Monday, November 30, 2009

ABC Adoption Reunion: Episode One

For me, it was not unlike a video version of reading reunion stories on email lists.

The focus of the show is, as expected, the emotional aspects of not knowing, seeking, longing, wondering...and then finding.

For me, as a mother, there was also pain in the questions left unasked by Ashley. Was she harboring anger for her birthparents who let her go and kept her older and younger siblings?  Or was she too afraid of hurting her adoptive parents to dare to include them in the reunion? It was obviously safe for her to openly admit that having a sibling - which she did not have growing up in her adoptive family - was something she felt she missed and wanted.  Wanting to meet her birth parents - that's different.

Did her brother David and sister Daniel ask if she wanted to know anything about them - even to see a photo - but they didn't show it? And if so, was it excluded because her answer was no?

That was upsetting for me, as was the joy of the siblings. My sons never showed any interest to know anything about their eldest sister, but my other daughter would have oved to have had those hugs!

As for the public, I do think the depth of emotion and the long wait these people have to put up with to ever reunite might help the public realize the utter stupidity of denying people this simple opportunity.  There are plenty of siblings and mothers and kids raised together who chose not to have a relationship or to have cool, distant relationships, or not  talk at all. These are things we should all be able to arrange personally.

I think it shows the abusdity of discriminating laws.

Have You Seen "Find My Family"?

If you haven't seen it yet, the next show airs TONIGHT (Monday, Nov. 30) at 9/8c on ABC. 

Find My Family.

The adoption community is waiting to see how the show's producers will treat the complex issues surrounding adoption and reunion. Hopefully the show won't merely sensationalize what are often highly emotional reunion events. Hopefully it won't over-commercialize these personal experiences.

The show's host, Tim Green, is a reunited adoptee, so his personal involvement in adoption might abate some of these fears, but we'll have to see. A preview of the show aired last week, and Tom Shales of the Washington Post found it to be a touching tear-jerker in his review. If you caught the show last week, what did you think?

Excerpt from a NY Times review:

The six-episode series has a lot in common with “The Locator” on the WE channel. In each case the show acts as private investigator, tracking down missing loved ones. “Find My Family” differs on two counts: It appears to focus almost exclusively on adoptees, and it plays down the detective work to make more time for the catharsis.

In real life the issues surrounding the reunification of adoptees and birth parents are difficult and often contentious. Not so on “Find My Family.” The primary host, Tim Green, sums up the show’s ethos in the premiere when he tells a couple searching for the daughter they gave up years before, “I think every adopted person’s dream is to be found.” Mr. Green and his co-host, Lisa Joyner, are adoptees — “like a lot of people working on this show,” he says — and at a successful mother-and-child reunion his tears flow along with the family’s.
The possibility that someone might not want to meet a parent or child whom she’s never known is acknowledged, but in the segments made available for review, it’s just a plot device, something to generate a little suspense before the inevitable group hug. “Find My Family” will become more interesting — and more genuinely moving — if it ever allows itself to depict the consequences of rejection. (Of course rejection would mean turning down not only the chance to meet a crucial person in your life but also the chance to appear on television.)
The general air of hokum can’t completely hide the complexity of the show’s situations however....

Blogger China AdoptionTalk says: "I think this show is going to open up more conversations at work, and could very well open up some conversations within our extended family."

I highly recommend reading Dusky's FirtMother Forum for an indepth look at Gladney from "The Locator" who found duplicated non-IDs and lost of false info!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life

That's been the message of Wayne Dyer...the positive thinking guru.

Dyer, who has claimed you can change your health - even your DNA - is now facing Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, a slow progressing cancer.  Seems his positive thoughts didn't prevent that!

Maybe, just maybe...access to more family medical history may have been of more help to the former orphanage resident, than just thinking positively.

A bit of "Little Orphan Annie" syndrome?  Wish it away?

UPDATE: The one connection I found between Dyer and adoption:
I listened, on a call-in radio show, to this father who had given up his child for adoption and now, thirty years later, his child is famous. His son took his real name back five years ago. The father now wants to reconnect with the son he hasn’t seen since he gave him up for adoption. The father told this story on the radio. Everybody who called in talked about how they disliked this man and what he was doing, accusing him of only wanting contact with his famous son because he wanted money. Then callers said, "Let me tell you about what happened to me, with my father." Everyone who called in projected their own story onto this person’s desire to reconnect with his son. We have to learn humility—to see the world the way it is, not the way we are, and to see people the way they are, and not the way we are, and not to use ourselves and our stories as a justification or a rationale for the way everyone else ought to behave.  An Interview with Wayne Dyer
AND...there is another motivational speaker, Alvin Law, who was adopted.

Dyer's interesting philosophy: "Life itself is a sexually transmitted terminal disease."

"Mixing Cultural Identities Through Transracial Adoption"

Forcibly adopted American Indians torn between cultures
By Monte Whaley

Even in third grade, Susan Devan Harness knew she didn't belong in the white world. She already was being called "squaw girl" by classmates. Harness drew suspicious stares and was followed by employees every time she entered a store in the Montana town where she was raised. But it wasn't until she was 14 that she realized how estranged she was from the dominant culture she had been pushed into. Harness was among the 395 or so American Indian children forcibly adopted into white families as part of a national social experiment conducted from 1958 through 1967.

Harness, now a Colorado State University cultural anthropologist, has written a book about the experiences of those swept up in the Indian Adoption Project.

She found that like her, many of the adopted children were ostracized and belittled in both white and American Indian communities.

Harness, now 50, recalls being a teenager sitting on her front porch, listening to radio reports of the rising clamor caused by the American Indian Movement in the early 1970s. "I heard my dad say, 'What are those drunken war whoops up to now?' " Harness said.

"I thought to myself, 'If my dad was saying this to my face, what are other people saying about me?' "

Inspiration for change

Her book — "Mixing Cultural Identities Through Transracial Adoption" — describes how the project started as a handshake agreement between the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Child Welfare League.

The idea was to rescue American Indian children from poverty and challenging social conditions and give them access to the resources of the white middle class.

But in reality, activists say, it was another effort by the white U.S. government to eradicate the American Indian population.

"So many things happened to the Indian people under so many federal policies," said Evelyn Stevenson, a longtime lawyer for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. "First there was annihilation and extermination, and then a period of assimilation and forced adoption, and then the idea of getting rid of reservations. It's made us all a little wacky."

Stevenson's Salish mother was taken from her family and forced to attend boarding school. After Stevenson earned her law degree, she helped pen the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act in an effort to preserve what was left of American Indian families.

The law gives tribal governments a stronger voice in American Indian child-custody proceedings, including adoptions. The act blocks state courts from having any jurisdiction over the adoption or custody of Indian children residing within their own reservations.

