Report worth reading…

23 Oct


Back in January of this year I posted this link to the State of Washington Office of the Family and Children’s Ombudsman report from 2011.  I believe the adoption aspect of the report starts on page 98, and detailed some incredibly disturbing cases of abuse.  The Governor of Washington requested a committee to investigate, and they have submitted their findings.

From King 5 – Seattle station:

Report is ‘call to arms’ on Washington’s adoption system (snippet below)

The report suggests the state should:

  • Strengthen Oversight of Child Placing Agencies
  • Develop and Distribute “Red Flags” On Troubled Adoptions
  • Track Adoption Disruption and Dissolution
  • Increase Qualifications for Individuals Conducting Adoption Home Studies and Post-Placement Reports
  • Enhance Minimum Requirements for Adoption Home Studies
  • Make Sure All Home Studies Are Filed With Courts
  • Improve Training For Parents
  • Create Minimum Requirements for Child Placing Agency Staff
  • Train Professionals Involved in Adoption Process
  • Enhance Support Services for Adoptive Families

Link to the report is at the end of the story. The Severe Abuse of Adopted Children Committee Report – September 2012.

From my first reading it seems fairly comprehensive, and hopefully changes will happen.  The first step is legislative changes in the code which is lacking, and I hope they make it a priority.

One of the findings noted above is the wide range of qualifications allowed of the people conducting home studies, including this troubling concern on page 13 of the above linked report:

“Particularly troubling to some committee members were accounts of unlicensed, independent “home study providers.” Although the final home study is reviewed by the court, these independent providers are not subject to either state or private agency supervision or oversight.

They also talk about the requirements of the home study, and that it must change from compiling facts to a true assessment of the family, and defines what should be mandatory, and things to be assessed to see if they should be included.  They also propose requiring all home studies; negative, positive, or withdrawn, be filed with the court – this is a huge step forward for many reasons that I’m sure you can figure out.

Anyway, I think everyone should read the report, as it really drives home the point that we have to make sure adoption is done right – for the sake of the child.  Far too often when anyone says anything about abuse in an adoptive home everyone goes into denial mode because the family jumped through all the hoops, they passed the home study, the court approved them.  I do understand the wish to protect “adoption” but never at the expense of the adoptee.  This report shows that there are gaps in the process of all adoptions; foster, private, international, and they need to be fixed now.  I’m sure Washington is not the only state that could use the same scrutiny – and when you hear about an adoptee being abused – don’t make excuses – those who have gone through the process – should be able to figure out where the process broke down.  That begins with talking about it openly and honestly – not pretending it didn’t happen.


Posted by on October 23, 2012 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

9 responses to “Report worth reading…

  1. eagoodlife

    October 23, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    At last!! Abuse of adoptees and inadequate attention to their future care being taken seriously! No child should be abused by a system, organisation or by individuals.


    • TAO

      October 23, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      Only one state but reading the report it sounds like some other states have also taken a hard look at doing it right to mitigate risk of those who shouldn’t be approved slipping through.

      I am really pleased so see they recommend all homestudies be filed in the court – you hear/read stories of couples denied and then they just go find another home study agency…they won’t get away with that anymore in Washington – hopefully.

      Anyway – good news on fixing broken processes always makes me happy!


      • cb

        October 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm

        I like their recommendation of all home studies being filed through the courts as well.

        I often wonder what is the minimum required in home studies. It seems to me that some APs really learn a lot through their home study whereas others don’t seem to have a clue.

        This is what the US government says about home studies:

        In NSW, the following is Centacare’s (Catholic Church agency) requirements re eligibility to adopt:

        Click to access Eligibility%20Criteria%20for%20Prospective%20Adoptive%20Parents.pdf


        • TAO

          October 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm

          I love the fact they recommend any homestudy be filed with the courts – it will help with the denied find another home study provider, aka shopping for a homestudy that is a huge red flag.


  2. eagoodlife

    October 23, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
    “I do understand the wish to protect “adoption” but never at the expense of the adoptee.”


  3. Valentine Logar

    October 25, 2012 at 2:47 am

    Adoption studies are inadequate at best in most states, always have been. My adoptive mother would have never made it through the system had there been anyone approaching a professional involved. But then 55 years ago they didn’t really do that.

    Yes, I was adopted in Washington.


    • TAO

      October 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      I do think that our era it was really left up to the county level of whether it was stringent or not. I know the homestudy for my adoption was waived because of prior homestudies/adoptions. In my case it was fine and a small rural area probably the risk was less. The JPO or SW as they are now called asked mom and dad to adopt me – they were already done. So mine was fine – your’s obviously the system chose to overlook some major flaws…


  4. mad momma moogacat

    October 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Have you taken a look at any of the stories about the lack of proper oversight by CPS of adoptive/foster families in Kentucky? It’s been a huge issue here, and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services has been held in contempt multiple times for refusing to provide public documents on deaths and injuries. CHFS is more interested in protecting itself than foster/adoptive kids here.

    Also– no court review of home studies here unless it’s an adoption through the system or a private domestic adoption. My international adoption homestudy got zero scrutiny, even when I registered the adoption with CHFS. It’s a shocking loophole.


    • TAO

      October 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      I think many states need to take a deeper look into this to be honest. Loopholes do not benefit the child at all. Whether it is international or domestic adoptions – the government (state or federal) is putting their stamp of approval that one of their most vulnerable citizens (a child) is legally being placed under the care and control of a safe family. If the process is fraught with lack of oversight by then the system set up is failing. It distresses me when the child is failed by a system that could be strengthened – but isn’t because of lobbying, or just plain ignorance of those who are charged with overseeing the laws.



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