Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's Infertility Awareness Week

What is this graphic saying? Clearly the message is that if you can't have a kid of your own...after trying...the booby prize is adoption!  And a kid of color is the newest "in" thing this season! 

The photo leaves us with little doubt that the smiling lady did NOT "resolve" her infertility medically!

Adoption does not resolve infertility.

According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 15 percent of married heterosexual couples are infertile. It do s not include singles and same sex couples also seeking to be parents.

Infertility awareness should be focusing on these PREVENTION measures:

1. Delaying childbirth into your is risky business. Pregnancy is possible, but...
  • A number of different problems characterize the ability to achieve pregnancy over 35. There is a noticeable decline in the fertility rate starting at age 35 to a level of about 10% per month.
  • he pregnancy risk over 35 is higher as well as evidenced an increase in the miscarriage rate and the incidence of genetic abnormality in pregnancy. At 35, the miscarriage rate is 25% and the risk of Down syndrome becomes about 1/350. 35 is the age at which genetic testing in pregnancy is first recommended since the chance of picking up an abnormality is greater than the risk of the procedure used to find it.
  • There is a sharp decline in a woman’s ability to achieve pregnancy over age forty. The fertility rate per month is only about 5% and even with in Vitro Fertilization (IVF), the most successful infertility treatment available, the pregnancy rate is only about 10% per try. This is due to the greatly reduced number of normal eggs remaining in the ovaries of a woman over forty. 
  • Estimates from embryo biopsy reveal that at least 90% of a woman’s eggs are genetically abnormal when a woman is over 40. This is explains the increased pregnancy risk over 40. The miscarriage rate is 33% at age 40. Genetically abnormal pregnancies are more common as well with an incidence of 1/38 at age 40.
  • Women over 45 have less than a 1% chance of getting pregnant using their own eggs.
  • Research also shows that older women who have recently given birth are more likely to develop breast cancer in the 15 years following the birth than their peers of the same age who have never had children.
2. Smoking cigarettes or marijuana increases infertility, especially by reducing sperm counts.

3. Obesity or being too thin increase infertility. A body weight close to the ideal for your height to reduce the possibility of hormone imbalances. This is very important for men as well as for women.

4. Excessive alcohol consumption is may damage eggs or sperm.

5. Environmental contaminants and chemical exposure is a risk factor. 

6. STDs that go undetected and untreated can damage the reproductive system and cause infertility. If you think you may have an STD, get treatment promptly to reduce the risk of damage to your reproductive system. Make sure you know how to use a male condom and/or how to use a female condom.
  •  Chlamydia and gonorrhea are important preventable causes of infertility. Untreated, about 10-15% of women with chlamydia will develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Chlamydia can also cause fallopian tube infection without any symptoms. PID and “silent” infection in the upper genital tract may cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues, which can lead to infertility.
  • An estimated 2.8 million cases of chlamydia and 718,000 cases of gonorrhea occur annually in the United States.
  • Most women infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea have no symptoms.
  • CDC recommends annual chlamydia screening for all sexually active females 25 and under and for women older than 25 with risk factors such as a new sex partner or multiple partners.
7. Male infertility accounts for 40-50% of all infertility, according to wikipedia. The Mayo Clinic however reports that in about 20 percent of cases, infertility is due to a cause involving only the male partner. In about 30 to 40 percent of cases, infertility is due to causes involving both the male and female. In the remaining 40 to 50 percent of cases, infertility is due entirely to a cause involving the female.
  • Drugs, alcohol and smoking play a major role as does strenuous bike and horseback riding.
  • Anabolic steroids taken to stimulate muscle strength and growth can cause the testicles to shrink and sperm production to decrease.
  • Often treatable, problems with sexual intercourse or technique may affect fertility. Difficulties with erection of the penis (erectile dysfunction), premature ejaculation, painful intercourse (dyspareunia), or psychological or relationship problems can contribute to infertility. Use of lubricants such as oils or petroleum jelly can be toxic to sperm and impair fertility.
  • As in women, malnutrition and obesity are factor sin male infertility.
  • Often disregarded, the age of the male partner IS also a factor. Men older than age 40 may be less fertile than younger men, according to the Mayo Clinic.
This should be a required part of every HS student's health classes!  

Decreased fertility in and of itself might actually be a blessing, as the planet is reaching a population of 7 billion; 9 billion by 2045 according to National Geographics, Dec. 2010. But in industrialized countries, which have lower birth rates to begin with, the infertile community turns to medical science for "cures" and when that fails, they turn to adoption.

The fact that the birth rate is far higher in less industrialized parts of the world means a continued flow of children from there to here...as illustrated in the graphic above.,.all justified by the persistent rescue and better life mythology that pervades adoption.

The current mind-set is, well, you can always "just" adopt!  This MUST change! Not only does it create demand for babies that are too often filled with exploitation, coercion, and corruption including kidnapping and stealing babies to be trafficked for adoption, it does NOT resolve infertility and often leads to children being raised by people for whom they are a disappointment that will never measure up to the fantasy baby they never were able to have. This in turn leads to child abuse and terminated adoptions.

We must stop financing the multi-billion dollar infertility industry AND the multi-billion dollar adoption industry. This can be accomplished through prevention education.  THAT and that alone is what infertility awareness should be about.

Adoption must return to being about finding homes for children in REAL need, not filling a demand! Morality and ethics demand it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Adoptive ABUSERS!

I very much hope there is a special place in hell for adopters who abuse the children they sought and were entrusted to them...children they did not have by accident...children of mother who may have been pressured and told she was doing what was best...

Adoptive parents arrested in child abuse case say child 'can't feel pain'

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Maricopa Sheriff’s deputies arrested a three-year-old boy’s adoptive parents Friday in Scottsdale after finding the boy unconscious in a bathroom and documenting multiple other instances of possible abuse, officials said.

Roman Bravo’s adoptive parents, Angel and Osanna Bravo, were taken into custody after an investigation revealed multiple incidents of potential abuse to their three-year-old son, officials said. Around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, while Roman was under the care of Osanna, he allegedly fell off a toilet and hit his head, causing serious injury.

