State-funded Foster Care and The Church: Part of the Problem, NOT Part of the Solution
Comments by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
Lisa Wheeler of the National Review, a “magazine of conservative opinion” founded in 1955 by William F. Buckley Jr., has just published a commentary entitled “Pro-Life Should Include Foster Care, Too,” criticizing American churches for not participating more in state-sponsored foster care programs.
We beg to differ.
In our years of covering state-sponsored child kidnappings and trafficking through foster care, the modern day American corporate church is part of the problem, not the solution. In fact, much of the philosophy behind modern child welfare social services can be traced back to Christian Church-based social services.
All of the atrocities that we have documented and are happening in foster care today, from child kidnapping, to emotional and physical abuse, to using children for drug trials, to child sex trafficking – are also happening in Christian Church-sponsored foster care institutions.
The rationale we have heard far too often is that it is precisely because the system is so corrupt and harming so many children, that “good” Christian parents need to become foster parents to advocate for the children.
But is this even possible? The government funds foster care, and entering into the system requires abiding by government standards in order to be a foster parent. Wherever there is government funding, there are most certainly strings attached.
What about the biblical admonition to not participate in such evil alliances?
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.
For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?
For we are the temple of the living God.
As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
“Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
Lisa Wheeler, herself a foster parent, states her own selfish bias right at the beginning of her commentary:
I didn’t get into foster parenting because I wanted it to be my life’s work; I got into it for more-selfish reasons. I wanted to be a mother. After 15 years of infertility, foster parenting was likely my only hope because of my age…
I wanted to be a mother, now. My biological clock was done ticking.
Well, taking other parents’ children is not the answer to infertility.
As I wrote last month (April, 2018) in the article The Corrupt Foster Care and Adoption System: Why Aren’t More Foster and Adoptive Parents Speaking Out?, supplying a steady supply of foster parents and foster homes to allow such an evil system to continue operating is a big part of the problem:
One thing the system absolutely depends upon to keep federal and state government funds flowing is foster parents. And one of the places many foster parents are currently recruited from are American Christian churches.
If “good” foster and adoptive parents took a stand against corruption in child welfare, it could put a big dent in the system, if not take it down altogether.
Health Impact News reporter Terri LaPoint provides a rebuttal to the National Review’s call for churches to become more involved in foster care as part of the “pro-life movement,” explaining clearly why this is misguided advice, and certainly not in the best interest of families and children.
Should the Church Be Encouraging its Members to Become Foster Parents?
Commentary by Terri LaPoint
Health Impact News
A recent series of articles by the National Review has focused on the topic of foster care, especially in regards to the role of the church. One article in the series is entitled, “Pro-Life Should Include Foster Care, Too,” by Lisa Wheeler.
There are issues raised by Wheeler and by others in the series that many would agree must be addressed, such as the large number of children who are, as she states, “orphaned” by the foster care system, as well as the fact that the children suffer a great deal of trauma.
However, much of the public, including the church, largely has no idea about the things that we see every day at Health Impact News/Medical Kidnap. The article reflects this fundamental naivety and crucial misunderstanding of what is really happening with the foster care and adoption industry, things that many of our readers and families in our articles have learned the hard way.
As good and noble as the solutions proposed by Wheeler and others may sound on the surface, we must look deeper. We must recognize that the proposed solutions will not only not solve the problem but will, in fact, only serve to enable a system that ultimately destroys families and devours children.
This is something that has weighed very heavily on my heart since I began this research several years ago.
I have always known good and wonderful people who want to follow Jesus and love the orphans by taking in children through foster care and adoption. The motives are pure and their intentions are good.
On the other hand, there have always been some elements in the church who prey on children and are involved in pedophilia and sex trafficking of children through foster care, adoption, and group homes. We are seeing more and more reports of this in our research and in other media. It is obvious that this is much more widespread than any of us knew.
What I have come to recognize is that the good, well-meaning people in churches and in society have become pawns in a huge, wicked, corrupt system that profits by stealing children and trafficking them through the Child Welfare system.
The church ENABLES the destruction of children and families, as they believe the lies told by the propaganda of the Child Protective Services, foster care, and adoption industry.
Lisa Wheeler begins her article by stating:
Babies saved before they are born need care afterwards. Our churches can help.
