babies could be left, and any couple wanting one could pick one up. (The problems there could be appalling.) And in medieval Europe, some convents had sort of swing hatches where babies could be put. It has to be better than abandoning them on golf courses or in hedges. Better still to have the society where the problem isn't a problem, but meanwhile, it helps the few - only two last year, apparently, in Hamburg.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: Mbo
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 08:18 AM

This is classic line from Treebeard in Tolkien's The Two Towers!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: GUEST,Neil Lowe
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 09:35 AM

With time as the constant, the human/e factor in any social equation is subject to diminuition. Designer babies; Baby-Mart; Babies 'R Us; Dollar Bill's Used Baby Lot (As Is...No Warranty)...


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 10:53 AM

Outside of the problems which exist and are now beyond my scope to cure, what do we do? The situation in Zimbabwe is not unique, except to cause. Every country has unwanted children, but we will never solve the problems of ethics/social values that are the root cause of abandoned kids. While we debate moral values and try to cure the physical or emotional diseases at the heart of the problem, more children are born.....children that cannot, for whatever reason, cannot be reared by their biological parents.

One of many issues that can be addressed and improved for the betterment of these kids is adoption. In the United States the current adoption laws require that prospective parents are either loaded with cash or willing to bare their souls and dance through hoops. If you go into private adoption, be prepared to spend BIG bucks whether you adopt locally or opt for foreign adoption. This is frighteningly analogous to slavery. If you decide to go through a state/county agency, you will be investigated and put through a process that is quite unbelievable. I certainly believe in some investigation and training for adoptive parents, but wouldn't it be great if BIOLOGICAL parents had to go through the same? But that smacks of "Big Brother" doesn't it? Never happen.

Any experienced adoptive caseworker will tell you that beyond a criminal background check and a few classes, anything else is a waste of time and that its a crapshoot anyway. Its true. So why not relax the current laws and make adoption easier? Well, there are a lot of reasons given, but none are worthy of discussion. Do away with monetary consideration associated with private adoption. Set up a central agency to do "relevant" case studies and background checks and get on with it.

This applies to the adoption of older children as well, although the need to adopt older kids would diminish with easier and less restrictive laws. Right now there are tons of older kids available, and in those cases, I would however, support the need for ongoing training, follow-up, and other things for the family. Because you were a successful bio parent will not, repeat, will not, make you a successful adoptive parent. But again, the process required to adopt older kids is not an easy one and could be modified.

The problem of Special Needs infants is also significant and needs to be addressed. Some bio parents are not able to care for medically fragile or babies with potential/certain mental problems.

I could do 10,000 words easy on this. I could do another 10,000 on shooting down the expectations of those wishing to adopt, because frankly, there are a lot of people go into adoption believing that love will conquer all. It won't. But we do need to change the laws (I'm trying) to make the process easier and to place more children at an earlier age.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: Wolfgang
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 11:35 AM

I happen to have the ability to read the original sources:
-"Social workers will look after the babies for up to three months" - fact: after initial medical care the children come immediately into a foster family, but the final adoption doesn't happen before eight weeks.
- "At least 30 deaths were reported last year, while about 100 were saved after being found in time." original: "There are about thirty foundlings per year in Germany, half of them are found dead."
What the article does not say: The hatch is the last resort and not the prefered method. The main idea to help is a 24 hour free hotline with the offer to help both mother and child, if she prefers that or to give the child away for quick adoption. In that case the mother chooses whether she wants to remain anonymous (even in this case, the usual way of 'handing over' is not the hatch but the offer to come to any place the mother names and to collect the child from woman to woman but with the promise not to ask questions) or whether she wants to be in contact with the foster family. If the mother has given her child away anonymously (via hatch or from woman to woman) she has the option to call a free number to contact the helpers later if she is about to change her mind within 8 weeks.
The hotline telephone part of the scheme has already been introduced in one other German town and finds a lot of positive interest in other towns. I haven't read anything about the hatch part being introduced any other place.
Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 12:10 PM

Thanks Wolfgang. I'm glad to see the hotline in place. Moving the children to an immediate family environment is heartening too. Spaw don't like NOTHIN' that smacks of orphanage (read: leper colony).

The absolute best experience we have had as foster parents came from an infant. Her name was Miranda and she came to us one night from the ER where the doctors had called Children's Services. Her mother was phsically ill, but that was only worsened by her mental attitude. She was a nice young woman who had had more than her share of emotional trauma in a VERY short period of time. Miranda was only 30 days old, but since her birth her Mom had been abandoned by the father, lost her job (pre-birth law), lost her apartment, had no vehicle, hubby took the money and left the bills, etc. Plus...now she had the flu and was in hysterics at the ER screaming she did not want her child.