Medics transported Roman to Phoenix Children’s Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery for a skull fracture and brain bleeding. Doctors also discovered a lacerated liver and bruising on his arm and chest and ruled the injuries “suspected non-accidental trauma,” according to a report.

At admittance, testing to reveal any further injures was impossible, officials said, due to Roman’s serious malnourishment.

After Roman reportedly fell off the toilet seat while Angel Bravo and their biological son Angel Gabriel Bravo, 7, were at a basketball game. Osanna said she forgot how to perform CPR and began to hit Roman’s chest in an effort to revive him before calling paramedics.

Multiple other incidents have occurred since Roman was adopted in 2009, according to several reports.
On July 29, 2009, Roman was treated at Paradise Valley Hospital for a broken arm he apparently received either during rough play with his brother or while his father spun him around to calm him down, according to a report.

On April 7, 2011, Angel Gabriel Bravo reported to teachers at his school that Roman had scratches and bruises all over his body from his mother’s abuse. Both incidents remain ongoing investigations, officials said.

While at Phoenix Children’s Hospital Tuesday, Osanna reported that Roman had recently hit his head on a dog cage, requiring stitches.

Osanna Bravo claims that Roman “does not feel pain” and often runs into walls and doorways. She said that she and her husband had to teach him to put his arms out to stop himself when he falls, and he regularly picks at his fingers and body, causing injury.

According to Osanna, Roman also once ate scalding mashed potatoes, too hot for anyone else to eat, without complaint.

During an interview, Angel Gabriel said Roman’s discipline includes time-outs, removal of clothing, spankings, taking away certain items, denying food and placing toilet paper rolls on his hands. Angel Gabriel added that Roman is often placed in the closet and the bathtub to serve his time-outs.
Angel Gabriel also reported that Roman had received many cuts that “hurt a lot” on his head, including a cut on his chin that he received from his mother’s ring when she “pretend punched him,” according to a report. Additionally, Angel Gabriel said that his father sometimes flicks Roman on the cheek to get him to stop crying.

Angel Bravo told detectives that Roman is a “difficult child who does not do as he is told” and that any discipline Osanna gives him is justified.

During the course of the investigation, detectives interviewed a teacher at La Petite Academy, where Roman attends but had been absent from recently. She described Roman as a “polite, nice” child with no history of disciplinary problems, according to a report.

Both parents were taken into custody, because although Roman was in Osanna’s care during the most recent incident, a “pattern of abuse has been documented” and Angel Bravo has “a duty to protect Roman,” officials said.

After Miranda warnings, Osanna Bravo said to detectives that she was the sole responsible party for her son’s injuries, and added that she had been the victim of similar abuse at the hand of her own mother.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Adoption Activism: Commitment or Obsession?

The following is the Introduction to my first book, shedding light on...The Dark Side of Adoption, 1988 (with minor edits).  

Besides being one of the very few personal or auto-biographical pieces I've written for publication, like my recent post on PTSD, I offer it as a kick-off for discussion. It was in fact, a conversation on Facebook on my PTSD posting that spurred my memories of this long ago writing. I had no idea at the time I wrote this in the 1980s that my concerns with adoption would remain a vital focus of my life for more than 50 years, so far:
But with each month that the babe within grows big¬ger the certainty grows stronger that her own destiny is intermingl'd with her child's. Henceforth, she shall define herself, at least in part, as the mother of that Babe. If it dyes, she is the mother of a dead Babe; if it lives, its Smiles and Tears will be her smiles and tears. If it is taken from her, still she is changed fore'er on Earth and in Heaven too. She has been doubl"d, then halv'd and she will ne'er be whole again.—Erica Jong, Fanny
In answer to the question, "Why this book?" I am reminded of a Holocaust survivor whose job had been to remove the dead bodies from the ovens. Just when he felt that he could take it no longer and was about to take his own life, a woman entering the gas chamber said to him: "You cannot die, for if there are no survivors there will be no one to testify." With no one to testify, the death of six million might have been denied to have happened at all, and worse yet, repeated.

I, too, am a survivor of tragedy. I am one of thousands who survived the loss of our children to adoption and, while far less tragic than mass murder, they were, in many cases not "necessary losses." I have chosen to write about our collective experiences, and to acknowledge all for whom adoption has been painful.

I wrote this book for the same reason I have been involved in adoption reform since 1979, for the same reason I co-founded ORIGINS, a national support organization for women who lost children to adoption. [Founded in 1980, this was the original Origins - at least in the US - not associated with any organization with that name.] . It is the same reason that Candy Lightner founded MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and Gloria Yurkovitch founded Child Find.  Each of us became committed as a result of personal loss.

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

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

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

With a limbo-loss there is no finality and no resolution, there is only coping and adjusting. There are many ways of coping with catastrophic loss. Mary Brachen Phillips wrote "Cradle Song," a play about losing her baby to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Ronda Slater wrote and performs a poignant one-woman play about losing her child to adoption, her search and reunion. Bonnie Lee Black, who wrote the book Somewhere Child about the abduction of her daughter by her estranged husband, once wrote in answer to a class assignment, "Why I Write," the following: ". . . I want to live a normal life, but find I can't. Someone shot me in the back of the soul and made me a cripple from here down. The dead legs dangle from the wheelchair, lifeless— see? I can no longer dance or make love. Only the hands of my heart can move. They move along the smooth paper, dragging a pencil, leaving a trail of jagged marks that spell: I AM STILL HERE.

"I am not a writer. I am a nothing, a no one, a meaningless being, barely alive, who's been blown halfway to nowhere, and has nowhere to go. I only write to prove that I was there." In a post script to her daughter, she further states,". . . I have lived to write this story for you. For years I kept it locked inside, carrying it with me like a great weight, subconsciously waiting for the right time, when you'd be old enough to understand, when I'd be far enough away from the past to write about it without bitterness, hatred, or self-pity ... I believe it is important for you to know the truth about your earliest years, because truth makes us free . . . For your sake I've tried to be strong. Professionally, I became a writer ..."

