Thursday, November 29, 2007


May we see through the eyes of the Buddha that God is
everywhere: "God is asleep in each stone, God dreams
in the plants, God awakens in the animals and God
becomes conscious in the human form."

Buddhism teaches that all living things are
interconnected. The joy and suffering of others is our
own, just as our thoughts and feelings touch everyone
else. With this understanding we can embrace all
living things in the manner that we desire to be
embraced. When we are one with all, we are one with
God. This is the true essence of compassion. Let us
all follow the example of the Buddha, and may we
dedicate ourselves to being compassionate in this

Loss is anger producing. Whether you've lost your keys and are storming around the house cursing and beating up yourself or blaming someone else for having moved them...or whether a loved one has died. Hurt is also at the base of most anger. Hurt and loss are deep emotions and no matter how much we 'deal' with them, they resurface.

Self-doubt, criticism, and control - or feeling lack thereof - are likewise universal triggering emotions.

To judge is inborn. We need to make judgments all the time to survive. Is it safe to cross the street? Is that pill gonna help me or hurt me more? But we get into splitting hair judgments like the lyrics of the Rolling Stone: "He can't be a man 'cause he desn;t smoke the same cigarettes as me."

All of these are issues for those who have experienced adoption loss, and all are anger inducing. Some of us have better coping skills than others. Some of us keep them bottled up, or even in total denial for years, decade, or all of our lives. Many of us are very acutely in touch with our anger just below the surface.

It never ceases to sadden me when our anger gets let loose on one another - on our sisters and brothers who have suffered the same or similar loss as we have and instead of being able to get in touch with our compassion - we lash out with anger instead.

It's a constant struggle, but one we must never give up on.

Divided we FAIL.

There are far too few of us on the side of adoption reform and family preservation. We cannot afford in-fighting to divide us and reduce our numbers further.

In the 1960's I was involved a therapeutic group situation in which one of our many mottoes was "act as if until the act as if becomes real." This is the basis of behavioral modification. If we meet someone who's situation or circumstances are different from our own and we do not fully understand that person, act as if we do and remember that they too deserve COMPASSION. part of being compassionate is taking people on their word, believing the best of them rather than the worst.

Sometimes asking, in itself, can feel like a judgment or a challenge, as opposed to just taking the time to get to know someone who's life experience is different from your own. Just listen and learn with an open mind, looking for the similarities, and not pouncing on the differences.

I have also learned that it is common in self-help and 12-step groups which are the coming together of people with "issues" - that it is human nature to look around the room and say to oneself: "I'm not like him; he has had dozens of DWIs, I've only had one." "I'm not like her, she has slept with so many men she can't even count them" or "I've never had an STD." We do this almost instinctively to feel better about ourselves.

This happens all the time in face-to-face support groups. Now, in 2007, so much of our "interpersonal" communication is neither interpersonal nor communication. It's letters and words typed by our fingers and sent through cyberspace without the benefit of voice or facial expression...devoid of 85% of what communication is. This adds yet anothe layer of difficulty. Instead of feeling oneness with our sister and brother in the same boat with us, we are fighting with them for the oars and life preservers and the right to even be in the boat!

All of that triggers the anger that brews and stews so close beneath our surface at all times; like a tiger ready to ounce at any given second....and you have a very explosive situation that leads to more misunderstanding and divisiveness than cooperation.

It's a challenge. I know it is for me! I have often gone back and re-read something I had initially reacted to and saw things I did not see it in it at all. I have also re-read my own replies and seen how they were misinterpreted.

Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.
If we are to use these means of communication, we need to be hyper vigilant to try not to interpret everything in a negative way and allow it cause divisions between us when we share a common goal.

We get so much misunderstanding and judgment from "others" it is epsecially cruel to feel as if we are getting from one another...

'Tis the season...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The WHOLE Truth

I have read several articles lately blasting Reuters for revealing that Angelina Jolie's adopted daughter Zahara's mother was raped. the writers of these blogs and letters claim that the child will be scared by this revelation. That is was an invasion of her privacy. That she would be "taunted" because of her mother's maltreatment.

The belief that lies are better than truth...that we need to be "protected" from our own reality never ceases to amaze me.

