Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why Some Say: ADOPTION SUCKS! And Why Some Are Anti-Adoption

To believe that adoption sucks or to be anti-adoption is NOT  an indictment of anyone who has been adopted, has placed or lost a child for adoption, or has adopted. It is an indictment of the current American (and Western European) PRACTICE of adoption, not the people.  

With thanks for Amanda's 11/30 comment at Grown in My Heart blog post"Adoption Sucks" which inspired this post.
“Regrettably, in many cases, the emphasis has changed from the desire to provide a needy child with a home, to that of providing a needy parent with a child. As a result, a whole industry has grown, generating millions of dollars of revenues each year . . .” 
The Special Rapporteur, United Nations, Commission on Human Rights, 2003
This and other shirts available CafePress/AdoptionTruth.

The U.N. quote above expresses succinctly the concern that brings many to state that adoption "sucks."

Adoption is assumed to "save" or "rescue" children in need. But the truth is vastly different picture from this mythical, romanticized view of adoption.

In the U.S. child adoption is. for the most part, privatized. This means that adoption agencies are businesses just as are insurance agencies or real estate agencies. Even non-profit adoption agencies have salaries and other expenses to cover to remain in business. And unlike the insurance or real estate industries, adoption has no overseeing regulatory agency that regulates the interstate and inter-country redistribution of children for fees. By many standards, that sucks!

All adoption fees are paid by those who want children. They are the only client who all adoption is geared to serve.  NOT children! The children are, unfortunately, just the commodity, and that REALLY sucks.  Making it even worse, is that demand for babies and very young, healthy children feeds corruption, coercion, exploitation, child trafficking, stealing and kidnapping of children....practices which are abhorrent by any standard of suckiness!

There is NOT a "supply" of unwanted baby girls in China waiting to be gobbled up by Westerners!
Just a few of the articles you can find if you google the words: adoption stolen China can be found here, here, and here.

All of this push to obtain babies and young, healthy children to meet a demand IGNORES the children adoption ALLEGES to serve: children in foster care who cannot be reunified with their families, and children in orphanages worldwide...a small percentage (approximately 10%) of whom do not have a parent or extended family and thus could be adopted.

The children who are "languishing" in orphanages - just like those in foster care - are routinely ignored just as is illustrated in the book The Brotherhood of Joseph by Brooks Hansen illustrates a couple ignoring toddler in a Russian orphanage while they await the special delivery of a still wet from birth newborn!  

"BUT," say the pro-adoptionists...."But what about children who are abused or neglected?  Are you then suggesting we leave them in harm's way?"

Absolutely not!  But let us recognize these facts:
  • Adoption does not in any way eliminate or even reduce child maltreatment.
  • Adoption does nothing to reduce or eliminate substance abuse of expectant mothers or parents.
  • Adoption does nothing to eliminate young - even "underage" girls from becoming impregnated.
  • Adoption does not reduce or eliminate poverty or babies born to single mothers who cannot care for them....
Children who require protective services receive them.That is separate from adoption which generally
ignores children who have been removed from danger, because they are generally older, sibling groups and often non-white. people prefer adopting internationally because they incorrectly believe that will rule out "special needs" (while, ironically, others are fighting to have all international children adopted from institutions declared special needs in order to help adopters with payment for medical and educational needs). Intercountry adoptions are also preferred to avoid any possibility of "interference" (read any future contact, reunion with or knowledge of) original families.

Add to this the fact that every child adopted in the US - even those adopted into so-called "open adoptions" - are issued a falsified birth certificate that indicates that they were "born to" their adopters. This state committed fraud allows for adoptive parents to chose never to tell their children they are adopted. It also prevents any adopted person - in 44 our of 50 states - from ever being allowed to see their won original and true birth certificate...a discrimination cast only upon adopted persons for their entire life.

So...what is so special about adoption? Why does it warrant a sacrosanct status of worship casting criticism into the realm of disgruntled bitterness.

Am I suggesting that children remain in foster care where they are often shuffled about and then left with nothing at age 18?  NO, I am not!  There are other solutions. We need not chose between the devil and deep blue sea.  We need more than reform. We need to reinvent adoption; rebuild it from the bottom up.

REPEAL all laws that seal original birth certificates and issue false ones!

Just repeal these draconian laws! Do not seek new complicated laws that maintain adopted-separated persons as second class persons who require special laws that apply only to them and treat them as suspect of being a danger to themselves or others. Repeal them and return adoption to the way it was prior to the 1940s.  Simple adoption that did not try to replicate children "born again" by the stroke of a pen.

Create federal oversight to create and regulate standards that would protect families faced with losing children to adoption such as:
  • providing them independent, impartial counseling and legal counsel paid from from a pool of adopters fees, not by specific people vying for their child
  • stop predatory pre-birth matching and payments of expectant mother's housing and medical expenses by prospective adopters
  • ample time to consider adoption AFTER the birth of one's child and ample time to reverse that decsion
  • protection of father's rights by repeal of PTRs
  • repeal of "Safe havens" which legalize abandonment and dissalow any option counseling
More here. 

We need to stop our defensiveness of adoption because we know "lovely" people who have adopted. remember, it is not about the individuals, it is the system! We need to stop ignoring critics as "nutters" or extremists and LISTEN! 

Stop the knee-jerk defending of adoption that is based on "rescue" myth and recognize that...the emphasis has changed from the desire to provide a needy child with a home, to that of providing a needy parent with a child. As a result, a whole industry has grown, generating millions of dollars of revenues each year . . . which serves the needs of those paying for it all and NOT the children who need assistance. And that sucks! 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The gross UNDER-Regulation of American Adoptions

Adoption process in Oklahoma merits review

Published: November 28, 2010

A 2006 grand jury report revealing a pay-to-play adoption system came as a shock to many Oklahomans but not so much to those who knew the system best. Babies were all but traded for cars, televisions and vacations. [Not "traded" - BOUGHT, as prospective adopters were allowed to wine and dine expectant mothers in the hope of coercing them out of their babies. The "expenses" loophole allows for the intent of pre-birth contracts to be all but destroyed.]

In the years since, the Legislature has worked to better regulate the adoption process. Last year, measures requiring public reporting of adoption expenses, specifying where adoptions must be finalized, and ensuring only one prospective adoptive family at a time be billed for a birth mother’s expenses became law. Those were good and necessary changes. [But don't stop the practice all together!]

But adoption reform needn’t be a hit-and-run endeavor. It should be a continual process to make sure those involved aren’t simply finding new ways to game the system and needlessly putting children at risk.

A legislative task force is considering more regulation. One idea is to require agencies and attorneys to report private adoptions. Under existing law, only adoptions through the Department of Human Services are tracked.  [!]

“Before, the confidential nature of the process allowed these bad practices to creep in and become part of how adoptions were done by some attorneys and judges,” said Rep. Jason Nelson, co-chairman of the task force. “It’s part of the overall goal here to give everybody confidence that our adoption process in Oklahoma is not corrupt and to make adoption a more attractive option in Oklahoma than abortion.”  [Then stop promoting it, and let women make an informed decsion. And stop letting aps pay their 'expenses."

The adoption process can be fragile and is clearly emotional for all involved. All the more reason to make sure the system is above reproach.

And for goodness sake - shouldn't EVERY state report private adoptions?!   

