Eighteen years

Boy, we’re just full of holiday joy and cheer over here.

Tony Eddy Whisenhunt faces 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to repeatedly raping his 7-year-old adopted Chinese daughter.

I hear all the time that people think the adoption process is lengthy, cumbersome and intrusive.  I don’t think it’s enough.

10 thoughts on “Eighteen years

  1. I agree with Ed that the process is kind of a joke for a variety of reasons.

    The home study is only as rigorous as the social worker is diligent. Our first SW was great in that she was educated and very knowledgeable in the issues post-institutionalized children face. However she looked at us at one point and said “I only needed to come in and see how well behaved your dogs are to know you’ll be good parents.” Huh?

    Our second adoption took place in a different state than the first and so with a different SW. He was even less rigorous than the first and in all honesty spent very little time with us during our home study process.

    Both of our adoptions required letters of reference, but they were a joke, I know those people were never contacted directly and I could have written those letters myself.

    The biggest problem with the adoption process in the US, whether international or domestic, is that it is regulated at the state level. My guess is that all states require criminal background checks for the state of residence, but not necessarily for previous states of residence. Some states and agencies require a psych evaluation, but they are definitely in the minority. International adoptions do require an FBI background check that has to be repeated every 15 months if your process takes longer than that.

    Bad people with no criminal record who are smart enough to beat a psych evaluation are going to get through the cracks or perhaps I should say chasms.

    The adoption process needs to be federally regulated with the same rigorous standards applied to all states, agencies and situations. I don’t know if it’s fair or appropriate but I also wish social workers could be held more accountable for situations that go horribly wrong.

    Those are my opinions on why the process is a bit of a joke.

  2. So, it’s been going on for 4 years and we can only hope he will get more than 18 years in prison (why not a life sentence?). I cannot even understand how fucked up some people are. It’s too much for me to try to understand.

  3. Only eighteen years? :/

    Poor girl. That’s horrifying. Adoption definitely needs to be more regulated – I have a friend who was horribly abused by adoptive parents.

  4. Resistance – everything about it. The parental “counseling,” the parent “classes,” where I met people that obviously did not have a very good perspective on what they were doing. And nobody seemed willing to tell them that.

    I didn’t feel that we were scrutinized at all, let alone well enough, as to our suitability as parents. The social worker seemed mostly concerned that we not inconvenience ourselves.

    There seemed to be a more keen eye coming from Korea, but it’s very hard to tell what was bureaucracy and what was concern.

    There was nearly zero mention of race or culture. There was this one video in one class where they interviewed teen aged adoptees and they mentioned it.

    The agency was all fluff and aw, so you want a baby! Oh, and don’t forget the copious Jesus thing. I choked on my drink when I saw Mrs. Holt say “oh and by the way, I want them to know Jesus.” I looked at the people around me and said “does she mean personally?” My wife kicked me in the shin.

  5. One fond memory I have is of a class where we – there were three couples – were asked what we would do when the child was asked at school to draw a family tree.

    One couple – a white marine and his wife – responded that they would have their child use their family tree. I expressed something like shock but nothing happened. Nobody said anything beyond that. I thought this was a case of a child meant to serve their purposed and fill their needs. I was very humbled by this in that I think I realized at some level that none of us had any business being in that room, doing what we were doing.

  6. As a prospective adoptive parent currently going through the process it is a total joke. We just had our meeting with the social worker (who was actually not a trained social worker but just called herself that) and I was pretty appalled at how little digging she did. Not that we have shady pasts but, as a social worker, there were definitely questions I would have asked that she didn’t. My husband said she basically filled in the blanks when she asked him questions that she felt he was taking too long to answer. Very disheartening.

    @Ed – during our “classes” there were several comments made by the prospective parents after I explained my own culture that left me wondering how any of the parents managed to get their feet in the door.

  7. @Melanie – I would say you are at the correct place in the process to be exploring different perspectives on what you are doing. I can’t say what I would have done had I known what I do now before we went through with it. Not a place I can go now.

    But it should have been that way.

    I did know I would be willing to do whatever I had to for them, but I didn’t understand what that meant. And how hard it really is. Being a dedicated parent to adopted children requires even more effort than it seems. It is never something I regret, but it required a difficult process of changing myself.

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