But is it equally noble or altruistic to take a child as yours KNOWING full well that he or she has a parent who is capable, willing, and LONGS to maintain custody? To take that child and fight to keep him or her from his family of origins, his full siblings because you have "fallen in love" with said child?
Does anything justify such behavior - such as "We have a bigger house, can send the child to better schools" Or how about "We didn't know her mother wanted her" or "We didn't know she's been kidnapped." Do any of these make it OK?
Take this moral / ethics quiz:
1. As you are leaving the store, you count your change and realize that the cashier gives you change for a ten when you gave her a five. What is the RIGHT thing to do? What do you do?
2. You sit down on the bus and discover a briefcase on the seat next to you. You look inside and there is ten thousand dollars in cash and nothing else. Do you report it to the bus company to see if anyone reported loosing it, or keep it? What is the RIGHT thing to do? What would you want someone to do if it was your money?
3. You find a dog with no collar or tag. You take him home, fall in love with the adorable critter who jumps in your lap and laps your face. A week later, you see a LOST DOG sign on a pole. Do you would return the dog or keep it? Which is the RIGHT thing to do? Which would you want someone to do if it was your dog? What if it was a child? YOUR child?!?
4. If you legally adopt a child and then discover the child was kidnapped and her mother is frantic, what do you do? Do you ignore all attempts at mediation and hope that you government will do the same? Is it Ok if those who maintain control of the child because you did not actually steal or kidnap him or her?
5. You want a child and promise the mother you'll let her visit if you can adopt her baby. Once you have the child, you decide not to allow the visits? Is that ethical? Is it fraud?
Do we live a "finders keepers/losers weepers" world?
Or, do we believe in, and practice, the Golden Rule??
Does the end justify the means if the end is a more affluent lifestyle with swimming pools and piano lessons at the loss of all familial ties?
Surely it cannot be OK simply because the child has bonded to his her captors like any kidnap victim would - because if that were true we would not have expected - much less demanded - the return of Jaycee Lee Duggrad, Elizabeth Smart or any other kidnapped child, especially if said child has been snatched from the hospital nursery and was loved and cared for by someone who simply couldn't have a child of their own and now had become the "only parent the child ever knew".
I share with you three current cases:
Peri. Carla Moquin was defrauded into surrendering her middle daughter, Peri, into what was purported to be an extensively open adoption. Carla and the adoptive couple, Susan and Demyn, appeared on a Discovery Channel show about their open arrangement. Shortly after the adoption, Susan reduced visits from monthly to annually, with NO CONTACT in between! It turned out that Susan and Demyn never filed the contact agreement and told the agency now that they never intended to. She was willing to allow annual visits and Carla was not to introduce her other two girls to Peri as her sisters....Long story short, Carla is now working to overturn the adoption on grounds that her relinquishment was gained fraudulently with unkept promises of openness.
Is is right to expect promises to be kept? Is it OK to say anything to get a child you really want? Did Susan and Demyn have every right, once they were the legal parents to change whatever they agreed to before?
Abrazo Adoption contributed to Carla's Bring Peri Home legal fund stating: they they encourage other adoption agencies to do so because: "Broken adoption promises hurt everyone."
Full story and links to donate to help bring this child home to her mother and siblings is here. I have sent $100 and ask you to pay it forward and send what you would want someone to send to help YOU if it was YOUR child!
Anyeli Liseth Hernandez Rodriguez was kidnapped right out of mother's arms in Guatemala when the child was 2. The child spent the next two years in the clutches of baby traffickers and eventually wound up - after two name changes and forged papers...she wound up adopted by a US couple, the Monahans of Missouri. Her story is here. KJ Dell Antonia, writing for Slate, believes there is a gray area. In an attempt to justify the Monahan's actions, Antonia says:
As for Anyali, the Guatemalan child now known as Karen Abigail (whose story is far from finished), her adoptive parents have been accused of knowing for years that their daughter was at least suspected of being stolen from her mother. If that's true, it sounds unforgivable. But consider that, according to journalist Erin Siegal, whose forthcoming book Finding Fernanda chronicles another case of a stolen Guatemalan child, Anyali's adoptive mother was told that if she pursued the question of why Anyali's DNA did not match that of the woman she'd been told was Anyali's birth mother, the man who had custody of Anyali might simply "dump the girl 'somewhere where nobody could find her.'" At this moment, Anyali's adoptive mother may be kidnapping her. At that moment, she might have saved her. It wouldn't excuse years of ignoring ugly evidence about Anyali's birth family, but it does suggest that things aren't black and white.
However, a comment to that story claims otherwise;
there is correspondence between the Monahans and their adoption agency in Miami (Celebrate Children International) that they knew pre-adoption that there was not a DNA match between the little girl and the woman giving her for adoption, meaning she had been kidnapped. The Monahans talked with the agency about "burying" the DNA results or having her records falsified to show her as "abandoned" which was done. See
website "findingfernanda" for details.
Tim and Jennifer Monahan are complicit in keeping a kidnapped child and should be prosecuted if they resist returning the child to her birth family.- There is no "only family" here. Anyeli was with her mother for two years and with the Monhans for two years.
- The Monhans brought Anyeli to their home in December of 2008. They knew since at least May 2009 that her mother claimed she had been kidnapped and her DNA has been flasified. There was chatter on many Guiatemala adoption forums and email lists, websites abotu stolen chidlren that featured this child, AND they were contacted by Norma Cruz of the Suriviros foundation in Guatemala bu refused to cooperate.
- The attorney the Monahans used for the adoption, Susana Luarca, went to prison for this case about 6 months ago
- Kidnappings do not get ignored. Even parental kidnappings after divorce when a child has spent a LIFETIME with a parent who illegally snatched him or her, they are returned.
Vilma Ramirez - an immigrant from El Salvador. Vilma's friend, Blanca Mirarchi was watching Vilma's fourth child and suggested Vilma consider adoption, a decision she now regrets. Mirachi found Kelley Grant and her husband who promised Vilma an open adoption. Vilma signed papers she didn't understand but thought she would maintain visitation as would her other children. The adoption process was
Where is the morality?
How do you keep a child from a family who wants him or her and is able and willing to provide for them? How do you justify lies in order to steal a child via adoption?
See Part II here.