How can the US promote and encourage this back alley slip shod secretive practice that only protects the buyers and allows them to coerce mothers?!?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Child Laundering and the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption

David Smolin has recently posted to his SelectedWorks:

Child Laundering and the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption:  The Future and Past of Intercountry Adoption

This is the final, updated and published version of the draft version previously available on this site.  The article citation is 48 University of Louisville Law Review 441 (2010).

The United States ratification of the 1993 Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption became effective April 1, 2008, amidst a context of declining numbers of intercountry adoptions and increasing media attention to corruption and child trafficking in the intercountry adoption system. There is a need to sort out the connections between these events, and chart a course for the future. This article includes an extensive discussion of the work of preparation of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. The article demonstrates that concerns with child trafficking in the intercountry adoption system were a central impetus to the creation of the Convention. The article also examines the demographics of adoption, particularly reviewing the tripling of interocuntry adoptions to the United States that occurred from 1993 to 2004, and the subsequent decline. The article seeks to establish whether the Hague Convention is connected to either the rise or subsequent decline of intercou
ntry adoptions. Finally, the article looks to the future, and describes the kinds of reforms that would be necessary to make the intercountry adoption system meet the goals of the Hague Convention.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Jan 18, 2011 - NYC EVENT!

The Adoption Institute will hold an exciting, unusual event on Jan. 18, 2011 to heighten public, media and policymaker awareness about the need to restore adopted adults’ right to access their original birth certificates.

SPECIAL ATTRACTION: The event will feature the official world premier of “I’m Legit” by Darryl (DMC) McDaniels and Zara Philips, an exceptional and moving music video that vividly brings to life the issue we’ll be focusing on that day.

More details will be coming your way soon, along with an e-vite so that you can RSVP. Meanwhile, please mark your calendars, plan to attend if you can – and forward this save-the-date email to interested friends, colleagues, etc.

Here are the essentials:

WHO: Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, Darryl McDaniels, prominent activists and scholars, surprise guests

WHAT: Panel presentation, Q&A and discussion of next steps based on the Institute’s “For the Records” reports

WHEN: From 9:30 a.m. until noon on Tuesday, January 18, 2011; please note: light refreshments will be served

WHERE: The Hard Rock Café in Times Square, at 1501 Broadway, New York, NY 10036 (thank you Hard Rock!!!)

WHY: We believe greater knowledge/advocacy will help achieve equal rights, human dignity and social justice

The Adoption Institute is committed to this cause, and we will work collaboratively with everyone who wants to make this event (and opening records!) a success. We’re still in the planning stages, so please send me a message if you have questions or input. Meanwhile, have a wonderful, delicious holiday with your families and friends. Adam.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Truth in Adoption Awareness: Day Twenty One

In 10 Things Adoption Agencies Won't Say Nev Moore writes: "Child "protection" is one of the biggest businesses in the country."

Michele Marchetti, writing for SmartMoney magazine, writes Adoption Bonuses: The Money Behind the Madness: DSS and affiliates rewarded for breaking up families saying “Just because we place children doesn’t mean we’re good people.”
Two good reads, with thanks to my friend, OneAngryMom.blogspot.com

Young Moms and Coercion in Adoption: An Inside First Person Report

Rachel is a very strong, brave, courageous survivor who describes herself as:
I am… a mother, a birth mother, an adoptee, a foster care alumni… I have experienced child abuse (physical, mental, emotional, and sexual), incest (by multiple family members), rape (multiple friends of the family), date rape (several years before I turned 18, which resulted in a pregnancy and subsequent adoption), child prostitution, domestic abuse, and so much more. I have experienced, I have survived, and now I share my story in the hopes that other children don’t have to go through the living hell that I had to go through.
Rachel blogs at GrowingUpLost,wordpress.com and has chosen this, the day after National Adoption Day to reveal her own personal experience into the coercion of young mothers in adoption.  Her story is riveting. She tells of her experience as an underage run-away from foster care who discovers she is pregnant after being raped. It is a story not to be mossed, and one unfortunately many of have heard before...or have lived!

With her newborn having been flown to a NICU unit in critical care, she is repeatedly pressured and then lied to and coerced out of her child!

Her story bears some similarities to this excerpt from pages 66-69 in THE STORK MARKET and shows that it doesn't just happen to very young mothers:
In February 2006 Maxine Buckmeier, an attorney who represents adoptive parents, was found to have been bringing young, often homeless, pregnant women across state lines on her clients’ behalf. Buckmeier set expectant mothers up in apartments paid for by prospective adopters, in an operation no different from those that had elicited concern in Louisiana.
Prospective adopters paid all expenses not covered by Medicare and food stamps. Buckmeier used her law degree to navigate the law, having prospective adoptive parents purchase Wal-Mart debit cards and pay the rent to the apartment complex, so no cash was transferred directly from prospective adopters to expectant mothers.
As of this writing, no charges have been brought against Buckmeier who claims, “the women relocated to Sioux City sometimes plan[ned] to stay in Iowa after the birth and only leave if, and when, they choose.” But, according to reports, payments ended when an expectant mother “backs out of the plan.”
Christine Kilmer was one of two women who wound up in a homeless shelter in Iowa after being kicked out of the apartment Buckmeier provided. Kilmer responded to an ad for Laurie Aragon’s Adoption Insight in a free shoppers’ guide in Florida, where she was living, and was relocated to the Sioux City apartment complex.
When Kilmer gave birth, she decided to parent her daughter. Kilmer claims that Buckmeier called every day, urging her to change her mind. Four days after giv-ing birth, Kilmer was told to vacate her apartment. The prospective adopters confirmed that she had been told that they would no longer pay her expenses.
Almost immediately, the Iowa Department of Hu-man Services (DHS) stopped Kilmer from taking her newborn out of the hospital. A few days later, DHS took custody of Kilmer’s 4-year-old daughter who had been living with her in the homeless shelter. According to a transcript of the hearing obtained by the Quad City Times’ Des Moines Bureau, a nurse in the hospital where Kilmer delivered testified that she had called DHS because she “had gotten a call from Maxine Buckmeier to say that (Kilmer) had chosen to keep the baby, which is her right, but she wanted to let us know that she was homeless.”
The nurse testified that Buckmeier’s phone call led her to speak to Kilmer, a conversation that heightened the nurse’s concerns because Kilmer was talking about driving her family across the country to stay with relatives. The nurse then called DHS.
Hospital employees claim that Buckmeier, who did not testify at the hearing, told them that the adoption was off and simply answered their questions. Buckmeier denies playing a role in the DHS referral. “The social workers asked me, ‘What is her plan?’ And I said, ‘You’ll have to ask Chris.’ Then the social workers asked, ‘Will she go back to the same apartment?’ and I said, ‘Well, she’ll have to pay the rent. That was it,’” Buckmeier said.
As of this writing, both of Kilmer’s children remain in foster care, seemingly for their mother’s “offense” of considering, and then rejecting adoption, and/or for be-ing poor and homeless. Patsy Scallions, a director at the Sioux City Gospel Mission Women’s and Children’s Shelter, said she knows of at least three women from the Sioux City apartment complex where Buckmeier houses pregnant women who “wound up on the streets after de-ciding not to proceed with adoptions.” At least two of the women, she said, wound up losing their babies any-way, because they were homeless.
Adoption Insight (also operating as Adoption Wise), which placed the ad that Kilmer responded to, is owned and operated by Laurie Aragon. Aragon is an adoptive parent and certified nursing assistant who opened Adop-tion Wise as a nonprofit adoption consultancy in 1999, but changed it to a for-profit within six months.
Aragon, a self-proclaimed “adoption facilitator,” has headquarters in Holtsville, California, a state that allows adoption facilitators to operate without any restrictions. However, she advertises in Florida, soliciting expectant mothers, (where Kilmer saw her ad) and sends mothers to Iowa, one of a dozen states that has no regulations limiting adoption advertising or the use of facilitators. Fraud complaints in California are filed with the district attorney in the company’s home county. But conveniently for Aragon, in rural counties, such as the one in which Holtville is located, the district attorney only intervenes after the Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau have said that a complaint has merit.
Gail Betts, an associate of Aragon’s Adoption In-sight, speaking on their behalf, told The [Iowa] Register: Some things are “trade secrets. I’m not going to tell you everything we do. You are not a paying customer.” She said services are provided by the agency based on what individual clients are willing to pay.
“We have no authority and no responsibility over [adoption facilitators] or their activities whatsoever,” said Michael Weston, of California Department of Social Services, which licenses adoption agencies.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

