Czar For Foster Care

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In my opinion, Governor Bevin of Kentucky has a lot in common with the moron who currently occupies the White House.  I am not a fan.

Governor Bevin has some adopted children, though, and seems to have a wee bit of a bee in his bonnet about adoptions and foster care in Kentucky and thinks it needs to be totally redone.

In that, he and I are in agreement.

The problem is that that’s the only thing we seem to agree about.

For instance, in the article referenced, it states that the average social worker in Kentucky makes a whopping $38,780.  Imagine being a single parent and trying to live on that.

So, to fix everything, Bevin goes out and hires a fucking preacher.  A preacher.

Let that sink in a minute.

He hired a preacher and he’s gonna pay him a quarter of a million dollars to do what, exactly?

The man, Daniel Dumas, graduated from Criswell College and The Master’s Seminary.  I assure you that the “Master” part of The Master’s Seminary is not a reference to a master’s degree.  Those are religious schools that churn out . . . preachers.

After serving as a fucking preacher for a while, he got a job at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Guess what they do at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

They churn out. . . preachers.

And please tell me, please, what in the hell a preacher knows about how to go about making laws and setting up the bureaucracy necessary to successfully and fairly deal with the state’s adoption and foster care system.

Oh.  But there’s this.

He has some adopted kids.

Oh, well, that’s different.

He adopted some kids.

So have a lot of fundigelicals.

So many of them have done it that it’s a bit of a fad.

After Nathan was born, we tried to have another baby, unsuccessfully.  As it turned out, we were very lucky that we even had him at all. After several years of testing and medication (I actually got the shots that sometimes produce multiples after spending several months taking Clomid), we finally gave up. We pulled all the boxes of neatly stored baby clothes, all sized in groups (newborn, 6-9 months, etc), and had a yard sale.

The good news was the birth control became a non-issue, which saved us a bundle.

During that time, we were deeply enmeshed in the Fundy Church From Hell and I felt the pressure.  Nathan “needed” a little brother or sister, and it was our duty to provide him with one.  Hell, it was “God’s” will.

They don’t preach it from the pulpit exactly, certainly not in the those words, but you get the message anyway.  It comes with being asked to keep the nursery even though you don’t use the damn nursery, with being invited to one baby shower after another and facing the “when is Nathan going to get a little sister” questions. It comes with the whole “being a parent is a calling from God” thing that permeates the atmosphere.

It’s the not-so-subtle message that “God” favors those who have lots of kids, having “filled their quivers” and “blessed” them. The opposite of that, of course, is that we were shitty parents and so “God,” after giving us a chance, said “fuck that” and didn’t give us any more “blessings.”

And that’s the message that these fundigelical adopters are sending: It’s “God’s” will for you to adopt babies. Lots and lots of babies.  If you are like me and Dave and can’t have them, then adopt them. Save them from hell.  Bring them up with Jesus on their minds and look at the rewards you’ll get in heaven.

When you think about it, it’s a kind of natural progression from “abortion is murder” to “adoption is sacred.” For years, those of us who are pro-choice derided the religious right for being “pro-birth” and not really “pro-life.”  They insisted that women serve as unwilling incubators for unwanted babies, but they didn’t want the babies themselves.

And finally, it seems, they got the message and started to adopt.

Only they found all those pesky laws and inspections and waiting and all that to be just a total pain in the ass. They wanted a baby right now.

So many of them decided to bypass the American adoption system (it’s really 50 different systems, but all of them have fairly serious laws involved regarding things like stripping a biological parent of their rights) and went overseas. And there was a real surge in children being adopted into fundigelical families from Asia, or from Africa.

Furthermore, the idea here is to adopt babies.  Fundigelical families have only one goal and his name is Jesus.  To get kids properly indoctrinated, you need ’em young. Really young.  Like infants.

And there aren’t that many infants available for adoption in America.  A lot of adoptable kids are older. Some are special needs kids.  Much harder to win those crowns with those kids than with a nice malleable baby.

The result of all this was almost inevitable and predictable. There were a whole bunch of overseas adoptions by couples who were entirely unprepared for the cross-cultural dynamics that came into play and there were also the disasters.

Disasters like poor Hana Williams. 

If you don’t know her story, you should.

In part because nobody saw this coming, and in part due to the whole parental rights (“muh rights”) thing, some of these adoptive parents just give up and either send the kid back to whatever country they came from or treat them like dogs and “rehome” them.

Adoption is not like having a biological child.  It just isn’t.  The adopted child has a set of genes and a history that the parents do not share. Expecting it to be all kittens and roses is unrealistic.  And I know what happens to fundigelical adoptive parents when they hit a severe roadblock.

