The cover story of this week's Times Sunday magazine is a heart-breaking story about the child welfare system and the precarious line it has to tread between keeping children safe and families in tact. To narrate the mess that is this system, from both a bureaucratic and human perspective, the magazine followed a 29 year-old mother of five who was fighting to get her children back from the state of Connecticut.
Yes, a 29 year-old mother of FIVE, fighting for custody of her children because she's been drug free for a year and has been keeping a tidy home thanks to "disability" payments for epilepsy and child support from one of her kids' grandparents. Funny, her kids' grandparents are giving HER child suppport when the actual grandkids are in a foster home. Nice.
"Marie," the subject profiled for the article, has been attending parenting courses and has been learning to deal with one her kids' ADHD (progressive 90s speak for "since you can't smack some sense into your child it's now time to call unruly, inappropriate behavior a disease"). She has certificates galore extolling her potential to be a functioning, upstanding member of society and she is even doing her homework online to learn about her kid's behavior problem. She needs a Web site to tell her her kid can't behave because she can't keep her legs closed? Sheesh.
Anyway, I don't want to spoil the surprise but three pages into the story we find out that our model of redemption is pregnant with her sixth child. I have to admit that until I read that part of the story I was on this woman's side. Hey, nobody is perfect and if my tax dollars have to fund this nasty war in Iraq they might as well help a young woman get back on her feet. But enough is enough.
Stories like Marie's are the reason why the Democrats have to cowtow to peasants and simps. There is no reason why my tax dollars should fund this chick's promiscuity. If there are decent, hardworking families who want to raise her children and teach them that they can be more than a matress and a leech, then I'm all for it. This woman has signed off her right to these children with her flagrant disregard for the law and for her own personal well-being.
I am especially incensed by this story because the woman in question is Puerto Rican. Having grown up in the 'hood myself I've seen many young women think of welfare as a viable option for raising their children. I grew up watching girls not much older than me push strollers while thinking it weird that no time seemed to have passed since we played on my stoop in the summer.
At the heart of this unfortunate situation is an issue of self-worth. I feel as if I know Marie and her family from reading this story. I bet at one point her family just gave up and thought, "oh well, as long as she doesn't go to jail things will be alright." Marie and her family probably don't think much of themselves; like many of the people I grew up around they probably think getting by is just fine and don't see that American Dream as something that applies to them.
As heartbreaking as it is, people like Marie make their lives the government's problem. Since the government is paying for her and her children's well-being then the government should be the one to decide whether she is a fit mother. Clearly she is not and she deserves to have her kids taken away for good.