In Loving Memory of Betty Jean Lifton

Betty Jean Lifton - BJ - a great lady and a tireless advocate of adoption reform joins Annette Baran...two legends lost this year...and they are both with Jean Paton...

I last saw BJ last month when she presented at the St John's Conference, a conference she was instrumental in starting. She succumbed to complications of pneumonia on Nov. l9 in Mass General Hospital.

More than an author of the quintessential seminal books on adoptees, more than a writer, speaker, and therapist, BJ had a heart as big as all of life and was always available to help an adoptee in need.

Always accessible to all, she recently wrote many concerned emails to me about an adoptee who was having great difficulty with a rejection. She was always available and always treated everyone with respect....graciously sharing her wealth of wisdom. A very classy lady!

She will be greatly missed as my "go to" person for such help and advise.

You can visit her webpage here.  
Facebook members can read and share condolences with BJ's husband of 58 years, Robert Jay Lifton, here.

BJ is remembered in the NY Tomes. here.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Why don't we go for REPEAL of the laws that sealed adoption records and issued falsified birth certificates???

I've never heard of it being tried. Seems to me the opposition would be the same - alleged promises to mothers. But the outcome, if successful would be far greater! It would help adopted persons retrospectively as well as prospectively.

Falsified BC's are a disgrace! Legal fraud and discriminatory.

Anything less is pussyfooting around, cow-towing and ACCEPTING the right of the gvt to falsify a basic identification document!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lost Sparrow

In 1978, two Crow Indian brothers ran away from home and were found dead the following day on the railroad tracks. 

 Lost Sparrow is their adoptive brother's journey to bring Bobby and Tyler home and confront a painful truth that shattered his family.

It's a powerful and moving story of adoption abuse.

Check you PBS listing and try to see: "Lost Sparrow"


See More

Nasty Nancy: Accused of Causing Suicide

The following is not connected to adoption at all, and is remotely connected Family Preservation. It does, however, concern mothering and judgements about mothers....

On August 27, 2006 two-year-old Trenton Duckett was reported missing by his 21-year-old mother, Melinda Duckett.

According to Duckett, she put her son to bed and was watching movies in the other room with friends. Around 9 p.m., she went to check on her young son and the toddler was gone, a window screen cut.

Police questioned the toddler's father who was divorced from his mother and did not charge him.

Police could not fins anyone who had been the little boy, however, for the two days prior to his being reported missing and suspicion began pointing toward Melinda Duckett.

Anyone who has seen working mother Nancy Grace knows that her most favorite cases are those of mothers of missing kids who she always assumes to be guilty.  Grace is very judgmental of and hard on all mothers, and always believes the worse.  She has had a FIELD DAY with the case of Casey Anthony whose daughter Caylee has been found dead.

Into this firestorm enters Melinda Duckett, just two weeks after hr son went missing, and Grace pummels her with accusations. Grace questioned Duckett harshly, accusing her of hiding something due to her vague answers. her style is to draw her own conclusions and label people liars.

The following day, before the pre-taped program was aired Melinda shot herself to death. CNN aired the show!

A lawsuit charging Grace with the wrongful death of Melinda Duckett soon followed. Her son has not been found.

A lawsuit followed charging CNN host Nancy Grace with pushing Melinda Duckett to kill herself due to her aggressive questioning.  The suit was settled with Grace agreeing to establish a $200,000 trust to help find the child, Trenton Duckett. The parents of Melinda Duckett announced they were voluntarily dropping their suit against Grace.

If Trenton is found alive before his 13th birthday, the trust's proceeds will be administered by his adoptive grandmother, Kathleen Calvert, for his benefit until his 18th birthday. He then could use the money as he wishes.

Nancy Grace hosts a new show on FOX called "Swift Justice" in which she settles small claims cases.  Some have compared her show to Judge Judy. But there is one major difference: Grace is not - as far as I was able to determine - a judge.

It does not take place in a court room, she wears no robes, and pounds no gavel... but she is called a judge and on the show and even allowed someone to call her "your honor" without any correction.

Wikipedia identifies her as "an American legal commentator, television host, and former prosecutor. She has written articles and opinion pieces for legal periodicals, including the American Bar Association Journal.  Grace practiced antitrust and consumer protection law with the Federal Trade Commission. She taught litigation at the Georgia State University College of Law and business law at GSU's School of Business.

A case where Grace's classic quick leap to judgement proved wrong was in the  2006 Duke University lacrosse case, in which Crystal Gail Mangum, an African-American stripper and North Carolina Central University student, falsely accused three members of Duke University's men's lacrosse team of raping her at a party.

Grace took a pro-prosecution position throughout the case sarcastically noting on the air, "Why would you go to a cop in an alleged gang rape case, say, and lie and give misleading information?"

After the disbarment of District Attorney Mike Nifong, Attorney General Roy Cooper pronounced all three players innocent of the rape charges made by Mangum. On the following broadcast of her show, Grace did not appear and a substitute reporter announced the removal of all charges.

The closest thing to her being a judge is that she worked as a clerk for a federal court judge.

Her decisions are made soly on her judgements and the use of a lie detector, without knowledge of the law on the subject in the state the case occurred, and even uses incorrect grammar.

IMHO:  This woman is dangerous and her show should be taken off the air! 

Adoption Truth: Myth Busting for Adoption AWARENESS Month

It's National Adoption Awareness Month...the time of year when the glorification of adoption grows to a fever pitch of signing it's glory and wrapping all adoption in great big rose-colored glasses of promotion encouraging all to jump on the band wagon and go out a get a kid!

In the zealous appeals for adoption lie a multitude of myths and awareness entails being aware of the truth.

What is your favorite adoption myth? Let's share and fight back with TRUTH for National AWARENESS Adoption Month!

Here are my top dozen myths and the truth to each:

1. Adoption is a win-win. Adoption takes otherwise "unwanted" children and matches them with families who are just dying to have them be part of their family! Everyone wins and all live happily-ever.

TRUTH: Adoption is win-loose for the parents. Mothers and father loose, adoptive parents gain.  And a roll of the dice for the children. 

2. Adoption is a way of providing a child a better life.

TRUTH: Sometimes that's true, but adoptive parents doe and divorce at least at half the time.  On the other hand mothers and fathers who "voluntarily" relinquish generally marry, finish school, and have good, stable lives often raising other children perfectly well and capably. The "better life" for the child involved feelings of having been abandoned and a second class life denied the same equal access to his own birth certificates all non-adopted citizens take for granted. They are issued a falsified birth certificate that can and often does change not only their name but also they date and place of birth, leaving them to a lie...maybe not even told they are adopted as it is not indicated in any way on their "birth" certificate.

