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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Adopt a Foster Child…

posted by on July 9 at 13:18 PM

…save a life.

Foster child denied shot at new liver

A Central Florida foster child needs a life-saving liver, but doctors have taken him off a transplant list because they fear he cannot recover from surgery without a stable home.

A disabled foster child whose liver is failing has been removed from a Central Florida hospital’s organ-transplant waiting list because hospital administrators fear the state’s shaky child-welfare system cannot ensure he has a permanent home in which to recover.

Shands Hospital in Gainesville removed the boy, 15, from a waiting list for organ recipients after administrators determined the boy’s unstable living conditions make him a poor candidate for a transplant, said Nick Cox, the Department of Children & Families regional administrator in the Tampa Bay area, where the boy lives.

Via John Aravosis, who asks…

So where are all those friends of Terri Schiavo? Haven’t heard a peep from them on this.

So this 15 year-old boy—failed first by his crack-addled mother, then by a foster-care system that warehouses children—is going to be allowed to die. Unless some straight parents step up and adopt this special-needs child soon. And, yes, it has to be straight parents, as Florida bans adoptions by same-sex couples. Which means, of course, that children in Florida who wind up in the foster-care system are likelier to stay there—and die there, it seems—than children in other states.

RSS icon Comments


Let him die. Who cares.

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 9, 2008 1:25 PM

wow, that's some cutthroat administration.

Posted by douglas | July 9, 2008 1:28 PM

Christ, that's cold.

Posted by Gloria | July 9, 2008 1:34 PM

Crist for Vice President!

Posted by Mike | July 9, 2008 1:36 PM

No words.

Posted by Balt-O-Matt | July 9, 2008 1:38 PM

Mr. Poe....naughty.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 9, 2008 1:39 PM

That is so sad.

Posted by mj | July 9, 2008 1:40 PM

Livers are scarce - they're making the right decision. Cold as it is.

Posted by Reality | July 9, 2008 1:44 PM


Every asshole who believes that gays shouldn't be allowed to adopt should be required to explain to this kid why it is his best interest to keep him in foster care than let some filthy homos adopt him.

Posted by Mike in MO | July 9, 2008 1:45 PM

Florida has quite possibly the most dysfunctional foster care system in the country. My relative was a guardian ad litem (a person who represents the child's -- as opposed to the parents' or the state's -- interests) in Florida courts for years, and her stories were horrifying: abusive foster families, incompetent social workers, and zero accountability on the part of the state. Punishing a sick child for what is essentially the state's shortcoming (i.e. not having found the child a stable home) sounds par for the course to me.

Posted by Kalakalot | July 9, 2008 1:46 PM

Can I add this to my list of reasons why I get impatient with vindictive dead-enders who are helping to give McCain the chance to pack the Supreme Court with more conservative ghouls? Because it won't just be women dying of back alley abortions or soldiers dying in Iraq.

Posted by elenchos | July 9, 2008 1:47 PM

My heart hurts.

Posted by schnoodle | July 9, 2008 1:51 PM

#9 and of course i'm amending that to..
'every asshole who believes that gays shouldn't be allowed to adopt should be required to explain to this kid why it is his best interest to let him die than let some filthy homos adopt him.'

Posted by reverend dr dj riz | July 9, 2008 1:52 PM

One positive benefit of global warming is that Florida will soon be flooded over.

Posted by Dave Coffman | July 9, 2008 1:57 PM

#1 isn't me, asked Amy to delete, but then I found out who posted it, is funny to me now, it stays.

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 9, 2008 2:00 PM

I have been stuck in a nursing home since November and had never had to deal with Medicaid or Medicare until now. (I am learning how to walk again after a long illness).

Last week Medicare slashed the amount for physical therapy to 18 hours a year. Then yesterday Bush cut 15% out of the Medicare budget. And McCain has put forth a budget that slashes Medicare and Medicaid by 85%.

I have been working for the past 25 years and only in the last two have I ever requires government assistance. The hoops I have had to jump through have been humiliating.

I have a lot of sympathy for this boy but he may be better off dead than to go what I have gone through since last August.

The irony is that if he tried to kill himself, or wound up in prison, the government will do anything they have to to keep him alive.

Posted by elswinger | July 9, 2008 2:00 PM

What is WRONG with you people?

Don't you realize that, by denying a kidney to this filthy little urchin - who would most likely only squander this gift by growing up to be a crack-addled repeat-offender like his skanky welfare-scamming mom - it means a good, God-fearing child of decent upbringing will be the rightful recipient of that kidney instead?

Next, you bleeding hearts will be demanding that these snot-nosed guttersnipes be treated exactly the same as decently brought-up children, by allowing them to sit in the same classrooms, or drink from the same water fountains, or ride in the front of the school bus, or God only knows what else!