Zahara will be far more scarred knowing that her mother and grandmother were victimized, not just by her mother's rapist...but by the cut-throat baby brokers who stole her form her family when they sought help.

there have been lies and counter-cover-ups from the day Zahara was adopted. Now, the Mail, the UK newspaper that first revealed the lie that Zahara's mother was alive not dead ahas gone back and filled in all the details with the whole truth in the article: "Why did an adoption agency tell Angelina Jolie I had died of AIDS when they gave her my baby?"

It has likewise been revealed that 1,000 of the 3700 Guatemalan adoption in 'the pipeline" by US prospective adopters...are "questionable" in the dame way...mothers lied to, duped, babies kidnapped against their wishes...

The question begs to be answered: If people like Angelina Jolie and Madonna with all their wealth and reosurces believe that they are ding good by being the recipients of stolen babies...albeit unbeknownst to them at the can anyone be sure that thy are doing good in internationally adopting?

And...with all their wealth and resources why have neither of these women brought their babies back to visit the family who begs ot see them? Or even sent photographs?

Those concerned about what Zahara will think when she grows up ought to ask how she will feel about those questions.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Unicef says 232 children have been freed from a rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The UN's children's charity said it had secured the release of the children from Mayi Mayi forces in North Kivu over the past few days.

It said many of them had been put in temporary care facilities, to await reunification with their families.

But Unicef said hundreds of children remain in the hands of armed groups in the DRC.

It said a recent surge in the conflict in North Kivu had led to a rise in the number of children being recruited by such groups. It said their average age was 14 years.

Unicef said it won the release of the children with the help of the charity Save the Children, and the collaboration of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC, but it did not say how their freedom was achieved.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

AJ: Womb Warrior

Ethiopian Mentewab Dawit Lebiso, the woman claiming to be the natural mother of two-and-a-half-year-old Zahara, claims she never signed adoption papers to give up her daughter. Jolie adopted Zahara over two years ago, who at the time was believed to have been orphaned by AIDS at just six months. Despite this, Lebiso and her family claim they were misled into giving up the child and told they could maintain contact with the baby. However, the adoption agency involved said Jolie had no obligation to keep in touch with Zahara’s blood family.

The woman claiming to be the mother tells In Touch, "I want my daughter to come home to see where she is from.

"Her grandmother and I both tried very hard to raise her, and I want her to come home to regain her identity." And little Zahara's aunt, Zinash Haile Yenero, is upset that Jolie didn't make sure the child's paperwork was correct before adopting her, and she's angry the actress hasn't brought her daughter back to her homeland.
She rants, "My mother was very sad. At one point she was even thinking of trying to find a way to bring her grandchild back, but she has no money, so she can't." The new article is sure to upset Jolie and partner Brad Pitt, but friends insist the actress will stand firm.

News? Not!

Zahara's mother first turned up two years ago, as I reported in The Stork Market. The news story, "Angelina Jolie To Face Adopted Baby's Mother?" dated 23-09-2005, still online at: stated back then:
"The Sun has tracked down 18-year-old MENTAWEB DAWIT, who claims she's the little girl's mum."

At that time, it was reported that Dawit's mother ALMAZ BLFNHE told adoption authorities that her daughter had died in childbirth and that Angleina had to refile the adoption paperwork and the child's mother had to sign.

And that's not all:

In 2004 Angelina Jolie was reportedly shocked to hear that Maddox might not be an orphan whose mother had died, but rather may have been sold by his mother in a desperate attempt to escape a poverty-stricken life. The FBI closed down Seattle International Adoptions Inc., used by Jolie to adopt Maddox, after its former owner Lynn Devin pleaded guilty to false claims that some children the agency handled were orphans. Lauryn Galindo, who helped Jolie adopt her Cambodian son, Maddox, pleaded guilty to visa fraud and money laundering as part of a ring that paid poor Cambodian women as little as $100 or less for their children. The agency which handled hundreds of such adoptions charged fees of $10,000.

Celebrity media reported then that the actress allegedly said: “I will never give my little boy back. I’ve given him a home, I’ve given him love and he’s mine.”

Angelina...neither you nor any other ABDUCTOR can hold their head high and expect to be ennobled as a savior when you refuse to acknowledge th truth of the origins of your chidlren.

GIVE THE CHILD BACK! If there is any doubt that the mother who has come forward since 2005 is really the mother, a DNA can definitively clear up any and all such questions.

