Monday, May 31, 2010

NY Times Op Ed, "The Birds and the Bees (via the Fertility Clinic)" reports on a fascinating study from the Institute for American Values, based on a survey of younger adults, ages 18 to 45, who were conceived through sperm donation.

  • Sperm donations generate between 30,000 and 60,000 conceptions every year, and roughly 6,000 children are conceived through egg donation annually as well. About a million American adults, if not more, are the biological children of sperm donors.
  • Americans conceived through sperm donation are; 
    • much more likely than their peers to say that “every person has a right to a child” and to support policies that encourage sperm and egg donations.
    •  more likely to oppose payments for sperm and eggs than most Americans and to say that “it is wrong to deliberately conceive a fatherless/motherless child.”
    • more likely to feel alienated from their immediate family than either biological or adopted children. 
    • twice as likely as adoptees to report envying peers who knew their biological parents, twice as likely to worry that their parents “might have lied to me about important matters” and three times as likely to report feeling “confused about who is a member of my family and who is not.”
    AsRobert Wilson Harrington McCullough said on Facebook: "We adoptees are only the tip of the ethical iceberg - there are generations coming who will make us look lucky." However, what I take exception to in the oped is the misperception that "If you want to procure sperm or eggs, the process is completely different [from adoption]. You can shop for gametes the way you’d go shopping for a house or a car..." Ross Douthat needs a wake up call about adoption today: have money = get kid! Kid R 4 Sale...and priced by age, skin color and health...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Can a Fugitive Ever Go Home?

Book review by Mirah Riben

Monarchs migrate. This is different than species that emigrate. Species that emigrate travel one way. Species that migrate travel back and forth between two different places. They have two homes.
The Language of Blood
Jane Jeong Trenka bares all. She bares her naked truths in beautifully poignant poetic prose, informing us that: “There are real orphans and created orphans, paper sons, picture brides, imaginary orphans, foreigners born and created.”

Trenka gives them all voice. Her gentle voice sings the tortured words of heart felt’s pain and confusion to the tune of the harsh realities faced by longing for truth – her truth – her mother’s arms, since the tender age of five.  Trenka knows that living in Paris does not make one a Parisian, and who wonders if she was “merely interchangeable with any other Asian bride” to her white, Minnesotan husband, of the same European ethnicity and heritage as her adoptive father.
Keeping a Protestant family together hinges on the beliefs that everyone is the same and nobody should be treated different and nobody should get anything special – which is not faith in the invisible, but invisibility….
She has to believe that treating me ‘as her own’ (and no one else’s) was absolutely, unquestionably right.
Yet, even after three years in Korea, Trenka, who has tried to make a home for herself there for four years, “still wake(s) from nightmares almost every morning, knowing where I am, running from something invisible.”

“I have seen things that no tourist will ever see even though I am still in many respects a tourist.” She says she’s been traveling back and forth between worlds for eleven years. Actually, it’s been 36 more than thirty years.

Trenka paints in abstract realism “the constant chore of explaining why [she] exist[s]”…
“I am an overseas adoptee.”
“I came and went from the U.S.”
“I am your countryman!”

… and why she “fled the U.S., unable to bear the sight of yet another adopted child with white parents.”

“Where are you from? America? But you look Korean. Where are you really from?” She reads “a poem about salmon, the way they struggle, the way their skin tears as they leap upstream, the way they go back for no apparent reason, they are not even starving. They are not even starving –“

Raised in the town of Harlow, a town with only one Black resident who was adopted by a white family. Harlow, where she was called: “Frog-eyed nigger-lipped Dumbo-eared chink” by her best friend, as she laughed at the joke and discovered her white mother not only didn’t see or her or, she didn’t see how other people saw because in her mother’s imagination she was white.
“Made in Korea
Cheap goods
Cheap labor
Cheap womb
Cheap adoption
Cheap immigration
Cheap immigrant
Cheap yellow daughter
Honorary white almost but not quite”
Harlow, she recalls, discovered “the monkey’s indomitable preference for the familiar face.” 

In the end, she has “observed that all of the opportunities that transnational adoption gave [her and all Korean adoptees]…the one opportunity we were not given was the chance to be an ordinary Korean person.”
“Why did you come to Korea? Because YOU’RE KOREAN? Ha ha ha!!”
She is “an ex-Korean possessing Korean language skills inferior to those” of her two-year old nephew a “Korean boy raised by Korean parents.”
“Which country do you come from?”
“I come from our country”
“Our family, our home, our culture.”
“That feeling of Joeng – in which Koreans recognize themselves and each other as Korean – binds together mother and daughter…” had not “the adoption agency exiled [her] for no crime except being born to a battered wife…”

Trenka writes musically lyrical words in vibrant and colors and muted tones. “’This is the language I speak’ is one color. Spoken in Korean, This is the language I have lost is another.”

She asks us to ponder:

-    “If you knew your child was not capable of loving you back, would you still adopt her?
-    “If you could recognize a filthy gook in white pajamas as a human being, would you still shoot him?
-    “If you could recognize a child’s mother as a human being, would you still think of taking her child from her as a charitable act?”

In a sea of adoption memoirs Fugitive Visions soars high above the rest. It is not a “must read” book, not the kind you filled with statistics and data activists might crave and those who affect adoption legislation need, but rather one you will savior reading and re-reading for its delicate flavors whether or not you have any connection to, or interest in, adoption or Korea. 

Trenka masterfully opens her wounds and exposes her pain with rawness but not bitterness in a book about a life, which like the Joni Mitchell song, looks at life from both sides now.


Fugitive Visions is Jane Jeong Trenka's third book.  She has also written The Language of Blood and is editor of Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption. Jane is founder of TRACK Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea.  Consider by many the preeminent voice of and for adult Korean adoptees, she blogs at and


A public awareness campaign of the Foster Care Council of Canada

The Foster Care Council of Canada recognizes the fact that in many cases, children, youth, and their families across Ontario have benefited from the involvement of a Children's Aid Society in their lives and that many former foster children go on to lead happy and successful lives as contributing members of society.

However, it is also common knowledge that the involvement of Children's Aid Societies in the lives of children and youth have had negative impacts on them and that many --after leaving the foster care system -- have ended up in prisons, living on the streets, depending on various forms of government assistance, suffering from low self-esteem, depression, addictions and other ailments as a result of how they were treated or neglected while in the foster care system. (see quotes on this from the Ontario Legislature regarding this by clicking here. It will open in a separate window. [here])

In Ontario, totally independent, privately incorporated corporations are both approved and designated as a "Children's Aid Society" by the Ontario Goverment's Ministry of Children and Youth Services. The Ministry  also has the duty to fund, monitor, and regulate them.