They are expected to ask Jesus to work it out.

What they need is a social worker who can help them get some counseling, but what they get is prayer.

I am critical as hell of the situation that exists in Breckinridge County right now with regards to CPS and what they are not doing.  I don’t like the terribly lax, pretty much non-existent and certainly unenforced homeschooling laws that exist at the moment.  I don’t like it one bit that a family can live in a garden shed without any utilities at all and nobody bats an eye.

But hiring an overpaid consultant whose only claim to expertise is a stint at a couple of Bible colleges, a gig as a fucking preacher, and then serving on the administration of a seminary isn’t going to fix anything.

Bevin is an idiot, and those are my tax dollars and I don’t like it a little bit.



26 thoughts on “Czar For Foster Care”

  1. Serious fundies probably would not care for the situation in Breckenridge county.
    Not. At. All.
    Fundies are always good for insisting on laws that force Jesus into personal situations.

    If I was a parent of multiple children, with a husband that refuses to work, living in squalid conditions, in Kentucky, I would probably be scared of this development, and the direction it’s likely to go.


  2. Hopefully he won’t be much more than a figurehead, however, I doubt it.

    If people thought government was willing to “overreach” in child dependency, abuse and neglect cases they haven’t seen anything yet. Historically once it is given into private or religious hands all gloves are off. They usually don’t have to operate by the same rules and the often have special interests and agendas.


  3. I am actually ok with “rehoming” in some situations. My cousin’s friend adopted a sibling group (from the U.S.) who had many issues: fetal alcohol syndrome, born addictrd to drugs, and other issues. The youngest 2 had been in foster care their entire lives, so had less issues. The older 2 were not removed from the home until they were slightly older. They both suffered abuse, and both were diagnosed with RAD, or Reactive Attachment Disorder. I had never heard of this until they adopted the kids. But man, it is one of the shittiest diagnoses I can imagine. Basically they were so neglected/abused as infants, they never learnee to form attachments to people. When they do start to bond with people, it is too scary and they can’t handle it. . .so they rage. The more they love someone, the more they push them away. We’ve all done this, to an extent, but this is to the extreme… they have learned that the people who are supposed to love them and care for them can’t be trusted and are out to hurt them. So they rage…punch holes in walls, tantrums to the extreme, use knives to try to stab people…think of the worst tantrum you can imagine itn and thrn multiply it by 2. And any time something is going well, or they look forward to something fun. . .it is a trigger and they rage.
    There are therapy programs that can be successful. But only sometimes. Quite often the child ends up hating the parent because they are too close. Not normal teenage “hate” but hate as in actually plotting to kill them. In the more extreme cases, this can’t be reversed even with therapy. It really is sometimes in the best interest of the child for the child to be “rehomed”. Often they do best being an only or youngest child. Some do better with different types of settings. It’s not just a matter of “giving up” on the child, it is truly a rock bottom, last effort to help the child. RAD often takes awhile to diagnose..the original adoptive parents had no idea this was coming, and unintentionally did things that made their relationship worse. . . A child moving to a new home, where they can get a fresh start and use therapy tools from the beginning is more likely to work than trying to fix old wounds/habits.
    These parents who do rehome these children are not taking the easy way out, thry have truly exhausted all options. Their houses are likely destroyed. Their kids have likely been hospitalized multiple times. The kids have physically & emotionally hurt themselves, their siblings, & their parents multiple times. Sometimes CPS will threaten to remove ALL the children if the RAD child is not removed. There are SO many factors.
    The bast majority of RAD children eventually are able to bond to their new original adoptive families, but for the sad few who don’t. . . Rehoming can be the only thing that saves them.
    Just one more perspectives. Had I not known about RAD, I would be horrified at the thought of “rehoming” children. Butn after learning ad much as I have, nothing is black & white.


  4. Darcy, I am not talking about seeking aid from the state CPS folks or whoever to do something to help an impossible situation.

    I am talking about getting online and advertising your kid and giving that kid to the first person who responds. Please read the articles I link to. I do it on purpose.


  5. Adoption reform is a subject near and dear to my heart. Unfortunately, in the US, adoption has become more about finding babies for couples who wish to be parents, as opposed to finding homes for actual orphans who need them. And as the stigma on single motherhood has diminished in the last several decades, there just aren’t enough babies to meet the demand. As a result, an incredibly coercive private infant adoption industry has developed – an industry that rakes in approximately $13 billion per year. Women experiencing crisis pregnancies are presented with the notion that placing their child for adoption is a solution to their (generally temporary) crisis, and is also an opportunity to provide a “blessing” to an infertile couple. Particularly in religiously-affiliated adoption agencies infant adoption is presented in a Christian context, despite the fact that there is absolutely no Biblical precedent for the transfer of custody of children due to socio-economic circumstances. It also completely disregards the lifelong psychological and emotional ramifications of separating mothers and their infants.

