Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wrongful Adoption Reunion: Just Find My Son

Adoption mixup alleged in New Jersey 

The New Jersey attorney general's office has been asked to look into a 1976 adoption in which a man insists his son was switched with another child.

Ron Ryba of Timonium, Ohio, says his son's whereabouts are unknown as are the origins of the substituted child, and he has asked Attorney General Paula T. Dow to order the adoption agency, Catholic Charities of Trenton, to turn over all pertinent records, The Baltimore Sun reported Monday.

Ryba and Kathy Butler were both 16 when she became pregnant and they decided to turn the baby over to Catholic Charities for adoption with the assurance they would be able to reunite at a later date if the son was willing.

In 2008, Ryba started to track down the boy Catholic Charities said was Philip Bloete, 34, of Stony Point, N.Y., the Sun reported.

Ryba and Bloete met in 2004 and Butler met Bloete in 2008 but no one saw a physical resemblance. When Ryba wanted to add Bloete to his will, his lawyer suggested DNA testing all around.
The tests came back finding a "zero percent" chance Bloete was related to either Ryba or Butler, the newspaper said.

When Ryba turned to Catholic Charities for help in unraveling the mystery, the agency argued federal privacy laws prevented them from releasing records containing "medical data," and a New Jersey Superior Court judge agreed.

The judge's reason and all documents in the case were sealed.

Ryba said he is not looking for financial damages. "I even told [his former attorney] Steve [Sacharow] to tell Catholic Charities I would sign an agreement of no monetary damages whatsoever, if they would just find my son."

Expectant Mom Needs Your Help, Encouragement and Hindsight

I posted a question about the adoption of newborns a few days ago. I indicated that I am going to put my baby up for adoption when he/she is born and a lot of people got really mad. They acted like its what I wanted to do, like I was a horrible person. The thing is, I do want to keep my baby. I always did. The first week I knew I was pregnant I made an appointment with a Ob-gyn. I told my gyno I was considering adoption (my bf wanted me to since I wouldn’t abort) and she told me of a Christian, financially stable family who she knew personally. They were desperate for a child. I told her that I would consider it. By the next week she told me how excited the family was. They had called her a day before my appointment because they just couldn’t wait to see if my baby had a heartbeat and wanted to know if I was still considering it. I said yes. Now I feel obligated to do this. I don’t know how I could keep it. Im a student and $18,000 in debt because of my student loans. If I don’t go back to school soon Im going to have to start paying it back without a degree. Compile this with the problem that my family is not supportive, nor is the baby’s dad. I need to stay on my dad’s insurance so that the birth of this baby is paid for (yes his insurance covers this) but because Im a dependent on him, I don’t qualify for financial aid. Sure I can work, but when the baby comes I’d have to pay for daycare while Im at work, which isn’t covered by any minimum wage job. My parents took away everything, my apartment, my car, and all help. This is why Im choosing adoption. Everyone seemed to hate me for it but what am I supposed to do? Im living with my bf in an apartment that Im not even supposed to be in because Im not on the lease. Im 800 miles away from my family and they hate me anyway. This potential adoptive family is so excited. They even told me their names. I think it would be cruel to keep my baby. How would I be able to keep this baby? You all seem to think Im making the wrong decision so any ideas? Ive applied for so many jobs down here, but without a degree nothing seems to pay enough.

Post your comments HERE.

International Adoption in the Czech Republic

 The following article is interesting because we generally think of former eastern bloc nations as sending countries, yet people there are adopting domestically and internationally, the reason they seek international adoption, and the solution!

30 June 2010

Prague, June 29 (CTK) - The number of adoptions of children from other countries is growing in the Czech Republic, Lidove noviny (LN) writes Tuesday and says there is no legal state-assisted way of gaining a child abroad.

The paper writes, for instance, that Czechs brought eight children from Congo last year, this year the figure was registered in the first six months already.

The Czech Office for International Legal Protection of Children (UPMOD) says people have goodwill and want to help the children, but thy do not realise the risks involved, LN writes.

UPDMOD says the respective legislation should be changed, or else the African children will soon end up in child homes, LN quotes office head Zdenek Kapitan as saying.

At present Czechs can adopt a child from Czech child homes only if they meet a number of conditions, such as a reasonable age of the future parents and other, LN writes.

Some of those who do not want to undergo the complicated procedure of preparation, including psychological interviews, give priority to adoption from abroad via various intermediaries for payment, LN writes.

Kapitan said there is demand for adoptions from abroad and therefore his office has been conducting negotiations with four states of The Hague Adoption Convention, namely Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, India and the Philippines in this respect.

He said, however, the adoptions will not be possible earlier than at the end of 2011.
LN writes that Kapitan has doubts about whether adoptions from exotic countries are the best solution for the children.

He said it is a costly matter. Translations, travel expenses and other necessary spendings involved cost about one million crowns.

If five such people, for whom the total of one million crowns is tolerable joined forces, they could pay good-quality care of the child in its homeland and "the assistance would be much more effective," Kapitan is quoted as saying.

LN writes that Czech parents adopted 500 children from Czech child homes last year. About 100 of them were returned in the same year.

International adoptions of Czech children from child homes were more successful. A mere three cases out of a total of 323 such adoptions in ten years had a bad end, LN writes.

Czech children go abroad if offices do not find suitable families for them in the country. Girls are adopted abroad more often than boys. They accounted for two thirds of all children adopted abroad in the past ten years.

Denmark with more than 40 percent of children led the receiving countries standings, LN writes.
Copyright 2009 by the Czech News Agency (ČTK). All rights reserved.
Copying, dissemination or other publication of this article or parts thereof without the prior written consent of ČTK is expressly forbidden. The Prague Daily Monitor and Monitor CE are not responsible for its content.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Complexities of International Adoption

Following are excerpts from The Baby Business

U.S. couples adopting from abroad often think they're helping vulnerable children. The reality is more complex--and poorly regulated.

 …the fact is that for decades, international adoption has been a Wild West, all but free of meaningful law, regulation, or oversight….Western adoption agencies, seeking to satisfy demand, have poured millions of dollars of adoption fees into underdeveloped countries….too often, induc[ing] the unscrupulous to take children away from families that loved and would have raised them to adulthood.
Corruption skips from one unprepared country to another–until that country gets wise, changes its laws, and corrupt adoptions shift to the
to the next unprepared nation.

