Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Same Sex Adoption

For some time the headlines have screamed of discrimination against same sex couples adopting. Catholic agencies have closed their doors rather than go against their beliefs and allow gay couples to adopt children.  Gays are up in arms and many claim that such policies only hurt the children who could benefit from loving homes regardless of the sexual orientation of those who care for them.

When I went to press with THE STORK MARKET in 2007, the topic was just becoming an issue and my thoughts were not yet fully formed.  I am an extremely liberal progressive and fully and totally support marriage equality.  But adoption as a gay rights issue was another question altogether that required more time to formulate my conflicted feelings and form an opinion. I thus, then - and since - have avoided the subject not wanting to become embroiled in adding to the furor of adoption becoming another platform for gay rights for two reasons:

1. Adoption is not a "right"
2. Adoption should always put the needs of children above those of any of the adults

No one has a "right" to adopt. Furthermore, although they get lumped together in the media and the minds of the public, all adoptions are not equal. State adoptions of children in foster care are mandated by state law while private adoptions - domestic and international - are held to very different standards and looser regulations, based primarily on who can afford to pay the tens of thousands of dollars they cost.  Religious institutions and private adoption facilitators are not bound by the same anti-discrimination laws that state agencies are.

As far as discrimination, we need to step back and recognize that the entire concept of adoption is based on subjective prejudices that age, marital status and finances determine who is more "fit" to parent. We live in a society that makes these judgments all the time. We judge some people as too young or too old to be good parents before they ever even try. This has always been the case.

Private and religious adoption agencies always made their own selection criteria. In the 1940's - 1970's, for instance, prospective adopters had to be a married man and woman of the a particular religion and had to prove infertility - as if that made one a better parent!  Jewish agencies looked for Jewish parents for children and Catholic agencies selected catholic families. Why is that wrong if it is the wishes of the mother? They also tried to match prospective parents eye and hair color to the child so they could more easily pass the child off as their own. Age was always a factor for adopters as were requirements such as having sufficient room in the home for each child. Today the weight of those applying to adopt has become, at times, an issue as obesity is a health issue.

Today mothers considering adoption are more involved and make their own selections from a pool. Surely they are allowed the right to their own person preference, even if that includes ruling out single applicants or same sex couples if it is not what they want for their child.  Bottom line is that there is no right to adopt. Adoption is a privilege, not a right and selections are made, some based on wisdom and some simply on personal preference. And, it is always based on the MYTH that adoption provides a "better" life when in fact it only guarantees a different life. It's all a crap shoot! Background checks are sorely lacking any teeth and in private independent adoptions the adopters pay for their own home studies which are drive-by rubber stamps.

While governmental agencies are bound by anti-discrimination laws, we should be screaming far louder for the rights of children to be protected than worrying about some people being excluded by SOME agencies!  Adoption needs to be a last resort after all efforts at Family Preservation have been tried and failed. It then needs to be child-centered and decisions need to be made as to what is best for each child, not those desiring to obtain a child.

In most cases -- most especially with children coming out of state care -- permanent legal guardianship with visitation is what is best and the parents who are able to accept that are the ones best suited. Many children placed from foster care have developed relationships - good or bad - with their parents, siblings or other kin that needs to be respected and continued.   Criteria should thus put a high value on applicants who fully understand and accept that they will be caring for a child who comes with a pre-existing family and history and are ready to honor, protect and maintain that.  They also need to be people who understand that adopted children - of any age - come with emotional baggage including feelings of loss, grief, rejection and abandonment. They need to be prepared to meet these needs realistically, be able to deal with acting-out and learning difficulties, and not be seeking a child to love them.

These are the criteria all adoption agencies should be screening for, not external factors.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Adoption Blindness, Entitlement, Denial and Justification.

Some theorists posit that beliefs are formed first, then we find facts to fit our beliefs. Other researchers claim the brain processes facts and beliefs in exactly the same way

Joe Keohane, writing for the Boston Globe on "How Facts Backfire" notes: "[I]t’s never been easier for people to be wrong, and at the same time feel more certain that they’re right."

That adoption is a good thing is ingrained into the minds and hearts of the average person - and even deeper ingrained in most who have adopted and some adoption "professionals." It sits on a pedestal on high along with sunshine and rainbows.  Many see it as a noble calling, a rescue mission, altruism at its finest and a win-win for children, families and society in general. These rose-colored views of adoption see all adoptions as equal in their savior quality and abilities, making no distinctions between the adoption of a true orphan from foster care, or a child coerced from young lovers forbidden to marry, or obtained under questionable means under a totally corrupt governmental regime.

Any and all factual evidence to the contrary - cases and facts that clash with this view of adoption - are met with scorn, disbelief. They lie together in a massive garbage heap, shoved under a bulging rug labeled "anomaly." Messengers of "ugly" adoption facts and truths are treated like the whistle-blowers. They are - dismissed as disgruntled, angry and bitter for some personal reason, if not out right liars or craziods. They are defective people who only see the darkness, even in something flawlessly beautiful, as adoption.

Intentionally Deaf and Blind Adoption Professionals

I am on an email list for adoption professionals with a stated purpose of giving "professionals in the field an opportunity to network with one another in a cooperative spirit about how adoption practice can be improved."

I was recently told by the group owner to cease and deceit my "negative" postings of tragic adoption stories. Some  group members thanked the group owner for sanctioning me stating: "It's hard enough to deal with the true loss issues of adoption without viewing all adoption stories through the lens of horror and sensationalism."  I wondered, even if a story might have been sensationalized by the press, did that negate any and all true, factual basis of the atrocity? This argument sounded to me like a politician caught in a sex scandal crying about it being brought to light by his political enemies strictly for political gain. While that is likely very true, turning the issue around and blaming the accusers does not mitigate the act or accusation that caused the revelation in the first place.
The list owner told me she preferred to see "discussions" of  how to deal with various corrupt aspects of adoption than posting theses cases. 

I asked the owner, privately: "What is there to discuss or change or improve if not the ugliness? How can you ever hope to work for change with blinders on, not facing these hideous truths???" I was not allotted the respect of a reply.
I also  pointed out to her, via private communication, that in all the time I had been on the list (a year or two?) the only in-depth "discussion" involving several posters  that took place was generated by an article I posted about the Barretos who had adopted seven children from Guatemala who were subsequently removed because of severe abuse. There was great in-depth discussion about how this could have occurred.

Meanwhile, on the group list one adoption professional replied saying she was opposed to the censorship because: "Sadly, every time this sort of story hits the news, I have clients (usually birth moms) discuss it. I would rather have the information, before I am surprised. If the story is 'too ugly,' I can skip it."Another wrote:
"I don't think that the issue is negative issues vs. positive ones. As professionals in adoption we need to ever aware of the corruption, trafficking and vast array of unethical practices that have surrounded adoption. Too often we like to put on our rose-colored glasses and look away from those unethical practices. I would however like to here more professional reports of these unethical practices. Often many of these stories have a tabloid feel and that sensationalism tends to dilute the real wrongdoings. I would like to see more professional input, factual reports and research based practice ideas. All of the unethical practices have been going on for years and years. We talk about how awful it is and then move on. The practices then rear their ugly heads again with new names, different states, different countries. We owe it to all of our clients to be aware and to educate them and empower them for change no matter where
they sit in the constellation."
The group owner then stated that she alone makes the rules! And apparently her rue is that when rose-colored glasses no longer block out enough of the negativity, replace with blinders and cendorship.

Intentional Blindness of Those Who Adopt

Jennifer Hemsley, 2008 recipient of the Family Preservation Hero of the Year Award was recently  interviewed by Erin Siegal, author of Finding Fernanada. In the radio podcast Hemsley tells why she put a halt on a Guatemalan adoption that was relying on questionable paperwork.

