Foster children are those minors who have been placed into a home, group home, or other form of foster care, where there is someone who has been state certified to care for the young children in need of homes. Foster Children and their families are set up with each other through DCFS and the Court systems of the state. The children that are given to foster parents are ensured that they are going somewhere safe, because of the certifications needed to become a foster parent in the first place.
Table of Contents:
1. Foster Children
2. The Orphan Train
3. How a Parent can be found Unfit.
4. Adoptive Families
4b. Real Life Adoption Story
The Orphan Train
The foster care system was created by a guy named Charles Loring Brace. This man created the Orphan Train "He believed the answers to transforming New York’s orphans and street children into self-reliant members of society were gainful work, education, and a wholesome family atmosphere. Rev. Brace strongly believed that the best place for a child to grow up was in the home of a Christian farmer. With an idealized view of what life was like in the Mid-West, and the realization that the growing number of homeless children in the city would one day result in a serious crime problem, Brace began his “placing out” program in 1854 with a group of forty-six boys traveling by train to Michigan with an agent. The children were taken before an assembly of townspeople in a local church where the agent explained the children’s need for homes. Within one week, local farm families had claimed all the children. This type of “placing out” effort was a success and began what would be a seventy-five year movement on the part of the Children’s Aid Society to save more than 100,000 urban children living in poverty." https://socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/people/brace-charles-loring/ (will change to citation) ..... brothers took over after he passed....
How is a family found unfit to care for a child?
The actual blood related families to these children were somehow found unfit to care for this child, has neglected or abused their child in anyway, or have passed away and left a child as an orphan. These are the most common reasons as to why children end up in the foster care system. https://rdklegal.com/unfit-parents-and-child-custody-in-illinois/ (will change to citation) "“”Unfit person” means any person whom the court shall find to be unfit to have a child, without regard to the likelihood that the child will be placed for adoption. The grounds of unfitness are any one or more of the following…
- (a) Abandonment of the child.
- (a-1) Abandonment of a newborn infant in a hospital.
- (a-2) Abandonment of a newborn infant in any setting where the evidence suggests that the parent intended to relinquish his or her parental rights.
- (b) Failure to maintain a reasonable degree of interest, concern or responsibility as to the child’s welfare.
- (c) Desertion of the child for more than 3 months next preceding the commencement of the Adoption proceeding.
- (d) Substantial neglect of the child if continuous or repeated.
- (d-1) Substantial neglect, if continuous or repeated, of any child residing in the household which resulted in the death of that child.
- (e) Extreme or repeated cruelty to the child.
- (f) There is a rebuttable presumption, which can be overcome only by clear and convincing evidence, that a parent is unfit if:(1) Two or more findings of physical abuse have been entered regarding any children under Section 2-21 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, the most recent of which was determined by the juvenile court hearing the matter to be supported by clear and convincing evidence; or(2) The parent has been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity and the conviction or finding resulted from the death of any child by physical abuse; or(3) There is a finding of physical child abuse resulting from the death of any child….
- (g) Failure to protect the child from conditions within his environment injurious to the child’s welfare.
- (h) Other neglect of, or misconduct toward the child;…
- (i) Depravity [a list of crimes follow that automatically make a parent depraved].
- (j) Open and notorious adultery or fornication.
- (k) Habitual drunkenness or addiction to drugs, other than those prescribed by a physician…
- (l) Failure to demonstrate a reasonable degree of interest, concern or responsibility as to the welfare of a new born child during the first 30 days after its birth…
- (o) Repeated or continuous failure by the parents, although physically and financially able, to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, or shelter.
- (p) Inability to discharge parental responsibilities supported by competent evidence from a psychiatrist, licensed clinical social worker, or clinical psychologist of mental impairment, mental illness or an intellectual disability…
- (r) The child is in the temporary custody or guardianship of the Department of Children and Family Services, the parent is incarcerated as a result of criminal conviction at the time the petition or motion for termination of parental rights is filed…
- (t) A finding that at birth the child’s blood, urine, or meconium contained any amount of a controlled substance…” 750 ILCS 50/1
- A finding of unfitness will allow an Illinois court to proceed with an adoption whether the unfit parent agrees to the adoption or not." Same link as above source but the link will be inserted correctly here
An adoptive family is a family who has welcomed a child born to another into their family and legally adopted that child as their own. After the adoption is complete, the child’s name often changes to the name their adoptive family has selected for them, and that child legally becomes a part of their family, just as if they have been born into it. The adoptive family can vary in age, race, nationality, and gender. You may not be able to spot an adoptive family unless there are clear racial differences, as adoptive families are very much your normal family unit.
Real Life Adoption Story
This is where my recorded podcast would have gone.
“On today’s show i’m covering the story of my little cousin Addy, a 3 year old who has been with my uncles since the day she was born but is not theirs.”
“On April 4th, 2019 Addison was born to a mother who could not care for her, nor a father who was around permanent enough to be called that. Addy also had 4 other siblings so as you can imagine she was immediately placed into foster care.”
Addison siblings are also all in foster care at the time of Addy’s birth had 4 siblings all under the age of 5. Let’s let that sink in…. That’s about a child per year for 5 years that was being taken from their mother and other parental figure for their own safety. Thankfully Addy fell into the arms of my Uncle Luke and Uncle Ben. Conincidently Ben and Addy have the exact same birthdays. Addy has been the sweetest little thing ever since they brought her home. Addy however is still a foster child. She legally is not part of my family yet and she will be 4 this April. Covid has really backed up the different arrangements and court dates. As well as the visitations and anything else involved with the case. The fact that she in not legally a family member prevents them from doing alot with addy.
There are alot of foster families looking to adopt that are waiting for paperwork and court dates to have full custody of their children. This is a current problem.
The foster care system needs to be chatted about and the stories of struggling families needs to be heard.