Friday, 11 July 2014

Re-homing, hmmm

Recently in the news I have been reading how a US senate subcommittee will hear how the federal government can stop parents from transferring custody of their adopted children to strangers met on the internet.  This hearing is a response from a Reuters investigation into "private re-homing" were desperate parents are soliciting new families for their children.  article here

In the original Reuters investigation it tells of struggling parents, who felt they could no longer parent their child and resorted to the internet searching for anyone willing to take on raising their child.  In most cases these children had been originally adopted from overseas, however their were some adopted locally and some birth children.

I am a member of a few adoption and special needs related groups and this topic has been a very hot discussion.  Some people are appalled and ready to attack the parents who would consider taking this kind of action.  Others feel compassion for the parents/families realizing the limited supports available to struggling families.  All are concerned for the child's safety.  Some are blaming the adoption agency for lack of preparation and post adoption support.  Some are blaming the government for lack of timely support, if any support.  The opinions vary depending on where the adoption or parenting journey has taken each individual.

The part I struggle with, is the original investigation only focused on the most negative extreme cases, and yes something must be done to prevent any child from having to endure the abuses these children went through.  Not all "re homing" results in abuse and negative extremes in fact it can be a very positive result for all involved.  If there is an adoption break down and the child is placed into foster care is that not the child getting a "new home".  In any situation, birth families, adoptive families, foster families and re homing situations, there are exceptional families, horrid families and many in between.

I do not feel that having a "law" in place to restrict "re homing" is enough to protect children.  The families that went to these extremes (as discussed in the article) in placing their child felt that they had no other option, so if we take away this option, what is left? Families need support in order to raise and protect the children they have been blessed to care for and as a society we all need to step up and support one another.  We need education and support groups, both pre and post adoption, so that we are ensuring that people have the knowledge of what they are taking on.  We need easily accessible support and education for the parents parenting children with special needs. We need professional support that is available both in a timely fashion and easily accessible when the challenging behaviour begins, for both the child and the family.  We need non judgmental support when a person makes the very hard decision that they just can't do it and that their child deserves better.

I encourage each and everyone to reach out and be that person too offer support to struggling families. Help these families get the support they need so they are able to parent their child.  Be the voice advocating for support for your friends and families that are struggling.   If you know of someone that feels they must give up their child help them to find the safest, best possible situation for the child.  If you are the person struggling reach out and ask for help, sometimes it is as simple as asking.


  1. Not being an adoptive parent, I had no idea of these issues and struggles. I do agree that pre and post counseling and ongoing support would most likely be of the utmost importance.

  2. Each and every one of the adopters who re-homed their kid via internet chat board had another option: signing the kid over to CPS and paying child support until the kid turns 18.

    In order to be a foster parent, you must pass a homestudy, security checks, monthly visits from the foster kid's social/case worker, etc, so there is SOME oversight (though far from perfect oversight, as foster parents who met all the paperwork requirements have still managed to harm/kill the odd foster kid).

    Rehoming via internet chat board? There's zero oversight. Adopters literally handed their adopted kid over to convicted sex offenders, to folks who'd lost custody of hteir old kids due to abuse/neglect.

    THAT is the different between a failing adoption landing a kid in foster care vs. hands o'sexual predator in the Walmart parking lot!