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services leads us to believe that Children's Aid Societies are governed by what they call a "community elected" board of directors, however it has been our experience that most Children's Aid Societies do not advertise the fact that they offer regular memberships to people in the community. Regular memberships with a Children's Aid Society allow members of the community to hold the Societies accountable for their decisions, actions or inactions, their expenditures of millions of dollars worth of tax-payer funded, ministry allocated transfer payments each year, electing members of the Societies' Board of Directors, reviewing financial statements and more as outlined under the Corporations Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C-38.

One area of concern to us is the lack of effective and external oversightof Ontario's 50+ Children's Aid Societies. When asked by the media, or when making presentations to the various committees at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, the Children's Aid Societies, through their multi-million dollar lobbying firm known as the "Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies" (OACAS) repeatedly make claims of having to comply with numerous accountability measures. We challenge you to even attempt to obtain and verify any form of documentary evidence verifying these claimed "accountability measures" including how they work, what processes are involved, what the measures account for, and any data, decisions and actions which result from them and to report your findings to us.

Thank-you for visiting and please, take the time to read through all of the pages of this website and if you support transparency and accountability of child-welfare in Ontario, consider making a donation of any amount. You can find out how to donate by visiting the donations page.


Adoption: A Loving Alternative?

"Adoption: a Loving Alternative" is a fairly popular pro-life slogan.  It assumes that an unexpected pregnancy offers two alternatives: kill your unborn baby or give it way, and suggest the later is the kinder, more loving choice.

Of course, the major facility with slogans such as this and the less subtle one it seems to have pretty much replaced: Adoption Not that both leave out the most naturally loving choice: supporting mothers to in need of assistance keep and, raise, and care for their children as family unit. This is clearer still in the latest form of this slogan: Consider Adoption, a loving alternative to parenting."

One blogger asks at 411Mommy if this doesn't imply that that parenting is a non-loving option?  Is that not it's subliminal intent?

Yet if adoption is such a loving choice, why is it almost always a last resort after those who want to be parents try every other methods they can possibly afford first, second and third?  Why do people who discover difficulty conceiving or carrying pregnancies tie themselves in knots and undergo painful and emotionally draining procedures and surgeries before resorting to adoption is it such a "loving alternative" to expectant mothers?  If it truly were a "loving alternative" why wouldn't more people simply go that route first?  Could the answer be because being a mother is a natural process and women naturally desire it? Could it be that not men and women prefer to raise children who are their flesh and blood?  Why can't all who accept that without hesitation as a given, recognize the converse is also true...that it is far more natural and desirable for mothers to raise their won babies than for strangers to do so and that children would also prefer to be raised by and live in a family with their blood kin...people who look like them?

Put another way, if adoption is such a "loving alternative" to parenting why doesn't anyone who is able to have more than one child give one away?  After all, every young expectant mom is told of all the loving "deserving" couple out there who are just dying for the child they cannot have themselves and to give them one would be a loving choice, the most special gift of all...

Or...perhaps "adoption is a loving alternative to parenting" means that adoptive parenting is alternative parenting?  Do adopted children to receive alternative or substitute parents?  Is adoption not a substitute for the real thing,like baby formula which always compares itself to mothers' milk...this brand has all the nutrients of mothers' milk, while that brand is most "like" mothers' milk.  Yet none ARE mothers' milk, are they? All are alternatives; substitutes; stand-ins; replacements for mothers nature's most natural and perfect way.

Loving? Perhaps...but an Alternative!  

All throughout the 1970's as the hippie generation became the soccer moms of the day, Dena Dietrich starred as the forest matron, Mother Nature, in a series of successful 30-second commercials for Chiffon Margarine telling Americans that "It's Not Nice Too Fool Mother Nature."

In America today, it would be absurd to taut baby formula as the "loving" or preferred choice. It's almost immoral though Nestle and other manufacturers used to promote Enfamil and Similac (a name which says simulated lactation) and other baby formulas here in the 40's and 50's as the more efficient and sophisticated way. Bottle-feeding as soon after birth as possible fit well with Rosie the Riveter's campaign to get women into the workforce to replace their soldier husbands and still is promoted as optimal in other parts of the world.  

But today we still promote, encourage and advertise publicly and openly encouraging the separation of mothers and babies for profit, driven by a demand. We and pretend that the unnecessary and unnatural separation of mothers an babies - documented to cause both of them a lifetime of irreparable damage - is in their best interest just as we used to allow cigarettes to be advertised as making people cool, sexy, popular, desirable, powerful (like the Marlboro Man who died of lung cancer) when it was known to kill them after prolonged painful illness.

Friday, May 28, 2010

ACT Supports Mothers' Rights in Illegal Adoption

A Chennai slum dweller's fight for her Dutch son

Jaya Menon, TNN, May 28, 2010, 03.15am IST

CHENNAI: On June 15, when Nagarani Kathirvel leaves the squalor of a Chennai slum for the first time and appears in a court hall in Zwolle-Lelystad in the Netherlands, she would still be a long way from the end of her bitter, traumatic struggle. But it would be a beginning — to establish in a foreign court of law that she is the mother of a 12-year-old Dutch boy. About 10 years ago, Rohit Shivam Bissesar was Satheesh Kumar, a toddler living in the Pulianthope slums, that is, until he was kidnapped and given away in adoption to a Dutch couple. Earlier this month, a court in the town of Lelystad in the Netherlands summoned her to appear before it.

"Nagarani has been directed to appear before the court of Zwolle-Lelystad at 3.30pm on June 15. The proceedings will be held behind closed doors," Maaike Junte, a spokesperson for the court, told TOI from the town of Zwolle. It is a victory of sorts for the 35-year-old woman but it has come after hard battles both in courts in Chennai and the European nation. Only a month ago, her plea for a DNA test to establish that Rohit was her son was rejected by a fast-track court there. Going along with views of the special curator appointed for Rohit, the fast-track court in Zwolle-Lelystad decided "it was not in the interest of the child to know its roots."

Against Child Trafficking (ACT), a Netherlands-based organization fighting Nagarani's case, reacted rather strongly. Said Roelie Post, director of ACT, "It is totally unacceptable that five years after the Indian authorities discovered that this child was kidnapped and allegedly sold for inter-country adoption to a family in the Netherlands, the Dutch ministry of justice has done little to sort this out. The ministry of justice seems to be hiding behind procedures and formalities and appears to have totally lost sight of the tragedy the Indian parents are living (through)."

