Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jacko Update & Speculation

Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine, 79, was granted temporary custody of the three children and lodged an application to become their legal guardian.

However new questions are arising as to their biological connection to Michael - and even to Debbie Rowe who gave birth to the two older children.

Michael had told Martin Bashir in a 2003 interview that all three of his children were conceived with his sperm. "They are all my children,” he said. And why wouldn't they be? Seems in keeping with a super star's huge ego. Unless, of course, he was infertile.

Was Rowe a surrogate using donated eggs as well? There were also reports yesterday that Jackson never filed legal papers to adopt any of his children. Do you have to adopt a child created through surrogacy?

It is also being alleged that the surrogate mother of the youngest did not know who was buying or planned to raise - or do what with - her child. How can that be legal but a freaked out mother, who may not even know she was pregnant, who drops a kid at a non-approved site in a state of shock can be prosecuted for abandonment???

A tangled web...

Meanwhile, before funeral arrangements have been made, family patriarch, Joe Jackson, separated from Katherine - in a very tacky move - turned up at the BET awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night and worked the red carpet, speaking of his late son AND plugging his latest business venture: a record label named Ranch Records. He exploited Michael as a child and apparently plans to continue even after his death.

Not one to ever mince words, Bastardette says:
I can't think of anything more illustrative (along with Octomom) of the American baybee-making-it's-all-about-me-me-me mania that lets little real human beings be artificially created, anonymized, trafficked, and abused for the pleasure of "adults." These freaks should have been locked in cages at Neverland, a prime exhibit of Menken's boobus americanus.

ANTI-FAMILY Legislation Proposed: More Push to Redistribute Children Worldwide

Press Release June 29, 2009


Bill Introduced to Address Global Lack of Parents for Epidemic Numbers of Children

The Families for Orphans Act (FFOA) will place a new emphasis on the need to improve US policy for supporting healthy development of children globally. AIDS, war and poverty are causing an explosion in the number of children worldwide who are growing up without parents in orphanages and long term foster care. Spearheaded by Representatives Diane Watson (D-CA) and John Boozman (R-AR), The Families for Orphans Act will empower the US government to proactively address a global gap in the most basic of human rights - a permanent family for every child.

The human cost for children growing up without parents is steep

Washington, DC (PRWEB) June 29, 2009 -- The Families for Orphans Coalition announces support today for The Families for Orphans Act, introduced in the House on Friday (HR 3070). The Families for Orphans Act (FFOA) will place a new emphasis on the need to improve US policy for supporting healthy development of children globally.

AIDS, war and poverty are causing an explosion in the number of children worldwide who are growing up without parents in orphanages and long term foster care. Spearheaded by Representatives Diane Watson (D-CA) and John Boozman (R-AR), The Families for Orphans Act will empower the US government to proactively address a global gap in the most basic of human rights - a permanent family for every child.

If enacted, The Families for Orphans Act would establish the Office of Orphan Policy, Diplomacy and Development within the Department of State and provide diplomatic authority to help the 30 million children orphaned worldwide and the 100 million plus vulnerable children who have lost one parent or are at risk of losing parental care. The new office would be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy to support diplomacy and policy focusing on the preservation of families and the provision of permanent families and legal, permanent relationships for orphans. This function is currently not a part of the US government's diplomatic portfolio.

Research has shown that families are essential to the healthy development of children, and those unfortunate children who grow up without the support of a permanent family often face homelessness, suicide, incomplete education, teen pregnancy and emotional disorders. "The human cost for children growing up without parents is steep," said Terry Baugh, President of Kidsave, and a member of the Coalition. "Children lose one month of development for every three months in an orphanage. With this handicap it is not hard to understand why these children are unprepared for independent living when turned out of institutions starting as young as 8-years-old. As a result an estimated 50% turn to crime and prostitution, over one-third experience a period of homelessness and most are highly vulnerable to human trafficking and to adults recruiting terrorists and child soldiers." The Bucharest Early Intervention Study appears to support Baugh's assessment. The Study, conducted over five years by notable researchers from Harvard Medical School, the University of Maryland, Tulane, the University of Virginia and the University of Minnesota reported that children living outside of family care suffered decreased brain activity (including lower IQ's), poor growth and a variety of emotional delays.

"An investment in permanent family care for children is an investment in the health of the global economy," said Thomas Difilipo, President of the Joint Council of International Children's Services, a member of the Coalition. "Cost benefit data shows that effective, high-quality interventions to improve parenting skills and reduce child maltreatment save between $2 and $8 for every dollar spent. In a global economic crisis it only makes sense that every country - and every community -- would begin to invest in permanent family care."

The new office will elevate the plight of children, giving the US a clear, dedicated, diplomatic authority to represent the interests of orphaned children. The office will advise the Secretary of State and President in all matters related to global family preservation and permanent parental care for orphans, as well as developing global strategy, including the coordination of all foreign policy and assistance related to global family preservation. The new office will also conduct research designed to better understand the size of the population of children living without parental care and global efforts to support these children. Oversight of three grant programs directly related to preserving families and providing permanent parental care for families is an additional function of this new office.

