Wednesday, December 29, 2010

An Opportunity to Educate

From Washington Post columnist Carolyn Hax:

On grieving for a grandchild not placed for adoption:

My daughter became pregnant at 24 and, at the urging of her friends, made the decision to keep her baby. We are a close, middle-class family who were prepared to be supportive of her choice and to be there for her and her child. She talked herself into it because that’s what others told her she “ought” to do.

Through the years, I have frequently been the primary caregiver, been there financially when things were difficult, and have been the one who has done homework, volunteered at school, and known all my grandchild’s friends. I’ve basically been the parent, and while I adore my grandchild, had adoption been the choice, I know it would have been the best one for this child. Two parents who love this child and wanted this child so much, contact with the bio family if the bio family wants it, no regrets everyday because you know you kept the baby to make others happy, and knowing you’ve done what is really best for your child.

You have to understand, it isn’t because I resent what I have needed to do; it is all about this child’s life.

What no one thinks about in these situations is that women who “aren’t ready to be mothers” aren’t lying about that; they really aren’t, and now, many grandparents are doing the job they had thought that daughter (or son) would step up and do. We’re ready to be grandparents, not the parents.

If I had it to do over again, I would take my daughter out for a long drive and beg her to reconsider the decision to keep her child, not for my sake, but for her child’s sake. – Anonymous

ADD YOUR COMMENTS here and help educate those who might think this makes sense.

 UPDATE 1/4/11: Please see blog post about grandparent adoptions here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Teen dad in uphill battle against adoption

 Where is David Blankenhorn author of "The Fatherlessness of America" in cases like this? Blankenhorn and his conservative followers very vocally bemoan fathers who desert, claiming it is a major cause of delinquency, substance abuse and crime among their offspring...yet this is OK. Why? because the child gets a SUBSTITUTE father? Why should that even be considered when his original father is fighting for him?!!

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- Imagine being a 17-year-old high school junior and fighting for custody of your baby who has been placed with adoptive parents without your consent.

Most average teen dads in this situation, I suspect, might not have the fortitude to take on such a task involving a lengthy legal process, especially with no money.

Not 17-year-old Christian Diaz. He is fighting for custody of his six-month-old son whose 16-year-old mother placed in adoption. The baby was given to his adoptive parents after he was born in June.

Diaz wants to raise his son and "man-up" by taking responsibility of the child he and his former girlfriend brought into the world. "He's my blood, and he belongs with me, not with some strangers," Diaz said.

The former girlfriend declined to comment, but Diaz said she was five months pregnant when she told him she was expecting their baby. He and his mother began buying baby items and setting up a nursery room. But the relationship between the teens strained, and she cut off communication, Diaz said.

When the 16-year-old gave birth, the baby was greeted to new parents.

Diaz has never held his son or seen him in person except through a picture on his cell phone.

He learned of the birth when he saw a message posted on MySpace.

Under California law, a father needs to give consent and be given legal notice that his child is being placed for adoption.

But there are exceptions when a court can terminate a father's consent, said attorney Marc Widelock, who is not involved in this particular case. Examples include lack of support during pregnancy.

Douglass Donnelly, the attorney representing the teen mom, said not only was Diaz notified, but he's been "caught up in lie after lie during court hearings." Donnelly would not be specific beyond that.

"(Christian) has not been a credible witness," said Donnelly. "California law states that if the father fails to behave like a father during the pregnancy, his consent is not needed."

Diaz says he was supportive.

What will the Kern County Superior Court decide?

According to court documents, Diaz attempted to see the baby at the hospital, even bringing a car seat in hopes of taking his baby home.

But the ex-girlfriend told him the baby would soon go to an adoptive couple without his consent. Diaz was then escorted out of the hospital once the 16-year-old claimed Diaz was not the baby's father, court records show.

Diaz petitioned the court for a DNA test, which proved he was the biological father.

In court documents, the baby's 16-year-old mother states that during her pregnancy, Diaz "had ample opportunity to take responsibility and propose marriage or otherwise accept the responsibilities of parenthood, but he refused to act like a father." She added that Diaz is not fit to be a parent: He is 17, unemployed and emotionally and financially dependent on his mother, Guadalupe.

"After much soul-searching, I made a very painful decision to place my baby for adoption ... I had decided that neither (Diaz) nor I could offer the child the life that I wanted my baby to enjoy. I made this decision out of love for my baby ... not rejection," court documents filed on the mother's behalf show.

The two have been to numerous court hearings to determine where the baby will go and what's in the best interest of the child.

Diaz is doing what he can to prove he's ready to be a father: He's landed a job at a fast-food restaurant and enrolled in teen parenting classes at his school and Parkside Church. The nursery room he set up at his home remains ready.

"Other teen-age fathers don't want to be in their baby's life, but I do," he said. "I don't know of many other 17-year-old unmarried fathers who are not afraid of publicly saying, 'Yes, that's my son. I will take responsibility for raising him because I love him, and he belongs with me.'"

It's not very often at all, said Terri Caphart, teen parent director for Youth in Christ at Parkside Church.

"A lot of times, (teen dads) are the ones leaving the teen mom to parent alone, so that's a huge responsible decision that he's made," Caphart said.

Diaz is undaunted though frustrated with a legal process that won't even allow him to see his son while the custody battle plays out in court. Attorney Dawn Bittleston represents him.

It wasn't "a very good Christmas ... because I wanted him to spend time with me ... with his family where he belongs, not with some strangers," Diaz said.

You can comment on the original stroy here.

PS It sounds to me like the mother is the liar, claiming it wasn't his child. Is she perhaps just being venegful that he didn't offer to marry her?

Monday, December 27, 2010

You cannot read this study without recognizing that even babies removed from their mothers AT BIRTH do nto suffer a loss and separation...a depravation that needs to heal.

Scientific study shows the voice of moms activate a baby's brain and learning

Scientists from the University of Montreal and Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center in Canada attached electrodes to a group of 16 24 hour  old babies to monitor brain activity. After performing the study, the researchers found the following  remarkable result: the voice of  a mother but not of a nurse, doctor or a stranger robustly activate the language processing centers of the brain in the newborn.   In other words, this is the first study of its kind that shows that the voice of mothers is unique and babies inherently recognize their mother's voice possibly even inside the womb. More importantly, the electroencephalography and MRI studies show high resolution scans that pinpoint the activation of the Wernicke's area of the left hemisphere of the brain, the brain area that is specialized in language development and recognition in human beings.

 The scientists used a couple of controls in their studies to help with the interpretation of their results.  The researchers also involved a nurse who is herself a mother in their studies and also ruled out the "novelty" aspect by having the mother talk to a nurse at regular intervals before birth. Amazingly, their results still held water and proved that a mother's voice is only recognized by babies as the brain scans only showed selective activations of the language areas of the brain.


 It has been well documented that newborn babies do have some innate language capacities. Moreover, infants may not only learn to specifically recognize their mother's voice but also show adult-like responses in the brain to human voice at 7 but not 4 months of age. However,  scientists are only just beginning to understand what the cognitive capacities of newborn babies are and the mechanisms by which babies learn and vocalize language. Nevertheless, what these studies do not currently show is whether the mother's voice is also important for brain development and learning in the child.   Hence, future studies are imperative to determine whether there are any deficiencies seen in babies in which mothers spend less than the average or ideal time talking to their newborn babies.  [Or are totally separated from] Moreover, studies like this have never been performed in such young participants which stresses the fact that many exciting and useful scientific discoveries with regards to the developing infant brain can be discovered with such a low number of participants (16) and can help us understand the pathological basis for speech language deficiencies and autism.