In 1972, Frederick H. Stone of Glasgow, Scotland, recognized that in adoption "the three parties suffer loss: the mother who gives up her child, the child who fantasizes but will never know his real parents, and the adoptive parents who may unconsciously mourn the child they could not have themselves." 1 share the goal of Ronda Slater "to give birth-mothers validation for their feelings, to let adoptees know that their original parents do love them and to let adoptive parents know that we're not coming to steal our kids back."

I write with no personal gain in mind; no hope of regaining my own lost child, or of regaining her love. Those are forever lost to me. I write with the hope of enlightening and educating many to the realities suffered by a substantial number of people whose lives have been permanently changed by adoption. I write to recognize adoption as an unfortunate necessity and to humanize the process. I cannot reverse my loss, but I seek to prevent future pain and offer an opportunity to those who consider adoption in their future to see it more realistically.

I write because someone must.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Evangelicals Buying Converts via "Adoption"

The Evangelical Adoption Crusade by Kathryn Joyce, the Nation.

Ya' GOTTA read it!


As a way for conservative evangelicals to reclaim the social gospel message from liberal churches, adoption is a perfect storm, too, seemingly defining antiabortion activism as more truly “prolife”—or “whole life,” as one Bethany staffer coined it—while providing a new opportunity, as recent orphan theology texts explain, to spread the gospel. In Reclaiming Adoption, Cruver bluntly declares, “The ultimate purpose of human adoption by Christians, therefore, is not to give orphans parents, as important as that is. It is to place them in a Christian home that they might be positioned to receive the gospel.”
These children don’t recognize the flags of their home countries... but they can all sing “Jesus Loves Me.”
“Get as many people in the church to adopt, and adopt as many kids as you can,”
...[adoptions] have become “the biggest money-making operation in Haiti.” Indeed, many orphanages, mindful of high international adoption fees, tell struggling parents that they should give up one of their children. The financial desperation in Haiti is so intense and the coercion so pervasive...
Yet: evangelicals pay international adoption fees that can range from $20,000 to $63,000.
Imagine what that kind of money could to help Haiti instead of stripping them of their future.
“I think Christians are the worst at this sometimes, about the ends justifying the means. ‘I will do anything to save this one child’s life’; ‘I will falsify a visa application if I have to’......committing visa fraud or other serious violations. “You’ll hear people saying, I’m following God’s law, not man’s laws” Chuck Johnson, president of the secular adoption lobby group the National Council for Adoption (NCFA).

“They’re such strong advocates, they’ll do things in desperation to have a child they think is theirs. Some are really unlawful, falsifying an adoption or something like that..."

And this is most crucial:
The bill, which Landrieu’s office will reintroduce this year, would create a special State Department office to oversee adoptions and offer—critics say condition—developmental aid to countries that help obtain permanent parental care for orphans, including through international adoption. In an op-ed published in the Washington Examiner in March 2010, co-sponsors Landrieu and Inhofe dangled the promise that the office could facilitate the placement of tens of thousands more Haitian children with US families.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Adoption Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may occur soon after a major trauma, or it can be delayed for more than 6 months after the event. When it occurs soon after the trauma, it usually gets better after 3 months. However, some people have a longer-term form of PTSD, which can last for many years...PTSD can occur at any age and can follow a natural disaster ... assault, domestic abuse, or rape....The cause of PTSD is unknown, but psychological, genetic, physical, and social factors are involved. PTSD changes the body’s response to stress. It affects the stress hormones and chemicals that carry information between the nerves (neurotransmitters). Having been exposed to trauma in the past may increase the risk of PTSD.  PubMed Health
PTSD is recognized by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) who defines it as:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat. 
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that some people get after seeing or living through a dangerous event.
When in danger, it’s natural to feel afraid. This fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. But in PTSD, this reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.
Symptoms of PTSD fall into three main categories:

1. Repeated "reliving" or "re-experiencing" of the event, which disturbs day-to-day activity.
  • Flashback episodes, where the event seems to be happening again and again
  • Recurrent distressing memories of the event
  • Repeated dreams or nightmares of the event
  • Physical reactions to situations that remind you of the traumatic event
2. Avoidance
  • Emotional "numbing," or feeling as though you don’t care about anything
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma
  • Lack of interest in normal activities
  • Less expression of moods
  • Staying away from places, people, or objects that remind you of the event
  • Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry
  • Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past
  • Having trouble remembering the dangerous event. 
  • Sense of having no future
3. Arousal or hyperarousal
  • Feeling tense or "on edge"
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Exaggerated or easily startled
  • Excess awareness (hypervigilance)
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Sleeping difficulties
You also might feel a sense of guilt about the event (including "survivor guilt"), and the following symptoms, which are typical of anxiety, stress, and tension:
  • Agitation, or excitability
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Feeling your heart beat in your chest (palpitations)
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Paleness
I KNOW that I suffer PTSD.  I have experienced MULTIPLE trauma in my life both before and after the loss of my daughter to adoption.

The work I have done for the past 40 years in adoption is my coping mechanism.

Let's share...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Mother's Heartbreak

No word, but regret seems to sum up what happened to Mary Hider.

"I thought my kids were in good hands," said Hider, 40, as tears ran down her cheek. "I wanted them to have a better life than I could give them."

She's the biological mother of Dylan Levy Bennett and Austen Jean Bennett.

Hider relinquished custody of her two sons in the late 1990s after allegations of neglect surfaced.
In 2000, Edward and Linda Bryant adopted them. But, within a couple years, something happened - the young brothers vanished.

"Whether I bring them home or I have to bury them, I want to see them again," Hider said.

Austin and Dylan's story starts in a small northeastern Oklahoma town along Route 66. The boys were born in Vinita, which lies half way between Tulsa and Joplin.

But their mom moved them out to Colorado in the late 1990s. Authorities there took them away after the neglect allegations that included Hider sleeping while the boys were awake. Hider said her attorney told her she could not beat the case, so she signed away her rights.