Apply public pressure for her to do the right thing. Keeping a child from family who wants her is nothing to be proud of.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

National Adoption Month

It's November...National Adoption Month.

In honor of this month set aside to extol, pay homage and glorify adoption as the best thing anyone can do... I have come up with the ultimate Adoption Celebration Event!


If you truly support and advocate for adoption, prove it. Be a positive example. Put your money where your mouth is...or, if you've already spent all your money on your kid...put a KID of yours where you mouth is!

Everyone who believes in the positive aspects of adoption - hand over one of your kids!!

Do the right, noble, honorable, loving thing. MAKE A LOVING SACRIFICE! Don't just ask others to do what you yourself wouldn't do! Give...give till it hurts.

The latest report by the NCFA "Birthmother/Good Mother" concludes: "Birthmothers who make adoption plans in the best interest of their children are indeed good mothers." Don't YOU want to be a good mother too??

Why deprive someone else of a child? You can always get another! There are so many people DESPERATE to be parents...good, loving people who can give any one of your child a safe,loving home.

Just look at any website and you will find bios and photos of couple after couple...and singles and gays vying for one of YOUR children! They wouldn't lie, would they? Some even say the adoption will be open! You believe, them, don't you?

And, as a bonus...besides making someone else can also help add to the wealth of some untrained adoption practitioner or sleazy lawyer who will more than glad to assist you for a fee! After all, baby brokers have to feed their families, too, don't they?


It is universally known that adoption provides less advantaged children with more advantages. So, take stock of yourself, your friends and neighbors.

If they are driving their kids to school in a Chevy mini van...those kids deserve a "better life." Every child deserves to be taken from them and placed with a family who can take them in a limo. And if the school you or they are taking the kids to is public...well, there are plenty of waiting families that can send them to private school. No child should be deprived as long as there is someone else who is better than you!

And, if you divorce...better get those kids placed immediately in a TWO PARENT home...because very child deserves both a Mommy and a Daddy (except of course if you are rich or famous).

International Adopters:

Be sure to send a child to a far off land where they don't know the language or the culture! I hear Africa is the latest hot spot. If no one there is willing to take on the responsibility, just assure them that it's only temporary...that you will reclaim your child when he's done with his education. They'll believe you.

LET'S NOT STOP until every single child is redistributed to a new family! That should be the goal of every red-blooded, upstanding, pro-adoption American.

After all - Adoption is a LOVING OPTION! Why deprive ANYONE of the JOY!

Know of a family with a multiple birth?

Please remind them of their moral obligation to give AT LEAST one to someone deserving! And of course, stress how much easier would make their much kinder to each child they give to have the special attention they deserve instead of of having to share their time, attention, love and resources amongst so many!

They or you can simply drop your kids at your local baby dump site - look in your local yellow pages under "Safe Havens"!

Think your spouse won't agree? Don't tell him or her! No one's approval is needed at these convenient sites! You could even take your neighbors kids and drop them off - safely and lovingly...knowing they will only go the finest loving WAITING families.


Monday, November 5, 2007

REVISED: News on the International Front

PREFACE: If you followed a link here -- or just stumbled here -- this post has been altered from it's original content after being informed that naming my "sources" could result in very serious harm to them. All names have been removed.

As many of you may have read, Adoption Awareness Month was marred for those who use it to promote infant adoptions by two events:

- The arrest of 6 alleged “do-godders’ from Zoe’s Ark for taking 103 children from Chad. Through their website Zoe's Ark received more than a million euros in donations allegedly to save the starving war orphans of Darfur. Instead they took children from the Chad/Sudan border region, that were neither orphaned nor starving and wrapped them in bandages to appear war-torn.

- British Foreign Secretary Milliband and his wife adopted their second newborn infant in just over two years – both FROM the US...confirming the US as the only nation that both imports and exports babies – anything for a buck! The infant was taken from the delivery room, in Texas...very likely Gladney. Miliband’s wife, 46, said: "It was just like doing it myself without having to go through the whole pregnancy and labour...It was our baby from the word go. It was a perfect scenario - an easy and pleasant experience." It was also,she said, "very, very expensive.”

For quite some time, I’ve been corresponding with Roelie Post, author of Romania - For Export Only: The truth about the Romanian 'orphans'. Her latest blog deals with the issue of US exports: The Market of Adoption. Roelie reports that 60 babies have been adopted from the US to the Netherlands.