 Moreover, the implications of these clinical findings are broad and other leading hospitals in the nation that perform pediatric research should conduct future studies as to whether a speech-language deficiencies in the infant could partly be a result of low mother to infant contact and interaction, even at such an early age.

   At the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children's Hospital, there are a variety of speech language pathology programs that  perform cutting edge research which also involve clinical trials. Right now, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is conducting a long term child neurology research registry. This is a large scale research initiative to store and track medical records of infants of all ages for statistical purposes. Moreover, this local clinical research initiative will help to elucidate the  etiology and root causes of many neurological diseases including infant speech language deficiencies.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

GIMEE: The Arrogance of Blatant and Vile Commodification

A Michigan couple who has been trying for ONE YEAR to conceive a child, is now spending $2 grand a month for this garish GIMMEE billboard!

Because, after all, they have the tree, they have a nursery all furnished, they just need to buy the kid to make it all complete. So come on...O Come All Ye Grateful Mothers...and hand over your kids to this WORTHY couple!!  After all, they want a healthy, white newborn SOO MUCH they are willing to fork over all this hard earned CASH! Doesn't that prove how loving they'll be?

They chose to ignore the 120,00 or so kids in foster care who could be adopted...doesn't that make them the kind of people you'd want caring for YOUR baby?  They don;t use their ,money to help needy kids in any way shape or form. No, they use their bountiful bucks to aggressively beg for someone to hand over their newborn!  How special!

Josh and Wendy Rougeau  also walked around with tee shirts that said "Adoption Rocks" - as if they'd know since they haven't adopted and seem to be having a hard time getting what they want - and handing out cards.

All this after just one year of trying. I bet they're really hoping that adopting will help them conceive!

The arrogance is overwhelming...

Well, here's some things you can do:
  • add your comments at the story, here
  • call the number on the billboard: 810-908-5544
GIMEE, GIMEE, GIMEE and once they get what they want they celebrate GOTCHA day!!

    The Night Before Christmas, 2010

    Twas the night before Christmas, when all through both Houses
    The creatures were trying to not look like louses
    The bills were presented, each with good cause
    Could they add their pork and still make them laws?

    Some wanted those tax cuts for one and for all
    While others were after the fat cats’ balls!
    Will the rich get richer on the backs of the poor?
    Do corporate bullies really deserve more?

    The brave responders and gays who care...
    Will they get justice and their fair share?
    These women and men are there when when they're needed
    Will their pleas of need be heeded?

    They wrangled with issues and how they would look
    What kind of legacy will go down in the books?
    They thought hard about spending and the votes that they need
    Could they accomplish all that and still do a good deed?

    Obama rallied the troops to do their jobs
    On Pelosi, McCain, and on Dodd!
    To those on the left and those on the right
    Get these bills passed, if it takes all night!

    On Byden, on Boxer, on Reed
    Do what we must to get done what we need
    On all who work here on the hill
    We need you all now to pass these bills.

    Compromises were made, it’s the name of the game
    Some things made it through, others cut – what a shame!
    This is our system, the left and the right
    Merry Christmas to all 'twas a damn good fight!

     Copyright Mirah Riben, 2010. May be forwarded, copied and shared.

    Friday, December 24, 2010

    The Secret Society of Women

    Lisa Ling Helps Women Share Compassion Through Secrets 

    Journalist (and friend of Oprah) Lisa Ling has started The Secret Society of Women: "A place where we can divulge our deepest secrets about how we look, what we regret, who we fantasize about, what we aspire to do, or whatever else we’ve been keeping inside of us."

    It began when Lisa suffered a miscarriage and found it hard to talk about. She felt a sense of "failure" and discovered that she was more comfortable "talking" about it anonymously online with others who shared her experience than with her real life friends who she felt might not understand.

    My first reaction to hearing about this project and website was twofold:
    • I immediately wondered how many mothers would share stories of losing children to adoption
    • I then thought that i would NOT promote it inasmuch as IT encouraged anonymity and I believe that when we share anonymously we validate claims by the NCFA that some mothers want to remain anonymous to our children - despite the obvious fact that confidentiality in terms of the PUBLIC and being known to our children are two very different issues.
    After hearing Lisa describe the project on NPR, however, I have concluded that it behooves us to visit the site and post our stories to help educate the public. This is especially important in view of the fact that Lisa reveals in the NPR interview that she and her husband are "open to" the possibility of adopting if she continues to have pregnancy-related difficulties.

    It also behooves activists to monitor the site from time to time - whether or not we choose to share our own story there or not - to help those who suffering in silence and alone know that there is a community of mothers and adoptees and that there are resources and organizations of others with whom they can share, no longer feel alone, and obtain concrete help in terms of search and support.

    It is also important, IMO, to monitor the site from time to time in case someone comes out of the "birth mother" closet and is attacked!  People CAN comment on others' posts.  They are asked to be "civil" but can be argumentative.  Let's reach out and help our sisters while educating the masses!

    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    Adoption Anger

     I've been reading a memoir by an Australian mother entitled "Coming Home to the Truth" by Judith Roseboom (Emerging Press, PO Box 1866, Albany, WA 6331).

    In 1972, at 16 years of age,  Judith was taken advantage of by an older boy who offered her a ride. Her parents sent away to a maternity home when they discovered she was pregnant.

    She describes the treatment by the nuns who ran the home in ways common to all who spent time in Catholic maternity homes and how she was repeatedly told it was not "her" baby she was carrying and wanted to keep.

    Like so many of us, Judith functioned, mostly aided by medication prescribed for "depression" as a result of her trying to "put it all behind her" and get on with her life.

    "Ironically," she writes, "my parents thought the medications were helping me because I stopped crying. Really this was when I was at my lowest."

    She worked and she married and she had three more children, all the while tyring to keep a lid on her memories.

    In the late 1980s Judith met other mothers who lost children to adoption, she began to really confront all that happened....

    "By then I had been on antidepressants for years. I was labelled as depressed but in actual fact I had been silently grieving a loss no one, except other mothers who had been through the system, understood or even noticed back then."

    Suppressed grief. Stuffed. Silenced. How that eats at us!

    In the midst of reading this account from the vantage point of this mother, I was sent a link to a post by a very angry adoptee.

    Here is her story of the anger that explodes when losses are unrecognized and gratitude expected, just as mothers who lose children are expected to also be grateful to be freed of their obligation and freed to get on with their lives!

    I’m fucking angry at Korea

    I used to think that anger could save me. It protected me, kept me going. It helped me survive. I hope it still works.

    Three months ago I found my Korean family. And for the first time in a long time, I felt hope. I thought I had located the source of this deep sadness I’ve been carrying with me my whole life, and I would finally know the answer to “Why?”

    But no one told me family reunification would be this way.

    However I look at it, there’s no resolution, no relief, no peace of mind. My grief has only multiplied since I met my family. Knowing more about the reasons why doesn’t make it hurt any less. Knowing more about what I’ve lost, I wish I’d never started searching.

    Here in Korea experiences are raw and overwhelming. People keep telling me to be strong, but I think I am weak. Korea makes me feel like I can’t survive, like there’s no reason to keep trying so fucking hard. I’ll never make it here anyway. I felt such relief from American racism when I first returned, I failed to notice that Korea doesn’t want me either.

    My birth family doesn’t understand why I cry so often. Smile. Our family is complete now. We are so happy you are here. You should be happy too. They expect me to fit right back into their lives. They’ve been waiting for me, building up hopes, anticipating my arrival. It feels eerily like adoption. The pressure to perform the same kind of emotional labor that was required of me as an adoptee is enormous.