We took Miranda and the agency and ourselves got involved in Mom's life. Miranda attached herself to me for some reason.....and I certainly attached myself to her. I even found myself, quite ashamedly I can admit, wanting to keep her. Karen and I both knew our job did not involve that, but she was a very special liitle girl. And so was her mother. She took what was offered and put it to use, working hard to get her life back on track and maitaining a close relationship with her daughter (and us). This all happened about 2 weeks before a Thanksgiving and by that Christmas, Miranda was able to go home with her Mom. It was the best present we could have received. Over the next year, we were able to see the progress and the watch the growth of them both and it was a great example of how things can work. They have moved on now, remarried and out of state, but we still get the occasional card and picture which gives a few moments of smiles and tears to Karen and I. Sometimes things work. Pretty little 5 year old now...with a great smile.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 01:39 PM

Wolfgang....I'd appreciate any other information you might run across on this situation. E-mail me if you like, my addy is in Mudcat Resources.

Thanks,

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: Bert
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 01:51 PM

Wolfgang, Thanks for 'The rest of the story' it makes much more sense now.

I hate to have to say this about you Spaw, you old fart, but we need more folks out there like you .

Personally I can't imagine a family situation where a young girl wouldn't feel loved enough to bring her baby home. I know our daughter discussed a similar local case with us and she knew that 'whatever' we would still love her AND any such baby, should she be caught in that situation. Not that 'she' would ever consider giving a baby away, she collected every abandoned animal she could get her hands on. We had squirrels, possums, frogs, turtles, snakes, salamanders... you name it, we had to keep them all.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 02:11 PM

As Penny S pointed out, this isn't a new solution. I remember an episode of "Mash" in which this a key plot element was a swing hatch in a Catholic convent in Korea. (As I remember it, there was a half-American, half-Korean orphan baby, and the US authorities, unlike other countries, wouldn't accept any responsibility for such children. So they ended leaving it the hatch for the nuns to take on.)

In the media coverage I've seen there has been a number of people attacking the idea. Given that the hatch is seen as a last resort solution, alongside attempts to make help available to mothers trying to look after their babies in difficult circumstances, and an option for them to meet with someone and hand over the baby personally, criticising the idea seems strange to me.

I suspect it's something to do with people not liking to admit that things are bad enough to require this kind of desperate solution. It's just not nice.

I used to know a great lady who ran a cat sanctuary. She was always having parcels of kittens left on her doorstep or even through her letter box. She got a bit fed up at times, but, as she said, a lot better then someone drowning them. That goes for human babies too.

I was trying to think of any songs about foundlings - the only one I can thing of right off is BASKET OF EGGS. But there have to be more.


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 05:49 PM

Thank you Bert....I assume you mean to produce more methane for the energy crisis and hot air for heating.

A 'Catter sent me a message regarding my statement about orphanages. To explain in brief......No setting outside a family environment can be thought of as healthy. This includes foster care too. We have tried and we are not alone, to make the best possible family atmosphere for our kids, but at its absolute best, foster care can only be an attmempt to put normalcy into an abnormal situation. Kinship care is being used as much as possible and this is better. But the other alternatives, no matter the name, and including the "Foster Villages" now being used in some places amount to no more than leper colonies and can only make the kids stand out more. The very label "foster kid" is bad enough to segregate some of them in tragic ways. One of our early-teen girls was asked to go to a dance at school, but the boy's parents intervened and told him he could not go out with a "foster kid." What a world..............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: Osmium
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 06:39 PM

What a world - Spaw, I have to say that you are striking the right chords for almost everybody herein interested. I have two adopted sons and one "daughter who was adopted" who has recently come back to us. I can only say that so much of what really matters is plain common sense and, I know the "authorities" have a hard job but lets choose people that have a history of getting it right to be our social workers and stop worrying about qualifications and just maybe we could match the needs with events a bit more often.


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 07:03 PM

Who's disagreeing with Spaw, did I miss something?

I come to this thread now to pray.


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: GUEST,The Beanster
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 08:03 PM

Dear Spaw,

I have a question. When you spoke about Miranda, you mentioned that you were able to keep in touch with her. Is that a new development? Or is that determined on a state by state basis or what? Because for many years during my childhood, my mom took in foster kids--maybe 25 or so, all told, and there was one, like your Miranda, who we got when she was just a week old. We named her Vicki and she was with us for almost 2 years. My mom loved her SO much, she wanted to adopt her but like you and your wife, knew that this was not her role. So one day, the social worker came and took Vicki away to be placed with her new adoptive parents. My mom of course, put on a brave face for Vicki but cried and cried and cried after they left. And any contact between our family and Vicki's new family was forbidden. To this day, my mom still keeps track of her birthdays and wonders where she is and how she's doing--and Vicki left about 30 years ago.

