Victim of the System

A 13 year-old girl in the psychiatric unit of a Texas hospital was scheduled to be released after a month long stay. She was due to be picked up by Children Protective Services (CPS) and taken home, but wasn’t. Her adoptive mother no longer wanted her unless she could be assured that the girl had long term care and that any psychiatric problem would no longer manifest itself. She believed she had been misled by the adoption agency and would have not adopted this girl slightly over a year ago had she known. The girl had been sexually abused, removed from her home, put in a variety of foster homes meaning some kind of trauma had to have been assumed. The CPS worker, who seemed to agree with the adoptive mother, did not pick up the child. The psychiatrist, apparently an elderly dour person passed over for a senior position at the hospital, was dilly dallying about readmitting the girl, or changing his discharge order so that she would legally have a place until the situation could be resolved. The sympathetic nurse—who shared the story with me—was helpless. And the girl kept calling her adopted mother thinking she would go home even though to others it was clear she wouldn’t.
A few days after I was told this story, the girl was given back to the custody of her adoptive mother who checked her in a long term mental institution although the evidence for her need to be there is quite moot.
Some people are more alone than we can fathom, and when they are under-aged and part of a system that fails them it can’t help but evoke sadness and anger.