Posts Tagged ‘adoption’

Whatever Happened to Jake…

April 18, 2012 2 comments

Jake, as you may remember is the boy I fostered for a month and tried to adopt. He had been terribly neglected and abused by his mother and other caregivers.

One of Jake’s big problems was that he couldn’t be left alone with other children because he would sexually assault them. He saw his own neglect and sexual assault as a liberating experience and he wanted to “liberate” other children. Nothing could convince him that this thinking was wrong.

One of the features of the average foster home is the presence of other children, and therefore one of the advantages of my home (with my husband and I) was the absence of other children. We were literally Jake’s last chance before a group home (and his last chance at a normal environment). We came to accept the fact that we were usually last on the list. At least we were on the list.

Unfortunately, there were a number of other circumstances. Jake’s mother still had a lot of say in his life and she insisted that he go to a Catholic school (which are publicly funded here in Ontario). My husband and I are two gay men, so we are unusually sensitive to even the appearance of sexual impropriety with regards to children. Jake had already made several scenes in public that we were kidnapping him.

When Jake started sexually assaulting his male classmates all my husband and I saw were fingers pointing back at us. My husband, who is Catholic, also had all that guilt to deal with because it was happening in a Catholic school. We made a mutual decision that we couldn’t go forward with Jake.

Unfortunately, once we gave Jake back we were no longer entitled to have any part in his life. Nevertheless, there is a website in Ontario for hard to place children and Jake was soon on it. I watched him for a year before I couldn’t look any longer. Giving Jake up is the biggest regret of my life.


How to be a Bad Parent

April 8, 2012 3 comments

I am not a good parent, but I can tell you about being a bad parent. I tried to adopt a 6 year-old boy named Jake (a pseudonym) and I fostered him for a month before I bailed on him. Here is how Jake’s mom and my husband and I failed him.

  • Jake’s mom did cocaine while she was pregnant with him. Luckily he seems to have escaped any harm from that.
  • Jake suffered tendon damage in his arm when he was born. It needed physical therapy to correct, which he never received.
  • This is a *huge* one. Jake never received adequate attachment with his mother when he was born (a close loving connection between parent and child) or for his first six years. I had started trying to do it, but it was probably too late. The theory is that this attachment is necessary to form normal attachments later in life.
  • Jake was never allowed to be a child. He was always struggling with his mother for the dominant adult role.
  • Jake was given unrestricted access to all cable TV and DVDs, including extensive pornography.
  • Jake’s mother used TV and DVDs as Jake’s baby-sitter.
  • Jake was unsupervised outside at all hours (e.g. after midnight) as young as four years old.
  • Jake witnessed sex and domestic violence.
  • While not a direct result of bad parenting, Jake had been sexually abused. Certainly the other neglect did nothing to protect him.
  • My husband and I built up Jake’s trust, fully intending to adopt him, but we bailed on him when we found out he couldn’t be left alone with other children because he would sexually assault them. All we could think of was our own legal liability. Do you think Jake could trust another caregiver after that?

We created a sexual predator (at 6!!!!!) without the ability to form emotional bonds. We actually had three sexual assaults while he was with us (two at school). What do you think Jake’s life-expectancy will be? How many victims will he have? Of course I pray to god I am wrong. Maybe Jake’s next caregivers will be amazing.