My heart is very sad as I consider the situation of a little three-year old boy. He is unaware of his position and that is some mercy, but he will continue to grow and come to realize what we adults who are familiar with his history already know: he is a boy without a home, and he is only a microcosm of a much larger problem.
His story is sadly familiar; his mother is addicted to drugs and has been in and out of rehab centers, his father has been in and out of jail and charged with domestic abuse. His paternal grandparents are somewhat available, but are caretakers to their son when he gets released from prison, which means they cannot be legal caretakers of their grandson. His maternal grandparents are neither willing nor able. Extended family members who are reluctant though willing, are not able due to financial and health limitations. And so, it looks as if this little guy will have to go into the state’s foster care system like so many others.
I don’t really know much about foster care and maybe I have the wrong impression. I know there are good families and bad ones, the same as anywhere else. I believe children tend to get bounced around from home to home, which is not ideal but is the same as this boy’s current situation. I fear how the instability of this kind of care will affect this little boy. I fear that as he grows up he will be filled with resentment and anger and hurt and loneliness, and that these will cause him to become one more casualty of risky behaviors. Or maybe not. Perhaps he will be adopted, though I understand adoptions are somewhat rare for non-infants. Do my readers have any insights into foster care?
I am frustrated that there seems to be no “best” answer to this multifaceted problem, but here is at least one proposition I am interested in hearing your opinions on: should American laws force sterilization for convicted drug offenders? For convicted offenders in general? Why or why not? Would this infringe on a basic human right to procreate? Is procreation a basic human right? Why or why not? Would this really solve or begin to solve, or even put a dent in the heartbreaking problem of lost little boys and girls? What can the Christian church do to help these kids? What are your thoughts?