It wasn’t until I became a foster parent that I realized how little my pro-life church, and perhaps every church, was contributing to curbing the modern orphan crisis of our time.
The church has a role to play, certainly, but it must stop following the Pied Piper that is leading them off a cliff to destruction. The church must dig deeper into what God’s heart is for the family and work to redeem families, not tear them apart.
The Modern “Orphan Crisis” is NOT About Orphans
While there certainly is a crisis, the nature of the crisis has been misrepresented in almost every place where it is discussed. Wheeler described her introduction to the crisis when she got into foster parenting, hoping to adopt a child:
Required training hours forced us to hear the horrific reality that over 400,000 children are “orphaned” via the foster-care system throughout the United States; over 100,000 of them are legally free for adoption.
The word “orphan” has been brutally misused by the foster care and adoption industry as well as by the church. Merriam-Webster defines “orphan” as:
a child deprived by death of one or usually both parents
However, only a very tiny fraction of the children in the system are truly orphans. Most have been taken away from their real parents.
They still have parents. Even if the parental rights are terminated by the family court system, the parents still exist. They still hold their children in their hearts, and their DNA is written in every cell of their child’s body.
Wheeler cites James 1:27, a verse that is commonly quoted in regards to foster care and adoption:
Scripture is quite clear on our obligation to help the orphans (James 1:27) and that He’s given us different varieties of gifts and talents with which to serve (1 Corinthians 12:4–6).
When the Bible talked about the church’s responsibility to care for widows and orphans, it was never intended that they would actually cause someone to become a widow or orphan in order to care for them.
Yet, that is exactly what is happening with the foster care system.
Wheeler correctly identifies that reality. The children are not true orphans, but the system is depriving the children of their parents, not physically through death, but legally, emotionally, and geographically.
James 1:27 says:
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (NIV)
The question arises: How can we justify participating in the system that creates orphans in the name of caring for the orphan?
Can any family that “completes their family” by enabling children to be stolen from another family truly be doing the will of God?
Kidnapping Children to Into the Foster Care Pipeline – the Numbers
We have covered hundreds of stories of families whose children were taken from them for medical kinds of reasons, like asking for a second opinion or looking for a less invasive means of treatment.
We have seen cases where children were taken because one was “too short” (see story here), one or both parents had a learning disability (see stories here and here), or the kids were playing in their own yard (see story here).
The excuses used to take children run the gamut from utterly ridiculous to outright lies, with a small minority taken for actual allegations of abuse.
In fact, only 16% of all the children removed from their homes by Child Protective Services were removed for reasons of abuse – physical abuse (12%) and sexual abuse (4%) according to the 2017 AFCARS report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Source.)
A similar percentage of the allegations against parents are “substantiated” or “founded” – only 17% according to the 2016 Child Maltreatment Report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Source.)
Almost 40% of American Families at Risk to Have Their Children Kidnapped by the State – Over 50% if You Are Black
When National Review and hundreds of other sources allude to the more than 400,000 children in foster care needing homes, they miss the crucial fact that most of the children should never have been taken in the first place, and already have homes.
This figure also does not reflect the reality that most of the children in the system have family and loved ones who would happily take them in, but social workers routinely lie to the courts, telling judges that there are no suitable family members.
We have covered several stories where the “unsuitable” family members are actually foster parents or adopters already approved by the system to take care of other children in the system, just not their own family members.
This is due to ASFA (Adoption and Safe Families Act) provisions that have provided much more federal funding to states to finance placement with strangers rather than placement with family members.
Are Churches Who are Taking in More Children for State-sponsored Foster Care being More “Pro-life”?
Wheeler poses the question commonly asked as the obvious solution to the foster care crisis:
As people of faith, we are called to be more pro-life, not less. And so I wondered why we had this crisis in America with foster children.
I mean, if there are nearly 20,000 Catholic parishes and over 380,000 evangelical churches, how could it be so hard to make sure that 100,000 children had a forever home and that 400,000 children had a support system around them to give them everything they needed, until they didn’t?
Think about it. Among 400,000 churches, Catholic and Protestant combined, 400,000 children should be served. That’s one child per church.
