Thursday, April 12, 2012

Righteous Indignation and Where to Cast Blame

I have written several posts of late relating to or expressing my anger at various aspects of adoption.  I am very cognizant that I am a classic example of mothers described in studies whose anger has not lessened at all over the years, but has greatly intensified into unabated red hot fury.  For me it is because my anger was never personal. I have been aware of and sensitive to the plight of all affected by adoption since the late 1970s and wrote of my conerns, and suggestions for change, first in The Dark Side of Adoption in 1988.

Sources of Anger

Should I - should any of us - NOT be angry when I read of a mother-to-be being fired from her job because she is "unwed"? In 2012!  A country so backward in its practices, that it is condemning "out-of-wedlock" pregnancies like it's 1962...while at the same time applauding career (read wealthier) single mothers who adopt or even get pregnant intentionally, using sperm banks or whatever means that suits them despite the effect on the child they are creating.

Should we ignore adoption agencies spending millions "marketing" mothers to supply a "product" in demand that provides middlemen a profit from its exchange? Or hear constantly of mothers duped into open adoption contact agreements that are unkept or broken leaving mothers betrayed and distraught?

How can I not be furious when fathers' rights are being destroyed state by state - the latest being a proposed Missouri bill allowing the adoption of children without their unmarried father's consent. Do we just sit back and ignore the plight of fathers like:

1. Robert Mazzanares 
2. Cody O'Dea 
3. Christopher Carlton 
4. John Wyatt 
5. Jake Strickland 
6. Ramsey Shaud 
7. Ben Wyrembeck 
          8. Anthony Lingle

These are cases that have been reported in the press. Who knows how many more there are that are fighting and haven't made the media, and how many more still that sadly cannot afford the legal fees to fight - all the way to the supreme court -  for their children. This is CRIMINAL, not ethical and not in any child's best interest. How is it possible or any way logical to defend the insanity of taking children from parents who are able and willing to support and care for them? 

How do I not rail against the kidnapping and child trafficking all over the world while adoption continues to be mythologized as a win-win that "rescues" alleged "orphans" allegedly "languishing" in orphanages?

How do I reconcile that my nation allows a verified kidnap victim to live with American families like the Monhans and do nothing to return the child to her mother?  This, while we as a nation unite in arms fighting for ther return of the American-born son of David Goldman.  And, the US agencies who place these kidnapped children are charged with nothing and continue to practice, now exploiting Ethiopia?

How do I balance the insanity of those who cry not to take a child from "the only family she or he has ever known" when a natural mom or dad tries to reverse a fraudulent adoption or a proven kidnapping...while we take children from their families every day "for their best interest" OBVIOUSLY proving that we put no such "best interest" value on biological familial connections or the legal rights of natural families, but value instead only material "advantages."

And all of this while Australia is apologizing for the exact same exploitation and coercion of their past and canada is following suit? Yet we continue and continue and continue and pretend the corruption that is a rampant and endemic in adoption represent isolated, occasional anomalies or better still - are all lies! 
I have said that I will continue to fight till my last dying breath and I am sure of it now. The world, and especially America, choses to play deaf and blind to these obvious immoral unethical atrocities!

It angers others when comparisons are made to the Holocaust and I get that. Nothing compares to the magnitude of the genocide and the sheer number of deaths.  Few are dying because of adoption and it has nothing to with racial cleansing (just social class cleansing and in some cases religious redemption for heathens).  But, with all due respect, I dare to compare, not the actuakl acts but the ignoring of horrific tragedies.  In fact I dare to say that the ignoring is not just comparable to the world ignoring the plight of those persecuted, the families torn apart, the inprisonment and the mass killings by Nazi Germany, but it is WORSE.
  • First, during World War II we did not have the instant and in-depth knowledge of what was occurring that we have today.
  • Secondly, the world could not comprehend that which was so unimaginably horrible.
  • Third, while it was ignored it was never justified, belived widely to be a good and noble thing, encouraged, promoted, supported, ennobled, or applauded by the masses as adoption is.
  • And finally, while it was ignored for a long time - too long - when it was finally recognized and stopped!
One similarity: In both cases there was, almost from the start fairly well organzied, albeit undergound, individuals and small groups in opposition and working to help victims.