Jessica O'Dwyer was faced with an almost identical set of circumstances and chose to proceed with her adoption. O'Dwyer an author who applauds herself in the very popular (in AP circles) book "Mamalita" -- along with the mother in the documentary "Wo Ai Ni (I Love Your) Mommy" seen counting our her bribery money and noting that some might think it wrong but it's simply "how things are done here here" -- share the title of the quintessential spokespersons for shameless, bold entitlement and justification of adoption despite red flashing lights. (Runner up is the author of "Brotherhood of Joseph").

O'Dwyer, who writes in her book of having her husband bring her UNMARKED BILLS, recently felt the need to comment regarding Hemsley's podcast stating: "for me, false paperwork is a far cry from kidnapping or coercion, although they are often all lumped together as 'corrupt adoption.'

I replied to Ms. O'Dwyer at AdoptionTalk:
1. the act of corrupting or state of being corrupt.
2. moral perversion; depravity.
3. perversion of integrity.
4. corrupt or dishonest proceedings.
5. bribery.

That's the dictionary definition.

Transparency International(TI) defines corruption as "the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. This definition encompasses corrupt practices in both the public and private sectors." TI uses perceptions as a measure of corruption because "corruption – whether frequency or amount – is to a great extent a hidden activity that is difficult to measure." http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2010/in_detail

Note that here too the definition is not dependent on legality or criminality.

Adoption corruption takes many forms and exists in domestic as well as IA. Any and all deceit for the intent of earning a fee for their adoption, such as labeling children with parents "orphans" for instance, is corrupt.

I thus respectfully disagree with your opinion. 
O'Dwyer responded:  "I appreciate the dictionary definition of corruption and respect your interpretation of it. For me, the issue is not black-and-white, but a spectrum of gray. My opinion only, Jessica O'Dwyer"
I find it interesting that an author, a person to whom words should be important, simply dismisses the definition of the words she uses so glibly, when to do so is convenient for her.
Malinda, an attorney, law professor and the adoptive mother on whose blog this discussion was playing out said: "I do see corruption as the word with the broadest definition. I see corruption as encompassing both criminal and non-criminal conduct. Corruption would include trafficking, in my view, though is not limited to trafficking." Malinda goes on to point examples of adoptions that could be illegal and not corrupt, "For example, if there's a state requirement that an adoption decree be registered, and the decree is not registered as required, the adoption would be illegal, but it wouldn't necessarily be corrupt" as well as the reverse. "Say, for example, state law gives a birth mother 10 days to revoke consent, and the birth mother informs the adoptive parents that she is considering revoking her consent on day 8. Even if she does not formally revoke before the end of day 10, I would consider it unethical to proceed with the adoption."
I replied to Jessica O'Dwyer:
Well, everyone is entitled to an opinion. I just hope and pray that those who make laws to protect children, protect ALL children from all forms of corruption, exploitation and commodification. I hope that anything done that does not put the best interests of children first is eradicated as evil. I see no gray areas when it comes to lifelong pain, loss and harm caused to children and their families. None whatsoever. Gray areas -- yeah, it's called GRAY MARKET ADOPTION wherein lurks the murky world of coercion and fraud that has found convenient legal loopholes or simply lack of laws and regs to prevent the harm they commit, the ruined lives. Accepting gray areas is accepting all of the corruption that lies there in the grayness because it hasn't quite crossed some imaginary line or non-existent laws and regulations. It's a slippery and very dangerous slope. We must instead be super diligent IMHO because EVERY child is precious, not just SOME. Do we likewise turn out back and accept SLIGHT acts of child abuse - those that don't leave physical scars or broken bones? The gray shadows hide the hidden dangers and allow adoption to be "marketed" as a good, a "win-win". We need to shed light in all the dark areas and gray corners and bring ALL corruption into the spotlight not continue to allow it to lurk and continue operating legally in shadowy gray corners. As a mother - any harm done to YOUR child is a crime! Not just some that cross over some imaginary line. And moral, ethical societies uphold such standards and do not allow evil to survive in the black or in the gray.
Malinda summed it up saying: "Yes, kidnapping a child for the purposes of adoption is really, really, really, really bad, arguably worse than many other corrupt practices in adoption -- but problems of corruption can't really be defended by saying, 'At least she wasn't kidnapped!'"

Indeed. Bribery - such as that seen and brushed off in "Wo Ai Ni" and the use of unmarked bills is what fuels corruption. No Johns, no prostitution. Only those who have benefited from the corruption financially or otherwise attempt to redefine it as our government does when calling war missiles peace makers. Sugar coating acts of destruction with doublespeak make them no less destructive.

Jennifer Hemsley and Malinda help remind me not to paint all adoptive parents with the brush of intentional adoption blindness, entitlement, denial and justification. O'Dwyer reminds me that the problem still exists.

As for adoption professionals who prefer to wear their blinders I can only say SHAME ON YOU! You have clearly defined which side of the fence you are on and it is not the side of right and best interest of children. It is the side of greed, profiteering from misery and loss. "Professionals" who are unwilling to stand up and speak out against adoption atrocities, legal and ethical, are more concerned about filling a demand and their bottom line.

Each of us has a choice to make to be part of the problem or part of the solution. And the public has a responsibility to stop applauding actions such as these!  We need to stop excusing bribery as "how it's done."

News flash to Jessica O'Deyer: Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison for CORRUPTION because of BRIBERY. Baby buying by any other name is still baby buying and it STINKS! 

More here: PoundPuppy: Exposing Corruption in IA 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I AM NOT AN ORPHAN! Korean Mothers Campaign

PLEASE SHARE THIS MESSAGE AT THIN LINK: http://www.kumsn.org/main/16265#1
Dec. 1, 2011 
CONTACT INFORMATION: Hee Jung Kwon: kumsn@kumsn.org 
Tell: 82-2-734-5007 
Fax: 82-2-720-5007 
Cell: 82-10-5210-8637 

KUMSN starts post card campaign, I am not an Orphan, to promote the rights of unwed pregnancy and unwed mothers from Dec. 1, 2011. 

According to the Report on Children in Protection by the Ministry of Health and Ministry (2011), the total number of 8,590 children were being protected by the various social welfare programs due to family poverty, parents’ jobless, or child abuse and so on in 2010. Among them, 2,804 children, about 33%, were under protection due to the reason of being born to unwed mothers. 

As has been quoted widely, about 90% of children who were sent for adoption are from unwed mothers in Korea (KWDI 2009). In other words, most children who were sent for adoption already have mothers who gave birth to them. These are mothers who say that if there had been no stigma on child birth out of wedlock and more support policies, they would chose raising their babies. Sadly 70% of them are giving up their babies for adoption as these basic conditions are missing. (Korean Women’s Social Welfare Association 2010) 

Regardless of these facts, the phrases like “Baby Angels without Parent” or “Orphans abandoned” are frequently used in the phrases used in adoption promotion campaigns. It is not true and keeps hiding the existence of unwed mothers who have equal rights to enjoy their motherhood like any other mothers. These babies are forced to be given up due to the stigma on their mothers and no support for raising them. This is very cruel to erase alive mothers and call their children orphans. In this regards, KUMSN promotes the right of mothers who gave birth out of wedlock, hoping for the end of stigma and for more support for unwed pregnancy and unwed mothers and their children. 

Please contact KUMSN if you join the campaign and send the postcard 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Adopt a Family For the Holidays

By supporting Families in need you can help prevent unnecessary family loss and separation. Poverty is the number cause of adoptions today worldwide. It outweighs all other cuases - i.e. abuse, neglect - combined.

A sampling of programs:

St. Vincent de Paul Cincinnati Council has one of the most established networks. Each sponsor is provided with a Christmas wish list for a family. Lists frequently include toys that children have asked Santa for and basic household items and toiletries. The list also is likely to contain clothing sizes for the children and adults in the household because the families are in need of the most basic items, such as shoes and sweaters. The agency asks that a new outfit be provided to each family member.

The agency provides sponsors a guide on how much to spend, ranking from $150-$200 for a family of two to $350-$450 for a family with five or more members.

Some potential sponsors are unable to shop, but they can still help. St. Vincent de Paul recommends that a gift card can be purchased to a big-box retailer and then donated to the agency. Its staff will make sure the card gets into the hands of the head-of-household.