But even as high drama is being played out in the Dutch courts, Nagarani's case relating to her plea to be reunited with her son has been moving at snail's pace in the Madras high court. Since September 2007, when it was entrusted with the case, the CBI has been grappling with what it claims is the "intransigent attitude" of foreign governments. The investigating agency has taken up three cases of abducted children (including that of Nagarani) given up for adoption abroad. "We sent letters rogatory (a formal communication to competent authorities for investigation in foreign countries) to the US, Australia and Netherlands about two years ago. We finally received a reply from the Netherlands. But the correspondence is in Dutch and we have not been able to proceed further," said a CBI source.

The story of Nagarani goes a long way back to a balmy night in October 1999 when the family rolled out their mats on the hard mud road in the Pulianthope colony and decided to sleep under the stars.

ACT fully depends on private funding and is grateful for donations so that we can continue and expand our work

Is TV Making You Feel Gleefull?

SPOLIER ALERT: Do not read this if you TIVO'd Glee and haven't watched the reunion episode yet.

The TV version of "High School: the musical" has two adoption plots.

In plot one a student is pregnant and considering adoption and has lied about who the father is.  There was some very convoluted stuff about a teacher's wife who was going to help her keep the pregnancy a secret and pretend to be pregnant herself and then take the baby...but that fell through. So, we wait to se if she goes trough with the adoption...

At the same time. the star character, Rachel, adopted by two Dads is reunited with her mother. The two are DEAD RINGER look-alikes and are both totally intro singing and performing.

They meet, the mother makes the daughter a costume for an upcoming performance, and they sing a duet. The mother -- who never had any other children -- decides she really wanted her baby back and cannot handle a grown up teenager and abruptly 'dumps' her!

I am hoping it is not yet totally over and she will have a change of heart. It was far too unrealistic for me.

One blog comment addresed watching it with her adopted daughter who felt vicariously the sting of that rejection!  How sad.

I have yet to see a movie or TV show deal with adoption that did not appear to have been written by or consulted with adoptive parents and keep the show "safe" and inoffensive for that audience population, wither  by killing them of totally (figuratively or literally, as in Mother and Child) or by ending with the sappy "Now I know who my 'real' parents are."

Before changing the channel from the subject of television viewing, I want to share a piece of a Dr Phil episode i caught by accident recent;ly.  It may have bene a repeat. the young expectant mom wanted Dr phil to make her decsion for her whether to keep her baby or place him for adoption.  Dr. Phil of course ays that the decision is hers and he will hep her by showing her ALL the options.

He then proceeds to tear apart her entire family as dysfunctional and asks if they would be a family she would choose to place her baby with.  Then he has two young women speak to her.

The first is a mother who shares how proud she is of the loving sacrifice she made to place her baby and make a couple happy!

The second tells of the drudgery of being a teen mom!

Where was the voice of the mother who placed her bby for adoption with a promise of openness that was a lie and she is not distraught and will never heal?

Where were voices of adoptees who have to live with a lifetime of feeling rejected and abandoned because of their mother's "loving choices"?

So much for impartiality! So much for Dr. Phil!  I was left wondering if he gets a commission from some adoption agency.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Animal Rights Trump Human Rights

It's Official: Adoptees are less of a concern than pound puppies! 
How much is that baby in her tummy? (You know the tune!)

MSNBC is reporting a "small but growing movement" to ban pets being sold by pet shops.

West Hollywood, Calif., Albuquerque, N.M., and South Lake Tahoe, Calif., have all banned pet sales....but babies are still for sale at your local adoption agency businesses.  Other cities in Florida, New Mexico, Missouri and elsewhere are considering similar bans on the sale of dogs and cats, cause they it's so much more important that protecting children from being kidnapped, stolen, their mothers exploited and coerced for profit...

Animal advocates say pet store sales fuel the puppy mill industry, where dogs are bred and raised in cramped, unhealthy and inhumane conditions, kinda like baby mills run by, Adoption Law center Network,for instance who now own town homes to house their brood stock. "Kitten factories" are a smaller but growing problem also of concern of the rights do-gooders.

"People have got to wake up to the fact that [most] dogs coming from pet stores are coming from puppy mills," said Mary Jo Dazey, a stay-at-home mom from St. Louis, Mo., who has been working to shut down puppy mills in her state for several years. (Why her status as a full time mother is an issue in regard to a story about cats and dogs remains a mystery.)

“By stopping these pet shops,” director of an Animal Humane Society in NM said,“what you're really doing is you're reducing the demand for puppy-mill puppies.”

Between 2 million and 4 million dogs are born in U.S. puppy mills every year, according to the Humane Society of the United States, and many of those dogs do end up in pet stores — in addition to being sold over the internet, through newspaper classifieds and in other venues, can you imagine!

But the issue is not free of controversy. Some say that foes of puppy-mill and kitten-factory should focus instead on cracking down on breeders who are breaking the law.

"The fact of the matter is that puppies sold by pet stores frequently come from highly reputable breeders who provide healthy loving pets to the public," said Michael Maddox, vice president of government affairs and general counsel for the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, an industry group based in Washington, D.C.

"Notwithstanding isolated anecdotal stories that misrepresent pet store puppies, the vast majority of customers who bring home their canine companion from a pet store are supremely satisfied with the experience." And we all know that is true of adoption, and likewise sure to be pointed out by "industry spopkespersons" though they are identified as "experts."

AAC Presence at 2010 Legislative Summit

State legislators from across the US will be gathering at  the 2010 Legislative Summit in Louisville, Kentucky from July 25 - 28, 2010. This represents an important opportunity for AAC to contact a great number of  State Legislators about adoption reform. Our plan is to contract for a display booth inside the conference, and have a professional trade show display and handouts describing the need for adult adoptees to have access to the original birth certificate.

Our plans are underway, but we have a critical need to identify AAC members willing to staff the booth. The Summit dates and booth times are: Sunday, July 25, set up, July 26, 12:00-5:00 PM, July 27, 10:00-4:00 PM and Wednesday July 28, 9:00 - 12:00.

The AAC will provide training and support so you are comfortable explaining the AAC position and can answer the questions that legislators may raise.

If you are willing to go to Louisville and help in this important effort, please contact me at

KUDOS, AAC! Now, that is what I call pro-active ACTION, not just sitting back grumbling and name-calling. Training...imagine the concept! 

2010 Family Preservation Hero of the Year Award

I had the honor of meeting Stephen and Shyrel at Amor del Nino on my trip to Guatemala in August, 2009.  I wrote and shared photos of my visit and how impressed I was with what two inspired people are capable of accomplishing.  Amor del Nino houses 20-35 infants and children, most with special needs, who have no family to care for them, The Osborns protect these children from international adoption.

