Saturday, February 12, 2011

Back of the Bus, Singles

Arizona is considering new legislation that would require both state and private adoption agencies to move singles to the back of the line in adopting -- or as the wonderful title to this blog post puts it, Sending singles to back of adoption bus:
[O]ne of the legislators supporting a bill that would make second-class citizens of single people who want to adopt children couldn't understand why there was any opposition to the proposal.

Single adoptive parent Susan Frank was there when SB1188 was being considered in committee. She has fought this battle before.

Essentially, the bill would direct the Arizona Department of Economic Security, as well as private adoption agencies, to give primary consideration for adoption to married couples, making single people eligible only if a qualified married couple is not available (with a few exceptions).

Frank is a lawyer.

She told me, “One senator said, ‘We're not saying that single people can't adopt.' It was later that it occurred to me – and I'm not at all comparing myself to (civil rights icon) Rosa Parks – but it occurred to me that it would be like telling Rosa Parks, ‘We're not saying you can't ride the bus.'”
Your reaction?  Should married couples be given preference?  How about giving preference to whoever, married, single, straight or gay, would be best for the child?  You know, that case-by-case "best interest of the child" standard?  Arizona must take great comfort in the fact that China follows the same rule that enlightened state proposes. And I suspect Arizona is doing it for the same reason China is -- fear of the gay.


birthmothertalks said...

I personally don't think single people should be adopting children. I say that because I think most birthmothers big reason for adoption is the lack of a father. Also, lack of support from family and money. So, it just doesn't seem right that single people are hoping to adopt children. I do understand how this could be a ploy to stop gay people from adopting children and that's not right.

Kim said...

I hope this doesn't effect single relatives who seek kinship adoption!

Linda said...

I have to say I agree with birthmothertalks. Most agencies/paps love to wrangle babies from the arms of single women and use the excuse that children "deserve" two parents.

I do not agree with the "back of the bus, singles/gays" thing. Adoption is not a "civil" right for anyone.

ADOPTEES are the "second class citizens", lol. We can't even get our OBC's.

Lisa said...

Was it Kansas that tried to pass similar legislation several years ago?
I know several single mothers who were specifically chosen by birthmothers. Sure, many prefer two parents, but many are also interested in a financially stable single parent. Birthmothers come from all different backgrounds and experiences and are attracted to different things in choosing placement.
I tried to place my baby 20 some years ago (pregnancy ended at 7 months) and it never occurred to me to prefer two parents. I only knew that I was in no position to parent and my child deserved someone who could focus on being the best parent possible for him.

Anonymous said...

I used to be in favor of single's adopting. However, after completing the adoption of our child internationally, I now do not think singles should adopt (at least internationally). A single mom is typically the bread winner and the financial hardship of being overseas for what could be months is overwhelming. They will not have the time to bond with the child upon return because likely they will have to work right away. Lastly, the single mom's didn't seem to be as prepared for post adoption issues upon return. Not sure why. Of course there are exceptions to all of the above but thinking of the children I think a 2 parent family is best.

malinda said...

Umm, have I mentioned lately that I'm a single mom?! LOL! Now I have absolute proof that I don't censor comments, and I'm OK with dissenting opinions!

I was speaking to a group last week and I think I surprised them by saying that I was the 4th best thing for my kids -- 1st best would be raised by their birth parents, 2nd best would be adopted in China, 3rd best would be adopted by Chinese-American couple, 4th best woule be me. Or, if you think that 2-parent families are best, then I'm the
5th-best thing.

I don't have a problem if birth moms prefer a two-parent placement; my problem is that Arizona won't respect her wishes if she desires a 1-parent placement. And most of the adoptions that are going to be affected are the adoptions from foster care. Single moms are more open to special needs placement, older child placement.

The thing is that adoption already has in place a case-by-case screening mechanism, so why make blanket rules? As Anonymous noted after listing the ways she/he feels single parents are inadequate, "Of course there are exceptions to all of the above."

Anonymous said...

Malinda, you are not as full of it as I am. I always call myself #2 mom (I'm married and my husband is Asian as are our children, but of two different nationalities). I guess I'm really #2.5 mom on your scale!