3. Adoption is a gift.  "Giving" a child "up for adoption" is a loving, caring, unselfish act.

TRUTH: So is raising one own child! In fact, many would argue that abdicating all one's responsibility for a child is not very loving at all.  Mothers who "chose" adoption do so out of desperation. They are not surrogates who are getting paid and making a free choice to conceive a child for another. 

4. Adoption provides a "forever" family for children who have no families.

TRUTH: Every child born has a family consisting of at least one mother and one father.  Ninety percent of children in orphanages worldwide are not orphans at all, but have at least one living parent or extended family who visit and hope for reunification, and not all adoptions last permanently, 10-25% disrupt.

5. Adoption should be encouraged because there are so many kids who need families.

TRUTH: There are currently 114,000 children in US foster care who could be adopted.  In fact if only half the people trying to adopt adopted these children they'd all have families. But they are routinely ignored while people spend tens of thousands of dollars for private domestic infant adoption or inter-country adoption which often involve children who have been stolen or kidnapped to meet a demand.

6. Adopting is a noble, "Christian" good deed.

TRUTH: Not all adoptions are equal. Adopting a child from foster care may fall under this category. But many other adoptions - private domestic and inter-country adoptions - are plagued with corruption and you might unintentionally adopt a child who has been stolen or kidnapped to meet a demand.

Children are being stolen and kidnapped and trafficked for adoption in China, India, Guatemala, Nepal, Ethiopia, and Vietnam...to name just some. Corruption has been DOCUMENTED in these countries. Even adopting from a reputable agency may not prevent you unintentionally adopting a stolen child.

I urge anyone considering inter-country adoption to read the following:
The most charitable way to help children in need is to help organizations that assist them AND their families, such as SOS For Children. Save the Children, UNICEF, Christian Children's Fund.

7. American women can choose open adoption and not suffer the pain of not knowing how their child is doing.

TRUTH: Open adoption contact agreements are unenforceable in most every state. Some states offer mediation if the agreement breaks down, but in the end, every adoption - even so-called open adoptions begin with the natural parents relinquishing ALL of their rights as parents. They have no "right" to visitation to be enforced. They are at the mercy of the adoptive parents to uphold promises.

Further, seeing your child call someone else Mommy, and watching another's parenting style, feeling at the mercy of the adoptive parents... is not pain free! Some mothers find it too painful to continue with visitation.

8. It is wonderful that adoptive can support a young woman in a crisis pregnancy and be handed right over the his or her new parents.

TRUTH: Matching perspective adopters with expectant mothers and creates false expectations for the prospective adopters and obligation and indebtedness for the mother. Paying pre-birth expenses circumvents and violates the intent of the laws prohibiting baby buying. Those hoping to adopt being present in the delivery room and taking the child immediately is coercive. It prevents any maternal bonding time and disallows the mother time to decide, violating the intent of laws prohibiting pre-birth contracts.

9. Adoption is the same as having a child by birth. The children are loved just the same.

TRUTH: Again, some are loved. Some not so much. Adoptive parents, despite being motivated and "screened" abuse, neglect and kill thei children entrusted to them.  And, no matter how loving and caring, it is not the same growing up not looking like anyone in your family and being treated - by law - like second class citizens.denied by law in most every state the right to ever know the names of your blood-related family.

10.  It's better to adopt internationally because if you adopt an American baby the mother can come back and claim her child back.

TRUTH: Once a mother and father's rights are terminated or the sign a relinquishment of their parents rights, they cannot interfere in the lives of the adoptive family. The cases that make headlines do so because of some slipshod legal practices that skirted the law in some way. They are rare and that is why they make headlines. Coercion is a possible cause of an adoption being contested. For example, telling a mother to lie and say she doesn't know who the father is, or telling her she may not keep her child unless she repays medical expenses could be seen as extortion. While such cases are difficult to prove or disprove, they can tie you up in nasty and costly litigation for a long time so you want to avoid any practice that is slipshod or could cause trouble.

11. Adopting from foster care is dangerous because the children are "damaged" and you would be involved with their family.

TRUTH: The children in foster care are older and some have disabilities. But this is also true of children being adopted internationally and through your state's social services you will get a far more honest and detailed medical report and know exactly what you are dealing with. Inter-country adoptions, especially from the eastern block countries are of institutionalized children who often have fetal alcohol syndrome and other problems related to being institutionalized. They have great difficulty bonding and their medical records are scanty at best. Think about the little boy sent back to Russia as a prime example.

Adopting from foster care is extremely low cost compared to the other two options, it is far more altruistic, and you can try it before you commit to a permanent adoption! 

12. Interracial adoption is fine if the parents have the right attitude, i.e. they are "color-blind" and can truly love any child regardless of the color of their skin.

TRUTH: While this may sound very progressive and "hip", being  color blind is really another way of saying White privilege because only Caucasians in our society are able to ignore issues around race. Race is deeper than the shade of one's complexion. It is about culture and it is imbued with discrimination that children growing up with few role models and no one in their family to mirror them experience as painful.  Unless you live in a very integrated neighborhood, and will send your child to a very integrated school, it is something to re-think very cautiously. Please try to see as many of these films as you can.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Adoptee Called "Mastermind" of Petit Family Murders

If you live on the EastCoast you no doubt have heard about the horrible multiple rapes and murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters Haley 17 and Michaela 11,  after a home invasion. The brutal crimes culminating with the house being torched was survived by Dr. William Petit who was brutally beaten with a baseball bat.

The first of the two charged, Steven Hayes, 47, has been found guilty and sentenced to death

Next ob trial will be Joshua Komisarjevsky, 29, who has been dubbed the "mastermind" of the grisly crime that first forced Mrs. Petit to withdraw $15,000 dollars and ended with the death of her and her two daughters. 

Police say Hayes raped and strangled Jennifer, and prosecutors say Komisarjevsky raped Michaela, 11.

Joshua Komisarjevsky was born on Aug. 10, 1980, immediately given up for adoption, and within days went home with Jude and Ben Komisarjevsky. The couple are devout Christians who by all accounts live modestly, but come from a storied and wealthy family. His adoptive family called the crime he is charged with  "a monstrous, deranged act, beyond compehension." 

As a child, Joshua spent time at the 65-acre estate of his adoptive step-grandfather, John Chamberlain, a writer who published in conservative opinion magazines, in Cheshire. 

He says he committed his first crime when he was 12 years old, stealing a car. He says he did it by taking advantage of Cheshire's unlocked doors, plucking the keys from inside an unlocked house, in order to get home in time to avoid being caught violating his curfew.
Among the several houses on the property, young Joshua lived with his parents in a pre-Revolutionary War home they referred to as The Homestead. This home, still in use, is less than two miles from the Petit home at 300 Sorghum Mill Drive.

Most burglaries occur in the daytime. Criminals generally don't want trouble and prefer to rob homes during the day when no one's home. But according to his own confessions to police and a journalist, Joshua Komisarjevsky enjoyed the rush of breaking into people's homes at night while they slept.
Komisarjevky sought out dangerous situations and seemed to get an almost erotic thrill from his trangressions. He describes breaking into other people's homes at night, waiting, standing still, and listening to sleeping strangers slowly breathing in their beds. He would wear latex gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints and, at least on one occasion, he told police, he used night-vision goggles to see in the dark.
Komisarjevky's predilection for the night may have begun when he was young but over the years developed into a criminal modus operandi. When retired Cheshire police officer Bill Glass first heard about the early morning home invasion on July 23, 2007, no one had to tell him who was involved. "I knew it was Komisarjevsky," he said.

