Foster care lies: sometimes they focus on the foster children, sometimes on the foster parents, but many are focused on demonizing the birth parents of children in foster care. These falsehoods are an all-too-common belief of the public, and sometimes, foster and adoptive parents themselves.
Children are never placed in foster care through any fault of their own, but some go into care for different reasons then you might think. Sometimes birth parents are doing what they think is best to care for their children based on their circumstances, but those choices lead to having their children removed until they can get on their feet. Many commonly believed foster care lies paint all birth parents whose children are in care as monsters, but there are many reasons this is not the case. Here are some of the most common lies about foster care that involve birth parents:
Foster Care Lies: Only children who are beaten and sexually abused by their birth parents come into foster care
While, sadly, many battered children and sexually molested children are placed in foster care for their safety, these aren’t the only reasons that children are removed from their birth parents’ home. In many cases, the reason for removal is not outright abuse, but abuse by way of neglect.
Neglect can happen for a number of reasons. A parent may have a drug addiction that causes them to think of little else but getting high. Although this is increasingly the reason for children are coming into foster care, children may go hungry or be without clean clothing for other reasons as well, including poverty.
Birth parents who work jobs where benefits like sick days are not offered may feel they need to go to work – no matter what – in order to provide for their families. Desperate birth parents may sometimes leave their children at home alone, or in a locked car outside their job site, when there is no family member or friend to babysit and they are unable to afford child care. While they are not intentionally neglecting their children – in fact, in their mind, they’re doing just the opposite – these actions can lead to child welfare caseworkers to be called and the children to go into foster care.
Foster Care Lies – All birth parents of kids in foster care are criminals
It’s a fact that some children are placed into foster care when a birth parent goes to jail. When we hear the word jail, we automatically think of a major (and probably violent) crime, such as abusing children, committing murder, robbing a bank at gunpoint, etc.
But there are many other reasons that someone could go to jail, including something as “dangerous” as too many unpaid parking tickets that there is simply no money to pay.
Foster Care Lies: Parents whose kids are in foster care don’t love their children
This is one of the biggest lies about foster care, and one of the most repeated. No matter what the circumstances are for a child coming into care, this is far too serious a claim to be made as a sweeping generalization, and far too often, could not be further from the truth.
Sometimes birth parents cannot raise their children safely, not because they have an addiction or because they themselves are abusers, but because they need knowledge and experience to meet their children’s special medical needs.
When a child’s medical needs are so overwhelming that they require 24/7 special care, they are sometimes placed into foster care with foster parents specifically trained in caring for medically fragile children. The children may have issues like Prune Belly Syndrome and Maple Syrup Urine Disease, which are uncommon, and if not cared for properly, can cause the children to die.
These foster parents then assist in training the birth parents in how to care for their children and keep them safe. Once the birth parents have mastered caring for the children in accordance with the child welfare system, they welcome them home and often spend the rest of their lives caring for them.
Foster Care Lies: Kids with good foster or adoptive parents don’t need their birth parents in their lives
No matter what reasons children come into foster care, the goal, whenever possible, is to reunite birth parents and their children. Even when foster children cannot return home, it is important for foster and adoptive parents never to demonize birth parents and to allow them, and the rest of the children’s birth family, to be as much a part of their children’s lives as possible whenever it’s safe to do so.
20 thoughts on “Foster Care Lies | The Demonization of Birth Parents”
I am so happy you all posted this! I was just writing about this same topic last week! http://mochasandtulips.blogspot.com/2013/08/m-isnt-for-monster.html
True. And It’s not all cupckaes and rainbows. Bio parents also have the MOST rights of anyone involved, the child included. Foster parents have the least.
Yes, so true.
My grandkids have been lead to believe terrible things about their birth parents, by their now adoptive parents. Their mother was demonized by them. Their mother never laid a hand on her kids. She had an addiction, but she loved her kids. She didn’t know how to be anything else. She later died of cancer and depression.
I know this site means well and intends to educate. As a free adoption search angel I find the term birth parent repugnant under any circumstance , but when we are talking about fostered youth who have not even been adopted….the term birth parent is just inappropriate.
