We’ve just come across this incredibly moving video produced by Upworthy, and we felt we had to share it.
A man speaks about his life in foster care, how he found himself inside the system and what happened to him once he was removed from his family. But the story doesn’t end there, and there are some controversial elements which we know many of our readers will find unsettling.
We’re not referring to the fact that the man in this video is gay – Researching Reform champions all loving, voluntary relationships – but to the choices the man and his partner make in deciding who to adopt.
In the short film, we are told that the man and his partner resolve to adopt children in their local area, but will only take children under the age of five. This is an astounding admission, not just because it echoes what we already know about foster carer preferences when it comes to young children, but also because this man was in foster care himself.
We are told that when the couple eventually decide to adopt, they find themselves going to court to fight for the adoption orders. The film suggests that this was due to the fact that the couple are gay and there were concerns at the time that they would affect the children’s sexual orientation and general development (these events took place during the very beginning of the tide turning in relation to gay parenting, so prejudice was high), but what we don’t know is whether the biological parents were also fighting these adoption orders.
However, the couple do go on to look after four vulnerable children and make some wonderful life choices, selfless life choices for these children which are deeply inspiring. The video makes some insightful observations as well, the first of which is how these children inside the system still turn up on carers’ doorsteps with rubbish bags holding their possessions. This observation is what compels the man in this film to make Comfort Cases.
This is a video about the US foster care system, so we don’t know how children’s belongings are kept in our care system, but we would love to hear from anyone who knows.
There is a point in the film where the man tells the interviewer that whilst they faced terrible prejudice as gay parents and they themselves were unsure about how they could make it all work, they knew three things: that the children needed love, to feel safe, and to feel wanted.
These three things are to our mind, the only three things that matter when parenting a child, and these very things continue to be ignored by our own care system.
Please do share this video with anyone you think may want to see it. It was made for children in foster care.