Since visiting I have gotten to "know" Steve via many emails back and froth and discussions of our shared disgust with profiteering in child trafficking, exploitation of impoverished people's and the commodification of children. Steve, who was called by God to serve in this way, has proven to be my prime go-to guy for combatting Christian rhetoric promoting adoption as a rescue mission.

Steve blogs at Steve's Ramblings.  

I am honored to present this overdue and amazingly well deserved award to Steve and Shyrel.

The Ethics of Adoption in the 21st Century

I am pleased to announce that my proposals have been selected for presentation at the Sixth Biennial Adoption Conference through the Adoption Initiative at St. John’s University, “Open Arms, Open Minds: The Ethics of Adoption in the 21st Century” on October 14-15th, 2010 at the campus at St. John’s University’s Manhattan Campus.

I will be presenting: "Ethics and the Role of Money in the Global Adoption Industry, Lack of Enforcement of Ethics and the Role of Money in Domestic Adoption" & "The Ethics of Unenforceable Promises of Open Adoption Contact Agreements.” 

This conference is co-sponsored by Montclair State University, the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections at the Hunter College School of Social Work, POV, and the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. As with our five previous conferences, we seek to create educational and experiential opportunities for professionals, scholars, students, and those touched by adoption to learn more about different aspects of the adoption experience both domestic and international. We are glad you are interested in sharing your knowledge and expertise at the conference this year.

For more information on the program, hotel listings and to register, please check for updates by visiting our website at or

Hope to see many old and new faces there!

Resources, Support and Help for Single and Teen Moms

1 Mother + 1 Child = 1 Family 

Adoption is a permanent solution for temporary problems.
DISCLAIMER: These are unscreened resources, so please advise if any promote adoption and they will be removed. Anyone seeking help with adoption services can find that all too readily, often disguised as offering to help single expectant moms but in fact run by adoption agencies and pro-life pregnancy crisis centers. The purpose of these resources is to help mother mother.  Also, please let's add to this list and bookmark it.

The following are maternity homes that will help expectant mothers and provide continued housing and assistance for the mother and child for months afterward, helping them to become self-sufficient:
  • Single Mothers Outreach empowers single parents and their children by providing hope, support, and resources to help families become self-sustaining.
  • A Single Parents Network - Support & Resources for Single Mothers ...
  • A single parents web community geared to single parent resources, information, and discussions, combined with the largest single parenting social club...
  • Hope Network for Single Mothers is a volunteer-based grass roots support system. It provides emotional and material support to single mothers and their -
  • Raising Him Alone - Providing Resources and Support For Single Mothers raising boys... (RHA) is dedicated to researching, designing, and implementing a campaign to support the social well being of single mothers raising boys. 
For young moms:

    Being A Teenage Parent BundlesOfLoveV2 Mother's Edition: Support site, including message board, chat, and local group ... Young Parents Connect: Support group for teenage parents. -

  •  Teen Mothers Support - Revolution Health This is for those girls who have children at a young age, and need someone to talk to. To share stories

  •  Pregnancy - Teens Support Group - DailyStrength Life outcomes for teenage mothers and their children vary; other factors, such as poverty or social support, may be more important than the age of the

    Insights Teen Parent Program The mission of Insights Teen Parent Program is to create a climate of positive support...

  • Teen Moms Teen moms – pregnant or already moms – can get help and support here. Talk with other teenage mothers and make friendships at iVillage.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Try Before Your Buy Adoption Policies?

Citing the recent Hansen Russian adoption debacle, Lana Douglas reports in the Times Observer makes the outrageous claim that "in the United States, agencies take into account the child’s wishes." and...:
"Some agencies, like Family Focus, seek to inform possible parents of the risk of making a “forever commitment” before the adoption.  However, many governments and agencies do only the minimum to prepare families for the difficulties of the adjustment after adoption."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Nigerian Baby Farms and Child Trafficking

Nigeria: Police Rescue Stolen Babies in Asaba

25 May 2010

Lagos — The Delta Police Command has uncovered an illegal orphanage where it claimed that babies are sold at Usonia Street in Asaba, the state capital.

Mr. Charles Muka, the Command's spokesman, said the orphanage, known as Mary's Perpetual Help Orphanage, is owned by one Johnmary Ihueze.

Muka told the News agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba on Monday that Ihueze, who was nabbed by the police after a tip off, "also keeps pregnant girls who are coerced into signing off their babies upon delivery in an affidavit."

"Upon his arrest, six pregnant girls, among them a 14-year-old, was also discovered. Through interrogation, a one-month old baby girl was recovered at Motherless Babies Home, Obosi, in Anambra.

"The pregnant girls have been evacuated to a Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence and Abuse in Asaba for rehabilitation," he said.

In another development, Muka said the police also exhumed two unidentified corpses in an uncompleted building on Benin-Asaba Expressway after a tip off by the contractor handling the building.

He said that efforts were being made to trace the perpetrators of the act, while the bodies had been deposited at the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, for autopsy.

Similarly, the police also rescued six girls from human traffickers at Ekpan in Uwvie Local Government Area (LGA), of Delta.

"The police, on receiving the report, swung into action and arrested a native doctor and seven other suspects," Muka said.

According to Muka, the native doctor gives the girls "some spirit bath" preparatory for "their journey abroad."

He said the suspects, who are assisting the police in their investigation, would soon appear in court.

A MUST SEE Video News Report: Child Trafficking in Ethiopia

Christians played for saps by so called Christian adoption agency actually a child trafficking ring 

The child buying and selling exposed in this report are not limited to Christian World Adoption or even to religious agencies. Child trafficking like this is RAMPANT because of DEMAND!

This situation occurs throughout the world. Another case is reported here.  It is important to spread this information to all progressives, feminists and any well-meaning people who believe that adoption rescues children in need.  SPREAD THE WORD! Share with your church and anywhere you can.

International Missing Children's Day 2010

Today nine countries from across four continents are joining to raise awareness of missing children and strengthen global efforts to find them.

International Missing Children’s Day, 25 May, is a day to commemorate missing children who have been found, remember those who have been victims of crime and continue efforts to find those who are still missing.

This year the focus is on parental / family abduction which is a complex issue, especially when children are taken across international borders.

Australia, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Romania, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom are part of the Global Missing Children’s Network (GMCN), an ICMEC program that recognizes the need to collaborate on this complex issue on a global level. Activities are being organized around the world to commemorate the day.

Balloons can also be released virtually on Facebook , an interactive portal developed by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for the campaign. The AFP also created a powerful 30 second public service announcement, which has been distributed throughout participating countries to drive people to the website for further information.

The NPIA also launch the new nationally co-ordinated Child Rescue Alert today, find out more here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Those Who Can, Do...

