Sunday, August 19, 2012

There is no anonymity

Sure, you may have been told you would be anonymous when you took a foster child into your home. You may have been told that foster parents names are never given out, or that the dept. takes great strides in protecting your privacy. That's what we were told, and for the most part, believed.

Let's look at our society, and social media. Technology seems to advance at a great speed on a daily basis. Soon we will be walking into stores where our faces will be recognized electronically, and personalized ads will be sent directly to our phones. It is not difficult to find information on line and in many other places. In foster care, you are not only caring for children, but you are attending court hearings, and getting legal papers with all kinds of information. Some of the paperwork I have gotten will have blacked out areas, but the next week I might recieve the same document with the same information that is not blacked out. We attend meetings where the facilitaor may "forget" and blurt out your name in front of people who aren't supposed to know. Then, if the bio parents, are persistent, they may even follow one of the transporters back to your home, while everyone is completely oblivious as to what is going on. There is even a law in my state where bio parents that have their children in foster care can go to DSHS and ask to find out the location of where their children reside. Ridiculous, if you ask me. But, my point is this...and I believe this should be covered in the 30 hrs. of foster parent training that is required for licensing...just assume you will not remain anonymous. We now know it is almost impossible to remain anonymous. We thought we were completely anonymous to the bio parents of our sibling set, our now 2 yr. old daughter and 4 yr. old son that we are in the process of adopting...that is until 2 weeks ago, when I walked out and checked my mailbox and found a handwritten letter to us from their biological be continued...


Tammy ~ Country Girl at Home ~ said...

Oh Michelle....I'm so sorry! I'm so scared of our "system" here. That's one hold back on us from doing the same as you. I admire you for fostering though!


Dalyn (AKA The Queen of Quite Alot) said...

its ridiculous and they will only continue it as long as we put up with it. If we quit until they make changes then they will have to change sooner or later. There are too many kids to not!

Anonymous said...

Wow that is crazy. It's one our fears with our foster children (hopefully to soon be adoptive). I was thankful when I discovered that the birth parents think our last name is different then it is. And as far as we know they don't know where we live. They've always visited at the agency by bus but last week they came by car. I have to take them today to what is suppose to be their last visit and I will be vigilant that they are not following me. We enter from another location then they do but the mom does know my car from when we were taking them to visits in her sober living home.

We hadn't heard from the birth parents in 5 months and now that they are terminating parental rights next week they showed up asking for visits. We were suppose to terminate two weeks ago but they asked for a continuance. Hopefully this will be it - social workers say judge was mad that they didn't show up last time when the attorney asked for a continuance so we'll see what happens. Should be okay as birth mom was already given a second chance when she got her reunification reinstated in May 2011. They terminated it again in April of this year.

Keeping you in my prayers for safety.