"Robbing a house is better than any drug I've ever tried," the young thief once told a friend. Komisarjevsky has called burglary "a form of extreme sport."


Bigbee's Previously Sold Daughter in on the Sting

According to a follow-up report on the arrest of Patty Bigbee for trying to sell her grandson for $75,000, it has been revealed that it was her own sold daughter she tried to sell it to...and that daughter wants to adopt her nephew!!  This convoluted story could never have been made up!!

Ya' gotta love - she didn't sell me, she just extorted my adoptive parents for money! HUH?! She didn't lie, she just didn't tell te truth!

Florida woman says mother extorted cash for adoption

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - The police informant who foiled an attempt by a grandmother to sell her newborn grandchild in Daytona Beach last week says she was given away 26 years ago by the same woman for a $30,000 profit.

"She did not sell me. She did extort my (adoptive) parents for quite a bit of money," Danielle Skiver, now 27, said in an interview on the MJ Morning Show broadcast by a Tampa radio station this week.
Skiver notified police after she said her long-lost biological mother Patty Bigbee found her recently on Facebook and offered to sell a then-6-week-old newborn -- Bigbee's grandson by a younger daughter -- to her for $75,000, a price later negotiated down to $30,000.

Bigbee, 45, her friend Lawrence Works, 42, and the infant's mother, Stephanie Bigbee Fleming, 22, have been arrested. Bigbee declined a request by Reuters for an interview on Thursday from the Volusia County Jail.

Skiver said she hadn't seen Bigbee since she was given away at age one until the police sting operation last Friday in a Daytona Beach parking lot, where the baby sale was supposed to take place and where Bigbee was arrested.

Skiver, who said she had a happy childhood with her adoptive parents, said she is taking steps now to try to adopt the baby boy, who is in state custody.

She said she grew up knowing the story of her own adoption as told by her parents. Skiver said Bigbee overheard her adoptive mother lamenting in a cafe that she could not have more children. An hour later, Skiver said, Bigbee showed up at her adoptive mother's workplace with infant Skiver in tow and said, "Here, you want a baby? Have mine."

During the course of the nine months it took to finalize the adoption, Skiver said, Bigbee pressured her adoptive parents for money and got a total of about $30,000 from them.

"She would show up at their house, at their work. If you don't give me more money, you know, I need to buy a car," Skiver said on the radio show. "They were scared to death she would take me back."
Skiver said Bigbee was pregnant with another child by the time the adoption was finalized. She said she knows she has a brother through Bigbee, but doesn't know where he is.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

IHRC Calls for Statutory Enquiry on the Magdalene Laundries


JFM welcomes IHRC call for statutory enquiry on the Magdalene Laundries

Survivor advocacy group Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) welcomes the Irish Human Rights Commission’s (IHRC) validation of the evidence submitted in seeking a formal inquiry into the State’s responsibility for human rights violations in the Magdalene Laundries.

JFM’s submission argues that the treatment of the women and girls in the Laundries violated their constitutional rights, including the right to bodily integrity, the right not to be tortured or ill-treated, the right to earn a livelihood, the right to communicate, the right to individual privacy, the right to travel, the right to one’s good name and the right to one’s person.

We contend moreover that the Laundries' daily routine amounted to servitude under the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. We also maintain that the abuse met the definition of forced or compulsory labour under the 1930 International Labour Organisation Forced Labour Convention, which committed the State to criminally punish the perpetrators of slavery and forced labour and to eradicate such practices within the national territory.

The IHRC assessment validates JFM’s central arguments.

The IHRC points out that these survivors are excluded from the current Redress Scheme and that it is the State’s duty to rectify the situation.  JFM is especially appreciative of the comprehensive nature of the assessment, in particular that it addresses the related issues of adoption and the vaccine trials as integral components of State responsibility.

Dr. Katherine O’Donnell, Director of UCD’s Women’s Studies Centre and member of JFM’s Advisory Committee says “In the midst of an economic crisis that seems to challenge the sovereignty of our state, Irish citizens are daily asking – what kind of social values do we want, what kind of society do we want our children to inherit? In the spirit of these concerns, JFM asks this current government to show the leadership requested by the IHRC; and to immediately apologise and begin the process of acknowledging and ultimately understanding our very recent dark history.”
Maeve O’Rourke, co-author of JFM’s submission and member of JFM’s Advisory Committee says:  “As the IHRC concludes, there is far too little public information available about the Magdalene Laundries. So

far, the religious orders have refused to engage. Therefore, the State needs to lead the way. It must convince the church to acknowledge its part in this scandal and to open up its records. The state should also
call upon the church to honour its moral obligation to find the money to pay its share of compensation to survivors.”

Prof. James Smith of Boston College and member of JFM’s Advisory Committee says: “The IHRC signals the urgent need to afford restorative justice to this community of women, an aging and vulnerable population at home and abroad. The time to act is now.  The government must move beyond its ‘deny ‘til they die’ policy.  Only then will it disprove one Magdalene survivor’s telling observation: ‘they’re hoping that in ten years we’ll all be under the sod and they can relax.’”

Contact Details: Mari Steed
                           James Smith
                           Claire McGettrick

For background and context of JFM’s campaign visit:  www.magdalenelaundries.com
For a copy of the IHRC’s assessment visit:  www.ihrc.ie

Adoption Truth: When the Right Idea Takes a Wrong Turn

Changes needed for adoptions

Re: Wanted: Families for 8,300 foster children, Nov. 4 

November is Adoption Awareness Month and Children’s Aid Societies are calling on Ontarians to consider becoming parents to the many children who need permanent families. Adoption is one option for finding a permanent home for a child, but there are other ways to find the right family. Last year, CASs found permanent families for more than 5,200 children — with extended families, legal custody, traditional aboriginal homes and adoption. 

New families are created through the work that CASs do with the children in their care, and with families they recruit, train and support to be adoptive parents. While this progress is promising, we believe changes are needed to increase the number of adoptions. These changes include providing subsidies to adoptive parents, offering health and dental care to adopted children, and addressing the waiting list for home studies.

Marcelo Gomez-Wiuckstern, Director of Communications, Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies

Why of all these option should adoption be encouraged?

Why not provide subsidies to extended family guardians?

Why not offer health and dental care to striggling families?

In the U.S. a program called Family Finding finds double digits family members willing and able to help children aging out of foster care. We could do the same for those ENTERING the system!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Adopted Serial Killers

"The FBI estimates 500 serial killers currently in the U.S; about 30 or 16% have been identified as adoptees. Since adoptees represent only 2-3% (5-10-million) of the general population, 16% that are serial killers is an overrepresentation compared to the general population."

This statement is quoted here, here, and here.

But is it true? 
What is the original source? 
Does the 16% include step parent adoptees i.e. Ted Bundy? 
What is the truth?

AND...what does it mean if it is true? 
What, if anything, does it say about adoptees?

There are also lists of so-called adopted serial killers, that include murderers and multiple murders that would not fit the definition of a serial killer. Also included in the list that is circulating is an adopted man born and raised in Germany.

In addition to step-parent adoptions, also listed was Thomas Hamilton, who was raised by grandparents and told his mother was his sister and Jane Toppan ("Angel of Death") who was not legally adopted.

