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Japan needs foster care rather than institutions: UK experts

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By William Hollingworth

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As if a foreigner with a doctorate from Oxford knows more than the Japanese who still cling to ideas from the 16th century.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

Although fostering takes place in Japan, often this is when there is little likelihood of the child being returned to their birth parents and seen as a proxy for adoption.

Right, fostering occurs so rarely, and it is practically unheard of in society in general! Taking in someone else's child for what ever reason suggests that there is a "problem" somewhere and leads to potentially having the child be stigmatized in the neighborhood where they grow up in.

Before fostering, there needs to be education!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Why does an adult need to be trained to foster a child?

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

It's difficult to know where to start with this extremely depressing article. Much respect to Mr. Rivera-King and Ms. Doi, attempting to reform childcare in Japan must be a Sisyphean task.

"Institutions are paid on a per-child basis and, in order to keep them open, this provides an incentive to place kids there rather than with foster parents."

There it is. Doubtless these institutions will be run by retired Health Ministry bureaucrats or private companies staffed by former Health Ministry bureaucrats.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Sadly Japan is not UK and the entire social-cultural history as well as the roles of parenting and fostering are entirely different. UK or any other country do not have the right answer to everything that another country is doing. And definitely they do not have the right to tell other people how to live or even how to structure their society. That is self-righteousness without regard for the other society and their ways.

So when human rights and other moral and idealism based ways are encouraged, they cannot be forced upon others regardless of self-righteous and good intent for those affected and for so called humanity's values. The people themselves must be the one to recognize such ideals and ways as valuable to themselves and change themselves toward that direction.

If government and their institutions are not effective, the p[eople themselves must decide the better route. In order to do that the social structure and culture must be able to adjust to such changes. And such situation can be compared but not judged as being good or bad by the standards of other countries.

-22 ( +2 / -24 )

Sadly Japan is not UK and the entire social-cultural history as well as the roles of parenting and fostering are entirely different. UK or any other country do not have the right answer to everything that another country is doing. 

This is a weak defence of the status quo. Is there something physiologically or mentally different about Japanese children that makes being institutionalized beneficial for them despite it being bad for all other human children?

Or is this just a knee jerk reaction to the fact that it is a foreigner pointing out how horrid the system is?

17 ( +17 / -0 )

UK or any other country do not have the right answer to everything that another country is doing.

The UK isn't telling Japan what to do. Where does the article mention The UK is telling Japan what to do? Mr. Rivera-King is a private individual, with a doctorate from the University of Oxford, who set up a charity for orphans in Japan and has now written a book about childcare here.

That is self-righteousness

self-righteous

Dr Michael Rivera King is the CEO of Ashinaga Association in the UK (registered charity number: 1183750). During his time on JET (2006-2011) Michael set up Smile Kids Japan, a volunteer group that saw over 3,000 people volunteer sustainably in their local ‘orphanages’. Following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami Michael raised over $900,000 for those affected. Michael contributed to the 2016 revision to the Child Welfare Act, on foster care and adoption, and completed his doctorate at the University of Oxford in 2017. His book ‘Child Guidance Centres in Japan: Alternative Care and the Family’ will be published by Nissan Routledge next year.

https://www.japansociety.org.uk/event/michael-rivera-king/

Doesn't sound self-righteous really, does it.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

As for fostering, there is a very interesting movie "Oshin" produced by NHK some years ago. It illustrates the social-cultural environment during the late Meiji era. Things have changed since. However, the kind of stress have not changed much after the war till very recently. So many homeless and parent-less children had to be cared for and the government had to institutionalize to allow the population to work and survive.

Today, even if affluent to an extent and many adoption are made, the younger population do not appear to care for children of others or even their own. In such a confused society, where many do not know parenting to begin with. It may be difficult to find a good foster home in such an environment.

I personally believe that Foster parenting people must first be able to parent their own children.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Is there something physiologically or mentally different about Japanese children

That’s a good question to be asking in the context of this report. Watching my two kids who have by and large been brought up in Japan and are half Japanese and comparing their behaviour to other fully Japanese children around them there is a marked difference in displays of raw emotions and general behaviour. Perhaps it’s just my particular infusion of genetics but there is something there. My wife sees it too and she is staunchly patriotic. My case may be unique and but I thought it worth mentioning as it may have relevancy and perhaps others here have experienced the same.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

My wife sees it too and she is staunchly patriotic.