“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

Do-Nothing, Nay-Saying, Energy Sucking, 
Chronic Complaining Criticizers and Put-Downers

In case you are not aware, there is a war of words going on. For many the issue is what percent of adoptees will be served by various bills and how many will be thrown under the bus. For others it's a heated debate between legislative incremental baby steps or holding out waiting for purity. 

The usual suspects are at it with their "deforming" name-calling! 

My position regarding access is clear and unequivocal, and always has been. I am for TOTAL EQUAL ACCESS without any retrictions. Anything else is not equality. restrictions ofd any kind are insulting discrimination and infaticizing. I have LONG (since the 1980s) preached that the term "open records" confused the issue and needed to changed to equal access. Morerecently I have writtenabout not comvoluting the issue with access to medical records or "all files."

This post, is thus not about whether adoptees deserve total equality or not. I believe we ALL agree they do. It is rather about the do-nothing, naysayers...the chronic complainers ... the “energy suckers” who suck the wind right out of your sails. 

These problem behavioral types think that it is their job to point out all the problems with the world, while it's your job to fix them. They seem to subscribe to the theory and make us all believers of the saying: "Those who can, do...and those do nothing, COMPLAIN and CRITICIZE!

That’ll never work…!”
What the hell are you thinking…?”
That’s a terrible idea…!”

Chronic energy sucking nay-sayer complainers feel helpless or impotent and are successful only at one thing: attempting to destroy the results of and kill the enthusiasm and productivity of those about whom they are complaining.

These Do-Nothing BUT Complain and Citicizers do not seem to understand - or CARE - about the difference between constructive criticism that helps and that which merely denigrates.  

Help? That's beneath them (or more likely something they are incapable of). They'll just stand by and watch others DO so they can complain afterward! Adoption reform has their fair share.  Those who do not help write legislation or support efforts in any way but are right there to jump on a bill they deem "bad" or "unclean."

Criticism such as this, currenly viral in the wake of adoption access bills with restrictions, is a text book example of those out to belittle you, and the two types of people who generate such negativity:  the “Never Was” and the “Once Was."  

The "Never Was" according to this site are often those who are so pessimistic they give up without trying. The "Once Was" it says, "had their moment in the sun, and they have used that brief success to create an expert facade. Though they haven’t done much recently, they relive their glory days by providing unsolicited advice (criticism) about how things should be done. It should be done the way was it was done 10 years ago — that’s how." 

Sound like people we all know? 

How DARE those who have done nothing berate those who have?  In my humble opinion,
unless you work WITH activists in states, you have no right to complain after the fact. PERIOD! 

** I do not see BN introducing their own bills or assisting anyone with model legislation or any other educational materials.***

When was the last bill BN introduced?
What was the result? Was there ever one other than the one individual BN member who put up the money to get it on an Oregon referendum?

Again - I am no fan of compromised legislation with restrictions. I HATE IT! It does not restore adoptee rights. It does not make them equal to non-adoptees. It misses the whole point that it even is a human rights the adoption reform movement has done since its inception (with the exception of ALMA's attempt). 

And... I readily admit that I personally have done nothing legislatively except writing letters, a few protests, signing the Orgeon ad, and testifying once decades ago.  

I thus do not feel I have any right to criticize those who do, and, as you have obviously guessed by now, I strongly resent those who think they do have that right. Once it's done, and a bill gets passed with restrictions...what's the purpose of all the name calling?

Bottom line for me: PUT UP OR SHUT UP! And, the final cliche: 

Lead, Follow or get out of the gosh darn $%&*ing way!

A "Happy" Adoption Story about a "Good" Use for Facebook!

After reporting here, just yesterday an Article that Makes ALL Birth Parents Out to be Monster Abusive Stalkers... and how one-sided the artilce was....well, now w ehave one reporting the "advantages" of Facebook:  Trolling For Babies!

Facebook Adoption, Couple finds their Child through Facebook 

CNN News has reported that A Maryland couple who have been married since 2005 have adopted a child through facebook.  The interview (video link), with Seth and Melissa Segal on CNN showed that the couple  found out a few years back that due to infertility problems they were unable to conceive a child.  Melissa had lost a set of twins at 20 weeks and could not bare to try again.  The couple then decided that adoption would be their best route.  A friend of theirs on facebook knew someone who was pregnant and wanted to give her child up for adoption.  They hooked up with this person via facebook and began talking.  Now they have a bouncing baby boy noel, who is 17 months old and full of energy.  They set up the adoption privately and paid all hospital costs for the mother of the child, and the baby, as well as the legal fees to adopt.

Melissa and Seth say they are ready to adopt again and are actively looking for another child.  For all the bad things we hear about facebook this is a fantastic story.  Facebook has gotten a bad wrap lately for being dangerous, the privacy issues, and a waste of time.  This child would not have two loving happy parents if it had not been for the social networking site.  There are so many people who want children who have to jump through legal hoops and red tape when trying to adopt, facebook made this relatively painless and easy for the couple, the mother and the child.  Good for them!

Ah yes...good for them, never mind what is best for the child or his mother...but good for them.They got what they wanted....and isn't that all it's about... 

And being that it was a FSBO (real estate lingo for "for sale by owner") they may hve even saved lots of middle-man fees!!

The entrepreneur in me smells a new business opportunity. They have FSBO real estate web sites where people can list their homes and buyers can select the home of their dreams. Why not Craig's List has done some haven't they?  Or ooops, did it violate some law?  Guess attorneys are right on top of having their fees cut out of the dealings.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Article Makes ALL Birth Parents Out to be Monster Abusive Stalkers

An article in the UK's Guardian about a TV news report may have disturbing consequences for parents who have lost children to adoption and open adoption.

The article is entitled "Adopted children face anguish as birth parents stalk them on Facebook" and states that birth parents "flout rules leading to 'intrusive and unplanned' contact."

All incidents cited are of parents who had their rights terminated by the state and are claiming the charges were false. of course in each case the adoptive parents were told of brutal - never proven - allegations of horrendous abuse and they of course believe what they were told, true or false.

Voluntary relinquishments - with no accusations of abuse or neglect - are mentioned only to say that, in the UK:

"Where once adoption tended to involve a young, single woman giving up her unplanned baby, now two-thirds of adopted children have been removed because their parents abused or neglected them."

This figure seems absurdly incorrect as the majority of U.S. adoptions are in-family, step-parents adoptions (which also may or may not include some allegations of wrong doing)...and what about all the international adoptions?  

The article goes on to state that as a result of numerous complaints from distraught adoptive parents, "local authorities are now advising adoptive parents not to include...photographs in their annual letters, in case these are posted online in an attempt to trace the child."