Posted by COMTE | July 9, 2008 2:07 PM

Well, of course #8 is correct, but I wonder, what percentage of 15 year old's with behavior problems are ever adopted, and in states that do allow same sex couples to adopt, what percentage of them adopt disabled 15 year olds?

Posted by Epimetheus | July 9, 2008 2:11 PM

I think all of the pro-lifers who have ever been arrested for protesting an abortion clinic in Florida should be contacted about adopting this child. After all, adoption is the only option for an ill-planned pregnancy right?

Posted by clarity | July 9, 2008 2:12 PM

Most unfortunate. Reasonable decision given the circumstances. I'm wary about linking such cases with the pro same-sex marriage movement though. Are we going to volunteer teh Gay to adopt the ultra special-needs children?

Posted by umvue | July 9, 2008 2:12 PM

@ 20 No. It's not really a reasonable decision, the state should have to find a place for the child and soon he will be old enough to be assigned a case manager to help him out.

But you're right about not volunteering gays to take all ultra-special needs kids. These children should be adopted by those who can take the challenge. And those who don't want women to have the right to choose. If you are going to oppose abortion you should be required to be trained to take on at least 3 of them. After all, if you want to imposew your beliefs on others you'd better be prepared to deal with the consequences.

Posted by clarity | July 9, 2008 2:21 PM

On the bright side, the kid'll probably be able to provide a heart, two corneas, kidneys and other miscellaneous and sundry parts to needy, yet more worthy recipients from stable homes...

Posted by NapoleonXIV | July 9, 2008 2:21 PM

On the whole I think keeping this child free of pain until his death might actually be the best course. As much as we think his life is being squandered, he probably would have a life tormented by the health care(less) system and his health.

Posted by Vince | July 9, 2008 2:34 PM

@21 My "reasonable decision" was qualified, as was your statement. What the state should do is, apparently, not what the state is going to do. Perhaps should do and will do will merge as the result of public outcry upon publication of this story. Perhaps not.

Posted by umvue | July 9, 2008 2:35 PM

@24 we could hope!

Posted by clarity | July 9, 2008 2:39 PM

Many, many gay couples do adopt special needs children. The point, though, is that Florida needs more qualified adopted parents, not less, and the policy of barring adoptions by gay and lesbian couples in Florida means children spend more time in foster care than they might otherwise. And the longer you're in the system, the more damage the system does.

We can't know if this child would have been adopted by a same-sex couple, if Florida allowed it. But we can't know that he wouldn't have been, if Florida allowed it. All we know for sure is that this kid is being sentenced to death because he's in foster care and, again, Florida would rather keep kids in foster care than allow same-sex couples to adopt. Who cares if kids are damaged or die as a result?

Posted by Dan Savage | July 9, 2008 2:58 PM

@26 Right. Well, almost. I appreciate the sentiment behind "... this kid is being sentenced to death..." but it's hyperbole as he could easily die as A#1 on the list. The evidence is that same-sex (or different sex) adoption is good for kids. Period. This is where the emphasis should remain, in my opinion, as I'm not sure what the antis will make of any kind of posturing behind special-needs kids. Need data.

Posted by umvue | July 9, 2008 3:38 PM

@8, sadly, is correct, but not for that reason. The reality is that rejection is an issue, as well as anti-rejection meds, and children in non-stable homes are more likely not to successfully accept the donated liver.

The risk factors increase substantially for a foster kid who hasn't been placed.

Amusing aside: one of the undead players on WoW is named "terryschiavo" ... he's in the Squirrelly Wrath guild.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 9, 2008 3:39 PM

priorities are definitely fucked up in this case.

@14 i wouldn't say global warming has much of a silver lining here, when florida floods over all those floridans will be refugees heading north, no doubt bringing their bullshit with them.

Posted by douglas | July 9, 2008 3:40 PM

@29: That's why we need to start building a great big wall now.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | July 9, 2008 3:49 PM

Dan, it's even a tiny bit worse than you think: it isn't just gay couples that can't adopt in Florida -- gay *singles* can't either. Their law says that a person is ineligible to be an adoptive parent if he/she is "a homosexual."

Posted by Michelle in OH | July 9, 2008 3:57 PM

Shouldn't the Department of Defense get involved in helping teens like this? If they sign a contract to serve when they finish high school? He'll need a good liver in the heat of a Humvee in Iraq... 2011, he'll have stumps for legs and be in a new hospital, Walter Reed...

I believe the children are our future... soldiers.

Posted by CP | July 9, 2008 6:00 PM

@19 - what you said

Posted by dawicksta | July 9, 2008 6:20 PM

mr. poe, contributing his so valuable insights, as per usual. first, and least on the scene, also per usual.

Posted by ellarosa | July 9, 2008 7:16 PM

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