I know I shared a couple of weeks ago that we had an upcoming court date for the hopeful termination of Little Lady’s birth mom’s parental rights. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, then you know what happened. I totally forgot to write a blog post about it, though.
Birth mom ended up relinquishing her rights at the very last minute. I mean the very last minute. So we now get to adopt Little Lady! The foster agency granted one final “good bye” visit. I was pretty mad. She had a visit before the court date. They knew we were going to trial. The last one should have been her last visit.
This woman is unstable and a drug abuser. Not a good combination. Birth mom specifically told them that she wanted the visit in a public place. That got me very worried. They ended up doing the visit in the playland of a local McDonalds.
Everyone was so worried about birth mom doing something. Even the caseworker made arrangements for other case workers to come the last 30 minutes of the visit just in case birth mom tried to take Little Lady or harm her. So when the caseworker brought Little Lady home I asked if birth mom had done anything and if extra people showing up helped.
The caseworker told me that she ended up calling the agency and telling them that there was no need to have people come by to help. She told the agency (and me) that birth mom was obviously high on something and very laid back and lucid so she didn’t seem like a threat.
When I asked the caseworker why she allowed the visit to continue I was told that it was the last one and to just suck it up. She didn’t want the birth mom to be denied her “good bye” visit.
Yes, unfortunately it is truly serious. This is not the first time birth mom has been under the influence, noticeably high, or even observed getting high in the agency parking lot immediately before a visit and they still let the visit happen. They don’t want to step on birth parents’ toes and be accused of violating any rights, but putting a toddler in the arms of an impaired person is apparently alright.
Unfortunately this is the kind of thing that plagues good foster parents. People too worried about addition paperwork or putting up a fight to protect a child. The same people whose actual job is to protect the child.
I believe every case file for a caseworker, lawyer, guardian ad litem, CASA volunteer, and judge should not be a standard file folder. I think it should have a blown up picture of that child’s face on the front cover and inside. So these people remember what there job is and who they are fighting for. I know it becomes difficult and you have to harden yourself to protect yourself, but these children are more than a folder, case number, or case load. They are special.
A friend, Molly, told me that anyone going into social work or the family court system should be required to be a foster parent at least once. This way they can understand how bad the system is. They can see it from the other side. They learn about the child’s story and not just the summary page or a caseworker’s notes. I totally agree.