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Author Topic: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect  (Read 8694 times)

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Online Valerian

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #100 on: July 28, 2009, 06:01:48 PM »
Okay, I'm going to go through what I'm trying to say just one more time.

1. This child is incredibly overweight.  Morbid obesity is a serious and deadly medical condition.

2.  His mother (or indeed any layperson) is unable to give him the care he needs at home.

3.  If he stays at home with his mother, no matter how quickly and well they educate her in nutrition and his overall care, the odds are that the boy will die, or at the very least suffer extremely serious health issues.


You keep assuming that his removal from his mother will be permanent, and I'm not sure why.

To address a few specific points you raised:

The mother wanted to try. She sought help. Thus this boy deserves, AND has the basic human RIGHT to be with her. Because she's his family. One of his most basic, primal human rights is being violated. To top it off, he's being put into a system in which he will almost certainly be abused on top of the forced loss of his family.

No one's arguing that she wants to help her son.  The issue is whether she's capable of helping.  No one is arguing that being separated from his mother will be upsetting to the son.  It's simply preferable to risking his imminent death.

But that's another can of worms about the foster care, child theft system. It could well be apropos to the discussion because (not surprisingly) this is a black child being stolen from his mother. A mother who had realized there was a problem and started trying to help her son.

Your language is once again becoming seriously loaded.  Please refrain from that.

I've already addressed the issue of his mother's attempts to help several times, so bringing that up again is pointless.

The numbers prove that foster children fare worse than even the abused non-fostered kids. The majority of children who are abused, supposedly, are missed.

Are these your arbitrary, totally imaginary numbers?  Because none of the other numbers have proved anything of the kind thus far.

You are also consistently assuming that ending up in prison is the only measure of the results of abuse.  There are plenty of other ways in which the results of abuse can reveal themselves.

That, I believe, answers this question: "Please elaborate?  You're implying that the numbers disprove the idea that foster kids are removed from abusive homes.  Is that what you mean to say?"

I was trying to clarify whether or not you believe that the homes children are removed from are not abusive to begin with, that's all.  You were implying that the kids were being removed for no good reason.

But that's just not the case. So there IS something to having your family, even if they're abusive.
There is sometimes something to having your family.  Maybe even most of the time.  All I'm trying to convince you of is that keeping children with their birth parents is not ALWAYS best, but you refuse to concede even that point, even when the child in question is in serious danger of dying.

The fine line that is MORE important is when it is IMPERATIVE to take children from their families. The idea that when a child is obese and the mother is trying to get help makes it IMPERATIVE to deprive that boy of his family, and in just THAT ONE stroke, deprive him of a hopeful future... is simply not conscionable.

When the family can be helped to become a positive environment for the child, taking the child away is cruelty of the highest order, TOWARDS THE CHILD.
The child IS being deprived of a hopeful future.  He could die next month.  Literally.  You keep overlooking the fact that he is not obese, but morbidly obese.

I don't know how many times this has been said already, but the mother's attempts to get help were too late.  Period.

And AGAIN:  No one here is saying that the mother can't be guided into providing a good environment for her child -- at some point.  That child needs help now, or he will likely be dead and all this will be moot.

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Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #101 on: July 28, 2009, 06:06:56 PM »
This kid, imo, needs to spend some time at a clinic or an inpatient weight-loss center, with his mother having full visitation rights so she can be just as educated as he is about appropriate exercise habits and responsible eating.  She doesn't need to be in jail, and he doesn't need to be with a foster family.  They need to be together to get through this period of their lives, and hopefully come out the other end stronger and wiser.

^This.  x 9000

Offline Phoenix

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #102 on: July 28, 2009, 07:11:54 PM »
I assumed when a kid reaches 14, when puberty hits and his need for independence kicks in, that he'd be more open to the idea of foster parents. Perhaps I am wrong.

My family was taken away from me. I'm not going to go to length about it because I don't feel like it. Just because I was young then doesn't mean I don't remember what it felt like to lose them but I managed to weather through the worst of it. As unbelievable as that may be, I did indeed get over it though I still visit their graves quite a bit.

As for being taken in by strangers: yes it was frightening, yes I was more than a little intimidated by these guys whom I never met (and my foster father has one hell of a face that scares the crap out of you when he's serious), but I myself was never 'abused' as you have said.

Maybe that's what sets our viewpoints apart.

If your parents died, then that is one of the times when it's good, important, and valuable to have things like adoption and foster care. I'm really happy that you got put into a loving environment when you lost your parents. You're one of the lucky ones from that standpoint. Thank goodness.