Good intentions gone bad

Stevenson and others say the Indian Adoption Project may have been well-intentioned. But mostly it allowed non-Indians to pass judgment on reservation families and break them up as they saw fit, said Sandra White Hawk, who was taken from the Rosebud Sioux Reservation when she was 18 months old.

In many cases, missionaries working on reservations would call local authorities to complain about housing conditions. A social worker would then do a home study and, more often than not, build a case recommending a child be taken away, White Hawk said.

Families felt they were powerless to stop the process and allowed white authorities to take over, she said.

Most of the forced adoptions were based on prejudices, White Hawk said. Many

Susan Harness with her adoptive mother Eleanor Woods Thies in a 1961 photo. (Photo provided by Susan Devan Harness )
children lived with extended families — including aunts and uncles — and often did not have a room to themselves. Many of the homes also did not have running water or electricity.

"I think it's interesting that the state would be more interested in yanking a child away from his home than in helping to try to get utilities and other services to these homes," White Hawk said.

White Hawk's parents — both missionaries — viewed her biological family as part of a dangerous social and religious subculture.

"My adoptive mother constantly reminded me that no matter what I did, I came from a pagan race whose only hope for redemption was to assimilate to white culture," White Hawk said.

White Hawk helped form the First Nations Orphans Association, which helps forced adoptees get re-acquainted with their biological families.

"Our job is to help these people heal," she said.

The Child Welfare League has acknowledged the damage it inflicted during the forced-adoption period, issuing a public apology in 2001.

In many instances, American Indian children "were deprived of their culture, their language, connections to their families, their tribe, and in many instances it caused such hurt and sorrow and deprived them of so much happiness in their lives," said Shay Bilchik, president and chief executive of the Child Welfare League.

Different opportunities

Like many of the other adoptees, Harness concedes the white household she was raised in gave her better opportunities for traditional success than the one from which she was taken at 18 months old.

"I was given access to voice lessons and music lessons and other things I wouldn't otherwise have a chance at," Harness said. "I'm like the other adoptees who said that even though their households were sometimes abusive, they never would have become the person they've become today" without being adopted.

But there was a cost.

"We were, in many ways, required to be grateful and thankful that we weren't raised with that other family," Harness said.

Also a member of the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes, from the Flathead Reservation in western Montana, Harness was removed from her home by a social worker because of "neglect."

She was adopted at age 2 by a white couple — Eleanor and Jed Devan. While her mother simply wanted a child, her dad, Harness said, bought into the noble idea of "saving" an American Indian girl from her ancestry.

Soon others were adopting American Indian children, including church families across the country, she said.

"At the time it was considered the 'in' adoption," Harness said. "If you could save a poor Indian child, you were a good person."

Identity crises

She talked to 25 adoptees in her research and found that, like her, many of them uncomfortably straddled the cultural fence between American Indian and white societies.

Some said they were considered inferior to their white siblings because of their American Indian DNA. "I think that, for instance, when I would get in trouble, it would be because of my genes, because of the bad genes passed onto you," said one adoptee.

Later, many adoptees ran into resentment from tribal members when they returned to the reservation of their birth. They were called "apples" — red on the outside but white on the inside.

"How did I cross from being Indian to be white?" wondered another adoptee. "I lived somewhere in the middle, racially blank."

Several struggled with depression and early drug use. Some committed suicide, Harness said.

Some adoptees' stories didn't end so badly, however. Suzie Fedorko was handed over to Minnesota social workers by her grandmother, after Fedorko's mother left for high school one morning.

Fedorko's adoptive parents — strong Catholics — were loving and gave her a good home, and she went on to start her own family.

Fedorko later learned that her mother — Cathee Dahmen — became a supermodel in the 1970s and hung out with the likes of Mick Jagger and Andy Warhol.

"If I had stayed with my mom, I don't know if she would have had the success she did with her life," Fedorko said.

Harness also has reunited with her biological family and is at peace, somewhat.

She is still angry about times when upon learning she was American Indian, people's assessment of her plummeted. A college professor, for instance, told her she would be better suited for vocational education courses.

"I know that the expectations — or lack of expectations perhaps — that were placed on me as I was growing up and trying to find my place in the world really caused me to limit my abilities, for a long time," Harness said. "But I think I've got my footing in this world at last."

Monte Whaley: 720-929-0907 or

Empowerment and Activism in Adoption

My Aussie colleague, Evelyn Robinson, presented recently in Canberra. her presentation is now available on the web site of the Australian Journal of Adoption, a new on-line adoption journal. You might be interested to have a look.

Australian Journal of Adoption, Vol 1, No 2 (2009)

This Wheel’s on Fire – How I got fired up about adoption by Evelyn Robinson


I will explain my 40 year journey from being a vulnerable, naive 20 year old unmarried mother to being an educated, informed 60 year old professional counsellor, author and educator, who has travelled widely and provided advice and information to individuals, professionals and governments.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

So Close to True Understanding...

By george she gets it!  Claire Boeck, writing for the Catholic Exchange begins by noting:

"For birthparents, adoptive parents and adoptees, adoption is almost never first choice. The choice of most birthparents would obviously be to avoid an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy. The first choice of most adoptive parents would be to achieve parenthood through the more traditional route, rather than to become parents after a long journey of scrutiny, paperwork, financial expense, etc. Certainly for a baby, the most ideal situation would be to be raised by biological parents who are able to adequately meet the multiple needs of a child. I’m sure that even children adopted into wonderful families full of love would have rather been born to biological parents capable of raising them, rather than living with the identify issues and grief/loss that are universal to adoptees. For adoptees, I suspect that adoption is both second choice and second best, even in the best of circumstances."

She then adds: "For parents who are called to adoption, however, I’m not so sure."

And...the first comment reads:

"Perhaps if more people internalize the truths that you elucidate, they would actively encourage birth moms to place their children for adoption. "

Claire's article, "Adoption: Second Choice, Not Second Best" details hr pregnancy losses.  How can any woman feeling life and experience the loss of a child want to "actively encourage" others to go through such pain?

One can also only hope - and pray (if it is your style) that acknowledging the loss for adoptees - even in the most loving home - Claire would have arranged to have an open adoption for her child to reduce the loss and identity struggle a smuch as possible...

“Operation: Get That Baby.”

No, it's no a snarky, sarcastic tittle I made up.

Not a parady.

It's a RAL EVENT. A fund raiser to help "such a deserving couple."

This "deserving couple" plans to "Get that baby" through Abba Adoption Agency:
Our vision is to share the Love of Christ to those that are hurting and lead them to the Cross by the testimony that has been given to us....We desire to shepherd these women to be what God wants them to be. In addition, we must equip the families that God is trusting to train up these little precious miracles in Christ centered homes. We are merely the vessels to bring the truth of the sanctity of life.