It seems in the UK, parents of children taken by the state - even after abuse charges - receive update letters and photos, a practice now being threatened.

As Etta Davis who shared this article points out, also of interest is the total lack of concern of the poor closeted birth parents - allegedly promised eternal protection of their lie - being found by their children online! Nor, of course does it indicate that any good and welcome reunions have resulted from adoption-separated parties finding one another on social networks such as Facebook.

Where's the "balance" in this report? Guess none is needed when you are maligning alleged child abusers, and after all, aren't we all?  Seems "balance" is only required when reporting negative things about the adoption industry. Then it is mandatory to state that "the majority of adoptions" turn out peachy...or the the majority of those who adopt are loving, caring people, who - for instance - would never send a son back on an airplane alone.  As if a report on prevention of a particular type of cancer and early treatments for it would have to state that the majority of people never get it.  These"balance" rules or norms seem very UNBALANCED in my experience.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Russia News: Facing the Real Issues in International Adoption

Russia issues a suspension of adoptions by US families, but the pause may not force agencies and governments alike to tackle the true problems behind the issue.

Facing the real issues in international adoption

Americans adopt between 2,000 and 4,000 children from Russia annually, but six months after one such adoption, a single woman decided she no longer wanted to be Artyom Savelyev’s mother. Sending the 7-year-old boy on a transatlantic flight back to Russia by himself, Torry Hansen set off an international incident that led to a suspension of adoptions of Russian children by Americans.
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The Hansen case, rather than the spark that started the fire, was merely another log on a long-blazing inferno. Artyem Savelyev’s case is just the latest in a series of adoptions of Russian children by Americans that have proven to be far from in the children’s best interest. Since 1996 there have been approximately 16 reported cases of child abuse—burnings, beatings, starving—committed by American adoptive parents to Russian-born children. This abuse has resulted in 12 murder convictions, with three cases currently pending.

In addition, there are an unknown number of Russian-born children no longer living with those who promised to be their parents forever. Some have been sent to the "Ranch for Kids Project," which houses “troubled children adopted primarily from Russia" at locations in Wyoming, Montana and Maryland, according to the website There is also an underground network of families who take in children that other adopters can no longer “handle,” some claiming they fear for the safety of their families. Joyce Sterkel, 63, who runs the Ranch estimates that approximately 300 children have passed through the facility.

On Again off Again

In 2000, and again in 2003, Russia insisted foreign adoptions be handled only by accredited agencies that would be required to provide Russia with reports including at-home visits by a social worker at six months and one, two, and three years post-placement.

“One of the major problems,” said Alexander Demkin, Russia’s vice consul in New York, is that the adoptive parents obtain American citizenship for the children and cancel their Russian citizenship, which makes it impossible for Russians to follow-up.

In April 2006, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office attempted yet again to take the reigns and prevent further abuses by calling for the revocation of the accreditation of 12 U.S. adoption agencies, stating that the companies had failed to file post-adoption reports on the condition of Russian children.

Now again, adoptions have been suspended and officials have called for a freeze until a bilateral treaty is signed enforcing, among other things, post-adoption monitoring. An American diplomatic delegation visited Moscow and reported that a newly negotiated adoption agreement would soon be signed by both nations, possibly by the end of June.

Some child advocates suggest that in addition to the suggested bilateral agreement, Russia should ratify the Hague Convention on International Adoption to put teeth into any agreements between them and any country receiving Russian children. Another suggestion involves transparency.

Adoptive parents regularly report a lack of full, complete and accurate disclosure of medical history being transmitted from Russian orphanages to American adoption agencies and then to the adopting parents. Some 60 percent of internationally adopted children have health problems, according to Dr. Nancy Curtis, who heads Children’s Hospital of Oakland’s International Adoption Clinic. Dana E. Johnson, M.D., Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota adoption medicine center claims that 85 percent of the children diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome were born in Russia, though few receive an official diagnosis of FAS.

American adoption agencies routinely ask prospective adopters what types of disabilities they are and are not willing and able to deal with which creates expectations that their requested criteria will be met. Adoption blogs often feature those who have adopted from Russia lamenting: “I didn’t sign up for this” or “I never would have adopted him had I known.”

The root of the issue

Adoption agencies may fail to adequately prepare adopters and orphanages may downplay the risk for attachment disorders, educational delays, behavioral issues, as well as serious psychological and physical disabilities among institutionalized children, but the reality is that international adoption is big business. Fees average $40,000 per adoption, not including payoffs.

The Russian state pays about $3 billion a year in salaries for orphanage employees. And orphanages provide jobs in many depressed regions. Americans report that adopting from Russia involves payments of large sums of cash in a corrupt bureaucratic system.

“It has one goal, which is to preserve itself,” said Boris L. Altshuler, chairman of Right of the Child, an advocacy group in Moscow, and a member of a Kremlin advisory group.

Child welfare experts from Save the Children, SOS Children’s Village, UNICEF and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child all call for international adoption to be a last resort, used only after exhausting all efforts to keep children with their extended kin, local community, or within the same country, language and culture. However, More than 700,000 Russian children live in orphanages—more than at the end of World War II, and Yelena B. Mizulina, the chairwoman of the parliamentary committee on family and children, recently reported that within Russia during the past three years, more than 30,000 children were sent back to institutions by their adoptive, foster or guardianship families.

The best interests of vulnerable children need to be put first, overriding profiting from their misfortune. Hopefully the international media exposure of Artyom’s solo flight will lead Russia and the United States to enact constructive measures regarding optimal care for children, including prioritizing family preservation, dealing with substance abuse recovery and reduction and increasing domestic adoption.

Mirah Riben

Russia Beyond the Headlines is an international project of the leading Russian daily “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” (
Since 2007, we have published supplements focusing on Russia in leading world newspapers.
Currently, these include:
o The Washington Post (USA)
o The Daily Telegraph (Great Britain)
o Le Figaro (France)
o The Economic Times (India)
o Дума (Bulgaria)
o Jornal do Brasil (Brazil)
o La Repubblica (Italy)
o Clarin (Argentina)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Adoptive Mother Insulted and Feeling Left Out...

I know that most people have not yet been able to see Mother and Child. I was fortunate to see a preview and I reviewed it here and I eagerly await more people seeing it so we can discuss it.

However, even not having seen the film, we could discuss the Salon blog post,Why "Mother and Child" insults parents like me: As an adoptive mom, I found Rodrigo Garcia's film beautifully acted -- and totally one-sided by Sarah Coleman, especially since the comments are closed at that site.