    I’m told that anger is the wrong response in this situation. But it’s all I’m feeling. There is no fresh start. Too much has already been taken from me. As a “reunited adoptee” I have even more I’m supposed to be grateful for, and so many things I’m told to be careful about.

    Maybe get to know them first, and tell them you will address the marriage issue later. Things are changing, but it’s uncertain how they will respond to you.

    You mean because I’m GAY? I thought I would just be myself in this situation. I finally have a chance at an authentic relationship with a family, my family. But the fear of rejection is huge.

    I depend on others to translate culture, and I feel lost. The gifts from my birth family make me angry. Especially the envelope of money shoved into my purse. But I’m told to accept it because it is a symbol of love. One translator orders me to say “Thank you.”

    You should accept your family’s goodwill. They are your strength.
    I want to punch him. This feels exactly like adoption.

    1. Add instant adoptee.
    2. Shake until happy.

    My birth mother assumes that I will drop everything and come live with her, now that we are reunited. She tells me to study hard and learn Korean because she’s too old to learn English. Live with me. Speak Korean. Just like nothing happened.

    I know this is also out of her control in so many ways, but I refuse to believe this is all she can do to show her love. I understand not wanting to feel pain. But this will never fix what’s broken. What if we tried confrontation, anger, even rage? Will I be told that it’s not Korean to behave this way?

    If I could, I would tell my birth family that last weekend in Seoul, an adoptee tried to kill herself. She jumped from the balcony of our hostel. I was sitting in my room on the first floor, and I heard her body hit the ground outside my window. I knew instantly what she had done, because I had thought about doing it myself. But I knew it wasn’t far enough to fall.


    I can’t help it if it’s wrong. I have to tell. I want other adoptees to know what happened. It’s traumatic. But I can’t pretend to forget, and just do nothing. It’s common knowledge among us that Korean adoptees have a very high suicide rate. Maybe we’ve internalized the message that our pain is private, individual, unique. But it’s also systemic. How can we hold Korea accountable for selling us off if we continue to erase each other?

    I wonder how many adoptees have to commit suicide before Korea will be embarrassed enough to do something about it. Maybe it’s not numbers that matter, but our response as adoptees when it happens. The atmosphere here feels desensitized. I need other angry adoptees.

    I have to keep saying the ugly things that no one wants to think about or remember. I heard her body hit the ground. It’s not poetry. I don’t want to make a film about it. I hear that horrifying noise when I lie in bed at night, and I think, how is it that adoptees do not explode with anger at how disposable we are in Korea?

    I feel despair here, but also an intense anger, which reassures me that there’s work to be done. I still believe there’s power in our collective anger. If we can let ourselves feel it, and talk about it. Ignoring, pretending, forgetting. I do it too, I think we all learned different ways to cope with the bullshit of adoption. But I didn’t come to Korea to pretend.
    It's not Korea. It's adoption!  They take our our kids. They take identity away from our kids. And we're all supposed to be happy and GRATEFUL!!

    The similarities of these two perspectives is evident. Adoption invalidates our reality. It's like being incested and having everyone in your family say you imagined it, it couldn't have happened. That kind of denial and invalidation of such a deep primal wound to the very soul is devastating. It becomes impossible to separate which hurt is the greater of the two. 

    Grief of loss is REAL! Our pain is real. Mothers who miscarry or whose infant passes away are ENCOURAGED to GRIEVE. Yet those who lose children to adoption are not supposed to. We are supposed to forget it as if "it" never happened. Be glad [read: grateful] our child has a "better" life, and some of us have even been told to be happy for the otherwise childless family we brought such happiness to, as if we were intetonal surrogates or organ donors.

    The needs of mothers today who are in open adoption will be further misunderstood. They can see their kids, but they are still not mothers!  Does anyone understand what they've lost and their need to grieve? Are their friends and family understanding or compassionate or does everyone feel they got what they wanted and remind them how LUCKY they are that their adoption is "open."  Where does the anger go?  INSIDE US ALL!

    We are disallowed human emotions and any show of concern for our losses because adoption dehumanizes us! As non humans we are expected to have no emotions, no need to mourn or grieve, We are things: commodities and the warppings of gift came in. Non human things.

    The only wonder is why more of us don't EXPLODE with anger!  Far too many of us play the part, keep the peace. Smile for the camera.  Do the "polite" "good girl" thing! Stuff the anger. Deny ourselves the right to be frustrated and pissed off!

    Now compare that to gays who are fighting for marriage equality, the right to serve in the military and to adopt children.   They're getting what they want - at least in part. So too did the first responders of 9/11. They did not get anything and would never have gotten anything, by sitting back and being "good" and polite....or by being angry and simply writing about it or bitching to one another. They got what they got by getting angry and focusing their anger into legislative activism!

    We need to channel that anger into righteous indignation and legislative activism!  Fight to change what is wrong with adoption - how mothers are exploited and children commodified...all to meet a demand!

    If you aint angry about that you aint paying're numb, brain a zombie victim of Stockholm Syndrome.

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    16 And Pregnant Recap: Ashley’s Adoption Plans ? ? ?

    This is painful to read...a young girl being asked to hand over her baby girl who she loves and wants...

    Many of us will identify with this struggle as described in detail here.

    It is very obvious reading this current day scenario exactly why things were done they were back "in the day." Mothers were sequestered and kept from even thinking about the child growing inside them as theirs. They were kept from forming any bond pre or post delivery...some disallowed to even see their child or even know the gender.

    This is why!  Once you do see your baby it is far, far harder to "chose" to give him away.

    I was not in a maternity home. I struggles as Ashley did for six months, refusing to sign final papers. I knew what I wanted, as does Ashley, but like her I got zero support and was constantly badgered and pressured to let go.  You get to feeling worn down like a hostage in Guantanamo Bay exposed to water boarding until you say what they want to hear and do what they want: sign on the dotted line.

    Ashley's blog:

    TheStir at CafeMom writes: "Ashley, who gives up baby Callie and then falls into a devastating depression.  She goes as far as to take the baby back. Irresponsible? Of course. Understandable? Definitely." Ashey attenpts ot be supermom by aplying for college while up all night with a newborn. Too bad no one told her you don't have to have it all or do it all ALL AT ONCE! Life is long and babies are tine for a very short time. Collge could wait a year! But No one points that out to her and she ends up handing her baby girl over to her aunt and uncle for - hopefully - an open adoption.

    TheStir ends by asking if MTV's 16 and Pregnant is encouraging teens to get pregnant for the attention?

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Immigration Stealing Children: Maybe Thousands

    (CNN) -- The boy has two names.

    His biological mother calls him Carlitos, but he's Jamison to the couple that adopted him.
    The two sides are locked in a heart-wrenching legal fight over custody of the 4-year-old boy. He's caught between federal immigration law and state adoption law -- and between two families. But the

    Missouri Supreme Court will soon decide his fate.

    The court could keep him with his adoptive parents, Seth and Melinda Moser, a couple from Carthage, Missouri who have raised the boy since shortly before his second birthday. The Mosers say they played by the rules in adopting the boy and provide him with a loving, stable home.

    Or the court could return the boy to his biological mother, a native of Guatemala who says she never agreed to her son's adoption. She was separated from her son when he was about six months old, after federal agents imprisoned her as an illegal immigrant who used a stolen Social Security number to work at a poultry processing plant.

    Seth Moser says he and his wife are the only parents the boy has ever known. They heard him speak his first words, watched him take his first steps.

    "God has given us a little boy and the responsibility of taking care of him and loving him, and that's all we've done since the first day we've had him," he says. [DUH...I think it was immigration, not God!]