"The Families for Orphans Act emphasizes that activities that keep a child in the country of birth through family preservation, domestic adoption, legal guardianship and kinship care, are always the preferred child welfare methods. However, when these are not timely options, a family through international adoption is clearly in the best interests of those children languishing in orphanages or living in temporary foster care," said Chuck Johnson, Coalition member and Chief Operating Officer for the National Council For Adoption.

The Families for Orphans Coalition was established in 2008 to support both domestic and foreign efforts that ensure every child lives, grows and thrives in a safe, permanent and loving family.



Where is any attempt to establish an office of FAMILY PRESERVATION with the US? Where are the studies on the "cost effectiveness" of that?

Instead, this bill encourages the exploitation of the world's poor and struggling and continues to commodify their children.

This is a despicable step toward the continued mass redistribution of the worlds children, trafficked from the poor tot he wealthy.

PLEASE contact Representatives Diane Watson (D-CA) http://www.house.gov/watson/zipauth.shtml

also write to John Boozman (R-AR) and find your local representative here:


Tell them that is wrong-minded. It may SEEM like a good ida, but it is ANTI-FAMILY and in violation of the ethical and moral guidelines set down by the UN, UNICEF, UNCRC, The Hague Convention on International Adoption, and Save the Children -- all of whom call for international adoption to be a last resort after all efforts at keeping children within their extended family or communities and nation have been exhausted.

This proposal benefits attorneys and other adoption practitioners, just as does family deconstruction by divorce - but we do not ENCOURAGE that! Families in crisis - both at home and worldwide - need support and resources to remain together, not to be torn apart to meet a demand for babies for adoption.

FORWARD WIDELY to FRIENDS, FAMILY, churches...and think outside the adoption community!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

ANOTHER Pedophile allowed to adopt!

Like the two previous who were apprehended - William Peckenpaugh and Matthew Mancusco - the arrest only occurred as the result of an Internet porn sting - not because of the adoptions. How many more children are enslaved in silence by their pedophile adopters?

You pays your money = you gets your kid. He's yours to do with as you may and no one checks! How is this not slavery? Not human trafficking? Not baby selling? Because it's labeled adoption and brokered through a business (read pimp) called an "agency"?

UPDATE: Frank Lombard was not only the associate director of Duke's Center for Health Policy, he was a *licensed social worker* with a master's degree in social work, is a health-disparities researcher who studies HIV/AIDS in the rural South.

Duke U. Official Caught in Alleged Child Sex Sting
Official Accused of Offering Adopted 5-Year-Old Son for Sex

June 26, 2009

A Duke University official has been charged in federal court with offering his 5-year-old adopted son up for sex. Frank Lombard, associate director at the university's Global Health Institute, was arrested Wednesday in Raleigh, the FBI said.

In an undated photo provided by the Durham County Sheriff's Office, Frank Lombard is shown. The Duke University official has been arrested and charged with offering his adopted 5-year-old son for sex. Authorities said that Lombard tried to persuade a person,who he did not know was a police officer,to travel to North Carolina to have sex with Lombard's child.

An unidentified informant who already faces child porn charges in a different child sex case pointed investigators to Lombard, according to court documents. The informant told investigators he had met Lombard on the Internet four years ago. The informant described in graphic detail how he allegedly observed Lombard molesting an African-American child on four occasions over an Internet video chat service called ICUii.

The informant said, according to court papers, that Lombard, who is white, said that he lived in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina and that the child was one of two adopted African-Americans in his custody.

Lombard has been charged with attempting to induce someone to cross state lines to engage in sex with a child, punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Lombard allegedly used the adult Internet service to conduct his video chats. According to an affidavit in support of the arrest warrant, the Internet service indicated that Lombard's profile "stated he was interested in "perv fam fun," a reference to "incestuous child molestation." The service also told investigators that a customer service complaint had been sent to the company in January 2007. A customer who had chatted with Lombard complained to the company that Lombard said he was "into incest" and had adopted two African-American children, court records said.

A Washington, D.C., police detective who was investigating the case set up undercover chats with someone matching Lombard's description during which the detective says he was invited to fly to Raleigh to have sex with the person's 5- year-old adopted child. In his affidavit, Det. Timothy Palchak wrote that he engaged in a chat with someone using the screen name "FL" who provided nude pictures of himself. The pictures matched Lombard's North Carolina driver's license photo, according to the affidavit.

During the chats, according to the affidavit, "FL" told undercover investigators that he had himself molested his child, whom he adopted as an infant, and that he had allowed others to molest his child. "FL" stated that "the abuse of the child was easier when the child was too young to talk or know what was happening, but that he had drugged the child with Benadryl during the molestation," Palchak wrote in his affidavit.

Duke Suspect on Unpaid Leave

Two children were taken from Lombard's home and put into protective custody by the North Carolina Department of Social Services, an FBI statement said.

Michael Schoenfeld, a Duke University spokesman, told ABC News that Lombard has been placed on unpaid leave and that the university is cooperating fully with the investigation. Lombard has been employed by Duke since 1999, Schoenfeld said.