KENS 5's sister station, WFAA News 8, tried to confirm the details of why Hider lost custody, but the circumstances of the case were sealed by courts, said Bradd Hafer, public information coordinator in El Paso County, Colorado.

Hider said Dylan played soccer growing up. He was also hyper and eventually diagnosed with ADHD.
Austen, later renamed Austin by the Bryants, had a speech impediment.

He wore glasses and Hider said she affectionately referred to him as her "little Einstein."

But, last month, the Bryants' other adopted children revealed a family secret, according to an affidavit released by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office in Colorado Springs.

The kids claim their parents tortured Austin, locked him in a trunk and even shocked him with a Taser, the affidavit stated.

"I try to be strong for my sister and try to keep her spirit up that maybe they will find them, but I don't feel that," said Jessica Dawn Moore, the boys' aunt.

In March, deputies arrested Ed and Linda Bryant in Denton and Gainesville where they now live. The couple was extradited back to Colorado Springs and face a preliminary hearing next month.

The Bryants have not been charged with Austin and Dylan's disappearance, but rather for continuing to collect a state stipend for the boys while they weren't in their custody. [UN-F*$king believable!! The missing money is more important than the welfare of the children they were entrusted with and being paid to care for!!!]

The Bryants also deny harming the brothers. In the affidavit, Linda Bryant said they ran away. It was one of several stories she told investigators. [Yeah, right...they ran away but their disappearance wasn't reported until one of the other adopted kids spilled the beans!]

One of them caused U.S. Marshals to track down Hider in rural Oklahoma this week.

"The last thing [Linda Bryant] told them was, 'I think they're in Oklahoma with their biological mother,'" Hider said.

The last time she saw them was 1999. No one has heard from the boys since 2001 and 2003. That's what haunts Hider.

Photos and video here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Exploit the Poor and Sell Their Babies to the Highest Bidders!

Exploiting mothers and selling babies to the highest bidder sounds like warfare used by some uncivilized rebels in some far off nation like Rawanda. We read of it and go tsk tsk! We watch films of the atrocities and are shocked and sickened and comforted to live in such a civilized place as the US where things like that could never happen.

Exploiting mothers and selling heir babies to the highest bidders might also sound like sci fi. It is in fact far worse than any future imagined by Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale or George Orwell's 1984 or Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, or Lois Lowry's the Giver. Yet even brilliant and fertile the minds of these classic authors could not have imagined the influence of money in the process of conception, birth and parenting. These author's imagined mass infertility in the future, but they then foresaw government stepping in and and controlling breeding and parental selection.

None, in their wildest imagination, could conceive of the exact opposite. A total lack of government control and limits placed only according to one's pocketbook. None imagined in their most extreme dreams the wild west world of money-talks-and-nobody-walks away empty handed where parenting selection is based on one and only one criteria: he who can pay the fee on the price tag gets the child! Simple as that. Masochistic child abusers, pedophiles, and pimps!! Step right up!  You too could be the next Michael Jackson or Matthew Mancuso (Masha Allen's adoptive rapist and online tormentor who haunts her still with his photographic kiddie porn legacy) or William Peckenpaugh who got himself his a fine little boy to use and abuse...

Step right up every sicko who ever wanted their very own child to torture in the most repugnant and unimaginable ways. Now, you too can realize your dream come true! Just pony-up the cash and he or she is yours. No strings attached. No social worker will ever get involved or check up on you.

You can "home school" and then do whatever you please in the privacy of your own home.  Hey, it's a far better deal than Brian David Mitchell who kidnapped Elizabeth Smart or Phillip Craig Garrido who abducted Jaycee Dugard got. Kidnapping, after all, carries a very stiff penalty if you're caught. Not this surrogacy stuff. They're making it LEGAL!!!

State surrogacy bill alarmingly short of protections
Washingtonians should be alarmed that state lawmakers are rushing to legalize commercial surrogacy with no protections for the surrogate mothers and no protections for the babies being sold.

Washingtonians should be alarmed that state lawmakers are rushing to legalize commercial surrogacy with no protections for the surrogate mothers and no protections for the babies being sold.

Today, volunteer surrogate mothers and their babies are protected by state adoption procedures and government oversight. Paid surrogacy is currently prohibited and punishable to up to a year in prison. However, House Bill 1267 would eliminate all these protections and for the first time legalize the selling of babies for profit, with virtually no limits on who can buy a baby.

Nothing would prevent Washington babies from being sold overseas to anonymous foreign buyers, as there is no requirement for the baby buyer to be an American citizen. There is nothing preventing convicted sex predators or any criminal currently in prison from buying a surrogate baby. They just have to hire a lawyer.  [We currently export approximately 500 babies a year overseas via adoption!]

The bill doesn’t require criminal background checks, drug tests, or other safety checks. Incredibly, while the bill requires buyers to take a mental health test, it doesn’t require them to pass! Alarming test results don’t need to be shared with the birth mother or any public agency. One can spectacularly fail all state adoption guidelines and still receive a baby under HB 1267.

Can you imagine the moral outrage if Washington’s foster children were handed to anonymous individuals with zero government oversight or screenings? Or if adoption babies were sold to foreign nationals or to anyone who can raise the cash? [Ooops, they are!] For goodness sakes, what does it say about our state when puppies born in puppy mills or chickens on farms have more government oversight than commercial surrogate babies born in Washington?

I also worry that the bill provides no worker protections for the hired mother. The woman worker is hired with a private service contract that deliberately excludes every state worker protection and safety laws that we have on the books.

There is no minimum wage protection. The disability and life insurance requirements are riddled with ghastly loopholes. The sole protection against worker exploitation and harm is that the contracts must be reviewed by an “independent” lawyer for the surrogate – who can be paid by the baby buyer.
Lawmakers would never allow any other worker to be hired by a Washington business with so little protection for their health and safety. HB 1267 is special treatment for surrogacy businesses run amok.
How could this high-risk bill pass our House of Representatives with practically no real public discussion?