Not so "staunchly patriotic" in that she married a foreigner! That is not meant in any negative way either!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@Kurisupisu

Why does an adult need to be trained to foster a child?

Training for fostering a child is important for any adult that is considering that option. Doesn't matter if they are from Japan, UK, or any other country. The psychological makeup of a child and understanding them is something most people are not trained on. If they were, we wouldn't need professional psychologist or guidance counselors for children.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

With response to the negative to my comments above, we have yet to have data and actual opinions from those that were institutionalized to actually evaluate and determine the meaningfulness and effectivness of institutions that kept them.

We also need data as to the results of those that did get into foster homes.

Then we need the specific data as to what kind of foster care is needed for children of different ages, sex, educational levels and backgrounds, etc..

Then we still need to determine whether a child wants or needs a faster home type of environment in their particular setting and in a Japanese social-cultural environment.

And much more...

The point is that much of this requires time and evaluation which must be considered. However, there are indicators of what is happening and trending socially in Japan, some of which is in the news, from which the government can start to evaluate the need.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Kurisupisu:

If a potential foster parent has to go through training, why dont potential birth parents have to?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Issue breeding license only after they complete and pass certification. Would make the world a better place, eh?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Dukeleto:

comparing their behaviour to other fully Japanese children around them there is a marked difference in displays of raw emotions and general behaviour

Geez...

You do know kids mimic their parents right ? That may be if their emotions are raw it's because yours are too, aat home. Not because of some japanese special gene =_=

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Although related by blood,I have an 18 year old son, ready to enter university this spring.

He is bilingual, social and has gained academic and sporting awards.He also has an ability to discuss and argue which is often used.

I wish to add, there was no training for me to be a parent.

If foster parents are properly motivated then any child could easily exceed what I have done.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Although related by blood,I have an 18 year old son, ready to enter university this spring.

He is bilingual, social and has gained academic and sporting awards.He also has an ability to discuss and argue which is often used.

I wish to add, there was no training for me to be a parent.

If foster parents are properly motivated then any child could easily exceed what I have done.

You act as if the "related by blood" part isn't significant but to most people, especially Japanese, that is the main thing holding them back from adopting or fostering children.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Perhaps it is helpful (and necessary) for foster parents to get some training/education about child emotional development and childrearing because it could be that children put in foster care come from disfunctional families, troubled backgrounds, and might have a lot more emotional baggage than kids who do not have such history (of being put in foster care for a reason). I domno

1 ( +1 / -0 )

... I do not see how training would hurt.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@JuminRhee

If a potential foster parent has to go through training, why dont potential birth parents have to?

In Japan, parents do have to go through training. It's part of the deal for the reimbursement from the government. You have to attend a class held either by the ward office or the hospital.

But the difference between foster and birth is that fostering is a fully conscious and willful decision. While you can mistakenly get pregnant, you don't mistakenly foster a child.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Training is the bad word.

Parenting education is the better way to say that. And Japanese wards and cities provide this for pregnant mothers and fathers already.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I feel that Japanese people tend to also have a cultural aversion to taking on kids with no familial relation. This has been what I've picked up from talking with various Japanese people about adoption, when I told them I would like to adopt a child while my wife is not interested. They expressed an understanding of my wife's position, and that if it was a cousin's child or something it's easier to do.

I was hoping the article would touch on this, as I'm not sure if my feelings are based only in the anecdotal, and aren't actually true. Has anyone else had these discussions with Japanese people?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My neighbour back in the UK fostered a little girl until her parents were deemed unsuitable to have their children returned to them (serious drug addiction and the health complications that followed), and the little girl was adopted into my neighbour's family. She's a sweet girl in a much better place than with her birth parents, and it made me want to be a foster parent myself.

Also, as someone who works in Japanese schools, I hate to say that I see too many children who in any other country would be put into foster care because their home situations are frankly atrocious. Abuse happens everywhere, of course, but the neglect that some of these children are suffering is infuriating. There will always be people who want to help but feel they can't because of this country's culture of not interfering with other's business. I wish that fostering was more common here.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Strangerland

Here lies the cultural difference that explains this situation, Japan and like many Asian countries, by culture, favoritise blood above soil or anything else (that was the case in the west a while ago).