NOTE:  Since ABBA Adoption is a Christian Agency we seek out adoptive parents that are evangelical Christians who can provide a stable, nurturing home. 

Additionally: ADVERTISING: ABBA adoption understands families do not wan to wait years to adopt a child.  Therefore, we get involved in the community to network with places such as local Care Pregnancy Centers, hospitals, doctor offices, churches, schools and universities to make a presence of what we have to offer and what makes us more effective and essential in working with birth mothers on thier adoption plan.  In addition, we utilize marketing strategies that prove successful.  We know our market and we know what it takes to reach that market for our families.

Expectant mother are labeled "birthmothers" as they "market" and "advertise" for "THEIR FAMILIES!"  How loving and caring!  Just what Jesus would have them do.  They read it all in the Book of Marketing and Exploitation verses 21:3-5: "Thou shall take from the poor, the struggling and and the suffering and give to those who pay your fees, so sayeth the Lord of Adoption."

By this logic, terminal patients should be called organ donors by their physicians and all hospital staff. Their loved ones should be called widows and widowers instead of husband or wife.  And donor programs renamed: Get That Organ! With the marketing slogan: Why wait for death to be a donor - do it today!  You know you need the money, and others are so much more DESERVING than you of your organs! An eye for another's sight!  It's the Christian, loving thing.  You have two.
No known connection, except that ABBA means father in most Semitic languages, name of God the Father in Mark's Gospel....but The ABBA Fund provides financial assistance in the form of interest-free loans for good Christian moms and dads to adopt.

The Abba Fund website states:

The greatest thing you can do to establish a culture of adoption/orphan care in your church is to be gripped by the reality that God has adopted us as His children. The church is God’s great trans-racial adoptive family. As the gospel takes root in our hearts and we recognize that adoption is central to the heart and mission of God it also becomes something we care about. We will naturally begin to reflect our vertical adoption in our horizontal efforts. This is the foundation for creating a culture that believes that every Christian is called to care for the fatherless in some way. Not everyone is called to adopt but everyone is called to do something. The question for each Christian and each church is not “Should I care for orphans?” The question is “How can I care for orphans?”

Monday, November 23, 2009

Latest Study Confirms Discrimination, Pain and Logings of Being Adopted

nThe Evan B. Donaldson study, the biggest of its kind, "Beyond Culture Camp: Promoting Positive Identity Formation in Adoption," examined two adult groups -- Korean-born adoptees and white adoptees, but the findings have relevance to adoptees of all races, according to executive director Adam Pertman.

Many of the 468 adult respondents said they experienced discrimination. More white adoptees (35 percent) than Korean (21 percent) indicated teasing simply because they were adopted.

About 86 percent said they had taken steps to find their birth parents and that finding them was the single factor that helped them gain a positive adoptive identity. 

ABC reports: Adoption Study says Identity Questions Lasta Lifetime; Urges open birth records

Adoption as Violence Against Women

November 25 is int'l day for elimination of violence against women

Making the world a safer place
Tacloban City (November 23) -- The United Nations Development Fund for Women enjoin people of the world to join the 16 Days of activism against gender violence, a campaign linking November 25th - the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women with December 10th, the International Human Rights Day. Since 1991 over 2000 organizations in 156 countries have participated in this campaign.

This year, a new advocacy program called "Say NO – Unite to End Violence Against Women," campaign, serves to spotlight international efforts to garner attention and action on the issue of violence against women.

The goal of the campaign is to reach 10,000 "actions" by March 2010, and one million in one year. Actions vary from volunteering at abuse shelters to donating to programs that protect victims of violence or educate women and girls.

The project will be a continuation of the "Say NO" signature campaign launched by UNIFEM in 2008. In one year the petition received five million signatures, including the names of Heads of State and parliamentarians from 69 countries.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, "I am painfully aware of the distance to go and gap between commitment and action. On this UN Day, let us resolve and redouble our efforts on behalf of the vulnerable, the powerless, the defenseless. Let us stand more united than ever – united in purpose and united in action to make the world a safer, better place."

Violence affects the lives of millions of women worldwide in all socio-economic and educational classes. It cuts across cultural and religious barriers impeding the right of women to participate fully in society. Violence against women takes a dismaying variety of forms from domestic abuse and rape, to child marriages, female circumcision, trafficking, dowry-related violence, and honor killings.

Today 1 out of 5 women has personally experienced some kind of abuse and almost every woman has been indirectly confronted with acts of violence and discrimination within her family or in her immediate neighborhood.

Changing people's attitude and mentality towards women will take a long time. Nevertheless, raising awareness of the issue of violence against women, and educating boys and men to view women as valuable partners in life, in the development of a society, and in the attainment of peace are just as important as taking legal steps to protect women's human rights. (PIA 8) 


Shawyer (1979) described adoption as "a violent act, a political act of aggression towards a woman who has supposedly offended the sexual mores by committing the unforgivable act of not suppressing her sexuality, and therefore not keeping it for trading purposes through traditional marriage. The crime is a grave one, for she threatens the very fabric of our society. The penalty is severe. She is stripped of her child by a variety of subtle and not so subtle manoeuvres and then brutally abandoned.” Some mothers who have been persuaded to surrender a child to adoption have described it as “aborting the mother”. 

Let's make our "action" to bring attention to adoption as a form of violence aginst women. 

Let's bring attention to unwarranted, corced and explopitive adoption seprations as a human rights violation.

Let's call for an end to the rdication of one's heredity, ethnicity or name by adoption practices and the lack of equal access to birth recors for all persons spearted by adoption.

Suffer The Children

I am pleased to announce publication in Dissident Voice of the above-named article.

Suffer the Children: The Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest—tost to me,”
And we will send you ours?

The Littlest Casualties

Worldwide, there are approximately 143 million “orphans” based on figures that include children with only one living parent, approximately 90% of them (Oreskovi and Maskew, 2009). Approximately 2.6% of these children are housed in orphanages (Ibid).

Within the United States half a million children are wards of the state in foster care system, despite the well documented risks, impermanence and cost. Of these, an estimated 129,000 no longer have any chance of reunification with their families and could be adopted.

What is in their best interest? Is redistributing them to far—off cultures and expecting these children—many who may have learning disabilities and other emotional, attachment and physical challenges—to learn new languages in addition to being separated from family and community they likely remember?

Do domestic and international adoption policies put the best interests of these most vulnerable children first and foremost, or are they being used as pawns in a multibillion dollar industry designed to meet the demand for younger and healthier infants?....


Please visit the website to read the full text and comment

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Romania: Don't Lift the Ban on International Adoption

Romania should withstand pressure to lift ban on international adoptions

Guest Blog Post by RUPERT WOLFE MURRAY,  a documentary filmmaker based in Romania and a supporter of Against Child Trafficking.  His views from Romania are particularly relevant in view of Guatemala lifting its two-year suspension of international adoptions.