American perception and policy about orphans have been distorted by a fundamental myth. Many people believe that millions of healthy babies need Western homes, lest they wither in institutions or die on the streets. This myth is perpetuated, to some extent, by UNICEF’s misleading estimate that the world includes 163 million orphans. It’s not so. Most of UNICEF’s "orphans" are "single" orphans, having lost just one parent; others live with extended family. Most children in need of international adoption are older than five, sick, disabled, or otherwise traumatized. Many Westerners find it counterintuitive, even impossible, that the world isn’t filled with healthy babies needing Western families. It’s certainly true that millions of children are in desperate straits in benighted parts of the world: stacked up in brutal institutions in former Soviet bloc countries; roaming the streets in African cities; scavenging from Latin American trash heaps; enslaved in gravel pits in South Asia. Some of these children do need new homes abroad–because their families have failed, their health needs are extreme, their communities have cast them out, or because of unusual conditions like China’s one-child policy or the Communist legacy of institutionalization (in which workers were encouraged to let their children be raised by the state, in what proved to be horrific institutions). Quite understandably, fewer Westerners are prepared to take in the older, ill, or more challenging children. And so they put their names down for the healthy babies they believe are available. 

International adoption shouldn’t be a way of finding children for families; it should be a way of finding families for children. The Hague Convention offers tools to prevent, police, and prosecute crime and corruption related to international adoption. But children and their families need more than police and prosecutors; they need the teachers, nurses, and social workers who help prevent them from falling into danger in the first place.  

Tens of millions of children and their families, in desperate straits in their home countries, need and deserve assistance so that they can thrive in place. Defrauded birth families from Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, Guatemala, and Ethiopia may never see their children again. But surely the United States can work harder to see that such losses don’t strike other families. 

Full article here; also see experts reactions ot this article

Monday, June 28, 2010

Italy Deals With Interracial Adoption

Racial Preferences in International Adoption

Fascinating report of an Italian high court decision on international adoption (from
The Italian Court of Cassation [official website, in Italian], the country's highest appeals court, ruled Tuesday that couples seeking to adopt children of a certain ethnicity or race "are not suitable for international adoption." The judgment was prompted by the case of a Sicilian couple who declared that they only wanted to adopt a Caucasian child of European descent. The decision cites violations of the Italian Constitution [text, PDF] regarding inalienable rights, equality, and international agreements. The court stated that parents who indicate a preference should not only have their particular application denied by the juvenile court under Article 30 of Law 184/1983 [text, PDF] of the Italian Civil Code, but their capacity to apply for adoption in general should be called in to question [ANSA report, in Italian]. The court also recommended that social services provide discriminatory parents with psychological support to allow them to overcome their aversion to adopting a child "who is not in [their] own image." The decision comes more than a year after the attorney general asked the court to intervene [Apcom report, in Italian] and ban these types of discriminatory requests. Children's rights group Friends of Children [advocacy website, in Italian], which initiated the complaint, said that they have been battling these types of requests for years and welcomed [press release, in Italian] the court's decision.

Ethnic tensions and discrimination are problematic in Italy, where illegal immigration is a growing problem. In January, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] dismissed a suit against Italy [JURIST report] by Palestinian immigrants alleging illegal expulsion from the country. Earlier that month, a group of African immigrants was evacuated [JURIST report] from the town of Rosarno after violence was directed towards migrant farm workers there. In August, rights groups criticized Italy [JURIST report] for returning a suspected terrorist to Tunisia, disregarding obligations imposed by the ECHR. Last July, the Italian Senate approved a law [JURIST report] that would criminalize illegal immigration with a fine of between 5,000 and 10,000 euros and up to six months detention before deportation.

The government of Italy seems to be acting very PC and is rightly trying to eliminate prejudice and discrimination. While well intentioned, there are serious potential dangers in this decision.

It is very likely to create a situation in which those desperate for a child are less forthcoming and honest about their preferences, regarding race and also physical limitations. While on the one hand it sounds vulgar to shop for a child and pick and chose their color, age and is worse to allow children to be adopted by a family who is ill-prepared to parent a child with challenges or a child of a different race.

Interracial adoption means that the family becomes an interracial family. Unless the family is prepared to live in an integrated neighborhood and have their child attend an interracial school, they should not consider such an adoption. Many people, eager to adopt, who define themselves as "color blind" are unaware that being color blind is a result of white privilege and they ignoring the difficulties such a child will have. They are unaware that because race is a non-issue to them, that it will be an issue for their child and are likely ill prepared o del with the challenges a child in that position faces.

If Italy wants to protect children, they might consider a ban in interracial adoptions. But this restrictions seems ill conceived and likely to create more problems by forcing people to lie in order to obtain a sought after child - and one they really don't want rather than be refused any child.

Discrimination violates the basic tenants in the U.S. as well, and we struggle here with interracial adoption. But we cannot force racial tolerance on someone who is not, especially not risking inflicting such deep seated feelings on an innocent child.

Prospective adopters need to be honest with themselves and those helping them adopt. This judgment encourages the opposite and will only harm future families. Let them be honest and state their preferences and limitations so as not to wind up as Torry Hansen did - the woman who sent her Russian adopted some back because he was not as she expected him to be and beyond what she was prepared to deal with.

Honesty is far more important than being politicly correct.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Teen Adoptees Reuniting via Facebook: British Concern Continues

Facebook has changed adoption for ever 

Follow up to previous post on this subject.

Social network sites like Facebook are changing what happens after adoption. At the click of a button, birth parents can contact their children – and vice versa – with far-reaching consequences
Out of the blue ... older adopted children have also been using websites to make contact with their birth parents. Photograph: Gerard Fritz/Getty Images

Adoption is undergoing a revolution. Until recently, it has been a closely managed process, with social workers going to enormous lengths to protect children placed with adoptive families from inappropriate contact with birth relatives. The exponential growth of social networking sites such as Facebook has changed that for ever – and the consequences are far-reaching.

Last month, a collective shiver ran through the homes of adoptive parents after a flurry of newspaper and television reports about birth parents using social networking sites to make unsolicited approaches to children who, years earlier, had been removed and adopted. There is indeed an increasing number of cases of adopted young people being contacted by birth parents through Facebook. There are even more instances in which the approach is initiated by adopted young people themselves, who are curious about their birth families.

"Children tracing their birth families has been the most prevalent – we have had dozens of cases in North Yorkshire," says Joan Hunt, adoption social worker for North Yorkshire county council. Every week she hears from adoptive parents who phone up in panic, having discovered that their adopted child has been having secret contact with birth relatives.

"We have had cases of the adopted child running away from the adopted family to the birth family. Age 14 to 15 seems to be the most vulnerable time. Unfortunately, post-16 tends to go off our radar," she says. "It obviously has big repercussions for everyone involved. What I find heartbreaking is that children are seeking out their birth family and meeting them with no support from those who are closest to them. Equally, birth family members are meeting children without the support that should be in place for them."