Appearing today in federal court in Durham, Lombard agreed to be transferred to Washington for a later court hearing. His lawyer did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Updated: Sept 25, 2009

Q: What is family preservation?

A:  Family Preservation is a recognized part of social service practice, and is here by Child Welfare Information Gateway

My definition is similar, albeit more long term, and closer to that of the National Family Preservation Network: to keep families together and prevent unnecessary out-of-home placement of children। My definition appears in right hand the column of this page.

There is also a Family Preservation Institute at Mexico State University...just to name a few.

Q: Is Family Preservation a euphemism for anti-adoption?

A: No. In addition to the sources listed above who use the term, support of family preservation can be traced back to the negative reaction to the 'orphan train movement.' The term dates back to the 1890s, and in the 1909 White House Conference on Children it was the top ranked issue. For more, see Wikipdia. Many states offer family preservation programs that can be found by googling the term.

Q: Am I anti-adoption?

A: It is not a term that I am comfortable with as its pejorative use and negativity does not define my positions and is often linked with anger and bitterness rather than best interests of children and families.

I am not comfortable with the term because  it seems to denote an absurd extremism that one supports any and every mother keeping a child - no matter how dangerous that might be for the child....a position not held by even the most extreme anti-adoptionists. I am as uncomfortable with that label as any pro-choice person would be opposed to being labeled anti-life or pro-abortion. Things are not as black and white as labels seem to imply. Forte more, see: Nomenclatures, Euphemism and Anti-Adoption Accusation.

Being against adoptions that begin with the eradication of blood ties and a falsified birth certificate, does NOT equate to preferring to keep kids in harms way or in foster care.

I am opposed to all unnecessary, unwarranted, pressured, lack of independent option counseling and lack of separate legal counsel, coercive adoptions.

I am against all profiteering in adoption.

I am against all falsified, fraudulent, fake birth certificates and lack of equal access or original and true birth certificates for ALL parties named on said birth certificates.

I have seen nothing that indicates that children in need of alternative care - those who are truly orphaned or have no parents or extended family or kin to care safely for them - cannot be provided such care via a form of permanent legal guardianship that does not later their identity or sever their family ties.

Q: Do I believe that every natural mother should keep her baby?

A: I do not believe that any mother should be forced or coerced to parent any more than she should coerced or subtly pressured to not parent her own child. Mothers - after giving birth and seeing and hold their babies - deserve impartial option counseling that honestly tells them all the risks to them and their child of separation and the resources to be able to make an informed CHOICE.

I believe that baring ay serious mental illness or sociopathic tendencies, any woman who gives birth to a child would prefer to have the help she needs to maintain that relationship. I believe that mothers deserve all the resources they need to achieve that goal. I believe that of they cannot accomplish their goal, extended family should be sought to help care for the child. i believe that this is the child's best interest as well as the mothers, as most adopted peopel would much prefer to be blood related to the family that raises them and most people would nt simply trade off all kin connectivneses for better or more material advantages or a mother and father who have the same 50/50 chance of divorcing as all other couples.

Q: Am I a disgruntled, angry, bitter "birthmother"?

A: I am a mother who was lied to when I was told that adoption would be better for my daughter - my daughter who took her own life at 27 as a result of her "better" adoptive family. I am a mother who was told I would forget and get on with my life 42 years ago, who spends every day of my life working to change adoption policies as a direct result of my loss.

Dedicating my life to preventing other mothers suffering the lifelong, unresolveable guilt, grief and shame of unnecessarily losing her child to adoption is as normal and natural as any mother who has suffered the tragic unnecessary loss of a child, such as Candy Lightner who founded MADD or Maureen Kanka who founded Megan's Law. Are they asked if they are bitter?
My anger is perfectly justifiable and I will never apologize for it.

Q: Are my views radical and far too idealistic?

A: These views and positions are no more radical or idealistic than those of the The United Nations, UNICEF, The UN CRC, the Hague Convention on International Adoption, and Save the Children - all of which call for family preservation first, then kinship care and stranger adoption as a last resort - with international adoption the very last resource after no domestic adoption can be found. They also call for protection of original identity.

Q: Don't you think that making adoption ethical would resolve all issues and allow it to proceed safely rather than abolishing it all together?

A: The word ethical is totally subjective. Unless we have establish clear - enforceable - ethical guidelines, it means nothing more than "nice." All of the agencies who placed children that were kidnapped, or who were abuse or killed are considered reputable and ethical agencies and are still in business. Even the most unscrupulous baby brokers - such as Seymour Kurtz - receive a slap on the wrist simply reopen under a different name or in a different state.

What is ethical about domestic adoption agencies taking women out of state, enmeshing them with prospective adopters and making them feel indebted emotionally as well as financially for expenses paid for the room, board and medical costs? What is ethical about predatory practices such as prospective adopter sin the delivery room denying the mother any bonding tome at all? What is ethical about providing one attorney to represent both parties - something that would never be done in real estate transaction but is done in very child adoption.

What is ethical about US adoption agencies - allegedly - accepting or adoption placement children who have been trafficked kidnapped, stolen and papers forged?

What is ethical about placing children with pedophiles and others who abuse or kill them, simple because they can afford to pay the brokers' fees?