    Meanwhile, most older children in state custody will age out of foster care without ever having viable opportunities to be adopted into families. As much as Nicole likes to claim that the state somehow rakes in federal money on children taken into care, out-of-family placements are very expensive and there simply are not enough trained homes or facilities available to shelter all the children in need.


  6. I am a Christian. I am not in any way a fundie and disagree with the way they do things.
    I adopted two sister from Romanian orphanages. I did not do this because I am a Christian.
    I did this because I grew up in a third world country and knew first hand these children had no hope of a life without adoption.
    I watched the fall of the iron curtain on TV and was shocked to see that Romania had over 100,000 children institutionalized.
    The baby sister came first. I was told the older sister was dead.
    After meeting with Senators and Congressmen and the Romanian United Nation representative the older sister was finally allowed to be adopted 3 years later.
    She was five. I knew she would have disabilities from her time there.
    She is almost 30 years old now and just moved into her own apartment with help.
    These years have been tough. But I knew it was not going to be easy going in. There isn’t a day my heart does not hurt for her.
    Over the years I have made friends with many people who struggle with their adopted kids.
    But you know what? I love these girls and they are my children even though their genetics and circumstances makes them different.
    They will always be part of my family.
    I know of families who should never have been allowed to adopt ever for any reason.


  7. We have a lot of adoptees in my immediate family. My two kids, three nieces and nephews, four first cousins, and four second cousins. All came to our family in different ways and all have different experiences and personalities. In some ways, Sally, you are right. I didn’t give birth to my kids. I don’t know their family history of disease.

    But in the ways that matter, it is the same. My kids are my heart, my breath, and my life. You are correct that adoption is not for everyone, however.

    It’s truly upsetting that adoptive parents can be awful fucking human beings. But the things in your examples? Biological parents do them too. All.the.time.


  8. Harris and his wife are vile. He and she both cried that those girls were putting their overgrown sons ar risk and she claimed she was struggling with a medical issue but when questioned about it she became angry. They run a daycare funded by the federal government grants that pay the low income children’s fees and the federal government provides food for the daycare, yet they are teaching the kids all about demon possession and he’ll and baby Jesus. When asked about separation of church and state he denied all the he religious crap; even though, the hired help spilled the beans to the reporte. I could write a book about that lazy piece of scum.


  9. She is almost 30 years old now

    You adopted these children many years ago. I’m not talking about many years ago. I’m talking about right now.


  10. But the things in your examples? Biological parents do them too. All.the.time.

    I don’t know of too many biological parents who have an online trading site where they get rid of their biological children because they didn’t “work out.” Maybe it exists, but I don’t know anything about it.

    Obviously, biological parents do terrible things to their children, including refusing to vaccinate them, refusing to educate them, and in really bad, bad situations have murdered them.

    But I was not talking about that.

    I was talking about whether or not a man whose only education is seminary and only work experience is being a preacher and producing other preachers knows anything at all about how to run a state’s foster care/adoption system. Should a man with that resume be paid a quarter of a million dollars of tax money?

    I think not.


  11. You’re right Sally. Instead of using “online trading sites”, some bio parents kill, maim, or abandon their kids. Some prostitute them to pay for their drug habits.

    Your links included adoptive parents who disgustingly abused their children. That is the issue to which I referred. And as another poster related about herself, my family has no religious affiliation at all.

    I understand what your point was. Mine is that it’s not necessary to imply that because adoption is “not the same” as having bio children in your eyes, there is more abuse. In addition, your point could have been made without posting sensational stories about monsters who happen to have adopted kids. However, I can see that you are going to double down on this issue, given your comment above about past versus more recent adoptions, as is your right. And thus you’ve lost a reader.


  12. And thus you’ve lost a reader.

    Oh, good grief.

    Look, the issue isn’t whether or not bad people adopt kids or bad people give birth to kids. The issue is the guy who has been chosen by the idiot governor of Kentucky to overhaul the system, and the culture from which he comes, which is something I happen to know about. The “sensational stories” about “monsters” weren’t those that “happened” to adopt kids. They were people who are members of a particular religious viewpoint who are motivated by those religious ideas.

    If you’re all about adopted kids, then why aren’t you outraged about this? You do understand that many of the kids adopted into these fundigelical homes are in situations that are iffy at best, don’t you? That’s the whole point. I would like to see adoption/foster care overhauled in Kentucky, but by somebody or a group of somebodies with actual training and experience in the field, not a religious zealot.

