Debating the case for life with pro-choice Americans can be difficult, especially when the perception of the child welfare system is that alternatives to abortion are subpar due to low government standards and regulations. While it is true that foster care is nearly just as bad as remaining in an unstable home for many children, it’s a myth, however, that babies who are unwanted go directly into the poorly-run foster care system. All babies who are put up for adoption get adopted, whereas children who are put into foster care are taken away from unfit legal guardians by the state.
A new legal measure implemented by President Trump works to improve the foster care system by providing more resources and connections to faith-based organizations that can be a positive influence for children in government care.
The president signed the Executive Order on Strengthening the Child Welfare System for America’s Children on Wednesday at the Oval Office without any media present. The White House held a news release where they spoke regarding the measure: “the order seeks to increase partnerships between public, private, faith-based, and community organizations to help keep families together and, when that is not possible, to find children forever families.”
The order reads, “It is the goal of the United States to promote a child welfare system that reduces the need to place children into foster care; achieves safe permanency for those children who must come into foster care, and does so more quickly and more effectively; places appropriate focus on children who are waiting for adoption, especially those who are 9 years and older, are in sibling groups, or have disabilities; and decreases the proportion of young adults who age out of the foster care system.”
White House officials say the measure directs HHS (Health and Human Services) Secretary Alex Azar to assist foster care workers and children by providing reform by training, education, funding, and legal support for families. The order also will enable additional federal oversight of foster care requirements, working alongside the ACF (Administration for Children and Families) to ensure that federal funds are properly allocated.
The executive order described the importance of these measures supporting those who are in care by the government. According to the order text, “More than 50 percent of the children waiting for adoption have been in foster care – without the security and constancy of a permanent family – for 2 years or more.” About 20,000 out of 400,000 children in foster care age out of it every year in the U.S. without ever finding a home. The order continued, “Research has shown that young people who age out of the foster care system are likely to experience significant, and significantly increase, life challenges – 40 percent of such young people studied experienced homelessness; 50 percent were unemployed at age 24; 25 percent experienced post-traumatic stress disorder; and 71 percent became pregnant by age 21.”
These grim statistics are disheartening. Once a child goes into the system, they are nearly guaranteed to fail in life. While some make it out partly unscathed, far too many do not. This order shows the current administration cares about children and wants to see success in life for future generations of America. Hopefully, the resources this order plans to provide will make a change for the better for children and families in need.