Ever since Romania prohibited international adoptions in 2001 it has been pressurised by the leaders of France, Italy, Israel, Spain and the US to lift the ban.  Behind these politicians are private adoption agencies, adoptive parents and others interested in getting children for whatever reason.

When Hillary Clinton met the Romanian Foreign Minister earlier this year she handed him a letter which said "We urge you to reform current law in Romania...including a reevaluation of your decision to remove international adoption as an important permanency option".

Romania should continue to stand firm in the face of this intense lobby for international adoption, a lobby which talks about tens of thousands of Romanian orphans languishing in grim institutions.  But the EU-funded reform of Romania's child welfare system resulted in the closure of almost all the notorious children's homes, introduced foster care and a range of family-based alternatives. The EU also insisted that Romania stop international adoptions as it had established a free market in children.
But now the EU and Council of Europe (COE) are joining the lobby to convince Romania to lift its ban on international adoptions.  The European Commission's justice unit and the COE are organising a conference in Strasbourg at the end of November with some of the most active members of the international adoptions lobby.  Conference organiser Patrizia de Luca admitted that one of the aims of the conference is "to convince Romania that inter-country adoptions can be authorized in a certain way".

The conference "Challenges in Adoption Procedures in Europe" was initiated by French MEP Jean Marie Cavada and investment banker Francois de Combret.  These lobbyists talk of the "free movement of children" within the EU,  as if children are like capital, goods and services. The aim of the conference is to develop a "European Adoption Policy" so that parents from one member state can adopt from any other member state.

Considering that the event will be packed with pro-adoption lobbyists, it is likely the conference will
recommend the commission develops a "European Adoption Policy".  This would mean that families in Italy, France and Spain, where there are huge waiting lists of adoptive parents, can access a fresh supply of children from Romania.
But the truth is that there are very few orphaned children in Romania, where children in care are placed in the extended family, foster or family type homes. In addition, there is a waiting list of Romanian families who want to adopt.  The Romanian adoption system developed in 1997, in compliance with the Hague Adoption Convention, showed that the financial incentives involved in international adoptions (up to 30,000 euro a child) corrupted health, welfare and legal services and poor single mothers were routinely persuaded to "abandon" their children in maternity hospitals. In other words, the demand for children creates the supply and corrupts local social services.

Roelie Post is a commission official now seconded to the NGO Against Child Trafficking.  For many years she worked on the Romanian reform and documented her experiences in a book called 'Romania, For Export Only - the untold story of the Romanian 'orphans'.  She says, "the trade in adoptions are mediated by private adoption agencies in exchange for large sums of money. The EU demanded Romanian become like other EU member states by taking care of its own children, but now they seem to want all EU Member States to become like Romania was before 2001 - when children were made available for the international adoption market. The EU now supports the same lobby groups that they withstood for many years." 

What's Wrong With Adoption? Is Christianity THE ANSWER?

A far right religious extremist website entitled "What's Wrong With the World" (a right wing religious extremist site) broached the subject of adoption.

Outraged, the author of this post, Lydia McGrew, an adoptee professes:

"...adoption results from fornication, when a child is conceived out of wedlock....[and poverty yada yada]...In a very great number of cases, adoption is far and away the best possible gift the child could be many, many cases not better for a mother--particularly an unwed mother--to keep her child rather than placing him for say that it would be "ideal for children to be raised within their native cultures" seems to me to be, by and large, not true..."

To adoptees Lydia says: "Balderdash. Don't spend your time in identity angst. Get a life instead. It may be perfectly legitimate to get to know your birth mother at some point and to find out things about yourself. You may profit from it. But keep the whole thing in balance and in perspective."

To transnational adoptees - many of whom according to Lydia "blow any such matters of identity out of proportion" she says:  "As Americans from infancy [major wrong assumption there], they should be instead encouraged in their original, spontaneous sense of themselves as full-fledged Americans, as much heirs of the American culture as any child born here originally. Assimilation in such cases can be complete and highly satisfactory," This of course is in direct opposition to the biblical lesson of Moses.

Bill Tingley agrees: "It should be obvious that an infant possesses no language, culture, or religion, and so loses nothing if his adoptive parents differ from his biological parents in that regard. The only thing he keeps is his racial identity, but then race is not destiny. In the scheme of things it is one of the least consequential differences among human beings."

Girl4708 responds:

Adoption in my country began as a Christian humanitarian effort. It was a good and noble thing. A decade after the war ended, however, the presence of adoption agencies in the face of post-war economic crisis lead to an epidemic of abandonment by overly large and hungry families hoping their children would have better lives - and often believing they would see their children again, as they didn't realize the permanent nature of adoption. Because the adoption agencies stayed, the government did not feel a need to help families in crisis and to this day there are almost no social services to adequately help its own people, despite being the 5th in ranking economically in the OECD. The majority of adoptions today are due to unwed pregnancies and, again, because unwed mothers get very little support and are socially stigmatized, the presence of adoption agencies becomes the default way in which the mothers are "helped."

Is this still the Christian thing to do? Jesus fed the multitudes. He didn't take a couple of them and take them with him to a better land. He cared for ALL of the people who were suffering. He shared. He cared for all of his people, and not just the infants that could fill the arms of those in another nation.
When Joseph and Mary stopped at the Inn, did the Innkeeper say to Mary - I'm sorry, that baby is illegitimate. You can't stay here. In fact, give me your baby and I will make him legitimate by giving him to someone in better circumstance than you. No. The innkeeper helped them out. The unwed mother is still one of God's children, too.

The Christian thing to do is to help people help themselves. The Christian thing to do is not to exploit those in dire circumstances, but to give them a hand and show them a better way. Adoption is the easy and self-serving way for those who are privileged. But adoption leaves a huge hole in the hearts of those who no longer have their children. It is the adoptive parent's joy, and the original parent's tragedy.

Is this really what Jesus wants? Really? Why don't those of you with so much instead donate to social programs which preserve families or prevent pregnancies in these other countries? Why don't you instead offer small loans to families in crisis, or sponsor individual children so they may lead a life without basic needs? Is it really necessary to remove the child from all they've known since birth? Is it right to introduce more trauma into their lives?

Expatriate Ibn Zayd says:

...adoption is a violence, based in inequality; it is candy-coated to make it seem about family and children, but it is an economic and political crime, a treating of symptoms and not of disease; it is a negation of families and an annihilation of communities that are not seen as having an intrinsic human value equal to that of those adopting, for reasons having to do with race, with class, and with a preconceived notion of what makes for a "valid" life in this world.