    But you read into it whatever you need to, and then don’t read if that suits you.


  13. Anyone unfamiliar with the practice of re-homing adopted children should take a look at the Reuters piece mentioned in one of the links Sally provided. It is a very thorough look at the issue. Two of the specific cases in the piece took place up here in Wisconsin and led to a law being passed (the first in the country) requiring that all child custody transfers have the approval of the court.

    And while we saw an increase in adoption stories among evangelicals in the last 15 years or so, the practice has actually been occurring for quite a long time. In the late 1970’s the Indian Child Welfare Act was passed in response to a significant number of Native American children being removed from their families and adopted into non-native homes. And while I can empathize with anyone’s desire to help a child in need, there is a certain smugness in the belief of some Christians that the best way to “help” children in need is to just take those children and raise them themselves. Children are not simply “blank slates” that can be molded and shaped by whomever – their heritage and genetic ties are important, and this is why we are now seeing a downturn in the rate of international adoptions.

    The appointment of someone with no human service education or experience as head of a family services agency is alarming (“I’m very ALARMED!” as Nicole would say). The issues surrounding families in crisis are complex, and if we are truly interested in the well-being of children and families, we need to understand their issues and be prepared to invest time and funds into preserving natural families. The church, however well-intentioned, has historically failed to grasp this.


  14. What do you expect, this is the same state that when Bevin was elected allowed Ken Ham to get his tax rebates on his Christian theme park. This govenor is the same one who declared 2017 the year of the bible. I know a lot of the people here are from the south, but sometimes I wish anything below the mason dixon line would form there own country.
    Now these ass wipes are going to pass there version of the ACA, which is nothing more hten take two aspirin and die, or pray to Jesus when one of your kids or yourself are going to die. WTF is NN going to do when one of her kids develops a life threatening illness? depend on faith healing, essential oils, or beg at the tit of the medical community, to save her kid,, my money is on begging and demanding. FH


  15. The appointment of someone with no human service education or experience as head of a family services agency is alarming

    To be accurate, he is not going to be the head of the state agency. He is a consultant, charging almost a quarter of a million dollars.


  16. So instead of a brain trust, the governor has a prayin’ trust.

    This sounds all kinds of depressing, but the best Kentucky can hope for is that this guy does nothing more sit in on a meeting or two and then collect his large paychecks till the contract runs out…or is renewed.


  17. I have seen it all. Children adopted and loved. Children adopted and unloved. Children adopted and pushed aside when adoptive parents have a biological child and adopted children who were loved just as much if not more when bio child came. Children who were damaged and no one knew it loved even more or rejected. Children adopted who didn’t live up to parental expectations as well as biological children rejected for the same reasons. It takes all shapes. Children who reject their adoptive parents and children who reject their bio parents.

    This is one of the reasons that adopting a child isn’t and shouldn’t be easy. This is why adopting a child shouldn’t be forced on someone or a fad like getting a puppy at Christmas (also unacceptable if it’s a whim). The same goes for birthing a child. Parenthood is a lifelong commitment. Children need love, care, dedication and understanding. Children have human rights and needs.


  18. I live in a developing country. I have spent this evening celebrating with a local friend that her adoption of her cousin – of whom she has had custody since the age of two weeks – has been finalised. The mother was 14 when the child was born, and terrified of the responsibility. She still has contact, but today, after 4YEARS – my friend has at last a finalised adoption.
    That’s how long it takes here for every. last. thing . to be checked before the child is finally legally the child of the adoptive parent.
    And they don’t allow overseas adoptions except in case of extreme special needs. Most adoptions are familial.
    If a developing country can take this amount of care – why is overseas adoption given so little oversight in the US?


  19. When will your asshat governor be up for re election and are there any good prospects to toss him out?
    He’s following in the Cheeto’s footsteps (DeVos for Education, Dr Carson for Housing and Urban Development) appointing people who are like thinkers.

    This dog I have no fight with. I had a friend whose daughter had a child without being married, and the father got a lawyer and said she was unfit, he came with the sheriff and took the baby and she’s never seen either of them. That was over 25 years ago and she still mourns the loss of her baby.


  20. Regarding the assumption that parents go overseas to adopt because it’s and easier, and that there isn’t oversight of overseas adoptions.

    I adopted my daughter from Russia.
    First, I had to be accepted by an agency. Then a licensed social worker conducted a home study for four months, including multiple visits to my home.

