This paper is an overview of a case study involving a foreign lady that came to America as a mail bride order. She came to the United States with hopes to live the “American Dream”. However shortly after marriage she found herself in a difficult predicament. Her husband became abusive and they eventually had children. This paper examines the developmental stages and concerns for children. This paper also gives an overview of the writer’s overall thoughts on the mail bride order law.History of Mail Order BridesIn today’s society, Mail-order brides would be considered as an internet function only.
However, Mail order brides have been around for years. In previous years, advertisements were circulated in magazines and catalogs as opposed to online. Typical customers are unhappy, divorced older white men. Most of these men are in search of a woman, who are passive and submissive, someone who can be can controlled and dominated. They join a mail-order bride agency to find their perfect match. (Lee, 1998). While on the other hand, mail-order brides tend to come from poor countries and are generally young and uneducated. Mail-order brides are usually attractive women that are in search of a better life (Morgan, 2007).
The Process of Securing a BrideOnce the customer (the man) is interested in a potential bride, he pays for the prospect’s contact information. Once the initial contact is made they can continue to correspond. If at any point the man thinks he would be interested in marrying a woman, he can apply for a fiancée visa, for his potential bride. It is mandatory for the lady to go through an extensive screening process to be approved for a visa. This process includes an interview with the US embassy, as well as a criminal background check. If the woman is granted a visa she can live in the United States for at least ninety days. She can only stay in the US if she marries her initial visa sponsor. However, if she is not married within ninety days she must return home to her country.
This is an issue because he gave the clues that he had the potential to be abusive and she ignored the red flags. According to a study conducted by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a vast percent of marriages between alien women and U. S. men have domestic abuse is present (Newsome, 2017). Had Rebekah paid attention to these red flags she could have possibly avoided this ordeal. In addition to the physical abuse she was also emotionally abused and tormented. In Rebekah’s case not only does this affect her but now it also leads to issues for her children as well. Language BarrierAlthough Rebekah’s husband promised her that there would be an abundance of jobs in America, this was not the case for her. Rebekah did not speak English well. Her poor English skills hindered her from finding employment. Not being able to find a job diminished the idea of her sending money back home to her country for her family. At this point, she became completely reliant on her husband. Background ChecksAnother issue that I see in Rebekah’s case is there were no types of background checks to protect her. Had Mr. Roberts had to do a criminal background check he probably would not have been able to proceed with getting a mail bride order. Simply because he was just released from prison for domestic violence and abuse of his third wife. This makes Rebekah the fourth victim of Mr. Roberts. Her life with Mr. Roberts was so bad, she was willing to risk going back to her country. Going back to her country means going back to a life of being poor and living in poverty. Rebekah’s twins are now at risk of going with her to her deprived country. Or having to stay in the United States with their abusive father.
Under normal circumstances children are generally considered a blessing in a happy home. However, Rebekah’s situation is not normal at all but rather unstable. Bringing kids into any unstable environment is going to bring problems of a whole other nature that Rebekah probably was not even aware of. Not only are the kids now seen as added stress to Rebekah and Mr. Roberts, but they are probably in just as much danger as their mother if not more. The children are now susceptible to physical, social, mental, developmental, and educational complications. Additionally, they are also in harms way because their father is abusive, and their mother cannot advocate for herself let alone her children. Developmental profilesOne-year-old-profile As the social worker, it would be necessary to assess Rebekah’s twins. I would first examine their physical appearance. I would check their weight, to see if they were the size of normal one-year-old children. If the twins weighed less than normal this would be a clear indication of a lack of nourishment. A lack of nourishment would limit the children’s physical development. I would also look for bruises and other signs of physical abuse. (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016). After evaluating their physical appearance, I would evaluate their developmental functions, as it relates to their developmental profiles. Next, I would begin to explore the one-year-old developmental profile. The five stages that I would examine would be motor, adaptive, social, language functions, along with their physical behavior. While they probably are not able to walk without assistance yet, it is normal to stand without holding on to anything. By age one the twins should be able to crawl well enough to be mobile. I would check to see if they are exploring their environment. Also, the twins should be able to cooperate while being dressed by holding still or extending an arm or leg to facilitate putting the clothes on. At this age, the twins should also be able to drink from a cup, along with having the ability to feed themselves with their fingers. Their interaction with each other is a perfect way to gauge how that measure up socially. Imitating sounds become more frequent, along with saying a few words such as mama and dada. While these milestones are an average indication of one-year development, I would not be too concerned if all these milestones were not met. If the one-year milestones were not met, I would move forward to evaluate the twins to see if they meet the normal eight-month-old development functions (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016).