For those who are vocal concerning adoption and what it truly represents, it is problematic to frame the debate as if it is equal, two sides of equal position. It is not. You have a dominant discourse of a certain class of society (as revealed here), its adoption industry, its media, its legal system, its medical system, and its ability to stifle debate on the subject on one side. You have those who resist this on the other.

To posit this as a CNN-like debate, 50-50 and equal time is inherently invalid. The amount of time due to those who have remained silent for too long--mothers whose babies have been taken from them, the adopted who had no say in the matter, the communities missing their most vulnerable members--is therefore infinite. If the debate were one-sided for the next thousand years this might only start to equalize what has been one-sided for far too long. 
May I just ask, what kind of twisted concept is this "fully Americanized?" This is a fantasy; a myth. I'm not sure how old you are, but I can remember very clearly growing up and every state had its own culture; Northern New Jersey for example was very different from Southern New Jersey, as were rurally raised children from those raised in an urban environment. This posited concept then of what makes an "American", which immigrants have to assume, along with your reference to a "Tenth Crusade", are borderline Nazism, except that you pretend to welcome those from the outside when all the while you desire to destroy any and all cultures seen as "Other", as "Outsider". Which America, history shows, is exceedingly skilled at.
 And van Wijk adds:

An adopted Chinese boy or girl can have the most loving, dedicated, and colorblind parents in the world, and it simply won't matter all that much. His difference, his Otherness, will be staring back at him in the mirror every day of his life. The "all you need is love" attitude will not keep him afloat when he goes out into the world. A very few will grow up as Lydia hopes, but these will not be in the majority. Many will wander the wilderness for years in search of their identities; where will they find it if not in one of the minority grievance lobbies currently Balkanizing the West?

Some traditionalists believe that modern Christianity is incompatible with Western survival. Given the content (and tone) of some of the comments here, I wonder if there isn't a kernel of truth to that idea.

The entire post and all comments are available at this link. However, as noted, you can no longer comment there apparently - or at least I cannot. 

So...I suggest we continue the discussion HERE!

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Mahatma Gandhi

Due Process in Adoption?

NJN's award-winning and thought-provoking show, "Due Process," will air its Adoption Records show starting today, Sunday, November 22, at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 PM and Tuesday night, Nov. 24, at 11:30 pm.

Due Process is NJN’s award-winning weekly series on law and justice issues. Launched in 1996, Due Process is its 14th season with the same cutting edge coverage that has marked its more than decade-long tenure.

Criminal law, civil law, consumer law, civil liberties law. In thirteen years on NJN, Due Process has done them all.

Recently we’ve covered issues like the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Pew Study on Prisons, the nature of corruption in New Jersey, and the strides made towards diversity in the legal profession.

The bottom line for every Due Process episode is: Have we aired all sides of an issue? Have we achieved both balance and diversity?

In fact, it is just that commitment to good journalism and basic fairness that has won Due Process scores of awards and honors, including fourteen Emmys and 75 Emmy nominations.

I URGE all mothers and all concerned about child welfare, who can, to view this to do so and see if they are true to their commitment of covering ALL SIDES of the story!  It's my home state and no one contacted me for an opinion!

Here's a synopsis:

Adoption Records
Show #1113

New Jersey adults, who were adopted as children, are barred from access to their birth records. A bill to change that recently passed committee with a unanimous decision, but there is staunch opposition to the proposed legislation from an unlikely coalition of opponents: the A.C.L.U., the NJ State Bar Association, and Right to Life. History is in their favor as the bill has been voted down repeatedly since it was first introduced in 1980. Sandy King’s field piece profiles two adoptees who have been lobbying ever since. But we also hear from the director of NJ Right to Life who fears a rise in abortion rates if adoption files were opened. In the studio, Raymond Brown talks to if State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, Bar Association Representative Thomas Snyder, and Attorney Barry Evenchick.

NOTE that NJ ACLU has continually come out on the side of denying equality!!  In the past I wrote them about this despicable violation of the very name and mission of their organization.  

Guatemala Reopening International Adoptions

After a two-year suspension word is that Guatemala is reopening its international adoptions.

The government halted them in 2007 after discovering evidence of fraud, including fake birth certificates, women being coerced into giving up their children and even baby theft. At least 25 cases led to criminal charges against doctors, lawyers, mothers and civil servants, and thousands of adoptions were put on hold.

But Guatemala's National Adoption Council says legal reforms will prevent such problems in the future and it plans to start a pilot program involving four countries. It did not say when the program would start or which countries would be involved.

Last year, the council began requiring birth mothers to personally verify they still wanted to give up their children.

Seattle State Monopoly on Baby Selling

Independent adoptions are legal in [Seattle], and so is the practice of adoptive parents paying the birth mother's expenses. But under state law, only licensed agencies or the Department of Social and Health Services can advertise a child for adoption.
Adoptive parents must be screened by the state, a licensed agency or another qualified party. Once adoptive parents have passed the vetting process, they are allowed to advertise for a child.

So says a report in The Seattle Times today.

In question is a woman -- being sought by police -- for allegedly offering her own baby for adoption on Crag's List.  The state can pimp and sell her child, and aps can advertise..., but mothers cannot act on her own behalf, apparently, in finsing nw parents for her child! 

Of course that makes sense. How can an IGNORANT SLUT who doesn't want her own kid - probably a crack whore - make a reliable choice concerning her own child!?!

But in reality the biggest concern - as always is about MONEY.  SHE might be scamming PAPS for medical expenses - and that's the job of adoption practitioners to do!

So moms to be be advised: anyone can sell your baby but you!  Got it?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Economic Pressure and Adoption

Westdeutscher Rundfunk (West German Broadcasting) gives us this five part documentary on adoption in Romania.

Ibn Zayd weites:  The story will be familiar to anyone who is adopted from a country where the exportation of infants seems to go hand in hand with the economic "opening up" of that country to the West, through economic pressure, war, or other political strongarm tactics. That no one pays attention to this curious link between adoption and economics is a function of a dominant discourse gone awry--children are trafficked, and a mythology is built up to justify it; just like slavery, just like every other illegal abuse of human beings that takes place on the planet.

"How can you just take children from a home?" asks the distraught mother in the first part of this five-part video. Should original mothers on this planet ever stand up en masse and demand their children back, there will be a revolution the likes of which this planet has never seen. A must-see.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fractured Families = Harrowing Holidays


[fam-uh-lee, fam-lee] 
1. parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not.

2. any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins. 
3. all those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor.

4. a group of related things or people..

in a or the family way, pregnant.