    "It's almost like preparing for someone in your family to die," he says. "How do you explain to your 4-year-old that there's an issue and that he has to go with this other person he doesn't even know?"
    The boy speaks English, like the Mosers. His biological mother, Encarnacion Bail Romero, speaks Spanish.

    She didn't see her son during her nearly two years behind bars, but the boy is her flesh and blood, she argues. She says her child was taken away without her consent. How can a court not allow her to get her child back, she asks?

    "I was very worried about my son, and today I'm still desperate," she says in Spanish. "I want to be with my son."

    The federal government plans to deport Bail Romero to Guatemala, where her two other children live, but authorities have put that on hold until the courts resolve the question of her son's custody.

    Lurking behind the immediate issue of where the boy will live is the larger question of what happens to children when their parents are detained as illegal immigrants.

    There may be hundreds or thousands of cases in the United States where immigrant children are taken from their biological parents, says Marcia Zug, a University of South Carolina law professor who has researched the topic.

    Because records of many such cases are sealed, and because many immigrants can't afford to hire lawyers, Zug estimates that she has found only a small fraction of such cases.

    "I have 20 documented cases, but I think that's just the tip of the iceberg," she says.

    In some cases, state welfare workers facilitate the adoption of illegal immigrants' children, acting on what they believe to be the children's best interest, she says. That motivation resonates with the Mosers, who wonder what kind of future would await in Guatemala for a boy who speaks no Spanish.

    The Missouri Supreme Court could rule any day on the legality of the boy's adoption; a lower court already has ruled that the adoption was invalid.

    "No one knows for sure how many have lost their kids because of immigration issues," says Bail Romero's attorney, Omar Riojas.

    The path that took the boy from Bail Romero to the Mosers has enough twists and turns that one of the attorneys involved in the case compared it to a soap opera.

    The story begins about six months after Bail Romero gave birth.

    In May 2007, federal immigration agents raided the poultry processing plant where Bail Romero worked. Rather than deport her, the government charged her with aggravated identity fraud for working under a stolen Social Security number.

    With Bail Romero in prison, her brother and sister cared for the boy, at first. They sought help in caring for the child from an education worker who put them in touch with a clergy couple who offered baby-sitting services, attorneys in the case say.

    The couple asked to adopt the boy, but Bail Romero said no, Riojas says. Rebuffed, the couple introduced the boy to the Mosers. The clergy couple eventually put the boy up for adoption -- something the boy's biological mother says they lacked the legal ability to do.

    The Mosers soon asked a judge for temporary custody, says their lawyer, Richard Schnake. Bail Romero - in prison at the time - did not contact the Mosers of their attorney or object to them having custody, he says.

    "I didn't know who that family was," she says.

    Bail Romero says she did not fully understand what was going on and certainly did not give her blessing for them to adopt her son.

    After a judge granted the Mosers temporary custody, they waited a year -- rather than the six month minimum stipulated by Missouri law -- before asking to adopt the boy, Schnake says.

    In October 2008, a judge approved the adoption, ruling that Bail Romero had abandoned her child by not trying to contact the Mosers for a year. Bail Romero says that because she doesn't speak English and was left with no way to ask for help to plead her side.

    In addition to the clergy couple not having the authority to put up her son for adoption, Riojas has argued that Bail Romero was deprived of due process because she had no consular access or access to legal documents in her language. He also says an attorney who represented her at one point did not represent her well.

    After the adoption went through, the Mosers legally changed the boy's name to Carlos Jamison Moser.
    In February 2009, however, Bail Romero got out of prison and started fighting to re-gain custody. An appeals court sided with her in July. It concluded that the adoption was invalid.
    The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments in the case in November.


    In September 2007, Ms. Bail said, the aide visited her in jail to say that an American couple was interested in adopting her son. The couple had land and a beautiful house, Ms. Bail recalled being told, and had become very fond of Carlos.

    “My parents were poor, and they never gave me to anyone,” Ms. Bail recalled. “I was not going to give my son to anyone either.”

    An adoption petition arrived at the jail a few weeks later. Ms. Bail, who cannot read Spanish, much less English, said she had a cellmate from Mexico translate. With the help of a guard and an English-speaking Guatemalan visitor, Ms. Bail wrote a response to the court.

    “I do not want my son to be adopted by anyone,” she scrawled on a sheet of notebook paper on Oct. 28, 2007. “I would prefer that he be placed in foster care until I am not in jail any longer. I would like to have visitation with my son.”

    Ms. Bail said she had asked the public defender who was representing her in the identity theft case to help her determine Carlos’s whereabouts, but the lawyer told her she handled only criminal matters. “I went to court six times, and six times I asked for help to find my son,” she said. “But no one helped me.”

    Ms. Bail got a Spanish-speaking lawyer, Aldo Dominguez, to represent her in the custody case only last June. By the time he reached her two months later — she had been transferred to a prison in West Virginia — it was too late to make her case to Judge Dally, Mr. Dominguez said.

    New Dehli: Children SOLD for Adoption

    NEW DELHI: The anti-extortion cell of the crime branch of Delhi Police on Monday claimed to have blown the lid off an adoption racket in the capital with the arrest of four persons, including a doctor and two women, and the rescue of an 11-day-old girl and an eight-month-old boy.

    The gang allegedly used to prepare forged documents to show that the woman who bought the child had delivered the baby. The two accused women were running NGOs in the city and allegedly indulged in selling infants to couples. "The gang used to charge around Rs 1.8 lakh for a child out of which Rs 30,000 were given to the biological parents," Ashok Chand, deputy commissioner of police (crime), said.

    Sources said the gang used to procure young children from West Bengal, Orissa, Punjab and Jharkhand. "We have informed the cops in West Bengal to trace certain people who had allegedly bought or sold children to this gang. We have taken the accused on police remand and are investigating the case,'' said a senior officer.

    Rakesh Senger, national secretary, Bachhpan Bachao Andolan said that they were first tipped about this racket by a father whose son went missing last year. "The nine-year-old boy was found by the father near Khayala. When we sent a decoy customer to these NGOs, we found that we could buy children if we quoted a high price,'' said Sengar.

    Sources claimed the gang's role in supporting begging and even child prostitution was being probed. Pawan Sharma (38), Ranjeeta Bhasin (48), Shobha Gupta and Dr Atul Kumar were arrested following investigations into a tip-off. Bhasin has been running two NGOs - Nav Roshini Chetna Mahilla Samiti and Nav Jyoti Anathalaya - in Raghubir Nagar near Khayala since 1998. She told police that ten days ago she gave an infant girl to Gupta. Gupta was apprehended from Dwarka. She too was running an NGO 'Child Care' in Vashistha Park since 2004.

    "She told us that one Anupama Lal introduced her to a young woman who wanted a child. Gupta told her that she could arrange a girl for her for Rs 1.80 lakh. "The reason given for demanding money was that it would be required for completion of legal formalities," Chand said.

    Gupta then took the woman to a medical clinic run by Kumar in Prashant Vihar. "Kumar prepared false documents for the infant girl. For the record, he got the lady admitted in his medical centre on December 11 and discharged her the next day claiming that she had delivered the 11-day-old girl," Chand said. Lal is yet to be apprehended. one of India's most notorious baby selling/adoption cases:

    The state wants to revoke the order of suspending the license for Pune-based adoption house, Preet Mandir for domestic adoptions. Preet Mandir was in the limelight in 2007 when a news channel alleging that the adoption house sold babies to foreigners for US $ 12,000 carried out a sting operation.

    Vandana Krishna, principal secretary of the women and child welfare department, wrote a letter the Bombay high court stating that they wanted to revoke their order and allow Preet Mandir to go ahead with domestic adoptions.

