So I want to pose a question to the crowd. More of just an interesting thought that has crossed my mind and I'm not sure where I stand on the issue....

I am starting the process of becoming a foster parent with the ultimate goal of adopting a kid from the foster care system. While I'm not perfect - no one is - I'm very good with kids of all ages. I have my sights set and am hopeful to possibly adopt one particular young lady who will be 18 in December. I think she would fit right in with me and my son very well. She loves kids, and she wants to work in early childhood education as a career........but then I also have my sights set on a little 10 year old girl who looks cute as a button, and while she has an IEP and lots of needs, I feel that I could do it. Her biography caught my attention. My son has 2 best friends who are girls older than him, and an older cousin that is a girl, and he does well with them.... Who knows. Maybe I'll take both young ladies!!!!! LOL.....Both girls look like they could pass as my own biological children. I've already started talking to my son about it (in an age appropriate way.) He likes the idea. Although he isn't cognitively able to understand all the implications, on a 5 year old level, he seems to like the idea of having a brother or a sister. I would (probably) not adopt a boy, unless it was the right boy. My own son is very aggressive and competitive, and I also think a lot of the boys that I read about, the social workers were not looking for single mothers, but 2 parent homes - they need fathers....

Anyway........

Here's my question. I noticed a trend that a lot of these kids say things like, "he/she enjoys going to church...."

"She is a Christian,".......

"She enjoys youth group,"..........

A lot of these foster kids have been indoctrinated because a LOT of Christian families adopt foster kids and then start teaching them about "God,"........some of these kids have had years of brainwashing. For example, on one girl's profile it said, "She is definately a Christian and wants everyone to know it!" She was also a teenager, and everything else on her profile would have made me consider her too! But....I am an Atheist. Do I take in a child, expecting to keep up on church functions....and then what? Do I keep taking them? Do I teach them that what they belong is a fairytale? How does that work? How do you teach a child who has suffered from trauma, abuse, neglect, who has been taught to seek comfort in god....how do you show them the truth? How do you do that without shattering their world?

I need to know this, and really understand what I'm doing. And I don't think this will be covered in foster care parent training!!!! I am willing to bet that I'm about to enter the lion's den. I'm sure that many people who are adopting, if not most, are also people of faith. I'm also a bit worried about what they'll say when they see I'm "Non-religious/secular. (That's what I put on my application.)

What would you do? How do you take in a kid who has been brain washed, and then un-brainwash them? Lol....

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Although I'm not very familiar with the adoption process. I assume that there will be several talks between you and the foster child(ren) to see if you and they 'match'.
My suggestion would be to be honest about your beliefs, and tell them whether you can/will be accepting of theirs (maybe you accept the fact that they believe differently, but you won't go to church with them. Or maybe you want to stop the brainwashing). If you think that they are only claiming to be Christian to increase their chances of being adopted, let them know that is not something you are looking for in a foster child, maybe they'll be relieved to drop the act.

In any case, be honest; you and they will be making choices that can result in you living together ford many years, and the truth has a tendency to come out on the long run.

That's my two cents.

I have a story in today’s Sunday School which is relevant. It would appear that most adoption and fostering agencies in the US are faith based (even when State funded) and many are Catholic. So it is most likely that the people running these agencies are only looking to find parents that will have the same ethos as the agency does.

It is unlikely that the child (or young adult) actually gets a say in what is written about them regarding their likes and dislikes. They are written by religious staff who believe that placing them in a religious environment takes precedence over the financial background of the prospective parents or their capacity to love the child (which should always be top of the list?).

The problem is that these agencies equate a stable and loving family environment with how deep the faith of the parents are. They may genuinely believe this is always the best scenario for a child but of course this is often not the case. I don’t need to cite example but I have heard similar stories on this side of the pond.

An atheist couple I know – they were never religious - tried to adopt a child through a Catholic agency in Ireland. This agency works in Vietnam and the child was from there. Both parents are professional, one a school teacher, the other works in child related medicine. They have a large house (debt free) with an acre of garden space in a very upmarket area of town. Both have long term involvements with local charities. Ok you get the picture…they must have ticked all the boxes.

