Monday, February 09, 2015

Illinois hates adoption

Number of days we have lost with our daughter due to the negligence of the state of Illinois: 1

This heading and number will remain at the top of each post until we are free to send in our immigration application. If we lived in any other state in the union (except for Arizona... boy, can I pick states, or what?), we would have a completed homestudy and be able to move on with compiling our dossier. If we lived in any other state in the union, we would stand a very, very good chance bringing Tina home before Christmas. As it stands now, it will be three more months at least (and that's assuming DCFS doesn't give us any trouble about our family size) before we can apply for immigration approval, the last step before we can submit our dossier.

Fed up.



Stick a fork in me, I'm done.

I'm done sitting back and letting my state abuse me and other adoptive parents. We don't need to put up with this and have to demand that our state legislators do something to improve the situation. We pay them, they need to work for us.

Here are some current numbers.

Currently state child abuse clearances are taking nine weeks to complete. This is a step that took only a few days this time last year. Rumor has it that the reason it is taking so long is that clearances done for homestudies are being put in the bottom of the pile. This is unacceptable.

DCFS approvals for homestudies, an unnecessary step, by the way, and one no other state (except Arizona) requires, is taking at least five weeks. And that is if you get approved right away. If you don't meet the approval of the person at the desk, regardless of the fact that this person has never met the family, doesn't know them, and is second guessing the social worker who has, then it will be more.

That's 14 extra weeks. Five extra months. Nearly half a year.

Of lost time for the child and the family. Of time a child needs to remain in care. Of time that cannot be regained. Of hurts not kissed, of hugs not given, of stories not shared. And why? Because Illinois doesn't care. If they did, someone would do something about it.

We need to do something about it. When we played this game with H.'s adoption I was too afraid to raise a fuss. I didn't want someone to tell us we couldn't bring her home. But I'm done being quiet. Our social worker has approved us. We have a strong track record and a lot of experience. We've have three other successful adoptions where multiple governments and agencies have seen us to be fit parents. I won't be quiet.

Our legislators need to know the whole story. I've written to mine (plus the governor). Please write yours. Tell them you want your children home. Tell them when DCFS has mistreated and bullied you. Tell them you are tired of Illinois being an embarrassment to the adoption community.Even if you are not an adoptive parent, you can write and tell them you are tired of your tax dollars going to pay for a position that is unnecessary. Even if you don't live in Illinois, write and tell them why you wouldn't move. Make a noise... it's the only thing that is going to make a difference.

I'll even make it easy for you. Here are the links. (For clearer talking points, see this post.)

Illinois Govenor Bruce Rauner

Illinois State Senate Members

Illinois State House Members

Please, everyone write to them. Tell them that adoptions are important. Tell them that these children are important. Tell your stories. If everyone does this we can make a difference. Be like the woman who sought justice from the unjust judge. The way Illinois' system treats adoption is unjust. We need to keep badgering them until they are so tired of us they fix it just to get rid of us.

I just want my daughter home for Christmas.



thecurryseven said...

To be completely transparent I need to clarify two points because I have learned more accurate information.

1. Illinois is one of three (not two) states which require DCFS approval of homestudies. Alabama is the third.

2. The former holder of the DCFS approval position apparently left her desk empty, BUT DCFS, despite having three months notice, took two weeks after the position was vacant to fill it.


Joyful Journey Mom said...

Such a frustrating, broken system. I have had friends adopt from your state and their experiences are similar. Change is needed desperately.

Jamie @Starfish Confidential said...

I cannot begin to imagine your frustration. My heart breaks for your family. We will keep you all in our prayers.

I found you through the #AdoptionTalk Linkup and I sincerely hope you'll join us again for every topic, but especially in July when the topic will be Adoption Hurdles.

At any rate, I'm thrilled to "meet you" and look forward to learning more of your family's story.

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