Eight-month-old babies should be able to sit up without being supported. They typically can pull themselves up in a standing position with the help of a chair of some sort. When it comes to toys at this age group, children can hit toys together, as well as moving objects from one hand to the other. Shaking a rattle and splashing water in addition to the above mentioned are other capabilities in the eight-month-old profile. At this stage when it comes to eating, they should be able to feed themselves toast or crackers. Babbling becomes more frequent along with their ability to play hand games such as patty-cake and peekaboo. Several babies can speak; however, they do not quite understand the meaning of words yet during the eight-month profile (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016). If the eight-month-old milestones are not met I would move forward to evaluate the twins to see if the met the normal four-month-old development functions. Four-month-old profileFour-month-olds are able to balance their head at a 90-degree angle, lifting their heads and chest when on their stomachs is usually a normal position. At this age, babies tend to watch their hands and fingers. They also have the tendency to put things in their mouths. Teething is possible during this stage; however, it is not prevalent. The twins may or may not show or have teeth. Laughing and smiling commonly starts during this stage, the ability to recognize their mother’s face also happens at this stage. Their ability to turn their head when a sound is heard should be present as well. Although children achieve their developmental milestones step by step, I would be certain to evaluate the twins to see if they have achieved the four- and eight-month milestones. If the twins cannot perform the normal developmental functions of four and eight-month-olds, this is an indication that they are lagging in their development and a more extensive evaluation would be needed (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016). Concerns for the twins My initial concern would be how were they raised from birth? I would want to know what kind of care Rebekah has provided for the twins. This information is important because, if Mr. Roberts was keeping Rebekah locked in the house, chances are she was not able to fulfill the twin’s basic needs.
Also, Rebekah told her neighbor she was having difficulty sleeping. That tells me she may have been too tired to provide them with the adequate care that they needed. I would be concerned that Mr. Roberts could have possibly been abusive to the children in addition to abusing her. The fact that Rebekah was not able to speak English well tells me that the children are more than likely going to be lacking socially, unless she was speaking to them in her native language. Then again, if she was teaching the twins her language, this would not do them any good here in America because the dominant language is English. Another huge concern I would have for the children is what is going to happen to them. Obviously, Rebekah has expressed her desire to return to her mother in her own country. The twins are citizens of the United States which means they will possibly have to stay here if she returns to her country. However, if Rebekah did try to go through the process of having them return with her, it would probably be a difficult procedure for because of her poor English skills. Also, if at any time Mr. Roberts wanted the twins to stay in American with him he has a greater chance of keeping them. He may know the laws regarding custody issues better than her. He also more than likely has the means to afford an attorney, if they were to go to court. Thoughts on The Mail Bride Order Law The Idea of the mail bride order law is unsettling to me. Simply because I believe most men rely on the International Marriage Brokers (IMBs) to find a foreign woman they can control. In fact, the men that are going through IMBs have reported American women to be too independent, pushy and “goal-oriented”.
The men have also conveyed American women do not pay attention the needs of their husbands and families. With this notion mail bride order advertising companies target a certain population of women. Women who are expected to remain home and wait on the man hand and foot (Kusel, 2014). Another reason I don’t agree with the mail bride order law is because domestic abuse generally is higher amongst foreign women who marry American men. One study reported more than fifty percent of battered women involved in legal cases met their American husbands through mail bride order agencies. That number is believed to be skewed because immigrant women are not likely to report abuse for several reasons such as retaliation and deportation (Kusel, 2014). ConclusionRebekah was in a tough situation in her country, which made her determined to leave. She was so eager to come to the United States that she was willing to ignore the warning signs Mr. Roberts showed her prior to their marriage. Mr. Roberts eventually showed Rebekah who he really was. She eventually became pregnant resulting in the birth of twins. Because of the circumstances of her abuse and torment, the twins were probably at risk for developmental delays. As the social worker, several assessments would have to be done to determine their developmental profile. Since Rebekah does not have good English skills, the twins may be at risk of staying in America if her husband wants them to stay. I am not in favor of the mail bride order law because the abuse rate is so high.
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