Most Foster Care children grow up to have behavioral and attachment issues because of the lack they are missing out from the biological parents. The question that arrises is, “Should children that are in the Foster Care system be eligible to be reunited with their biological parents or should they remain in the system until they have reached the legal age to make their own decisions.
Although, to some, this may be an extremely tough and emotional decision, but I feel that Children who are put in Foster Care, should only be reunited with their families depending n the situation, because some situations are completely different and it only takes for parents to get a good job and a clean place to live. A biological parent should have the right to be involved in his/ her child’s life to the greatest extent possible, especially including being involved in major decisions regarding the child. This means, in the absence of any court order to the contrary, there should be no reason why a biological parent should be assumed to be out of a child’s life simply because years of non-contact with the child have occurred.
In the absence of a court order a biological parent should have the right to give their “input” on their child. I don’t think it should matter the level on which the input in being given. Whether it is permission to get their ears pierced or much larger issues (such as medical decision,) a parent is a parent. I do feel that if a parent is wanting to give their opinion on the child they probably have the best intentions for said child. || honestly don’t believe that a parent would intentionally make a choice that would negatively influence their child.
There are multiple reasons why a parent may have been absent for an extended period of time. If a parent has been incarcerated, and unable to see the child, they may wish to reunite with the child after release. Assuming the parent was in prison for a reason other than abusing the child, I think they should be given another chance to be a part of the child’s life. They may not have been able to see the child due to the other parent’s wishes, location, or due to visitor regulations at the prison. I think that if they wish to be a part of their child’s life upon release that says something about the parent.
Obviously, if they want to see their child after all that time, they most likely spent a great deal of time thinking about them while incarcerated. I think if the parent served their time they should at least be given an opportunity to parent their own children. I have heard of multiple cases where on parent (typically the mother) decides after multiple years that she would like child support from the child’s father. Typically, this is not a huge deal. If the father is proven to be the father there isn’t much room for an argument on whether or not they want to pay child support.
However, I have witnessed multiple occasions where the mother’s seeking child support forgot to tell the father’s that they fathered a child. This is an example of a parent not seeing their child for multiple years and not paying any child support. This specific example however, is a reason why a complete stranger should be given the opportunity to know their child and possibly help make major decisions on the child. If they are proven to be the parent and choose to step up and help raise the kid, there shouldn’t be any argument on the other parent/ guardians behalf.
You can’t take responsibility for a child that you don’t know you have. Once you know about the child, the decisions you make after gaining this knowledge should be what is taken into account when it comes to one’s “parenting ability. ” I feel that in cases of incarceration it would be in the child’s best interest if the parent received additional help while “locked up. ” Many prisons offer a large amount of services to their inmates. These services come in the form of support groups, educational programs, and general classes.
I think that if an inmate has utilized their time served wisely there shouldn’t be any reason why they can’t try again with their child. If they have tried to further their education by getting a GED, taking college classes, or learning a trade they are taking the steps necessary to be a more responsible human being. Ideally, if they are taking those steps to being a better person it will hopefully help them make better choices in the world of parenting. Many prisons offer parenting classes. I do not believe that if a parent is incarcerated that it makes them a bad parent.
However, if they have the time and the class is available, why not take it? Support groups are another wonderful service offered in many prisons. They usually offer multiple groups ranging from Alcoholics Anonymous, religious groups, anger management, and etc. Depending on what the parent is incarcerated for could possibly influence what kind of group they would like to be involved with. Regardless of the situation, most support group’s help people stay calm, help people focus on what they need to achieve, and usually help people to not feel totally alone.
As said earlier, just because a parent is incarcerated does not make them a bad parent. I just feel that if they take the time to better themselves they will be more prepared for reentering society. If they have taken the time to improve themselves they will be better prepared to face and possibly argue for seeing their child. I feel that after getting out of prison most people would have to encounter the other parent, a grandparent, or even the foster system when it came time to see their child again. If they have proof they are trying the other side won’t have much ground to stand on.
Mental health situations is another reason I think a parent should be given another chance. I think that if a parent is suffering from a mental health problem they may have chosen to exit the child’s life. It doesn’t matter if the parent was following their own personal idea to leave or if they chose to leave to protect the child. Either way, they left because their illness was influencing the decisions. I believe if the parent has received help and wants to reenter the child’s life they should have the opportunity.
Hopefully, they have received a proper diagnosis, found a support group, possibly found a medication that works for them, or any combination leading to a more stable mental health. If they are more mentally stable and feel comfortable enough that they want to be involved with their child again they should get another chance. Just like I said with the prison argument, if they are taking the steps to improve themselves they are trying. I also believe that mental illness does not make a bad parent. If anything I think a mental illness makes it HARD to be a good parent.
I do feel that a biological parent has the right to reenter a child’s life, assuming that there was a decent reason for exiting it. However, I also believe that there are instances where a parent shouldn’t be given another chance. I think if the parent chose to leave for selfish reasons and elected to totally neglect their child’s well-being and financial welfare they shouldn’t be given another chance. If the parent chose to leave because they found a new relationship, the financial responsibilities were too great, or other pitiful reasons reentry shouldn’t be pursued. The child’s mental health needs to be taken into consideration.
I feel that depending on the age where a parent walked out reentry can do more harm than good. I think if the child is very small and basically holds no memory of the parent, reentry can be very confusing and scary for the child. If the parent walked out when the child was old enough to remember I still feel that reentry may cause a lot of unneeded harm to the child. The older child may already be struggling with issues of abandonment. If the parent decides to pop back into their life and give their two cents on major decisions I think this will only lead to a lot of rebellion and arguing.
I do feel that a parent who is attempting to reenter their child’s life obviously holds some regret for leaving otherwise they wouldn’t attempt at coming back. However, if they left once for selfish reasons I think the chances of them doing it again is just as likely. I think if a parent has chosen to go years without contact and not paid any child support they shouldn’t have a say in major decisions. I think the “blood/biological factor can only go so far. If the parent has elected to remain absent for all other life events, decision, and problems, stepping in to give an opinion on a major event shouldn’t be allowed.
If the parent has not cared enough to help out and give input in the past, allowing them to do so on a child they don’t even “know” is not fair to the child. They don’t know the child, the child’s wishes, fears, or what makes them happy, therefore calling the shots on a person they do not really know is not fair to the child or the person who has taken the time to raise the child. Even though the absent parent may have the best intentions for the child their lack of presence in the past should be taken into account.
Mental health status also comes into play in the reentry ituation. Yes, the parent may have left due to a mental health reason. However, if they haven’t addressed their illness by seeking help they shouldn’t be allowed to reenter the child’s life. If their mental health was the reason behind them leaving they need to pursue help. They need to get help for themselves, the people around them, and the child. If they are still struggling with mental illness and trying to reenter the child’s life on a whim there needs to be some form of intervention. The parent needs to receive proper help before coming back into the child’s life.
By allowing reentry without proper help the parent is a danger to themselves, a danger to the child, and putting the child’s mental health in jeopardy. I think if a parent is wanting to reenter a child’s life it needs to be for good. Popping in and out of a child’s life isn’t benefitting anyone involved. This argument like all the other ones has two very sticky sides to it. This “gray” area needs to be carefully addressed and each situation needs to be well researched and handle accordingly while working with our future clients. These are just a few examples to both sides of the argument presented.