Friday, October 31, 2003

Starving Children in Plain Sight: A letter to the NY Times

Starving Children in Plain Sight
Obviously, far more scrutiny is needed of caseworkers, of the lack of auditing of adoption subsidies and of the failure to mandate annual medical checkups for adopted children. The cause of abused youngsters needs far more from New Jersey than more emaciated poster children.

The NY Times editorial page responds to a horrific story of child neglect by advocating annual medical exams for adoptive children, presumably to detect abuse. A reasonable proposal, but inconsistent. The call should be for annual state sponsored exams of all children to detect abuse, neglect, and poor parenting. Certainly NYT editorial writers are very busy parents, and may be prone to leave the children with sitters. They may deserve particular attention. If one wishes to conserve resources, perhaps the exams should be limited to children at a higher risk of abuse or neglect. Poverty, poor character (politicians), two income families -- all possible leading indicators for neglected children. Let us brook no delay in implementing this proposal.

John Faughnan MD, MS
parent of three adoptive children
I rather doubt the NY Times will print my emailed letter, they never have before.

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