It passed because the bill was sold as “clarifying” surrogacy laws to help loving infertile couples and loving gay couples fulfill their dreams of having children. But can lawmakers seriously afford to pretend that only good people, lawyers and businesses will be involved in the hiring and supervising of women for their wombs and in buying their babies?

This is not just a Christian or a conservative issue. When feminist leaders such as Gloria Steinem and Betty Freidan also believe that paid surrogacy “will lead to the exploitation of women, especially poorer ones, by more affluent couples,” and that it violates laws “prohibiting the trafficking in human lives, particularly the buying and selling of infants,” shouldn’t we listen?

India learned from painful experience that the unregulated marketplace and lawyers were not enough to protect their surrogate babies or to prevent horrendous exploitation of destitute women by surrogacy businesses.

While we do need more jobs and businesses in Washington during these tough economic times, hiring women for their reproductive functions using secret contracts and having them sell their babies to anyone who has the cash is not the right way to create jobs, businesses or babies.
State Rep. Mark Miloscia, D-Federal Way, represents the 30th District.
You can comment at the site of the original piece here. Bless the News Tribune for printing this!

One of the proudest feathers in my cap is my involvement in fighting to make paid surrogacy illegal in the state of New Jersey. The notorious case of Mary Beth Whitehead fighting to keep the baby she carried as a surrogate for William Stern and his wife Betsy. Mary Beth was a housewife and mother who discovered that she could not part with the child she had bonded with in utereo and had suckled at her breast. In the end the Sterns got custody but Mary Beth and her family got visitation and surrogacy was outlawed thanks to the great efforts of Harold Cassidy, attorney.

The law was enacted in good part because of the cross the board support we obtained from religious leaders of all faiths and ethicist, all of whom decried the immorality of paid surrogacy as baby selling and in direct violation of the intent of laws against pre-birth contracts.

And yet, sadly, no other states followed with similar legislation specifically banning the practice and now Washington wants to actually legalize it! Those with morals in that state need to research the NJ case and rally the troops to fight this abomination against humanity.

It's illegal to sell bodily organs because of the huge possibility of exploiting the poor...yet we allow THIS!  Are human babies less worthy of protection than a liver or kidney?  Those body parts do not grieve the loss of the voice and smell of the body from whence they came.  Nor does the donor body grieve their loss, often because they are deceased.  And yet, ironically, more and more donor recipients want to meet the donor family to thank them (but of course, they don't live with the dread fears and insecurities that the family will steal the organ back....AND amputees suffer phantom pain!)

We are talking about human being being bough and sold, folks. That is what is also called SLAVERY. Even in the time of slavery SOME masters treated SOME slaves with kindness. Some even thought of them as "family" as a sort - they did, as in adoption - bear their owner's names after all. The fact is that once a human being is purchased and owned he or she is at the mercy of their captor. They may be treated with kindness or they may not. they have no recourse to complain or run away, because in the instance of surrogacy and paid adoption they are merely children.

We look aghast at the practice of Haitians to sell their children as maids and think THIS is OK? Why? Because we pretend that all the myths of adoption are true. We ignore the blatant acts to the contrary and call them anomalies and go right on believing that children will get a "better life" because they are so very wanted.  Even if and when they are fortunate enough to wind up with parents who care for them well, does the end every justify the means? Some children are adopted into families who dote over them. Does that make it all right that the child may have been kidnapped and trafficked for adoption? Seems to as governments are wont to get involved and even DNA test possible kidnap victims if after the kidnapping they are then "legally" adopted! That puts the seal of approval on an otherwise felonious crime.

So...exploit the poor and sell their babies to the highest bidders. Why  not do it in terms of surrogacy? We've been doing it for decades and calling it "adoption" .. and even considering it noble and charitable when 90% of the children in orphanages worldwide have family who do NOT want them adopted, as was the case with the two children adopted by Madonna. But once again, money trumped humanity and morality and the "end" is supposed to justify the means of tearing families apart to satisfy the whims of the more affluent.

Exploiting the poor and COMMODIFYING their children! Turning them into automobiles or souvenir trinkets.

AND, unlike adoption surrogacy has no pretense of being a magnanimous or humane act. It is selfish. It involves people who insist upon having a child that is genetically connected to at least one parent and so they totally turn their back on all the thousands of alleged orphans on need. Let us bear in mind that infertility is a medical issue and surrogacy and adoption are legal and social solution, not medical ones. Let us also not forget that the vast majority of infertility is preventable.

Yet, instead of  being outraged and joining New Jersey - an all other civilized, industrialized nations - in banning paid surrogacy...we as a nation are "normalizing" it by applauding celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker who chooses surrogacy...and featuring it on several prime time dramas and sitcoms such as "Brothers and Sisters" and "Rules of Engagement." The first TV show to show surrogacy was "Friends" - however that was in-family and not for fee!  Big difference!  If a family member, or even close friend wants to risk their life and future ability to bear a child for another, that's a choice that cannot be regulated. But when money gets involved it becomes baby selling and MUST be not controlled but stopped.  Egg "donation" is equally exploitive and equally repugnant and also should be outlaed, as well as anonymous sperm "donation."

UPDATE: Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband wants his 94-year-old wife to become a mother again using an egg donor, artificial insemination and a surrogate mother! I could not make that up!

Email Rep. Mark Miloscia. Thank him for opposing this horrible legislation.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Searching For...?

Tonight I caught an episode of OWN network's "Searching For...?"

A 20-year-old woman named Aimee is searching for her mother. She has wanted to search all her life!  Her adoptive mother told her that when she was 18 she could go to the adoption agency and find her mother. No idea if the adoptive mother believed this, but Aimee counted the days till she turned 20.

She spoke of her love for her adoptive mother, but also shared her feelings of not fitting in. Of being "different."

On her 18th birthday she went to the adoption agency and got non ID info. She was very disappointed but turned to the TV show for help.

