2004-12-31 / Columnists

The Progressive

For The Children
By John Paul Culotta

Our political leaders often claim that the polices they espouse will result in a better life for the future generations of the nation.

They tell us our present sacrifices will be rewarded when our youth reap the results of our toil and tears. Ms. Clinton reminded us that society has an obligation to be concerned with all children in her book “It Takes a Village”. In short, their policies are for the children.

There is no greater joy and excitement for a family than when an infant comes into a home. The smiles that babies generate in cold and cynical adults are nothing short of miraculous. Adopted infants allow many childless couples form families that otherwise would not exist.

Many of my friends’ families and my own family were formed through the process of adoption. Most of the world except for Europe and the Americas do not engage in the formation of families through adoption.

Blood relations generally will care for the children that cannot be taken care by their natural parents. In recent years adoptions have increased in this country.

A New York Times article of November 18, 2004 stated, “ In 1998 37,000 children were adopted. In 2002, the number rose to 53,000.

Although society has an obligation to assist families in the raising of the children, children need stable, secure, permanent homes. In recent years many children suffer because of divorce, drug abuse by their parents, and other dysfunctional behavior. Grandparents are often raising children. Many children languish in foster care. Often children beyond the stage of infancy are waiting for a permanent home of their own.

November 20, 2004 was the fifth annual National Adoption Day. Each year welfare groups attempt to educate the public regarding adoption. Newspapers, magazines and other media will discuss adoption because of the day sponsored by the National Adoption Day Coalition.

According to above-mentioned article in the Times: 129,000 foster children are waiting for permanent, secure, stable homes.

Can this nation afford to allow this type of treatment to continue? Our political, business, social, and religious leaders and organizations must address this issue. A society is judged by how the society protects the weakest.

Many, (including myself) are opposed to the disregard for potential life that occurs when a woman chooses an abortion procedure.

Every abortion is a tragedy. Women who chose to abort pregnancies are often bewildered and are doing what they feel is the best interest for the child. The pain and anguish that results in the decision are often left out of the debate in which our politicians engage.

Some say the women who are faced with the choice should be made aware of the life saving process of adoption. At the same time, it is imperative that the adoption process becomes less cumbersome. This will open up permanent homes for children in foster care. If adoption is to be an alternative to abortion, the adoption process must be efficient.

Scams that prey on childless couples are prevalent. The scams need to be investigated and perpetrators indicted and convicted.

This nation should ensure the process of adopting children in foreign countries is safe and ethical. There have been reports in the international press that babies have been kidnapped in other parts of the globe in order to produce a product (adoptable babies) for people in North America and Europe.

This nation has a federal system and adoptions within this nation are generally in the parvenu of the states. It would be productive for this nation to have a coordinated effort with Washington and the states in developing a federal system of regulations regarding adoption with the states administering the policies at the state level similar to the unemployment insurance system.

We cannot allow poorly administered welfare systems, similar to the system in New Jersey or Florida, destroy children’s lives.

Our court system should not delay the finalization of adoption. It is criminal that children and adoptive parents wait years for finalizations to be completed. “No Child Left Behind” is not about education alone.

The need of children and reforms in the adoption process has the possibility to unite the religious right and secular liberals. Concrete proposals that will make adoptions a viable solution for many children in foster care needs to become a part of the national discourse. Lets do it “for the children”.

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