Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
October 7, 1988     Arkansas Catholic
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October 7, 1988

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!PAGI: 7 ARKANSAS CATHOLIC OCTOBER 7, 1988 beb Hilliard a married couple came to the recently to pick up their baby, six-year-old Ryan Duncan at the couple and said: "I'm glad so I can look you over." : couple was at the Duncan house the baby they had just adopt- i that had been Ryan's foster and Ryan wanted to make sure would be in good hands. parents, Freda and Start Dun- been foster parents to numer- "We're pro-life, but we're not and protesters," Start says. our way" of protesting against providing an alternative to abor- whole slew of requirements before they l i-eda adds. "Adoption is a beauti- receive a baby. to abortion." The foster family begins by filling out Duncans' job is to care for babies an eight-page application form, which they are adopted, a time-spanincludes questions ranging from educa- Usually ranges from ten to 14tion to annual salary to treatment for oug time can run longer,emotional problems. Then, they must tes are placed in foster submit a physician's report on the physi- ption Services, Inc., a divi- Catholic Social Services of the cal, mental and emotional health of all family members. Also, all families must of Little Rock. The agency is be present for a "home study," when the about who it places babies case worker questions all the children in _ and foster parents must meet a the family about how they feel about Risks of Private Adoptions L Private adoption sources - physicians, attorneys, clergy- are not licensed by state. Adoptive couples who do not meet adoption standards may still adopt a source. ency of placement is not guaranteed:,If the birthfather has not his rights to the child, he may chall*enge the adoption in court; if couple want a norma.1 baby and the child is born with a defect, the may back out of the adoption agreement; custody fights may jeopardize tion. pregnant woman often receives no counseling, and is not aware of all options. The "client" in a private adoption is the person who pays the fee, mother or baby. Likewise, the adoptive parents receive little or no counseling on parenting ted child, and may not receive full and accurate information about the of the baby. It is common for problems to be covered up until finalization process, at which time the parents have no recourse. s who arrange private adoptions charge exorbitant fees, yet adoptive can- be left childless if the mother changes her mind, or if the baby is a defect. Confidentiality is often unprotected, and many private adoptions are in ways so that everyone involved are known to each other. private adoptions are'fully legal, they are referred to by social workers market" arrangements because of the high price put on babies adopted Way. And, for all the high cost, the failure rate of private adoptions is twice as those of adoption agencies. 1988 CAMPAIGN FORHUMAN DEVELOPMENT OLLEc'I'ION SUNDAY For a FREE Poster of P.O.Box 7239 this ad... Write to: Phil Granberry Little Rock. AR 7221 7 having a tbster clfild in the home, and asks such questions as what type of aca- tions the family takes and how the cou- ple gets along with "less sleep." In addition, the agency requires a police check for all family members over the age of 18, and a SCAN (Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect) check through the Central Arkansas Registry. Also, the family must provide person- al, pastoral and employment references, and attend a minimum of ten training hours, which must be repeated anrmally. In other words, foster families don't enter the process lightly. "Foster parents have to go through about everything adoptive parents go through," says Antje Harris, Supervisor of Child Placement, explaining that fos- ter parenting is a complicate.d but rewarding process. "The paperwork is unbelievable," says Freda, "but it's a form of safety for every- body." Some potential adoptive parents, she says, go hunting for an orphanage to ,'look the babies over." Such misconcep- tions about foster and adoptive parent- ing are quickly dispelled once a person becomes involved in the actual process. By the time foster parents receive a baby in their home, Adoption Services has put in months of work. "We do a lot of pregnancy counsel- ing," Harris says, adding that she goes with foster parents to visit the expectant mothers. "The girls are so y6ung," says Freda. "They're naive and scared. It helps them, to see we're not monsters. We're there to provide an ahernative to abortion or a life of poverty, and to let the girls get on with their lives." Unfortunately, Antic says, many expectant mothers put their babies up for adoption through private sources - attorneys or physicians - a decision she believes is a mistake. "For one thing," says Dennis Lee, Director of Social Services for the dio- cese, "attorneys and physicians are exempt from state licensing." "People pay from $20,000 to $25,000 per child," through those sources, adds Stan. "It's almost like buying a child." Since the potential adoptive parents pay the mother's pre-natal expenses, he says, the mother might feel coerced into giving up her baby, or might change her See FOSTER, p. 8 SPAGHETTI & SAUSAGE DINNER, Sat. 0ct.8...4 pm til 7:30 pm Adults $5.00, Children $2.50,(Under 6 FREE) held in the Parish Hall,St.Boniface in New Dixie...DANCE 8 ti112 am $5. per couple, music by the "Polka Kings". Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. JAMES ROGERS, Our New Advertising Sales Representative for ARKANSAS CATHOLIC in the Hot Springs area. James is an active member of St, John's Parish in Hot Springs, where he ushers and performs other church related activities. As member of the Knights of Columbus, Council 6419 In Hot Springs, James is the Board of Directors and publishes the newsletter for the K of C. As a fellow businessman, James is a member of the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce and Director of Cemetery Services of Hot Springs.