I saw this youtube video and thought it had to do with the welfare piece that we read in class by Ortiz and Briggs.
Just thought it was interesting and wanted to share it with the class.


Generating Discussion: The Culture of Poverty, Crack Babies, and Welfare Cheats

Ana Ortiz and Laura Briggs state that there are three moments in history that were suppose to help the poor become productive citizens of society by taking their children away at birth.

The first historical moment was the “culture of poverty” in the 1950s and 1960s.  Fatherless families was an important criteria for being in the status of poverty.  No fathers meant that the family made less money and the mother had to depend on welfare. Poverty is defined as “a design for living which is passed down from generation to generation”(42).  If a child was over 7 years old then they were considered the “unworthy” poor because their poverty had already affected their life so much that there would be no amount of guiding that would get them on the right path; they were doomed to stay in poverty.  Children under 6 could still be helped and therefore considered the “worthy” poor. Third world children have it a little better, the U.S. are thought that those children can be helped because their only problem is their location and that they lack resources.  So, third world children can only have a good life if they are adopted out of their country or have an extreme amount of resources forced into their country; the first option is cheaper.

The second was the “crack baby” issue in 1980.  People believed that when pregnant women did crack that it would affect their fetus and cause retardation.  In all the studies done there has been no proven side effects for using crack while pregnant.  During the 1980s the number one user of crack were white males, however it was portrayed that African American women and somewhat Latinas were the primary users of crack.  White women were not tested for the substance of crack in their body during pregnancy and delivery.  African American women were tested for the substance of crack and if there was even the smallest trace in their body, their baby would be taken from the mother right then and there and sometimes mothers went to jail and were persuaded that jail was the best place for them to get over the addiction to crack.  This “crack baby” crisis “produce[d] the contemporary  the foster care and child welfare system”(47).  The foster parents of these “crack babies” were seen as saints and to be saving the children.  The “crack babies” were considered “special needs”.

Thirdly, it was the Adoption Promotion Act of 1996. “Adoption reform provided a $6,000 tax break to families who adopted a “special needs” child–with nonwhite a subcategory of the definition of special needs”(51).  A lot of people adopted children for the money that the taxes provided them.  The Adoption Promotion Act provided middle class white people $13,000 to raise the “special needs” child.  Many white people seeking adoption go through private adoption agencies because they have children that are “higher quality, lower-risk reproductive products”, and there is more information about the child’s medical and family history (53).

How are the children effected by the private vs public adoption agencies?

Could there be any way that people can ensure public adopted children get to a family that will care for them and are not just in it for the money?

Should children of parents who use crack be allowed to be kept by their biological parents?–It might not hurt children as a fetus, but it could become an issue with the quality of care as they age.

VAWA & The SAVE Native Women Act

I am interested in the VAWA and SAVE Native Women Act because violence on reservations is ignored by the government.  Some Native American women are raped/abused on their reservation and the violator doesn’t get prosecuted for it. I am interested in knowing why the government doesn’t take violence on reservations as urgent, time pressing cases and instead brushes it off. One in three Native American women are raped in their lifetime.  Tribal governments, state governments, and federal governments need to work together for the protection of women. More than 52% of violence cases are denied to even be looked at for Native American women.

The SAVE Native Women Act “amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to include sex trafficking as a target of the grants to Indian tribal governments to combat violent crime against Indian women.”(H.R. 757 – 113th Congress (2013-2014)) It’s purpose is “to decrease the incidence of violent crimes against Indian women, to strengthen the capacity of Indian tribes to exercise the sovereign authority of Indian tribes to respond to violent crimes committed against Indian women, and to ensure that perpetrators of violent crimes committed against Indian women are held accountable for that criminal behavior, and for other purposes.” (H.R. 757 – 113th Congress (2013-2014))

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