5 Stupid Questions to ask Former Foster Care Survivors
Most questions that come into my head automatically don’t appear to be on the list that I read in the blog The Top 5 Stupid Questions that SUK to ask Someone who Grew Up in Foster Care. In all fairness, it tends to be young people who ask seemingly stupid questions, since they aren’t experienced enough to come to their own reasonably sensible conclusion. However I admit I have my own list of stupid questions I might have asked a FFC (former foster care) person questions such as:
- What happened in your family that you were forced to enter the foster care system?
- How old were you?
- How long were you in foster care?
- How many homes were you fostered in?
- Were there any good families in your experience?
- How long did you stay at one home before being moved again?
- Did anyone every explain to you that this wasn’t your fault?
- How has this experience shaped your life?
Here is my reasoning for these stupid questions:
- Some families can heal and to an extent, reunite.
- Sometimes a person who survived foster care needs to ask her or his biological parents all the questions they have about why and how they ended up there themselves, rather than being told by an agency.
- A former foster child might want to know her or his parent’s childhood and personal background. This information could answer a lot of questions.
- Confrontation might be therapeutic. Sometimes anger needs to be expressed.
- Affirmation that unfit parents were the reason the former foster child was placed in foster care, and not anything that person did.
- Information for legal action of any sort.
- Knowledge about family genealogy in terms of disorders, diseases, etc.
Of course these issues can only be dealt with assuming a former foster child can find his or her parents, and assuming that this person wants to correspond with them. It isn’t a suggestion. It’s merely a question.
The main points of this blog were very poignant. The Top 5 Stupid Questions and blatant answers include:
- what did you do to get in there? Seriously. The answer emphasizes people’s belief in myths about foster care children.
- why weren’t you adopted? How would the FFC know that? And what an embarrassing issue to discuss.
- how many foster homes did you have? This one I only realized since reading this blog is a stupid question. However, there are people who claim to know the precise number of foster homes they entered.
- were the homes good? Most foster homes are not and recalling abusive experiences is traumatic for people. I might have asked a similar question (did you have any good experiences) because many FFC people have had the good luck to be placed with good caregivers.
- do you see your real parents now? This was the second question I might have asked, in all honesty, for the reasons listed above.
One can assume that foster care was a very difficult experience. I met a girl who mentioned in an offhand way that she just got out of foster care some months ago and she had an angry phone call with her real mother. That told me everything I needed to know. I could feel the hurt and anger around her. I didn’t need to ask something stupid such as what her mother did to necessitate her being placed in foster care (even though I did list that as a question in my personal list of stupid questions). For one thing, it wasn’t my damned business. For another, hearing her voice and seeing her tense look told me everything I might have needed to know: No, it wasn’t a good experience.
Let’s leave it at that.
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