The lucky ones do happen. The issue is that they're the "lucky" ones instead of the "usual." You know what I mean? It should be standard that children are in loving and welcoming environments if they lose their parents are HAVE to be removed from them.

For circumstances such as yours (and mine-- my mother was killed and there was no father), there needs to be a safe haven, a place where we can be loved while we grieve the loss of our family.

But in most cases, children put into foster care don't even have their loss recognized. Their parents are still alive, after all. In some ways, I was lucky with the first family, because they died. In the second case when I lost my second but living family, it wasn't even a loss in the eyes of most people. I was supposed to be celebrating getting free of them because they abused me.

But you know, actually, I wanted them to love me. And losing them, and the chance of ever being loved by them, really hurt.

I got the mourn the first loss, but I (like so many adoptees, especially ones NOT adopted due to parental death) was supposed to celebrate the second loss. I was supposed to be happy because they were abusive and I got free of them.

Okay, I'm going to go through what I'm trying to say just one more time.

1. This child is incredibly overweight.  Morbid obesity is a serious and deadly medical condition.

2.  His mother (or indeed any layperson) is unable to give him the care he needs at home.

3.  If he stays at home with his mother, no matter how quickly and well they educate her in nutrition and his overall care, the odds are that the boy will die, or at the very least suffer extremely serious health issues.

And this is no different than a foster family. He either needs to be in an inpatient facility, or in an outpatient facility and living with his mother.

His mother is NOT an imminent threat to him. His obesity is, but his mother IS NOT.

If they were so concerned that he might die any second, and they were so concerned that he needed around-the-clock care and monitoring, he would be in a hospital, not a foster home.

But he isn't in a hospital or in a weight-loss inpatient facility.

Nor is he with his mother.

Quote
You keep assuming that his removal from his mother will be permanent, and I'm not sure why.

No, I'm not assuming that. I'm assuming, rightfully so, that any time period of being forcibly removed from a parent can cause reactive attachment disorder. That's scientifically verified. It can also cause post traumatic stress disorder. This is also proven.

As Rhapsody has already covered, even a few months' absence created tremendous trauma for her nephews and their family. It doesn't take forever to break a child's heart or to injure their mind.

Quote
To address a few specific points you raised:

No one's arguing that she wants to help her son.  The issue is whether she's capable of helping.  No one is arguing that being separated from his mother will be upsetting to the son.  It's simply preferable to risking his imminent death.

She may not be capable. Neither is a foster home, unless they JUST so happened to have a foster home sitting around that is run by a medical doctor and a nutritionist and a weight loss expert.

So he is best off with his mother who can't help him and getting help from those who can, than being with strangers who can't help him and getting help from those who can.

Quote
Your language is once again becoming seriously loaded.  Please refrain from that.

I've already addressed the issue of his mother's attempts to help several times, so bringing that up again is pointless.

It isn't pointless. She is no more or less competent to help him than the average foster parent. If she shouldn't have him because she's not a professional who can help him, then neither should foster parents. If he needs hospitalization, the foster care STILL is not the answer.

It's unreasonable to argue that a well-meaning caretaker who isn't a hospital shouldn't have the child, but then to argue that a well-meaning foster parent is okay to have the boy even though they are no more of a hospital than the mother is.

Quote
Are these your arbitrary, totally imaginary numbers?  Because none of the other numbers have proved anything of the kind thus far.

yes they have. I have repeatedly given not only studies, but links to further studies that have found that foster children score WORSE on all developmental areas than comparably-abused children who stay with their parents. They are also more likely to get pregnant, more likely to end up homeless, etc.

Quote
You are also consistently assuming that ending up in prison is the only measure of the results of abuse.  There are plenty of other ways in which the results of abuse can reveal themselves.

Incorrect. The numbers and the links I provided show that foster children fare worse in many ways, a couple of which I have already mentioned. And this is in comparison to children who were ALSO abused, but NOT removed from their homes.

Quote
I was trying to clarify whether or not you believe that the homes children are removed from are not abusive to begin with, that's all.  You were implying that the kids were being removed for no good reason.
There is sometimes something to having your family.  Maybe even most of the time.  All I'm trying to convince you of is that keeping children with their birth parents is not ALWAYS best, but you refuse to concede even that point, even when the child in question is in serious danger of dying.

First off, I have never claimed that the children aren't abused. Nor have I claimed that allowing a child to become grossly obese is not abusive. Do I know that children are sometimes removed from homes which are not abusive? YES. I know this personally. I have also helped two people get their children back when they were removed without proof of abuse.