Hunt stresses that it is important not to demonise birth parents – many of whom are vulnerable themselves. "When contact has been made, adoptive parents are scared – they feel their privacy has been invaded – but because they are feeling vulnerable, some come down very hard on their kids and try to cut off their social networking activity and remove their mobile phones. I know kids who are grounded for months on end, and parents who have even been into their local library and instructed the librarian not to let their daughter use the computer. Parents can't see a way out of it. But that's not the way to behave with kids of this age.

"We need to try to find a balance. The kids are trying to tell us something when they do this. They are not doing it to be bad. They want to know and they don't have all the answers. Ultimately, these children need us to give them a lot more information about their past."

Adoptive families often turn to social workers for help with the fallout from Facebook. But social workers themselves are finding the whole issue challenging. "When our first case hit us, a tremor went round everybody in the room. Very quickly you realise you can't control it," says one.
"I feel as though, so far, my role has been to run along behind with a mop," says another. Next Thursday, more than 100 social workers from across the UK will attend a conference in London called Facing up to Facebook. Social workers want to learn more about how to advise and support families, assess the risks, protect children and young people and manage the complex situations that often arise from unplanned and unmediated contact.

The response to the conference, organised by the British Association for Adoption & Fostering (Baaf), has been so great that it has had to move to a bigger venue, and a similar conference has already been scheduled to take place in Manchester in October.

When a child is adopted, there is now often an arrangement for continued indirect contact with the birth family, if this is in the child's interests. In a system known as "letterbox contact", letters and sometimes photographs are sent via social services, to protect the family's identity and location. Some adopted children make occasional visits to a birth brother or sister adopted into another family.
Children adopted as babies or toddlers are usually told the first names and surnames of their birth parents. This is an important part of an adopted child's "life story work". With this information, in the age of Facebook, adopted young people may be able to trace their birth parents within minutes, needing no help from parents or social workers.

Today's adopted teenagers are the first to have grown up with Facebook – and at the time of the adoptions, no one could have predicted it would be possible. By making it so easy to find people, social networking sites have blown apart all the carefully thought-out procedures for tracing, contact and reunion in adoption. Reunion would not normally take place until the adopted child is at least 18 and the procedure would involve a great deal of preparation and communication through a third party at first, to protect confidentiality; plus other safeguards for both the adopted person and their birth relatives. Making contact via Facebook circumvents all of this.

For adopted young people, going through this situation in secret and alone can be emotional dynamite – regardless of whether it is the young person, the birth parent or perhaps a birth brother or sister who makes the initial approach.

Adopted teenagers have all the usual difficulties of adolescence – and more. They may have identity issues, feel they don't "fit in" anywhere and rebel against their adoptive parents. Some fantasise about their birth parents and idealise them. Then they may find themselves in immediate and intense contact with birth relatives who are, in effect, strangers, without their adoptive parents or social workers knowing about it.

"We had a teenage girl, who had only seen her father when she was a few months old, make contact with him through Facebook – within two months she had run away to live with him in another town," says one social worker.

There may be a "honeymoon period" when the young person is thrilled to have found their birth family and believes they are the answer to all their problems, but it rarely lasts. Sometimes the relative passes on the young person's details to other family members, who also start phoning and sending messages, making them feel bombarded and pressurised. Young people may discover upsetting facts, be told a misleading version of events, or find that the contact stirs up memories of earlier abuse. And if they haven't told anyone, they have to go through any resulting confusion, anger, distress, rejection or disappointment without support. "I would usually plan reunions with the birth families for young adopted adults with great care. Unpicking contact made through Facebook can be more complex," says Norma Sargent, senior post-adoption practitioner with the Coram Adoption Service in London.
Katie Smith was six months old when she was placed for adoption by her birth parents. At 14, she secretly made contact with her birth family on the internet. She was excited at first but the contact with her birth father and one of her older birth sisters has turned out to be the opposite of what she had hoped.

"My birth sister used to email me every morning, saying I was dirt and I should die," she says. "Once, my birth father said to me on the phone: 'I know everything that's going on in your life. I've got Facebook right here in front of me', and he started reading out things from my mum's profile too. And they have tried to manipulate me, making me believe things that aren't true."

It was three months before her parents found out what had happened. Katie's birth father has been imprisoned at least twice for violence and drug-related offences, and, not surprisingly, Katie's mother, Lorna, was alarmed. "We didn't know if they would turn up here or what they might do to us. We were in a state of panic," she says.

There has been one positive outcome, however. Katie was contacted on Facebook by her older sister, Amy, who – like everyone else in the extended family – had been told that Katie had died. Amy had run away from the family to a refuge at 15 to escape abuse at home. The sisters have met up several times and become friends, talking every night on the phone. Katie has struggled with the impact of two years of damaging contact. A post-adoption support worker has advised measures such as blocking the contact, changing her mobile phone number and contacting the police. But Katie can also be determined, and at the moment she won't do it, even though she recognises that every phone call, every email and text "destroys me a little bit".

Her adoptive family has had to come to terms with what has happened. "When we adopted Katie, there was no talk about continuing contact with the birth family at all – it just wasn't on the agenda," says Lorna. "My view now is that these people are part of Katie's life, and she has to find a way of coping with it. It's really hard for us and Katie, but that's how it's got to be."

The social networking revolution has raised pressing questions for everyone involved in, or touched by, adoption. Some social workers are wondering whether it will fundamentally change the nature of adoption. "There has already been a metamorphosis in terms of training and preparation of adopters and what they should expect," says Hunt. "I think that in future it will also change the nature of the type of person who adopts."

Prospective adopters will have to be prepared to be even more open with their adopted children and to take an empathetic view of the birth parents, she believes. "Otherwise they are not going to make it when the crap hits the fan when the child is 15. We don't always know what will be dished up to us. But the important thing to remember is that we are caring parents and have responsibilities and duties to our children, but we don't own them. And quite often this feeling of ownership really trips us up."
Not all birth relatives represent a risk and the risks need to be carefully assessed in each individual case. In some cases, meeting birth parents can be helpful for a young person and enable him to accept the reality of his birth family and move on.

"Some adoptive parents are defensive – they see the birth parents as bad and say, 'Why would you want to let them see your child?' But the fact is, it doesn't matter what you as parents want. If the child wants it, it will happen and it won't be your decision," says Hunt. "At 15 he can take a bus and meet up with them, and no one will be any the wiser."

An alternative is for adoptive parents to get involved and help their children find answers to their questions. It helps if they can show their children that they are open to talking about the adoption and birth family – that way, if the child needs to know more or if he or she is contacted by a birth relative, he may be more likely to tell them. In some cases, working with adoption support services, they may even be able to support them in eventually meeting birth relatives, if they decide they want to.
"Parents are scared – they don't know how to do it," says Hunt. They are worried about the impact on their own relationship with their child. "But if you are an adopted young person and your parents are open with you and help you find out what you need to know, that has to be the strongest message of all."
Some names have been changed.

