About Adoption And Foster Care

Growing up in an orphanage can be extremely detrimental to a child’s well-being. Studies show that children adopted from overseas orphanages revealed developmental delays in 50 to 90 percent at initial evaluation with a significant proportion in multiple areas such as language and motor skills. The longer the individuals spend in an orphanage the greater degree of delay. One study shows that 55 percent of children upon first evaluation exhibited abnormal behaviors, this number dropped to 36 percent just one-year succeeding adoption. If the requirements for adopting a child in the US were not as strict as they are today, more children would receive the care and nurturing that they deserve from a family of their own. Adoption and foster care are not something that should be overlooked. Fostering a child means to raise a child that is not their own by birth, to promote health and growth, and to nurse and cherish as one’s own until an adoption takes place. Adopting a child means assuming all parental responsibilities, permanently transferring all rights, and financially supporting them until they grow out of adolescence. In some states you can become a foster parent at the age of 18, depending on your ability and living/financial situation. The foster care system provisions both voluntary and involuntary care for children. Voluntary foster care is when a child’s parents are unable to take care of them due to reasons such as financial instability, unfit living conditions, or in situations where a child has behavioral or physical problems that require special treatment whereas the parents are unwilling/unable to provide for them.

Involuntary foster care involves the removal of a child to ensure his or her safety in cases where the child is a victim of abuse or neglect. While young children are placed in homes with foster families, teens and young adults are placed in residential facilities or group homes. Transitioning into foster care can be difficult and stressful for a child. Many of these children will experience a sense of confusion, stress, and anxiety. At first, they may feel unwanted or helpless. It can be difficult for the foster parents to form a strong bond with these children because of this. Despite these minor obstacles, these children are leaving orphanages or prior families and entering into foster care in order to leave their past behind. Serious abuse, neglect, molestation, and malnourishment are just some of the nightmares these children are escaping when entering a foster home. Although foster care provides a safe haven for children in need, it is not meant to be a permanent solution. Once a child is moved to a foster home they will begin molding a new and more comfortable livelihood in a safer environment, resuming normal childhood activities such as attending school and building social skills. After a point is reached where the child begins to make notable progress and is reacting well to their new living styles, it is time to start looking into possible adopting parents. Adoption is transcendent of foster care, moving the child into a more permanent one-on-one living situation. Adoption parents assume all parental roles of the child and are the sole proprietors of the child from there on out. They have legal custody of the child and are responsible for all aspects of their caretaking, such as schooling, medical care, and financial support. Maci Kean, an 11-year-old girl is a perfect example of how life changing adoption is. She lost her father at the age of two and her mother at the age of eleven, both of them passed away due to drug addiction. She lived an extremely unstable life, full of continuous substance abuse, along with domestic violence from both parents. She became sick as a toddler, and lost her hearing due to the sickness. She was constantly bullied in school, (if she even made it to school.)

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On most days she missed her bus while her mother was sleeping. She rarely received breakfast or proper nourishment, her mother wouldn’t even get her dressed most mornings. Maci was forced to fend for herself in a point in her life where she needed guidance the most. She was eventually placed in temporary custody with her aunt while her mother served jail time for drug related charges. Once she finished her time in prison she went to a halfway home where she passed away from a drug overdose. Maci’s temporary placement with her aunt turned into a long term placement, with the grief of her mother’s passing weighing down on top of all of her other stresses, she began to fall apart. When she was fifteen her aunt put her into a foster system, which only increased her feelings of isolation. Even though she had the necessary safety and medical care that she needed, she still lacked the love and affection from a parental figure. Maci was now reaching the age of eighteen, which puts her in a position where she is non-adoptable by state regulations. She had given up all hope of being adopted. Gigi Kean who worked at Maci’s high school began to realize the desperation Maci had to be a part of a family after she showed her the Forever Family video she had made in foster care to assist her in being placed. After Gigi spoke with her husband Chris about the situation they both became determined to adopt Maci and give her the family she deserves. This wonderful family adopted Maci just six weeks before she reached the age of eighteen. This was the most life-changing moment in Maci’s life. She had spent her entire childhood thinking that nobody would ever love her or care for her the way everyone else’s parents did, and she finally had the one thing she had been yearning for since the age of eleven. (Reader’s Digest) This is just one of many heart-wrenching stories of children in desperate need of a family who have lost all hope in life, yet the importance of bettering our adoption system is still overlooked year after year. If the requirements for adopting children were not so strict and the system had been revised and improved, Maci might have found a family sooner, and many other kids who never found their families may have gotten the same chance that Maci did.