Through Roelie, I have begun also corresponding with "someone" from Germany who pointed me to emmas-adoption blog with the story of a baby born in Philadelphia and adopted in Germany. All of this is a violation of the Hague, which of course the US has yet to ratify. Will it stop once they do, or just go further underground?

It is believed some of the babies adopted to Germany may be coming from, but that is speculation, although there website does state they will help US citizen who are living abroad adopt US babies.

My German friend asked if I would also speak with "someone else" from India. This person works with unmarried women who are very stigmatized in India. However, as bad as they have it they are given 60 days to decide on relinquishment! Far better than any state here! Once again the US is the worst of the worst. Michael Moore, if you want another documentary on shameful acts of the US, how about: we sell babies...import and export them.

The US, which had to go to war once to stop the practice of buying and selling human beings is back at it in full force. While not as out in the open as slavery was in this country, and most children adopted are treated well or decently – with only a minority of them abused and even killed - we continue to not just look the other way...but to actually exalt adoption as a fine and noble thing. We promote and encourage it with tax incentives and employment benefits and a whole month to "celebrate" it. Adoption is so glorified that people who buy babies talk about it with pride and expect nothing but praise, even though in doing so they turn their back on the more than 100,000 children in foster care who can never be returned to family. Parenting a foster child is noble...buying infants is not. But adoption is so ennobled, such a sacred cow it’s hard to get the truth in print or believed by legislators, many of whom are themselves on the receiving end or know someone who is...just as it was with slave-owners. And both are good for the economy, or at least some segments of the economy, though no one admits that adoption.

I am hopeful that with the Internet bringing together a worldwide community of adoption reform activists, secrets can no longer remain secret. Hoping the truth will set us free, if we shout it loud enough and consistently, unrelentlessly. With the power of all of us together, we will get the word out and expose the corruption and exploitation...the human trafficking. But make no mistake...this too will require a war. Perhaps a war of words, but a war none the less. A war with many casualties -- wounded and dead.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Adoption And The Role Of The Religious Right

Adoption And The Role Of
The Religious Right

By Mirah Riben

04 November, 2007

November is National Adoption Awareness Month: time to take stock and rethink our adoption practices and goals.

Recent headlines reveal such contradictions as:

- 3,700 U.S. families in the process of adopting children from Guatemala are concerned, upset and unsure about their pending adoption because of Guatemala’s crack down on child trafficking.

- British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and his wife are joyously celebrating their second adoption: both adopted as newborns fresh from American delivery rooms.

- Six French “child rescuers” are among sixteen jailed for illegally taking 103 children from Chad who were neither starving nor orphaned.

Adoption Awareness Month was intended to increase the awareness of the needs of US orphans in foster care who could benefit from adoption. Today, such children number in excess of 100,00 of the half million children in foster care, while we promote and encourage adoption without distinguishing these children from infants who are sought after.

The U.S. imports more infants for adoption that any other nation, while also exporting Black children to Canada and white infants to the wealthy in Britain, Mexico and elsewhere in a seeming endless redistribution redistributing these marketable commodities as private entrepreneurs profit from their demand with little to no regulations.

L. Ann Babb, author of Ethics in American Adoption. reports that American adoption “[professionals] have yet to develop uniform ethical standards… or to make meaningful attempts to monitor their own profession … In other professions and occupations, licensing or certification in a specialty must be earned before an individual can offer expert services in an area. The certified manicurist may not give facials; the certified hair stylist may not offer manicures ….Yet…individuals with professions as different as social work and law, marriage and family therapy, and medicine may call themselves ‘adoption professionals’.”

Babb continues: “There remains no national professional organization for adoption specialists, no professional recognition of adoption practice as a specialty of any discipline, no established education and training requirements, and no regular professional meetings and forums for adoption ‘professionals'.”

Brits are lauding America’s lax regulations that allowed the Miliband’s to twice adopt an American infant. The British media articles bemoan the fact that Britain does not allow such exploitive measures, as if adoption was about providing babies in the quickest way possible with the least amount of red tape, eliciting comments such as:

American websites currently offer mouth-watering
incentives to would-be buyers. "Delivery within four
months", "Discounts of up to $19,000", they proclaim.
If it were cars they were selling this would not seem
odd, but it's babies that are for sale – bright,
smiling newborns to tempt the childless into parting
with about £20,000.
There is no shame in treating babies like any other
purchase in America, where the adoption industry is
largely privatized… (“Why adoption is so easy in
America” 10/31/07)

Is there no shame?

