Saturday, October 20, 2007

Conference Reflections Part IV: More Work Needed

It was very encouraging to verify that decent, ethical adoption professionals want to clean up the industry as much as grassroots adoption activists do. After all, the “bad apple” scammers and baby brokers give all of adoption a bad name and put all parties in need of their services at risk.

The four OriginsUSA representatives at the conference all felt a very encouraging tipping point in consciousness raising on these issues. Awareness and recognition of the problems is step one. We need to act on these issues and get rid of those who were not in attendance to any extent, and who will continue in their slipshod practices as long as the law allows them to, moving from state to state as they are prosecuted. The industry needs to demand professionalism, training, licensing, and regulation as per L. Anne Babb’s suggestions (Ethics in American Adoption).

As stated previously education was recognized as a big piece of work needed. Myths need to be replaced with truth: from the ever popular blank slate and "love will concur all" beliefs to the "win-win" and "same as if born to" myths.

The professionals in the trenches – as well as the movers as the shakers from Donaldson and Ethica – need to continue to be educated as well as the public.
For instance, it was erroneously stated more than once at the conference – and not corrected - that California is the only state to allow adoption facilitators to practice. This is not the case, according to my research, which appears in Appendix A of my book, The Stork Market. Unless things have changed since 2003 Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and South Carolina also have specific statues that permit adoption facilitators to practice, and five additional states are silent on the issue, neither allowing nor prohibiting them.

Stopping these untrained adoption practitioners and getting the profit motive out of adoption trafficking domestically and internationally, has to be a priority numero uno.

We need to go beyond preaching to the choir. One place to start might be with seeking enforcement of the minimal guidelines set down by the CWLA and get then enforced!

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