    In June, the state suspended the license after issuing the adoption house a show cause notice.
    In July, while hearing a petition by a non-governmental organisation, Sakhee, the high court had restrained Preet Mandir from processing further adoption applications till further orders.

    In view of the order, the government cannot revoke their suspension order.

    Revati Dere, counsel for Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), informed the court they have lodged an FIR against the director of Preet Mandir – Joginder Singh Bhasin.

    Even Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA), a nodal agency in international adoptions, has stayed international adoptions by the adoption house.

    A division bench of justice AM Khanwilkar and justice AP Bhangale has given the government a deadline of January 11 if they want to reconsider withdrawing the suspension order.

    A petition was filed in the high court by two NGOs – Advait Foundation and Sakhee – seeking that an independent agency should probe the allegations of Preet Mandir selling babies in the guise of adoption. Since then the high court has been monitoring progress in the case.

    In 2007, the high court had handed over investigation to the CBI.

    However, in October 2007, the CBI gave a clean chit to the adoption house saying that all its monetary transactions were accounted for. [Note: The MONEY is accounted for, what about where and how the children were obtained??]

    Two years after giving clean chit to Preet Mandir, the CBI realised that its investigation was sloppy and further probe was required. [Ya think?]

    Additional solicitor general Darius Khambata had sought permission of the high court in September 2009 to carry out further investigation in the case.

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    Support Korean Mothers

    Evelyn Robinson writes:

    I was contacted recently by the Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network. Please visit their web site. I hope that you'll read the inspiring story of how the network was founded by an adoptive father.

    Expectant mothers in Korea who are unmarried and not supported by their families or the fathers of their children are being pressured into agreeing for their children to be adopted. Their situation is very similar to the situation in countries like Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Canada and the US in the middle to late twentieth century. This is causing heartbreaking and unnecessary family separations.

    More than 200,000 Korean children have already been adopted out to other countries in the last forty years or so and some have also been lost to domestic adoption in that period. This means that there are several hundred thousand mothers in Korea who are mourning the loss of their children, as well as fathers, grandparents, siblings and other family members.

    Groups such as KUMSN are trying to change the social and financial climate to allow unmarried mothers to raise their children and prevent more adoptions from taking place.

    Anything we can do to help them would be much appreciated. They are not asking for financial support, but it would be great for them to know that people around the world are concerned about this situation.

    If you feel inclined, you can follow them on Facebook, you can contribute to their newsletter or you can contact them via their web site and offer messages of encouragement and support.

    Also, in my opinion, every country which accepts children from Korea for adoption is supporting these painful and unnecessary family breakdowns and so you may want to make your feelings known to politicians and policy-makers in your own country and ask them to consider the plight of unmarried mothers in Korea and refuse to support the removal of their children.

    I am sure that change will come in Korea and anything that we can do to make that happen sooner rather than later will mean that we are contributing to the establishment of social justice for families in Korea.

    Many thanks for considering this.

    Please feel free to distribute this information.


    Harvard Law Professor Who Speaks the Truth of Adoption

    Not all who have law degrees from harvard use them to prliferate adoption for their fellow attorneys as does Prof Elizabeth Bartholet.

    Patricia J. Williams, a professor of law at Columbia University, was born in Boston in 1951 and holds a BA from Wellesley College and a JD from Harvard Law School and she tells it like it is in Save the Children? in the December 20, 2010 edition of The Nation.

    "It's just not a great idea to adopt a child because you want to end war
    or cure world hunger. Maybe you should work for an NGO instead or help
    plow a field. Such efforts are often undervalued, but they contribute
    significantly to the betterment of dispossessed children."
    "...To posit adoption as "rescue" from turmoil risks inflecting the
    personal family dynamic with missionary smugness in a way no child
    should be asked to endure."
    BRAVO! Another voice added tot he choir of those who speak the truth to power!

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Dear Santa

    Dear Santa Claus,

    Here's what I want for Christmas:

    Please help every mother struggling to keep her family together; give them what they need and keep them strong to fight the pressure for their kids. Remind them all that nothing is constant but change and their problems are temporary and adoption loss is forever. Tell scared mothers-to-be that adoption is a crap shoot and motherhood is the really brave, unselfish choice.

    Please show the truth of adoption past to those who see children as highly touted commodities and eagerly snatch them up. Let them know the pain of losing one's heritage, language, genetic connectedness. Let them know the lifelong pain of mothers who lose their children to adoption.

    Please assist all those torn apart by adoption to find one another and be reunited in peace, forgiveness and love. Give them one another! It would be the best Christmas present ever for all who long to know their kids are OK or what their mother and father look like.

    Santa, please help as many people who want babies to have them and help those who can't  find peace with that and with other ways of helping being foster parents.  Help those who feel it a religious calling to "rescue" "orphans" that most of the kids in orphanages are not orphans. 90% have at least one parent and extended family who visit and hope to take them home again.  Tell them that if they adopt they may be unwittingly taking a child who was stolen or kidnapped and that they can help kids by donating to NGOs like SOS Children's Village, Save the Children or Christian Children's Fund.  Tell them that's what Jesus would do.

    Please, Santa.

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics and Baby Selling?

    Bartholet's Pro-Adoption Extremism is Anti Child and Family 

    by Mirah Riben OpEd

    The buying and selling of human beings, including babies, is unlawful in every state in the United States and most of the world. Who then would proclaim in regard to adoption:

    "Baby buying is generally not thought of as a serious evil in today's world in other contexts. Commercial surrogacy is the institution in which true baby buying takes place systematically. Surrogacy contracts specify that the woman who provides pregnancy and childbirth services, and often her egg as well, will receive money in exchange for turning over the baby born, and terminating her parental rights. Commercial surrogacy is flourishing in the United States and many other countries" (1)

    Certainly an attorney would know that baby buying and selling is illegal and an attorney who specialized in adoption would condemn baby sellers. Why then would Elizabeth Bartholet, Harvard Law Professor who is a fervent proponent of child adoption and supports attorneys who practice adoption family law defend baby buying? 

    Like many of the claims put forth by Professor Bartholet, this one is based on intentionally misinterpreted facts and statistics. Using the questionable practice of surrogacy to justify an unquestionable wrong--the buying and selling of babies for adoption--is reprehensible. The specious argument that baby buying is acceptable because surrogacy is, is absurd. Far from "flourishing", surrogacy is in fact permitted in only six U.S. states, eight states allow it with restrictions, while nine states outlaw it, some, such as D.C. and Michigan punishing violators.

    Surrogacy, where allowable, is largely unregulated, controlled mainly by fertility doctors, agencies and clinics that many of which do not adhere to guidelines. The lax atmosphere "raises vexing ethical questions."(2)   Hardly a model to emulate.

    Internationally, surrogacy contracts are unlawful in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and the UK. In March 2008, the Science Council of Japan proposed a ban on surrogacy and said that doctors, agents and their clients should be punished for commercial surrogacy arrangements. In India surrogacy has become a major industry and mothers participating in surrogacy programs are said to be cared for with advanced medical, nutritional, and overall good care. However, bioethicists remain concerned that Indian surrogates are exploited by being paid poorly for their maternal services called "rent-a-womb" in a country with a comparatively high maternal death rate.

    Who is Professor Bartholet?

    Professor Elizabeth Bartholet is a Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Faculty Director of their Child Advocacy Program. Bartholet is author of two books on adoption(3) and also an adoptive mother who "spent three months in Lima for each adoption, enduring" what she describes as "the most challenging experiences of my life." Nursing each child through "terrifying illnesses" Bartholet "agonized through endless sessions with police, social workers and courts.  I fought off mysterious threats to remove the children who had become mine in every way except the law, threats that hung over us until the day we flew home"."(4)  When it comes to adoption, it appears that Bartholet considers her personal desires and entitlement, when in conflict with the law of the land, the greater of the two. She carries this passion fervently into her advocacy for all who wish, and can afford, to adopt privately, protecting a non-existent "right" to adopt an unrelated child in disregard of every child's right to know and be cared for by his or her own parents, whenever possible.