UPDATE: Social Worker responds:
"My own view is that the greater openness which social networking is forcing upon adoption is on the whole a good thing. The old secrecy, a relic of the days when it was mostly illegitimate babies who were adopted which had to be kept a guilty secret because of the shame associated with having conceived outside wedlock, is finally being swept away."

Announcing a New Blog!

BJ Adoptee Blogette

B.J. Lifton has made it tot he world of blogging and started off with a bang. A review of Mother and Child, and a blog about Indian surrogacy.

This is a blog you'll want to follow.

For anyone who does not B.J. Lifton - who is a frequent speaker at AAC and other conferences- she is the wise (old) sage of adoptionland.

Betty Jean (BJ) Lifton, PhD, is a writer and adoption counselor, who is one of the leading advocates of adoption reform. She is an authority on the psychology of the adopted child, birth parents, and adoptive parents, as well as the complexity of search and reunion. She has offices in Cambridge, MA and New York City, and also does telephone counseling across the country.

B.J. is best known as the author of Twice Born: Memoirs of an Adopted Daughter, Lost and Found: The Adoption Experience and Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness, as well as many other books on the subject of adoption. She has written about children who have been orphaned or separated from their families by war and the Holocaust ― Children of Vietnam, A Place Called Hiroshima, and The King of Children: The Life and Death of Janusz Korczak

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Father's Name is Donor

First-ever representative, comparative study of adults conceived via sperm donation reveals they struggle with the implications of their conception; report aims to launch international debate on the ethics, meaning, and practice of donor conception

New York, NY—May 31, 2010— The Commission on Parenthood’s Future today released internationally the groundbreaking report My Daddy’s Name is Donor: A New Study of Young Adults Conceived Through Sperm Donation, co-investigated by Elizabeth Marquardt, Norval D. Glenn, and Karen Clark. The report reveals stunning findings about the lives of adult offspring of sperm donation, one of the most common reproductive technologies and one that has been practiced widely in the U.S. and around the world for decades. 

“Many people think that because these young people resulted from wanted pregnancies, how they were conceived doesn’t matter to them,” says co-investigator Elizabeth Marquardt. Co-investigator Karen Clark adds, “But this study reveals that when they are adults, sperm donor offspring can struggle with serious losses from being purposefully denied knowledge of, or a relationship with, their sperm donor biological fathers.” 

In the U.S. alone an estimated 30,000-60,000 children are born each year through sperm donation, yet no entity is required to report on these vital statistics. Until now, no reliable evidence has been available on the experiences of young adults who were conceived in this way. This study is the first-ever representative, comparative attempt to learn about the identity, kinship, well-being, and social justice experiences of these adults.

The study reveals that, on average, young adults conceived through sperm donation are hurting more, are more confused, and feel more isolated from their families. They fare worse than their peers raised by biological parents on important outcomes such as depression, delinquency, and substance abuse. Moreover, the study found that:

• Two-thirds agree, “My sperm donor is half of who I am;” 

• About half are disturbed that money was involved in their conception; 

• More than half say that when they see someone who resembles them they wonder if they
are related; 

• Nearly half say they have feared being attracted to or having sexual relations with someone to whom they are unknowingly related;

• Two-thirds affirm the right of donor offspring to know the truth about their origins; and 

• About half of donor offspring have concerns about or serious objections to donor conception itself, even when parents tell their children the truth.

The report concludes with nineteen recommendations addressed to leaders in the law and health policy and practice; media and popular culture; parents and would-be parents; and civic, social, and religious leaders in the U.S. and around the world. The report aims to launch a national and international debate on the ethics, meaning, and practice of donor conception – starting now.

THE SURVEY was fielded by the research firm Abt SRBI of New York City through a web-based panel that includes more than a million households across the United States, assembling a representative sample of 485 adults between the ages of 18 and 45 years old who said their mother used a sperm donor to conceive them, as well as comparison groups of 562 young adults who were adopted as infants and 563 young adults who were raised by their biological parents.

The 140 page report, with fifteen major findings and a full summary of the data, is available for free download on June 3, 2010 at

CO-INVESTIGATORS Elizabeth Marquardt of the Institute for American Values in New York City and Norval Glenn of the University of Texas at Austin have gained substantial, national media attention for their previous studies on the hook up culture on college campuses (2001) and the inner lives of children of divorce (2005). For this study they are joined by researcher Karen Clark who found out at age 18, after her dad had passed away, that she had been conceived through anonymous sperm donation in 1966. Their bios and photographs are available at

THE COMMISSION ON PARENTHOOD’S FUTURE is an independent, nonpartisan group of scholars and leaders who have come together to investigate the status of parenthood as a legal, ethical, social, and scientific category in contemporary societies and to make recommendations for the future. Commission members convene scholarly conferences, produce books, reports, and public statements, write for popular and scholarly publications, and engage in public speaking. A list of the members may be found at

THE INSTITUTE FOR AMERICAN VALUES, founded in 1988, is a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization devoted to research, publication and public education on issues of civil society. By providing forums for scholarly inquiry and debate, the Institute seeks to bring fresh knowledge to bear on the challenges facing civil society. Through its publications and other educational activities, the Institute seeks to bridge the gap between scholarship and policy making, bringing new information to the attention of policy makers in the government, opinion makers in the media and decision makers in the private sector.  For more information visit

TEL: (212) 246-3942

Friday, June 25, 2010

Warrant Issued for Refusing to Give Away Your Child?!



Hammond Woman Sought In Adoption Scheme

Mother Refused To Turn Over Newborn Baby

Tangipahoa Parish sheriff's deputies say they are looking for a 30-year-old Hammond woman accused of collecting expenses in an adoption arrangement, then refusing to turn over the baby. According to an arrest warrant,
30-year-old Jennifer Harrod allegedly signed a contract Jan. 15 with an adoption agency to give up her unborn child for adoption.
As part of the contract, deputies said she was paid for living and medical expenses until the infant was born.The Advocate reports deputies obtained a warrant for theft by fraud for Harrod's arrest.

According to this bried news story:

1) A contract for a baby in exchange for payment of medical expenses is not illegal

2) A mother choosing to riase her child is

Reminds me of the old backwards skits on MTV...the whole world of adoption is spɹɐʍʞɔɐq puɐ uʍop ǝpısdn (upside down and backwards!)

 Jennifer's MySpace page says she brought her baby home on April 19. Jennifer lists her ethnicity as Native American and identifies herself as a "Proud Parent."

The Anti-Juno Movie!

