This year's theme for National Adoption Month--which occurs in November--is "You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent." See it here at Child Welfare Info Gateway.
I remember first hearing that theme at the Ethica/Donaldson Conference last year. We previewed several PSA's using that theme to encourage the adoption of special needs foster kids.
Well - should that not apply to natural parents??? Why do they have to meet imaginary unwritten age criteria? Or be married? Especially in a day and age when single mothers - and fathers - adopt!
“A ‘sacred/profane continuum’ exists with unwritten rules as to who deserves to be a mother, under what conditions motherhood is a blessing, and when it is not.”
Hirschman, 2005. “Babies for Sale: Market Ethics and New Reproductive Technologies.” Journal of Consumer Affairs, Vol. 25, March 4. p. 358.
And because of this, funds are given to strangers to foster, supporting a known high risk "solution" for families in crisis. Tax benefits are handed out to help unrelated adopters...but not one red cent is spent by our government to promote family preservation, despite in-home care programs being proven more cost effective and having better outcomes than tearing families apart in foster care and adoption.
Yeah, you don't have to be perfect to be a parent -- of other people's kids -- just of your own!
You can share your comments at Psychology Today where this is being discussed.