    Despite her self-portrayal as a child advocate, Bartholet's greatest concerns regarding barriers to adoption are for paying clients seeking children and those who profit from child redistribution. She and the organizations she is affiliated with represent attorneys who specialize in adoption and whose livelihoods depend on adoption placement fees. Adoption attorneys are no more vested in protecting the best interests of children than divorce attorneys are vested in saving marriages. Their obligation is to protect the rights of their paying clients who hire them to obtain a child, regardless of how the child is obtained and regardless of the outcome for the children involved.

    Bartholet is associated with, and spokesperson for ACT for Adoption, The Center for Adoption Policy (CAP), and the Harvard Law School's Child Advocacy Program (CAP). By forming multiple Internet organizations, Bartholet attempts to make support for her mission appear to be widespread and supported by "experts" in the adoption community, when in fact they oppose internationally recognized child's rights advocacy organizations for "having a lock on the child human rights position."(5)   Such radical positions are not supported by and in some cases in conflict with the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute (EBDAI), the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), Ethica and other widely recognized authorities of ethical adoption practices.

    ACT for Adoption (ACT) was mobilized in 2008 "to communicate with the White House, Members of Congress, government agencies and the press to educate and advocate for legislation, policies and administrative procedures supportive of adoption."  ACT appears to exist in name only acting as the PR arm of The Center for Adoption Policy (CAP) and Harvard Law School's Child Advocacy Program (CAP), the latter founded and directed by Prof. Bartholet for the purpose of promoting international adoption. With no Internet site or physical address  ACT disperses press releases regarding the pro-adoption stances and efforts of CAP and CAP. These announcements are sent from ACT with an ACT logo at the top of the page and a "reply to" address of 

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

    ACT, CAP and CAP support their pro-adoption agenda in part by creating newspeak such as their newly coined term "unparented children"--which they capitalize for further effect--in order to encourage the adoption of children of living parents, as they did in supporting Madonna's adoptions while recognizing that International adoption "has come under fire recently from UNICEF" because of corruption and baby selling. They also use language such as a need to eliminate "barriers that hinder children from realizing their basic right of a family and ways they might act to eliminate them" without any consideration of a child's foremost basic right to have his family receive the resources they need to remain intact or reunify.

    Bartholet is also involved with Both Ends Burning and organization formed by Craig Juntunen who adopted three children from Haiti. The singular goal of this group is to promote inter-country adoption with the hope of reaching a quota of 50,000 adoptions per year by 2010.  Never mind any attempt to resolve the issues that might necessitate familial separation and loss.

    Lies and False "Statistics"

    "It's not really true that there are large numbers of infants with no homes who either will be in institutions or who need intercountry adoption," notes Alexandria Yuster, a senior advisor on child protection with UNICEF.(6)   "We're concerned with the commercialization of vulnerable children. It gives an incentive to intermediaries to look for the kind of children these families most want to adopt"Adoption is supposed to be about finding homes for children, not finding children for families."(7)

    Bartholet knows this yet proliferates lies, intentionally and deliberately using false statistics on the number of "orphans" globally. CAP and CAP repeatedly quote a figure of 143 million orphans--a number well known to them to be extremely overinflated inasmuch as 88.7% of children in orphanages worldwide are not orphans but have at last one living parent and are not eligible for adoption.(8)   Many families in under-developed areas of the world use institutional care temporarily and to obtain medical care they cannot otherwise afford.  Both of Madonna's adoptions--supported by ACT--are explicit examples of children in orphanages, many of whom have extended families that could care for them, if provided with the support to do so.(9) 

    In Mozambique, when funding ran out for institutions, 80% of children were able to be reunified with their families, according to Jini Roby, attorney and social worker who researches and teaches global issues of children at risk at Brigham Young University, Ninety-eight percent of caregivers given assistance that was more cost effective than institutional care were able to keep their families together until children reached adulthood.

    With nearly 90% of the 143 million children residing in orphanages not able to be adopted, that leaves slightly less than 1.4 million children. Bartholet also knows, however, that 95% of all institutionalized children are over five years of age, and many have special needs, while those being adopted are under five.(10)  U.S. visa statistics validate that almost 90% percent of all American adoptions are for children under the age of 5, not the children "languishing" in orphanages. The breakdown is 46% are under a year; 43% 1-4 years; 8% 5-9 years; 3% over 9.

    The international adoptions she promotes are not helping the children who need it the most. Holt International found that most children in care in Cambodia, for instance, were over the age of 8 and therefore ineligible for international adoption. Only 132 children in institutions were one year old or younger--fewer babies than Westerners adopted every two months.

    Researchers from the University of Liverpool found that EU countries with the highest rates of children living in institutions and high numbers of international adoptions did not reduce the number the number of children in institutional care but attributed to an increase. The study found that people in countries such as France and Spain are choosing to adopt healthy, white children from abroad rather than children from their own country.  Similarly, more that one hundred thousand children in U.S. foster care who could be adopted are ignored by Americans who adopt internationally.

    Reducing international adoptions allows those within the country an opportunity to adopt without the insurmountable competition of outside dollars. International adoption creates barriers to domestic adoption both in the "sending" and "receiving" counties.

    In Direct Opposition of Fact

    Bartholet, who has said that "heritage is over-rated"(11),  posits that:

    "International adoption is under siege, with the number of children placed dropping each of the last several years, and many countries imposing severe new restrictions [against kidnapping, stealing and corruption]. Key forces mounting the attack claim the child human rights mantle, arguing that such adoption denies heritage rights, and often involves abusive practices.  Many nations assert rights to hold onto the children born within their borders, and others support these demands citing subsidiarity principles.  But children's most basic human rights, at the heart of the true meaning of subsidiarity, are to grow up in the families that will often be found only in international adoption.  These rights should trump any conflicting state sovereignty claims [emphasis added]."
    Only international adoption can provide needy children with caring families?

    With this belief, ACT announced in November 2009 that CAP and CAP had been granted a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to present their concerns about a "dramatic decrease" in international adoptions, claiming that the closing of Guatemalan adoption in the wake of proven kidnappings for adoption, violates the human rights of children. (12)  Bartholet's testimony attacked the principle of heritage and placed international adoption as a priority second only to a child remaining with their family, totally dismissing and discounting domestic adoption, creating an illusion that cold institutional care is the only alternative.(13) 

    Professor Bartholet's hyperbole includes unfounded claims contrary to fact such as: "Shutting down international adoption programs in Guatemala deprives thousands of children per year of the chance to grow up in nurturing homes, rather than life-destroying orphanages.  That's an evil that should count for more."(14)   A lesser "evil" than baby selling, a far more serious and insidious, universally punishable felony? 

    Yet in Guatemala--as Bartholet well knows--that 80% of children adopted in 2006 were under one year of age.(15, 16)  Older children and children with disabilities are left behind as the attorneys represented by ACT, CAP and AAAA help fill a demand for babies. In fact, 98 percent of U.S. adoptions from Guatemala were babies who had never seen the inside of an institution were signed over directly to a private attorney who approved the international adoption--for a very considerable fee--without any review by a judge or social service agency.(17) 

    In Whose "Best Interest"?