Seriously, what's wrong with single parent adoptions? I know plenty of singles who have adopted who juggle everything and do a far better job than have my husband and I... even with attachment issues thrown in! I wonder if singles (women, especially) are still scary to people because they demonstrate that women don't need to rely on men and can be competent all by themselves--this is still a revolutionary concept in America, I realize.

Dee said...

I think I am going to be sick. I cannot believe anyone would say ALL single moms are unfit, just because they are single. Clearly you are only thinking of babies. Shame on you.

I have a terrific support network, with my mom living here with us, and my brother helping me, as well as several close friends. The social worker would not have approved my homestudy if I had NOT had that network in place. Just because I am single it doesn't mean my kids have no other people who care about them.

Let's contrast that with two couples I know who adopted and are now divorced, and the kids are stuck in the middle of some very awful circumstances. So THAT's better than a single mom?!

If I had not adopted my two children [when my daughter was 13 and my son was 10] they would not be adopted. Less than 5% of children over age 2 are ever adopted. Non-babies in Russia and Kazakhstan are rarely ever adopted.

My daughter's friends in her orphanage are in their late teens now and several of them are prostitutes. My son would've been on welfare all his life because nobody in Kazakhstan would hire a person with one hand. It amazes me ANYONE would tell me that my kids shouldn't have been adopted by a loving single mom? An orphanage or a lifetime of poverty would be BETTER?!?

I take issue with anyone telling me a single mom shouldn't adopt. Maybe it would be better if my kids had a father, maybe not. But forcing singles to go to the back of the bus in ANY adoption situation is just wrong. It's completely unfair. You ask any child over the age of 5 if he'd rather be in foster care or an orphanage OR have a loving single mom, what do you think the answer will be?

Anonymous said...

I think that the best situation for most kids is a two parent family. Would any of you who grew up in a stable 2 parent family suggest that you would have been better off having only a mom or only a dad, rather than two loving parents? Is your life richer today because you had both a mother and a father? Was your mother able to give you things that your father wasn't, and vice versa? Single parent homes should be homes of last resort, because it is about what is best for the child, not about what the parent(s) want. There are always going to be kids who can't live in a two parent family for various reason, who need to be the youngest child in the family, who can't have siblings at all, who can't have pets in the home. And there will always be kids who are not getting adopted. If your objective as a single parent is to be a parent, then there is going to be a child out there that needs you as a parent. But why would you, as a single parent, deny a child to have both a mother and a father if the opportunity presents itself? And please don't throw up a strawman that the parents could get divorced, or one parent might not want to parent, or be abusive. Anything can happen. Many of us are providing great homes for our kids as single parents. But that doesn't negate the fact that they are living their lives with a huge gap in their lives - they are missing the second parent that should be there and isn't. Saying that it's just as good to put a child into a single parent home is like saying it's just as good to deliberately make a child deaf and say it's just as good because she can learn sign language and get by just fine. She can get by, but she is still handicapped. Something integral that most of us have is missing.

DannieA said...

I"m not going to be anonymous and just say what I'm thinking.

I'm a single parent. I also did not go through domestic infant adoption, and I understand why people may balk at single parents adopting.

I say it's a case by case basis and it shouldn't be a blanket statement.

Some children NEED a two parent home. Some children can be adequately matched with a single parent depending on the case. My child was passed up by two other prospective adoptive parents (both couples as my sw told me) technically I was choice #3...however, they did need 3 possible matches numbered 1, 2, 3 in case a family decides not to accept the match.

At this point does it matter if I was number 1 or number, it is what it is and I do my best to be a good mother....I'm lucky to have a good job where I can stay home some of the year with her and there is no drama at my house with my parents living down the street.

While it may not be the "ideal" family life as most people think of family life, it is a stable life and it shows that not every case is cut and dry.

Jill C said...

I would hate to think that a child living in foster or other institutional care would be denied a loving home simply because a person was single.

There are many amazing single moms out there. There are amazing people out there that were raised in single parent homes and have turned out pretty well.

Two parents does not necessarily equal better, sorry but it does not.

Because it depends - there are many factors to consider in either two parent or single parent situation.

Malinda, the author of this blog, seems to be a dedicated, thoughtful and worthy mom. I am sincerely glad that a person like her was able to adopt.