I reviewed Rodrigo Garcia's adoption-themed film on April 27. Since then all the reviews I have seen have been good ones.
Mark Hinson boos the film, writing what appears to be a movie review, but is more his own personal commentary on adoption:  
If the downbeat drama "Mother and Child" was meant to be a positive message movie about choosing adoption, something got botched in the process. It's the anti-"Juno." This film should do for adoption agencies what "Sideways" did for the merlot business.
Read it. If you haven't wanted to seeit before, you will now! 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pro-Choice Push for Adoption!

Much has been written by myself and others such as Kathryn Joyce about the pr-life push for adoption.

Take a good stiff drink, grit your teeth,  and read "Adoption: A Pro-Choice Option."

The Adoption Access Network - founded by Spence Chapin, one of the early NCFA members - is launching a campaign to"make adoption a subject that patients and social workers alike feel more comfortable broaching in abortion clinics."

"The whole mission of our project is to bring pro-choice standards to the field of adoption. It’s been difficult for the pro-choice movement to make a claim to adoption. Providers are traditionally only as good as the resources they have available and the truth is the adoption resources haven't been very pro-choice. We decided to address this and have created a network of pro-choice adoption agencies around the country.....Most women who choose adoption, their intitial choice is abortion."

Sound familiar? It's right out of the NCFA propaganda manual for social workers, adoption facilitators and health professionals on how to CONVINCE mothers to relinquish!

Since open adoption is simply not available to many women, having an agency like Spence-Chapin, fully supportive of women's and girl's reproductive rights leading the call is critical...Connecting women's health centers that do offer abortion services, with other health providers, and social service agencies in an area is a noble and important goal.

The Adoption Access Network seeks to look more closely at how to promote ethical and human-rights based adoption services for mothers and their children.
Feel free to vent here, but please help TRY to educate by adding your comments at the site of this article.   

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Because adoption is a known risk for suicide, the suicide death of celebrity Marie Osmond was first reported on this blog here, and updated here reporting about Marie performing even before he was laid to rest, and again here about his natural mother being at his funeral.

Now, yet more about this troubled teenaged talented musician and high school senior who had been enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles. One of Michael's close friends said he "was happy" and "loved."

In 2008 Marie left her husband Brian Blosil and the home they had raised their eight children in.

Michael Bryan - NOT Blosil as all earlier reports listed him -  died from "multiple blunt trauma" after her jumped from the eighth-floor balcony of his Los Angeles apartment building on Feb. 26, leaving a suicide note that "outlined his unhappiness with his life."

There were no drugs in his system according to coroner's reports. Michael had been in rehab for substance abuse in 2007.  

The 18-year-old suffered from depression and had attempted suicide three times by trying to hang himself according to one of his best friends, Ruthann Clawson.  Despite this, a family friend told People: "Marie knew Michael was troubled, but I don't think she ever thought he would take his life."

In the months leading up to his death, he legally changed his last name from Blosil to Bryan due to an estranged relationship with his adoptive father. [NY Daily News] People reported that he and his adopted father "had not spoken for months." His death certificate will recognize his name as he chose it: Michael Bryan.

Osmond family members and sources would not discuss in detail the problems between Michael and his father, and Blosil declined to comment to PEOPLE on his son's death.

May his tortued soul rest in peace. He is memoriaized at you can add your loved ones or friends, separaretd by adoption and passed...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Review of "One Small Sacrifice"

Book Review by BLOG guest: by Celeste Billhartz, The Mothers Project

One Small Sacrifice is Trace DeMeyer's memoir about her adoption and search for her first family, and some history about the Indian Adoption Project.
Thousands of Native American children were taken from their families and tribes in North America. The Civilization Fund Act was one of the first federal laws targeting Indian children. Passed by Congress in 1819, it authorized grants to private agencies, primarily churches, to establish programs to "civilize the Indian."

In the 1950's and 1960's the Indian Adoption Project placed hundreds of Native American children with white parents, the first national effort to place an entire child population transracially and transculturally.

Trace is part Indian. Her story is  - at once - heartfelt and sad, encouraging and discouraging. I admire her persistence. I grieve for her losses. I am angry about her separation from her people and I hope she finds more of her first family.

One Small Sacrifice - Paperback (Mar. 19, 2010) by Trace A. DeMeyer
 $15.95 $14.35

ALSO NOTE: Trace De Meyers blogs at American Indian Adoptees

Also reviewed at LuLu Marketplace:

Secret adoptions had a purpose - to break up North American Indian families, to assimilate us, to tame dirty savages. What is known about the Indian Adoption Projects and the aftermath has been pretty much secret...Until now. An unforgettable narrative of an Native adoptee experience plus an expose on the billion dollar adoption industry still operating today. Read this book!


 Trace A. DeMeyer is an award winning journalist who writes for News from Indian Country on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Reservation. She co-founded Obijwe Akling in Wisconsin and she is the former editor of the Pequot Times in Conn.

Her ground-breaking memoir includes tribal representatives' testimony to the U.S. Senate in 1976 concerning the Indian Adoption Project.

Have you read a book you'd like to share with others?  Send you review - or anything you'd like to GUEST BLOG about to me at: MRIben@AdvocatePublications,com

Mothers Who Relinquish are a "Serious Threat"

Just LOVE being callaed a "serious threat", don't you?

Facebook poses risk to adopted children and families, charity warns

Facebook and other social websites pose a serious threat to adopted children, according to a charity.

The British Association for Adoption & Fostering claims that the internet is making it easy for young people to trace their natural parents and other relatives, by searching for their names or photos.
Meanwhile birth parents are able to find babies they gave up for adoption years earlier.
It bypasses the safeguards that are usually put in place, and can distress or upset those who are tracked down, the charity warns.

If children were taken away from violent or abusive parents, they could be placed in “real danger” by their presence online, it is feared.

Meanwhile mothers who kept their pregnancy secret could be put at risk if the children they put up for adoption get in touch with relatives.

David Holmes, Chief Executive of BAAF said: "Social media is here to stay – we can not put the genie back in the bottle. We need to learn how to deal with it in relation to contact issues with birth families.

“We strongly urge adoptive parents to familiarize themselves with social media, so they are able to talk to their children with confidence about all the issues.

"The use of social media needs to be incorporated more generally into understanding the importance of a child's curiosity about their origins, and how this changes over time. Adoption agencies have developed great expertise about this, and social networking needs to be incorporated into that expertise. Adopters and adoption agencies need to become tech-savvy so they can talk with confidence while recognizing the natural curiosity and the need for information.”
BAAF has now published a guide called Facing up to Facebook to help adoptive parents, which suggests that they ensure that their children use the popular website safely by putting privacy settings in place and avoiding using profile photos or posting information about where they live.

The charity is also holding a conference for social workers in London so they can educate families in the risks of internet use.

