When You Can’t Send Them Back
April 29, 2010 · Posted in K-5 Kids, Mental Health, Parenting, Therapy · Permalink

The story of the adopted eight year-old boy who was sent back to Russia evokes a lot of  judgment towards his adoptive mother. The New York Times Style Section, oddly enough, covers this story in the article In Some Adoptions Love Does Not Conquer All. The piece explores the perspective of other adoptive parents whose children have severe psychiatric problems due to trauma early in life.  Many parents had torturous experiences trying to love, heal and raise their children.  Ellen McDaniels’ struggle is one such experience:

Finally, two months ago, after what Ms. McDaniels described as nine years of frightening, exhausting and heartbreaking efforts to cope with her daughter’s behavioral problems — including, she said, her sexually abusing and threatening other children, threatening to burn down the house, hiding knives in her trundle bed, refusing to take medication and running away — she terminated her parental rights.

Just so painful. But what of the parents whose biological children have serious illnesses like the children in the story?  They have the added guilt and worry that they caused the disorder through bad parenting or genetics.  They can’t send them back. Imagine terminating rights to your biological child. The reality is that any parent, adoptive or biological, whose child is suffering so greatly and is out of control, is in desperate need of help. These families need comprehensive medical, psychological and educational support in raising their children and keeping everyone in their family safe. Only the richest in our society can afford the therapeutic schooling and wilderness programs that address these children’s issues.  Even then it is hit or miss in terms of the quality of care.

Maybe if enough of us pay attention to this serious crisis it will be “in style” to have comprehensive psychiatric care for troubled children.

http://www.nami.org/

http://www.who.int/en/

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/child-and-adolescent-mental-health/index.shtml

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