What is ethical about exporting US children out of the country while we import kids by the thousands?

What is ethical about falsifying birth records?

There is no way to hold private business to ethical standards that cut into their bottom line in a country that admires, supports and encourages free enterprise and capitalism...and encourages adoption with tax and other benefits yet has NO family preservation programs or budget whatsoever. Who will establish and enforce regulations? The foxes are watching the hen house?

Ethica accepts no financial support from business that profit for adoption. The same is not true, however, of EBDAI which claims to "promote ethical adoption practices" and "better the lives of all those touched by adoption" is funded in part by Spence-Chapin, who established EBDAI, hired a marketing professional as Executive Director, and is also funded by other adoption agencies such as The Cradle and pro-adoption groups such as The Dave Thomas Foundation, according to their 2008 Annual report. The webpage of The Cradle is one big, polished marketing infomercial to recruit expectant mothers. Where are the ethics in this?

Other pro-adoption organizations, such as the NCFA, are more honest and "ethical" about whom they represent, although they lie about "protecting" adoptees and their original families.

Q: Doesn't guardianship amount to baby sitting or foster parenting?

A: Some may perceive it that way. However permanent legal guardianship (PLG) is the way adoption was always practiced up until the 1930's when adoptions began to become secretive and records sealed and falsified to protect the baby brokers like Georgia Tann and their paid clientele.

PLG gives caretakers all legal rights for their child's educton and medicl needs. The ned to change his name may create a sense of safety forthe parents but is not necessary to provide care for a child, and never was prior to 1930's. Children are often raised by aunts or grandparents - or instep families - or by married parents with different surnames. With such a high rate of divorce today, there is no stigma to it. Physical and legal custody resides with the guardian and cannot be changed except by a judge and under highly unusual circumstances such as the death of the guardian or the abuse or abandonment of the child by the guardian. In that case, PLG would leave the door open for the original parent to step in, if able to - something not possible under current adoption laws that permanently relinquish all rights of the original parent. In PLG they would be forever in the background as a non-custodial parent in a divorce who generally have liberal visitation rights.

Prospective "adopters" who find this not in their liking do not have to, as there are hundreds of parents vying for each child in need.

Alternative child care is about what is about finding homes and families for orphans and children in need of safe care - it is not the last step in reproductive "rights."

Children need and deserve caretakers who want what is in their best interest not to have them as possessions or replacements or pretense for a biological child.

Disturbing Treatment of Adopted Teens

We have long known that adoptees are overrepresented in special ed classes and institutional care of all kinds from group homes to mental health facilities to prisons.

It is seldom we get conformation of this phenomenon.

Heartlight is a residential "counseling opportunity" (albeit by no choice of their own) for struggling adolescents; a Christian boarding school and therapeutic program for "troubled teens" in East Texas.

Mark Gregston the founder of Heartlight writes that “more than one-third of all the kids who have ever come live at to our Heartlight residential counseling program have come from adoptive families” who have “rescued them years before,”

These children are basically being punished and incarcerated for being behavioral problems because of their difficulty understanding their adoptions and feelings of abandonment. Yet, not mention is made of any efforts to restore to them the missing pieces of their shattered lives to create integration of all of the aspects that any person who they are: genetics and environmental influences – nature and nurture. No efforts is indicted to help their adopters understand that these children were born into families that should be embraced as one does one’s in-laws, especially for the sake of children who are the grandchildren of both families. And, as is recommended by all family therapists and family court judges in divorce to avoid children in the middle, having to take sides and chose.

Instead the parents of these troubled teens are told that it was God’s will that they were torn from their natural families.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Truth of Transracial International Adoption

The King's Kids

Michael Jr. is 12, Paris is 11, and Prince Michael is 7.

Debbie Rowe, mother of the older two gave up all parental rights to the two older children, but California law says a survvine parent has right? Is she still a pren if she gave up that right? Will she seek custody?

The youngest child - balcony bouncing baby - was reportedly carried by an anonymous surrogate mother.

His will reportedly left custody of all the kids to their Nanny.

As for money - he may have left only debt, though he owns rights to Beatle songs.

Reports have circulated regarding lack of any resemblance to Michael, though he had claimed his sperm was used to father all of them. I hope that they will be able to confirm or deny these rumors via DNA for the children's sake.

Here is a rare photo of Michael Jr and Paris - unveiled:

Mark Lester (the star of Oliver), the godfather of one or two of the children, told MSNBC that he is ready to fulfill his godfatherly duties saying “I’m here for them 24/7, so whatever they need, they’ll get from me.” Also it is reported that Elizabeth Taylor and Macaulay Culkin are godparents to the older children as well. And Michael Jackson just happens to be the godfather to celebrity Nicole Ritchie and to Barry Gibb’s son Michael.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Why I am Going to Guatemala

As followers of this blog know, I will be joining a human rights delegation to Guatemala in August.

To understand why, please set aside a few minutes to watch this powerful video featuring mothers whose babies were stolen and Norma Cruz (who I will be meeting with) who organized their hunger strike. Find out about the lack of our government cooperation in locating these children trafficked and living in the US and why their mothers are planning yet another hunger strike.