So do they now allow you to keep in touch with any foster child after they leave??


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 08:42 PM

Unfortunately, it depends to a great degree upon the agency Beanster. It also depends on the "new" family. Much has changed for the better in foster care and Karen and I have been quite fortunate ourselves in working with an agency that is forward thinking.

In the past few years, the "Foster-to-Adopt" concept has taken off and many people are trained and certified in fostering specifically to become adoptive parents. We developed a 48 hour training program around this and the success rate has been excellent, and especially with older kids. It was not many years ago that a foster parent was the LAST one given the opportunity to adopt. It took some time to convince the "pursestrings" and other bureaucrats that the LESS you moved a child from home to home the better. If the foster family wished to adopt, and permanent custody had been attained, it only made sense to have the foster family adopt the child(ren) if they were interested.

It is sad that changes take so long to accomplish and that some places are still in the stone age. The rules and legalities of becoming a foster parent should be strict, but within reason. Sorcha's comment above regarding their home is an example. I don't know what her home layout is, but most homes are acceptable here if they have room and are clean. The personalities and attitudes of the prospective foster parent are far more important than the number of bathrooms. Some places still look at the physical home first, which to me is unbelievable. Its important, but it isn't the priority. The child is the priority and we have WAY too many foster parents with suitable homes and unsuitable attitudes.

New adoptive parents are often intimidated by the child's previous foster parents. We try hard to ease thise transitions. Anyone adopting through our agency agrees to work with the foster family and when everyone does their job, things go much more smoothly for the child. We have had a lot of teens in recent years, a tough group. Most of them do maintain contact and we get calls on a pretty regular basis. Sometimes the news is good...sometimes not. For some of them, this place, this family, is as near to home as they know. Right now for instance, there is a large, 21 year old lump on one of the sofas across the room from me who was recently discharged and "came home." (Was in care here for three years.) He's been helpful and no trouble at all, but the time is about to come where "Dad" has a talk with the boy about getting on with his life. Gotta' do it........he's one of my sons too.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: GUEST,The Beanster
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 09:54 PM

Spaw,

Thanks so much for the information. I really think it's wonderful that you stay in touch with the kids. I so wish my mom had been able to...broke her little heart. You sound like a terrific Dad (and let's not forget Mrs. Spaw!) and all of "your" children are very lucky to have a Mom and Dad like you two.


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: Amos
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 10:04 PM

'SPaw:

You admirable hunk of lard, I salute you. Saying what needs to be said is hard enough to one teenager. To scads of them from challenging backgrounds is...heroic. It also explains how you got to have such a mouth on you. I...love ya, man! :>)

A


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Mar 00 - 12:53 AM

And that, dear PatSpaw is why we love you so much. Thank you for all that you've posted. Wolfgang, thanks to you, too, for telling us the rest of the story.

Just one comment: I know this has been about the children and what do we do, but no one has gone into the problems of why things have come to be this way. We still have very powerful religious and governmental entities effecting women's choices, all over the world. So, IMO, we will always have the problem of unwanted children, of children having children, until the underlying issues are resolved and I am not sure there is much hope of that.

Sorry for another damper.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: Wolfgang
Date: 10 Mar 00 - 09:23 AM

some bits of follow-up:
first, a link to the homepage of the private organisation supporting the hotline and the hatch. Beware, it is all German, has no own information on it (yet), and many of the links they provide do not work. Howwever, the links to the press articles work and if you can read German ...
the hatch part of the scheme doesn't work yet for several legal problems. 'Abandoning a person in a helpless state' (your proper legal term for that might be different but you should get the idea) is an offence. And helping to do that is an offence as well. Is a child legally 'abandoned in a helpless state' if she is placed in a bed behind a hatch (with a two minute delay alarm) and is the provider of the beds legally a helper in this offence? This is one of the many problems.
a scheme that is supported by both the rather liberal government and the rather conservative catholic church can#t be that bad.
Adoption is usually quite difficult in Germany as well and most difficult if the biological mother does not say 'yes' from the beginning and is perhaps only 'temporarily unable' to bring up the child herself. Nobody would(should) think that a mother who abandons her child immediately after giving birth and changes her mind two weeks later after her depression has lifted should have no right to bring up her child. But cases in which the b. mother changed her mind after 6 months, two years, 5 years have gone to several courts. I'd hate to be judge in these cases (or foster parent), for I don't know where I'd place the limit.
The overall reaction to the hotline is positive, but the overall reaction to the hatch is 'let's wait and see how it works'.
A serious theme it is, however, I'd like to end with a more funny note: The anonymous handing over has first been introduced in Germany in Amberg. Guess how the scheme was called...

