Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC and former Massachusetts Secretary of Education Paul Reville said that children belong to all of us. No, they don’t. I’ve seen what happens to children when they are owned by the state. State ownership of children leads to neglect. It cripples children, so don’t do it. That is so glaringly obvious that I wonder why Harris-Perry and Reville say otherwise.
I’ve cleaned up the mess of state owned children. My son came from an Eastern European orphanage. Many children died there. He was examined by a foreign doctor before he was given an immigration visa. His medical report described him as “in fine health.” When we got him home, he tested positive for five parasites and diseases. That explained his continuous diarrhea. If that was “fine health” then God help those who are considered ill. Many of the other children would have died as these diseases swept through the orphanage. He contracted some of the diseases from drinking dirty water or food contaminated with feces. We had some tense days as we waited for his AIDS test. It came back negative. As odd as it sounds, his medical neglect was the good news.
He couldn’t speak any language. At first we thought he was profoundly deaf when he would not turn to the human voice. Think what it means that a two and a half year old child is completely uninterested in the human voice. It means he was treated like a stockyard animal. He was warehoused like a caged chicken for two and a half years. That leaves scars that medicine can’t cure. This “healthy” child only made eye contact when he was being fed. He was five before he asked his first question. That is what state ownership does to children.
My adopted son wasn’t being singled out for mistreatment. On the contrary, he was a typical child of the state. He belonged to the state and was being bred as a perfect socialist citizen. Some might complain that my son was from Eastern Europe so the criticism of state ownership does not apply to socialism in the US. Some might complain that socialism might not work for babies, but state ownership works well for older children. No, it doesn’t. A similar problem exists here in the US.
One of my foster children could not read by the time he was 12 years old. He was bright and outgoing, but he could not spell his own name or read a street sign. His dad was also illiterate, so I doubt his parents helped him with his homework. That changed when he came into our home. We were shocked at first because my foster son had attended public school most of his life. Unfortunately, he also received a social promotion from grade to grade for at least the last 4 years. He clearly could not do the work. That “pass them along” approach is all too typical in public schools.
Unfortunately, it took almost a half year to get the public school’s attention. We were afraid our foster child would move to another placement before he learned to read. If a school is required by law to respond within 56 days, then they will respond on day 56… or later. They have free lawyers, and you don’t.
We taught him to read. We taught him to write and to spell. We read to him. We read with him. Sometimes we spelled words at the dinner table and drove him crazy with frustration because he could not follow the conversation. We hired reading tutors for him. One problem was that our foster son had the interests of a bright 12 year old while the introductory reading books were written for someone half his age. We wrote short stories about his family for him to read. These short stories became more demanding as his reading developed. We bought him audio books so he could read along with more advanced stories. This beautifully adventurous boy dove into the Harry Potter series and Lord of the Rings. My foster son loved to read by the time he left us and returned to his parents.
Our foster children literally belonged to the state when they were with us. We had to ask permission from the state to take them with us if we left the county on weekend trips. There is no doubt that the state owned these children, while we merely rented them.
That approach doesn’t work to raise responsible adults. Several of my foster son’s sisters are now single moms and living on state assistance. Children need parents who will pay attention to their particular child and provide what their child needs. Any parent with two or more children knows that each child is different. Children thrive because their parents care about them. There is no substitute. Money isn’t a substitute either.
People who claim otherwise have hidden motives, and they are not interested in the good of the children or of society. They will never call it state ownership of children. That doesn’t change what it is.
Beware of people bearing state ownership of children.
Image: Courtesy of: http://jgpicazomemoirs.blogspot.com/2011/05/dads-point-of-view-real-dad-is-only-as.html