Throw-away kids

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  1. A note of caution – my uncle and aunt were 1970s liberal Christians. When their daughter was 12, they took in a foster child who was the same age. This girl was street-smart, wise, and very manipulative. Her strong personality was no match for anyone in that family. She introduced my cousin to everything under the sun and my aunt and uncle, thinking the Lord was leading them, had no idea what was going on. It was a very bad scene that changed my cousin forever. Think long and hard before exposing your daughter to everything these children have been exposed to. Of course, I don’t think it’s as much of a problem if the foster child is a lot younger than your daughter.

  2. The ‘keep the child with family’ concept is messed up. First, they try to keep the child with the parents. If that doesn’t work, they look for an aunt, a cousin-in-law, a grandparent to take the kid. And sometimes the family *insists* on keeping the child. But sometimes the family member who insists is not actually prepared for the reality of a child, normal or otherwise. Remember the recent starvation case with the two boys: Mom was in jail & family was ‘caring’ for the boys.
    Regarding the Briggs case, I have a hard time imagining that for two years nobody noticed anything unusual about this kid until one day he ended up in court on molestation charges. OK, you’re a parent and you want to see the good in your child, but don’t you also notice problems?
    Kids don’t end up in foster care because their lives have been perfect, and foster is a temporary measure that can’t begin to make up for their losses.
    Are there throw-away kids? The jails are full of them. Sad but true.

  3. That last line hit me hard…

    As it would pretty much anyone with a shred of humanity in them.
    The tragedy is that the “damaged child” appears to want some sort of normality – something likely to be forever denied him. I am guessing that the day he turns 18 (or whenever they can prosecute him as an adult) some DA will make him out to be the latest incarnation of BTK or Jeff Dahmer, something totally evil inhabiting the body of a human being, and demand he be locked up with other sexual predators (and those who want to do harm to such folks) for the rest of his life. And, the rest of society will go tsk tsk and go on to the next shiny object.
    Fortunately, the family wasn’t forced from their home by laws which prohibit sexual predators from living around ‘normal folk’. Which makes me wonder: given that the legal proceeding around 12-year olds are sealed (news programs never give out their names, for example), which takes precedence – the need to protect the privacy of the 12-year old, or the need to register him as a “sex offender” and plaster his name, address, and photo all over the WWW?

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