Why are infants such as these are leaving the US while US couples are traveling half way around the word to meet their desire for a baby when both countries have children in foster care?

The answer is that adoption is far from an altruist social program to care for needy orphans. Instead, adoption is a business; babies are priced based on age, race, ethnicity, health, and physical ability. It all sounds vulgar because it is.

“It feels harsh to use concepts like supply and demand when talking about children and obviously it’s wrong to say that international adoption is just a trade in children,” says Riitta Högbacka, University of Helsinki, Finland, reporting on the global market for adoption . “But if we look at the direction of this human flow—which countries are sending children, which countries are receiving and who is doing the adopting—then it is very clear. It goes from the South to the North and from the East to the West. The recipients are always the richer countries in North America, Europe, and Australia.

Evan B. Donaldson Institute for Adoption, Anaheim Conference “Money, Power and Accountability: The ‘Business’ of Adoption” summary: No., 1999, concludes:“Thinking of adoption in economic terms is an uncomfortable reality. There has been a deterioration of the constraints once put in place to protect members of the triad from exploitation, with market factors such as inflated inventories, scarce commodities, demographic trends in the marketplace, products in oversupply, and the principles of supply and demand affecting adoption services.”

“Profit-based motivation in child placement [that] is … loathsome” and “largely driven by money… Money has become the critical variable for determining who gets a child….” according to L. Anne Babb: The fees western adopters are willing to pay to obtain a child often support a lucrative black market coercing mothers, stealing and kidnapping babies and children that are sold to orphanages to be internationally adopted.

International adoption has become an unregulated “entrepreneurial venture,” according to Debra Harder, network director for Adoptive Families of America. (Laura Mansnerus, “Market Puts Price Tags on the Priceless” New York Times, October 26, 1998)

Högbacka additionally finds that internationally, as well as domestically: “Demand is focused on quite a small group of under three-year-olds, where the number of potential parents far exceeds the supply of children.” (Feb 22, 2006 “The global market for adoption.” SixDegrees cover story)

Child trafficking for adoption is an issue of concern addressed by UNICEF and other non-profit watchdog agencies throughout the world. Sandra Soria, executive director of Peru’s nonprofit Institute for Infancy and the Family said: “It’s a situation that favors the proliferation of these trafficking rings and creates the markets and conditions for these international networks to operate,” said. Soria notes that it is impossible to know how many children are sold each year, for adoption, forced labor, or the sex trade. (Rick Vecchio, “Pregnant Teen’s Murder Shocks Peru.” Associated Press, March 13, 2006.)

The recent incident in Chad illustrated the fact that worldwide 80% of children targeted for international adoption have parents. Even those in orphanages have family who visit them and use these institutions for temporary care. Such was the case with the family of David Banda who Madonna adopted. Children who are truly orphaned, could be adopted within their own nation if not for the competition of foreign fees to orphanages.

Program director of International Social Service, Chantal Saclier is responsible for the United Kingdom’s ISS Resource Centre on the Protection of Children in Adoption. Saclier finds that although inter-country adoption is intended to find stable homes for children who do not have the opportunity for a loving family environment, many of the children being adopted have a family that could have been preserved. Factors such as pressure from wealthy adoptive families, and the selfishness and greed of officials, have created a situation in which economically disadvantaged children are exploited and sold. (Chantal Scalier, “In the Best Interests of the Child? International Resource Centre for the Protection of Children in Adoption.” In: Selman, P., Ed.)

Peter Dodds, author Outer Search\Inner Journey: An Orphan and Adoptee's Quest finds: “International adoption isn't the answer to improving the overall plight of children in developing countries. Even the strongest supporters admit the movement of adoptees across international borders represents only a tiny fraction of the neglected, abused and abandoned children in these countries. And supporters of international adoption are quiet about the children who are not adopted and left behind.”

The stripping of children from eastern Europe, Asia and South has been called colonialism and cultural genocide. According to Ethica, thirteen countries have suspended or ended their adoption programs in the past fifteen years. Another half dozen countries have temporarily stopped adoptions to investigate allegations of corruption or child trafficking, the latest Chad.