Word Origin & History

c.1400, "servants of a household," from L. familia "household," including relatives and servants, from famulus "servant," of unknown origin. The classical L. sense recorded in Eng. from 1545; the main modern sense of "those connected by blood" (whether living together or not) is first attested 1667. Replaced O.E. hiwscipe. Buzzword family values first recorded 1966. Phrase in a family way "pregnant" is from 1796. Family circle is 1809; family man, one devoted to wife and children, is 1856 (earlier it meant "thief," 1788, from family in slang sense of "the fraternity of thieves").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

Legal Dictionary

Main Entry: fam·i·ly
Pronunciation: 'fam-lE, 'fa-m&-
Function: noun
Inflected Form: plural -lies
1 : a group of individuals related by blood, marriage, or adoption
2 : a group of usually related individuals

Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary
family fam·i·ly (fām'ə-lē, fām'lē)
  1. A group of blood relatives, especially parents and their children.
  2. A taxonomic category of related organisms ranking below an order and above a genus.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.


It's the most horrible time of the year 
With Family fractured 
And everyone telling you "Be of good cheer" 
It's the most awful time of the year
It's the most horrible season of all
With parties and travel and families united
It's most painful time ff the year

Unlike broken bones: arms, legs...our fractured families never fit back together again....they are forver puzzles with pieces missing or peices that are too dog-eared , too worn out, to fit well...

We can try to force it, but that just frustrates us and makes it worse still...

And the emptiness -- the holes where the missing pieces belong -- are voids that can be filled by nothing.

You try.

You try to fill the holes with alcohol, with sex, with food...TIME: The time that is supposed to heal ALL.

But the pain, like a cancer, worsens over time, it does not ease...

And the come "the holidays" - the time when family gets together and makes it worse still.

It starts long before Thanksgiving - a month long reminder of adoption. The commercials, the flyers and catalogs in your mailbox.  It goes on for a full month till Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa...and then it's still not continues until new years eve and New Years Day.  The joy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Holiday Gift Giving

It's "that" time of the year - almost.

As you make your list, and check it twice...thee are the Family Preservation Advocate's suggestions:

Help a child in Africa or sponsor an impoverished child in the U.S. for as little as $25 you can help a child with a got, books, water, or medication...  92 cents of every dollar to Save the children goes for their program services.

Give a gift of education, water, immunization, or nutrition to child in Darfur or other parts of the wold though UNICEF. Mosquito nets start at just $18.57 and help stop the spread of malaria or provide milk for under $25. Remember that UNICEF supports adoption as LAST resort!

Doctors Without Borders contributed 87% of all funds raised in 2008 to the program services.
 $35 buys two high-energy meals a day to 200 children; 550 people cab be vaccinated against against meningitis, measles, polio or other deadly epidemics for just $50.

Love the Child/Amor del Ninos, the children's home I visited in Guatemala.  These children have been abandoned or taken from their parents; many are disabled.

A donation to ANY of these charities directly aids children instead of taking from their homes and families to receive a "better life."

If you know of other charitable causes that help children and preserve families, please let me know to add to the list.

Guest Post: My Trip to Canberra by Evelyn Robinson Mansfield

Guest blogger Evelyn Robinson Mansfield is author of  Adoption Reunion - Ecstasy or Agony?, her third book.

I've just returned from spending a few days in Canberra. It was my first visit to our capital city and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The main reason for my visit was that I was invited to present at an adoption forum at the start of National Adoption Awareness Week*.

The forum on Sunday went very well and, as always, I enjoyed talking about my experience of both adoption and post-adoption support.

Today I was privileged to be present in the Great Hall in New Parliament House when our Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, apologised on behalf of our nation to the Child Migrants and the Forgotten Australians. Both of those groups were treated cruelly and unjustly as children in Australia.

As well as apologising for the wrongs of the past, the Prime Minister also announced measures which will be put in place to assist them in future.

It was a very special and emotional event and I'm delighted that I was able to be a part of it. The event was very well organised and was a comfortable mixture of formality and informality. There was a tremendous sense of occasion and it was clearly  a significant event for everyone there. For me, it was a memorable experience.

Later in the day I met with some representatives of the Attorney-General's Department to discuss my role as a member of the National Intercountry Adoption Advisory Group. We had some useful discussion.

This was followed by a tour of Canberra provided by a very proud local.

I enjoyed visiting Canberra and seeing all the sights. I received a warm welcome and made some new friends and so all in all it was a very worthwhile excursion.

* National Adoption Awareness Month spread to Australia last year thanks to Deborah Lee Furness.

Hugh Jackman and Wife Push for More Ausie Adoptions

Hugh Jackman and his wife, actress Deborah-Lee Furness have adopted two children and think that everyone should be able to adopt as many children as they like with no barriers to if that what was adoption was about: filling a demand!

Furness is appalled that  "Australia has the lowest adoption rate in the developed world ... 270 last year including local (adoptions)."  However, i do not see anywhere that she mentions any children languishing, waiting for homes and families.

So, basically she is saying: wouldn't it be so much better to inflict the pain of family separation on far more individuals!

Read her rant that Australian family preservation practices are racist here.

(Then come back and share your reactions here.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Angelina Adoption Rumor UPDATE

The tabloids are all abuzz that Angelina might add another (number seven, but whose counting) to her brood by adopting a girl from Syria who she met on a UN trip.

The buzz is all about the fact that Brad is not onboard and she might go it alone, speculating a breakup the tabloids - and many "fans" are breathlessly awaiting.

GossipCop brings up two issues of far more importance regarding the possible, rumored adoption itself:

First of all, during her recent visit Jolie met with refugees who had fled to Syria – not Syrians. So it’s more than likely that if she adopts a girl she met during the United Nations trip, she is not Syrian.

Second, if the girl is Syrian, she’d be exceptionally difficult for Jolie to adopt. Gossip Cop spoke with the Syrian embassy and confirmed that “securing custody of Syrian orphans for immigration is extremely difficult as adoption is essentially illegal in Syria.” Laws concerning personal status matters are handled by religious authorities in that country, and a Muslim child would not be possible to adopt. The fact that Angelina Jolie is unmarried and a foreigner count against her even more heavily.

While the tabloids focus on how Jolie’s “single-minded mission has caused a major rift” with Pitt, of course, they ignore whether the process might cause a major rift with the law.

So, this is one to watch...looks like another Madonna brouhaha could be brewing.

However, the Daily Mail is reporting that an Immigration and Naturalization Service spokesperson confirmed that Angelina Jolie did file adoption papers and that her name was the only name on the papers. If this is true, it's likely that one of two things is happening- either the child isn't Syrian but is a refugee who currently lives in Syria, or the Madonna effect is in motion and she will make large donations in order to be able to adopt even though the laws are against it.

Read interesting thoughts on the racist nature of Jolie's adoptions here.

I hope they are looking like a little "couple" for Halloween!