Until last year, Guatemala had the highest adoption rate in the world. Between 2002 and 2007, some 22,000 of its children were adopted by foreigners, more than 90 per cent of them came from the US.

But the practice was marked by lax adoption procedures and plagued by criminals targeting poor mothers.

A government investigation into some 3,000 cases in the adoption pipeline found fraudulent paperwork in more than 1,000 of them. There is strong evidence that in many cases babies had been stolen before being traded for adoption.

Guatemalan mothers whose babies were snatched in this way are convinced that their children are in the US and now they want them back.

Source: "Power & People" June 24, 2009, english.aljazeera.net/

It is inconceivable to me why these are simply called "irregular" adoptions and not illegal adoption, which they clearly are, or more fitting yet: kidnappings. There is no doubt whatsoever that if the same happened within the confines of this country - a child taken by gunpoint or after drugging a mother - it would be a kidnapping....and when a kidnapped child is located - NO MATTER HOW LONG AFTER THEY WERE TAKEN - they are returned to their rightful parents! Why is it that when the middlemen in such horrific acts identify themselves as adoption practitioners, it all changes and it is even debated as to the proper disposition?

Ironically, the same day this video was released, there is a story on my local TV news about a woman who lost her 6 figure diamond wedding band while shopping at WalMart. A Walmart employee found the ring and erroneously returned it to the wrong customer. The report stated that although the woman who has possession of the ring did not steal it, she is at risk of being prosecuted for not returning it!

While laws vary state to state, there is no recognition of the childhood "finder keepers" for property unless no rightful owner is located. The general rule attaching to the three types of property may be summarized as: A finder of property acquires no rights in mislaid property, is entitled to possession of lost property against everyone except the true owner, and is entitled to keep abandoned property.

Indeed are not all recipients of stolen goods must return them and are liable?

For more, and how you can help, please see: Three Mothers / Three Daughters

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Think Globally/Act Locally...

...a slogan of the peace movement that is applicable in many areas of social change such as environmental work.

I had the opportunity to day to hear the tail end of a talk by Cindy Sheehan at my local Unitarian Universalist Church, and this was her mantra and message....so much of which could be applied to making changes in adoption thinking and practices.

I've met Cindy before at marches in DC, prior to the infamous Crawford, Texas camp out. Cindy is one of my idols: an ordinary woman doing extraordinary things. She is in a class with the Mothers in the Plaza de Mayo, Candy Lightner founder of MAADD, and Maureen Kanaka who established Meghan's Law in memory of her daughter. Each of these women were ordinary mothers when tragedy took their child from them. Each of them made it their life's work to eradicate the source of that harm so that no other mothers would ever suffer the pain of losing another child needlessly. They are my heroines and role models.

Cindy said today that every school that allows military recruiters had to likewise allow anti-recruiters or truth-in-recruitment advocates. If they won't she said, set up a table outside the school, on the lawn. Of course I immediately thought of school kids being brainwashed to give away their babies. Who can ever forget the case of the teen and her mom fighting desperately to overturn an adoption she was talked into when a school guidance counselor sent her to an adoption agency for "counseling"?

Cindy spoke of the importance - as many of us have experienced - of our every day one-on-one conversations with people. It's not easy. Who amongst us cannot recall "Hanoi" Jane Fonda -- who I have also had the pleasure of meeting at a woman's conference -- getting spat at for her anti-war actions. Many Americans are very tied to the idea that favoring peaceful non-violent solutions is somehow less democratic and unsupportive of our troops, tghoughI have yet to meet a solitary peace activist who does not support our troops and want the home safely.

This kind of demonizing of others' views is not unlike those who think that being against profiteering in adoption and being against unwarranted, coerced adoptions means advocating to allow abused children stay in dangerous situations. Both are equally preposterous and polarizing UNTRUE of the opposition's view position.

I was encouraged today. I was reminded that each and every person we speak to as individuals, we have a chance of enlightening beyond the rhetoric. In the audience of this talk was an outspoken Veteran Against the War. Are we not adoptions separation survivors and "veterans"?

Cher said recently about her child Chaz's impending sex reassignment surgery: "I do not understand but I will strive toward understanding." Let's each be ambassadors and help others strive to understand our pain and loss and prevent future unnecessary losses.

We were once silenced by society, our parents, the times, our religious leaders. . . we are no longer scared or young or powerless. In standing tall and speaking out against adoption injustices, we can be role models for our sons and our daughters - raised and not raised by us -- and their sons and daughters.

We need to speak out even if our voice trembles, and are knees are weak.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Separated at Birth?

Harrison Ford (L)
David Letterman (R)

Pro or Con?

I recently read, and recommend, "THE PERVERSE EFFECTS OF THE HAGUE ADOPTION CONVENTION ," an article by Roelie Post of the European Union and author of Romania: For Export Only.

Roelie (pronounced Rue-lee) begins her article with this disclaimer:

"I would like to distance myself from pro and anti-adoption labels and direct this discussion back to the heart of the matter: is intercountry adoption a child protection measure, or do children have rights in their own country and is intercountry adoption the ultimate breach of such rights?"

