When Is Foster Care Ok?

Posted: January 25, 2012

I was shocked to hear about this Indian couple’s plight in Norway after their two children were taken away by the child welfare services.

I strongly feel that taking away children from their biological parents should be done as a last resort to solve a problem. Even if the parents have some shortcomings can’t the child welfare services arrange for some counseling and give the parents, especially the mom, some training to be a better parent?

Though I don’t know all the background, from whatever information that is available it doesn’t look like the mother was really abusing the children physically or emotionally. Most of the shortcomings listed here look like cultural differences and could have been rectified with some help from their experts. I am quite surprised to see that the child welfare services are very adamant to take the children away from their parents.

I am an adoptive mother and I have seen enough research to state that biological parenting should be given the most priority before foster care and adoption are even considered. I can give ample references from adoptees, children from foster homes and researchers that removing children from their biological parents should be the last resort.

According to the child welfare services they are placing the children in foster care because the mother is not able to “maintain” the children’s emotional needs. I ask the child welfare services the following questions:

  1. Is taking away children from their parents meeting the emotional needs of the children?
  2. Is splitting the siblings and placing them in different homes meeting the emotional needs of children?
  3. Is allowing the biological parents only 1 hour every year till the children turn 18 meeting their emotional needs?

The Norwegian child welfare services might think that they are doing the services in the best interest of the child. This case came to my attention only because the couple involved is Indian and it is being discussed in the Indian media. But I am terrified to even think how many families in Norway are affected by these hasty decisions of the child welfare services and their courts.

If Norway and their child welfare services are so strict, should they be first concentrating on setting up counseling services for parents or arrange for training sessions for parents to become better parents?

I really don’t think that whatever they are trying to do is in any way in the best interest of the children. Hope the child services can see their own haste and shortcomings in their findings and come to an agreement with the biological parents so that the best interest of the child is taken into consideration.

Author Bio: Brindha Kannan is a software professional turned home-maker who is also an adoptive mother to two daughters. She can be contacted at brindkannan@gmail.com

*Photo credit: Vale (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License) 

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1 Comment

  1. I’ve been pretty shocked abt the Norway situation too…not just this couple, but across the board. I agree with you…well written!

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