That is why a foreigner will never be a Japanese (i didn't say japanese citizen but Japanese) and why people here don't want to raise a child of different blood.

That's one of those things that won't change for a very long while, and the very very low birth rate won't help.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

That’s a good question to be asking in the context of this report. Watching my two kids who have by and large been brought up in Japan and are half Japanese and comparing their behaviour to other fully Japanese children around them there is a marked difference in displays of raw emotions and general behaviour. Perhaps it’s just my particular infusion of genetics but there is something there. My wife sees it too and she is staunchly patriotic. My case may be unique and but I thought it worth mentioning as it may have relevancy and perhaps others here have experienced the same.

My question was just rhetorical. I don't doubt that there are some behavioral differences between Japanese kids and those raised in different countries with different environments, cultural norms, etc. I have two half Japanese kids I am raising here too and they do behave a bit different but that isn't a genetic thing, its because I'm me and they are having a much different experience of childhood in my house than kids in conventional Japanese families do.

None of that though goes to the point of the article: kids in any country including Japan will do better in a secure family setting than they will in an institution where they face a load of problems endemic to them.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I had a little look a few years ago and saw something saying that it was very difficult to adopt in Japan if the foster dad is over 45. Is that true? We ended up having number three when I was 44, and I've not looked since.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well yeah, that's what I suspect, and anecdotally have found to be true.

What I'd like is a more comprehensive discussion into this idea.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here lies the cultural difference that explains this situation, Japan and like many Asian countries, by culture, favoritise blood above soil or anything else (that was the case in the west a while ago).

This just isn't true though. Japan has a LONG history of adoption being a culturally accepted practice going back into ancient times. If Japanese culture explained the difference, how do you explain that?

and why people here don't want to raise a child of different blood.

I would suggest the reasons most people don't want to raise other people's kids here are the same as they are everywhere else: it costs a lot of money and time and effort. Few people have these to spare, especially in Japan.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

How heartbreaking the plight of these children. The worst thing in the world for a child is to feel unloved or abandoned by their parents. For years I volunteered at an orphanage here in Japan and helped out as much as I could. The kids were such sponges for love.

While circumstances differ in each case, I agree that generally these children need foster care rather than institutions. Or better yet, adoption. Individual attention and care by competent and loving foster parents would be far better than being lumped in with many other children in an orphanage.

I love Japan to bits, but there is a big problem here with a lack of affection and care for those who fall through the cracks and the thinking that it's not my problem if the person/child is not in my group/company/family etc. It would be great to to see the Japanese become more community minded and able to reach out to those in need like these kids.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

My wife and I have just completed the training and registration process to adopt or become foster parents here in Japan. We went through the prefectural government.

The training was fairly extensive and there were roughly 40 or so couples in attendance hoping to register. I was the only non-Japanese present.

The registration process took about a year in total from when we first contacted the local child welfare centre to the final seminar which was in January (we'll know whether we've been accepted in mid-March).

We had 5 all day seminars to attend, separate interviews to learn about our backgrounds and motivation, as well as a full day at a foster care home. We also had to have a police background check, a financial check, and a health check. After each seminar we had to write reports in Japanese on the content of the seminars.

It was hard work but well worth it.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

juminRhee Today  09:08 am JST

Kurisupisu:

If a potential foster parent has to go through training, why dont potential birth parents have to?

Because birth parents have their children with them from day one. While they certainly will need help and advice at times, in the end birth parents and their children begin bonding from the very beginning.

In contrast, foster parents are taking in children who in many cases may already be several years old, with issues having already developed before the foster parents even meet them. And every effort should be made to help them face those issues with regard to a child with whom they haven't been able to bond since birth.

So, not the same thing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Shiyourn Today  11:11 am JST

My wife and I have just completed the training and registration process to adopt or become foster parents here in Japan ... It was hard work but well worth it.

God bless you both for doing that! :)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This just isn't true though. Japan has a LONG history of adoption being a culturally accepted practice going back into ancient times. 

