State Says No to Potential Foster Parents Because They Believe In Spanking

Becoming a foster parent is not for everyone, as there will likely be trials and a period of adjustment. That doesn't take away from the unforgettable experience you'll have raising a child and providing them with all the love in the world. Sadly, it looks like one Boston couple will not get this opportunity, as they were denied becoming foster parents because they believe in spanking.


Melanie and Gregory Magazu are parents to 7- and 9-year-old girls but wanted to expand their family by giving a child in need a home. Everything appeared to be working in their favor until they received word their foster-parent application was denied because of their admission to spanking. According to the Massachusetts Department of Children & Families, potential foster parents are prohibited from using corporal punishment of any kind as children who enter the system oftentimes come from traumatic backgrounds involving abuse.

I don't think anyone will argue how sensitive you have to be to the needs of a foster child. Most aren't able to fathom the kind of environment they previously called home, and how it can affect their emotions and actions. While the Magazus agreed to abide by DCF's "no spanking" policy, they weren't willing to bend when it came to how they discipline their two girls. "To deny a family who agrees to care for DCF kids by DCF's guidelines because that family will not alter how they properly parent their own children is going too far," said Gregory Magazu. The couple is now heading to court as they believe the rejection was unfair due to their religious beliefs.

Obviously the definition of corporal punishment will vary from person to person. Some might not think it's a big deal while others will cry child abuse and an excessive use of power.

You don't have to be a Christian to agree with tapping your kid on the butt. Many people I know were spanked as a child because their parents were old-school with their delivery. How many times did you hear, "Spare the rod, spoil the child" growing up?

I grew up with parents who spanked me if and when I really got out of line. There's only so many times you can try time-out and warn a child before you think of another alternative. For me, spanking worked as I knew it would be my butt (literally) if I stepped out of line. My younger sister on the other hand barely received smacks because other forms of punishment worked for her.

More from The Stir: I Thought My Parents Were Spanking Monsters...Then I Had Kids

On one hand, I commend the Magazus for being honest, as many would say OK and then do what they want. As much as they promise not to discipline their other children in front of the foster child, you have to wonder if that's enough -- or will it create tension between the siblings?

Should parents who believe in spanking automatically receive a big fat "Denied" on their application? That sounds a bit harsh to me, but could be in place for a reason. Then again, there's no such thing as the spanking police, so how would you really know?


Image via Luis Louro/shutterstock

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