If sponsors do shop, they have the option of dropping off items at the St. Vincent de Paul headquarters, 1125 Bank St., West End, and volunteers will take the clothing and toys to the family. In recent years, sponsors have wanted to deliver to gifts themselves to their adoptive family, an option the agency makes available.

To adopt a family, contact LaMonica Sherman at St. Vincent de Paul, 513-562-8841, ext. 237, or at lsherman@SVDPcincinnati.org. Please include your name, company or school name (if an organizational donation), phone and fax numbers, address and email address. The agency will respond with a letter, list and complete instructions.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Northern Kentucky will accept financial donations, which it will pool and purchase gifts for needy families. The agency also has a direct holiday adoption program that gives sponsors much the same options as its Ohio counterpart: direct delivery to the adoptive family or anonymous delivery that is handled by agency volunteers.

Cash donations can be send to: SVDP - NKY, Attn: Executive Director, 2655 Crescent Springs Road, Covington, Ky., 41017. Secure donations may be made Online at SVDPnky.org.

To adopt a family, contact Joyce Hudson at 859-341-3212, ext. 2, or email at joyce.hudson@SVDPnky.org.

Lighthouse Youth Services' Happy Holidays program provides gifts to 2,000 of the communities' most vulnerable and forgotten youths - homeless teens or the 550 teenagers in foster care, group homes or older youth living independently. The list also includes 18 year olds just dropped from foster care at age 18.

The agency offers four ways to participate: People or groups can sponsor a struggling family unable to provide gifts for their children, donors can set up a "Giving Tree" in their office or club with need ornaments provided by the agency, they can make a cash, check or credit card donation, or they can buy items from the Top-10 Wish List to meet the needs of the 200 new clients who come to Lighthouse each December, they can Contact Andrea Granieri at 513-475-5674 or agranieri@lys.org to participate.

For 20 years, the organization For AIDS Children Everywhere (FACE) has brought light into one of the darkest corners of the community - to children and parents affected or infected by HIV or AIDS. Beyond its summer trips and food and toy pantry in its Holmes Hospital office space, FACE reaches children through its annual holiday adoption program.

Sponsors will be matched with children who either have AIDS or are HIV-positive or have a parent in that condition. Donors will be asked to buy a new outfit of clothing and two new gifts for each child in the family. FACE will provide that ages and sizes and interests of the children. Organizers ask that donated gifts and clothing be brought unwrapped but marked with the provided child identification number to the FACE office before Dec. 10.

For adoption forms, call 513-584-3571 or go to facecincinnati.org.

Brighton Center provided gifts and food to 834 needy Northern Kentucky families with 2,192 members in 2010 and is again looking for community support to meet an even greater demand. All families are connected to the Newport-based center through one or more of its 38 programs that strive to help families reach self-sufficiency.

Interested sponsors and donors are asked to contact M. Beth Hodge, Brighton Center's donation and volunteer manager, before Dec. 2 so they can be matched with an appropriate family. She can be reached at 859-491-8303, ext. 2331 or at bhodge@brightoncenter.com.

In addition to its holiday food giveaways and other anti-hunger programs connected to the holidays, the Freestore Foodbank is offering donors and sponsors an "Adopt-a-Family" program this year. Donors will be given the names, clothing and shoe sizes and children's wish lists. Contact Lisa Snorton at 513-357-4815 or lsnorton@freestorefoodbank.org.

The local Salvation Army has a list of 500 families and senior citizens in Hamilton County that are available for holiday adoption. The agency receives referrals from its own social workers at its community centers as well as from partner agencies.

People who adopt a family or senior are provided with information about the family or individual and asked to purchase gifts, wrap them and bring them to a distribution center, where families pick them up. Seniors' gifts are delivered.

For information, go to http://tinyurl.com/7krsedj, or call Deanna Powell at 513-762-5600 or deanna.powell@use.salvationarmy.org.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The US Federal Adoption Tax Credit: Dollars for Deception

GAO Study on the Adoption Tax Credit

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has just released a study on the federal adoption tax credit. From analysis of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data and documents, observations of IRS examiners, and interviews of IRS officials and other stakeholders, the GAO explored IRS’ communications, processing, and auditing strategy regarding the credit. CWLA and member agencies on our adoption advisory committee were among the stakeholders consulted for this report.

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and Representatives Charles Boustany (R-LA) and John Lewis (D-GA) requested the study citing the recent expansion of the credit and to identify possible improvements in advance of the 2012 tax year. The adoption tax credit was first established in 1996. The Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) increased its maximum value from $10,000 to $13,170 and made it refundable for 2010 and 2011. The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-312) made changes to the law by extending the credit through 2012, but as non-refundable and with a reduced maximum to $10,000. In 2013 and following, it will be limited to special needs adoptions and only available for qualified expenses up to a $6,000 value. Since 1996, $4.28 billion in adoption tax credits have been claimed, with $1.2 billion claimed in 2010.

The GAO determined that in 2011 there was diverse communications approaches to tax preparers and adoption advocates, but identified room for improvement in explaining certification requirements. In addition, they found that over two-thirds of almost 100,000 taxpayers claiming the credit were audited by mail, and that  four-fifths of those audited had filed the credit accurately and none were fraudulent. These audits caused the IRS to expend unnecessary resources and delayed refunds for families. The study concludes with an outline of approaches to avoid both confusion and ineffective process that led to unnecessary expenditures in low yield tax oversight in 2011.
These tax credits support all adoptions equally, though not all adoptions are equal.

The ChildWelfare.gov website states: “The way you choose to adopt will depend on what is important to your family, including your feelings about contact with birth family members, your flexibility about the characteristics of the child you wish to adopt, your resources, and how long you are willing to wait for your child.”

Prospective adopters know this all too well as they shop around and compare costs, ages, health, speed, etc. in deciding whether they prefer to spend their hard earned tens of thousands of dollars domestically or on an import (as few are willing to take the route of nearly cost free adoptions from foster care, the very adoptions these tax credits are intended to help promote.)

Meanwhile, “Politicians from both parties frequently promote tax credits and other incentives to ease the way for adoptive parents to demonstrate that they want to "do something" about abortion. Facilitating adoptions, especially of hard-to-place children, deserves our strong support. But it does nothing to affect the abortion rate,” Cory L. Richards, of the Guttmacher Institute. (Richards, Cory L. 2007. Giuliani's Adoption Fallacy. Oct. 29. Los Angeles Times)

Thus, all adoptions are supported equally by the federal adoption credit tax, despite the differences and the populations that are assisted by each adoption choice.

An estimated 126,951 children were adopted in 1992. Deducting stepparent adoption, which is estimated to be 42%, leaves approximately 73,632 adoptions that were eligible for a tax credit or exclusion (Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. Overview of Adoption in the United States.)  At $10,000, the approximate tax credit for 1992 the total could mean total tax credits in excess of 736 million dollars.

Despite annual increases, the total doesn’t amount to a huge amount of money compared to many other tax breaks and loopholes But, it is hundreds of million dollars in adoption tax credits that are, for the most part, not serving its intended goal and stated purpose.

The Purpose

The federal adoption tax credit legislation was first enacted in 1996 “to encourage further the adoption of special needs children.” Special needs adoptions are recognized as adoption of children from foster care who are older, have disabilities, or require placement with siblings.

In 2004, however, less than a quarter of 
taxpayers claiming the credit adopted children from the U.S. foster care system (Joe Kroll, Executive Director, North American Council on Adoptable Children, "The Adoption Tax Credit: An Ethical Dilemma", 
from Fall 2007 Adoptalk). 

Those who favor of this ever-increasing tax credit for all adoptions, point out that most internationally adopted children have special needs. If not physical they have emotional problems and learning difficulties in terms of language acquisition. The adoption tax credit, however, is not a subsidy for ongoing costs of care for special needs children which adopters are entitled to in addition if their child’s needs qualify. Approximately 15 states also have their own adoption tax credits, in addition to the federal credit and many employers and airlines offer benefits to those who adopt.

