Sunday, March 05, 2006
More Confusion on the Parenting Front... so let's try to clear it up. Bill didn't like my earlier post today about adoption. Too bad. I'm still more concerned about America's 127,000 kids in the adoption pipeline than I am about Bill's feelings. He's a grown man; he can take care of himself. He might be able to care for an adopted child, too. It wouldn't surprise me. We need more passionate adoptive parents. And less aimless passion on the sidelines, please. One mis-aim is this suggestion: Todd just doesn't think that morality should enter into a couple's fitness. The Church disagrees. This might actually be news if it were true. But in typical St Blog's fashion, we have a prime example of the philosophy "Those who are not with us are against us" in play here. Then add in a dollop of playground name-calling and potty mouth. Bill seems upset that he cannot account for 127,000 children not getting adopted by heterosexual couples. Maybe there's a bit of good ol' Catholic guilt in the house. Hope so. For the record, I think a single parent's or couple's morality is an important factor. The Church is as well equipped as anyone to make a judgment on that. I would be nervous about a secular agency attempting such a discernment. Wouldn't you? In fact, the Massachusetts webpage says, "individuals and families seeking to adopt very young children may wait for a significant period of time." Heck, that's not news. Many parents want to adopt young, and there is indeed a long wait for you if you want to adopt an infant or a toddler. Some parents are willing to build a family with an older child. The latter type of adoptive parents are especially needed. Large families are discriminated against--if you have six kids, then regardless of your income or ability to care for them, you will not be permitted to adopt. One person's discrimination is another person's prudential judgment on the best suited families. I can tell you that in our experience, some older children from foster care would not do well in a large family. In fact, our daughter's social worker looked favorably on us because we would be giving a lot of attention in a home without other children. I think a social service agency would have a PR struggle with placing an infant in a home with seven other children over a home with none, all other factors being equal. But my wife was upset that diocesan Catholic charities had a rule that both parents needed to be under forty--which she wasn't at the start of our process. I was more upset that an unnamed social worker with the diocese said that an exception might be made because I worked for the Church. That closed off that avenue in my mind: it seemed unfair on two fronts. Being in my late forties with an active child, and with some hindsight, I do see something of the wisdom in age being a screening factor. And in some cases, I can see family size would be a detriment in some adoptions. Much of these stories give the air of injustice. But such unfairness pales in comparison to the older foster children who have barely a flimsy dream to pin their hopes on. If a gay couple can provide something better and pass the necessary screening to become adoptive parents, I see no reason why the state or the Church couldn't place children. So in Massachusetts, a large Catholic family will be denied, and a homosexual couple will have preference. Trust me, Bill; there are more parameters in the decision than the sexual orientation of the parents and the size of the family. A whole lot more. Tony has weighed in on this discussion. He and I don't see eye to eye on things from time to time. But his experience as an adoptee carries considerable weight. When it is about the child, they are all born, all helped, and each and every one of them is attempted to be placed in the very best situation possible. Amen, brother. God bless all adoptive parents, their children, and especially the children who still wait.