Shaolin Monks have a long history of taking care of the downtrodden and unfortunate. As far back as the 600 A.D. the Shaolin Monks have had a history of fostering and caring for young children. Shaolin Monk’s desired peace and balance for all living things, and they clearly recognized how dangerous uncared for children could become. Shaolin Monks watched as Warlords and Gangs wiped out entire villages, leaving many starving orphans in their wake. These orphans would grow up into a world of chaos and often be recruited by the same types of forces that caused them to become orphans in the first place.
Those children would grow up to become the next generation of Warlords and Robbers and the whole process would begin anew. The Shaolin Monks saw that this cycle of violence was the real enemy of peace. They took it upon themselves to take in children and provide them a life of peace and purpose. By doing this the Shaolin Monks were able to break the cycle of violence and affect a real change in the world. Whether it was simply feeding homeless children, or taking them in as full disciples of their monastery, the children would always know love and support meant. And they would always have a family and a place to call their home.
Adoption Facts in the USA
Of the world’s developed nations, The United States one of the highest number of children in foster care system. There are an estimated 500,000 children in the American foster care system at any time.
Approximately 22,000 teenagers age out of the foster care system with little to no resources.
- Over 23,000 children will age out of the US foster care system every year.
- Once reaching the age of 18, 20% of the children who were in foster care will become instantly homeless.
- Only 1 out of every 2 foster kids who age out of the system will have gainful employment by the age of 24.
- There is less than a 3% of children who have aged out of foster care will earn a college degree.
- 7 out of 10 girls who age out of the foster care system will become pregnant before the age of 21.
- 25% of foster kids who age out of the foster care system suffer from the direct effects of PTSD.
As one see from the statistics above youths aging out of the foster care system represent a very large problem. Many of those young adults, just like the young adults on Ancient China, will join the very same forces that caused to become orphans in the first place. Teen mothers will become pregnant and not be able to provide for her child. The young father, who also aged out of foster care with will have to sell drugs in order to provide for their baby. And if he is a young man of color he has a 5 times more likely chance of becoming incarnated. ***(cite source) Which means that young mother may have to turn to prostitution to provide for her child, up until her child is taken into protective custody, and into the foster care system. https://www.naacp.org/criminal-justice-fact-sheet/
Unfortunately this situation is all too common. And as a Shaolin Monk, you cannot simply view this amount of heartache and not be moved to do something about it. Perhaps you are interested in fostering a child temporarily, while a more permanent home is found for them. Perhaps you are unable to foster, but you’re looking for an opportunity to volunteer. Or maybe you’re just interested in learning more about the system.
The Three Types of Adoptions
Infant adoption, Fostering, and Legal adoption
In the United States there are 3 types of adoptions.
This is when a parent or parents willingly give up their parental rights to another couple. The Cult classic movie Juno (insert link) was a great example of this. In the movie and high school senior accidently got pregnant and decided to give up her child to a wealthy yet infertile couple. This type of adoption is often considered the most preferable as there are the least amount of variables in the situation. Match making oversee the entire process and can provide both a confidential adoption where neither sets or parents meet, or an open ended one where children can eventually make contact with their real birth parent(s.)
Fostering is the act of temporarily maintain custody over a child or teenager. It is important to note that not every child in the foster care system in adoptable. Children are temporarily removed from their parents’ custody due to a court ordered separation. Often times a “reunification” plan is put in place that will allow a parent(s) to re-earn their parental rights by following a court ordered plan.
In the event that a parent is not able to be placed on a “reunification plan,” children will be placed into the custody of the foster care system. They will then live within group homes or be placed with foster parents until suitable adopters can be found. Many parents foster children with no expectation to adopt. Their main goal is to provide temporary shelter while a suitable match is found. ***remove one or other)
Adoption: Adoption is when a family is actively seeking full legal custody and responsibility over a child. While the reasons can vary from family to family, the end goal is the same. To be given the opportunity to love and provide for a child. Some families start off as foster parents, only to end up adopting the children they are fostering. While this process is common, it’s not without difficulty. You can find yourself in a situation where you are competing against a birthparent who does not want their children adopted by you. In that case you will have to go to court to fight on behalf of the child. Also, the child or children you are attempting to adopt will also get to voice their opinion of which parents they would want to stay with. This will help the courts ensure that they are behaving in the best interest of the child.
Alternatively, the process can be much smoother if the birthparent is unwilling or unable to provide for their children. In this situation the legal process is then simply proving that you, the adoptee, can provide a safe and nurturing environment for the child. But even in the best case scenario, it will take on average two to seven years for an adoption to formally take place.
The positives of Adopting
Adopting and fostering is all about bring balance and peace to a child’s life. Before we go into any financial benefits of adopting or fostering we must remember this. Adoption and fostering children for financial gain will only lead to more pain for that child. Nothing will hurt a child more than having them live with someone who they think is using them for money. It’s important to remember that by fostering or adopting you’re a giving back. You are giving back to our earth and a very real and tangible way. You will have a unique power to forever change the course of a human soul’s destiny. And this power should never be misused.
By adopting or foster a child you are giving a gift not only to the child you are fostering, but also to society itself. As a result society can be very rewarding to you in return. Here are some Finical highlights.
- For 2017 adoptions (claimed in early 2018), the maximum adoption credit and exclusion is $13,570 per child. The credit will begin to phase out for families with modified adjusted gross incomes above $203,540 and the credit will go away completely for those with incomes around $243,540.
- Foster parents can get paid a monthly stipend that averages about $500 per child per month. This income is considered none taxable. Children are often ranked based on their mental and medical conditions and monthly payouts can be much higher, depending on circumstances.
- There are many social assistance programs for fostered and adopted children. These can include college scholarships, low cost medical insurance, and adoptee specific mentorship programs.
- The cost of fostering or adopting a child can be significantly lower than having your own natural child. There are very few social programs that actually pay you to have a child. While there are many programs that will provide for you and your child through the various stages of their lives.
Fostering and adoption can be an excellent way to support the next generation. As a Shaolin Monk it’s up to us to invest our money in the future. Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders. So if you are looking for a socially conscious way to invest, than there is no better investment than investing in a child. Here is a list of some next steps to take you on your adoption journey.
- Go see “Instant Family” staring Mark Walberg and Rose Byrne.
- Get Involved with your local foster agency
- Do some research, and spread the word.
This movie is not only hilarious (in my opinion) but it also serves and an excellent representation of the joys and difficulties of the foster to Adoption process.
This can be anything from volunteering to tutor at risk students, or simply throwing a football back in forth with a child. This will be an excellent opportunity to explore the idea of fostering and adopting, to see if it’s right for you.
Do you know a couple struggling to conceive? Or perhaps you yourself aren’t sure you want a family of your own. I recommend doing some research and “foster” some conversations within your own social circle. One of the biggest misconceptions of foster kids is that they are all disrespectful and destructive. While fostering children can have it ups and downs, it’s not fair to assume that there are “good ones” and “bad ones.” There is no such thing as a “bad one”, only one that came from some bad circumstances.
Child planning and child rearing is one of the most significant calculations in anyone’s finical plan. So while you’re making those calculations I urge you to consider fostering or adopting. There’s no obligation to be a fosterer for life either. For example, I’ve read success stories about retirees fostering teenagers so they could provide short term guidance for them. Or maybe you’ve read this article and feel fully committed to the cause. Either way, I encourage you to make the leap to a whole new type of asset class. One that earns interest in love, and pays dividends to our society as a whole.