I became pregnant at 18. I was living in Champaign, Illinois, under state custody. I was a runaway from a transitional living placement and had met the man of my dreams.
We were in love and so happy to become parents. Still, I worried. I told my boyfriend all about my involvement with the state. He said we weren’t doing anything wrong so I didn’t need to be afraid. But I knew … Read More
When you grow up in foster care and have a child, your greatest hope is that you’ll get to be your child’s Mommy. Your greatest fear is that you’ll fail, and your child will feel the same pain you felt. When you lose your mother, you feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself.
Too often, our fears come true. Few child welfare systems nationwide track removals of children from mothers who have been in foster … Read More
When you spend too much time as a kid in survival mode—feeling like you have no one to rely on and blocking out the pain whatever ways you can—sometimes you don’t realize in time that you have to change.
Alone in the System
I was raised by my grandmother until I was 10, when my mom decided she was done doing drugs and wanted her children. To me, it seemed like one big adventure. But when I … Read More
Since 2012, Rise has worked with or interviewed more than 40 mothers who grew up in foster care. Here, five New York City mothers share their perspectives on how child welfare can better partner with parents who grew up in care. Chitara Plasencia, 17, Jennie Alvarado, 18, and TyAsia Nicholson, 21, are members of a support group for young mothers at Lawyers For Children, which provides legal and social work advocacy for young people in … Read More
This past summer, another young mother in my foster home got child protective services called on her. That got me watched, too.
The first time it happened, it was 10 p.m. I was in bed asleep with my 2-month-old son. The crib was a few steps away, but I was breastfeeding every two hours and I did not want to keep getting up.
“Knock, knock, knock,” I heard on my bedroom … Read More