Welcome. Please feel free to join us with a comment - or a guest blog - as long as you abide by the rules of decency and decorum. This is a place for meaningful discussions with respect. Personal attacks are not tolerated here and I reserve the right to delete portions of any comment that are inflammatory. I also reserve the right to block anyone who persists in flaming.
Half way through Sandra's latest post the tone and writing style change. I hope that we could continue a discussion in a rational, calm way – without personal attacks.
I would first like to point out that Sandra neglected to mention a very important part of my post to which she commented, so I will repeat it:
“I have spent 30 years of my life working with adoption issues. I have lived amongst mothers who relinquished, adoptees, and adoptive parents all of whom shared an intense desire to make adoption be more honest, open and humane. Bright, intelligent caring people, every one, respected and respectful.
“In hindsight, I guess I was sheltered, insulted from this anger and hate, for one, because I met all of the adoptive parents face-to-face not through the anonymity of the Internet. That is why nothing could have prepared me for the viciousness that I have read pouring out on these pages on Adoption.com over the past days!”
My point is that, thankfully, I know better that to generalize the meanness expressed by Sandra and some of her friends to anyone other than a small group of angry women. I do not lump all adoptive mothers together and blame the all for the things said by a few. I don't know Sandra and never said one negative word about her, or any other adoptive mother, in fact. I did what every other journalist in the world did and criticized Angelina Jolie’s adoption practices.
To state that adoption practices are racist and classist is no more a condemnation of any individual adoptive parents, than to state that the American school system is racist and classist is a condemnation of any individual school teacher or parent who send their child to public school!
FACT: A system that prices children based on the color of their skin is a racist system. (Read: "Wake up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v Wade" by Solinger; read "The Baby Brokers: The Marketing of White Babies in America" by Lynn McTaggart)
FACT: Jolie adopted from a woman who was later charged with fraud.
FACT: Two of Jolie’s adopted babies – Maddox and Zahara - had living mothers. The truth was kept from her fraudulently, and when she found out, like Madonna (who also has been criticized by the world press), she refused to return the child.
That they did what they did and that they are criticized for it are facts, neither created by me or any anti-adoption conspiracy.
FACT: Most adoptees - domestic and international - feel unfairly and unjustly deprived of their original birth identity by adoption.
FACT: Some internationally adoptees are very angry and very much anti-adoption, especially international adoptions, and call it worse than cultural genocide.
FACT: Some who have adopted internationally have very strong opinions against many of the practices involved in IA
FACT: Government and non-profit watchdog agencies are well aware of the trafficking for adoption, have decried it and are working to change it.
Is UNICEF anti-adoption?
Is is also fact that Adoption.com is money making venture. If the jobs of some who work there are in jeopardy, it is not because if complaints, is is because of what they did that caused those complaints. (Even Paris Hilton has stopped playing victim.)
These facts may be unpleasant. It is difficult and painful to read the anger of some international adoptees. But they are facts and they are the true feeling so those who lived in their shoes. We can ignore them. Chalk them up to a few malcontent extremists...or, we could consider if there is not some amount of those feelings in every child who is transported from their homeland, though they may be too respectful to say so?
Does stating these facts point a finger of blame on all who adopt? Not at all. It does not implicate any who adopted with the full knowledge and assurance that the child they were taking into their care was legally and ethically relinquished or orphaned by both parents who were fully informed of their options and rights, and that all this was being handled by a reputable agency. Because you see, I am PRO the permanent care of children - such as the 130,00 here in US foster care - who have no families they can ever be returned to because their rights were severed by the courts...a position of mine (and the most ardent so-called or self-proclaimed anti-adoptionist), and one those who have read my work would be aware of.
Many adopters, either because they lose money through an unethical adoption practitioner here or abroad – or, because they become aware that these things exist -- work to REFORM unethical adoption practices and put an end to the corruption in adoption. Kelly Kiser-Mostrom, author of “The Cruelest Con” is a prime example. I could name many more including other adoptive parents, who Sandra has bashed because they too want to weed out the criminals and make adoption truly be in the best interest of these it is intended to serve....and then accuse me of bashing adoptive parents!
To openly say that aspects of adoption are bad and these aspects need to be weeded out and ended is no more anti-adoption that to be against the war in Iraq and to against some U.S. policies is to be anti-American. It is no different than a Catholic being repulsed and ashamed of those who wear the robe of priest in their faith and violate their vows and irrevocably harm innocent children. To be silent in the face of such abuse is far more shameful than to be a whistle blower to stop crimes against children and other innocent victims.
That is what I do. That is my job, my life. To point out the wrongs in adoption and make it safe for those who need to find suitable safe alternative, permanent family care.
Those who so vehemently defile that which they label “anti-adoption”.... does that make you, Pro-adoption? Adoption.com and its advertisers are decidedly pro-adoption. So, if I clump you all together, and paint you with one broad brush to ridiculous extremes as you do us, does that then mean that you see nothing wrong with adoption and everyone who can afford to pay to secure a child is entitled to that child, no matter what? Does that mean that you support adoptive parents who abuse and kill the children they are entrusted with?
I have never made such absurd assumptions. I judge individual actions, not people, and speak out against those I find to be in conflict with the best interest of children. Let's try to start over from a position of believing one another's sincerity, if that is possible. Attacking motives and sincerity will not fly here.
So, Sandra...do you have any interest in ridding adoption of its worst element and making it safe for all the parties to it?
If not, why not ... and if so, why are you being so argumentative and attacking of those of us who do?