Many people do not see the correlation between abortion, DHS Child Services, foster care and adoption but there is a direct link between them.
Abortion unfortunately has become a form of birth control and we must figure out a way to curtail it. Unfortunately, there is no way we can totally outlaw abortion due to the Roe v Wade ruling but there are steps we can take to drastically cut the abortion rates. When reading the opinion f the United States Supreme Court in regards to Roe v Wade, Justice Harry Blackmun wrote in the majority opinion that "[Some] argue that the woman’s right is absolute and that she is entitled to terminate her pregnancy at whatever time, in whatever way, and for whatever reason she alone chooses. With this we do not agree." The United States Supreme Court also referenced the 14th Amendment. The 14th Amendment states "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Using the 14th Amendment, it could be argued that limiting abortion to the threat of life to the mother, rape, incest or the baby not being viable is a route that we could be able to take to put extreme limitations on the practice of abortion.
Before we tackle abortion there are several other issues that must be resolved. First and foremost is DHS Child Services. I'll be the first to admit there are soma absolutely amazing DHS works who are passionate about their jobs and love what they do. They always put what's best for the child first. However, they are extremely under funded and over worked. There are also those DHS employees that are there to collect a paycheck and simply go through the motions. DHS Child Services needs help. They need the help in ways of more funding, more employees and to weed out those who are just going through the motions to get a paycheck.
Foster care is a great service and the foster parents I know have a heart of gold. They put everything out there to take care of kids that are not their own. With that being said, we as a state are hurting for foster parents largely due to the amount of money they get. In Oklahoma, foster parents get between $455 and $600 depending on the age of the child. As a grandfather of a one year old, I know first hand, you can not raise a child under the age of 3 on $455. We need to find ways to be able to provide more funding for these amazing people. We also need to work out a way to help offset most if not all child care costs to these families so these parents can continue to work and make a living.
Adoption is probably the issue I'm most passionate about out of these four critical issues. On June 22, 1979 I was adopted the day before I turned one. As of 2020 stats, there are roughly 500 children on any given day waiting to be adopted in Oklahoma. The cost of adopting one of these kids can range between $14,000 and $40,000. We need to find ways to cut these costs and place these children into families that want to love them and call them their own.
In summary, there is no quick and easy fix on the abortion issue. As you can see, there are numerous other issues that will be directly related to abortion that must be addressed first. We must take a common sense approach to this issue or we will destroy the foster care ad Child Services systems.