Do I claim anywhere, ever, that these are the majority of cases? Nope.

I have also plainly stated that children SHOULD be removed when the parents are an imminent danger to the child. When the parent, through a deliberate act, can bring about harm to the child, or when they are incompetent in a manner that constitutes immediate harm.

It is reasonable to say that a mother who has an obese child and has willfully refused to accept assistance in feeding and caring for him IS an imminent danger. When you have a cooperative, willing mother, however, then she is NOT an imminent danger to her child.

This mother is NOT a threat to her son any more or less than the average foster parent (assuming non-abusive) is.

Quote
The child IS being deprived of a hopeful future.  He could die next month.  Literally.  You keep overlooking the fact that he is not obese, but morbidly obese.

I have never once overlooked this fact. You continue to ignore the fact that he is simply in a foster home, and NOT in any sort of care for the morbidly obese. You contend that he's better off with strangers with no knowledge in the treatment of morbid obesity than he is with his mother who has no knowledge in the treatment of morbid obesity.

THAT is the contention that I cannot agree with. He is better off with the ignorant person who loves him and was seeking help for him, and getting that help from knowledgeable professionals in the meantime. Or if he's so obese that he cannot function, he should be in a hospital, NOT foster care.

Quote
I don't know how many times this has been said already, but the mother's attempts to get help were too late.  Period.

And AGAIN:  No one here is saying that the mother can't be guided into providing a good environment for her child -- at some point.  That child needs help now, or he will likely be dead and all this will be moot.

Yes, they were too late. However, they came. So now, the wellbeing of the boy must be put over the desire to punish the mother for being too late.

If he were in a hospital or other care for the obese, I would only argue that he should have visits with his mother and know that he will be going home to her. This knowledge and these visits would help him know that everything was going to turn out okay. It would give him hope in the face of the difficult struggle to get his life back on track.

As it is now, he has only the legacy of being taken from his mother and given to someone else who can't help him, and the fact that his mother may go to prison so he may not get to see her again at all for years and years.

Personally, I think he's suffered enough. Help his mother help him, for HIS sake.

OR put him into a facility that can give him the instant help he needs. Not foster care.

Offline SleepyWei

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #103 on: July 28, 2009, 07:50:04 PM »
His mother is NOT an imminent threat to him. His obesity is, but his mother IS NOT.

No one said his mother is but she has SOME part to this.

No, I'm not assuming that. I'm assuming, rightfully so, that any time period of being forcibly removed from a parent can cause reactive attachment disorder. That's scientifically verified. It can also cause post traumatic stress disorder. This is also proven.

Is there proof that he himself is reacting this way?

She may not be capable. Neither is a foster home, unless they JUST so happened to have a foster home sitting around that is run by a medical doctor and a nutritionist and a weight loss expert.

So he is best off with his mother who can't help him and getting help from those who can, than being with strangers who can't help him and getting help from those who can.

You're assuming that the foster family is downright useless in helping him. That may not be the case.


Personally, I think he's suffered enough. Help his mother help him, for HIS sake.

The mother IS getting help in learning how to better treat her son. It is possible that when this is all done with, he'll go right back into her care once she's learned whatever it is that they're teaching her.

Offline RhapsodyTopic starter

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #104 on: July 28, 2009, 08:15:04 PM »
The mother IS getting help in learning how to better treat her son. It is possible that when this is all done with, he'll go right back into her care once she's learned whatever it is that they're teaching her.

If they don't find her guilty of criminal neglect -- a felony charge, which normally carries jail time -- that is.

Offline Serephino

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #105 on: July 28, 2009, 08:26:11 PM »
This, however, has horrifying and lifelong consequences for the mother (almost 100% of mothers who relinquish have PTSD and few if any ever recover from it). It also has very negative and painful consequences for the adoptee. But these issues are not only ignored, but are often outright denied.

Yet, let's face it, we all inherently KNOW that people are irreplaceable. Yet with adoption, somehow people lose all sight of that, and think that mothers can be replaced like old, dirty socks, and the baby won't even notice that the ONLY person they've known for 9 months is suddenly and inexplicably gone forever.

Adoption is sold as a panacea for the poor, unwed pregnant woman. The miracle that gets rid of her problem, saves the child from certain and of course endless poverty, and bestows a miraculous gift upon the paying adopters. Then we all forget that it also fills the coffers of the agencies-- even 'not for profit' or 'nonprofit' agencies actually DO profit. Selling babies for adoption is a 1.8 billion dollar profitable INDUSTRY in the USA. The mother doesn't make any money, but the agencies make loads.