Under British law, adopted children must wait until they are 18 before they can apply for their original birth certificates although they can sometimes maintain contact with their birth family, directly or through intermediaries.

Since 2005, birth relatives including parents have had the legal right to ask an adoption agency to let their adopted children that they want to get in touch.

I found my daughter in 1979 or 1980. No computer! You cannot stop those separated by adoption from reuniting, much as laws try to impede the process....a process as natural s anyone else searching for their genealogy.

We are not a threat and on behalf of the hundreds and hundreds loving mothers who were (and continue to be) pressured to relinquish because it is the loving, unselfish thing to do to provide their child a better life I highly resent being called a "serious treat."

When I located my daughter's new identity I had the courtesy to approach her adoptive parents first as she was not yet 18.

The vast majority of reunions however take place between ADULTS.

There are FAR, FAR greater risks out there in the world than assuming that one's birth parent is violent. Putting that fear in the head of children is risky as it makes them fear they may inherited something awful. What about children of divorce, where one of the parents lost custody because of abuse? Are the specially protected?

If a parent was abusive - get a restraining order preventing contact! Don't pre-judge ALL mothers!

The U.S. and EU nations need to get out of people's personal lives! Adopted people are no different form non-adopted and need no special protection. There are sufficient laws to protect us all from harassment or stalking.

Don't label loving. caring mothers as criminals.

How can you both promote adoption for expectant mothers and treat them as a "serious threat" to their own child?

Where is RightTo Life fighting this as causing more abortions?

Russian Adoptee Murdered Amidst Russian-American Adoption Talks

Boy's Murder Won't Derail Adoption Treaty
21 June 2010
By Alexandra Odynova

The stabbing death of an 8-year-old adopted Russian boy in the United States will "add determination" to efforts to quickly reach a U.S.-Russian agreement on adoptions, the Foreign Ministry said.

The body of Kirill Kazakov, named Jackson Attuso by his adoptive parents, was found stabbed multiple times with his throat slit after he went biking with his parents and twin brother in a park on June 11 in St. Francisville, Louisiana, the ministry said Friday.

The suspected killer arrested by police was identified as high school student Trevor Reese, 16. Local news reports said Reese turned himself in shortly after the apparently random killing.

News of the boy's death surfaced as negotiators put the last touches on the adoption agreement, which Moscow demanded after a U.S. mother sent her 7-year-old adopted Russian son back to Russia unaccompanied on a plane in April.

"Against the backdrop of the recent tragic incidents involving Russian children adopted in the U.S., [Kazakov's death] only adds determination in getting the Americans to restore order to adoptions, primarily through the soonest possible conclusion of an appropriate bilateral agreement," Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said in a statement.

Before April, Moscow had raised concerns about the deaths of 17 Russian children at the hands of their adopted parents over the past 15 years.

Nesterenko complained that U.S. authorities had failed to notify Russia about Kazakov's death promptly.

"We noticed that, contrary to the rules in force, our diplomatic missions were not formally informed about the death of Kirill Kazakov, who remained a Russian national after the adoption by the American family," he said.

He said the boy's death was not related to domestic violence and called for the killer to be brought to justice.

A U.S. judge has ruled that Reese, who turns 17 on July 31, can be tried as an adult for first-degree murder but cannot be sentenced to the death penalty because of his young age, The Associated Press reported.

West Feliciana Parish Sheriff Austin Daniel told local WAFB television that Reese made no attempt to escape and approached a carpenter in the neighborhood where he lived and told him to call 911 because he had stabbed a child.

Police were trying to identify a possible motivation for the killing.

The boy's parents had adopted him, his twin brother and a third Russian boy.

Children's ombudsman Pavel Astakhov, who is helping negotiate the new U.S.-Russian agreement on adoptions, said the parents might be liable for negligence. "It is clear that this tragedy was possible only because of a lack of parental control over the adopted child," Astakhov said, RIA-Novosti reported.

A final round of talks on the adoption agreement is expected to be held in September, and a treaty might be ratified by the State Duma by the end of the year, an unidentified Russian negotiator told Itar-Tass on Friday.

U.S. families have adopted more than 14,000 children from Russia over the past five years, including 1,500 last year.

UPDATE: “This kid [Trevor Reese] has never been in trouble,” said Sheriff Austin Daniels. “He’s not on any medication. He’s had no mental problems [and is] honor student at school – 4.0 average. I just can’t explain. Neither can anyone else at this point.” Trevor’s attorney, Lewis Unglesby, said whether or not Trevor committed the crime is not the question. “I don’t think there’s any body that’s disputing that, but I don’t know that the Trevor Reese that existed last week is the young man that was out there yesterday,” said Unglesby. “I think we’re dealing with some very severe changes.” A judge has ruled that Trevor, who will be 17 next month, will stand trial as an adult.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Associated Press S-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s the Meaning of Orphan to New Lengths

"Some Haitian children orphaned twice: Haitian government has frozen most international adoptions"
focuses with great sympathy on a volunteer who became attached to a child in a Haitian hospital and decided she wantd to take him home to Canada.

While the facts of the Haitian adoption ban are reported as well as the reasons for it, they seem be quite mean interspersed as they are within a human interest story focusing on a 37-year-old woman whose mother flies to Haiti to meet her "grandson" before the woman ever applied to adopt any child or discovered whether the child she decided she wanted was an orphan or had family.

When has AP become so editorialized in "reporting" the news?  How can a child be labelled an  "orphan" before knowing anything about his parents or extended family, let alone consider him "twice orphaned" when no adoption was ever begun!

Even a volunteer working in a pound could not simply decide to keep a cute kitten or puppy without first being sure it did not have a an owner looking for him!

The Chicago Press carried the story without crediting AP. At that site you can comment.  Or you'll likely  find it in other newspapers.

UPDATE 6/21/10: Did I mention that puppy adoptions are more carefully screened? Here's the proof:
BILLINGS - A state judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by two women who said they were snubbed by a rescue group when they sought to adopt dogs seized in an animal cruelty case.
District Judge Gregory Todd granted a motion for summary judgment Thursday in thelawsuit filed by Penny Ronning and Kelly Dennehy against Yellowstone County and National English Shepherd Rescue.

Ronning and Dennehy had volunteered to help care for 200 English shepherd dogs that were seized from Linda Kapsa of Ballantine in late 2008.

The lawsuit argued that when Kapsa entered a no-contest plea, it was with the understanding that volunteers would be given preference when the dogs were adopted out.

The NESR denied Ronning's application to adopt four dogs. The group said one was overly dominant and another overly submissive and that Ronning had no experience handling dogs with those behavioral problems.

Imagine that! You need special experience to adopt a special needs dogs - but any fool, like Torry Hanson - can get a special needs kid!