Source please ? I majored in Japanese culture and history and never heard of a so called "LONG history of adoption"

ancient times

What is that supposed to mean ??

Culture changes, a lot, with a lot of time, that is ridiculous to compare cultural Japan of 1000 years ago and cultural Japan of today. For example homosexuality wasn't a taboo and was quite common "a long time ago", to use your language, but it is not so much nowadays.

I would suggest the reasons most people don't want to raise other people's kids here are the same as they are everywhere else: it costs a lot of money and time and effort. Few people have these to spare, especially in Japan.

That would just explain why people don't have kids and not why they don't adopt though. And the "don't have time or money" excuse is a really simple way to see things...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Source please ? I majored in Japanese culture and history and never heard of a so called "LONG history of adoption"

Ah, well then you should be familiar how to research a simple academic question such as "what is the historical origin of the practice of adoption in Japan?"

Looking into that, you'll find that adoption has been practiced as far back as the Kamakura period and later became widespread during the Tokugawa period and has continued until today. It was particularly prevalent (and remains so) as a way of securing male heirs to childless Samurai (historically) or business owners (today).

So the idea that adoption is incompatible with a purported cultural norm that only blood kin are "family", which you seemed to be supporting, doesn't seem compatible with actual practice.

Culture changes, a lot, with a lot of time, that is ridiculous to compare cultural Japan of 1000 years ago and cultural Japan of today.

The practice originated long ago and has a continuous history until today, so i'm not comparing ancient culture to today, I'm merely observing that the currently accepted cultural practice has a long history. Tens of thousands of adoptions happen in Japan every year now.

That would just explain why people don't have kids and not why they don't adopt though. And the "don't have time or money" excuse is a really simple way to see things..

Ascribing it all to culture is an equally simple way to see things. There are a lot of factors at work and undoubtedly the institutional incentives described in the article are a major one as well.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Shiyourn

My wife and I have just completed the training and registration process to adopt or become foster parents here in Japan. We went through the prefectural government.

The training was fairly extensive and there were roughly 40 or so couples in attendance hoping to register. I was the only non-Japanese present.

The registration process took about a year in total from when we first contacted the local child welfare centre to the final seminar which was in January (we'll know whether we've been accepted in mid-March).

We had 5 all day seminars to attend, separate interviews to learn about our backgrounds and motivation, as well as a full day at a foster care home. We also had to have a police background check, a financial check, and a health check. After each seminar we had to write reports in Japanese on the content of the seminars.

It was hard work but well worth it.

Well done and God bless you both for doing this. Real love in action.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why not take a handful of children and give foster care a try? Proof's in the pudding. Arguing has little value till success & failure patterns emerge & weighed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

adoption has been practiced as far back as the Kamakura period and later became widespread during the Tokugawa period and has continued until today. It was particularly prevalent (and remains so) as a way of securing male heirs to childless Samurai

Oh yes, the elite adopting male children to secure the family name...

Thanks for pointing out the 1% exception of the population.

Here another one for you, you can add it up to your 1% exception, even nowadays there are old people without children, that adopt (young/adult) men, so to keep their family name going on.

Damn I was so wrong, this is so relevant to this discussion, thanks a lot.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Many of you seem to confuse adopting and fostering. When you adopt a child, it is considered your child in the eyes of the law and it will be that way forever. Also, it cost a lot of money and there are not stipends. When you foster a child, you are committing to taking care of a child and it isn't considered yours. Also, you receive a stipend from the government.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I see so many couples lavishing their pets with ineffable love, and can't help wondering how wonderful it will be if they could register as a foster parent...the orphans will thank you for it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Damn I was so wrong, this is so relevant to this discussion, thanks a lot.

This is an interesting and relevant point of debate, there is no need to get defensive. You are saying that Japanese don't, as a matter of culture, accept as family those who don't share the same blood. I was just pointing out that this isn't actually a Japanese cultural trait, since people actually do something that contravenes that norm and nobody has a problem with it, which is 100% relevant to the point you were trying to make.

Thanks for pointing out the 1% exception of the population.

Well, just to be clear in most countries the portion of the population who adopt or foster kids is also miniscule.

Here another one for you, you can add it up to your 1% exception, even nowadays there are old people without children, that adopt (young/adult) men, so to keep their family name going on.