The problem is that this billing of adoption as wonderful and win-win-win is not only a lie in and of itself, but it's actually harmful in that it makes us look at the taking of children from one family and giving them to another as a good thing. We see it as a great benefit to the child.

But this is simply not true. It's a painful, very very painful,  event for the child. Even if it happens at infancy. In fact, the older the child is when it happens, the better off they are, because at least then people acknowledge the loss. When it happens at infancy, people mistakenly believe it has no impact on the child.

This false idea, of course, is perpetuated by the adoption industry. If mothers knew that their child would actually be traumatized by their "loving act" of abandonment, they would think twice and not fall for the pressure to relinquish.

That would be catastrophic to that $1.8 billion bottom line.

So don't think that I'm necessarily talking to you here. I heard you when you said that it shouldn't be done based solely upon them being poor and just needing help.

However, there are many others (even in this thread) who express that exact sentiment. Poor people shouldn't be allowed to have, or to keep, kids. They honestly believe that poor people should be punished for being poor by not being allowed families.

This mindset bears addressing, in my opinion.

Poor is often a temporary situation. Losing your child is forever.

I think you've said you have a personal experience with this, and therefore you're very passionate.  You paint adoption to be a horrible thing, but it isn't always. 

I'm not saying a woman should give her baby up just because she's poor, but I'd think just how poor should factor into the decision.  What a poor unwed mother needs to think about is whether or not she can/wants to provide for her child.

If the woman would have to work 2 or more jobs and only barely keep the kid fed and clothed, what kind of life is that for the kid?  He or she may be with their mother, but would hardly ever see her.  Obviously this 550lbs kid was effected by this.  His mother was never around and couldn't monitor his eating habits.  And when she was around she didn't want to cook so she just brought home fast food.

Statistically it's the kids who don't receive proper parental supervision are the ones who end up in the most trouble, whether it be ending up morbidly obese, or getting involved with drugs. 

Now imagine if this kid had been given up for adoption.  Maybe he was adopted by a middle class couple who badly wanted a kid, but couldn't have one of their own.  He could've had a loving stay at home mother who cooked nutritious meals for him and didn't let him sit in front of the tv all day.  Wouldn't that be better for him than the situation he's in now?  His mother is in jail because he couldn't stop stuffing his face.  How do you think that makes him feel?  Even if he does stay with his mother in the end, I garantee you this whole ugly episode has traumatized him for life. 

Does adoption effect a baby?  It's hard to say.  I'm sure they notice, but there are hundreds of people who were adopted as babies out there that are productive members of society.  A lot of them have no idea they were adopted. 

Again, I'm not saying that women should give up their babies just because their poor.  But these are things a mother-to-be needs to think about.  They should ask themselves what kind of life they can provide, and whether or not they want that for their child.  A lot of women who gave up their babies say they did so because they wanted their child to have a better life than they could provide.  Sure it's a hard decision, but in my opinion keeping a baby that you can't provide reasonably for is selfish.  And by reasonably I mean the essentials like food, clothing, shelter... and of course love and affection.

Obviously my s/o and I can't have a kid the usual way, but we would like one some day.  However, we know we can't provide for one the way things are.  If we were a straight couple and had an unplanned pregnancy, adoption would be something we'd at least think about because we're barely holding our heads above water.  I may have to go this winter without heat, but I'd never put an innocent child through that.   

Offline Phoenix

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #106 on: July 29, 2009, 06:43:52 AM »
I'm not going to get into adoption and the deep psychological trauma it causes for both mothers and relinquished babies here.

You assume that children care as much about wealth as you do, but they don't.

If you want to know the truth about adoption, and why it is NOT healthier to grow up with wealthy strangers than with your own, but poor, mother, then educate yourself some. Read The Primal Wound. Hear the trauma and pain of adoptees, who must live their entire lives having a deep-seated psychological knowledge that they were unwanted. How they spend their lives unconsciously trying to be good enough so that they won't be given away again. How they live their lives terrified of abandonment, often creating havoc in their relationships and causing them to behave in manners that are focused on pleasing the other person so that they won't leave-- even to the adoptee's own detriment.

From an infant's perspective, they know only that the only place they felt safe and loved has abandoned them. Another woman, no matter how loving, isn't your mother. Eventually, they will learn to want the love of that stranger, sure.

But they will never stop wanting the love of their mother. The woman who carried them for 9 months and was their entire world.


Imagine that we took you away from your family, and you couldn't talk or write or communicate in any way except by crying. We take you to a foreign country where people don't quite look like you. They're nice, but you don't know them. You're totally alone, except these nice people. Nothing smells the same. Nothing looks the same. No one you know is there.

