Thursday, January 3, 2013

Home Study Visit and Thoughts on Birthfather Rights

Oh, how I love this face! When I need a boost of positivity, he's always there to give it. :)

We had our home visit this morning!

Government regulations are pretty particular about the safety of the home adopted children will be placed in, and they want a caseworker actually in the home and checking everything out. Seriously, if everyone who was about to become a parent had to stick to these guidelines, there would either be 1) a lot less people having kids or 2) a lot safer homes for children. I'm not complaining - I don't mind having to meet a set of strict requirements and I understand it. It's just kinda funny (is "funny" the right word?) that so many people can have kids willy nilly with no intervention from the government and no one scrutinizing their ability to parent and/or the safety of their homes (unless, of course, they are seriously neglecting their children and someone notices and reports them to Family & Children Services).

Anyway, it went well! There were a few things we overlooked that we have to get taken care of - for example, we need to have covers over the basement window openings (like a grate of some sort). That didn't even occur to me, but I can totally see now that a kid running around outside could fall in and hurt themselves. I never leave Kal unattended outside, so that just never crossed my mind. I'll get all that done this weekend.

I really, really, really like our caseworker, by the way. We all sat and talked about adoption in general for quite a bit after she was done gathering all the information she needed. I have a hard time with certain negative adoption stories that have been in the news lately, so we talked about some of those and how determined we are to DO ADOPTION THE RIGHT WAY. Can I say that loudly enough? All this ethically shady business in adoption just makes me sick to my stomach and I want nothing to do with it...

Like the story of the birthmother who went behind her husband's back (while he was reporting for military duty) to place their daughter for adoption with a couple out-of-state in Utah. Utah has laws favorable toward adoptive parents, so birthmothers who want to underhandedly place their baby for adoption and keep the birthfather out of it somehow find themselves in Utah to do it. The father had no idea the baby was even born yet because she gave birth prematurely and left the state. The adoptive family was aware that the birthfather wasn't informed, but they went ahead with the adoption anyway, and the agency went ahead with the adoption anyway... The couple have been battling to keep the child for 2 years. All while a married father's parental rights are being walked all over. He had no intention of giving up his right to parent and as soon as he knew the baby was born, he made his intentions very clear.

That makes me so angry. I've tried to read some of the adoptive couple's blog where they are convinced that God gave them this child and that it is in the best interest of the child to stay with the only family she's ever known. But it's because they took her away from her father to begin with! And won't return her! Kidnapping, anyone?? I don't want to speak for God, but I don't think that's how He works. There are so many details in this case that make it so abundantly clear that the child had a right to stay with her biological father... that I can't believe it has been dragged out this long - to the child's detriment. This "adoptive couple" and this whole situation just makes adoption look bad, Utah look bad, and Mormons look bad... FRUSTRATES ME to no end! [Update to this story HERE.]

Anyway! I can seriously get worked up over this stuff. And it was important enough to me to talk to our caseworker and make sure she knows exactly where we stand on issues like this and make it clear we want to be as honest and transparent as possible as we venture into this adoption world again. She's definitely on our side with this one, so that made me feel really comfortable. Adoption can be so beautiful, but the world can make it so disgusting. I try to focus on the positive stories and make sure I'm doing the right thing myself. Guess that's all I can do.

SO, NEXT STEP: Address any safety issues in my home, wait to hear back from the caseworker that all the necessary paperwork is in place, and then they meet to approve couples every Wednesday - so we will be approved on one of the next couple of Wednesdays. Woot! Woot!

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