The federal adoption tax credit is not a subsidy for ongoing care, but is intended specifically to help defray the fees involved in the initial adoption placement fees, recognizing that such expenses are not covered by medial insurance, as are maternity expenses.

However, as the tax credits increase each year, adoption practitioners raise their fees accordingly assuring clients that they can receive this reimbursement. So, in effect, it can be argued that the tax breaks are really supporting private for- and non-profit adoption agency businesses, which exist to meet a demand for children other than those in foster care. The renowned Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute asks: “Is it ethical that intermediaries and those least in need benefit the most from these tax credits?" (Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. 1999. Money, Power and Accountability: The “Business” of Adoption. Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute Conference Summary. Anaheim, November 1999).

Those who favor tax support of all adoptions claim that all children deserve good homes. However, it is only adoption from foster care that serves the intended purpose of adoption: finding homes for orphans and children whose parents have been adjudged unable to care safely for them.

All other types of adoption exist to fill the desires of adults wanting a child and often involve exploitation and deceit to meet the market demand. Domestic infant adoption agencies spend millions marketing expectant mothers, often disregarding the rights of fathers, or promising open adoption in states in which they are not enforceable.

Globally, 90% of children in orphanages are not orphans nor have they been victims of abuse or neglect. Many families worldwide use orphanages to provide their children with food, medical care, or education they cannot otherwise afford. They visit their children and have no intention of relinquishing them to unrelated strangers. Child trafficking for adoption has been reported in Central and South America, Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. To meet the demand, children are kidnapped or stolen from loving parents in China, Guatemala, Armenia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, and elsewhere. They are sold to foreign orphanages, with people posing as their parents and papers forged, and then placed, often unknowingly, by trusted adoption agencies here in the US. When nations close their international adoptions, as many have because of corruption, the number of allegedly “abandoned” babies drops drastically and picks back up again when the adoption programs are resumed.

The tens of thousands that Americans and other Westerners are willing to pay per child is very corrupting in poor nations. It pays bribes and supports a criminal underground. In addition, it is far more difficult for people within these nations who might adopt, to compete with fees of tens of thousands of dollar per child.

Not Meeting It’s Intended Goal and Stated Purpose
Pro-adoption supporters claim that the tax credit makes adoption possible for many good parents who could not otherwise afford adoption. However, the tax credit actually disproportionately supports higher-income families who primarily adopt very young children internationally or privately. Nearly all international adoptions are supported by the tax credit, but only one in four foster care adoptions were.
The counter argument is that anyone can adopt a child from US foster care for minimal fees that are well within the means of any working family or single person. Of course, not everyone is ready to take on children who come with the baggage of siblings, age, or disabilities.  And surely no one should take on more than they can handle as a disrupted adoption is worse for a child than no adoption. Yet, while each potential adopter is free to choose, the question remains as to whether all choices should be supported by taxpayers equally.

Elizabeth Samuels found that “federal tax benefits for adopters generally provide greater benefits to families involved in more expensive healthy newborn and international adoptions, although the benefits are promoted as a means to increase adoptions of children out of foster care"(Elizabeth J. Samuels, 2005. Time To Decide? The Laws Governing Mothers’ Consents To The Adoption Of Their Newborn Infants. 72 Tenn. L. Rev. 509, p. 523).
A summary of the data from the U.S. Treasury Department to determine who most benefits from the credit reveals:
•    the vast majority of adoption tax credit recipients completed private or foreign adoptions rather than adoptions from foster care.
•    The tax credit disproportionately supports higher-income families.
•    The tax credit primarily supports the adoption of younger children.
In 2004 just 18 percent of children supported by the credit and 17 percent of money spent assisted children from foster care. In 2005, nearly 90 percent of filers with incomes above $100,000 adopted internationally or privately, and 71 percent of all families adopted children under age five. Only about 10 percent of higher-income families adopted from foster care, and very few adopted older children.
As of 2010, the Adoption Tax Credit allows full reimbursement for up to 13,170 per attempt to adopt for. A tax credit is far more beneficial than a tax deduction, or as one blogger called it “free money.”  Those who adopt are also entitled to an additional tax credit of $1000 every year the child is a dependent in their home, and an additional $3,300 for each person in the family. Those in a 25% tax bracket, receive a reduction of $825 (25% of $3,300).

Many adoptions involve at least part of the cost (often approximately $2000) going to a charitable orphanage. This can be treated as a charitable deduction for tax purposes results in an additional $500 for those in the 25% tax bracket. And, some states offer tax incentives for adoption as well.
The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, the nations most renowned authority on adoption reports that the federal “offers financial incentives in the form of tax credits to families who privately adopt infants (and who are often affluent), yet does not offer the same support to those families who adopt children in foster care (and who usually have the greatest need for such support)"(Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. 1999).

“Today’s reality,” says Joe Kroll of the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) “is that the original intent of the adoption tax credit legislation has been turned upside down. Those who most need support to adopt (lower-income families who are adopting children from foster care) are receiving the least benefit, and those for whom the financial outlay is not a barrier to adoption benefit the most” (Kroll, Joe. NACAC's Executive Director, (2009). “The Adoption Tax Credit: An Ethical Dilemma” Fall Adoptalk).

Family Preservation proponents argue that no tax credits are given to original blood kin family – natural mothers, fathers and extended family members who could then afford to safely nurture their own children inasmuch as more and more domestic adoptions – in addition to those throughout the world – are a result of poverty far more than any other cause (abuse, neglect) combined. Origins, Inc points out that the adoption tax credit annually costs the treasury more than it spends on Title IV-B, part 2—the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program. 

Creating Equitable Changes

All adoptions are not equal and the differences are evident to those who chose which child they will adopt from where. Currently, the greatest number of children available for adoption are in foster care, however as the United Nations notes, the emphasis of child adoption “has changed from the desire to provide a needy child with a home, to that of providing a needy parent with a child” (The Special Rapporteur, United Nations, Commission on Human Rights, 2003.)

We need to ask if it makes sense to continue to promote, encourage and support all choices of adopters based on what is best for them, rather than what is in the best interest of children in need and the greater social good.

Legislators need to understand the dynamics of where this expenditure is going and not continue to simply sign off on increases each year under the misconception that it is helping special needs children.  The Federal Adoption Tax Credit needs to be limited to adoptions to the adoption of children from foster care. All other adoptions are personal choice, do not help reduce US tax costs and thus should be completely paid for those who make those choices, not the government.
Limiting the tax credit to foster adoptions – as it is intended and claims to be – would end government support of questionable adoptions and instead help encourage adoptions that serve an estimated 120,000 of a total of half a million children in state care who could be adopted while reducing the tax burden on states who subsidize foster care.


The GAO is government "watchdog" agency.if you feel as strongly about the adoption tax credit as I do, you can join me in writing to them at: Government Accountability Office, 441 G St., NW,
Washington, DC 20548 (202) 512-3000 and by email at: contact@gao.gov

Letters should also be written to the following:

The Honorable Max Baucus
Committee on Finance
United States Senate
The Honorable Charles W. Boustany, Jr.
The Honorable John Lewis
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Oversight
Committee on Ways and Means
House of Representatives

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Tragic Life of Gabriel Hall

Eighteen year old Gabriel Hall admitted choosing a couple for the convenience of being able to watch their home. When he decided the time was right, he broke in an killed Edwin Shaar, 68, who used walker by stabbing and then shooting him.  He slit the throat of Shaar's wheelchair bound wife, Linda, 69. She survived the vicious attack. Gabriel went home and changed his clothes and went to school the following day.

He said he wants to know why he did it, but believes he simply had "killer instinct."

