One of the paradoxes of the so-called “Pro Life” movement is a seeming indifference in what happens to unwanted children after they are born.
A statistical analysis of the health of 900,000 children in the US suggests some answers. Among these children, more than 9,000 were in foster care.
Before I go on, there are people who are excellent foster parents. I know some. They are emotionally committed to the kids, treat them as if they were there own, and ensure they grow up healthy and happy with access to good schools and good opportunities in life.
Unfortunately, that’s not everyone in the system, apparently. Of course, many problems exist before the kids enter the system, and may be the reasons why the children are there.
The analysis, conducted by faculty at the University of California-Irvine and Cornell University — identifies the following issues with children in the foster home system as compared to children in traditional households. These children are:
- Seven times as likely to experience depression
- Six times as likely to exhibit behavioral problems
- Five times as likely to feel anxiety
- Three times as likely to have attention deficit disorder, hearing impairments and vision issues
- Twice as likely to suffer from learning disabilities, developmental delays, asthma, obesity and speech problems
The analysis notes that these problems exist, but cannot explain why they exist. What’s going on in foster homes to produce these results?
For the sake of the children, and to prevent the costs that these problems present to our society, it seems like it would be good to know why this is happening and what could be done to prevent it.
It’s time for some good, focused government-funded research that finally can help solve problems, rather than just note their continued existence.
- http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/106/5/1145 , “Developmental Issues for Young Children in Foster Care,” PEDIATRICS, November 2000, VOLUME 106 / ISSUE 5.
- K. Turney, C. Wildeman. Mental and Physical Health of Children in Foster Care. PEDIATRICS, 2016; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2016-1118
- University of California, Irvine. “Foster care children at much greater risk of physical, mental health problems.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161017084248.htm>.