    I had to drive to another state and stay overnight to be fingerprinted by the FBI for a background check. I was also fingerprinted locally and had a local background check. I had to ask four people for personal references. Got a physical and a paper signed by my doctor. Then a grueling two hours with a psychologist. He sent his paperwork to psychiratrist for approval. I had to have a counseling session with an addiction specialist to certify that I had no addictions. My employer had to verify my employment and salary. All of these papers had to be notarized.

    Then I had to photograph every room in my house, my church, the neighborhood park, and immediate relatives and send those photos to Russia with the notarized papers.

    On my first trip to Russia I had to meet with the Minister of Education.

    On my second trip I was examined by six “specialist” doctors in Moscow. I can’t tell you how many clearances had to come from local and regional offices because at that point it was all in Russian. I just did whatever the translator said. Then we went to court where I was interrogated by a judge and a district attorney. I was allowed a translator by couldn’t be accompanied by any agency representatives.

    After court approval I had to wait 10 days for the decision to be final. Moscow is so expensive, it was cheaper to fly home for the wait.

    Third trip I finally got to take my daughter out of the orphanage. Had to spend another week in Moscow. She had to be examined by doctors and certified healthy enough to enter the US. And we had to go to the American Embassy for an interview.

    Once home I had to pay a social worker to visit every three months and send a report back to Moscow. Because she has dual citizenship I’m supposed to report our address to the Russian embassy if we move. There was talk about Russian embassy agents coming to adoptive homes but I don’t think it ever happened to anyone. The nearest embassy is several states away and they couldn’t enter an American home without the parents consent or a warrant.

    I don’t know how much more oversight there could be.

    For every story you hear about failed, rehomed, unsuccessful adoptions, there are so many more happy loving families. Those families don’t make the news.


  21. “And thus you’ve lost a reader.” – MyNameGoesHere

    Ha. I highly doubt that. The Naugler family is tres difficult to quit (due to the spectacular train wreck, obvs). You’ll be back reading. Where else can you get your news in a concise, pleasing-to-read format?

    Sally did NOT say any of the things you accused her of in your post. None of them. She was discussing a niche subject and threw a few example links in for good measure. I’m quite pleased she does this. I’ve spent the last couple days reading allllll about the horrific 3rd world country adoptions/exploitations.

    See ya soon, friend 🙂
    Oh, and stop taking things so personally. This post had absolutely *nothing* to do with you. (ie – it’s not always about you)


  22. I don’t know how much more oversight there could be.

    One example – yours. One. One country, and a country that is highly distrustful of Americans.

    For every story you hear about failed, rehomed, unsuccessful adoptions, there are so many more happy loving families. Those families don’t make the news.

    That may well be true. I don’t have any stats on that nor do I know how one would go about assessing “happy and loving.” Nicole says her children are “happy and healthy” all the time. I’m not dissing adoption.

    Do I write so poorly and so vaguely that I make it difficult for people to understand what I’m saying?


  23. Do I write so poorly and so vaguely that I make it difficult for people to understand what I’m saying?

    Absolutely not. The problem is that we have been so conditioned to believe that adoption is an overwhelmingly positive experience, that practically anytime anyone mentions these issues, they are met with disbelief and/or defensiveness. I am sincerely happy for anyone who has had a positive experience with adoption, but the bottom line is that even the happiest and most loving adoptive family was only formed after another family was dismantled. There are emotional repercussions for all parties involved in the adoption triad. And moving toward an “adoption friendly” (aka faster) adoption process as has been suggested by Bevin and this Dumas character will not address them.


  24. More needs to be done to help prepare families for adoption. The level of needs many children have is much more specialized than the typical adoptive parent is qualified to give. I sympathize with those who end adoptions because they can’t handle it. When people have this vision of happy run and cuddly reading time, but no visions of how to handle violence, they weren’t prepared. One of my friends was, until recently, one of the people who provided special care for children who couldn’t remain with their adoptive parents for a while. Her record of taking in those children for a while and providing the therapies needed and successfully integrating them into their families is impressive. The one she couldn’t, she adopted. Turns out the girl was in an all-girls, orphanage in South America, but was sexually abused by a boy her age who’d visit. The family that adopted her had sons, and she couldn’t handle living with them. They weren’t bad people for “rehoming” her. They were in a situation where the best thing for HER was to let her leave since they sure weren’t going to have the sons placed elsewhere. She was being mentally harmed having to live with those boys. She’s now an only child.

    Now a lot of people adopt for the wrong reasons, like the “save the souls for jayzuss” crowd, but a lot of people adopt out of a desire to adopt and love, and find they have limitations they weren’t trained well enough to identify. It’s heartbreaking. And revamping a system to help those families and kids isn’t something that that preacher can handle.


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