Gabriel's life began in the Philippines. At 11 years of age he was adopted along with at least three blood-related siblings by attorney and justice of the peace, Wes Hall and Karen Kruse Hall, president of Central Texas Orphan Mission, an organization that "supports orphans across the globe" -- joining their brood of 12 adopted children, and seven biological or stepchildren. 
Karen Hall was working setting up orphanages in El Salvador and working to provide medical care for needy orphans throughout the world.  Dr. Joe Kraft and his family were involved with Haiti orphan ministry and adoption.  CTOMA [Central Texas Orphan Mission Alliance] was formed to provide a non-profit entity to allow others to make tax deductible donations to these ministries and also to provide strict accountability of funding and spending.  There are no paid employees and therefore all donations go directly to orphan ministries.

"We are making an appeal for your financial support for these precious children who would not receive help if not for your generosity. Our traveling doctors and nurses go to remote locations, donate their time and services, and pay their own travel expenses. The mission cannot be accomplished without our host families and volunteers. We express our heartfelt gratitude to all who participate. Thank you."-- Karen Kruse Hall, President
The Halls were not present at his sentencing and have refused to pay for an attorney.  But that is not all too surprising when you learn - as I have through a confidential and reliable source - they have "kicked out" at least three of the children they adopted, aside from Gabriel, including his biological siblings who they adopted.  Talk about living in fear of total rejection and abandonment!  These people are evil; the children they have tossed aside live in fear of them and their retribution if they speak out.

Gabriel is likely suffering a classic case of Adopted Child Syndrome:

David Kirschner, Adoption Forensics: The Connection Between Adoption and Murder | Crime Magazine, who coined the term, says that most adoptees are not disturbed and that the syndrome only applies to "a small clinical subgroup". It is described in Directions in Child and Adolescent Therapy 2, no. 6 (1995) and in Dr. Kirschner's book, Adoption: Uncharted Waters.

Researchers Brodizinsky, Schechter, and Henig find that in a review of the literature, generally children adopted before the age of six-months fare no differently than children raised with their biological parents. Later problems that develop among children adopted from the child welfare system at an older age are usually associated with the effects of chronic early maltreatment in the caregiving relationship; abuse and neglect.

Psychologist Betty Jean Lifton, herself an adopted person, has written extensively on psychopathology in adopted people, primarily in Lost and Found: The Adoption Experience, and Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness and briefly discusses Adopted child syndrome.

Judith and Martin Land, Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child, (2011), identify genealogical bewilderment, oppositional defiant disorder, selective mutism, anti-social behavior, The Primal Wound, and other related terms to describe potential effects of adoption on children who are orphaned, fostered, or adopted.

The term is argued by the adoption industry - those whose livelihoods depend on adoption proliferating and fear facts about adoptee rage, such as the disproportionate number of serial killers who are adopted, might scare off prospective adopters.

NOTE: A recent study finds "that the early stress of separation from a biological parent impacts long-term programming of genome function; this might explain why adopted children may be particularly vulnerable to harsh parenting in terms of their physical and mental health," said Grigorenko. "Parenting adopted children might require much more nurturing care to reverse these changes in genome regulation."

This is very applicable in Gabriel's case!

Now, let us shift the focus back to the Gabriel's adoptive mother.

Karen Kruse Hall ...
from her  profile for a benefit to raise money for Coalition for Life::

Current Occupation:  President, Central Texas Orphan Mission Alliance, CTOMA

Church:  Central Baptist

Education:  BS, Texas A&M University, 1973, Baylor School of Medical Technology, 1973, Real Estate Brokerage 1982, and graduate studies at University of Texas, Dallas 1976.

Focus:  International and local missions for children, including medical, humanitarian, disaster assistance, and community service in the Brazos Valley.

How did you become a volunteer/why are you involved?  I am involved because of my faith in Jesus Christ.  I responded to the call for sidewalk counselors after seeing the huge need while I participated in Stand and Pray in front of the abortion clinic.   I volunteered to counsel and spent 15 hours a week for two years during 2002 to 2004.  At that time I prayed that if God ever asked me to help in any other way, all He had to do was show me.  He did exactly that.  [But, apparently God has not sought fit to seek her help now for Gabriel.] I purchased the property next door to the abortion facility last year, and decided to use it entirely for charity work.  We are currently in construction but will be finishing soon!  I have been involved in adoption and charity for children for 16 years, and my husband, Wes, and I have parented 20 children in our home.  We have 12 adopted children, one in the adoption process and 7 birth/step children.  We have had more than 15 international students and medical mission children that we have cared for.  I believe that all children should be loved [until they get in trouble?], and that all children in the womb are to be protected [not necessarily those in jail, however]CTOMA charity where we can show our love for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and our fellow man.

Why you are pro life (is there a story here?):  I am prolife because I feel that we should speak out for the helpless [!].  The most helpless are the babies who are orphaned in that their mothers do not want them [not those whose mothers are UNABLE to care for them, many simply because of poverty, age or marital status. Pretty judgmental, aren't we, or is that just to make yourself feel better?]   I have always been pro life, but I was not always outspoken on the issue.  I now believe that we must speak up for the helpless, and that we must come to their aid.

What a saint! 

UPDATES: Missing from Karen's glowing professional autobiography is that she is on her third marriage and has disowned SIX children she adopted!

Gabriel's life has been filled with tragedies. He is now on trial for his LIFE in Texas - a state known for its executions!  He needs our support. I will be following his trial and hope that the adoption community will come to his support as his adopted  home state and town of College Park are already gettin' ready for a hangin'!!

UPDATE 9/24/15: Gabriel's trial is in the punishment phase and focuses on his upbrining

National Adoption Awareness Month 2011

Celebrate National Adoption Month?

Where do I start? Do I celebrate that Jerry Sandusky's reign of terror on boys rendered vulnerable via  foster care including those he adopted has finally been stopped and his Angels in Adoption Award has been rescinded? Or do I continue to worry for all the children like Masha Allen suffering similar fates, having been too easily adopted by pedophiles and all those in homes approved by slip-shod home studies, their adopters praised and hailed as heroes?

Do I celebrate the more than 226 children who have been killed by those entrusted with their care through adoption?  Or the thousands more who survived unthinkable abuses like the recently exposed abuses of seven children adopted from Guatemala by the Barretos who killed one and tortured them by tying their hands and feet to the cribs, dunking them in barrels of water until they lost consciousness, and put hot peppers into the kids' mouths to make them stop crying.

Do I celebrate the Monahans being ordered to return Aneyli Liseth Hernandez Rodrigues, the child kidnapped from her mother, Loyda, in Guatemala, even though they continue to defy that order and the US gvt stands idly by? Or do I cry for Loyda and all the other Guatemalan and Vietnamese and Chinese mothers who have not even gotten that far in their eternal search for their children kidnapped for adoption?

Photo: Loyda Rordiguez holding  photo of her missing daughter during a hunger strike in Guatemala to bring attention to her case and others like her.

Do I celebrate the fathers who fight for the right to be fathers of children that were whisked away and allowed to be adopted without their consent, particularly in Utah?

Or, perhaps I should celebrate the apology issued in Australia for their forced adoptions during the 50's, 60's and into the 1970s while my nation continues to allow such abuses to go on and on with little regulation?  Celebrate that mores have changed and single parenthood is less of a stigma and less US mothers are yielding to the pressures to let go of their children with promises of openness...promises that are unenforceable and far too often broken leaving mothers I despair and betrayal.

Do I cheer with joy that People magazine is featuring a story of Black Market adoptions on Thanksgiving day... about Seymour Fenchel adoptees and their quest to find their parents.

Do I celebrate another "victory" as another state "allows" their adult adoptees a right that never should be denied any adopted person anywhere while in the majority of states they are still discriminated against and every day children's birth certificates are being wiped clean, erased, hidden from them and new falsified birth certificates are issued in their stead?
Am I filled with joy that the story of more than 300,000 babies stolen in Spain's has been uncovered or sickened that it happened?  Glad that people like E.J. Graff, and Erin Siegel, two objective, credible, respected "outsiders" have picked up the mantel and are joining us in exposing the ugly truths of adoption?