The searcher on the show is herself adopted. She finds Aimee's mother and also tells her that she is the youngest of FOUR sisters!

Aimee contacts her mother and one sister, the only who "knows" that she exists.  She has a good reunion with her sister, but as the episode ends she laments not hearing from her again and having never heard from her mother, who is fearful of her other daughters finding out her secret.

One other thing: the searcher gets the adoptive mother to share that the adoption was supposed to "semi-open."  She was supposed to end photos but never did!  I am left to wonder if Aimee's mother had received those photos, might she have not kept her loss a secret?

My search wish...

After watching the show I went online to seek help with a search I need help with. The search reunites family and friends.  This is what I wrote to them:

I am searching for Jaimie (or Jamie) Auerbach. She is the daughter of my best friend Ellen who was killed in a car accident when Jaimie was just an infant along with Jaimie’s two year old sister, Dayla - six months older than my daughter Adira - born (in 1979) needing multiple heart surgeries. Ellen's husband, Barry, was driving the car. They were on a reconciliation weekend before Barry was to enter drug rehab. Barry's drug addiction had caused him to overdosed several times. I knew he could not care for Jaimie and I was prepared to, but Barry's aunt Loretta  took Jaimie in. Loretta did not want to go for adoption or legal custody though, and after a while, Barry decided he was OK and left the east coast and married someone. I have never seen Jaimie since.

She is my best friend's daughter. I worry about her and wonder if she is OK. I wonder if Barry was a good father to her and if her step mother was loving and caring. I also want to share with Jaimie my fond memories of her mother and some photos I have of her.

Barry's last name is Auerbach and his aunt Loretta lived in Freehold, NJ. Her husband owned an exterminating business and they had a son and daughter who would be in their 40s now. My ex-husband might remember Loretta's last name or her husband's name and they would hopefully know where Barry moved to and hopefully have kept in touch and know where Jaimie is. I tried looking for Jaimie Auerbach on Facebook, etc. but it's too common a name and she might be married now. I PRAY that you can help me! I think of her SOOO often, and a lot more recently!

It's ironic because I have been involved in adoption for more than 30 years. I ran a support group in the 80s and helped reunite HUNDREDS of families separated by adoption! I have also recently been found on Facebook by one of my foster children, who calls me "Mom"! And now I am reaching out to you for help with this search.

The photo is Ellen and Dayla, approx. 1981.

Please wish me luck that the show chooses to help me!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Getting Real About Inter-Racial Adoption

When things converge it often moves me to write.  I've been recently reading a special issue social journal (Jr of Social Distress and the Homeless Vol 17, Special Issue 1 & 2. Adoption across race, culture and class) that focuses on inter-racial and inter-national adoptions...when I came across a wonderfully honest and well written first person blog account of the subject.

In contrast to the professional articles and "studies" on the subject, the blog I read was not seeking the opinion of those who make the choice to create multi-cultural families through adoptions - asking how difficult it was for THEM. With adopters sharing how surprised they were to discover that racial discrimination actually still exists!

 I encourage all to read Interracial Adoption in Present-Racial Era, written by on of the real experts, a woman who lived it!  I also encourage you to read as many of the comments as you can bear, such as:
I'm a white woman. My husband (also white) and I are adopting an adorable little girl from Social Services. She's 11 years old and black. Should we not adopt her because she's a different race?? Should Social Services have left her with parents who let her beg door-to-door at the apartment complex for food just so she could be raised in a black family?? To many of us, race ~IS~ a NON-ISSUE! It's only people like this author and Al Sharpton that keep racism alive in America!
It is far too easy for liberal PRIVILEGED WHITES to say that color is a non-issue, or that they are "color blind." That is proof of their PRIVILEGE as race is only a non-issue for you when you are white in a white majority world! Get real!!

Not so easy when people are spewing their ugly prejudicial hate-filled comments or just their ignorant racial biases or assumptions, such as those about Asians being smart or Chinese girls being subservient or compliant or whatever...

People who adopt - and even those who give birth - are impervious to thinking about the child as a separate human being who grows up. They think only of a babe wrapped in the protection of their arms and their love. But children grow up and are subjected to the slings and arrows of a hostile world that no amount of parental love can protect them from.

We need to get real and to do that we need to hear more and more from the real experts on inter-racial adoption: those who have LIVED IT!  I hope the author of this blog post,
Rebecca Carroll, and others keep writing, keep sharing, keep telling their truth to power!

Adoption is one great big experiment...and children - and the families from which they have come or been taken - are the guinea pigs who suffer.  If we have learned nothing in the decades of these experiments, it is that children are NOT blank slates; skin is not the color of water; and genetics and ethnicity DO count and are important.

The desire to know our roots drives a huge genealogy industry and is so important it is why the Judea-Christian bible starts with who begat who...and we think we can erase all that with adoption and love?

Note too, that MOST adoptions, begin like the writer's friends did. It is a last resort for those who adopt after often years of undergoing very expensive and painful treatments to try to have a child that is biologically connected to them - because that connection IS so damn important! 
Then, when these same people WIND UP adopting, expect their child to live without those very important connections because they have to!?? Because they have now decided it's not important after-all? 

Additionally, after attempting every possible means to have a biologically connected offspring some of the study participants in Gidluck and Dwyer's Canadian study in the journal above remarking how unfair it is that others - the general public - look upon adoption as a second best choice to parenting a biologically connected child when adopters are ever so eager to share every detail of the pain and expense they suffered to avoid adopting!  And like the friend of the blog author, Gidlick and Dwyer's Canadian parents who adopted interracially, often hadn't "given much thought" to race prior to adopting their children (p 43).