But these strangers expect you to act like they were always there. They ignore it when you sob and cry out and beg for your mother, because they don't understand you. And besides, your family is replaceable, anyway, right?

I mean, that's all okay to do to you, as long as the new people are right, right?

Shall we just replace your husband, with a nice rich guy? You won't care, right? You won't even miss him, I bet. Heck, you'll just immediately love the new guy. And you'll never feel hurt that your husband just up and dumped you in this new guy's lap. He just wanted the best for you.

So go ahead, go find a new, rich husband. Husbands, like mothers and any other family, are entirely replaceable. You should really upgrade to a rich one, it's just not fair that you're getting put through being cold in the winter when there are rich men out there without wives.

Of course, I don't expect you to do that. But it does give you a glimpse into what you are saying about babies. That we should just replace everything they've ever known and loved with total strangeness, and assume it will have no lasting consequences just because they can't communicate.

That they will not miss their family because their family is poor.

But that doesn't work for you. You're not leaving your husband and replacing him just because he's poor.

The only difference is that you have a choice. You get to stay with the people you love. An infant, forced into an adoption, has no such choice.

And then, despite the ache in their heart that lasts for many for their entire lifetime... despite the many times they sit and daydream of their mother changing her mind and saying she does actually love and want her baby after all, she's so sorry.... they are expected to BE GRATEFUL.

They're not allowed to grieve. They're expected to be grateful.

If you were taking from everything you know, love, and rely on... through no choice of your own... and then told to be grateful because getting rid of something you love is the loving, wonderful choice... how would you feel?

It's a painful message to grow up with. If you love something, you have to get rid of it-- for its own good. Ouch!




Yes, in extremely rare cases, adoption can be great. But instead of making poor people give up their babies and pretending everything's okay about that, how about we start helping poor people.

Being poor = often a temporary situation, anyway.

Giving up a child = a permanent solution.

And the trauma of that loss usually keeps the mother from moving on in her life. The trauma is often so deep and so continued that she ends up with PTSD and this ruins her ability to keep going.

Furthermore, for a woman who loves her child so much that she's willing to make that kind of sacrifice "for the child's good," the presence of the child will be enough to catapult her into bettering her life so that the child she loves so much will have a better life. Many women, especially, will succeed for others when they are not all that motivated to succeed for their own personal sake.



So anyway, if you want to know the truth about adoption and how it effects the mothers and the adoptees, read about it. It's not the bed of roses you've been told it is to be given away for your own good because society deems rich people worthy of babies, and poor people unworthy of them.

Children have a basic human RIGHT to their families.

Here's an adoptee forum that might open your eyes to the "bliss" of being given away, too: http://www.adultadoptees.org/forum/index.php
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 06:49:20 AM by Phoenix »

Offline Caeli

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #107 on: July 29, 2009, 06:54:29 AM »
As interesting as this discussion is, please try to stay somewhat on topic. :-) If you'd like to discuss adoption, foster care, and its consequences and etc. more, you're welcome to open a new topic.

Offline Sho

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #108 on: July 29, 2009, 09:44:08 AM »
Alright, so...I finally decided to weigh in on this. I think that the child being taken from his mother, while unfortunate, was probably for the best. At this point, its almost certain that he will receive proper medical care, as it has become such a highly publicized case. Frankly, whether or not he feels like he is being punished, he'll at least survive. It may sound accusatory, but...I do think that it is a parent's fault if their child gets to 550 pounds. It's one thing if your child has some sort of disease that you cannot control, but...it is a parent's job to care for their child to the extent that they can. This child isn't just chubby, or one too many burgers over what would be considered normal. He is morbidly obese. One doesn't fail to notice that. Admittedly, I find it unfortunate that she was arrested when finally trying to get her son help...but how she possibly could have waited that long, I don't understand. How she could have seen her child gaining so much weight but not having acted earlier, I don't know.

I have no statistical evidence to support anything I say. All I know is what I feel, and what I feel is that this mother was absolutely negligent in allowing her child to get to such an appalling weight. A parent is responsible for their child until they become a legal adult, and it was her responsibility to keep her child in good health. She failed to do so. Do I think she should go to jail? No. Do I think that putting her child in a situation where help will be offered immediately is better? Yes. I don't think that she is capable of caring for her child at this state - no one but a trained medical profession is - and the fact that she waited until her son was in such a terrible physical condition makes me strongly doubt that she will be capable of caring for him properly or preventing him from gaining back the weight that he will, hopefully, lose.