Perhaps I can celebrate at the grave of my daughter or her empty chair at our family Thanksgiving. 
The US "celebrates" adoption. Business as usual. Keep the babies flowing. Hooray!  Our gvt. encourages and promotes it with tax benefits that are supposed to help the kids in foster care who could be adopted, but most of goes to continue the scourge of international trafficking in children, exploitation, coercion and commodification of children.

Angry and Bitter?

My right to be an angry truth-teller began long before my daughter's untimely death. It came from having been brainwashed into believing that my daughter, my previous baby, my flesh and blood would be "better off" if I signed her life away to total strangers who were somehow more "deserving" than I when I had done no harm to my child - just given her life. How bizarre a concept is that? And I was further made to believe that I would be the selfish one for trying to keep my own child, not those who sought her.

Those who took my baby from me took so much more. They took my soul and they took future. For despite going on to marry (despite being told that if I ever told anyone, even the man I planned to marry, I’d be scorned and he wouldn’t want to marry me), having 3 more kids, becoming PTA VP and scout leader and everything else one is "supposed to” do...I never forgot. Not for one second. It gnawed at me and replaced any self-confidence I might have had with shame and guilt. I lived hearing that "any dog can be a mother." And when I was blessed to find I was not the only woman in the world to have done such a horrid thing as give away my own child, I found more horror than I thought imaginable and feared for my daughter's well-being. I quickly learned that there is no guarantee of a "better life" - mothers I knew found that their children had died and they were never told; others found their kids were abandoned by their adopters - some were able to adopt their own children! I learned of adopted children being beaten, starved, caged, sexually abused....My insides scream every day for the horrors of the unregulated crap shoot that is adoption!

And now, in the end, I live eternally wondering if my own precious daughter would be alive today had I not yielded to the pressure to sign her life away. And I will never know...........Bitter? Angry? I think I've earned the right. Happy, happy happy adoption month? NOT! Adoption is not sum zero win-win. It is very much a win-loose. It takes from the poor and gives to the rich. It exploits poverty and powerlessness.

It's all smoke and mirrors and it is upside down and... backwards. They convince you that black is white, that evil is good and good is evil. They play on our weaknesses – the mothers who take and the mothers who loose - the middlemen of flesh peddlers. And, like all good sociopaths they come to believe their own lies feeling smug about doing something "righteous." Like politicians who label bombs "peace keepers" they sugar coat their destruction with words of "rescue" and label children with families "orphans" to justify the madness that feeds them and fattens their wallets.

We must do more than eloquently express our righteous indignation. We must go beyond sharing and commiserating with one another. Australia apologized and changed its ways! The Grandmothers in the Plaza are being heard at LONG last! And countries are closing down IA. We must keep up the pressure and never stop until we weed out all the baby brokers and put some regulations in place....and for God sake, allow adoptees their birthright and stop falsifying birth certificates! Get the lies and secrets out of adoption!

How can any adoption be called "ethical" when it starts with a falsified birth certificate? We must hold EBDAI and others who claim to want adoption made ethical to that moral standard and accept no less. Taking away a person's identity and heritage is what was done to Africans brought here on slave ships, who like adoptees were held up and priced by their health and strength; their age and gender. How can we call ourselves a nation who has evolved if we are still today doing the same thing to human beings and calling it "rescuing" them and admiring those who benefit from it?

I do not celebrate adoption day or month. I do no celebrate adoption. I do not celebrate adoption I deplore the destruction of families to meet a demand. The eradication of reality. I MOURN and I commiserate with all for whom it is a sad reminder of all they've lost because of adoption and the pain and grief we suffer.  I can no more celebrate adoption than I would celebrate any war, genocide or natural disaster that took lives and left untold numbers wounded and bleeding...bereft of family.

We as a society do not celebrate or encourage divorce without just cause, even though many divorces lead to reformed marriages and families. And when a marriage fails, it is mandated by law that the custody of the children be shared. Unless a parent is declared unfit their right to visitation is protected and inference with it is a felony - recognizing the sanctity of motherhood and fatherhood and right of a child to his heritage and origins. Not so in adoption whihc destroys all reality, wipes the slate clean, leaving a void.

My prayers to every new family unnecessarily torn apart because of social mores, poverty, and worst of all - to meet a demand! May every person who has in any way contributed to destroying lives via adoption meet their justice in hell!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fund Raising For Adoption

The latest couple to get a big write-up in their local paper for their noble fund raising for adoption are Mike and Stephanie Giorgianni of Danville, VA.
"Adopting a child can cost a lot of money. So the Giorgiannis have organized several fundraising events to help bring them a child they always wanted."
 "Always" that is, after eight years of trying to have one of their own! And, they decided to go internationally because they believe they will get a "better cared for" child!  You know, like a car that's been garaged. You can read it all here.

So they are selling adoption tee shirts and holding a yard sale to raise $50,000 to get the designer baby of their preference.  But being the do-gooders they are, their goal is also to increase awareness of all the children that need adopting, including the ones they refuse to adopt here at home! Perhaps they can sell shirts that say "Do as we say, not as we do" ...or, simply "Baby Buyers!"

My reply to them, to those who might fall for this money-raising scheme and support this baby buying, and any others who might join the fray of those who fund-raise for adoption:

This couple is misinformed and disseminating miss-information. Adoption does not have to be costly at all. There are approx 120,000 children in US foster care that can be adopted for fees so minimal anyone could easily afford them. Yes, they are generally older and some have disabilities, but so too do children coming from overseas. Remember the boy sent back to Russia because his mother couldn't handle him? That's not uncommon. Children coming out of orphanages are "damaged", many have fetal alcohol syndrome, difficulty bonding, or other health issues and you take them as they come. Foster care children you can meet and take them as a foster child and see how they fit in your family. Also, many foster adoptions come with subsidies to cover their health or learning disabilities while International adoptions do not.

Additionally, the myth that you are "rescuing" 'unwanted" children "languishing" in orphanages is just that: a myth. An intentional distortion of statistics. 90% of children in orphanages worldwide have at least one parent and are not eligible for adoption because people in other parts of the world use these places for temporary care, for medical treatment or education they cannot otherwise afford but have no intention of letting their children be adopted as was the case with the two children Madonna adopted. There, as here, the only children languishing in orphanages are older or disabled children. You can read it clearly in the book The Brotherhood Of Joseph,  how they turned their back on an orphanages full of "older' toddlers and children to get one fresh form the oven.

The tens of thousands of dollars Americans and Western Europeans spend to adopt actually feeds the corrupt world of child traffickers who steal, coerce, dupe or kidnap children from living, caring mothers to sell to orphanages with forged papers, claiming the child was abandoned. This corruption has been found and has stopped adoptions from China, Vietnam, Guatemala, Ethiopia and many other parts of the world. Such fees also keep nationals from adopting their own as they cannot compete.  Taking children one at a time does nothing to ameliorate the poverty of their family, village or nation. It is far more humanitarian to spend that kind of money to dig a well, build a school or buy medicine than take a child from his culture and heritage, his family and kin and risk taking a child that might have been kidnapped as happened to the Monahans who have been ordered to return their adopted daughter to Guatemala (google it).

Fund raisers should be held to help the poor, in every part of the world, including the US. They should be held to help a mother to keep her child not used to help TAKE a child, exploiting the mother's crisis and commodifying her child. Poverty is the number one reasons for ALL adoptions worldwide, outweighing all other causes (such as abuse or neglect) combined. Taking from the poor and benefitting form their misery is not altruistic, it's man and women's inhumanity to mothers and children.


Is infertility sad? Yes. But so is blindness or being an amputee but we don't go out and raise funds to buy limbs or eyes from the poor!

Am I without compassion for couples like this yearning to be parents? No, I am not. But they can foster or foster-adopt. They can be big bothers and big sisters. The can support children in need through programs like UNICEF, SOS for Children, Save the Children - charities that work on the ground with these impoverished families and knw that the real way to help is not to buy a child and support corrupt child traffickers but to help so many more.

Remember, no matter how ethical and reputable the agency you are dealing with in the US, they may not know the real origins of the child they are helping to procure from overseas. papers get forged. Any child can be stolen and claimed to have been abandoned. In countries that have ceased international adoptions, the number of alleged "abandoned" children dropped to almost zero and when adoptions resumed so too did the claims of abandonment!