The group offered Ronning another dog, but she turned it down.

After the overly dominant dog was adopted, Dennehy applied to adopt that dog and was denied. Todd's order said that if Dennehy had applied before the dog was adopted, the NESR would have given her preferential consideration, but most likely would not have allowed her to take it because of her lack of experience with overly dominant dogs.

Dennehy also turned down the offer of another dog.

Ronning, Dennehy and several other volunteers still have a lawsuit pending against the county, the NESR and several county employees and other volunteers accusing them of intimidation, slander, libel, infliction of emotional distress, deceit and negligent hiring and training of employees.

Happy Fathers' Day... all who have not yet met their fathers and...

Special Fathers' Day wishes to fathers longing to know theri child or wnting to be a father to their child and thwarted through no fault of theirs.

Fathers are treated most despicably in adoption practice. 

I have written about issues specific to fathers in The Stork Market and the following blog posts:

Fathers Rights

Fathers Rights Squashed

LDS & the State of Utah Versus Fathers' Rights

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Help These Children Stay With Their Grandmas and Grandpas

One Midland couple is fighting to free their three grandchildren - two girls and a boy -  from the Florida foster care system, but they’ve been told their house just isn’t big enough. They have been fighting this for more than a year as the kids have been shuffled from one foster home to another with at least one Florida foster home the children were living being investigated for alleged child abuse involving her youngest grandson.

The Spegel's have met every adoption requirement, except for one -- their home does not have enough bedrooms for their three grandchildren.

The children already lost both their parents from whom they were taken because of drug abuse. FAMILY should not be held to the same requirements as strangers on material issues such this.
Transfer to grandparents custody should be automatic as is transfer between parents in a divorce. Absence any of them being unfit, it's a done deal. Had the chidlren given their grandparents the chidlren prior tot hem being tken into state custody, no one would count bedrooms and consider that reason to take the kids away.

But Mary and Dan didn't even know they had three grandchildren, but Mary said she didn't think twice about rescuing them from the Florida foster care system. She has only met the oldest child.
"It's just what you do," she said.

So in order to adopt them, Dan and Mary Spegel have to put an addition on their house.After TV5’s original story aired, the Spegal family has been flooded with phone calls from contractors, plumbers and volunteers wishing to lend a helping hand.

The family has until June 29 to finish the work or their grandchildren could be adopted by someone else.

Anyone wishing to make a cash or check donation can do so by calling 989-837-9757 or making them payable to Caregiving Network, and mailing them to 607 Gordon Street, Midland, Mich. 48640.  "Spegel Adoption" must be designated on all donations to the Caregiving Network. All donations are tax deductible. 

Slideshow: Family’s Home Begins To Take Shape

Video Newscast

And shame on any state for putting such pressure on a family!  It's the size of thir heart not their house that matters!  Tear apart of loving, caring family to provide babies for strangers??  Why? For federal funds for the state?


Another set of grandparents has contacted me, after reading about this, with very similar  circumstances.

Marcie Keithley-Roth and her husband also have three grandchildren also in Florida. They are trying for custody of two of the three as there are multiple fathers and grandparents involved.

To complicate matters, the grandkids are Marcie and her and her husband Roger's via the daughter, Jesse, they relinquished for adoption.

Jesse was relinquished 1978. She found her father 200. Roger and Marcie married 2008 and were  reunited as a family on Fathers Day 2008.

After the reunion, documented here, their daughter lived with them for a year before returning to Florida.

Jesse had a FAR less ideal life via adoption: emotional abuse that led her to drugs and onto welfare.  
her adoptive mother convinced her to place two babies for adoption.  CPS has taken the remaining 3 kids and they are in foster care.

Marcie lives in Indiana and asks if anyone has ever heard of birth grandparents obtaining custody?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Incremental Legislation

One of the biggest areas of contention among and between adoption reformers is that while we all favor unrestricted access of adoptees to their own original birth certificate - with no vetoes or other give-backs to placate an alleged right of privacy of birth parents - we are often faced with a decsion of whether to allow a bill go through that is less than perfect or pul it and wait for perfection.

Those who favor accepting than perfection under certain circumstances, believe that they can continue to campaign to make it better.

Others argue that once a law is passed that's it. It will never be changed to go further.

That argument is as baseless as the argument that restoring adoptees right will increase abortions.

Speaking of abortion, it's one of the prime examples of incremental legislation.
"In a study conducted by Michael J. New, assistant professor of political science at the University of Alabama, abortion rates among minor girls aged 13-17 dropped 23% when laws limiting access to Medicaid funding were introduced. Parental notification laws caused a 16% drop in abortion rates among the same age group.

"Published by the Heritage Foundation, the study examines the impact of four types of incremental pro-life legislation on minor abortion rates: parental involvement requirements, restrictions on Medicaid funding, informed consent laws, and bans on partial-birth abortion." See full study here.
Smoking bans

In 1975, the US state of Minnesota enacted the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act, making it the first state to ban smoking in most public spaces.

At first, restaurants were required to have No Smoking sections, and bars were exempt from the Act. As of 1 October 2007, Minnesota enacted a ban on smoking in all restaurants and bars statewide, called the Freedom to Breathe Act of 2007.

New York, New Jersey and other states have passed similar laws in similar order, one step at a time.

As of October 2009, according to the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation, 71% of the U.S. population lives under a ban on smoking in "workplaces, and/or restaurants, and/or bars, by either a state, commonwealth, or local law," though only 41.2% live under bans in all workplaces and restaurants and bars. A smoking ban (either state, county, or local) has been enacted covering all bars and restaurants in each of the 60 most populated cities in the United States except these 16: Arlington, Atlanta, Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Memphis, Miami, Las Vegas, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Tampa, Tulsa, and Virginia Beach.

As of May 2010, 26 states have enacted statewide bans on smoking in all enclosed public places, including bars and restaurants: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas (effective July 1, 2010), Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin (effective July 5, 2010). Source and exceptions here.

Likewise sales of cigarettes to minors was enacted in many states prior to the federal government banning  television advertising for cigarettes in 1970.  In November 2003, tobacco companies and magazine publishers agreed to cease the placement of advertisements in school library editions of four magazines with a large group of young readers.

Age restrictions for sale of cigarettes was fought as unconstitutional initially but an age limit of 18 exists in all  U.S.states since 1994.

Civil Rights

Sen. Edward Kennedy, "over the course of almost a half-century in the Senate, Kennedy would lead the fight for enactment of a truly astonishing list of civil rights laws" beginning in1965 with the abolition of the poll tax. "He did not always accomplish what he wanted on the first try, often accepting an incremental step forward, then returning to finish the job years or even decades later."  Source.
Timelines of all civil rights legislation is available here, here, here, and here.