There are some things in this journal that are really hard to read, even for a toughened veteran such as myself. For instance:
"Many well-meaning parents want to celebrate or exoticize their child's culture without dealing with the issue of race" Gidlick & Dwyer, p. 39.
And...some adoptive parents studied:
"...tended to deny their children's Chinese identity and Chinese culture. Children grew up in households that did not regard China as important or relevant to their children. Their parents intended to raise them as any other American child. According to several adoptive mom's accounts, it seemed this group saw China as a source for babies. They were eager to make their adoptive children Americans who need have nothing to do with China" Cao and Pitman, p. 71.
The adopted child becomes at once the consolation prize, the replacement for what might have been, and the healer to their parents, as well as in many cases, and a badge of honor for the liberalism of their adopters....and they are expected to be GRATEFUL enough not to hurt their feelings by seeking out their own kin....

All of this is perhaps in part why journal contributor and inter-racial adoptive mother Martha Satz now opposes "the general practice of trans-racial adoption" despite the education it gleaned her. 

Perhaps it is also why the journal editor, Rafeal Art. Javier concludes: "There seems to be much damage to identity formation than the benefit that these types of adoption may bring to the transnational adoptee...."

See also:  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Parents Loose Court Battle: No DNA Test

A twelve-year-old Indian boy who was adopted by Dutch parents as an infant does not have to give a DNA sample to prove to an Indian couple that he’s their legitimate son.
The couple, Nagarani and Kathirvel, say their son was stolen from them and was subsequently put up for adoption.  The ruling by a Dutch court ends a four year court battle.
In 1999, the couple’s infant son was kidnapped from their home in Chennai, India. Five years later the kidnappers were arrested and they confessed that they had sold the boy to an orphanage in Chennai. Subsequently, the boy was put up for adoption by a Dutch couple through the mediation of a Dutch adoption agency.
With the help of Dutch organisation Against Child Trafficking (ACT), Nagarani and Kathirvel managed to retrace their son to the Netherlands – or rather: the boy who they believed was their son.
DNA test 
There was just one way to prove that Rahul (not the boy’s real name, for privacy reasons) was indeed the Indian couple’s son: a DNA test. The couple first requested such a test in 2007, but Rahul’s adoptive parents rejected it.
Last year, Nagarani and Kathirvel and their Dutch lawyers took the adoptive parents to court to order a DNA test.  They later also accused the adoption agency and Rahul’s adoptive parents of kidnapping and child trafficking.
Child’s interest
A family court in the Netherlands has now ruled that 12-year old Rahul cannot be forced to undergo a DNA test if he doesn’t want to. Although the court said that Nagarani and Kahtirvel “may well be” Rahul’s biological parents, it also stated that the interest of the child would prevail. “If the child does not want to take this any further, it’s his own decision and we should respect that,” the judge explained.
Nagarani and Kathirvel were subsequently ordered to pay court costs of up to 4,800 euros. They have since returned to India empty handed. They have not met Rahul or his adoptive parents during their stay in the Netherlands.
‘Nobody wins’ 
Hilbrand Westra of United Adoptees International says that this is a case of ‘nobody wins’. “ This ruling could be bad for all parties involved,” he told RNW. “It’s sad that this case had to be taken to court. It won’t do Rahul much good, I’m afraid. He’s been thrown into a situation he didn’t want to be involved in.”
Mr Westra says this court case revealed many shortcomings of adoption programmes which are running between the Western world and developing countries such as India, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh.
“There are fifty couples for every child that is put up for adoption,” he says. “So there’s a lot of competition between the parents and between the adoption agencies. Interests are huge. You never know what ‘s happened to the children before they’re picked up by these agencies.”
He thinks that adoptive parents have their own responsibilities when they’re trying to adopt a child through an agency, even if that agency is fully approved (as in Rahul’s case). “We tend to say: when in doubt, never cross the street,” Mr Westra says. “In some cases, things just aren’t right. Adoptive parents should always try to erase any doubts.”
“In Rahul’s case, it’s quite clear – the Indian court ruled in 2005 that he’d been kidnapped before he was put up for adoption,”  Mr Westra says.
“That puts a different light on the subsequent adoption process, even if that process in itself was conducted legally and according to Dutch and Indian laws. The agency should have investigated Rahul’s background more thoroughly before they offered him to the Dutch adoptive couple.”
Mr Westra has one, rather simple solution for cases like Rahul’s: “Every adoptive child should undergo a DNA test before it’s handed over to adoptive parents,” he says. “In that case there can never be any doubt who its biological parents are, if those details are available, of course. But it’ll probably never happen as it will scare off many adoption agencies and adoptive parents.”
“Things really have to change. For Rahul, for his biological parents, but also for his adoptive parents. And for all children who will enter the adoption treadmill in the future. There are still a lot of taboos in the adoption world and the willingness to alter things is small. Without those changes, adoption won’t lose its reputation that in a way, it’s a modern way of people trafficking,”  Mr Westra says.

National Adoptee Equal Rights Day: Group Sponsorship Sought

Dear Adoptee Rights Activists:

Below is a petition to have July 28 declared National Adoptee Equal Rights Day which will be posted on Care2.com. While many have expressed eagerness to sign the petition, it is not as yet up and running and ready for that. First, we are seeking group/org sponsorship.

Will your group or organization join the AAC in sponsoring this important effort?
    Please go to your boards or members and ask if they would like to see your group's name listed as a sponsor of the petition. The petition is not affiliated with any one organization or individual as creator and will bear no logo, person's name, or any organizations other than those who agree to be listed as sponsors.

There is strength in numbers and this is not state specific - it will help ALL of us! 
    Whether it succeeds in getting a day declared or not, the petition will help bring attention to the issue of adoptee rights as a human and civil rights issue that cannot be compromised.

The AAC board has voted to sponsor the petition.
    It is being considered by EBD, Ethica, PEAR, BN, CUB and many other groups - national and local.

Your organization's name as sponsor would indicate that you support the goal of having a national day declared to bring attention to adoptee rights as a human and civil rights issue. Nothing more.

PLEASE advise your group's decision to sponsor or not by May 1st so the petition can go live at that time!

NOTE: The title, wording and concept contained in this petition are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without written consent.

There is strength in numbers!!


