Is It Ever Appropriate to “coerce” children into loving someone through force and court orders?

Addiction, foster care, court orders, counseling, churches, and news media.

Megan Fox recently asked, “Do you think it’s ever appropriate to “coerce” children into loving someone through force and court orders?” My first instinct is to tell parents to stay away from court systems. I think I am going to stick with my gut instinct on that one. Giving complete strangers that work in courts control over your life is just an all-around bad idea.

This particular story is a hard call because they are already in the court system and nobody knows the whole story. We may know one side or the other, but I doubt that we will ever actually know the whole story. Not knowing the whole story though I think that Megan Fox makes some good points, but leaves out some good points too.

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My first thought is that she is being too harsh on the mother in her story. Meagan Fox has been working with the dad which is great. Not many people look at fathers as caregivers and they should. Dads are important. But Megan seems biased against the mother because of drug use. A lot of people are. Was Dad was dad using too? Did he quit and Mom continued? How did Mom become addicted? There are so many scenarios that could have happened. Did Dad get clean and run Mom off? Did she have family support? Is there another man? Or another woman? There are so many things that could have happened to this family that we don’t know that it is hard to make any judgment.

Plenty of drug addicts get to foster and adopt through their recovery and because of church support. Was she forced out of their life or did she just leave for no reason? Addicts don’t do drugs because it makes them feel good. Maybe in the beginning but it turns into something that they know hurts them and they can’t quit, or maybe the family was so hateful that they kept pushing her back to the people that accepted her. Friends and family can help.

Denial is common among addicts. Denial happens when a person fails to accept or acknowledge a reality. Sometimes the truth hurts, and emotions can be difficult to deal with. Addicts deny that they have a problem. They deny that they are addicted or that an addiction is the cause of any negative consequences. Often times an addict will blame others for problems and therefore shift the focus off of themselves and the addiction so that someone else or something else is to blame. 

Everyone uses defense mechanisms to protect themselves from anxiety and in social settings to cope with what is happening around them. Defense mechanisms are usually healthy ways that people have to deal with whatever is happening but become pathological when maladaptive behaviors emerge from the unconscious mind to manipulate or deny reality. Addicts use defense mechanisms to rationalize their addiction and to protect their own ego.

Think about the recovering addicts in the churches running countless foster children through their homes every month. I guess that because they are “state-approved” they never relapse like normal addicts that are not state-approved do. Right???? It’s just a hard call to say anything about Mom or Dad one way or the other at this point.

Why does Dad want media attention? …… And then it is a parent’s job to teach moral and Biblical skills and knowledge. Forgiveness is the key to healing one’s own self more than the person being forgiven. We never know what God has planned for the other person. I think it is dangerous ground to interfere with the hierarchy of authority that God makes.

Once parental authority is broken trust issues never really get solved. It can take generations for a family to heal. I thought about how damaging this story could be for the family and I had to ask others what they thought. So I went to a parenting group and asked them what they think about it. I received several answers from a diverse group of parents and family members. Some are foster and adoptive parents while others are biological parents.

“People don’t want to adopt drug babies”, one foster parent said. :They cry a lot and have developmental problems. Cps will give the drug addicts a lot of chances to get their kids back cause no one else can get paid enough to take them. The healthy drug free baby is one that is hard to get back and these nurses and doctors are actively seeking them to steal.”

“Drug addict babies can make a full recovery. The key is to get them to bond to a caregiver immediately”, another foster-approved disagreed saying, I had to jump inat that point to say that I don’t know if the children ever “fully recover”, they may learn to cope, but they never fully recover.

How do you recover from losing your family over drugs? The foster mother came back saying, “They did a study in Ohio back in 2015. I am sure there is always residual underlying issues but generally speaking the newborn can recover. This issue is when you take a baby, put them in with a foster family, wait 2 years and then reunite them with their mom( who at that time would be more of a stranger). The idea for these babies is to have 1 strong caregiver. Not bouncing back and forth because mom can’t recover”.

“This issue is when you take a baby, put them in with a foster family, wait 2 years and then reunite them with their mom( who at that time would be more of a stranger). The idea for these babies is to have 1 strong caregiver. Not bouncing back and forth because mom can’t recover”.

So here we go. My concern exactly is that once the family hierarchy is destroyed, what happens next. Foster care, jails, a not so bright future. The discussion turned to more of a religious conversation after the foster determined that it is God’s will for her to convince everyone that God’s will is for church members to take addict’s children into foster care. We will have to do another story on that one.

How did church leaders go unnoticed for so long? A recent article shows that Department of Human Services just dicovered a Mennonite Church has been trafficking children for forced labor since 2011. It’s 2021! Almost 2022.

Is it ever appropriate to “coerce a child into loving a parent through court orders? Let me know your thoughts.

What family and friends can do to help a loved one with an addiction. How we approach intervention is important. It is possible to push a person further away and further into a crowd of people that share their addiction. This can result in death and other horrible outcomes. Strategies that are proven to be effective are motivational techniques that involve both the addict and their family and support group.

Substance abuse and trust. Counseling people who suffer addictions takes love, compassion, and commitment, and it also takes trust. A client has to trust the counselor and feel safe enough to open up about their experiences. Duty to warn and other confidentiality policies have to be clearly explained, and at the same time, counselors have to commit to seeing their clients through to recovery.

Click here to find more resources.

Other Articles:

What I wish I had known. Case Preparation Child Welfare Cases.

Substance abuse and trust.

What family and friends can do to help a loved one with an addiction.

Is the foster care to prison pipeline the only answer for children whose parents have mental health conditions? Addictions?

Runaways, Mental Health, and Homelessness

Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state.  The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We cannot give legal advice, but we can try and direct you in the right direction with your case. Links to legal services are listed with their states. Please share and let’s grow our groups. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page.

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