Friday, April 16, 2010

New York Times Misses the Mark on Finding Solutions to Adoption Disasters

The following adoption "experts" weigh in on "How to Prevent Adoption Disasters."All four take wishy-washy mid-ground, safe, ambiguous answers like making adoption more "ethical."


To put these replies in perspective, one must understand the sources.

The Center for Adoption Policy calls itself “a pre-eminent legal and policy institute engaged in adoption issues.” It was founded and is and directed by Diane B. Kunz and Ann N. Reese. Kunz practiced corporate law for seven years and is Associate Professor of History at Yale University. Reese spent over 25 years in a career in finance with ITT, Mobil Oil, Union Carbide, Bankers Trust and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Jones Apparel Group, Kmart and Xerox. She has an MBA from New York University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. Reese is a director of Their only connection to, or “expertise” in adoption, is that Kunz is the mother of eight children, four of whom were born in China and Reese is the mother of five children, two of whom were born in Romania. Their website reports no source of funding or non-profit status for CAP.

The Center for Adoption Policy (CAP), and the Harvard Law School’s Child Advocacy Program (CAP) share more than the same acronym. Prof Elizabeth Bartholet is behind both. Bartholet is an attorney who lobbies for adoption attorneys who profit from the transfer of children and are more concerned about their bottom line than the best interest of any child. For more, see:

Non-profit child welfare organizations (UNCRC, UNICEF, SOS Children's Village, Save the Children, etc.) those with no agenda other than assisting children in need, unequivocally and unanimously agree that international adoption should be a last resort after all efforts to keep families intact have been exhausted. Extended family should be the second line of defense, then community and adoption in-country should all be attempted prior to considering exiling any child - especially an older child - to a foreign country.

Note, too, that the Times neglected to include the many outspoken voices of adults who were internationally adopted who are not all as grateful as one might expect about having been torn form their roots, despite many material advantages. No decisions about the suture of adoption should be made without learning from the real experts who have lived it.

We have 1290,000 children right here in the U.S. who could be adopted. Each country should use all resources possible to find homes for their own children, not import and export them, as do American adoption practitioners whose livelihood depends upon moving children no matter in which direction.

Adoption is privatized, entrepreneurial, greed-filled and dangerously unregulated, exploiting families in need and commodifying children. Scams and abuse are the inevitable result of the lack of regulation and adopters paying for home studies conducted after the child is placed.

Adoption needs to return to being about finding homes, close to home, for children who are truly orphaned or have no safe in-family alternatives, not about filing a demand.


New York has proposed tax on soda and "aids" drinks. TV ads almost immediately popped up featuring a seeming single mother talking about how the tax impacts the budgets of "family like ours." Like all sales tax, it will impact the poorest the most, while it might also discourage some sugary drinking and improve health(?). However, you need to watch the ad to the end to not that it is sponsored by the American Beverage Association. Then comes the ah-ha... Not exactly a grass roots effort, after all, is it? A bit of a stake in keeping beverage prices from increasing and possibly reducing sales?

Listening to Bartholet and her followers, or the National Council FOR Adoption, or
the Joint Council on International Children’s Services (JCICS) is like asking Philip Morris if tobacco is harmful or bank president about the buyouts.

What happened to balanced news reporting! Seems to only applies when our side is trying to get a story told. I am FURIOUS wit the NYT! They could not chose one out of four who's opposed to international adoptions?!

Always check the sourse. Check the source of funding of studies. And check who is behind campaigns to keep adoptions flowing. Bastardette has an excellent post on the push to keep Russian adoption unforozen


Kathleen said...

I'm so glad to get an alternative perspective -- I was aghast at how one-sided the panel the NYTImes put together was, despite having multiple contributors.

Von said...

Excellent post!

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