Yup, there is a very specific (though not exclusive) motive driving a lot of adoption in Japan and yes, that is different than in a lot of other countries. But the existence and social acceptance of that practice suggests that a cultural emphasis on blood ties is not what is driving the limited use of foster care. I'm pretty sure 90% of that can be explained by this single line from the article:

"Institutions are paid on a per-child basis and, in order to keep them open, this provides an incentive to place kids there rather than with foster parents."

No need to use culture to explain it: institutional incentives are driving it. Culture might explain why people put up with it, but that would involve a different cultural norm than one emphasizing the importance of blood ties.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In Japan, parents do have to go through training. 

Please share where you received this information, or are you just speculating here? My wife and I have had three children born here in Okinawa and there was ZERO requirement for any "training" as you state here!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Why does an adult need to be trained to foster a child?" ....Exactly why education is needed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"juminRhee Today  09:08 am JST

Kurisupisu:

If a potential foster parent has to go through training, why dont potential birth parents have to?

Because birth parents have their children with them from day one. While they certainly will need help and advice at times, in the end birth parents and their children begin bonding from the very beginning.

In contrast, foster parents are taking in children who in many cases may already be several years old, with issues having already developed before the foster parents even meet them. And every effort should be made to help them face those issues with regard to a child with whom they haven't been able to bond since birth.

So, not the same thing.

"

Agreed but to be honest many birth parents should get training also...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

 "adoption has been practiced as far back as the Kamakura period and later became widespread during the Tokugawa period and has continued until today. It was particularly prevalent (and remains so) as a way of securing male heirs to childless Samurai (historically) or business owners (today)."

The said practice has little to do with fostering or adopting a child because securing the male heir to childless family was more or less a matter of life or death for family and its vassals in any of periods. Kamakura, Ashikaga, Toyotomi, or Tokugawa each had a different family code as Hideyoshi miraculously managed to be adopted by a Fujiwara noble family. Most of the adoptee were well beyond maturity age. My grandfather, for instance, was adopted at 21 according to the investigative work my brother did. He kept asking me later about what I thought of the sudden change of the adopter's mind to severe him- Beat me. Most of family registers have records going back over 200 years for citation if you care to dig out. Accordingly, it is so difficult to glean a general understanding of "Japanese" practice that to say otherwise is an equivocation, typical of any magistrate mindful only of his post-retirement career. What ancient got to do with it!

To the point was the article: "increase provisions for foster care and stop putting children in institutions." Any rebuttal should stick to it. Do not clutter here with other bogus sources. Pay respect to what Michael Rivera-King has to say.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Yubaru

I don't know about you. But myself as well as many other foreigners I know have all gone through the same type of basic training.

The classes teach people how to bathe a baby, hold a baby, what to do when the baby won't stop crying, and a few other things. Had to go through it with both of my daughters. I can't speak for Okinawa, but it's at least standard in Kobe and Osaka. These classes were also required by the ward office.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To the point was the article: "increase provisions for foster care and stop putting children in institutions." Any rebuttal should stick to it. Do not clutter here with other bogus sources. Pay respect to what Michael Rivera-King has to say.

Just to be clear, I am 100% I agreement with the argument being made by Rivera-King and was not rebutting it. I was rebutting the argument that culture per se explains the low use of foster care in Japan. I think its really mostly the incentives of the bureaucracy that explains it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No need to use culture to explain it: institutional incentives are driving it. Culture might explain why people put up with it, but that would involve a different cultural norm than one emphasizing the importance of blood ties.

Well, that's where we'll agree to disagree I guess (no offense taken btw, even though my previous answer was pretty sarcastic).

I really think it is a cultural problem (and blood being one of the main reasons but not the only one) that keeps people from adopting, AND keeps the country to let people adopt because even if some want to adopt, it seems to be a very long and difficult path to take)

If you ask a 100 Japaneses in the street the reason why they would not foster a kid, you really think most of them are going to say it is because of the money ? I have a hard time seeing that happening.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Happily not sadly Japan is not UK and the entire social-cultural history as well as the roles of parenting and fostering as entirely different. Japan has been around long before the British Empire and if people who are anti Japan do not like how we raise our children, no one is forcing them to stay in Nippon or as the name of the old days Yamato.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well, that's where we'll agree to disagree I guess (no offense taken btw, even though my previous answer was pretty sarcastic).