    ACT is right on target when they state that children being dislocated from their families "have no seat at the policy table, and no voice." Their claim, however, that their pro-adoption position speaks for or represents the children whose custody is being transferred assumes that children want advocates who support adoption more than they desire helping their families overcome temporary, non-endangering problems allowing them to remain intact.

    No one disputes that children who are truly orphaned and have no extended family to care for them properly, require alternative care. There is also little dispute by the majority of child advocates and adoption experts that international adoption is ripe with corruption, exploitation and trafficking of children.

    Few adoption related businesses, organizations or practitioners can match the record of Save the Children which spent 92% on services and just 4% on fundraising and another 4% on management and all other expenditures. These are the facts that need to be taken into account when weighing motivation in regards to adoption policy decisions. Profit motive too often gets in the way, exploiting families and crisis and commodifying their children.

    Bartholet, while promoting and encouraging the adoption of children allegedly "languishing" in orphanages, and bemoaning any reduction in the number of Americans adopting internationally, at the same time--in the ultimate irony--defends allowing foreigners to adopt to adopt American children. The justification for the exportation of babies out of the U.S. for adoption is based on a claim that Americans will not accept inter-racial adoptions despite the fact that twenty thousand Americans adopting transnationally per year.

    Americans have been adopting transnationally and transracially since the 1950s and continue today, adopting from African nations such s Ethiopia. The transfer of custody of an American born child to an unrelated person of another nation is impossible to justify as being in any child's best interest and is in opposition to all ethical efforts to find placements within the child's country of birth before intercountry is sought. Such baby brokering is in the interest only of those able to pay for children and those willing to receive payment for the purchase of a human being; those who agree that "baby buying is generally not thought of as a serious evil in today's world."

    Agreement and Disagreement

    There are other adoption profiteers who share Prof. Bartholet's views. One such person is Candace O'Brien, Esquire operator of AdoptInternational who laments that "UNICEF has been waging war against international adoption for many years" and calls their advocacy "tough and effective pressure tactics and lobbying" which effectively serve to close programs completely or almost completely to foreign adopters belies a misguided, unrealistic and out of touch policy contrary to the best interests of hundreds of thousands of legitimately orphaned and abandoned children around the world."(19)

    O'Brien is understandable upset with the UN's support of the Hague Convention on International Adoption's regulations. Her agency, AdoptInternational began as a for profit and changed over to not-for-profit in an attempt to become Hague accredited. However, their application was denied, at least in part for making false claims on the agency website that it was accredited when it was not.

    But not all attorneys in the field of adoption agree with this virulent pro-adoption stance, and especially do not accept false allegations and the intentional distortion of data to support one's agenda. She has been taken to task by her own colleagues on her blatant disregard of facts in regards to this issue of the number of orphans needing adoption as well as other facts about international adoption. Johanna Oreskovic, who holds a J.D. from the University at Buffalo Law School, where she taught a course on domestic and international adoption and Trish Maskew, a consultant to the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law concluded:

    "Bartholet's argument is a factually unsupported, analytically simplistic justification for what is, in reality, the profoundly problematic institution of international adoption. She does not address any of the complexities involved in determining the true number of adoptable children. She offers no analysis or evidence in support of her claim that existing laws provide an effective safety net against abuse. She underestimates, perhaps radically, the true incidence of adoption abuses" It is irresponsible to begin the analysis, as Bartholet does, by looking at the end of the international adoption process." (20)

    Adam Pertman, Exec. Dir., EBDAI(21)  and author asks:
    "Why aren't adoption professionals screaming bloody murder"distancing themselves from " their unethical colleagues?

    ". . .The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys as well as individual lawyers, should be holding press conferences and passing resolutions and demanding disbarment hearings, for example, when colleagues engage in egregious behavior."


    Bartholet correctly notes that "our adoption system has failed to live up to even its own limited vision" to protect children."(22)  She is, however, totally wrong however to condone, justify or even accept baby buying and selling babies.

    Viewing adoption from the perspective of those demanding babies and those wanting to profit from placements, Bartholet sees the position of UNICEF and other child advocacy NGOs who offer "alternatives to international adoption [such as] support for poor parents, foster care, and in-country adoption as "barriers to adoption." Bartholet's concern for those seeking to adopt----into and out of the U.S.--outstrips any concern for anything else and causes her to downplay, and defend, known abuses and illegalities.  Baby buying, selling and trafficking for adoption is illegal, repugnant and immoral. Around the world, rings of thieves steal babies--some at gunpoint, some by drugging mothers--falsify documents declaring children abandoned, and sell them to orphanages, victimizing mothers and commodifying their children in commission of violent felony offenses.

    Those planning to adopt need to do due diligence to be certain they are not part of the problem and they need to know that the attorneys and other professionals they hire to assist them in their desire to adopt are equally vigilant against partaking in anything untoward. No one wants to discover, as some have,(23) that the child they adopted was obtained illegally or unethically, and in fact many are "calling for more transparency, because no parent would want a stolen child."(24)

    Oreskovic and Maskew note that: "We cannot responsibly conclude that a child must be adopted internationally before we know how the child got to the orphanage, where his or her parents are, and whether the cause of the family separation is permanent and cannot be remedied in a less radical manner than moving the child from its original family and culture to another."

    Bartholet's support of baby buying as something acceptable is sending shock waves throughout the adoption community. Adoption practitioners concerned about their own reputations and referral business need to clearly distance themselves from this position and stand with those working such as Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform (PEAR), EBDAI, and Ethica to maintain adoption as an ethical process with integrity and transparency.

    Many industries and institutions--pharmaceuticals, tobacco, law enforcement-- have been criticized, faced scandals and attacked from within by whistle blowers. Those within these industries can chose to deny that abuses have occurred, respect some code such as the "blue wall of silence", or welcome the investigations because their hands are clean. Driven by her ethics and morals, Ina Hut, upon resigning in disgust as director of Wereldkinderen (World Children) the largest adoption agency in the Netherlands recognized that "would-be parents have strong desires, and I understand that. Everybody has the right to want children," she said, adding: "but you don't have the right to children. Children have the right to parents. The right to children doesn't exist on this planet." She further recognized that it "became clear that in the debate around international adoption it is not in the interests of children" but in the interests of the would-be parents, " and also in the commercial interests ..."

    Adoption practitioners must find their own moral compass and perhaps consider a different, albeit profitable, area of law that is less questionable. American adoption attorneys should applaud those who are working to eradicate illegal and unethical practices and "eliminating the greedy lawyers"(25)  as unimportant and lesser evils than buying babies, because policing the illegal baby brokers will restore faith in those who are committed to ethical adoption practices. 

    Professor Bartholet is a zealot for the right of adoption attorneys to continue make a living brokering babies -- even kidnapped and stolen ones.  She is as concerned for the children being peddled as the Ford motor company was concerned about the consumers maimed and killed by the Pinto. She is as slick those who represented baby formula giant and sent saleswomen dressed in nurses uniforms to convince third world mothers to stop breastfeeding and use formula they couldn't afford, harming the very children they purported to be helping, even killing some babies whose indigent mothers watered down the formula. All to increase their bottom line.

    Ethical attorneys and legislators with an ounce of morals, or even simply concern about their reputations, would do best to distance themselves from this renegade, dissociating from a supporter of baby buying.

    End notes:

    (1)  Bartholet, Elizabeth. (2009) "International Adoption: The Human Rights Position." This is the pre-peer-reviewed version of the article "International Adoption, The Human Rights
    Position," which will be published in final form in Global Policy, Issue 1, January, 2010.

