After reading her list, I noticed that the majority of it applies equally well to foster or adoptive parenting.
Go read. It's a good list.
I couldn't help but notice that there were recurring themes in her list:
- The strains that are placed on one's relationship with one's spouse
- The abuse, disrespect and lack of regard the children have for their step-parent, which is exacerbated by past trauma and history of mental illness
- The triangulation of parents, teachers and professionals
- The involvement of child welfare officials
Granted, I think the presence of any children in a home, whether they are biological, foster or adopted, can create similar situations. Unfortunately, I think the problem is worse when dealing with a step, foster, or adoptive parenting situation, simply because of the number of people involved. It seems that, no matter what you do, there is always someone watching over your shoulder, making second-guesses about your parenting.
Add to that a special needs child, especially if that child has attachment problems, FASD, or past trauma, and the possibilities of false allegations, accusations, and criticism become endless.
I think this serves as a larger commentary on our society. Why is it, when we look at the challenges special-needs children have, that parents are always presumed guilty until proven innocent?