Jane Jeong Trenka ( a Korean born adoptee whose Korean mother searched and found her after she was sent to the U.S. and before she was legally adopted. Trenka was raised in rural Minnesota by white American parents, and has been going back and forth from Korea since 1995 maintaining continuous contact with her Korean family since 1988. She writes extensively about the need to end exporting children from Korea. Other Korean born adoptees are returning to their homeland, and some are filled with pain and anger that they were torn from their rich cultural heritage. (Vanessa Hua, “Korean-born in U.S. return to a home they never knew Many locate lost families, others work to change international adoption policy” San Francisco Chronicle. September 11, 2005)

Trenka says, “South Korea’s dependence on the international adoption program has stunted the growth of more appropriate government-funded social welfare programs, as well as delayed the social acceptance of single-parent families….International adoption is NOT the solution. Instead, the South Korean government must find its own solution by investing in sex education, supporting single parents and creating incentives for domestic adoption.” (Adoption from South Korea: Isn’t 50 Years Enough? Jane’s Blog, June 27th, 200)

Jae Ran Kim, a South Korea-born/American raised adoptee and social worker in the field of adoption and child welfare laments: “It is ethnocentric and arrogant to think that the United States has any business telling another country how they should manage the problem of orphaned, abandoned or relinquished children. We can’t even solve this problem within our own shores.

Maureen Flatley political consultant and media advisor specializing in child welfare and adoption, observes: “Our national policy allows large sums of cash to leave the country in an entirely unregulated system and browbeating foreign governments into surrendering children in a decision-making process for their foster children that none of our fifty states would permit for America’s waiting children….Lacking training in foreign policy or a sound regulatory framework, would-be adoptive families and their adoption agencies are encouraged to navigate the increasingly complex and treacherous geopolitics of countries around the world with virtually no training and in many cases a vested self interest. The result has been diplomatic and emotional chaos.” (“Federal Regulation of International Adoption,” Decree, American Adoption Congress, 1999.

Who is behind it all?

The Brits have also rightly pointed to U.S. restrictions on birth control and abortion as a contributing to “marketable” infants in the U.S. The religious right’s imposed morality is perfectly partnered with those whose livelihoods depend upon the redistribution of children.

In May, 2007 Evangelical Christians organizations such as Focus on the Family and pastors from across the nation held a three-day summit in Colorado. members of to promote adoption via a media blitz.

Focus on the Family founder James C. Dobson, a major player in this new path of evangelism, and present at the summit, expressed concern that foster parents typically are permitted to take children to church but cannot force religion on them. They must adhere to other state guidelines as well, some of which may contradict their faith such as parents “disciplining” their children physically with switches as taught by Dobson, a child psychologist.

While some of the flock may in fact adopt children from foster care, concern for orphaned and abandoned children is a smoke screen to use adoption as a tool against abortion, against single parenthood, and for evangelism. That is why, among those present at this event was Tom Atwood, president of the National Committee for Adoption, the largest lobbying organization of adoption agencies, primarily those of the Later Day Saints. The NCFA is also the major opposition to legislation aimed at restoring adoptees’ right to their own true identity.

The NCFA web page purports to be about finding homes for children in foster care, yet their mission page shows in black and white their first and foremost agenda item: “Train pregnancy counselors and health care workers in infant adoption awareness, so women and teens with unplanned pregnancies can freely consider the loving option of adoption.”

And, contrary to promoting the adoption of U.S. orphans, on the NCFA agenda is “Work[ing] with the U.S. and foreign governments to establish sound policies for inter-country adoption, so foreign orphans can be placed with loving, permanent families.”

The NCFA and the religious right are partners in a full-fledged propaganda war being waged to recruit Christian soldiers through adoption. With all the ingenuity and marketing skills available to them, the NCFA and the religious right couch their pro-adoption stance as a noble plan to help the hundred of thousands of children in foster care, using these kids as the foot in the door by both to get tax incentives and other benefits for their clients who seek to adopt primarily infants. All good social engineers know the advantages of starting with a “blank slate.” (For more on American adoption as social engineering see Barbara Melosh, Ellen Herman, and E. Wayne Carp.)

Ken Connor, the attorney who represented Governor Jeb Bush in the Terri Schiavo case and Vice Chairman of Americans United for Life, reporting on the pro-adoption summit (A Selfless Choice: In Celebration of Adoption, May 12, 2007) calls abortion big business and extols the “virtues” of adoption—a far bigger and corrupt—multi-billion dollar industry.