    (2)  Saul, Stephanie (2009). "Building a Baby, With Few Ground Rules" New York Times, Dec 12. click here=MYWAY&ei=5065

    (3)  Family bonds: adoption and the politics of parenting (1993) and Nobody's children: abuse and neglect, foster drift, and the adoption alternative (2000)

    (4)  Bartholet (2009)


    (6)  ibid

    (7)  Wingert, Pat (2008) "When There's No Place Like Home: Children's advocates can't agree on how much to emphasize intercountry adoption as a solution" Feb 4, Newsweek

    (8)  The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). "Children on the brink 2004: a joint report of new orphan Estimates and a Framework for Action"

    (9)  Holt International Children's Services for USAID (2005) "Cambodia Orphanage Survey 2005" September.

    (10)  Graff, E. J (2008) "The Lie We Love" No/Dec Foreign Policy

    (11)  Spoken at the "The Sixth Annual Adoption Policy Conference" at the New York Law School. Friday, March 6, 2009. The conference was sponsored by The Center for Adoption Policy, The Child Advocacy Program at Harvard Law School, and The Justice Action Center. During the same conference, Prof. Bartholet also said she preferred the phrase "baby selling" over child trafficking for adoption.

    (12) &Itemid=202  or

    (13)  click here=1102810860 366

    (14)  Bartholet (2009)

    (15)  Adoptive families magazine Guatemala adoption statistics

    (16)  Jennifer Banks, (2004) Note, The U.S. Market for Guatemalan Children: Sugges-
    tions for Slowing Down the Rapid Growth of Illegal Practices Plaguing Interna-
    tional Child Adoption, 28 Suffolk Transnat'l L. Rev. 31, 40 (stating
    that, "[i]nternational adoptions comprise ninety-five to ninety-eight percent of all
    adoptions of Guatemalan children and virtually all of these adoptions take place
    through an extrajudicial notary system").

    (17)  ibid

    (18)  Bartholet (2009)

    (19)  O'Brien, Candace (2010) International Adoption: Unicef's and other critics war against international adoption. 411Mommy Feb 20. click here'-war-against-international-adoption/

    (20)  Oreskovic, J. and Maskew, T. (2009) "Red Thread1 Or Slender Reed:
    Deconstructing Prof. Bartholet's Mythology Of International Adoption" Buffalo Human Rights Law Review Vol. 14, Jan 13

    (21)  Pertman, Adam (2000) Adoption Nation,: How the Adoption Revolution Is Transforming America. Basic Books, pp 193, 195

    (22)  Nobel, Scott (1997) "Adoption: Minnesota's Policies Slow Child Placement"

    (23)  The Hemlseys:; Desiree, who was told be her adopted daughters that they were stolen from their mother and think how you would feel being a party to something that despicable in the name of doing good:;
    "Meet The Parents: The Dark Side of International Adoption";
    click here

    (24)  Laparlière, Murice. (2009) "Money plays too big a role in adoption"
    Radio Netherlands Worldwide Aug. 288.

    (25)  ibid

    A response to Elizabeth Bartholet Journal article by R. Richard Banks; Yale Law Journal, Vol. 107, 1998 here.

    Monday, December 13, 2010

    Fertility Insanity, the Planet and God

    On Dec. 9 I reported on Wendy Walsh's solution for the environment warming: adoption.
    Now, billionaire media mogul and father of five, Ted Turner, suggests the solution is world leaders adopting (forgive me) China's one-child policy on a global scale to reduce the population growth and curb green house emissions -- and ultimately, the human population.
    He further suggests that poor people be allowed to sell their fertility rights allowing them to cash in on not reproducing.

    Would their payment include surgery to ensure their inability to procreate?

    To whom are they selling their rights - back to the government or to other people who canot even have one child??
    Would some be able to cash in on selling their reproductive rights and then adopt???

    Meanwhile, disbarred attorney and self-proclaimed Old School Baptist Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church suggested protesting at the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards,
    He, his family and a very small hand full of followers are the anti-gay nutters who have protested at the funerals of service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    But why, you might wonder, has he focused his (Christian?) hate on Elizabeth Edwards? What did this poor woman do other than die with grace and have to have her husbands philandering haunt even reports of hert death...
    His reoprted reason is that Elizabeth “thought she could control God” by seeking fertility treatments in order to have two more children in her mid-forties."
    Nadia Sulkeman and Kate Goselin better watch out!  And someone ought to alter Ted Turner to start his campaign  by banning fertility clinics....and Wendy - how about getting people like these to share their glutinous wealth of kids?

    In Open Adoption: Boy Still Feels Abandoned

    Buried in this story of open adoption is the fact that even meeting his mother, Domenic feels abandoned.
    "...Domenic saw his birth mother twice, at 12 and a year later, by his own request. He also met a sister that his birth mother was raising who is seven years older than he is. Like Kiersten, has had no contact with his birth father.
    "Mrs. Jungling said Domenic, a senior in high school who wants to become an actor, "has a lot of anger" about his adoption and "he considers himself being abandoned."
    Why wouldn't he feel angry and abandoned? He has a full, older, sibling who was kept. But it proves what I have always claimed. adoption sucks and even openness does not change it. It may make it somewhat better for some. It alleviates wondering what your relatives look like. 

    And what of the ones that totally fall apart when the child is very young?  In many adoptions that were promised to be open the children never met their natural parents and are in exactly the same position as any child is a closed adoption - may not even know they are adopted!

    Unmentioned in the story is the fact that even open adoptions still begin with the relinquishment of parental rights and a falsified birth certificate, which is very unlikely any new legislation will change.

    Saturday, December 11, 2010

    Manufacturing Babies to Fill Orders: It's Not Sci Fi

    "Egg donors often come from the U.S. or Eastern European countries since white parents tend to prefer fair-skinned children. Those countries allow donor anonymity. Parents on tighter budgets might opt for a donor from India or Latin America. Sperm is often provided by the fathers-to-be, though it's also available from a network of sperm banks in the U.S. and Europe."

    This VILE, REPUGNANT quote is from a Wall Street Journal Report, Assembling the Global Baby: With an international network of surrogate mothers and egg and sperm donors, a new industry is emerging to produce children on the cheap and outside the reach of restrictive laws. The disgustingness includes women having eggs extracted by force.

    The parents creating these franken-babies are unscrened for anything but their finances, leaving the door open for pedophiles or other monstrous abusers to obtain children this way. The owner of this PlanetHopsital - a former screenwriter and busines sowner - knows it and cares less! He says: "If they're a pedophile then I will leave that to the U.S. government to decide, not me."

    Regard for how the created creatures might feel about all of this is of no apparent concern to the busines operator or his clients.  Children contracted by heterosexual couples are issued birth certificates listing the adoptive mother as the mother - regardless of whether she had any genetic part in their creation, while children contracted by gay couples gave the surrogate listed as mnother.

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    Adoption Agency Sued

    Once again - as in the case I recently reported of the sentencing Attorney Kevin Cohen - this time an adoption agency is under fire for not producing the goods that were paid for.  Have yet to see an agency or practitioner charged with coercion, however!  Only when they bite the hand that feeds the industry are they censure din any way.

    Now-defunct private adoption agency at Little Rock, Ark., sued by state's attorney general

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The office of Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says a consumer-protection lawsuit has been filed against a now-defunct Little Rock adoption agency, its owners, and a former employee.

    A news release from McDaniel's office Thursday said the suit was filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court against Adoption Advantage Inc.; its owners, Ed Webb and Donna Gail Webb; and former employee Jaclyn Potter.

    The suit claims consumers were promised an infant for adoption in return for payment of thousands of dollars of fees. The release said such promises were made when no baby was available.

    The suit seeks a court order barring the defendants from offering to arrange adoptions and also seeks restitution for consumers who paid the company money, but got no baby.

    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