Letter: State must offer more help after an adoption

Palm Beach Post

By Post readers

Submissions from Post readers

‘Rushed adoptions’ can create further trauma

I am writing in response to the article “Officials say Florida’s moving faster in finding good adoption match-ups for foster kids.”

In my role as project manager with the North American Council on Adoptable Children, I have been working with youth, adoptive parents, child welfare professionals, administrators, advocates and mental health providers in Florida for six years. While I applaud the successful efforts of the state to get children placed in adoptive homes at increasing rates, I must echo the concerns of Christina Spudeas of Florida’s Children First.

Research has shown that “rushed” adoptions and adoptions where there are inadequate post-adoption support services can result in a dissolution — a trauma and loss that will exacerbate the challenges our foster/adopt children and youth are already struggling to overcome. Among the most serious concerns we have heard from families and advocates across the state are: lack of adoption-competent understanding from law enforcement, courts, school systems, and community providers, which has often led to children being removed from adoptive families unnecessarily; inconsistency in availability and quality of mental health, educational, intervention and support services for adopted children and their families; insufficient investment of adoption incentive and other federal child welfare funds in post-adoption services; and seriously deficient availability of Medicaid-covered dental care for adopted children.

Through our post-adoption advocacy project, funded by Jockey Being Family, Florida is creating a collaborative and effective environment that is mutually respectful and beneficial for all. To find out more about Community Champions Network, interested parties can contact our Florida field representative, Trudie Poole, at


St. Paul, Minn.

Editor’s note: Kim Stevens is manager of post-adoption services for the North American Council on Adoptable Children.

Thanks for tribute

to a special father

Regarding Leslie Gray Streeter’s tribute to her dad (“Remembering my Daddy: No whining, no excuses,”) I just wanted to thank her for a really wonderful article on her late father. It brought tears to my eyes and memories to my mind.

My own precious Daddy went home to be with Jesus 25 years ago, but I still miss him every day. Ms. Streeter’s article was a joy to read. Thank you, Leslie, for such a well-written tribute to someone who must have been a truly wonderful man.


Palm Springs

Writer’s dad would

be proud of paean

I think Leslie Streeter’s dad would be proud, knowing he had raised a daughter who is such a powerful writer that her work can bring tears to the eyes of grown men. May he rest in peace.



Wealthy often don’t pay

into Social Security

After reading the editorial on changes for Social Security and Medicare that dealt with the common talking points (“Rubio right — and wrong”), it became painfully obvious we’re not having the right conversation on the subject. Mike Huckabee’s speech at the Republican convention made it clear that if you’re receiving a government check or services, you’re not working hard enough.

Social Security and Medicare were established to keep Americans from living their last years in poverty. In that respect, the programs have been quite effective. These programs are solvent, and Social Security has a huge surplus. But to hear some in Washington talk, it seems these programs are the biggest problem we face. The elderly are being asked to tighten their belts while the government continues to offer even more rewards to the very rich.

Instead of asking Mitt Romney how much he pays in taxes, a better question would be, How much does he pay into Social Security? Social Security is based solely on payroll taxes. Most people in Mr. Romney’s income level make their money through investments and dividends that don’t require deductions for Social Security. These people generally don’t pay anything into the program. Working people paid 6.2 percent into these programs before the payroll-tax cut.

If a person earned $1 million in payroll, he would pay less than one-tenth of one percent of it into Social Security and Medicare. This is the only tax I know of where the more you make, the less you pay. Sacrifice is being demanded form everyone to balance the budget except the rich. That needs to change.


Palm Beach Gardens

Don’t turn hurricane

into political issue

Regarding Frank Cerabino’s column “Quit bashing government until the check arrives,” America has always risen to the occasion whenever disaster has struck, whether here or abroad. Federal government aside, the American people have shown time and time again how much they care, not just with words but mostly with their generosity in the way of private donations and volunteer work.

It’s unnecessary for anyone to take a natural disaster like Hurricane Isaac and turn it into a political issue, especially during this difficult time when we need to come together and unite for the good of our children and our country. Some have overlooked the biggest hurricane of them all, and it’s on it’s way from Washington: the $16 trillion and growing national debt. Unless we prepare, its devastation will not be felt just in one state or two, but in all of America.

At the end, when all wealth has been redistributed and depleted, and those in power have finally succeeded in making us all equal, with no more wealth to share, nowhere else to go, with no one else to rely on, that will be the time when America is changed and the American dream is lost.


West Palm Beach

Can’t ‘Post’ do better

than cat urinalysis?

Emily Minor’s curious article on cats and their urinating habits (“Confessions of a crazy cat woman”) was mind-numbingly dull until it became just disgusting. I can’t imagine that anyone could find these strained, ranting ramblings interesting or entertaining, let alone informative.

Good taste aside, is this really the best  The Post can do?


Lake Worth

Romney hypocritical

in defense of quip

Mitt Romney said: “No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”

There is no excuse for this insensitive remark. Mr. Romney’s defense of that statement as being humorous is unacceptable and hypocritical, particularly as it follows his recent criticism of President Obama as having created “division of anger and hate.”


Lake Worth

Where is state help

in insurance rates?

Every time I read about insurance companies re-inspecting homes, it makes my blood boil (“90,000 Citizens reports rejected.”)

About two years ago, Allstate requested a reinspection of my home, built in 1992. Shortly after the inspection, Allstate doubled my premium. The reason? My home wasn’t up to current Miami-Dade County building codes, the statewide standard. To me, this was a greedy grab for money.

In 1974, my wife and I purchased a 34-year-old home, which was insured for many years by Allstate. When I renewed my policy annually, there was usually an increase — understandable, in keeping up with the times and the cost of doing business. When we came to Florida, we insured with Allstate, and for 18 years our policy constantly increased to reflect the times.

But then to arbitrarily double the cost because my home didn’t meet current codes was mind-boggling. Did it take 18 years for Allstate to discover that building codes are constantly changing? Did not the constant increases I received take changes to the codes into account? I am insuring a 1992 home, not a 2010 home.

I also must wonder where the state is in permitting this shameful conduct. Do we have insurance regulators in Tallahassee who care or are aware of this? Are there any consumer advocates in the legislature? It seems to me that the state allows the insurers to write their own ticket on this.


Lake Worth


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Alexia Nechayev

FYS Events & Meeting Chair
(Palm Beach)

Hello, My name is Alexia Nechayev. I am 25 years old and I am an alumna of Florida International University where I received my B.A. in Psychology. My future career goal is to be a Lawyer. I was in care for about one year from age 17 to 18. Prior to entering care, I only knew about the negative stigma regarding foster care and while in care that narrative was unfortunately my experience.

In school I felt like I was on display because my status in care was broadcast to other students and in my placement behavior was leveraged for “privileges” that should be a natural right of all children. Because I did not know my rights I did not know that what I was experiencing was wrong. Today this is exactly why I advocate, because I don’t want this to be the same for other youth who are experiencing foster care.

This is my second year on the FYS Statewide Board and I’m happy to be the Events and Meetings Chair this year because my main goal through advocacy is to reach as many people as possible. My favorite thing as a board member is to see how comfortable members become while working together. The community needs to know that youth in foster care are real people, going through some of the hardest moments of their life and youth need to know that their voice is powerful. I believe that we have to speak up and bring these issues to people’s attention so that they do not forget us. Advocacy, education and consistency is the only way.

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