Kathryn Jean Lopez is an editor-at-large at National Review who recently hosted a foster care forum in Washington, D.C. This proposed solution is apparently the consensus of many of her colleagues.
In an article entitled, “Taking Foster Care Seriously,” she wrote:
If every church in America found one family willing to be a foster family, we would not have the crisis we have today. Children would have homes. This was one of the takeaways from our forum. That’s something for people of faith to take as an examination of conscience, and an action item.
This was the consensus of a leading conservative think-tank group that influences policy in the United States.
See “What Must We Do About Foster Care?” by the National Review Symposium.
However, it misses the mark entirely.
Most of the children in these figures are currently in some kind of foster home or group home. Even so, that proposed solution will never solve the crisis.
On the contrary, it will extend and perpetuate it, with no end in sight.
It is simple 8th grade social studies – the law of supply and demand, with children as the commodity. The more demand that there is for children to be adopted or fostered, the more Child Protective Services will happily steal more children, even from innocent parents, in order to supply the demand.
It is not unlike Planned Parenthood, the abortion provider giant who has been exposed as selling body parts and organs to medical and cosmetic researchers and companies. Because there is a demand for fetal body parts, Planned Parenthood seems only too happy to meet that demand, and profit handsomely in the process.
This is something that National Review has reported on extensively. A search on their website shows almost 3,000 articles addressing Planned Parenthood.
The connection that we must not miss is that Planned Parenthood and Child Protective Services are the same story, different chapter – the commoditization of children.
Because there are billions of federal dollars at stake in the form of Title IV-d and IV-e funding, the states will continue to take advantage of the system to bring those virtually unlimited federal dollars into their state by taking children from their parent and bringing them into the foster care system.
The mere existence of children in the system provides a demented, twisted economic benefit to the community, providing jobs for lawyers, transporters, social workers, supervisors, Guardian ad litems, psychologists, office staff, group home staff, foster parents, and more.
If the state stopped taking children from innocent parents, whole streams of funding would disappear, and tens of thousands of jobs would be lost.
But if we truly care about what is best for children, then we have to stop using them as commodities to be traded and sold. We must understand that children need their parents. This is a basic law of the universe, put in place by the Creator.
Many “Good” Foster Parents Leave the Corrupt System
National Review cites a figure by Jedd Medefind, president of the Christian Alliance for Orphans. He says that:
Nearly 50 percent of foster parents drop out in their first year. (Source).
Arizona family activist Merissa Hamilton told Health Impact News that Arizona, the state that takes more children by percentage than any other state, is constantly recruiting more foster parents. It is a refrain that we hear from all over the country.
Hamilton said that the problem is not that there aren’t enough people willing to help; it is that many of the former foster parents that she has spoken with chose to leave the system because they were disgusted with the injustice that they saw. Many of them realized that the children they were trying to help had, in fact, been kidnapped from parents who had not actually harmed their children.
We have had former foster parents tell us the same thing. As they realized what the system was doing to the children, they recognized that they could not in good conscience stay a part of it any longer.
Back in 2015 Washington State faced a shortage of foster care parents when the state required not only foster children in their care to be vaccinated with annual flu vaccine, but their biological children were also required to be vaccinated, or face loosing their foster child. Many chose to leave the foster care system rather than comply with forced vaccinations of their own biological children.
At Health Impact News, we have noted a similar pattern among social workers who ended up quitting their jobs because they could not tolerate working in such an evil, unjust system any longer.
In interviewing families, an estimated 75% of the parents have told us about one or more social workers involved with their case who quit their job and left the field entirely because of their case, after seeing the deception within the Child Protective Services system and the injustice, cruelty, and human rights violations inflicted on the children they got involved with social work to help.
Their eyes were opened to see the corruption and devastation to innocent families, and in good conscience, they couldn’t stay a part of that system. See:
A Better Idea: Help Families in Crisis Instead of Kidnapping Their Children
The Bible in James 1:27 directs the church to care for the widows and orphans IN their distress or affliction. How much more Christ-like would it be if the church were to take that part seriously and care for families, helping to redeem and reunite them, instead of stealing the children and trafficking them in the name of foster care and adoption?
Much of what is termed “neglect” by Child Protective Services is actually poverty. Families with limited resources have their children taken away from them, eventually adopted out to strangers, because they lack the financial means to fight the system and get their children back.