The first requirement for adopting a child is the minimum age requirement of eighteen years. This is the one requirement that I personally believe should be stricter. At the age of eighteen you are just graduating high school, and overcoming childhood yourself. This puts you in a position where you lack the necessary requirements to be a parental figure solely due to the lack of experience when it comes to raising a child. At such a young age, you’re still restricted to many other things such as renting a car or drinking alcohol. These are far less important than adopting a child yet they are held to a higher degree of importance in our legal system. I believe a more suitable age would be at least twenty-five. At this point in your life you will have had several years of experience being an adult and have a better understanding of the world and the necessary traits needed to raise a child. The restriction of having no more than six children in a home at the time of adoption is insubstantial. There are plenty of large wealthy families with large homes, who would be perfectly suitable to adopt an additional child, but are unfortunately restricted due to state regulations. This is an example of a missed opportunity for a child to be with a great family, and to escape the horrors they may be facing. CPR and first aid training is another requirement in order to adopt a child that I feel is completely unnecessary. Yes, I can agree that it is a wonderful attribute to have when raising a child, there is no doubt about that. But there are no regulations requiring you to be trained in first aid when birthing a child of your own. There should be no double standards when it comes to adoption versus having a child of your own, especially when today’s standards call for you to treat an adopted child as you would any of your other blood-related children.

The same principle applies to other requirements such as obtaining TB testing, yet another requirement that you do not need when having a child of your own. The state even requires a minimum of twenty hours of parental training each year in order to adopt a child. There are fifteen-year-old girls getting pregnant and raising a child on their own before they even finish high school and there are no regulations in place requiring them to receive any type of training in regards to raising a child. These are where these regulations should be required, not in the case of adoption. When you have a process that is overly complicated with unnecessary requirements that need extra time and effort. Most people begin to overlook these options, especially people who live busy lives with school, work and children of their own. They may not have the time to look through and follow each of these regulations, and these people are most likely more than a great fit for a child in need. If the requirements were not so strict and time-consuming more children would be adopted quicker and more efficiently. Being adopted or even fostered can make a huge impact on a child’s life, and give them the opportunities in this world that they deserve.


The Influence Mahatma Gandhi Had On Martin Luther King Jr.

“Mahatma Gandhi has motivated and inspired people all over the world, including one of the most famous civil rights leaders, Martin Luther King Jr. King learned much about Gandhi through his writings and visiting India in 1959. He was heavily influenced by the Gandhian principle of non-violence in his own rise to becoming a civil rights activist. Though the two men never had the chance to meet Martin Luther King adored the teachings of what Gandhi was spreading for his people in India.

Mahatma Gandhi had traveled to South Africa to study law and advocate for the civil rights of Indians. When Gandhi arrived in South Africa, he was quickly met with the discrimination and racial segregation Indian immigrants faced at the hands of white British authorities. Upon his first appearance in a Durban courtroom, Gandhi was asked to remove his turban, he refused and left the court instead. The Natal Advertiser mocked him in print as “an unwelcome visitor.” Then he formed the Natal Indian Congress to fight discrimination. In 1906, Gandhi organized his first mass civil-disobedience campaign, which he called “Satyagraha”

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Gandhi’s concept of freedom was the technique of Satyagraha, meaning “truth- force” and it became a dominant technique in India’s freedom struggle. Practicing Satyagraha means a person should pursue truth and love while also refusing to participate in something they do not believe in or believe is wrong. He encouraged Indians to boycott British goods and buy Indian goods instead. Gandhi preached passive resistance, believing that acts of violence against the British only provoked a negative reaction whereas passive resistance provoked the British into doing something which invariably pushed more people into supporting the Indian National Congress movement (Gandhi and Non-Cooperation). This principle steered Gandhi’s activism against the British Empire, aiding India to earn independence in 1947.

King had his first encounter with Gandhian ideas whilst studying at Crozer Theological Seminary. As a Christian, King connected Hindu followers to the Biblical call of Jesus. King was very familiar with the peaceful civil disobedience and he liked Gandhi’s idea that the oppressed people can use truth or love as weapons in their battle for justice. King became an American Baptist minister and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Martin Luther King fought for civil liberty for African-Americans in the United States of America.

