Some things just need correcting. I would not publish the comment that follows without a response.
Reader...You are just wrong. Adults teach a child what they are to be called. Auntie, Grandma, Pam or "______." It is cruel to let a child call you "Mom" unless you are the mother...or unless you adopt the child. You set the child up for just exactly what you say you would want to avoid and more.
What a terrible loss for the child when he/she is reunited with their parent and feel they are leaving their mother and father. No wonder some will kick the floor and scream.
And, how confusing to the child it must be to have many "Mothers." What kind of cruelty is that? In and out, in and out, in and out of familial relationships always tentative with the label of mother or dad.
Reader writes:"Raising a child from a baby, they're going to call a foster parent what the other children call them. Unless you start telling a child "you can't call me that", which would be cruel. These kids already feel isolated enough that they don't need to be purposefully isolated more. I don't think fosters should encourage it, or make them, but if a child starts doing it on their own there shouldn't be a problem with it. Or with continuing it. I seriously doubt that Poca thinks of those foster parents as anything other than "mommy and daddy"."
The goal is always reunification with the biological family. That is the law. We should work toward making that transition as easy as possible if it is to occur. You are right about one thing. Poca does feel that her foster caregivers are her parents because that is how they have taught the child. Think of it this way...what IF Poca had a family that could take her home? What if she had grandparents or an aunt? How would you feel if the foster woman in the Stuth Case told the Stuth's grand daughter that she must be called "Mommy"? And in our second study case...should the foster person in the life of little Lily be called "Mother?" Isn't that confusing to the child and maddening to the biological family? Tell the child the truth. Losing Santa is hard enough.
(The real focus on the story of Poca is that CPS is retaliating against the foster parents and in doing so are hurting the child. The sin is that CPS prefers to show its power for the sake of it. The sin is that again...the child is not the first consideration.)