Monday, January 21, 2008

State Markets Adoptions

The Star's Tim Evans takes a look today at state efforts to boost the number of adoptions of foster kids in Indiana. Efforts the past couple of years increased adoption of troubled kids by 40% according to his report. Evans writes of the state's marketing efforts:

The Department of Child Services is using sophisticated advertising and marketing techniques that allow prospective parents to essentially shop for adoptable foster children on an Internet site and in a slick monthly magazine.

The new project, focused on finding permanent homes for thousands of Hoosier children taken from their parents by the department and left adrift in foster care, emphasizes reaching out to minority parents through churches and community groups.

It is part of an effort to speed up the process of finding safe, permanent homes for children who have been taken from their parents due to neglect or abuse and who cannot return home.

The number of children available for adoption through Indiana's child welfare system increased by more than 60 percent, from 1,959 in 2000 to 3,195 in 2005, the most recent year for which statistics are available, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Most live in foster or group homes after courts have permanently cut their parents' ties through a legal process called termination of parental rights.

The whole notion of allowing potential parents to shop online for a child to adopt raises some concerns given how much the Internet has become the tool of choice for predators. The efforts are certainly well-intentioned just as long as the proper safeguards are being followed to ensure the best interests of the children are upper most in any adoption decisions.


Anonymous said...

As an adoptee and adoptive parent, I applaud the effort. As the numbers show, there are far too many children without families. This will raise awareness and perhaps get those who would not have considered it before to adopt a child. Perhaps someone will perure the photos, fall in love with a child, and that child will then have a family.

Yes, there may be predators lurking but should these children be hidden from potential parents because of them? I don't think so. By and large, the adoption process is very rigorous and would screen out someone truly unsuitable. Yes, there are notable execptions but the few situations gone wrong get all the news. The thousands that go well never get the lime light.

Anonymous said...

It's nice, for once, to see Indiana at the forefront of something positive.

Online baby shopping is distasteful. Hopefully the program wil expand in a modest and professional manner.

The children are out there...let's hope this program works even better in the future.

Anonymous said...

Since they would be purchased on line...would they have to pay sales taxes?

Anonymous said...

if mitch has his way yeah

Anonymous said...

Purchase? That may be the most insulting thing that could be said about a child that desperately needs a home.

As an adoptive parent of five children and a former child abuse investigator, please feel free to keep your silly political mouths shut about this subject.

The first time we saw our daughter was on the computer and I'm guessing it was as special as seeing an ultrasound for the first time.

There are more orphans in this world than there will ever be parents to adopt them. I applaud any effort to find families for these children.

The screening process is lengthy, stringent and expensive. Please don't put a political angle on this subject. Maybe one of you could find a place in your heart for one of these children...or you could just butt out.

Anonymous said...

By the way, we did not "purchase" our children. We paid for the services of the people who gave us the honor of raising them.

Anonymous said...

"We paid for the services of the people who gave us the honor of raising them."
And you paid dearly. The United States has a big market/racket on adoption.
It's all about the money.
People that want to raise a child are willing to pay for that honor! "She System" ,(courts, lawyers, the state, more lawyers, natural parents, and lawyers) are only in it for the money! Nothing more. Indiana really stepped over the line on this one.
6:31 is right. While the intent is great, it appears to be a "purchase"

Anonymous said...

You guys are out of your freaking minds. Please for a moment, drop your cynical "everything is politics" attitude. They are really there. I've seen them. They are not a concept or a figment of someone's imagination or a political football for you to throw around. They are real children with little or no hope and all you people can see is that it costs money to get them.

In a perfect world their birth parents would not have had to give them up or would have been responsible enough parents not to have lost them, but ours is not a perfect world.

The insinuation that this is some sort of meat market for pedophiles is absolutely disgusting. You bemoan any money that changes hands yet insist that no one is really screening the parents.

Saying a lawyer is only in it for the money is such a brave statement. No one else in the business is getting rich. I spoke with more social work majors than JD's during our adoptions.

I've changed my mind. Only 10:08 is worthy of being considered for an adoption. I'm not sure the rest of you have hearts. No matter how much money you have, you don't deserve the honor of having these children as your own.