To be clear a person with offspring is a parent whether they or anyone else like it. Look it up in Websters Dictionary. Adoption does not stop them from meeting the criteria of being the parent of their own offspring nor does it qualify the adopting party as a parent, but rather an adoptive parent. Given that people are inclined to refer to people who adopt as parents because the government allows falsification of adopted people’s birth records it is understandable, though not acceptable, that people will sometimes refer to adopted people’s parents as their birth parents to differentiate from adoptive parents, because legally they have proof via a falsified birth record that the adoptive party is a parent. It’s fake and false but when that fake document exists then people feel they need to refer to the adopter as parents and the parents as birth parents. When a minor is being fostered, there is no excuse for referring to his or her parents as birth parents. As I said its always incorrect to refer to someones parents as something other than parents, but sometimes there is an excuse for doing so. A person who is in foster care has not had their rights violated by the falsification of their birth record and there is no excuse for referring to their parents as birth, first, natural or original parents which all mean ex parent. Their parents are their parents and that is the end of that everyone else is just helping to raise them. People may think they can become parents by raising other people’s kids but they can’t and the sooner they get that through their heads and hearts the less damage they will do to already vulnerable youth who have been separated from their relatives.
Wow, I’m not sure why you are so angry at adoptive parents but trust me, we are not all evil. We adopted two children who’s birth mother did drugs while pregnant and beat one child in the head with a baseball bat. We also made sure when they were old enough that they met their birth parents if they chose that. I use birth mother because that is what she did, gave birth to our children, of which I am greatful. After meeting her (She was high by the way) one of my children wants nothing to do with her and the other child is friends with her on social media. Using those terms allowed the kids to have a way of differentiate between all of the parents, mostly to other adults. There is not malice in these terms. I do resent your implication that because I did not actually give birth to my children I am not their parent.
I agree just because you did not birth the child does not mean you are any less of a parent im in the middle of foster to adopt my toddler granddaughter who is 3 i have had her all her life her bio mom is a junkie who keeps having kids im grandma but im also mom to her she has autism and i love her like she is my child
Oh thank you for that I am a mother of 5 boys I unfortunately have been Demonized by the foster parents they have verbally mentally psychologically deemed me as the most horrible person in the world to my kids where’s the Best Buy and my older boys have came back to me but my third son is still with the foster parent my aunt had one of my boys feeding me as well as bad ugly monster my two oldest boys have now or in my life one is 28 the other one is 24 but my third oldest son is still there with the foster parents and hates me and says awful things to my son’s about me false accusation negative he wishes I was dead and when I had him he was a loving caring happy little boy now he’s a cold-blooded evil negative person and wishes me that was dead and says how much he hates me and all I did was my situation was due to my mental health something that I can get away from I was born with this I’m not a drug addict I was born addicted to drugs do to my mother and my father I was a drug alcohol baby cycle up with mental health problems physical problems with my health but I showed my kids love respect honor each other themselves but because of my meds they said I was unfit to be a parent I thought for my kids for three and a half years and then my rights were severed after I did everything the course wanted counseling parenting visits everything that they wanted me to do I was working two jobs for myself and a halfway house show them that I know how to be cordial with other people how to listen to Authority because they said I had Authority problems which I’m a military brat I was raised around my family as being a single parent I had a lot of struggles but I made my life work I wasn’t addicted to drugs I wasn’t abusive when I connect it to my kids I showed him my kids love happiness I was involved in their schools we worked as a family I had them involved in things I was there for everything but I think the person that broke the comment that I responded to that keeping parents like myself and other parents that you were victims and we are victims to this till day of being demonized very critical eyes extinct about every negative thing that they possibly can say about a person as to the fact I’m saying that my son looks like his foster mother and not like me which he looks exactly like me all my boys do and and in the beginning she was a very she ran me over before all this happened and I was pregnant with my second oldest child hit me with a car and ran me over and but yet they gave them Foster they grant them foster parents but yet she she assaulted me with a car and I was pregnant and crashed into a fire hydrant she went to jail and convicted but yet they and she said that she would do anything she possibly could to make my life miserable and get custody of my kids