Trigger Warning: The subject matter that is referenced in this article may cause distress or discomfort with topics around child trauma, abuse, neglect, assault, and other potentially uncomfortable information.
There seem to be a few justifications that the “pro-life without exceptions” lawmakers like to use on a regular basis: Abortion is murder. Pro-choice somehow equates to child abuse. It can be argued that their laws by their own logic make pro-life lawmakers guilty of their own hypocrisy.
For example, when a mother is literally dying but she cannot get a medical abortion due to the “no exceptions for the life of the mother” clause mandated by the government. Then, if the mother does die because she was not given the abortion she needed for her life, the baby also dies.
The pro-life argument does not stand once the child is born, as illustrated by the spending cuts enacted by the states with the bans. This could mean that if the state concludes that the mother is not fit to raise the child, they go to foster care where trafficking is not rare.
Forcing young girls to deliver a baby that their bodies can’t safely handle and then have that child get taken away by Child Protective Services because they don’t have the means to care for the child financially because they aren’t even old enough to have a job makes no sense. All the while suffering mental health trauma that will go untreated because it is unaffordable. Like in Texas, where “Texas officials celebrated end of abortion rights after cutting Medicaid extension”.
I’m about to jump into some data on how foster care and adoption currently operate. Before I get into the data and the details, it is worth mentioning the following:
- Not all unplanned pregnancies end in giving the baby up for adoption.
- Not all unplanned pregnancies are a burden and a strong support system -families, pastors, friends, neighbors – can provide a healthy, happy upbringing full of love.
- About 1 out of 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage which can often require a medical abortion.
- Adoption services have the best intentions and make every effort to evaluate the home life of the parent(s) to ensure the child has a stable and loving family.
- Not all foster care situations are the same, and children adopted from foster care can be just as wonderful and well-adjusted as any child.
- The role of Child Protective Services can be very effective in providing a stable life for children.
- As with anything published online, one instance or example does not represent the entire population of the subject discussed.
- Anything that is hyperlinked will take you to where the data was sourced.
- The children are not illegal immigrants. White, Black, and Hispanic children make up the majority of the foster care population.
- There are some sarcasm and opinion-based comments.
- For anything you read with biased or one-sided opinions, it is good to fact-check from reputable sources if the source itself if biased.
The goal of this article is to provide a different point of view to start the conversation. Never attack anyone personally for their beliefs online or in person. Opposing views are welcome, just be polite.
Foster Care in the United States
According to the data from the US Department of Health and Human Services, over 632,000 children in the United States were served (entered, existed, or temporarily placed) in the foster care system in 2020. Nationwide, 20,000 kids age out of foster care each year, many without much of anyone or anything to call their own. In any given year, 155,000 kids are waiting to be adopted with a waiting period of 9 to 18 months from the day of the official start of the paperwork. Many of these kids have special needs where they need care around the clock, special medical equipment, ongoing medical treatments, surgeries, and everything else. Some kids don’t arrive in the foster care system until they are older and often have behavioral issues or arrive with siblings that generally make them less likely to be adopted compared to younger children.
Click to read: Texas Adoption Resource Exchange (or click image below)
If someone is looking for a child to adopt, there are official websites that have the profiles of the children needing permanent homes. Potential parents can use the online database where you can handpick the children based on a profile of characteristics and pictures. It is heartbreaking to think that a child would be adopted only if they have the exact criteria parents are looking for. Unless I’m misinterpreting the system, if you don’t like the child you can return him or her to foster care. This is a scenario where it just is what it is, and it is the norm. Personally, I have no clue how to suggest otherwise so I don’t want to attack the system.
Meanwhile, the state of Texas is abusing the abused.
US District Judge Janis Jack has been presiding on the class action representing the children of Texas and the infringement on their 14th amendment rights via a lawsuit against the Abbott administration for the last 11 years.
The Department of Family and Protective Services is overwhelmed in the lone star state so foster homes are at capacity and cannot accept placements of children legally or safely. The children stay with the CPS workers in motels, offices, churches, and other unlicensed facilities which has led to increased cases of sexual abuse, children going missing and children going hungry in the care of the state. During and after Covid-19, many foster care facilities closed either due to cost or failed inspection that proved the existing foster care facilities to be unsafe and illegal.
The situation is not being taken seriously by the Abbott administration.
For example, during COVID-19 1,000 beds were taken away when these facilities closed down with little warning and no backup plan. One of the solutions that Texas provided for foster care overcrowding was to spend about $ 2.1 million (in 2021) to move children out of state. The Abbott administration’s lack of competence and failed promises were all part of the Texas supreme court’s decision to hold them in contempt of court with a 355-page ruling: “M.D.; bnf STUKENBERG, et al, Plaintiffs, VS. GREG ABBOT, et al, Defendants” civil suit CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:11-CV-00084. In this 2020 ruling discussed above, the following steps have been addressed: “The Court finds Defendants to be in contempt of Remedial Orders 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 22, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 37, and B5”
To show how little progress was made, this is a statement from the same judge from 2015:
“In her scathing, 255-page ruling, Judge Jack reprimanded the state for running a system where children “almost uniformly leave state custody more damaged than when they entered.”