Or not...since this is obviously another day and Shiloh is still dressed like a mini Charlie Chaplin.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hubinette and Trenka on Transnational Adoption

I've quoted Hubinette here before without digging deeply into who this adoption scholar is.

Tobias Hübinette was born Lee Sam-dol in Korea. Adopted by Swedes, Hubinette, who earned a PhD in Korean Studies in the Department of Oriental Languages, Stockholm University, Sweden in 2005.
Along the way, he earned a BS in Irish Studies at the Division of Celtic Studies, Uppsala University.

Hubinette, like other adult Korean adoptees, looks critically at adoption, writing:

“In the 1950s, the practice [international adoption] was initiated as a rescue mission with strong Christian fundamentalist and particularly Lutheran undertones, while it came to be perceived as a progressive act of solidarity during the left-liberal 1960s and 1970s..... “

“For countries like Korea, the almost insatiable demand for children has created huge social problems. Intercountry adoption has destroyed all attempts to develop an internal social welfare system, and the position of the Korean woman has remained unchanged…. The expression ‘in the best interest of the child’ is used as a mantra by intercountry adoption proponents. It is a fact that intercountry adoption has always worked for the interests of adoptive parents and receiving countries, never for the interests of adopted children or supplying countries. If it would have been ‘in the best interest of the child’, then siblings would never have been separated, and every adoptive parent would have been forced to travel to the supplying country and pick up the child and at least tried to learn something of the child's language and culture.” 

“Contemporary intercountry adoption having flown in close to half a million Third World children to the West during a period of half a century has many parallels to the Atlantic slave trade which between 1440-1870 shipped 11 million Africans to America, and to indentured labor dispatching 12 mil-lion Indians and Chinese to the European empires between 1834-1922. However, a crucial difference is of course that slave trade and indentured labor be-long to history and are today almost universally condemned, while intercountry adoption is still continuing, perfectly accepted by Western societies and legalized through various international conventions.

There are indeed numerous striking similarities between the slave trade and intercountry adoption. Both practices are demand driven, utilizing a highly advanced system of pricing and commodification of human beings with the young and healthy as the most valued, as well as being dependent on the existence of intermediaries in the forms of slave hunters and adoption agencies and a reliable transportation system of ships and planes. Both the African slaves and the Third World children are stripped of their identities as they are separated from their parents and siblings, baptized and Christianized, losing their language and culture and in the end only retaining a fetishized non-white body that has been branded or given a case number.

“Especially the so-called "House Negroes" in America must be the closest parallels to intercountry adoptees as both are living with their masters, treated like their children and legally a part of the household and family. Finally, last but not least both groups are brought over only to please and satisfy the needs and desires of their well-to-do buyers, slave owners and adoptive parents respectively.” 
A critique of intercountry adoption” Transracial Abductees.

Regarding the effect on the adoptee, Hubinette adds: “assimilation becomes the ideal as the adoptee is stripped of name, language, religion and culture, while the bonds to the biological family and the country of origin are cut off. Adoptees who are consciously dissociating themselves from their country of origin and see themselves as whites are interpreted as examples of successful adjustments, while interest in cultural heritage and biological roots is seen as an indication of poor mental health or condemned as expressions of biologism and Nationalism. Recently, proponents of inter-country adoption have also started to attack the "politically correct" ban on interracial adoption.” [ibid]

Hübinette concludes that “[b]oth the slaves and the adoptees are separated from their parents, siblings, rela-tives and significant others at an early age, stripped of their original cultures and languages, reborn at harbours and airports, Christianized, re-baptized; both assume the name of their master/parent and, in the end, only retain a racialised, non-white body that has been branded or given a case number. ... These children were objects of rescue fantasies and relief projects for the European homeland populations and especially feminist and Christian philanthropist and humanist groups.”   “Between European Colonial Trafficking, American Empire-. Building and Nordic Social Engineering: Rethinking International Adoption From a Postcolonial and Feminist Perspective.”  A translation is available at:

While one or two commenters here have been critical of my analysis of adoption and slavery or indenture, I respect the words of  one who has walked a mile - nay lived his entire life - in ill-fitting shoes, and his devoted his academic career to researching these issues.

Jane Jeong Trenka, another Korean born American-raised adoptee who grew up in a town so lily whit the only Black person was a B; adopted by a white family.  Trenka who gave us The Language of Blood, in which she describes the demeaning Japanese occupation which took away Korean language, culture and people's names, has returned to her homeland and from there, she works with TRACK for reconciliation for Korean adoptees and writes in her latest book, Fugitive Visions; An adoptee's return to Korea:  

"Since the 'end' of the Korea War, up to two hundred thousand South Korean children - both documented and undocumented by the Seoul government - have been sent as legal 'orphans' to Western countries for the purpose of give them 'better lives,' and the paperwork was designed to give them  'clean break' estimated two hundred thousand international adopted koreans were active in the 'adoption community' in Korea..."

Trenka, who speaks with a gentler, more poetic voice than Hubinette, says:...the adoption agency exiled me for no crime except my birth..."  and, she says "there is a difference between a child with an orphan visa and a child whose parents are dead. Approaching zero is o the same as zero." [ibid]

Having found papers revealing that the adoption agency had sent her to the Netherlands in 1972 and that she had been naturalized as a Dutch citizen in 1976...while she lived in rural Minnesota... feeling all her life like a round peg in a square hole...I doubt Trenka would disagree with Hubinette, also a member of TRACK.

Biblical Adoption

I used to think of adoption as putting together -- two parents coming together with a child to create a family. But when I had my children, I started to understand that adoption is also an undoing -- a mother being separated from her child. This “other side” of adoption is probably the reason I am so drawn to the Old Testament story of Hannah and Samuel.
The author of these words, Nicole, is a guest blogger at Real Life. Her post is entitled Hannah's Story: The Other Side of Adoption.

This is a beautifully written tale of a Vietnam "boat baby" complete with photos of infants transported in cardboard boxes aboard airplanes! Not to be missed!

The good news is that Nicole gives us a great ammunition against the bible toters pro-adoption rhetoric.

The sad news for Nicole is that she has only begun to "get it." She is on the brink, I believe. Of Hannah, Nicole writes:

As a mom, I read that and wonder if he looked at her with big eyes pleading with her to stay. I wonder if he wrapped his chubby, dimpled baby fingers around her hand as she placed him before Eli. I wonder if he cried when she was leaving. I want to know if anyone was there to comfort Hannah's precious toddler as she walked away. And I can't help but wonder how long before he realized she wasn't coming back.

Nicole - and those who tout that adoption is commanded by God - needs to go back to the bible and read the story of Moses in order to grasp the fact that adoption does not just involve a sacrifice for her, as an adoptee, to be grateful for.  The story of Moses, like that of Hannah, shows that mothers will only let another have their child out of the most utter desperate love for their child.

