Sunday, April 29, 2012

Adoption Entitlement

You've seen, read and heard it. I've seen, read and heard it. And it can be vile and repugnant. It's the stank of entitlement to a child by those who have tried and failed to have one of "their own."

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!

How can we think of adoption as an act of altruism when it takes children, one (or two) at a time away from their heritage, culture, language, and leaves their family behind in poverty?  The tens of thousands of dollars people are willing to pay to take one child from his or her culture and heritage - leaving his family behind in the same poverty - could do so much better if used to build a school, but medial supplies or dig a well and help an entire village instead of exploiting poverty. 

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.
We need more to stand up and say NO! We need all the help we can get to battle the moneyed forces of the multi BILLION dollar adoption industry and their powerful lobbyists who spread propaganda such as intentionally inflating the number of orphans in the world, knowing that 90% of the children in orphanages have family who seek reunification and use orphanages to provide temporary care, food, medical aid and education they cannot otherwise afford. 

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.


Stephanie said...

Excellent piece. It is indeed a fundamental human right to mother one's own child. Somehow that has been lost in our modern world of selfish self-entitlement. To be entitled to someone else's child is sick and narcissistic. I don't know how these people look in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

I believe some of your comments in this article to be of a very angry person whose parents kept you in the dark about your heritage and culture. As far as being asked how much did you pay for your child that is insensitive whether the is from a domestic or international adoption. Most adoptive parents adopt a child because they want to grow their family and already have kids or they could have kids and they want to provide the child with love and care and to give this child a future its not to rescue its to show the child they have value and bring them into your family and be one. What i see here is alot of hate. Do more research yes there is the corrupt but there are children throughout our world that need help that are not from kidnappings and if you use a reputable agency and get all the information about a orphanage you will find that these children were truely abandoned or their parent couldnt take care of them my daughter was born in the hospital and her dad was nowhere to be found and her mother knew she didnt have the means to care for her and left her with the nurses who waited for the mom to come back for a month they put her in the orphanage who dealt with the U.N and she was card for 10 months until our paperwork went through so dont tell me adoptive parent feel self entitled that is completely off base my wife and i tried domestic and international adoption it took 3 yrs of up and downs doors being closed laws being changed children being reunited with their families and finally we have a little girl who is the most important thing in my life and i do send aid to the orphanage in the congo and stay in contact with the Nun who runs the orphanage we chose the Congo and that orphanage because they treat the children as their own and attachment and abandonement issues are minimal their nany 1 on 1 attention is key to their success and the only time their was money transactions was for paper work so our experience has been good although it took time.

Mirah Riben said...

dear Anonymous,

I question your ability to read (especially since your writing skill lacks a clue about the use of simple punctation). Did you read anywhere in this post that it was speaking about ALL adoptive parents? or you in particular? The fact is there ARE adoptive parents who feel ENTITLED to a child, because they have 'suffered" infertility, and/or because they have tried and failed to adopt domestically, like you did..or any number of reasons.

As for the use of a "reputable agency" - you mean such as the one Tim and jennifer Monahan used to adopt Anyli who was KIDNAPPED from Guatemala?

Or perhaps you mean the reputable agency used by David and desiree Smolin that gave them a girl STOLEN form her Indian mother.

i could go on, and on, and on... All of these agencies pleased total innocence. They had no idea the children were obtained illegally. And i suggest that neither do you. All you know is what you were TOLD! The state side agencies know only what they were told. But orphanages worldwide pay for children brought to them that anyone can claim was found on a street corner.

Research? I have been researching adoption for 40 years! How long have you?

Why do you think Guat adoptions closed? Because I'm making this up?

Adoption corruption is real and your money - even if it got you a legitimately relinquished child, helps perpetuate the demand that underlies child trafficking for adoption.

Thank you for visiting my blog. i hope you come back and continue to read and learn the truth. Read some of the quote in the right hand column. Click the ARTICLES page tab on top. Open your eyes to reality. The rest of the world is... Adoption is no longer seen as a win-win or an act of altruism. It is an act of exploitation of the poor.

And, BTW, I am NOT an angry adoptee. I was not "kept in the dark" by my parents, because..... I am NOT ADOPTED!!!

Anonymous said...

i see your just angry and ignorant

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