With all due respect for my learned colleague, I take a different position. I do not feel the need to distance myself or in any apologize for my firm family preservation position.

Language often puts us pigeonholes of others' making. That is why the right to label oneself as one sees fit is an integral and important aspect of self-determination. I am extremely proud and stand tall as an advocate of the rights of mothers and natural families.

I likewise have absolutely no difficulty or shame whatsoever in opposing all adoption profiteers.

Let us make no mistake where the lines are drawn - because you are either pro or con, there is no in between mid ground. You either profit from family separations that result in adoption placements - directly or indirectly - or you do not.

Secondarily, you either support organizations who do so with your membership, your volunteerism, and your dollars or you do not.

Politicians notoriously play middle of the road and are adept at using vague language that makes them appear to be on both sides of the fence of an issue at once. Adoption organizations, and many of their members and supporters, try to play the same "please everyone" game. The losers in that game are clearly those striving for family preservation and reunification.

Organizations claim to be on the side of activists who seek equal access and an end to falsified birth certificates, however what have they actually DONE to help accomplish these goals? Are they in fact just placating us and telling us what we want to hear while carefully balancing (and far more concerned about) the goals of their adoptive parent and prospective adoptive parent supporters whose funds the rely heavily on?

Organizations claim to be on the side of activists - and to represent all parties touched by adoption, but what are they doing to eliminate unnecessary and unwarranted family separations that result in adoption; to eliminate coercion and exploitation?

Many of these organizations are very fond of the term "ethical" adoption - a term as meaninglessly vague as the word "nice" without working to ensure any specific guidelines to prevent unnecessary losses and provide meaningful representation and impartial option counseling to mother considering voluntary surrender or facing the termination of their parental rights.

A case in point of trying to be all things to all people is The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute (EBDAI). If you had any doubts before on which side the fence Donaldson's feet were firmly planted, the ruse of being on both sides ended today with the announcement of their partnership with LifeCare for the sole purpose of "encouraging employer support for adoption."

"Encouraging employer support for adoption is critical to our mission of improving the lives of everyone touched by adoption," said Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Institute. "By partnering with LifeCare, we now have the potential to reach employers of every type and size nationwide and the millions of people who work for them. We look forward to making significant progress with LifeCare and the families it helps to build."

Why does adoption need encouragement? They will tell reporters savvy enough to ask that it is because of the thousands of children in foster care. The same poppy cock used to increase the federal tax credit for adopters year after year. If either workplace assistance or tax benefits for adoption were limited to the children who might really benefit from permanent family and cannot be reunified with their own kin, that might be a good thing. However, less than 10% of adopters are foster care and all benefit from these programs that are sold to politicians as noble.

Would it not be far more charitable, moral and ethical to use the same moneys and resources used to encourage and assist stranger adoptions to sure up families in crisis?

Where are the efforts to enhance the lives of mothers in crisis? Nowhere, because there is no profit in that! The Donaldson Institute derives all profits from those who want to see adoptions thrive, prosper and even increase.

Adoption profiteering you're either for it or against it. You either buy into the rhetoric with kindly pats on the head and a few well turned phrases that sound supportive by those who are in the business of stomping out the rights of natural families for a buck - or you don't.

NOTE: It is unclear at this point in time what resources Donaldson Institute will be offering and partnering with LifeCare and which members of the so-called adoption "triad" and at what point they will be aimed at or available to. For example: resources to assist those interested in adopted? post adoption counseling resources and search help for adult adoptee employees? services for expectant mothers considering adoption?

I requested clarification from Adam Pertman, Executive Director of EBDAI, and received the following:

Hi Mira. It’s good to hear from you. For now, our partnership is quite nascent – so we haven’t devised any specific projects other than to commit to LifeCare that we will provide our information/products/expertise in the areas described in the press release. In my mind and in discussions, the adoptions we’re talking about are for children who genuinely need homes (I think, probably, mainly from foster care) or who already are in adoptive families. But we also will educate them from the research we’ve done on birthparents rights, adoptee access and the array of other work not only relating to parents (first and adoptive) but also adopted people and the families pre- and post-adoption. That’s the lay of the land so far. Because of our own limited staff/resources, we’ve made clear that we will make decisions on specific collaborations on a case-by-case basis. I can’t give you more info than that because, frankly, that’s about all I’ve got. Stay tuned … Adam.

Adam Pertman, Executive Director
Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Preparing For Guatemala

This will be the first of many posts to come on my visit to Guatemala.

My fight is booked. Watching the airfares go up a hundred dollars right before my eyes while online booking, and looking at flights with layovers in Houston or Central America for as much as 11 hours - making overall travel time as much as 19 hours each way....I was delighted to book a non-stop flight that gets me there in 5 hours and home in 6! (MY achy ole arthritic knees are especially happy!) I also got aisle seats.

I received a packet of information about security and other issues. Guatemala is a scary, dangerous place with lots of crime, and not just simple robbery. But that's why I'm going! We are told to stay with our group, leave jewelry at home, dress conservatively, carry money and papers in pouches under clothing...what to say and not say and who to talk to and who not, etc.

