Baby G. just turned 4.
You remember Baby G., don’t you?
If you’re a new reader to my blog, these posts might help fill you in. If the name Baby G. sounds familiar, these posts might help jog your memory about a little girl who is still waiting for a home.
A four year old girl who has all but been forgotten by the Wisconsin judicial system, including the Wisconsin Supreme Court which accepted G’s case on this matter – and then, inexplicably, dismissed it outright without a hearing.
A four year old girl who has been ignored by every Wisconsin child services agency and professional whose job it was to protect her legal rights.
A four year old girl whom a judge has bounced from one, two, three foster homes in her four years – and taken away crying from the adoptive parents who loved her in their home (that’s four!).
A four year old girl who knows the meaning of the words “court,” “judge” and “hearing.”
A four year old girl who wonders EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. if tomorrow is the day when she will go home to “her Mommy and Daddy” – the adoptive parents chosen by a birthmother four years ago to love her forever.
The adoptive parents who have, unlike a Wisconsin judge and a trial jury who voted for foster care without receiving all the facts about the adoption case, not forgotten about G.
Not for one day, one hour, one minute.
The adoptive parents who have exhausted every dime of their savings, sold a car, tapped into retirement funds, held fundraisers, went through parenting classes, got certified as foster parents (although they are currently not G.’s foster parents), launched a crowdfunding campaign, borrowed from family and friends, reserved a spot in the best school district and, oh, after all that? Remodeled their home to not only accommodate G., but G’s TWO BIOLOGICAL BROTHERS AS WELL so that they could ADOPT ALL THREE SIBLINGS TOGETHER.
And still, on this National Adoption Day, when we’re bombarded by media images of celebrities telling us how blissful adoption is (and make no mistake, adoption is absolutely a wonderful thing when a system does its goddamn job and works as it should), there are three children among the more than 100,000 children in foster care who are waiting for permanent and loving families.
But here’s what makes these three different.
Here’s the soundbite of this blog post.
These three children in Wisconsin?
They have adoptive parents who are approved. Who are certified. Who want them desperately. All three of them.
These children? Their long wait can be over tomorrow.
Their adoptive parents will get in their car right now and start driving, all night long.
The hold up is a Wisconsin court that is woefully out of compliance with the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA), enacted into law by President Bill Clinton and which requires that States move to terminate parental rights for children who have been in foster Care for 15 out of the last 22 months.
G. and her brothers have been in foster care for much longer than that.
That’s a violation of ASFA. Wisconsin has also not documented why parental termination is not in G.’s best interest. Another violation of ASFA.
(Her birthfather is a convicted felon, serving a five year sentence. Her birthmother has never spent any unsupervised time with G. Oh, and if you’re a taxpayer in Wisconsin? Your hard earned tax dollars were spent defending these birthparents in court for the past three years while the adoptive parents have sacrificed everything.)
Meanwhile, National Adoption Day ends and it is bedtime in Wisconsin.
And three children are going to sleep wondering why a judge still hasn’t said they can be adopted by the parents that have loved them for three years.