Monday, August 23, 2010

Ethics of Adult Adoption

When the adoptions social worker came by for us to sign the paper work, we ended up talking briefly about adult adoptions. I told her that everyone I met either thought it was wonderful or were completely confused as to why anyone would do it. Now she was getting ready to go, so I didn't push it, but she said that some people were really opposed to adult adoptions. She had a look on her face that suggested those people would be opposed to the adoption we are doing.

I didn't ask her to explain why, and I am embarrassed that I cannot come up with the argument. I understand and support arguments that against private adoption and social services (all of them) that don't support families in difficulties. I understand the argument child adoptions should be (mostly) abandoned in favor of guardianship arrangements.

I am having trouble coming up with a specific argument against adult adoption, that isn't based on an argument against child adoption. Well, at least one that applies in this case. Adult adoption has sometimes been used to create a legal relationship between adults who do not have a child/parent relationship. I suppose the most obvious case is when one member of a same-sex couple adopts the other. My state however requires that you demonstrate a previously existing parent/child relationship. The first example of the kind of evidence they are looking for is that the adoptee was your foster child for at least one year.

So, can anyone help me out here?

I would really like a citation to a carefully made argument, although just having someone clarifying the issues would be great.

I'm supposed to be good at understanding ethical issues. There is something I am missing here though, and I hate that.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

We almost have a court date

Yesterday the social worker came out and we signed the last of the pre-adoption paper work. The worker says that she has been talking to the lawyer and they have tentatively agreed a mid-September court date. However, if there is a glitch, it could be one week later, on Gary's 18th birthday. The irony escapes no one. We are finishing up all the work for a juvenile adoption just in time not to need to do any of that work.

Everyone is excited. I texted or emailed all the boys and they all responded promptly with enthusiasm. David is concerned about the two dates. He and his boyfriend are moving and the earlier date works much, much better for him. Carl and Evan just want to know so they can make arrangements with work and such. Since I will have to buy Carl a ticket (plane or bus) to get here, I would like a firm date with some advance notice. Andrew is supposed to start school the day before Gary's birthday, so the second date means being late for fall quarter. I briefly considered doing it without him, which we could legally do, but I've decided that it simply is not an option. If he has to be late for school, then he will be.

Of course we also have to figure out how we are getting Andrew back to school. Since he is moving out of a traditional dorm room and into a studio room (still in a dorm) he needs new stuff, like cooking pans. We either need to buy things here and drive him (10+ hours each way) or buy maybe fly with him taking extra luggage and renting a car there so we can shop.

Let's all take a moment to reflect that the reason the adoption is at least 6 weeks later than it would be is that Andrew forget to get his fingerprints done when he was originally scheduled and had to do it later. Of course, the only reason that he needed to do it was that he was supposed to be LIVING HERE at the time of the adoption and Gary was supposed to be under 18.


Anyway, various boys want me to reassure them that it will be the 16th, but I am powerless.

Happy though.

Okay, my being with my mother for 5 weeks made a difference too.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Update from Mom's

Cross-posted from Yondalla's Ramblings.

Well, I’m still here and doing fine. Information about Mom is below, but since this blog is All About Me, I will start with my time.

Mom’s BFF has taken me out shopping a couple of times. She enjoys shopping and Mom doesn’t, so that is good. We went to a wonderful tea shop in a tiny town about 12 miles from here. I bought some good black teas. One is a simple black tea; another is chocolate and the third is chocolate mint! I bought very small amounts of the chocolate teas. I wasn’t sure they would be good, but they really are. I don’t normally put sugar in my tea, but these taste better with it.

It surprises me that there is a good tea shop in this tiny mountain town and none within 25 miles of my house. I’m jealous. Oh, and the grocery store, the very tiny grocery store where no one has even heard of chutney, has decent bagels! They are bagel-bakery quality, but they are the best grocery store bagels I’ve had. I told the check-out woman that I was pleased they had “real bagels.” I had to explain that I had expected BSB’s (bagel-shaped bread).

Anyway, back to the tea shop. They had quite a bit of tea ware. I got excited and said, “Ooo! Tea toys.” The proprietor said he had never heard them called that. Anyway, Mom’s BFF convinced me that Mom really would want to buy me a thank-you present and so I picked out a new tea pot. I was thinking about leaving it here to use whenever I am here, but I like it too much. Moms said to take it home, “and who knows, maybe there will be another when you come next summer.”

So, I have decent bagels, really good tea, and my Kindle. Too bad the internet is 7 miles away.

I’ve been successfully convincing myself that I don’t need the new Kindle. I really don’t. I got one for Mom, which she really likes. With the Parkinson’s causing her dominate hand to tremor constantly, holding a book is difficult. The Kindle just sits on her lap, sometimes on a pillow. She can make the type big enough so that she can read it even though her eyes don’t work together as well as they should (Parkinson’s again), and she can push the buttons with her non-dominant hand. So she reads.

If the new Kindle had come out just a month earlier, I would have got it for me and given Mom my old one. It is a little bit smaller and lighter. The batter lasts even longer. The page turning is faster and the screen background is lighter. All of that I would appreciate. I pouted until I realized that I really could return Mom’s, give her mine, and be Kindle-less for about a month. That prospect was too awful.

I’ve been doing the dishes by hand even though Mom keeps telling me I can use the dishwasher. I finally figured out why I don’t want to. When we go on vacation we don’t have one. I do dishes by hand, but it is okay because I have lots of time and it can be a peaceful activity. At home there are always a million things I should be doing, but I stop every single time I walk through the kitchen to put in dirty dishes left on the counter, start a full dish washer (because whoever put in the last dish or realized there wasn’t room for another didn’t), or unload the blasted thing before dishes pile up to much. It is never convenient, and it always has to be done. Here Mom and I have lunch and I say, “I think I will walk up to the park and do the dishes when I get back.”


I think the last time I wrote Mom was still in the hospital. She has been home now since Friday, and is doing well. Her blood pressure is about 105 over 60, which is low but sounds like the blood pressure of a real person. (In ICU it was as slow as 88/29.) Her appetite is back. She gets HUNGRY for meals instead of regarding them as a chore she must face. She is more active, but still tires easily. We have a home health nurse coming twice a week and she will be evaluated by physical therapy to see if she needs any on-going assistance.

The ulcer acting up when it did was probably a good thing. She’s probably had it for a long time and it just didn’t get diagnosed because the symptoms were under the radar. In any case, she is doing well enough that I am feeling comfortable with leaving next week. I will have been away from the family for more than 5 weeks.

And when I get back, there will be kittens!

Brian is volunteering at the humane society. One of the rules they have is that volunteers cannot adopt an animal for 30 days; this rule however does not apply to fostering kittens. Brian called to make sure it was okay with me and when I said yes, he and Roland went right out and brought home a mother and five kittens. They have to be kept in one room for 10 days and then can be allowed to mingle with the other pets until they go back to the shelter on the 26th. Gary first said he would put them in his room but then he claimed that the smell was too much. So now they are in Brian’s. Roland got Gary a plug-in air freshener and now the whole house, I am told, smells like apple cinnamon. The Basement Kitteh (who really does live on the basement level and is black) is angry because he used to sleep in Brian’s room and now he can’t get in AND he can hear and smell the invaders. I am told the kittens are adorable and the mother is affectionate. Brian isn’t asking about adopting anyone. Even if he wanted to, the animals HAVE to be checked back in. None of them can be adopted unless they have been altered.

So that’s the news from central Penn.

Later y’all.