Many people have adopted through so-called reputable agencies and discovered to their horror that the child they adopted had been stolen.
Orphaned or Stolen: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/schuster-institute-for-investigative-journalism/orphaned-or-stolen-the-us_b_825451.html

Duped by Indian adoption agency, US family cautions couples. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/Duped-by-Indian-adoption-agency-US-family-cautions-couples/articleshow/5964751.cms

Read Julia Rollings story at: http://bittersweet-story.blogspot.com/

Read also: The Lie We Love by E.J.Graff http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2008/12/11/the-lie-we-love

The works of David Smolin on child trafficking: works.bepress.com/david_smolin/1/

Re China, read:





Re Ethiopia: http://familypreservation.blogspot.com/2010/05/must-see-video-news-report-about-child.html


“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.

"Over the past 30 years, the number of families from wealthy countries wanting to adopt children from other countries has grown substantially. At the same time, lack of regulation and oversight, particularly in the countries of origin, coupled with the potential for financial gain, has spurred the growth of an industry around adoption, where profit, rather than the best interests of children, takes centre stage. Abuses include the sale and abduction of children, coercion of parents, and bribery." UNICEF's position on Inter-country adoption.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sandusky Angel in Adoption Award Rescinded

A Washington non-profit group has rescinded a 2002 "Angels in Adoption" award presented to former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse of young boys.

"As an organization that fights to stop child abuse, our thoughts and prayers are with the children harmed and the families affected by his alleged actions," the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute said in a statement released Thursday. "This tragedy underscores how important it is to have a foster care system that ensures our most vulnerable children have a safe and stable environment in which to grow."

The group said it was acting to "preserve the inegrity" of the Angels in Adoption Award, which has been presented since 1998 to 1,800 people and organizations who have done exemplary work to help children in need of loving homes.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a current candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, sponsored the Sanduskys for the award. Santorum has said he is sickened by the allegations and the scandal at his alma matter.

Sandusky was widely admired in the state and nationally for his post-football charitable work, a reminder that alleged child predators can lurk anywhere.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Adoption and Child Abuse

Lisa Belkin addresses the connection between adoption and child abuse in a recent Huffington Post column and relates it to attachment disorder.

The sad reality is that more than 226 children MURDERED by adoptive or foster parent abuse are identified here by Pound Puppy Legacy.

The public often calls these atrocities, anomalies. Yet, the 226 plus listed on the Pound Puppy post these are just those who actually died as a result of being beaten, caged, starved, tortured, beaten...Many more have survived such torment including sexual abuse.

In my 1988 book "shedding light on the Dark Side of Adoption" I first called attention to this phenomenon and called for research into the question posed about abuse rates in adoptive families. After all, it is a known fact that sexual and other abuses are far more common in foster families than the general populace. Belkin identified one of the pieces of the puzzle of why people who go out of their way to be parents, pay huge fees to adopt in some cases, and are alleged to be motivated.­..why they would harm children trusted to them. The other part of the puzzle is the reason identified for abuse in foster homes: absence of kinship.

Children born into their families often act out. However, there is the ability to see some of oneself or another relative in their independence­, defiance or rebellious­ness and even admire that spark. In unrelated children there is a fear of what it might lead to. Did the child inherit "bad blood"? What is he capable of? There is fear of the unknown possibilit­ies with a child who is, after all, not your flesh and blood.

Surely absence of kinship increases the risk of sexual abuse and there are no taboos against sex with an unrelated person in your home, despite taboos and laws against pedophilia. Just ask Woody Allen. Adopted children are at risk for sexual abuse from parents as well as siblings. Yet no one is admitting these risk factors or researchin­g their prevalence­.

Penn State's Jerry Sandusky who adopted six children and took in untold numbers of foster children is the latest adoptive father charged with sexual misconduct with children. The latest, but not the first and unfotunately, not the last.  In 2008 Stephen Frank Karban, of Arizona, adoptive father to nine children, was charged with 14 counts of criminal sexual conduct.

There are two reasons we turn a blind eye to these abuses that are glaring in our face once again with the headlines about Sandowsky.

The first reason is one that a publisher told me when rejecting The Dark Side. He said that adoption is society's fall back position and we do not want to see any flaws in it.

The other reason is that it is a mega billion dollar industry and like all such money-make­rs has lobbyists who convince lawmakers to keep passing legislation­n to make it easier to adopt and provide incentives and benefits such as huge tax credits, most of which goes to internatio­nal adoption despite being presented as a way to help the foster child population be adopted.

We must stop looking away and ignoring..­..we must stop continuing to encourage adoption and market it as a win-win.

NOTE to those who want to comment: There is no need to tell me that you are happily adopted. The fact that there are happily married people does not negate the enormous number of failed marriages and the pain divorce causes families and children. We do NOT encourage divorce for this reason.

If you are happily adopted, count your blessings. Adoption is nothing more than a crap shoot. You could just as easily have been another casualty.

Sandusky update: Sandusky Scandal Could be Linked Back to Possible Abuse of Adopted Son in 1995: Report

10/14 UPDATE: Sandusky's Angel in Adoption Award Rescinded

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


As a Nation, one of our highest responsibilities is to ensure the health and well-being of our children.

Really? Then why not help mothers in crisis instead of legalizing and encouraging abandonment through "Safe Havens" and allowing untrained adoption practitioners working in unregulated adoption agencies to find legal loopholes to exploit and coerce mothers in crisis who are not provided free legal  counsel as are those charged with criminal offenses.

While Australia apologizes for past forced adoptions and has stopped those practices, it is business as usual here in the states, Mr.President, with mothers being offered "open adoptions" without being informed that the contact agreements are unenforceable.

With generous hearts and open minds, we strive to make sure all children grow up knowing they have a family that shares with them the warmth, security, and unconditional love that will help them succeed.  And yet, more than 100,000 children in America await this most basic support, and still more children abroad live without families.  During National Adoption Month, we celebrate the acts of compassion and love that unite children with adoptive families, and we rededicate ourselves to the essential task of providing all children with the comfort and safety of a permanent home.

Why, Mr. President, are we as a antion not making more attempts to locate extended family for these children and supporting them to love and care for their own kin? Stranger foster parents and some adopters receive fnaicla aid not available to grandparents  or other natural family who might likewise be able to provide the love and care with that help.

The decision to adopt a child has brought profound joy and meaning into the lives of Americans across our country.

Yes it does! But it does so only as a result of the loss, spearation and lifelong pain of the families who are torn apart as a aresult of not receivng the asistsance they needed to remain intact. Every adoptionbegins with a traegdy and creates lifelong irreversiblee grief and feelings of rejection and abandonment. It is second best for all parties and sgould be a last resort, not something encouraged with tax dollars.

Parents are moved to adopt for reasons as unique and varied as the children they embrace, but they are unified by the remarkable grace of their acts.  Adoptive families come in all forms.  With so many children waiting for loving homes, it is important to ensure that all qualified caregivers are given the opportunity to serve as adoptive parents, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or marital status.

What about more opportunities for naturual familes? What about stopping the attack on father's rights, particualrly in the state of Utah?  Why not care enough about the process of adoption to set up federal regulation of thenearly 5 billion dollar loosly regulated adoption indusrty that handles interstate and international import and expost of children?

My Administration remains steadfast in our support of adoptive families and children in need of homes.

But does little to nothign to assista and protect natrual families. 

Earlier this year, I signed the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act, which reauthorizes child welfare programs and makes new provisions to help reduce the amount of time young children are without permanent families.  I also signed the Healthy, Hunger¬-Free Kids Act to provide balanced, nutritious meals to all children in the foster care system.  Last year, during National Adoption Month, I signed the International Adoption Simplification Act, which removed unnecessary regulations and barriers to international adoption.

