2 Comments

REHOMING: The costs to children are great!

Dear Readers,

When I did a Google Search of the word “Rehoming”, the following definitions were the first to pop up. It appears that rehoming has previously, and maybe exclusively, referred to pets that were adopted and then readopted into another home for one reason or another.

**Longman’s English Dictionary of “re‧home” is “to arrange for a pet to have a new owner and home, especially a pet that has been looked after in a shelter”.

**WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY defines “Rehoming” as follows:  Pet adoption usually refers to the process of taking guardianship of and responsibility for a pet that a previous owner has abandoned or released to a shelter or rescue organization.

**The Oxford Dictionary gives this definition for “rehome” verb [with object] – find a new home for (a pet): every stray animal is neutered before being rehomed

Unfortunately, “Rehoming” has taken on a new meaning these days. The definition now includes children. How can this be?

Investigative reporter for Reuters (National News Agency), Megan Twohey,  reported on the extensive underground network for rehoming children without any oversight by a licensed and accredited social service agency. It’s appalling how children are being shuffled around by parents who have just given up on them. ADOPTION IS FOR KEEPS, exactly as if the child was born into the family. What can a family in crisis do when they are at their wits’ end? GET HELP. Help is out there.

If you have not heard or been exposed to Ms. Reuters’ investigative reports or read any news reports about children being rehomed, you can view one or more of the links I have provided here for your use. If you wonder  “What can I do?”  consider the following:  offer assistance to a family that is struggling with parenting their children, encourage your legislators to make it illegal for families to privately “rehome” their adopted child, and encourage Facebook to close down internet sites that advertise the private rehoming of children. This can be an invitation for child sexual predators.   Read more at Voice for Adoption.

Adoption is a beautiful thing and ECFA is proud to have been involved in placing children into Christian homes for more than 63 years. When biological families choose to make an adoption plan, we are very thankful that Christian families step forward to open their hearts and homes to these babies and children.  After all, Jesus stands in the gap for us so we can be adopted into God’s family. Can we do less? But what about rehoming?

There has been much said in the news lately about “rehoming” based on some investigative reporting. We are appreciative that the majority of adoptions involve children being placed into loving and appropriate homes. However, we also recognize that if even one child is placed into an unacceptable home or is “rehomed”, that is one child too many.

We need to be aware, mindful and educated on what negative practices are occurring in regard to children so we can be part of the process for positive change. If rehoming occurs because families are ill prepared for the challenges of parenting in general, or parenting older children or children with special needs, then let’s take responsibility to educate the parents. Some adoptive applicants should be directed against adopting children and others simply need additional training. Maybe you know of a family that is struggling in parenting a specific child (adopted or biological or foster). How about giving them a hand? Let’s not be shy about offering assistance to parents  in need.

If you are a struggling family, have courage to ask for professional help.  Available resources could include one or more of the following::  1) agency that assisted with the adoption, 2)  home church or other churches have some support groups or orphan care ministries (Willowcreek in Barrington, Wheaton Bible Church in West Chicago and a new ministry entitled “Replanted” with Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton to name a few),  4) consider  contacting groups such as CAFFA (Chicago Area Families For Adoption). They have great training opportunities for adoptive parents, 5) Counseling may be indicated for the child(ren) and/or the parents. There are post-adoption counseling services available in most communities and in some cases funding may be available for counseling. 6) ECFA offers counseling and we are sensitive to and knowledgeable about adoption concerns.

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2 comments on “REHOMING: The costs to children are great!

  1. I would like to know more on how to go about helping a child who has been adopted then the family decides they can’t keep them anymore or just don’t want them. I have been a foster parent in the past, registered in Guilford County, but fostered for Randolph County.This is not a decision that you can base on emotions only. This decision can not be made lighty and expect everything to work out fine just because you spent a couple of days with the child. I work in a childcare facility with preschoolers, you have to give them an adjustment period before you can analyze what the correct plan of action to take that would be the most benefiscial to the child or children you want to take care of. K.S. from Greensboro, NC

    • Hi Kristy,
      I totally support your response that an adopted child (and the parents) needs an adjustment period, whether it is for allowing everybody in the family’s routine to change and adjust or whether it pertains to assessing whatever else is going on with the child that may indicate special services. When children are placed in the home for adoption, there should be an understanding and commitment from the parents that this is a life-long plan. There can be many challenges to adopting/fostering a child, and parents need support from friends, family and oftentimes intervention services from professionals who have experience in treating adopted children with special needs. In order to help a child whose family is starting to believe they cannot keep that child any longer, I would encourage you to come alongside the family and offer supportive help and encouragement. Encourage the family to contact the agency that assisted them with the adoption of their child. There is no shame in asking for help. Adding another loss to the child by having him/her experience another move will just add to the child’s history of trauma and then take longer for him/her to heal. Whatever can be done to help support the family and assist them in getting professional help is my best encouragement to you Kristy. God bless,
      Barbara

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