Wednesday, August 26, 2009

closure

To Whom It May Concern:

I have been pursuing adopting Jxxx, child number xxx on the Children Awaiting Parents website, for eight months. I have completed courses, including medical and behavior classes, MAPP training, and CPR/First Aid. My homestudy was complete as of July 31 and all background checks have come back clean. References that I provided indicated superior ratings for caring for children, especially for children with severe special needs.

My adoption caseworker, Lxxxx from XXXXXX Agency, and I met with Mxxx and Sxxxx of XXXX County DSS on August 5, 2009 to discuss Jxxx and his extensive needs. I learned of his medical and developmental needs and was not overly surprised at the care he required. As Jxxx requires round-the-clock care, I outlined three different methods by which I could gain any assistance I might need in providing this constant care while retaining my current job as a music therapist working with special needs students.

On August 10, Lxxxxtelephoned Sxxxx to let her know that I still was interested in pursuing adopting Jxxx. On August 13, Sxxxx called me saying that the agency was looking for a two-parent home with a stay-at-home mom. When I asked this state social worker if I had tried to adopt the toddler before my late husband, Craig, had died, she said that we would have been more seriously considered my application.
[1]

Unable to comprehend why the state would choose not to consider a willing and qualified potential adoptive parent for a hard-to-place child, I consulted with an attorney who informed me not only that New York expressly authorizes adoption by a “single unmarried person” but also that New York law prohibits agencies from setting a higher standard for adoption by a single parent than a married couple.
[2] The only relevant consideration should be the best interests of the child.

Given my willingness to adopt Jxxx, a medically fragile child who has been available for adoption for more than three years -- his entire life -- I do not feel the best interests of the child are served by excluding me from consideration as an adoptive parent for Jxxx. To do so for a reason explicitly prohibited under New York law puzzles me even more.
I am hopeful that my writing this letter will prompt the agency to reconsider this decision. Please contact me at XXX-XXXX and my caseworker at XXX-XXXX.


[1] I asked Sxxxx if she could put this information into an email, but she said she would be uncomfortable doing so.
[2] A New York regulation on adoption studies specifically directs that “[a]gencies must not consider marital status in their acceptance or rejection of applicants” and that “[a]gencies must not establish policies which place single or divorced applicants . . . at a disadvantage.”

Sincerely,
That was the letter that went out yesterday to numerous people. Realistically, I don't expect a change, but I am now telling myself to move on from this situation.
~oh, check out Adoptive Momma of Two and the cool books she is giving away about adoption!

2 comments:

Yaya said...

This is an awesome letter. I'm so glad you wrote it and sent it out. I hope it makes a change in their decision. I think it is so well written that they will have to at least pause and think for a minute.

Hoping we get our babies soon. :(

Tiruba said...

I'm so glad you did that! Too many decisions are made at the whims of a certain few to the detriment of children.