Yeah, that's the ticket - remove "barriers." Keep the pipline flowing eventhoughthe adoption of chidlren form outside the US is totally contrary to help[ing the childrne in foster care find "permanent fmailies" as you claim is you claim is your goal and primary concern.

These efforts come in addition to the Adoption Tax Credit, which was extended and expanded as part of the Affordable Care Act to make adoption more accessible to American families.  Through these key pieces of legislation, my Administration is moving forward with our commitment to stand with youth in foster care and find new ways to encourage adoption.

Oh yes, $13000+, plus, plus, plus for adopters!

Adoption has become a part of many Americans' lives and has contributed to the character of our Nation.

A nation continueing to do what Australia has apologized for doing, instead of prioritizing Family Preservation.

As parents and as family members, it is our task to do all we can to give our children the very best.

Why not give adopted citizens access to thir own originalirth certificate then?  How is it "best" to deny all American adopted coitzens the same rights all other non-adopted citizens have?

In caring for our youth and putting them before ourselves, we make a lasting investment not only in their future, but also in the prosperity and strength of our Nation in the years to come.  This month and throughout the year, let us recommit to ensuring every child is given the sustaining love of family, the assurance of a permanent home, and the supportive upbringing they deserve.

Sustaining love? Sustaining, really? By encouraging them to be taken from their first families and given to new ones?  By encouraging states with financial incentives to move them as quickly as possible through the system so their natural families cannot disprove false allegations?

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2011 as National Adoption Month.  I encourage all Americans to observe this month by answering the call to find homes for every child in America in need of a permanent and caring family, and to support the families who care for them.

Support ALL families, Mr. President, especially those struggling. The number one reasons for adoption placements if poverty!! Additionally, I urge you to read the report, "Shattered Families: The perilous intersection of immigration enforcement and the child welfare system" by the Applied Research Center. There are at least 5,100 children currently living in foster care who are prevented from uniting with their detained or deported parents and if nothing changes, 15,000 more children may face a similar fate in the next 5 years.
  • Families are more likely to be separated where local police aggressively participate in immigration enforcement.
  • Immigrant victims of domestic violence are at particular risk of losing their children
  • ICE detention obstructs participation in Child Protective Services' plans for family unity.*
Stop giving tax incentives for infant and international adoptions!  

Recognize the rights of adopted persons as equal to non-adopted!

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

* More about immigration and child welfare here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nature versus Nurture

The eternal struggle between nature and nurture has at long last been resolved, folks!

Here is how it goes:

Good traits, such as Steve Jobs becoming a "genius" and billionaire and successful innovative businessman are attributed to adoption saving his life from an abortion his loving parents never considered.

But Joshua Komisarjevsky, the adoptee turned mastermind monster house intruder, rapist, murderer, arsonist?  What about people like Joshua who, despite being "saved" by adoption don't turn out too well?

Well, folks...here is the answer to this dilemma. It's really quite simple!

It's only "nature" or "in the blood" when it's bad. 

When it's a good, well then it's obviously "nurture".

Thats how DNA works, don't ya' know?

See. the environment in which Komisarjevsky was raised - an environment that allowed him to be raped by a foster sibling - known to is adopters and ignored, who then likewise chose to ignore that by 9, he was peeking into girls' dressing rooms, peeping into the windows of people's homes and stealing panties off clotheslines. Finally, the did nothing when he molested of his sister...the environment that sought no psychological counseling for any of those events or his decent into burglary, preceding his monumental headline garnering act of monstrosity...ignored it all and PRAYED....none of that is responsible for his actions.

David Kirschner who reviewed the forensic psyche evalualtion for Joshua's trial said that there was  "not a word about adoption, no analysis of [adoptive] family dynamics (and pathology), not a clue, re; motivation for the killings, etc., etc.

"This case is all about adoption pathology, and a bizarre [adoptive] family. I'd bet the ranch that his [adoptive parents] raised him to be born again (tabula rasa, re: any birth parents) into their born again delusional system."

But, on the other hand.... Steve Jobs - and the world - should to be thankful he wasn't aborted by parents who cared so much about his well-being they put caveats on his adoption regarding a college education for their son - an act they were forced into by being disallowed to marry.

 Abulfattah Jandali and Joanne Schieble Simpson

Jobs' father, Jandali, was born in  Syria to a wealthy landowner. At 18, he left Syria to Beirut to continue his studies at the American University of Beirut. He later immigrated to America and attended school in Wisconsin where he met and dated Jobs' mother, a German-Swiss woman, Joanne Carol Schieble. Her her conservative father refused to allow her to marry Jandali. They married a few months after Jobs' adoption and a year later had his sister, Mona.  After a trip back to Syria to find a job, Jandali returned to the US where he was employed as an assistant professor at Michigan University and later Nevada University. He later owned and operated a restaurant and was the Vice Chairman of the Boomtown Casino and Hotel in Reno, Nevada, displaying both book knowledge and a sense of business.

His adoptive father, a mechanic. His blood sister, Mona Simspron, a nocelist.

And let's just ignore the fact that:
The results of this study indicate that genes significantly influence white matter density of the superior occipitofrontal fascicle, corpus callosum, optic radiation, and corticospinal tract, as well as gray matter density of the medial frontal, superior frontal, superior temporal, occipital, postcentral, posterior cingulate, and parahippocampal cortices. Moreover, the results show that intelligence shares a common genetic origin with superior occipitofrontal, callosal, and left optical radiation white matter and frontal, occipital, and parahippocampal gray matter (phenotypic correlations up to 0.35).
These findings point to a neural network that shares a common genetic origin with human intelligence. Thus, it seems that the individual variation in morphology of areas involved in attention, language, visual, and emotional processing, as well as in sensorimotor processing are strongly genetically influenced.
As per Time Magazine, March 11, 1940:  A few years ago a psychologist named Harold Manville Skeels, a professor at University of Iowa, was assigned by the State to advise the State orphanage. He found that the orphanage was sending babies (mostly bastards) born of feeble-minded parents to highly intelligent families for adoption. Horrified, Dr. Skeels hurried forth to see how much damage had been done. He gave the adopted children intelligence tests. To his surprise, their average I.Q. was 115, well above normal (100). Not one was dull.

Adoption is built on lies and fantasies and has nothing but more lies an fantasies to support its continuation!  Yet the public buys it as a "win-win" and refuses to peak behind the smoke screen curtain or admit that the emperor of adoption is naked as a jay bird...and selling lies along with babies!

I just have one question for all the die-hard kool aid drinking "believers" of these fantasies:  If adoption is so wonderful, why doesn't everyone give their children away to be raised by others???

I mean especially the poor...why not take every child from a welfare family and give it to a working family?

Then take all the children of the working class and give them to the upper middle class?

Any child riding to school in a mini-van deserves a chauffeur driven limo!  Children deprived of music and dance lessons - well, that's simply unacceptable and selfish of their parents when adoption could offer them"better lives"! And chores? they should be done by the "staff" not chidlren.

It's "win-win" -- especially for those whose livelihood depends on the redistribution of children!

So let's just keep white-washing the pain, and grief, and loss....the feelings of abandonment...the rejection...the identity crisis...and all the other harm of adoption....ignore the vital medical histories that are lost....turn a blind eye to the children who are stolen or kidnapped, or their mothers coerced or duped, lied to, told their kids are going to America for an education...just ignore all the negatives and focus instead on pretend "advantages."

Yeah, that's the ticket. And remember, if you adopt and your kid turns out to be a killer, it's not your fault. It's "bad blood." But if he's a genius or a really good, noble altruistic person, then all praise to you! For you who adopt - it truly is a "win-win." You can't loose. You get praise and if it fails, you get sympathy. After all, everyone would know you did your best with what you had to work with.

For those who are adopted and loose their heritage and have their losses buried and never recognized - just be GRATEFUL - you weren't aborted! 

Parents who lose their kids to adoption also need to be thankful that someone else took their "problem" off their hands!  They need to remain silent and stop any complaining because after all, their kids are being given a "better life" with far better material advantages than they could have given them.

Hallelujah!  All priase adoption!

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