and kill them one by one and yet they still gave them custody of my kids that guy was abusive to me he assaulted me abused me choke me I was a victim of domestic violence and yet they gave him custody of my kids and he’s not even the father of none of my kids and yes the fact that how can the government or anybody be able to change a birth certificate just like the lady said that’s falsifying a legal document that’s changing a person’s true identity because that’s the type of finding a legal document and how is that even how is that even possible that they’re able to do that some parents and changing the fact that now there’s a father’s name on there and their real fathers name isn’t on there and the real mother is not on there and they never ever worked on reunification was never show me or given to me or even worked on I do parenting all the classes counseling everything that they wanted me to do above and beyond and more for three and a half years and I was still my rights got severed DCS is the worst on people with mental health and any kind of other mental problems they make you feel as though you are nothing no matter how much school or education you might have and they will still make you feel as though you are nothing and they think everybody has a drug problem or neglect or abandonment or abusing their kids is not true it takes one person to make a false phone call to DCs and make false accusations about a person and your life can go from great to downfall in less than an hour my kids and myself are victims m-dcps falsifying and refusing to give my parental rights back or my kids and not just my kids I had my son’s two cousins that I was taking care of I had them for two and a half years if their mom abandoned them and chose to do drugs before her kids she gave me her kids so not only just my five boys but the two little girls as well so there were seven kids taken from me in the evening we woke up happy eating breakfast with a lunch then evening Mexican home my kids were just taken from me and bestow I was told that it would be 72 hours before I can hear from my kids they gave me no reason or any kind of answer when they took them it was three cars and the police that stormed up and ask my name and ask where my kids were three of them were outside with me or sitting on the steps and the other ones were inside sleep cuz they were tired from swimming sorbet dinner and had a bath and work laying down they walked in the house and got the kids my other three kids or screaming and crying and Kicking and screaming for I want my mommy I want my mommy my babies were crying because they were confused they had no idea what was going on and they asked me what would I do for my kids I explained I would die for my kids meaning that if it took either my life and give save my son’s life I would do that if they needed heart transplant or my blood or anything I would give them to my kids so that way they could be able to be to live and if I had to take a bullet for my kids I would if somebody would threaten my kids and then say what it’s either your life or the kid’s life I would give my life so my kids would have a chance at life so they said I was suicidal I had Suicidal Tendencies and which was not true I love my life I love my kids I loved the world I love being in existence I’m very helpful caring I’m a caregiver I graduated school I I have a big list of experiences and schooling and trade schools I’m not a nobody not like I’m uneducated but they refused to find any of the positive things that I did in my life I just wanted to be able to have Justice for being trashed and deemed as a bad parent I never was given the chance say goodbye to my kids or a reason why they said they were severing my rights my kids missed a lots and lots of beans one of my kids is taken out of the US and taken to Mexico when they weren’t supposed to abused they showed up with bite marks scratch marks bruises ringworm or not even showing up at all was accused of all kinds of stuff it’s not right that anybody can say bad things about you and you’re just looked at as the bad person the bad guy the demon the person that doesn’t love their kids which is not true thank you for anybody that just listen to a person and give the person like me a chance to be able to speak and know that I’m not the only one it’s been victimized
My son was putbbqin a theuraputic foster home because he was acting out at school and home (drug use, etc). Even though foster parents get subsidies; the foster mom asked me for money constantly and i had to provide all clothes, extra money for activities, and shampoo, soap, etc. She said she didnt have money to buy things….she also had 7 dogs in here house eatingoff tables…..needless to say my son is back at home acting 100% better….how can NC authorize these people to be foster parents.
What would happen if a foster child lies that the male foster care parent hit him and was caught on video? Would something happen to the child?
In my story ..it’s different. The foster parents of my 17 old grandchild giving him and buying him everything possible and impossiboe ..just to buying him out and stay him with them and not communicate with birth parents. So. He is doing what ever he wanna do ..missing school . Coming home very late and other things that I don’t wanna even mention. They allowed him to do ..just to stay there and they already asked him to call them mama and papa …we just don’t know what to do and why they are acting like that. Maybe just to ruine his life and to ruine our life because we love him very much …or maybe something else involve . Hard to believe.