There are also health concerns such as "don't drink the water" or drinks with ice cubes not made from purified water and carry pepto! Also immunizations such as tetanus, hepatitis A and TYPHOID are required!

I will be bringing a camera and tape recorder and pocket translator, though translators will accompany us.

Hope to bring back some good photos and stories...and you'll her and see it all here!

I will have occasional computer access and will try to post as it is happening...so, stay tuned. I leave Aug first.

In the meantime...I will continue to keep you informed as always on issues of family preservation and the lack thereof.

For more, and how you can help, please see: Three Mothers / Three Daughters

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Adoption Anguish

This is an update on my exclusive U.S. coverage of the Royal Brisbane AU apology to mothers who lost children to adoption.

It has been garnering quite bit of publicity, including a TV new spot on video entitled Adoption Anguish.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

International Year of Mother and Child Rights


2011 - International Year of Mother and Child Rights

A call for all individuals, organizations, religions, and world leaders concerned with the rights of mothers and their children to join together and work toward encating and ensuring the following goals:
  • - Recognition of the indisputable, uniquely unparalleled, sacred natural bond of a mother and the child she conceives of her own ovum, carries and bears.
  • - The right of every mother and father, regardless of marital status, finances, or physical disadvantage has the right to parent their child above any others.
  • - This parent/child connection and the placing of a child with non-related persons should not occur without due cause for the protection and safety of the child, and only after all means of addressing the problems of the family unit have been reasonably tried and failed.
  • - The right of every mother or expectant mother to know the consequences to herself and her child of their separation and to be provided resources necessary to prevent unwarranted separations.
  • - The right of a mother to reclaim a child taken from her without her full knowledge and informed, unpressured consent upon being proven to be hers.
  • - An end to profiteering in child redistribution and stiff penalties enforced for those obtain children via coercion, lies, or theft and who traffic children for adoption, slave trade, soldiering or any other purpose.
  • - The outlawing of all advertisements, promotions, incentives by private individuals, agencies, businesses or governmental agencies that promote or encourage the separation or abandonment of parent a child.
  • - To abolish programs that pay states and individuals to care for children, rather than applying the funds toward family preservation programs and resources.
  • - The outlawing of allowing women to be used as brood stock via so-called surrogacy.
  • - The outlawing of all anonymous sales (called donations) of sperm and ova.
  • - An end to the legalization and thus encouragement of anonymous baby abandonment.
  • - The right of every expectant mother and child to preventative and necessary medical care and nourishment.
  • - The right of every child to remain within his family of origins, extended kinship group or nation of birth.
  • - The right of every child to be named by the mother who births him and for that name to be recorded permanently, never to be altered except by the wish of the individual himself.
  • - The right of every child to maintain his original name and the names of his progenitors, even if he needs to be provided legal care by alternate guardians.
  • - The right to equal access to original birth certificates for all adoption separated persons; for mothers who lost children to adoption the right to any and all papers they signed.

Let's Make This Happen!

*Additions, thoughts, input, suggestions and ideas welcomed! Let's work together to tweak this and then get worldwide supporters.

** Last updated June 14, 2007

Friday, June 12, 2009

No Mercy for Mercy James

The on-again off-again adoption of Mercy James of Malawi by The Material Mom Madonna is a feat accompli.

And the only ones happy, other than Ms M herself?

We are delighted to report that Malawi's Supreme Court has overturned an earlier ruling denying a petition by Madonna to adopt Chifundo "Mercy" James, and has granted a full adoption. According to the New York Times, Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo, in reviewing the lower court's ruling, said that the first decision was a narrow interpretation based on old laws and that "in this global village a man can have more than one place at which he resides." We agree. Moreover, in our increasingly inter-connected world, a child should not be viewed as the sole responsibility of his country of birth.

This statement has been put out by ACT for Adoption, an organization of and for adoption attorney flesh peddlers that works in conjunction with the Center Adoption Policy and Elizabeth Barthelot who said at the recent conference at the NY Law Center that heritage is OVERRATED (a statement that makes me wan to BARF, A LOT.

And speaking of heritage and bloodlines -- wonder what became of the man claiming to be Mercy's father? Was he bought off by Madonna?

ACT is made up of adoption attorneys whose clients are paying them to obtain kids and thus they also defended the exportation of American children - anything for a buck! Even criminal defense attorneys who defend the lowest of the low are doing so to protect the defendant's constitutional right to legal protection. Even the lowliest criminal is provided [ublic defenders: free legal counsel, but not so in adoption.

Who protects the legal rights of the children being redistributed and having their identities taken from them, hidden and falsified - or the mothers who are lied to and coerced or have had their children kidnapped to create a commodity for these lawyers to peddle? No one, cause there's no money in doing that!

Mothers, whether they are persuaded to "voluntarily" surrender or are charged by the state with being unfit parents and have their parents rights terminated by the state - are provided no independent legal counsel! A clear violation of the the Fourteenth Amendment provision that no State shall ‘deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.’

For more about this issue, PLEASE READ:

Madonna and Child Adoption Ethics: Rights versus Profit

Orphan: The Movie

As many of you may have heard, coming to a theater near you in July will be horror film entitled “Orphan.”