...you should have been able to guess: 'Project Moses'.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Mar 00 - 05:07 PM

There probably never can be changes that will ensure that noone ever has a baby that feel they cannot care for. No matter how readily available abortion might become, there are always going to be women who will never choose that solution. I am sure that is so, and I hope it is.

Of course there should be more in the way of help and support for women in that situation but even if it was the best saftety net in tye world, some people would fall through various reasons.

When a mother finds herself with a baby in hert arms she feels she cannot care for, it ought to be possible for her to hand the baby directly over to someone who can care for her or him, without feeling she is going to be put under pressure that she cabnot handle,.

A lot could be done to get rid of some of the things that make leaving that baby on a doorstep seem a better option for some mothers in that situation - but I'm pretty sure that there will always be some mothers who for a variety will not be able to go through with that kind of hand over. The "baby bank" idea is an imperfect option here, for an imperfect world, but better than the alternatives.

And I wish that there could be more people like spaw around to help hold the baby and pick up the pieces, and that the people who shape the laws and organise the systems could listen to them.


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Mar 00 - 05:51 PM

Kevin, abortion should be the last resort. I meant more along the lines of readily available birth control, not just for women, but also putting the impetus on men to be more responsible, too.

It is a long row to hoe, in any case. esp. when you have schools boards in a so-called enlightened Super Power, such as the United States, passing laws which say sex education classes may only teach about abstinence as a form of birth control. Anything else is strictly taboo in some places in Utah.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Mar 00 - 06:14 PM

Well kat, we might possibly find ourselves arguing about abortion, I don't know. But what I think we'd definitely agree with is that there is something evil about people who say they are against abortion, and at the same time promulgate social policies that drive women to see abortion as their only way out.

And I get sickened to see people claiming who support capital punishment claiming to be "pro-life".


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Mar 00 - 06:37 PM

oh, no problem there, Kevin. I am as prochoice as they come. I just meant that I believe women should always have other means of birth control available to them, so that abortion, which is not a pleasant experience, becomes the last option, instead of the only option. I firmly support a woman's right to choose what is best for her body and in fact have marched on Washington DC for women's rights.

And, I agree with you on the capital punishment thing, too. The other one that totally galls me is to drive up beside someone with a "Thanks mom, I was born" bumper sticker and sure enough, there they are, a bunch of little kids and not a one of them with a seatbelt on!

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: JedMarum
Date: 10 Mar 00 - 06:45 PM

So the human race has revived an ancient tradition with a twist; in many times throughout humankind's history we have been forced to leave our newborn offspring to the elements, for what we hope is a quick and relatively harmless death - in order to be free to better provide for the living families we already have. In the instance of this story; rather than practice a ritual infanticde we service the same human need, but save the baby as well. Bravo. I hope saving the baby is the right thing to do.

The sad people faced with such decisions may or may not be in desparate situations of their own making (as the article implies) but at least their offspring need not face the same difficulties - but they may, as Spaw points out, bring new human sadnesses into the world.

I think Spaw's question regarding biological parenting is very well put. Who says everyone with functional reproductive organs should use them?


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: Osmium
Date: 10 Mar 00 - 06:59 PM

And who is going to be so wise that they can separate those who should and those who shouldn't - which God amongst you want's that role?
But I velieve firmly that on this earth, and there are already case histories in columbia and egypt, to prove it, that the most important thing is to empower women to be able to make their own decisions and for tosterone driven religious fanatics to but out of the argument.


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: Sorcha
Date: 10 Mar 00 - 07:00 PM

Yes, to all of the above, but Jed, WHO gets to decide who is not allowed to have babies? And, how are THEY going to do it? Mandantory sterilizaion? Mega taxes? I can't think of a THEY I would trust, nor a way to do it.


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Subject: RE: BS: I don't know what to say
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Mar 00 - 07:15 PM

Well, I think you mistake where I am on this, kat. I'd wish to stand in the same corner as Vin Garbutt on most issues, including Capital Punishment, disability rights, support for the Zapatistas and so forth - and abortion. Not a mix of view that goes down too well in a lot of places, either among "fundamentalists" or "progressives".

Hell of a singer and musician too.


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