This antique tapestry, which belongs to Karen Lynn of Canadian Council of  Natural Mothers, depicts the Pharaoh's daughter and her handmaids at the water's edge as they find the baby Moses.
Click the photo to enlarge.
On the right hand side, hidden in the reeds... 


you will see a tiny face. This is Miriam, Moses' older sister who waited and watched as her brother was rescued from his basket in the river and decide to adopt him. Miriam then suggested that the princess take on a nurse for the child, and suggests Jochobed; as a result, Moses was raised to be familiar with his background as a Hebrew. (Exodus 2:1-10)

Jochobed kept her son hidden for at least three months and even after placing him to save his life, she continued on as his wet nurse. She had to look into his eyes and hand him over to another time after time after time...somewhat like mothers in open adoption today. And not unlike today's open adoptions, there came a time when that connection ended.

But the bible shows that however that the caring of another's child - an unrelated child - does not eradictae one's bloodline, one's kinship and heritage as American adoption attempts to do.

Though Jochobed is not mentioned again and we do not know if they reunited or not, or if he met his father. But Moses returns when he is 40 to free "his people" and lead them from slavery.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Silence is Violence're only as loud
as the noises you make

I'm learning to laugh as hard
as I can listen
'cause silence
is violence
in women and poor people
if more people were screaming then I could relax

but a good brain ain't diddley
if you don't have the facts
we live in a breakable takeable world...

from My I.Q.
Ani DiFeanco

A Balanced Gender "Solution"!

Katherine MA Asbery is one of many mothers "suffering" with a new "heartbreaking" syndrome: gender disappointment. Mothers who give birth to a baby not of the gender of their preference.  Asbery found one way to cash in on the "epidemic" by wiring a book entitled Altered Dreams: Living with Gender Disappointment.

Asbery was so depressed that her third child was a boy, she wouldn't even say the sex. She called him "not a girl," and spent hours crying.

Christine Lich of Lindenhurst, Ill., always assumed she would have a girl. Instead, she got three boys.

"And they tell you it's a boy, it's like, ahhhh. For that short moment, you're kind of bummed in the back of your mind. There's not going to be any pink dresses. There's not going to be any scrapbooking. That's not going to happen," she said.

Why should any mother be forced to raise a kid who is a dismal disappointment to her because he has an outy when she wanted an inny?

Apparently girls are far more sought than boys.  

Why should anyone have to deal with disappointment. I mean this is America! And why should a child have to live with being second best or worse; feeling like a failure.

SOOO... given that these are healthy boys and given how many others would be so very grateful to have them...

Why not place them for adoption!?!  Isn't that what mothers who have "unwanted" children are supposed to do? Isn't it the "right thing" considering all the who long for a child and cannot have one?

I see a golden opportunity for an enterprising attorney or two - a cottage industry: sending these unwanted boy babies to China in exchange for their unwanted girls!

What d'ya think?

UPDATE: Cohen "Ponzi" Baby Selling Scam

Charges Against N.Y. Lawyer Show Gray Areas of Adoption

The couple who turned in a Roslyn, N.Y., lawyer for allegedly masterminding a multi-state adoption Ponzi scheme admitted they ignored numerous red flags along the way. But practitioners say the adoption field itself remains such a legal gray area that it tests the ethical limits of the attorneys who specialize in it.

According to a 69-count indictment unsealed last month, Cohen, who in 2004 founded The Adoption Annex, a now-defunct nonprofit adoption service provider, stole more than $300,000 from couples looking to adopt by promising them children "who did not exist." Cohen, 41, faces up to 25 years if convicted on the top charge of second-degree grand larceny and is being held on $500,000 bail in a Nassau County hospital prison ward.

It is the emotionally charged nature of the adoption process that makes it essential attorneys maintain an ironclad adherence to ethics [?!] and existing laws, said several practitioners.

Apparently, in NY §374 of the Social Services Law, only an approved adoption agency can place children, and §374 (6) provides that "no person may or shall request, accept or receive any compensation or thing of value, directly or indirectly," for placing a child or otherwise arranging an adoption.

Elizabeth S. Falker, a New Rochelle adoption attorney says: "You have to be extraordinarily careful. You cannot be paid to make a match between a birth parent and an adoptive parent."

Here's the big catch - the major loophole in adoption law:   The law allows for payment of "reasonable and actual legal fees charged for consultation and legal advice, preparation of papers and representation and other legal services" provided in connection with an adoption.

Who defines "reasonable"?  Apparently, some feel $60k is reasonable!

In a case of pot and kettle, Aaron Britvan - who knows all too well how to broker babies for adoption -- says that Cohen's Adoption Annex was touted in a 2004 Roslyn News article as "one stop shopping" for adoption services, offering counseling, mentoring and a research center.

The Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), the agency overseeing interstate adoptions in New York, reviewed the activity of The Adoption Annex when it was founded, but determined that the service was never an "authorized adoption agency" and thus did not require state approval. Isn't that special. So, an adoption agency cannot legally accept fees to match-making in adoption, so just be a match-making service and get around that law! Who knows better how to circumvent laws than a lawyer!

"At that time, based on the information received by OCFS on the services and activities of the Adoption Annex, OCFS did not identify that the Adoption Annex was violating New York law," Pat Cantiello, a spokeswoman for the agency, said in an e-mail. She added that the agency did not have further contact with the annex, nor did it receive any complaints about it.

UPDATE: Cohen Ponzi "Pmzi" baby Selling Scam

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Korean Government Taking Bold and Noble Stance on Adoption

A proposed Korean bill "starts with the idea that foreign, and even domestic, adoption is not the best option for children and that public assistance should be given to mothers to help them raise their children, a concept that follows international adoption practices. It also incorporates the notion that adoption processes need to be more strictly regulated to prevent possible abuses by adoption agencies."

Rather than pushing adoption, we should reinforce the original family to prevent further separation between mothers and their children,” said Reverend Kim Do-hyun, who is the director of KoRoot, which provides accommodation for Korean adoptees returning to the country.

Among proposed revisions, including access for adoptees, would be to give mothers a minimum of 30 days to make a decision on adoption.

Observers say women are often forced to sign an agreement on adoption almost right after giving birth. If the mothers change their mind, the agencies charge them for all expenses they’ve incurred, from child delivery to the shelters they run. They said adoption agencies tend to encourage adoption rather than telling the women that there are other options available such as raising their child on their own.

Jane Joeng Trenka, author and the president of the Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea (TRACK) and one of the adoptees who filed the appeal at the commission, notes: “Adoption may be an act of love, but all adoptions are meant to separate children from their mothers.”

The full article, Korea: A Generation Fights to Reform Adoption Laws.

A related story about Korean adoptees searching for their roots, here.

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