Additionally, Joel Norris, a criminologist, and author of Serial Killers, says "many serial murderers were raised by adoptive parents or caretakers both within or outside of their biological families . . " (pg. 189). James Fox, another top criminologist has also written about this, and Dr. Sarnoff Mednick has done extensive research in Denmark, documenting the correlation between criminality and adoption (in general, not specifically re: serial killers). 

Eliminating all but legal non-related stranger adoptions, and eliminating murderers and multiple murders (but not serial) the list whittles down to these six adopted persons who are classified convicted serial US serial killers:

1. BERKOWITZ, David (“Son of Sam” & “The 44-Caliber Killer”) adopted son of Nathan and Pearl Berkowitz. Plead guilty to killing 6 people.

2. BIANCHI, Kenneth, The Hillside Strangler.  Adopted at three months by Frances Scioliono and her husband Nicholas Bianchi in Rochester, NY. Plead guilty to 10 murders.
3. MUNRO, James, 18. Adopted by the Munros when he was about a year old. Accomplice in 44 murders.

4. RIFKIN, Joel, 34. Adopted by Ben and Jeanne Rifkin at three weeks of age. Confessed to killing at least 17 women.

5. STANO, Gerald Eugene, 27. Adopted. Killed an estimated 80 women.

6. WUORNOS, Aileen Carol Pittman. Legally adopted Keith and Aileen on March 18, 1960. Five death sentences

Wikipedia lists 115 US serial killers - not the 500 in the original quote, which perhaps is worldwide (?). The list above thus represents approximately twice the 2-3% of adoptees in the population. 

Thus claims that adoptees are over-represented among serial killers is valid. Although others have published the yet unproven FBI 16% quote, in The Dark Side of Adoption I state the fact that adoptees are over-represented among serial killers, as proven herein.

It's a shame the FBI-16% quote and several inaccurate lists of alleged adopted serial killers are too easily found on the internet.  It is important that we check our sources and document our facts lest we discredit ourselves.

Make no mistake that pointing this out in no way implies that adoptees are dangerous anymore than all males or all white men who represent almost all serial killers, are!  It does not pathologize adoptees, or make any generalization about them.  It is of importance only for those who promote adoption to consider that adoption in and of itself - the underlying feelings of abandonment that every adoption is built upon - are part of the complex equation of heredity and environment that create these killers, recognizing that it is virtually impossible to sort out all causal factors.

Noting this disproportion brings attention to the fact that adoption is a risk factor, as it is in suicide which is also multi-causal.

UPDATE: What does it all mean? What, if anything does it say about adoptees?

If my son's math is correct:

2-3% of the general population is adopted, and among serial killers 5.2% are adopted.

From this you can conclude that knowing someone is a serial killer increases the odds that they were adopted (from 2-3% to 5.2%). But your asking about the converse: what are the chances of any adoptee being a serial killer.

Based on conditional probability (and the information you provided) I would have to say that knowing someone is adopted increases the probability that they are a serial killer by a factor of 1.7 to 2.6.

That is because the probability that someone is a serial killer given that they are adopted is equal to the probability that they are a serial killer (unknown) times the probability that they are adopted
given that they are a serial killer (5.2%), divided by the probability that they are adopted (2-3%).

Or in other words knowing that someone is adopted increases the probability that they are a serial killer by a factor of 1.7 to 2.6.

Sooo, there you have it! An adopted person is approximately 1.7 to 2.6 percent more likely than a non-adopted person to become a serial killer! I wouldn't loose sleep over it!

And let us not forget that it takes the perfect storm combination of environmental factors and heredity. The person has to have some psychological psychotic disorder AND would also have to experience some abuse likely in his adoptive home for it all to gel together and create a monster who kills for fun.

ADDENDUM 7/7/11 - As an aside, BJ Lifton on Page 103 of The Journey of the Adopted Self states "adoptive sons are more likely than natural ones to murder their parents." Lifton goes on to state that "an estimated 15 to 20 to 1, adoptees over nonadoptees."  Her source is the criminal attorney Paul Mones who defended a dozen adoptees who killed one or both adoptive parents, in the prior two years alone! Mones authored When a Child Kills: Abused Children Who Kill Their Parents.

What Does it All Mean?

Some adoptee are very upset about these statistics. They want to call them false. They fear it makes people suspicious of adoptees. The truth is that even people who have no idea and have never heard these statistics will still look at an adopted person and wonder if they are not, as one recently discovered, that he is the son of Charles Manson.

The fact that adoptees are 1-2  percent more likely to become serial killers is nebulous in and of itself. But when combined with the fact that adoptees are also over-represented in all mental health and youth facilities, and that adoption is considered a risk factor in suicide...not to mention Mones findings regarding parenticide. When we take it all together we must at the least QUESTION the human experiment we call adoption.

Sheryl Crow: Closed Adoption? Closed to Whom?

The following story is difficult to interpret because it is filtered through the press which has no accurate understanding of the terminology and workings of adoption.

Sheryl Crow Requested Closed Adoptions

November 9th, 2010 1:46pm EST  
Sheryl Crow Sheryl crow asked officials to keep the details of her adoption bids secret - because she didn't want her sons' biological mothers to see their kids in the press.

The All I Wanna Do hit-maker decided to adopt a child following the breakdown of her relationship with cyclist Lance Armstrong in 2006, and she welcomed little Wyatt into her life a year later. She went on to adopt a second son, Levi James, earlier this year.

And the star had one demand for adoption officials when they were filing her request for a child - she wanted her case to be closed to the public to save the boys' real parents any more heartache.

She tells Britain's Guardian, "I said I would take whichever baby I was supposed to have. My philosophy was that souls find each other; you don't end up with the wrong child. (But I wanted a closed case). It would be extremely hard for a mother to watch the child she gave away... grow up in the magazines."

While I love that they used the term "REAL" mother ! its is unclear whether these are closed adoptions as we know the term, or "closed to the public" which all adoptions are.

If the goal is to keep the children's photos out of view of the media, that seems like it would be up to Crow...and for how long would she be able to keep them safe from photographers?

This seems a classic case of "protecting" mothers by keeping them in the dark.  Seems to me she is protecting herself from them knowing who SHE is!

And don't you just love that she got the kids after her relationship ended. Fill the void with a kid! Crow and Bullock can start a club!

Missouri Supreme Court Fight to Overturn Adoption and Regain Son

US Supreme Court considers whether jailed Guatemalan immigrant should regain custody of son
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Guatemalan woman who lost custody of her son after she was caught up in a 2007 immigration sweep asked the Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday to overturn an American couple's adoption of the child.

Encarnacion Bail Romero was sentenced to two years in a federal prison after pleading guilty to aggravated identity theft. She has been seeking to regain custody of her now 4-year-old son, Carlos, since leaving prison last year.

The state supreme court is being asked to decide if the American-citizen child of an illegal immigrant can be considered “abandoned” if the child is in the care of the woman’s relatives while she is in jail. She asked her brother to take care of her son while she was in prison. He asked her sister to do it. The sister asked a minister’s family to babysit. The minister contacted another family that soon started adoption proceedings.  The adoption petition she was given was in English, which she does not speak.

The child has lived with Seth and Melinda Moser, of Carthage, since he was about 1 year old. Another couple who had been helping Romero's family care for the boy after her arrest had contacted the Mosers about adopting him.

The Mosers' attorneys have said the court terminated Romero's parental rights in 2008 after finding she had not tried to maintain contact or provide for the child while she was in jail.

