Did Charlize Theron Adopt a Child in Conway, Arkansas?

adoption, arkansas, charlize, theron

Maybe. Celebrities adopt babies all the time. Regular folk adopt babies all the time. So what’s so important about these breaking allegations? Confidentiality. Respect. Privacy.

Did a major celebrity complete an adoption in Conway in early 2012? Only a few people on earth should know the answer to that, despite the ramblings on an internet posting by a sitting Circuit Judge in Arkansas who lives in Conway. The people who have that information are sworn to secrecy under penalty of law.

In adoption law, the interests tantamount to all others are those of the children – always. Above all else we must protect the children, which explicitly includes keeping all information related to an adoption absolutely confidential.

The potential for backlash is huge. After a breach of confidentiality, the biological family of the child, who may or may not have been aware of the adoption but for the breach, could come to do all kinds of unwanted things. Particularly if the adopting family is a celebrity family, a wealthy family, or somehow perceived as an important family by the biological family the stakes are even higher. An adoption could be closed, meaning the biological family knows nothing or very little about the adopting family which protects both parties going forward from unwanted contact. In the least, you could have inappropriate requests for contact with the adopted child from the biological family. In the worst, you could have threatening and abusive comments sent to the adoptive family and even cause the adoptive family to fear for their safety. Complicating matters more, how would the adoptive family even know who is truly part of the biological family or not, a problem that lends itself to further fear, intimidation, and concern for the child’s safety.

A closed adoption could be opened up innocently. Clearly disclosing place and time of an adoption of a child is violative of the law on its face and the spirit of the law. Especially, with a newborn in a less populated part of America, it isn’t hard for a biological mother to know where her baby was adopted from, and the timeline. That becomes valuable intelligence for a biological family (or some other person) to inflict harm upon an adoptive family.

Point being, if you know something you better not say something. You are exposing many people to risks far greater than you realize. Adoption is incredibly special to parent and child. Please stop

Charlize Theron is a hero for adopting a child and making that child part of her family, regardless of where and when the adoption occurred. She is a hero like all other adoptive couples because they are choosing to do something they are not otherwise obligated to do. They are choosing to make a person part of their family, forever. While it comes with great feats of love, joy, and happiness, parenting is not easy and all adoptive families should be honored.

The details of how, when, where, and why her adoption occurred are confidential and private, and for good reason. True or not, these online postings should never have occurred. I hope we all choose to celebrate Ms. Theron for her adoption, and leave classless online postings laying in the gutter.

Social Security Disability Funds for the Disabled in Arkansas nearing troubled waters!

The Social Security Board of Trustees today released its annual report on the financial health of the Social Security Trust Funds. The combined assets of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds will be exhausted in 2036, one year sooner than projected last year. The DI Trust Fund, while unchanged from last year, will be exhausted in 2018 and legislative action will be needed soon. At a minimum, a reallocation of the payroll tax rate between OASI and DI would be necessary, as was done in 1994. The Trustees also project that OASDI program costs will exceed non-interest income in 2011 and will remain higher throughout the remainder of the 75-year period.

In the 2011 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees announced:

  • The projected point at which the combined Trust Funds will be exhausted comes in 2036 — one year sooner than projected last year. At that time, there will be sufficient non-interest income coming in to pay about 77 percent of scheduled benefits.
  • The point at which non-interest income fell below program costs was 2010. Program costs are projected to exceed non-interest income throughout the remainder of the 75-year period.
  • The projected actuarial deficit over the 75-year long-range period is 2.22 percent of taxable payroll — 0.30 percentage point larger than in last year’s report.
  • Over the 75-year period, the Trust Funds would require additional revenue equivalent to $6.5 trillion in present value dollars to pay all scheduled benefits.

“The current Trustees Report again reflects what we have long known to be true — we need changes to ensure the long-term solvency of Social Security and to restore younger workers’ confidence in the program,” said Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security. “The report also highlights the more near-term shortfall in the Disability Insurance Trust Fund. Our disability programs are complex, and there is a long history of well intended ‘reforms’ causing unintended consequences. The President sent to Congress our Work Incentive Simplification Proposal, which would be a good start for bipartisan debate. I urge the House and Senate to review this proposed legislation carefully and schedule hearings this year.”

Other highlights of the Trustees Report include:

  • Income including interest to the combined OASDI Trust Funds amounted to $781 billion ($637 billion in net contributions, $24 billion from taxation of benefits, $117 billion in interest, and $2 billion in reimbursements from the General Fund of the Treasury) in 2010.
  • Total expenditures from the combined OASDI Trust Funds amounted to $713 billion in 2010.
  • The assets of the combined OASDI Trust Funds increased by $69 billion in 2010 to a total of $2.6 trillion.
  • During 2010, an estimated 157 million people had earnings covered by Social Security and paid payroll taxes.
  • Social Security paid benefits of $702 billion in calendar year 2010. There were about 54 million beneficiaries at the end of the calendar year.
  • The cost of $6.5 billion to administer the program in 2010 was a very low 0.9 percent of total expenditures.
  • The combined Trust Fund assets earned interest at an effective annual rate of 4.6 percent in 2010.

The Board of Trustees is comprised of six members. Four serve by virtue of their positions with the federal government: Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury and Managing Trustee; Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security; Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services; and Hilda L. Solis, Secretary of Labor. The two public trustees are Charles P. Blahous, III and Robert D. Reischauer.

The 2011 Trustees Report will be posted at www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/TR/2011/ by Friday afternoon.