Yes, you guessed it. They were turned down because they could not show that they would raise the child as a Catholic. This is part of the obscenity of the Catholic Church and its brigade of fascist piety police. The fact that both parents were never Catholics and the two year old Vietnamese child definitely was not one did not matter.

That was a few years ago. Now they have 2 adopted children from an agency that is actually concerned about the welfare of children and not about new recruits for the Catholic herd. They all live in a Jesus free zone and will grow up to be excellent people just like any child you might adopt would. Just bear in mind what you may have to deal with.

Thanks Reg, for sharing that.....I'm starting to think about how I would deal with it once the papers are signed. If the child has strong ties to their faith because of what they are taught then I will have some in-doing to do. It would be like what I went through 2 years ago. I am thinking about how I would approach that. Fortunately, the state of WA doesn't care much (I think?) about religion. All they are more concerned with your commitment to deal with the behavior, honor their special needs, and if they will be a good fit for you and your current children. There are many young girls who's bios say they specifically want to place them with single moms....

If I bring in a child who has been taught to believe in Jesus for her comfort, how do I teach her that her comfort is a delusion??? You taught me, but I was an adult. I feel like it would look way different for a teenager or a younger child. Especially since they need community, so taking them to a church for community might make sense???? But I don't go to church.... Anyway, lots of things to think about. :)
I did see that story in Sunday school, thanks ;) thankfully it is not like that everywhere in the US. It makes me SOOOOO mad that some places are like that!!! How dare they place religious agenda in front of the well-being of a child!!!!!! Seattle is one of the best places in the country.... After all, pot is legal here! How much more liberal can you get, lol
RE: They were turned down because they could not show that they would raise the child as a Catholic.

Oh my god. You just got me wondering something. I have been told ALL my life, that my own parents were chosen to adopt ME because they said they would raise me Catholic. (They really didn't, but said they would.)...........

I was told that my biological parents chose them FOR THAT REASON.......

Now you have me wondering if it was THE AGENCY that chose them....it was a Catholic agency.

Oh my god oh my god oh my god....wow.
BTW. I am appalled that your friends were turned down due to not being Catholic. That makes my blood boil.. Grrrr!

I am glad they were able to adopt ultimately....

Maybe you should look at it as critical thinking skills teaching vs anti-brain washing. Just a thought. By the way Belle, you're totally awesome :)

Hmmmm....critical thinking skills. Yes. You're right. That flip of perspective solves everything doesn't it? Lol..........(Sigh of relief)

Thanks Davis :) you too ;)

Critical Thinking video.

Yes, we must have all faculties up and running properly, lol....isn't that what coffee is for?

I'm sure that coffee helps with critical thinking skills! It must!!! It's a scientific fact! I saw it online, so it must be true. See how I can think critically? lol 

I’m no parent, but if you care to hear my uninformed musings…I think part of the important point is that you don’t have to force a child to think a certain way or force them to be right. You’re not under the pressure of a fundamentalist Christian; they need to save their child from hell, but you don’t have to save your child from anti-hell.

I think respect and love are the important things here. Libby Anne talks about how she raises her kid as an atheist, but she doesn’t think she needs to ‘enforce’ atheism, and she wouldn’t be shocked and horrified if her girl became a Christian someday. Especially with an older child, you are entering into an agreement with a human being, not taking on an ‘art project’ you can shape into whatever form you choose. I think you should be able to keep a child, and be understanding of them, and expect understanding from them, without either of you ‘converting’ the other. You can get very far and overcome quite a bit with good communication and a little respect.

It all depends on the kid. Some kid who is really religious might not want to go live with an atheist.

That being said, I have no experience in this. I know I could hardly bear to think I was losing my imaginary friend when I started to leave my faith—but then, I didn’t have any real-life role models who are atheists either.

Thanks physeter :) I enjoyed that article....I agree with you. I certainly do not force anything, nor would I....I almost envy you. You went through the grieving process the correct way as you lost your faith.

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