Romero's lawyers contend the adoption process was flawed and that Romero was not given sufficient legal representation before losing custody of her son, who was born in the U.S. and is a U.S. citizen.

The state Supreme Court agreed to take up the case after an appellate court overturned the trial court decision that gave custody to the adoptive parents.

Much of the discussion before the high court Tuesday focused on the legal intricacies of the case. However, Supreme Court Judge Richard Teitelman called the case a "tragedy."  He said a person does not “give up every fundamental right to be a parent” just because that person is in jail.

Rick Schnake, an attorney for the Mosers, said Romero abandoned her child after the immigration sweep and left few options for who should care for the boy. Schnake said the boy would be better off staying with the couple, with whom he has lived for several years and who speak the same language as him.

"I don't see it in his best interest that he be ... taken away from parents who are the only mommy and daddy that he knows," Schnake said. The Mosers stood several feet behind Schnake as he spoke with a cluster of reporters. They did not comment.

Romero was not immediately deported so that she can challenge the adoption, according to her attorneys. They say she never abandoned her son and that a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling has since limited federal authorities' ability to use the law under which she was sentenced to prison.
Speaking through a translator, Romero told reporters after the hearing that she was pleased to be in court when the case was considered. She said she was thankful her son was healthy but sad that she was not with him.

"My child should be with me. He is my son. And I want to be with my son," Romero said.
The hearing generated significant interest. Among those watching was Guatemala's ambassador to the U.S., who sat near Romero at the front of the room. The Mosers listened near the back of the courtroom.

Guatemalan Ambassador Francisco Villagran de Leon said the dispute was the result of a lack of clear American immigration rules and that the case was not uncommon. He said parental rights should not be terminated because of violations of U.S. immigration laws.

"Children of undocumented immigrants should not be given an adoption without their consent, should not be given an adoption just because they are here illegally. That is no grounds for taking a child away from his or her mother," the ambassador said.

The Guatemalan consulate filed a written argument with the state Supreme Court siding with Romero.

Her  lawyer argues that fourteen mistakes were made in the case, including that court made mistakes in terminating her parental rights because she had not abandoned her child. He also says the courts ignored laws on private adoptions. 

A circuit judge in Jasper County has upheld the adoption. A state appeals court has reversed that decision.

The Supreme court could take several weeks to rule.

 Listen to the entire Supreme Court hearing 53:15 mp3

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What Does Adoption Mean to YOU?

What Does Adoption Mean to You?
The National Adoption Center wants to hear what adoption mean to: adoptive parent, an aunt, uncle, grandparent, or sibling to an adopted child.
Notice who they didn't invite to share! Those who actually LIVE adoption: Adoptees and mothers! 
I say we give them a whopping dose of reality! Barrage them with OUR thoughts on adoption!!
UPDATE: They ARE printing our comments!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"ILLEGALLY" Selling a Baby: The Result of Privatized Adoption Commodifying Children

Cops: Grandma Tried to Sell Baby for $75K

A Holly Hill, Fla., grandmother who is accused of trying to sell her 8-week-old grandson was held on $100,000 bond today.A Florida woman is accused of trying to sell her 8-month-old grandson.

Patty Bigbee, 45, who was arrested Friday afternoon, allegedly approached someone in October and offered to sell the baby boy for $75,000. That person contacted police about the alleged offer and acted as a confidential informant.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Bigbee and the would-be buyer haggled over the price and finally agreed on $30,000.

The two met Friday afternoon in Daytona Beach to complete the transaction, according to the FDLE.
After the child and money changed hands in a parking lot near the Daytona Speedway, police arrested the woman.

Bigbee was charged with illegal sale or surrender of a child and communication fraud.

ABC affiliate WFTV in Orlando tried to get a comment from Bigbee as she was taken to the Volusia County Jail Friday night, but she didn't answer questions.

Bigbee's 42-year-old boyfriend, Lawrence Works, was also arrested and charged with being a principal to the illegal sale or surrender of a child. He made his first appearance this morning and his bond was set at $50,000.

The baby boy was put into the care of the state Department of Children and Families. The boy's mother, Stephannie Bigbee-Davis, is in jail on unrelated charges.

"When you look at this where the grandmother was willing to sell her own grandchild obviously to some degree for profit, it's appalling," FDLE Special Agent Wayne Ivey said.

Sources told WFTV that investigators believe Bigbee has been involved before in transactions involving children and in extortion plots. 

"Couldn't believe it," said Sandra Wells, one of Bigbee's neighbors. "I thought they must be in some kind of trouble and that's why they had to get rid of the baby and they couldn't keep it."


The were reportedly charged with "illegally selling a baby" - cause apparently baby selling is only legal when done by an industry member!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Adult Adoptee Deported

Deported from Chicago, she waits for Barack Obama

Published: Saturday, Nov 6, 2010, 2:22 IST
By Mayura Janwalkar | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Jennifer Haynes, 28, abruptly deported from Chicago in 2008, is eagerly waiting for US president Barack Obama’s visit to Mumbai in the hope that her letter will reach him and she may be able to go home to her husband and children.

In her letter to the president on November 2, Haynes has stated, “Until last year I believed that I was a US citizen. Now I realise that I was a victim of child-trafficking, sexual abuse and exploitation.” Her letter was submitted to the US consulate in Mumbai.

Haynes was adopted by an American couple in 1989 at the age of seven. However, her experience in 50 different foster homes was traumatic, she has stated.

DNA had first reported Haynes’ case when she moved the Bombay high court seeking action against her adoption centre, which did not complete the necessary formalities at the time of her adoption and after being booked for a drug felony she was deported to India, 20 years after she had seen it last.

Her husband Justin and children Kadafi, 7, and Kanassa, 6, live in Chicago. Haynes, however, without a passport of either countries, lives in India with no family, no source of income and no documents to avail a job.

“Never did I think I was not an American citizen until I was arrested for a minor drug charge and sent immediately for deportation. Your country which had promised me so much hope, instead treated me like an object to be discarded like damaged goods,” Haynes had said in her letter.

“Can you please help me?” Haynes has asked president Obama. She has also said, “Now I am an American without a country; a lost child who was sent away from my home, my family and my children.”

Sangeeta Punekar of the Advait Foundation and Anjali Pawar of Sakhee, the NGOs supporting Haynes’ case, have also urged Obama to let her go back to the US.

Small Victories that Many Bemoan: Decreasing Numbers of Adoptions!

Adoptions in U.S. Near Six-Year Low as Number of Chinese Orphans Dwindles

The number of U.S. foreign adoptions is near a six-year low due to greater barriers overseas and fewer orphans coming from a wealthier China, U.S. Special Adviser for Children’s Issues Susan Jacobs said.
Total adoptions to the U.S. fell last year to 12,753 and will “be somewhere in that ballpark” in 2010, Jacobs said in a telephone interview. “Domestic adoptions in China are on the rise and international adoptions are taking longer, so it’s harder to adopt there.”

Over the next decade, Ethiopia is set to surpass China as the biggest source of U.S. adoptions. The number of children adopted annually from Asia’s biggest economy has dropped to 3,000 from 7,900 over the past five years, State Department figures show. There were 2,277 Ethiopian children placed in American homes in 2009 compared with 442 in 2005, the data show.

After peaking in 2004, total U.S. adoptions began to drop as standards became more stringent and applications from countries such as Vietnam and Guatemala were suspended amid allegations of corruption and fraud. Processing adoptions from Nepal were the latest to be put on hold this year.
Adoptions from Russia, about 10 percent of the U.S. total, also declined. Russian authorities had threatened to suspend adoptions by U.S. citizens after the case earlier this year of a 7-year-old boy who was sent back alone to Moscow by his adoptive American mother.