I am not suggesting that we intentionally attempt to create equality for adoptees one step at a time, or that we introduce or easily accept compromises...I am merely deconstructing the hyperbolic argument that it is impossible for it to occur that way.

We need to recognize that in some situations it will be a choice between no adoptees getting any rights for another generation or allowing the vast majority to get it now and continue to work to  remove restrictions.

The U.S. is a complex mix of states and people with a variety of strongly held beliefs on abortion, gay rights, gun rights, etc. We cannot expect a one size fit all solution will work in Tennessee and in California or New York. What flies in Indiana may not work in Texas. 

NJ is a prime example. Grassroots volunteers have seen legislation get as far as committee and be killed for thirty years. Opposition there is stronger than elsewhere with the ACLU and the bar Association openly and vocally opposing along with the cast of regulars: Catholic Charities, Right to Life, and NCFA. With such strong and long lasting opposition that legislators have bought hook line and sinker, compromise that leaves both sides less than happy is the only way any bill is ever goign to get passed. And even with all the comprises it may nor, as we have a pro-life republican Governor and no money in the budget for the nonsense the bill calls for, e.g. contact preferences and medical forms to be completed by those mothers not wanting contact or to be named within  12-month time period they have to request it...and also collecting and reporting data.

If you're gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right

You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em

Or: You can't always get what you want, but if you try real hard, you sometimes get most of it...

Compromise is the name of the game in politics and law. Anytime people disagree to the point the issue winds up being settled in court, neither party will be fully satisfied with the judge's decision because it it will be a compromise.

We need to know that incremental legislation IS possible! It happens all the time especially with major social changes and issues which have strong lobbies opposing them.

I hope you will support the less than perfect bill in NJ by writing to Governor Christie.

In less than 250 words, tell him you hope he signs the Adoptees' Birthright Bill (SCS799/1399) into law.  

In the first sentence, identify your interest/involvement in adoption and mention the name of the bill or the number. Or both. 

In another paragraph, give ONE reason you want it to become law and feel free to state that you feel it does not go far enough but is a STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION toward unrestricted equality for adoptees.

In your last sentence or paragraph, state the urgency of passing this bill now before any more adoptees and birth family members go to their graves not knowing.  Be sure to include your name and full mailing address.

Preferably send it by snail mail to:
Governor Chris Christie, P.O. Box 001The State House, Trenton, NJ 08625-0001
send it electronically:
Subject: children and families
Sub-topic: adoption and foster care On behalf of adoptees and birth parents thank you for lending your support.

Orthodox Jewish Attitudes Toward Adoption

We hear from time to time about evangelical Christian attitudes in regard to adoption...their desire to "save" the children of thr world and make converts. But little is ever written about orthodox Jewish adopters.

This blog gives you a glimpse into the mindset of this sect which, like some evangelical Christians,   want total conversion and have limited tolerance and lack of respect for their adopted child's heritage.

If you read the comments, you will learn that conversion to Judaism is far more complicated - physically and emotionally - than conversion to Christianity. It includes food restrictions that might conflict with inborn life-threatening allergies and even circumcision.

"You can perfectly well teach a child Chinese culture without tripping up on the concept of “religion” as defined in Judaism. Confucianism is often called a ‘religion,’ but has no real deity, and is more of an ethnical/philosophical guide to life. You can “de-religionize” Taoism pretty easily. Instead of ancestor veneration, tell your child about how much Chinese people respect their parents and grandparents etc."

"reading some articles on the halacha [Jewish law], its actually FAVORABLE to adopt a non Jewish child and convert over a Jewish child and this is why: the lineage of a Jewish child can be in doubt…also, if the parents of the Jewish child weren’t properly divorced, then this child would be consider a Mamzer and not able to marry (or something like that). it is also considered noble to raise an orphaned child as one’s own." [Note mamzer is technically a child of adultery but has come to be used to mean bastard. Not sure how this perosn means it.]

"It’s a big tzchus to adopt a child, even more so for making him or her Jewish. I’ve been told this by several top rabbaim." [I could not find a translation for tzchus - she is either saying it's a big deal or a good deal which would be a mitzvah]
"Healthy, Jewish infants don’t come up very often and for reasons mentioned in this thread, it’s better to adopt a non-Jewish child."
About the circumcision of a two-year newly transplanted to America child:
"My son was 2 when we brought him home from Romania. YES one of the first things we did was Milah. With a Mohel and doctors in a hospital operating room!! traumatic? I was more traumatised then him. It was a non-issue. PLEASE"
From Stars of David, a Jewish pro-adopion website:

For the child to be considered Jewish, he or she must be formally converted. Such a conversion is an absolute requirement of Jewish law, and dispensing with it can have serious consequences later in life, for the child may reach Bar Mitzvah age, want to marry or join a synagogue, only to be told by a rabbi that he or she is not really Jewish. The ceremony is simple, and should be done as early as possible.
The conversion consists of two parts, circumcision (milah) and immersion (tevilah). If possible, a boy should be circumcised on the eighth day (but not on the Sabbath or on a Festival) with a slight change in blessings. The blessing reads, "Praised are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to circumcise proselytes."

Immersion is a requirement for both boys and girls. The immersion is done in a "mikvah," or Jewish ritual bath. Usually the immersion takes place as soon as the infant is old enough so that there is no physical danger. Six months is the age preferred by many rabbis. Yet it is permitted any time until "Bar" or "Bat Mitzvah."
The immersion must take place before a "beit din" of three rabbis. The child should be naked and held in such a way that the water touches every part of the body. The child is quickly immersed, and two blessings are recited by the rabbi (or by the child, if old enough). The child is then immersed once more.
(Some rabbis do it twice more.)
The two blessings recited at the mikvah are: "Praised are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us on the immersion." Praised are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us and allowed us to reach this season." Following the immersion and after the child is dressed, he or she is given a Hebrew name and welcomed into the Jewish community with a special prayer.
Bringing an adopted child to the "mikvah" for a conversion is a happy event, worthy of celebration. Many couples invite other members of the family, take pictures, and celebrate with refreshments at home or at a favorite restaurant. As the child grows up, pictures and memories can be shared of the day the child was welcomed into the Jewish community.
This all cuts close to home for me. While I am not at all religious and none of my immediate family is, I have one orthodox cousin who also happens to be the only family member who has adopted!  I have not spoken to her in many years so i forget what country her kids were imported from. last I heard they are adults and are being married with the assistance of a match maker!

Another issue which has always concerned me is that Jews are obligated to say special prayers for their close relatives such as parents who have passed.  But of course an adoptee most often ha sno way of knowing if his birth parents ar dead or alive or when they pass.  More on this issue at this link.

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