Reading about children being separated from their families at U.S. borders, I was stunned to learn that the U.S. was the only country in the United Nations who had not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This was noted by the spokesperson for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani, when she was interviewed on that commission's criticism of the U.S.'s recent actions.
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Other articles told of the numbers of children already moved to Michigan and Chicago where they were to be given to foster parents. The other night, I saw network news coverage of a temporary holding building where, for some reason, the faces of the children and their caregivers could not be photographed.
The United States maintained that there might be false claims of parentage, that some adults were using children in order to gain entrance into the U.S. I couldn't understand why DNA tests weren't administered before a child was forcibly taken and admitted to a plan for food, shelter, transportation, and foster care. An individual can obtain a paternity test for about $70. At any rate, if the child was taken by an adult that wasn't its parent, then the child is someone else's, not the possession of the U.S.
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In a country where children are afraid of sitting in schools because of violence, and where abuse by foster parents is a real factor, this all seems pretty atrocious.
The United States probably has had the highest statistics for their own children being separated from parents because of divorce and foster care. Whatever the advantage of this contemporary shift, the fact of separation remains. Perhaps people in the U.S. are in a routine of callousness towards the feelings of children.
Children are separated from parents when foster care is the decision. This seems premature if a child was indeed kidnapped, and without looking for their real parent or parents.
I fail to understand why the U.S. does not work with other nations in establishing the identities of people seeking entrance into the U.S. Because those people lived somewhere else, it would seem that the native nation should be involved.
My book Tug of the Wishbone, set out to explore the longterm affects of divorce for its protagonist and how they changed perceptions about relationships and family life. An adult book, the first chapters centered on specific events, skipping time from one chapter to the next, until Maureen was a teenager. I did not want to dwell on her childhood, but to give enough of it for an underpinning to the main story.
In one early chapter, Maureen refers to scenes of separation from her father. Because I wanted to show how a child of divorce survives, I didn't want to milk the trauma. This was because of my own feelings about child characters in an adult novel. I attempted to write her into the story as the character she really was. The problems were adult so I chose to concentrate on the active scenes with her family at the outset. The fact is, a younger child has little power and is usually not the hinge of the family scene, especially when larger issues reign. Such a child might not be thinking of themselves. They don't know what to think.
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I preferred a Dickens handling of the child in an adult novel. Although I wrote from Maureen's point-of-view, I depicted the family and neighborhood scenes in a dramatic way instead of a narrative way. This fit with the idea of the novel, to show a child-of-divorce in relationship. When Maureen thought like an adult, the book shifted into her individual story with more of her interior. If there was a lasting trauma from divorce, then I decided to explore how that came out later on.
Life goes on. The story of child separation is gripping and the scenes important. The next problem is that children get past trauma and they survive as they can. They won't be coddled because of a past experience with agony, and they might deal with expectations that cannot be tailored for them as individuals, especially with displacement. Lucky children have parents who plan for them and provide an undisputed home. Unlucky children have to be heroic, too often, in order to be happy.