It seems that got such a huge number of complaints form adoptive parents about a line in the trailer, Warner Brothers is removing it.

The offensive words? "It must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own."

The complaints stated that it would be harmful to adopted children who might hear it.

- Wouldn’t you think every adopted child wonders that anyhow?
- Don’t you think some even hear it from schoolmates?
- Do you think the ones really offended are the adoptive parents who also wonder the same thing?
- Do you think it’s a valid food for thought that any prospective adopter should well consider long and hard?
- What about the “bad blood implications?
- Will you see the movie?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Separated at Birth?

Katie Couric (left)
Kate Gosseling of Jon & Kate Plus 8 (right)

and both Kate

Separated at birth, or two Irish chicks with the same bad hairdresser?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Royal (Brisbane) Apology

My dear Aussie colleague, Evelyn Robinson forwarded this to me:

The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital has apologized for past practices in relation to adoption. It’s the first time a public apology has been made to birth mothers who were forced to place their babies for adoption, and about the treatment they endured. This is quite a significant event.

The apology is for the mistreatment of some of the group's members whilst patients there, last century was featured on AU Channel 7 featuring the President of ALAS along with some other mothers at the hospital yesterday morning. During the filming Professor Ian Jones admitted that the hospital ill treated and overly drugged unwed mothers whilst patients at the hospital. As far as we know this sets a precedent as it is the first time, to my knowledge, that there has been a public apology from an Institution and admittance of wrong doing.

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE below and click here to view video of apology:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Behind the Jamie Kiefer Headlines

In 2007 a story made headlines of a mother "kidnapping" her child.

JACKSON, Miss. - Two women and an armed man stormed a home wearing masks and kidnapped an infant one of the women had given up for adoption, authorities alleged Sunday. The baby was found unharmed at a military base three states away.

Investigators found the 5-month-old girl early Sunday at Fort Bragg, N.C., and planned to file state kidnapping charges against her biological mother, Jamie Kiefer, and related charges against the child’s biological aunt, Rikki Swann, said Special Agent Jason Pack, an FBI spokesman in Jackson.

“Apparently it was related to the adoption of the baby,” Pack said. “Apparently Ms. Kiefer had changed her mind about the adoption.”

I was recently contact by the grandmother of the child at the center of this storm and has learned what did not make the headlines. In a telephone interview Charmaine Tryst told us that the kidnapping charges were dropped when it was confirmed that the baby was her own child and that there had been no adoption, nor was one filed for.

Jaimie Kiefer’s husband had wanted the child to be adopted and knew of a co-worker who wanted a child. Arrangements were made. Jaimie gave birth on February 1, 2007 and approximately Feb 12 she signed papers at the office of Mississippi attorney, Dan Davis, with whom she spent just minutes. She left with no copy of what she had signed.

That night, after signing she called the prospective adoptive mother and told her she changed her mind but she was dissuaded from revoking consent and re-convinced that it was best. She called and called and asked for the name of the attorney and was stonewalled.

Two weeks later she moved to Maryland with her husband but was so distraught with post partum depression she kept hearing her baby crying. They found an attorney who helped them locate a Mississippi attorney and they returned to Mississippi and began with a new attorney on May 11.

By July, still deep in post partum depression and grief over the loss of her baby a friend convinced her to take matters into her own hands in an act that landed her in prison for 6 years. Although kidnapping charges were dropped, she was charged with breaking and entering the home and one of the friends who helped allegedly had a toy gun. The father’s rights were terminated and even the child’s maternal grandmother, who applied to adopt her was refused when her name was added to the indictment as a conspirator for knowing about it after the fact.

Jaimie’s mom is distraught having lost her daughter and granddaughter and is working to get Jaimie released on house arrest so she can care for a subsequently born child who has multiple disabilities.

This is a horrible tale all stemming from a total lack of proper counseling and shoddy adoption practices. Unlike any other type of crisis – attempted suicide, grief over the death of a loved one – instead of insisting that the person make no rash decisions at a time of extreme duress…only when there is a baby that is wanted by another is a person’s emotional distress so exploited. Where a potential jumper would be talked down, a recent widow comforted, a mother who considers adoption is offered legal abandonment and lawyers who will whisk their child away.

If only every expectant mother who ever considers adoption could know and understand the ramifications and irrevocability of adoption. How horribly sad, though, that Jaimie Kiefer (as did Allison Quets) felt driven to do so out of utter helplessness and frustration with the legal system. Mothers who are working through the legal system to overturn adoptions are finding it taking YEARS and more money than one can possibly earn in that time.

I by no means condones taking the situation into one’s own hands and make no judgment whatsoever on the merits of either of these women as fit mothers. I do however deplore adoption practices that totally deny any and all rights of a mothers – and fathers – to options counseling, ample time to decide, separate legal representation and ample time to revoke a decision made under duress.

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

Korean Birthmothers Protest to End Adoption

Motherhood, Adoption, Surrender, & Loss

Who Am I?

Bitter Winds

Adoption and Truth Video

Adoption Truth

Birthparents Never Forget