Many of them have said that if even a fraction of the government resources given to foster families were directed toward biological families, their children would never have been taken. If churches were to provide more resources for struggling biological families, there would be less children going into foster care.
Most children in foster care should not be there in the first place. The reality is that foster care fails about 80% of the children in the system. (Source.)
Instead of tearing families apart, solutions should be geared toward keeping families together whenever possible. This is an area where those who truly love Jesus should be able to shine. The message at the heart of the Gospel is redemption through Jesus Christ. He didn’t come to condemn the world but to save it.
I remember a situation years ago where a family headed by a single mom was in crisis and at risk of having CPS step in. A wise lady from my church Renee’ Yates said:
If we can fix the mama, the child will turn out fine.
She was one of many who poured out love to the mother and child, helping in practical ways. The mom worked on her issues, and her child did indeed “turn out fine.” He will be getting married at the end of the month.
I often think of this family as an example of how it can and should work. There were real issues, but the church and the family stepped in, and things improved.
Isn’t is time that the church, and the pro-life movement, emphasizes restoration of families over adoption and foster care?
Concluding Thoughts by Brian Shilhavy:
Caring For Troubled Children Without Government Funding – Is the American Church Ready to Face Persecution if They Provide a Better, Competing System?
In the video above, Nehemiah Flynt explains how he was a state-approved foster parent for seven years. However, he left the system after seeing how corrupt it was:
I became a foster parent with the intentions of putting a roof over the heads of orphaned children. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
By the time I completed the training process, I understood that the majority of the children that would be entering my home were not orphans. I was brainwashed into believing the children had come from abusive and neglectful homes. I was told the state had rescued them from horrible living environments and that I was somewhat of a hero for taking them in.
They were all lies. It took several years for me to truly see what I had become a part of.
Child Protective Services was stealing children from loving biological families.
Nehemiah decided to start working directly with troubled youth, getting them off of drugs, enforcing biblical standards for discipline, and helping them to find jobs.
It worked. There was just one problem: Child Protective Services saw him as a threat, and came after him, forcing him to shut down his self-funded church-backed program:
A few years later, however, Child Protective Services got wind of our program. They didn’t like the fact that we were teaching our youth Biblical standards, a work ethic, that they were not victims of society but were responsible for the choices they were making, and that medication was not the answer to all of life’s problems. They placed a target on our heads and did everything in their power to override our constitutional rights and to stop the work we were doing.
They have an agenda to medicate as many children as they can, to label them with mental health disorders, and to stop anyone who stands in their way – at any cost.
When Nehemiah contacted me in 2015, he was in hiding, and not using his real name. He took a stand against the evil foster care system, and a stand FOR America’s troubled youth and family, and he suffered as a result.
Read more about Nehemiah’s experiences:
Success with Troubled Youth Using No Drugs or Mental Health Therapy – A Threat to the Medical Kidnapping System
Is this one of the reasons why churches today so willingly participate in the foster care system? Is it just easier to accept government funding, not rock the boat, and just turn a blind eye to the abuses in the system? Especially if parents cannot have children of their own?
Having the evil, corrupt world system hate the followers of Jesus Christ was considered normal in biblical New Testament times. Jesus himself was the most counter-cultural controversial person to ever walk the face of the earth, and he warned his followers that the world would hate them just as it hated him:
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (John 15:18-19)
Is the American church going to take a stand against legal child kidnapping through the foster care system, as Nehemiah did, or become a place of recruitment to participate in the world’s largest child trafficking system?
Please print out this article and share it with your church leaders.
About the Authors
Terri LaPoint is a labor doula, childbirth and breastfeeding educator, and assistant midwife. She holds a B.S. in Cultural Anthropology/World Missions with a minor in Behavioral Science from Toccoa Falls Bible College.
Terri is a passionate pro-life advocate, and is actively involved with the Alabama Federation of Republican Women, the Republican Women of Trussville, and a frequent participant in grassroots Republican events.
Brian Shilhavy is the Managing Editor and Founder of Health Impact News. He has a BA in Bible and Greek from Moody Bible Institute, and an MA in Applied Linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University. Learn more about him here.
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