The proof is there, the stories are real, but still, the children remain invisible
Judge Jack made the following statements, which can be found on (Page 270) of this contempt order against the Abbott administration.
- Subsequent sexual aggression manifesting as child-on-child sexual or physical abuse is also “typical, common, and widespread throughout Texas foster care.”
- “They were tazed by security officers hired by DFPS to stay at these unlicensed placement areas.”
- “One is a 14-year-old who entered foster care in 2010 and has had 42 placements”
In a separate incident, a woman who sexually abused children at one facility was fired but was hired at another foster care facility for victims of sex trafficking, and proceeded to continue soliciting and selling nudes of girls in her care. Watch/Click: Bastrop foster care facility under investigation for reportedly trafficking children I FOX 7 Austin
In August 2022, Fox News reported on another story that a Texas CPS employee recently told a 14-year-old, confirmed by a video of that conversation, that if she wants to have the basic needs – food, water, shelter – that she has to become a prostitute. Watch/Click: CPS worker fired after allegedly telling 14-year-old girl to become a prostitute
As reported earlier this year, Gov. Greg Abbott announced a priority to have CPS remove children from their homes and added the classification of gender-transitioning procedures as child abuse.
Gov. Abbott piles on another group to weigh down the system that is actually in happy, healthy homes. Instead of focusing on the dangerous and traumatic situations, Governor Abbott’s priority is now taking focus away from those who need it by hunting down the trans kids in their happy homes.
“Investigating Gender-Transitioning Procedures As Child Abuse because the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is responsible for protecting children from abuse, I hereby direct your agency to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the State of Texas,” reads the letter. “To protect Texas children from abuse, DFPS and all other state agencies must follow the law as explained in OAG Opinion No. KP-0401.”
– A press release from the office of Gov. Abbott
Abbott Administration is not able to use federal funds because they didn’t meet the requirements of the Family First Prevention Services Act.
It has been reported that Texas was projected to lose $17.4 million in federal support in 2022 and $25.6 million in 2023 because the state is not compliant with the Family First Prevention Services Act. No, there is nothing that can be blamed on the Biden administration. It was actually enacted in 2018 by President Trump with bi-partisan support to “strengthen America’s child welfare system by signing a historic Executive Order (EO) aimed at improving outcomes for children and families. This EO focuses on three key areas of action: improving partnerships, improving resources, and improving oversight”. Although this EO is currently in place, “DFPS is expecting a loss of $17.4 million in federal support in 2022 and $25.6 million in 2023 because Texas is not compliant with Family First, court documents showed.”
This is also worth noting:
“In 2017, the 85th Texas Legislature passed sweeping reforms in response to the crisis of the state’s struggling child welfare system. The landmark reform known as community-based care decentralized the state’s foster care system by giving local private and nonprofit charities primary responsibility for caring for and managing the cases of children in foster care in their region. One year later, the Trump administration enacted the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), which seeks to shift the focus of child welfare toward preventing the removal of children into foster care. Although the effective date for the act was October 1, 2019, Texas elected to delay implementation until October 1, 2021.”– Texas Public Policy Foundation
From Bad to Worse to Invisible and Forgotten
The foster care system in Texas is beyond broken. But requests for increased funding in the state are being granted to Operation Lone Star. Read the report on the Texas Family First Prevention Services Act plan that has quite a few sad realities here.
My message to lawmakers: Be prepared to explain to taxpayers, religious institutions, Medicaid programs, CHIP, food stamps, children taken away from their mothers from lack of funds to keep a roof over their heads at a $7.25/hour minimum wage, and how you treat the so-called “handouts” that you literally are the cause of and then determine how much you intend to value the life of the child.
Now that abortions are nearly totally illegal, the system is preparing for an influx of children to enter the foster care system from mothers who are too young to work, with no money to provide shelter, or some with no options at all. The mothers who had to endure the life “begins at conception” law will result in the state taking the child away to live a life of assault and trauma at the hands of those lawmakers.
A message to the brothers, boyfriends, uncles, friends, and fathers:
Every single person who is on the side of this version of “pro-life” women of reproductive rights should think about what they would do if any unspeakable things resulting in a pregnancy happened to their 12-year-old daughter. Or granddaughter or sister or friend or wife or grandmother. Not even the most wonderful, loving, knight in shining armor dad can save his princess from the government’s control of her body. All he can do is helplessly watch her suffer, because hundreds of old men in the government control her body, and he can’t do anything about it.
For the sources from this article, click on the hyperlinks above. To read more about the topic that is based on the laws:
Click here to read the entire FAMILY CODE CHAPTER 264. CHILD WELFARE SERVICES
For a long list of reports, court documents, contempt of court orders against Texas, and legislation that detail the actions taken on child welfare in Texas, click to visit the direct link to the list: childrensrights.org