Connor goes on to tout infant adoption as a win-win for everyone including the mother who suffers a lose-lose: the irrevocable permanent loss of parental rights, her child, and her relationship with him.

Lost in the dogmatic rhetoric being spewed by both ideological extremes among pro-choice and pro-life proponents….is pro-family. UNICEF’s position is that adoption should be a last resort. “Families needing support to care for their children should receive it, and that alternative means of caring for a child should only be considered when, despite this assistance, a child’s family is unavailable, unable or unwilling to care for her or him.”

The only reason to encourage and promote more relinquishments and more adoptions is to fill a “demand” for healthy white infants, which, in fact, is counter to a goal of finding homes for older, non-white, or physically challenged children being supported by state funds. It is uncharitable and un-American. The same is true for supporting and encouraging international adoption.

Other items on their agenda list include the promotion of anti-family, anti-parenting programs such as so-called “safe havens” that allow for the legal abandonment of infants and putative father laws to speed relinquishments of newly born babies, causing one to ask if the real reason is to maintain the supply of “adoptable” [read acceptable] babies for their contributors, cronies, constituents or clients.

Pro-life organizations can be known by whatever family-orientated, all-American cutesie “baby saving” and “hope-filled” names…they may even invoke the name of, or believe that they are doing the work of, God…. but their tactics are all counter to true Family Preservation as spelled out in the constitution of the United States which protects parental rights; the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child; and message of Judeo-Christianity. Being pro-family means being supportive of all families…not judging who has the necessary finances or marital status.

Worldwide 80% of children in orphanages have families, most who visit them and hope to regain custody. Poverty is the major cause of children needing adoption, not abuse, neglect or abandonment. Removing children from impoverished families does nothing to ameliorate the plight of the family, village or nation from where they originate.

Not all international adoptions—nor all domestic infant adoptions—support corruption, but there is no way to distinguish which do or to determine the accurate source of children offered by international orphanages. We thus need to rethink our romanticized view of adoption as a “rescue” mission as well as ethnocentric international adoption policies that in many cases support black market trafficking operations. We need to rethink our child adoption policies that ignore the needs of hundreds of thousands of children in domestic foster care who cannot be reunited with family and might benefit from caring homes, and reduce tax loads, while we continue to import children for placement with families ill-equipped to handle their special needs.

Only when adoption puts the needs of orphans first before the demands of those seeking to be parents, can it be “celebrated”, encouraged and promoted.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Roelie Post talks about International Adoption

By Ashleigh Elson

Click here to listen to the report.

Roelie Post holds a baby in a Romanian baby home that housed 300 infants. The home has scince been closed down with EU funding and the children were re-integrated into their own families, placed in foster care, or adopted by Romanian families. So, what rights do children caught up in crisis situations have? We asked Roelie Post. Post worked for the European Commission on the reform of Romania's child protection for many years and is the author of Romania: For Export Only.

Port wasn't surprised to hear about the Zoe's Ark situation and compared it with the international adoptions that happened during the tsunami crisis in 2005. She says children should be helped in their own country."

Many people believe that Zoe's Ark has the best of intentions, but Post says she's heard this argument before:

"NGOs create this wrong image of children in poor countries, saying that they are abandoned orphans and that they need to be rescued. Most of the children - including in Darfur - have at least one parent, have extended family, and are part of a community. They are not orphans, they are not abandoned and therefore they should not be rescued."

According to Post, there aren't actually many true orphans. In cases where war and HIV/AIDS have left children without parents, the children are usually looked after by relatives and by their community.

"This is where the support should go - to helping local communities look after the real orphans. And not what a lot of NGOs are doing, setting up orphanages and taking children out of their communities and villages. That makes children vulnerable, it isn't a good way to live. And from there often comes the suggestion that children would be better off in another country in a nice family. But experience worldwide has shown - and the international community has always agreed - that children are best off in their own surroundings."

Post says, based on her experience in Romania with people who were involved with international adoption, she's not optimistic that the Zoe's Ark people are as naive as they might seem.

"One must not forget that there is an enormous demand for children in the western world by people who want to adopt. And this market is demand-driven… One should really wonder if this is the right way to go and how far people are innocent."

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