Petition to Declare July 28 National Adoptee Equal Rights Day

WHEREAS: American citizens who are adopted are denied their civil and human rights in regard to, access to their own original birth certificates in most U.S. states ,

WHEREAS: State regulations denying unrestricted access to one’s own birth certificate that apply only to a segment of the population, create a lifelong inequality for adoptees, regardless of age, in a way no others are subject to, and are thus discriminatory,

WHEREAS: It is only since the 1940s that outdated, archaic, draconian regulations have been enacted, unjustly sealing and denying equal access by adopted persons to their own original birth certificates,

WHEREAS: This denial of equal civil and human rights was set in motion by regulations that were opposed from the onset by the Child Welfare League of America and were based on no-longer relevant social stigmas on infertility and illegitimate birth status,

WHEREAS: Alaska and Kansas which never enacted these restrictive, discriminatory regulations has experienced no negative consequences to any citizen nor any increase in abortions or decrease in adoptions,

WHEREAS: There is absolutely no evidence to indicate that mothers or fathers relinquishing children for adoption voluntarily or involuntarily were ever given any promise of anonymity from their children, and most are eager to know of the well
being of their adopted-out offspring,

WHEREAS: No such alleged promises could be made because birth certificates are not sealed until, if ever, an adoption occurs and many adoptive parents obtain documents with the names of the relinquishing parent(s).  Many adoptees are able to locate their original parents without access to their birth certificate,

WHEREAS: Attention needs to be brought to this little known violation of civil rights and to the need to repeal state enacted injustices and restore adoptee’s rights,

WHEREAS: July 28, 1868 the 14th Amendment was ratified giving the Federal Government the right to intervene when states and local governments deprive citizens of their rights. This crucial amendment has become the basis for all the Civil Rights legislation in the last 125 years.

Now, therefore, we the undersigned seek to persuade the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, and the President of the United States of America to declare July 28 National Adoptee Equal Rights Day to heighten awareness of this little known civil rights  issue facing adopted citizens and the need to restore their rights by repealing laws that unjustly discriminate against adopted persons.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

HOUSE (as in the doctor and the FOX TV show)

Just saw a repeat of an old "House" show, first broadcast on November 23, 2004.
A 16-year old lacrosse player starts suffering from double vision, night terrors and frequent hallucinations after being struck in the head. House and his team must diagnose the mystery brain condition which is causing all these symptoms before it progresses to a fatal stage.
House had first dismissed the symptoms as concussion and then suggests that the cause might be post-traumatic stress due to sexual abuse. But then he notices Dan's foot twitch with a myoclonic jerk which normally only occurs when falling asleep. He immediately admits Dan and starts diagnosis with his team.
House claims that Dan's father isn't his true biological father and makes a bet with Foreman about it. Soon after, Dan has another night terror. None of the tests show why the night terror occurred, but House finds a large blockage in one of Dan's brain ventricles. House and his team relieve the pressure as fast as they can, but they find that the blockage isn't what is causing the other symptoms. It is in fact a symptom itself.

During the night, Dan is found missing from his bed. Cameron, Chase, and Foreman search frantically to find him, soon locating him on the roof, where he is hallucinating that he is on the lacrosse field. Chase tackles him just before he steps over the edge of the building. House is excited by this new development — it rules out House's previous diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. The new diagnosis provided by Cameron is neurosyphilis. To treat this, they inject penicillin directly into Dan's brain, but during an injection, Dan suffers an auditory hallucination, which rules out this diagnosis. House is stumped by this new development, and admits his problems to Wilson. Dan's parents are angered to discover House having coffee with Wilson while their son is dying, but House rebukes them with his intimate knowledge of Dan's current condition. He tells them to go and support Dan, after which he takes their coffee cups to run DNA tests to decide his bet on Dan's paternity. The tests show that neither parent is biologically related to Dan.

House thinks that infant Dan caught the basic measles virus from his biological mother (who possibly had never been vaccinated) that had mutated, remained latent for 16 years, and reappeared in his brain. Avoiding a dangerous brain biopsy to confirm this unusual case, they biopsy Dan's retina to find the virus, confirming House's diagnosis of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis.
House confronts the parents really angry that they withheld the fact that their son was adopted when giving his medical history.  House says to them: "did you think I was asking for his medical history or for who loves him the most?"
Turns out the kid's problem stemmed from his birth mom not being vaccinated - something that was not in the medical history they were given. Also turns out the kid knew he was adopted since 5th grade. They ask how he knew. He said cause he has a cleft chin. Funny - Dr. House's team didn't notice that all the while they speculated as to whether the father was the biological father or not and looked at the way their eyes were flecked similarly!!

$54 Thousand dollar adoption tax credit...for those living off adoption and foster care

Family Scores $54,000 Tax Refund From Adoptions

Sometimes, good news comes out of the tax prep office.

David and Thelma Ward could hardly believe it when their HR Block tax preparer called to say they’d be getting a $54,000 tax refund this year.

Yes, that many zeros. And math was checked countless times.

The one-time windfall for the family is attributed to a change in the tax law this year. Since 1997, families who adopt have been eligible for a one-time, $13,170 tax credit per child. Over the past three years through foster care, the Wards added five more kids to their family, which already included seven other children.

What makes this year different, though, is a change in the way the tax credit is defined: it’s now a refundable tax credit. Before, you could only fully benefit from a tax credit if you owed more than the credit. The credits simply offset what you owed in taxes. Staring this year, the adoption tax credit is refundable, meaning it not only offsets the amount you owe but you get the difference in cash.
Since, like the majority of families who adopt in the U.S., the Wards earned a low-to-modest income. They lived off of $39,000 per year, plus monthly stipends for foster care parents, so the credits never paid off. Instead, they rolled over from one year to the next. This year, with the changed law, they get to collect on all the adoptions of the last five years. The credits have a five-year shelf-life and are intended for expenses incurred through international and private adoption. Foster care adoptions don’t typically accrue expenses, but children deemed special needs make their families eligible for the entire credit.

How great for this family! Of course, they’re not in it for the money. They had no idea they’d be getting such a windfall. The refundable credit, which is part of healthcare reform, will likely help other families, too.

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