Debates regarding Planned Parenthood should include foster care

By Saketh Vasamsetti, Columnist

British author Lemm Sissay discusses in his Ted Talk, titled “A Child of the State,” how his foster family had the most positive and negative impacts on his life. In it he remembers his life as an adolescent in a home where he did not fit in.

“They treated me as if I was a trojan horse sent into the family to destroy it,” said Sissay.

Sissay was constantly put under pressure to mold himself into a person he wasn’t. At such a young age, he found himself bouncing through the homes of four other children.

Through sheer grit and perseverance, Sissay was able to find himself. However, the chances of children put into foster care becoming as successful as he is are fairly low.

With government funding for Planned Parenthood being threatened to cease, the tension between pro-choice and pro-life supporters is quickly becoming more and more hostile.

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But with all of the concentration focused on whether or not abortion should be government-funded or legal, there are other areas that we might be losing sight on.

Many children like Sissay who are given up for adoption have to endure very traumatic events, which poses a problem not only for those around the child but to our entire nation.

Yes, these children have been offered another chance at life, but they may have to wait a significant amount of time to really start living. There are countless cases of children bouncing from one home to another, and having to deal with abusive parents or living situations that are unsuitable for anyone.

Improvements need to be made in order to give these children a positive influence so they can go on and become successful.

In an article titled “The 10 Most Surprising Things About Foster Care,” Dawn Teo describes how many children are dropped into foster homes quickly out of desperation because otherwise, the children are forced to sleep in “child welfare offices, in sleeping bags or in shelters and group homes.”

While the frequency of that happening might be low, the negative effect it has on these children can be monumental. It’s important to understand the great amount of pressure and emotional distress these children find themselves under at such a young age. They often have to switch homes and schools, leaving them prone to loneliness.

They don’t deserve it, and I truly believe there can be modifications to how foster care functions in our society in order to leave a more positive impact on the children.

The Forgotten Initiative is an organization that works to directly aid children in foster care by providing proper mentors. They are currently partnering with Titus Ranch, a Christian organization based in Moultrie, Georgia, in order to train mentors to have a proper impact on the lives of foster children. They are dedicating countless hours to spending time with children, doing academic and extracurricular activities of the child’s choice based on the foster family’s approval.

With so many visionary organizations in place at the moment, there needs to be a collective agreement that foster care is something that should be looked at for improvement.

It may require more funding, whether it be from the government or the public, but even to see a kid smile a bit more would be worth it.

Saketh is a freshman in DGS.

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