His weapons, like Gandhi, were faith in God and nonviolence. He had a plan to boycott the bus system in the south after Rosa Parks was kicked off a bus and arrested for refusing to move to the back of a bus for a white person. King led a 13- month mass protest to end the segregation on public busses and show how unconstitutional it was. An organization called the Montgomery Improvement Association coordinated the boycott, and its president, Martin Luther King, Jr., became a noticeable civil rights leader as international attention focused on Montgomery.

The bus boycott demonstrated that the forthcoming for nonviolent mass protest proved to be successful in challenging racial segregation and served as an example for other southern campaigns that followed. In King’s memoir Stride Toward Freedom, he aforementioned the real meaning of the Montgomery bus boycott was to be the root of a growing self-respect to animate the struggle for civil rights, an idea he had adapted from Gandhi. He said, ‘from Gandhi, I learned my operational technique.’ He also stated in the memoir, “Although there may have been political and strategic reasons that Gandhi pursued a non-violent campaign, I believe the ultimate motivation came from his inherit Hindu faith.”

He also became the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). With the SCLC he led a struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia. The Albany movement in October 1961 was intended to end all forms of segregation in the city but in turn, focused on the desegregation of traveling facilities. King and other protestors used mass demonstrations such as jail- ins, sit- ins, boycotts, and hearings. By December 1961, more than 500 protestors from the movement were jailed and African Americans called on King to strengthen the hindered campaign.

King arrived in Albany on December 15, 1961, where he delivered a speech at Shiloh Baptist Church. The next day he joined hundreds of black citizens behind bars on charges of parading without a permit and obstructing the sidewalk. Soon after King was arrested, which gained national attention, and city officials including members of the SCLC had agreed that if King left Albany, then the city would conform the ruling and release the jailed protesters on bail. When King left Albany, the city miscarried to uphold its settlement and protests continued into 1962. After Black power advocates began to reject Kings idea of nonviolence, he grieved that some African Americans had lost all hope and reiterated his own commitment to nonviolence.

In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr led another infamous protest in Birmingham in which activist used boycotts, sit- ins, and marches to protest segregation, unfair hiring practices and other injustices in one of America’s most racially alienated cities. King was arrested for his association on April 12th, where he composed the document known as the “Letter from Birmingham”. Later that year, King worked with numerous civil rights and religious groups to establish the March on Washington for jobs and freedom, a peaceful rally to lean-to the injustices African Americans continued to face.

On August 28th about 200,00 to 300,00 people from all ethnic backgrounds attended the March on Washington becoming the breakpoint in history of American civil rights movement and an influence in the opening of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was here where he had delivered his famous speech “I Have a Dream”, a cry for peace and equality that many would consider a masterpiece of oratory. He shared his vision of a future in which all men are created equal while standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The speech and march paved King’s character at and abroad. Later that year he was named “Man of the Year” by TIME magazine and in 1964 became the youngest person ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Spring of 1965, King grew international attention to the violence that spewed between white segregationists and peaceful demonstrators in Selma, Alabama, where the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee organized a voter registration campaign. The brutal scene was captured on television and had outraged many Americans and inspired supporters from all over the country to gather in Alabama and take part in the Selma to Montgomery march led by King. This march was supported by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had sent federal troops in to keep the peace.

King used his platform to address the issues of the Vietnam War and poverty among Americans of all races. In 1967, King and the SCLC boarded on a program known as the Poor People’s Campaign, which also included a massive march on the capital. He and SCLC planned for groups of 2,00 underprivileged people to appear at Washington, D.C., to meet with government officials to demand jobs, fair minimum wage, and education for poor adults and children to improve their self- esteem. Some thought King’s campaign was too ambitious, and the demands too shapeless.

Unfortunately, King would never see the campaign go through. On the evening of April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated. In the wake of his death, an upsurge of riots swept major cities across the country, and President Johnson declared a national day of mourning.

Gandhi and King urged their marchers to strive to achieve emancipating and creative love for all people. Unlike friendship, it makes no difference between worthy and unworthy people, but with the spirit of forgiveness they seek to honor every person as sacred. Gandhi and King declared their commitment to the life of the unknown, their belief in the sacredness of a person and their admiration for the demands of a moral law. They broadcasted that civil disobedience must be practiced in a nonviolent, loving manner and with a concern not only for acquiring systemic changes but also for transforming the mind and heart of the adversary. While both activists had similar beliefs on social and racial injustice, they each had their own unique way of gathering their people to fight against such issues. Martin Luther King Jr. adopted the philosophy of nonviolence and learned it from the teachings of Gandhi. King’s nonviolent campaign and teachings emphasized love in action.”

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