“The threat was out there but it never came to pass,” Jacobs said. “We have been negotiating with the Russians for a number of months on how adoptions will proceed in the future, and we are getting close to an agreement and we hope we have something signed by the end of the year.”

The adoption figures for the year ended Sept. 30 will be released by the State Department this month.


To be upset about a reduction in the number of orphans - as some like Batholet are - is comparable to being upset if there were fewer patients battling cancer...and tsk tsking about the poor Oconcologists who will close their practices or have to find a new speciality!

Adoption Truth: Threats Against Complaints

As the US "celebrates" Adoption Awareness Month to increase adoptions...the ugly truth leeks through the cracks... 

Complainant in adoption racket case alleges threat

Anjali Pawar-Kate, director of Sakhee and a complainant against the alleged adoption racket at Preet Mandir, on Wednesday filed a police complaint against a South African adoptive family, alleging that one of its members had threatened her over phone. 

“I received a call at 7.12 pm on Wednesday from an international number. It was a woman and she started abusing me. She asked me to stop interfering in the adoption matter, else I will have to face dire consequences,” Pawar said.
She said in her complaint that she had called back on the number and got to know that the call was from a woman in South Africa — an adoptive parent of Preet Mandir. The complaint has been lodged with Sahakar Nagar police. “The woman concerned had filed an application with Preet Mandir to adopt a child before the adoption house’s licence was suspended. The Bombay High Court has ruled that the adoption could go ahead only after a complete investigation.” 

For more on the Preet Mandir adoption scandal, here, here, and here and this by the Schuster Institute.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Adoption Truth: Hear Our Voices during Adoption Awareness Month

 All three designs are available as a profile photo-avatar for your Facebook page for the month of November.

Donor Insemination and Adoption: The Rights of Children Who Grow to Adults

The following is reprinted from Family Scholar.

It is a response written by Bill Cordray and copied here with the author's gracious permission.

Bill is an architect from Salt Lake City. He was conceived through sperm donation in Utah during World War II and was born three weeks before Hiroshima. Although he suspected his paternity for most of his life, he didn't learn the truth until he was 37. His search for his donor father has taken him into an ever-increasing set of labyrinths. He has written for and presented at the AAC.

You said: “For the moment, I want to focus on one of the arguments asserted by Olivia Pratten, who is the plaintiff in the case. As I understand it, she is arguing that since British Columbia’s adoption law allows an adopted child to gain access to the identity of her birth parents when she or he turns 19, principles of equal treatment require the same access be provided to children conceived using third-party gametes, or at least third-party sperm.
Implicit in this argument is an assertion that (at least for the purposes of this case) donor conception and adoption are similar and therefore should be treated similarly. This is worth thinking about.
It seems to me that there are ways in which donor conception and adoption are similar and there are also ways in which they are entirely dissimilar. This makes me very wary of broadly equating the two. Instead, I think we ought to think carefully about the similarities and the differences and which ones are important for what kinds of decisions. ”
My response: Her claim is simply that it is unfair for an autonomous adult to continue to be denied identifying information about a genetic parent. If, in British Columbia, an adopted adult is given retrospective rights to this information, then it is an injustice to an adult conceived through socially arranged conception to be denied the same retrospective right. This has nothing to do with the rights of legal parents over their minor children. It certainly has nothing to do with children conceived in affairs or rape, for whom no paternal information is kept in files of publicly licensed agencies or physicians.
Some adopted adults in B. C. do not care about their genetic parents but those who do have won the right to do so regardless of prior guarantees of birth parent confidentiality. The same should hold true for people conceived through anonymous fathers whether it is called donor insemination, stranger conception or medically assisted adoption. It is also unrelated to policies of anonymity enforced to protect the sanctity of parents of minor children. Those policies should lose validity when the child becomes an independent autonomous adult.
You said: “So is providing sperm like giving a child up for adoption? I know that some people say that providing sperm ought to be treated like adoption and that’s exactly what worries me about the sweeping analogy. It seems to me there are obvious differences that warrant different treatment: There is no child so it’s a bit difficult for me to say that there are parental rights anywhere in the picture. There may not be anyone in particular waiting to step in an assume parental rights. And further, as I’ve said fairly frequently here, I don’t see that simply providing genetic material ought to give you parental rights. The man gives up (or sells) his sperm, nothing more. ”
My response: ” This argument ignores the fact that the sperm will become a child, or several, with whom the donor will have no legal relationship as a parent but retains a genetic relationship with the child. No legislation or policy can overrule this law of nature. The man cannot give away this relationship by selling his sperm and walking away. The artificial rules of men, as they now stand, deny access for children to their unknown extended genetic family and ancestry. These arbitrary rules are what Olivia is trying to change through her suit. As an adult, she is no longer concerned about how she came to be or who her legal parents were as a child. The suit would not change her status as their heir nor burden her genetic father with financial or social responsibilities. But, as Olivia and those of us who share her experience claim, he does have a moral responsibility to allow us to know who he is. It is the same responsibility that birth parents now have towards the children they surrendered to adoption. In this critical sense, the analogy is universally true for both sets of people who have been disconnected by laws or policies.”
You said: “Now there are other perspectives from which you can see similarities between adoption and use of third-party gametes and these are more important for Pratten’s claim. The adopted child is not being raised by people genetically related to her/him. At the same time, the people who are genetically related are not legal parents and may not be known to the adopted child. You can say similar things about a child who is conceived via donor gametes. (It’s a bit trickier, because she/he is often genetically related to at least one person raising her/him.)
I’m not at all sure that the overall experience of being raised as an adopted child has much in common with the overall experience of being raised as a child conceived via third-party gametes. I’m sure it’s been studied and I bet there’s a lot to say about it. I think it is probably safe to say that there are ways in which it is similar and ways in which it is not and that individual experiences can vary greatly. ”
My Response: “The only way you could possibly understand this commonality is to be literate about the lives of both. We can’t be understood through statistical analyses of sociological data, theories of law, or even moral reasoning. Those methods of intellectual analysis are helpful only to a point. They don’t fully convey the meanings of our lives unless they are supplemented by our personal narratives. To understand the overall experiences of both groups of disconnected children (who usually remain disconnected as adults), you need to hear our stories, read our books, watch documentaries about us, and meet us face-to-face. Until you can say you have done that kind of work, your understanding of our issues remains an abstraction. I recommend that you study several texts from the major adoption writers, attend adoption support groups, attend the national conferences of the American Adoption Congress (where I will also be speaking at a workshop prior to Wendy Kramer’s, preceded by the second documentary film by DI adult Barry Stevens). Once you have gone to this level of effort, then you will be better prepared to speak about the issues you have addressed in your blogs and apply your legal analysis in your Family Law classes.”
Before I knew any other DI adult, I attended adoption support groups for at least seven years. I heard their stories and they listened to mine. As you say, each of our experiences were unique but they all had the common threads of loss, grief, anger at the social injustice of those who control our information, distrust in personal relationships due to our parents’ inability to understand the depth of our sense of abandonment, and the general sense that no one outside our common experiences are capable of validating our predicament. They saw in my experiences far more shared experiences than different ones. When I listened to their narratives, I finally felt my own validated among people who had been through the same sense of loss and anger that I have felt.”

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

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