And, we can discuss the emotional reaction because it is an echo of the feedback we heard to the December '09 ABC mini series,"Find My Family" in which many adoptive parents expressed feeling "left out" of stories of reunion.

A discussion like this can get very heated (just saw that yesterday on Facebook!) so I want to alert all of the rules of this blog and good manners in general.

So remember:
  • lots of deep breaths, re-read what you are commenting to 
  • no name calling, no broad brush "all" statements
  • make sure you are not taking something personally that was not directed at you personally
  • we each a right to our unique opinion and and point of view, not everyone has to - or will - agree
  • re-read your comment before posting it...because
  • inflammatory, insulting, viral, or BAITING comments will not be posted...  
 A sampling of comments from the first 3 of 10 pages of comments
"Beautiful --you almost speak for me..."

"It's not about you"

"Who's film is it anyway?"

"why look to the media for validation?"

"The age of Narcissism has reached its apex when a so-called professional writer demands that that a fiction film be about her."

In one comment, Sarah Coleman, the author who writes about film, photography, books and pop culture. Her work has appeared in New York Newsday, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Independent Film & Video Monthly, and the Boston called a cry-baby.

"Why All the Anger?"

"The myth of true motherhood. It has a built-in superpower, which is to make everyone who deviates from it in any way at all feel like total shit. Perhaps when one is an educated, married, financially secure and personally fulfilled woman who has given birth naturally and vaginally to 2.5 genetic masterpieces before her 32nd birthday, it is hard to understand how relentlessly our culture punishes all failure, intentional or unintentional, to comply with this model."  [Violins please]

"The reason people are reacting strongly to this article is that the writer genuinely seems to believe that she's entitled to censor any depiction of adoption that doesn't make her feel good. It's really bizarre in its total self-absorption. No one is allowed to discuss the possibility that sometimes, adoptions aren't blissful, and sometimes people don't really care that much for their adoptive parents -- just as sometimes people don't care that much for their biological parents. No, the adoptive mother should have been front and center in that movie, or else it's a personal affront to her...."

"An adoptee chimes in: how often do you ever stop to talk to happy, healthy adoptees about their experiences? Believe me--every happy and successful adoptee I know, and every happy and successful adoptive parent I know (and I do know quite a few) feels that the narrative has become entirely negative. Adoption is doomed to failure because "something will always be missing." Adoptive children spend their lives in agony, unable to connect, because their adoptive parents couldn't love them. Biological parents were coerced, or didn't understand their rights, and at this very moment are weeping in agony that their beloved child was torn from their bosom. That these situations are real and do occur is, unfortunately, quite true...."

"Ignorance abounds. Most people have only myths and stereotypes about adoption filling up their heads, especially profoundly negative ones, and I don't think there's anything wrong with a writer calling out an apparently egregious example of such myths/stereotypes in film."

      Thursday, May 20, 2010

      Surrogacy Set to Replace International Adoption

      Earlier this month, I wrote about the prevalence of adoption and more recently surrogacy on television in  a blog post was entitled  "Art" and Life: Imitation or Representation?. That list of shows depicting surrogacy as just another form of family formation, has now been added to by Glee. 

      In real-life the practice that exploits women in poverty - womb rentals - that most of us have read about being a major industry in India is also about to invade Guatemala.

      In part one of a three part seines, a colleague and I spent time with in Guatemala, Karen Rotabi, writes:

      Human Rights and the Business of Reproduction: Surrogacy Replacing International Adoption from Guatemala

      "As adoption has become more difficult, the global surrogacy industry has begun to surge to meet the fertility demands of individuals and couples seeking to secure healthy infants...."

      "One has to wonder how information will be imparted to Guatemalan women who may well be illiterate and lack the legal savvy to truly understand the contracts they will be required to sign...."

      "Desperately poor, Guatemalan women will inevitably find themselves being offered an opportunity to earn a wage to birth a baby in this dollar-a-day nation."

      Imaginary Mothers

      View a "teaser" here.

      Adoption Bonuses: Rewards for Breaking up Families

      Adoption Bonuses: The Money Behind the Madness
      DSS and affiliates rewarded for breaking up families

      By Nev Moore, Massachusetts News From 2002

      Child "protection" is one of the biggest businesses in the country. We spend $12 billion a year on it. 
      The money goes to tens of thousands of a) state employees, b) collateral professionals, such as lawyers, court personnel, court investigators, evaluators and guardians, judges, and c) DSS contracted vendors such as counselors, therapists, more "evaluators", junk psychologists, residential facilities, foster parents, adoptive parents, MSPCC, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, YMCA, etc. This newspaper is not big enough to list all of the people in this state who have a job, draw a paycheck, or make their profits off the kids in DSS custody. ...

      For every child that DSS can get adopted, there is a bonus of $4,000 to $6,000. 

      BUT...these are not "hollow-eyed tykes from Appalachia. Very few are crack babies from the projects. [Oh… you thought those were the children they were saving? Think again]. When you are marketing a product you have to provide a desirable product that sells. In the adoption business that would be nice kids with reasonably good genetics who clean up good."....

      After the adoption is finalized, the State and federal subsidies continue. The adoptive parents may collect cash subsidies until the child is 18. If the child stays in school, subsidies continue to the age of 22. There are State funded subsidies as well as federal funds through the Title IV-E section of the Social Security Act. The daily rate for State funds is the same as the foster care payments, which range from $410-$486 per month per child. Unless the child can be designated "special needs," which of course, they all can. 

      May is national adoption month. To support "Adoption 2002," the U.S. Postal Service is issuing special adoption stamps. Let us hope they don’t feature pictures of kids who are for sale. I urge everyone to boycott these stamps and register complaints with the post office.  

      Full article here.

      Tuesday, May 18, 2010

      Biblical Adoption References

      There are various translations of Job 24:9:

      "The fatherless child is snatched from the breast; the infant of the poor is seized for a debt.
       New Living Translation (©2007)

      "The wicked snatch a widow's child from her breast, taking the baby as security for a loan.

      English Standard Version (©2001)
      (There are those who snatch the fatherless child from the breast, and they take a pledge against the poor.)

      New American Standard Bible (©1995)
      "Others snatch the orphan from the breast, And against the poor they take a pledge.

      GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
      "[People] snatch the [nursing] orphan from a breast and take a poor woman's baby as security for a loan."

      King James Bible
      They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor.

      American King James Version
      They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor.

      American Standard Version
      There are that pluck the fatherless from the breast, And take a pledge of the poor;

      Bible in Basic English
      The child without a father is forced from its mother's breast, and they take the young children of the poor for debt.

      Douay-Rheims Bible
      They have violently robbed the fatherless, and stripped the poor common people.

