“We have to stop thinking about adoption solely as child placement,” Pertman says, “and understand it as a process that requires supports and services to facilitate family success.”
Some of the comments on this podcast/article call for speedier termination of parental rights to facilitate earlier adoptions (in infancy) to make the transition from foster care to adoption easier. This doesn’t address children who enter the system later in life or the fact that familial bonds are essential for a child, despite the abuse or neglect they may have faced at the hands of that biological parent. I am certainly an advocate for adoption when it’s in the best interest of the child but reunification can be a reality for more families if programs were in place to support that initiative. The majority of foster cases in my county are due to neglect through substance abuse.
Addiction is a clinical disease yet these individuals receive zero support from the department of family services to assist in rehabilitation and reunification. These individuals are required to work on “will power” alone, which is difficult given the factors against them — inability to work due to substance abuse, fees that must be paid for drug testing and outpatient/inpatient care, and fast-approaching court dates that only serve to weaken their resolve.