Fair enough.

I really think it is a cultural problem (and blood being one of the main reasons but not the only one) that keeps people from adopting, AND keeps the country to let people adopt because even if some want to adopt, it seems to be a very long and difficult path to take)

My reluctance to put too much emphasis on culture is because I think it gets over-used as a way of explaining things in Japan which are different, and it can also be used by those in authority as an excuse for maintaining the status quo in the face of substantive criticism.

If you ask a 100 Japaneses in the street the reason why they would not foster a kid, you really think most of them are going to say it is because of the money ? I have a hard time seeing that happening.

What would be perhaps more useful would be to do that survey and then replicate it in other countries to see if the results differ.

I suspect that doing so might reveal another reason for my reluctance to put too much emphasis on culture. A lot of people in Japan might definitely say they only want to raise their own kids (blood connection) but I suspect that a large proportion of people in the US or Europe would also say that. I mean, I'm Canadian and I would say that. So this might be more of a universal preference than just a Japan thing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My reluctance to put too much emphasis on culture is because I think it gets over-used as a way of explaining things in Japan which are different, and it can also be used by those in authority as an excuse for maintaining the status quo in the face of substantive criticism.

That's one thing we can agree on, and I am usually very reluctant to explain every different things about Japan as a cultural difference (which seems usually far too easy)

I suspect that doing so might reveal another reason for my reluctance to put too much emphasis on culture. A lot of people in Japan might definitely say they only want to raise their own kids (blood connection) but I suspect that a large proportion of people in the US or Europe would also say that. I mean, I'm Canadian and I would say that. So this might be more of a universal preference than just a Japan thing.

I think so too, I'm French and adopting would be the very last solution if it had to come to it (like not being able to have kids of my own). I think what I was saying was more about the general acceptance. I have the feeling it is kind of a taboo in Asia (in general), to adopt kids or speak about it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have some personal experience of these places and here is what I found.

1.the children in these places have to wear clothes provided by the shelter even down to under wear.

No use of own clothes.

2.not allowed outside at all unless visiting a hospital or medical facility.

3.not allowed to attend normal school and few educational stimuli,.

Pretty much left to their own

4.regimented daily life

While the staff and social workers were wonderful in some ways it felt like the child in care was been punished for being in the facility even in the case of abusive parents.

It was a big eye opener.

Very little positive reinforcement just you are safe here attitude.

Very very behind the times compared to a European system.

Again the workers were wonderful but the system sucked big time sadly.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Me gets the idea that people here consider "adoption" to only mean children.

Rest assured it does not, particularly here in Japan, which believe it or not, has one of the highest rates of adoption in the world, just not children, but adults!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rest assured it does not, particularly here in Japan, which believe it or not, has one of the highest rates of adoption in the world, just not children, but adults!

I already said something about it in one of my comment above.

Still the subject of the article is about fostering so it does not really concern adults, no?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

kazetsukaiToday  08:26 am JST

I personally believe that Foster parenting people must first be able to parent their own children.

Well that would be incredibly unfair to couples who would be great at parenting but can't have their own.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Acquainting ‘blood’ and the idea that children have to be related or have the same DNA to benefit from loving parents is completely nonsensical-even in Japan!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Morning Drama (朝ドラ,) need to be made about the success and problems of Dr Riviera-King's study.

It seems we all like to watch tv and be moved from am when our mind is still fresh.

More caring society by support given locally than by institution I agree is way forward.

when we are old, who will be looking after us?

"Children should also have a say in where they live and what happens to them."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't know about you. But myself as well as many other foreigners I know have all gone through the same type of basic training.

My point is about it being "required", as there are no laws stating such, and there is no way they can withhold national insurance money either, as assumed by the post I was replying to in the first place.

My comment should have been in more detail regarding that, my apologies!

As with most people who live here, they do it because they are told to, not that they are required to.

I am not against it at all, I took Lamaze and baby classes with my wife, at the hospital our children were born at, it's a great idea, yet there was nothing from the city, no paperwork, nada.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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