      Darby Bible Translation
      They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor:

      English Revised Version
      There are that pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor:

      Webster's Bible Translation
      They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor.

      World English Bible
      There are those who pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor,

      Young's Literal Translation
      They take violently away From the breast the orphan, And on the poor they lay a pledge.

      Somehow, no matter how it's translated, it doesn't sound good.

      I am not a theologian, by any means. I understand the following article, about as well as I understand greek or physics...but it is a good argument for the "vertical" adoption theories of some Christian fundamentalists:

      Adoption - The Inheritance of a Son
      by Kevin Jackson 
      Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. Galations 4:7

      Adoption (huiothesia) is a term that the apostle Paul uses several times in his letters. The Greco-Roman concept of adoption is different than the English concept. In English adoption is an action. For example a father "adopts" a son. The Greco-Roman concept of adoption refers to something that sons receive. Sons are not adopted, rather, sons receive the adoption (Gal 4:1-7). This conceptual difference of what adoption is can contribute to a misunderstanding of certain Biblical passages. In the context of the Arminian / Calvinist debate, the meaning of adoption directly relates to our interpretation of Ephesians 1.

      In English we associate adoption with parents taking a baby into their family. The baby is "adopted". He is an outsider prior to adoption, and a son after adoption. However, Huiothesia refers to the standing of someone who is ALREADY a son. Adoption is the right of a son. Adoption is the "inheritance", "promise", or "reward" that the son receives as an heir. A father makes promises to his children. These promises are the adoption. Huiothesia is not synonymous with salvation (entrance into the family). Rather, it is the promise of God received by those who are believers in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:22-27).

      The reward of the adoption occurs now and after death. This can be seen in Romans 8 (bold mine):
      For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" -Rom 8:15 (NASB)
      And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. -Rom 8:23 (NASB)

      Observe in Romans 8:23 that Paul speaks of believers who wait for their adoption. There is a distinction between believing and the adoption. Conversely, sonship (having the legal rights of a son) doesn't guarantee that the son will apply and benefit from those rights. This can be seen in Romans 9:1-5 (bold mine)

      I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. (NASB)

      Here Paul refers to the nation of Israel - his brothers. Israel has the rights of the adoption, but is failing to apply and benefit from those rights. Again, we see Paul treat adoption as a position rather than an action.

      Now, let's take a look at Ephesians 1:5-6. It is my contention that understanding the Greek concept of adoption takes away the Calvinistic flavor that is sometimes attributed to the passage (bold mine):
      In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. (NASB)

      This could be accurately translated as follows:
      In love He predestined us [believers] to receive an inheritance as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

      In other words, God doesn't arbitrarily adopt particular humans to join his family. Rather, He promises believers an inheritance as His sons in Christ Jesus.

      In conclusion, adoption is a standing that believers have as sons in Christ Jesus. The Pauline concept of adoption is best understood as the position of a believer. It is not an action.

      AND...thanks to Amanda Transue Woolston for this:

      "Judaism did not recognize the Roman institution of adoption....since the Roman concept is directed toward substituting legal fiction for a biological fact and thus creating the illusion of a natural relationship between foster parents and the adopted son. Judaism stated its case in no uncertain terms: what the creator granted one and the other should not be interfered with; the natural relationship must not be altered. Any invention on the part of some legal authority would amount to interference with the omniscience and the original plan of the Maker."

      That was a quote by Soloveitchik from "Family Redeemed" on the Talmudic rabbi rejection of Roman adoption and adoption of other legal systems, included in John Witte Jrs book "The Sins of the Fathers: Law of Illegitimacy and Theology Reconsidered."

      Witte goes on to say:

      "None of the purported instances of adoption elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible [he quotes scripture references for Moses, Esther etc.] were real adoptions in the legal sense, rabbis contended--and most took place in locations outside of formal Jewish rule. And even if these could be regarded as legal adoptions per Roman law, no formal law of adoption was prescribed in the Torah to make this practice normative for the Jewish community."

      SEE previous blog post on biblical adoption references

      Are You Addicted to or Obsessed With Adoption?

       B.J. recently attended a conference on addiction and adoption which seemed to related to adoptees who had substance abuse issues. However, the Facebook discussion got into discussing if we are addicted TO talking about it, blogging, Facebooking, writing, speaking, and constantly thinking about every day.

      I admitted to definitely being all about adoption 24/7/365!

      Someone replied:  "what if we changed the word from addicted to committed or passionate. Way different energy. And, I wanted to acknowledge you for finding the balance and knowing when you need to take a break. That's the difference between addiction and purpose don't you think?"

      I wrote back, sharing the intro I wrote to "shedding light on.,..The Dark Side of Adoption" (1988):

      I wrote this book for the same reason I have been involved in adoption reform since 1979, for the same reason I co-founded ORIGINS, a national support organization for women who lost children to adoption. It is the same reason that ... See More... See More

      Candy Lightner founded MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and Gloria Yurkovitch founded Child Find. Each of us became committed as a result of personal loss.

      Does commitment mean obsession? Peggy Say, the sister of a hostage victim, uprooted her family to move to Washington, D.C. in order to help her brother and others. When she was asked if helping her brother had become an obsession, she answered, ". . . if by the word obsession, the definition is having this issue dominate every waking moment, then yes, it's an obsession. I don't like the term but it is probably reality. I see it in a different light. Many, many times during the day I'll find myself doing an everyday task and think of (him)..."

      The Stephanie Roper Committee is another example of personal commitment. Founded by Stephanie Roper's mother after the brutal rape and murder of her barely twenty-two year old daughter, the committee has been called one of the most effective voices for victims' rights and has been responsible for the passage of three bills in Maryland.

      People like Candy Lightner, Gloria Yurkovitch, Peggy Say and I have turned our obsessive, compulsive drive into positive energy because each of us has lost someone dear to us who is irreplaceable. Mrs. Roper said on "America Undercover" that victims do not seek revenge, but rather justice to be healed. Likewise birthmothers do not seek to reclaim, hurt or interfere. They merely seek reunification. Judith Viorst, in her book Necessary Losses/ wrote: "another defense against loss may be a compulsive need to take care of other people. Instead of aching, we help those who ache.'

      It has occurred to me many times since that people like Candy Lightner et al are never accused of being "bitter" OR "angry", are they? They are seen for what they are: righteously indignant and trying to resolve/heal their loss by calling attention to it and helping others not go through the same pain. that is exactly what I do!

      These women are role models for me because they did not sit back and accept an UNNECESSARY loss.

      So I say - be obsessed!! If not us,who will be obsessed enough about adoption to change it?

      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