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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.