The passion that once reigned in the halls of Family Court is gone. Humanity and justice now reside outside the Court House. Anyone doubting this can spend a few hours watching the gut-wrenching cases coming before the Court and the rendering of child custody cases that lean heavily upon the Adoptive Foster Care parent vs the biological parent.
Tonia Jones, a 28-year-old woman, has been denied her parental rights and the ability to care for her son, who has spent 17 months in Adoptive Foster Care . There were sporadic moments when Tonia’s family did have her son, but that was quickly squelched. We begin to wonder how much money is involved in keeping children in the system in lieu of getting them out of the system and back home.
We aren’t speaking of abused children. We are addressing children taken out of their home or from the hospital, at birth, and driven directly into the system. Tonia Jones, her father Herbert, and her sisters do not need assistance (funds) to raise Baby Jones. They have independent means and a home for him to live in, without taxpayer dollars for assistance, and can care for, love and nurture the baby in the baby’s own family environment, keeping him within and close to his family bloodline.
At this juncture, we must all be asking, “Then why is this child in Adoptive Foster Care?” We believe it is the same old story of… follow the money! Let’s try to break it down: Baby Jones’ Adoptive Foster Care parent is receiving just under $700 a month. Add to that the label of “at risk” and now Baby Jones may have 16 or more professionals involved in his assessment!
All of these Agencies or other individuals are drawing a check for services rendered. It is approximately $6,000 to $12,000 per child per month that the state is entitled to for each child in the system. And that figure probably does not reflect other hidden monies like Medicare, mental health, non-profits, adoption subsidies, etc.
Also, if children are removed on an “EMERGENCY REMOVAL,” there are extra federal monies. That would be our tax dollars at work! Has anyone asked how much it costs for one child to run through the system until the age of majority, 18?
It is not believable that all these children are “at risk” or even “special needs,” yet, a high percentage are so labeled. It is also unbelievable that children are more frequently given to an adoptive foster parent than a blood relative when a blood relative stands waiting to intervene and raise the child. In Tonia Jones’ case, if the Court finds in favor of the adoptive foster parent, her sisters and father have already filed the necessary Motion to Intervene on behalf of Baby Jones and bring him home. In this case, what reason or law can possibly be cited to disregard biological and familial blood lines, to say nothing of their love for and desire to raise the baby?
What can possibly be cited to give the taxpayers of this community a reason to continue the money-brokering of children?
We should all be outraged! The Jones Family is but one example of justice gone awry. Children, all children, no matter their ethnicity or origin, as well as their parents and family members, should have the undeniable right of claiming “Family first,” as opposed to the way it is now, where it is Adoptive Foster Family first!
Take an active part in this injustice and call or email your County Commissioner, City Council member, Assemblyman/woman and/or Senator.
Let them know you are incensed.
If you don’t know who they are, how to reach them, call the County at 455-3530, or this newspaper at 699-8100.