Baby Panic

Marty Halvorson martyh@nmcourts.com
Thu, 23 May 2002 13:53:09 -0600


John Hall, "They were also unadoptable, which you don't address."

I'm not sure what you mean by this.  Un-adoptable in the legal sense, i.e., 
parental rights had not been terminated?  Or, un-adoptable in the social 
sense, i.e., they were too old, had physical or mental handicaps, or 
weren't the right color?

I have nothing to say about the legal requirement that parental rights be 
terminated prior to placement for adoption.  Either those rights have or 
haven't been terminated.  If they haven't then there is no possibility of 
adoption.

I do think that the old fashioned notion that children are chattel leads 
many states to go beyond the last mile to "maintain the family unit."  In 
my opinion, that's total bullshit.  If the kids are damaged by actions of 
the parent, give the parent training and exactly one more chance.  If the 
kids are damaged again then the parents are gone.  Here in New Mexico the 
children are chattel thinking got the state into trouble.  Many kids were 
kept in foster care for years while the state made efforts to "maintain the 
family."  Finally someone decided enough was enough, and brought suit.  New 
Mexico now is under court order to resolve the status of children in foster 
care within one year.  This made more kids available for adoption, mine 
among them.  Unfortunately it also put more kids in harms way as children 
were returned to parents who continued the behaviors that got their kids 
removed in the first place.

I think my prior response addressed the un-adoptable in the social sense 
quite well.

Very early on (17 years ago) we thought fostering kids was a good idea 
too.  We had one child.  After 3 years (this being before the courts got 
involved) we decided we couldn't keep that child.  We had neither the 
patience nor the skills needed to help this kid.  If you want to read some 
of this child's life story please let me know.  This child was eventually 
adopted by a psychiatric nurse and her special-ed husband.  They divorced 
primarily because of the actions of this child.

Peace,

Marty Halvorson
marty@halvorson.us