Amanda, an adult adoptee, commenting on a blog post says:
"I have come across some insensitive comments and entries on blogs in the past year or so. One complained that too many grandparents are stepping up to care for the babies in families instead of letting couples adopt them. One complained that too many teengagers are keeping their babies when they should do “the right thing” and surrender them. Some have just complained in-general that there aren’t enough babies to go around to couples who want them. Some downright pray and ask others to pray for the surrender of a baby....
"Heck, one of the first things someone said to me when I started my reunion journey was “just keep in mind, your parents couldn’t have kids” as if it is my responsibility to not only make up for children that they could not have, but put my desires, needs, and acknowledgement of having another family out there aside, for their bennefit.
"The attitude of children as a “supply” makes adoptees feel like a commodity. It’s not putting the children first. It’s not considering the adoptee or Original Family’s losses... "
The entitlement attitudes I read online are often VILE and repugnant. And the public seems to support the view that every infertile person is somehow "entitled" to a child - even those who simply waited too long to have a child otherwise. When an anticipated adoption fails to come to fruition the outcries and the support for the couple wanting the child are enormous, with underlying disdain for the "nerve" of the natural mother to "renege" on the "deal." Barely a voice is herd above the din rejoicing for a family that saw their way fit or was supported enough to remain intact.
I find it all an ugly stain on the history of our society that we prey on and seek to exploit the vulnerable - here and abroad - to meet a "demand" and in doing so turn a blind on all forms of fraud, corruption and outright kidnapping, as exemplified by Timothy and Jennifer Monahan who were ordered by the Guatemalan government to return the child they adopted when it was PROVEN that she was the victim of kidnapping. And the US Sate Dept stands in violation of international treaties by sitting on its hands and doing NOTHING in stark contrast to when it is a US child in foreign hands, as was the case for David Goldman - the US State dept was fierce in regaining custody from his son's Brazilian family who kept him illegally. In that case the US and US legislators were fierce in their efforts to undo the wrongful custody and have the child returned to his natural father. These two cases illustrate clearly prejudice and ethnocentric attitudes in whose parental rights have any value and whose can be trampled and ignored....and the victor applauded as a rescuer!
Adoption exploits poverty. I have dubbed it Reverse Robinhoodism as it takes from the poor and gives to the wealthy. And our government supports this new colonialism with tax breaks that are not limited to the adoption of special needs children or those in US foster care.
Demand for children is at the root of corruption and adoption fees far too often support unscrupulous baby brokers and child traffickers who fraudulently pass off stolen and kidnapped children as "abandoned" and they get passed through legitimate, "reputable" American adoption agencies who claim to have no way of checking their true identity, as was the case with the Monahnas, as well as with the Smolins and the Rollings families and many, many others who unwittingly became the parents of kidnapped children.
Also VILE is the way those adopting are so intent in getting what they want they turn a blind eye to OBVIOUS flashing red lights, like bribes and do not report “irregularities" - such as two children with the same name or same photo - for fear they will be black balled and not get a child.
This is seen in books like “Finding Fernanda” by Erin Siegal, my book “The Stork Market,” and in the film “Wo Ai Ni (I love you) Mommy” where the adoptive mother counts out the bribe cash in her hotel room and says that she knows some will think this wrong but it’s just how things are done!
People need to make a choice to be part of the problem of part of the solution! Far too few people stand up and STOP the process and seek an investigation as did Betsy in Finding Fernanda. I know of only one other brave adoptive mother who did: Jennifer Hemsley. Others do their part by speaking out after the fact. Some become activists, like David Smolin who writes extensively on child trafficking for adoption after becoming an unwitting parent to two girls who were stolen from their mother in India.
We need activists. Ethiopia is the latest country to be STRIP MINED for children to meet the demand for adoption! It is impoverished and not protected by the Hague.
Why do we need to turn the tide? Because, as Amanda so eloquently said:
"Focusing on those adopting also does not help prevent children from being put in orphanages. It does nothing to eliminate a family’s poverty. It does nothing to encourage counties to eliminate stigmas against single mothers or provide social welfare programs so that families do not have to be separated first by poverty and then by adoption. Adoption should always be child focused; period."How do we stop the insanity? One way is for those adopting to say NO when faced with something that smells fishy. Be a hero and truly "Christian" or altruistic person by NOT adopting and not being part of the problem. Send the money you would have spent to obtain ONE child to an NGO like Save the Children, UNICEF, or Christian Children's Fund. Consider becoming a foster parent or look into foster-to-adopt programs, or become a Big Brother or sister. These are truly altruistic ways to help children and put THEIR needs above your wants and desires.
Another way is to put more effort into educating young women about the prevention of many causes of infertility and that it is not so simply to "just adopt" - a phrase I also hear far too often. We also can stop encouraging adoption with tax breaks that were intended to help the children in foster care - more than 100,000 of whom COULD be adopted - but are used instead to support adoptions that ignore them and may be in fact supporting criminal acts or unethical coercion.
Stop the insanity! Stop the exploitation. Stop the pervasive entitlement attitudes. Educate yourselves and others to the realities that there are NOT millions of children needing to be adopted. there are far more people wanting to adopt than children "available" and this creates corruption.
The tide is slowly turning. Adoption agencies have closed as countries like Guatemala close their doors to adoption. And even as new countries to exploit come up, some will never reopen. Reproductive technologies keep making newer and newer breakthroughs, some of which very sadly mirror the anonymity that is as the heart of the evilness of adoption. On the upside, more and more adoptees are speaking out not just about the right to access to their truth but also to their feelings about in general - all of which are not so grateful. Adults adopted from overseas are articulating the good and bad of having been taken from their homelands and raised in the land of the "free."
And, finally, adoptive parents are beginning to get less than positive feedback and kudos for have "rescued" children. many complain now about being asked "insensitive" questions such as how much did they pay for their kid as the truth of adoption as a supply and demand business is being exposed more and more every day by zealous investigative reporters like E.J. Graff and Erin Siegal.