Thank you for reaching out to embrella. I am sorry that you feel this way about your grandson. One of the harder parts of having a child in care is feeling like everything is out of your control. Remember, there are always two sides to a story, and it’s not always best to assume what the foster parents intentions. Most foster parents are trying their best to support a youth, not ruin anyone’s life. We have to remember that it is not the foster parents that caused this situation and that they are there to try to help. There could be a court order limiting the contact with the birth parents, which the foster parents and case worker then have to try to enforce. The best thing to do in this situation, if you have communication, is to encourage your grandson to be positive and act like the young man you believed he was raised to be. Adolescence is a time of “storm and stress” for youth, and the struggles your grandson has encountered may magnify this and cause him to act out more than he should.
Does anyone know a good lawer my children was taken from me because I went to jail I was in foster care myself and the foster parent had me arrested because her husband raped me her and the husband attacked Me and I ended up going to jail I never had a record the court made me plea guilty for charges I never did they ended up using all of these charges against me and ended up terminate my rights
As we do not know in which state you reside, I would recommend calling 2-1-1 and asking for an agency that provides free legal consultations or services. Here at embrella, we are not legal advocates and cannot provide legal advice.
Support Services Manager
You really need a good attorney who specializes in family law. I had a legal aid attorney and I’ll tell you,they don’t do much!
I am living this same nightmare I’ll pray for your family
Having issues with having kids were it seem ok but grass is always greener on other side have heard a recording but they seem to have team up on one parent feeling already emotiobal but they took advantage of that state of mind ihow can one help with safety n well bing of children
My daughter has been in Foster Care since age 9. I’m her biological mother but she rarely talks to me now at 17 years old. I fought tooth and nail to get her back fighting poverty and homelessness and wasn’t successful. She says I left her in foster care to fend for herself which is not true. The agency on her case failed to make any real substantial attempts at reunification. She’s about to age out of foster care and won’t accept my help. Said she sees me as her birth mother.Any advice?
Hello I am a birth mom I am going through a crisis situation right now the foster family that took my children from my grandma are the father of my children’s ex mother in law and his ex wife and his first two older children live there. We were supposed to try to get our children home by December now the father of my children got his unsupervised visits revoked he doesn’t get to see our kids at all now. Sunday night Kainen our son fell down a hill and my fiancé sent a picture to the caseworker he asked him what happened buddy and Kainen said it happened at the fosters and my fiancé said no buddy it’s okay you fell here. And now the foster family brought it to the police and is accusing my fiancé of striking our son. This is a nightmare. I don’t know what to do we don’t have the money for a lawyer and the cops believe our 3 year old. My 8 year old daughter that lives with Kainen lies all the time and that family is a terrible foster placement and huge conflict of interest. I need help.
Hey, just need a little help.
I’m a father of 5 daughters I have never been accused or charged of child abuse in any shape or from I still have three daughters in my care and custody and one with children of her own at the time I had my six week old daughters removed from my care after receiving information saying I wasn’t the biological father now my daughter was with me because she was with her siblings I got in touch with her mother and told her what had happened because I was not aloud in the court room because they believe i was not the father 6 months later they decide to give me a DNA test and it came back positive I’m the father I get my chance in the court room to claim my daughter back the magistrate requested a early morning break as we leave the court room the people who removed her said she will be replaced back into my care after early morning tea break we all went back into court after the 6 months waiting for the DNA test and the chance to set foot in the court room the magistrate said that she had been in the system for this long she can stay where she is with the foster care.. now it has been 12 years and I’ve finally got my daughters contact and visiting arrangements and on their first visit of two so far my three daughters in my care was shown a book by their sister with a photo of myself with my criminal history in writing on the first page you open saying this is why I don’t live at home? That shocked my girls with confusion of the disbelief in the perception their sister had been given out of caricature allegations against her own father of course I have a past and my girls know about it to I use myself and my life experiences as examples in a lot of ways that only increases their ability to avoid such certain situations or dangers that could happen my girls have such beautiful nature’s and very well mannered they can’t believe their sister is led to believe that dad’s past has been made to be the issue when they know the truth and their sister don’t it has always been hard and always will not only for my own sorrow but the same for everyone of them as siblings to have to experience such a loss of child hood times in life.. if there’s a direction that could be shown information or advice that could help maybe where I could find it I’d appreciate it as well as my girls thank you for taking the time of interest in my post cheers to all.