The atrocities occurring today - the tearing apart of families to reform others for profit are occurring in the light of day, openly, and being supported by government tax benefits and applauded by the public as a good thing.  The lies being told - not unlike the lies told about Germany's enemies or any enemy in any war - are accepted as fact BELIEVED. Lies such as the number of orphans, intentionally inflated by the stretching of the definition of orphan to incite pity and increase adoptions. Lies like women in Guatemala selling their children and then claiming they are kidnapped. These lies are created by the Guatemalan police and corrupt government and beleived and perpetuated by the adoption agencies who ignore improprieties.

And the lies are being believed because of those who want the SPOILS of this war!!! Those who benefit from taking their children of the exploited poor and coerced.... those who adopt from nations which are known hot spots for corruption.

Who is to Blame?

Unlike some mothers who have been damaged by adoption loss and separation, I have never cast a wide net of blame onto all who adopt. One reason is that in my very early days of adoption reform - the late 780s and 80s when the original Origins was formed in NJ, we worked alongside adoptive moms such as Carol Gustavson, Jane Nast, Alyce Jenkins and others of Adoptive Parents for Open Records.  We were comrades in arms sharing a common goal. We worked together and got to know and respect one another.

I count among my colleagues Ann Babb, adoptive mom and author of Adoptoin Ethics. And throughout the decades I have met other wonderful adoptive parents and recognized several with Family Preservation Hero of the Year Awards: people such as Jennifer Hemsely and Dr. Richard Cohen.

However, I have also met and read the blogs of some vile people who adopt, such as those who ooze entitlement from every pore of their being and complain and expect pity for every trial of tribulation of their "adoption journey" as if a child should just be handed to them after all the pain they already experienced suffering through years of infertility and medical treatments trying to have a child of their own and then finally settling on adoption as a last resort.

I have no such compassion for their feeling the world "owes" them someone else's child.

I have zero tolerance for those who adopt and abuse. Yes, our expectations are and should be higher for those who adopt because unlike conception, adoption cannot occur by accident. As horrible as ANY abuse of ANY child by ANYONE is far worse when committed by those who intentionally went out of their way to be entrusted with another's child and someone was assured that their chid would be "better off" being adopted. Adoption is supposed to "save" children and help children. It is supposed to be "better" not worse!

How do I watch a film like Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy and see a mother pay a cash bribe, knowing its wrong, and justifying at the same time? OR read Finding Fernanda and once again hear of all the adopters who ignore bright red flashing lights in order to get the child they covet and refuse to report abuses for fear they will loose out on their end goal?  The greed and the entitlement blatant, so thick you can barely cut through it!

How do I see such things and not blame those who participate, who turn a blind eye to the corruption, who excuse it, who claim to be "afraid" to report it... How? Tell me how and why I they shouldn't be held responsible.

Timothy and Jennifer Monahan of Missouri KNEW the DNA test for the child they were adopting was faked and went through with the adoption. They are not the only ones. How do we not hold people like this responsible, if not at least in public opinion?

And yet - amazingly defying all logic -  in every contested adoption publish opinion has been with those holding the child captive illegally!  Their outcries of not taking a child from "the only family" he or she has ever known are repeated over and over by media and a public who find it far easier to identify with the would-be adopters than the "low-lives" who lost their kid to begin with!

Yet, in the name of the child's best interest, we take children from their parents every day with not a whimper or audible outcry from anyone other than the children and their mothers.  Adoption turns whatever is logical and sane in all other instances upside down and backwards.

In the end if there was no infertility, no celebs making adoption a cool, hip "in" trendy thing...if there were no liberals thinking it makes gives them a badge of just how liberal they are...and no religious zealots preaching adoption as God's will, as if God would give children to a mother who could not afford to feed him and them make her suffer the loss of her beloved child....

IF everyone who wanted a child could have one... accepted childlessness, or adopted a child from foster care who could not be reunited with family instead of demanding healthier, younger, whiter children from here or abroad, there would be no adoption corruption and child trafficking that is rampant today.

If we could eliminate all demand, there would be no exploitation, no coercion or corruption; there would be no kidnapping and child trafficking to meet a demand...if there was no demand.
"When people want something so very much, like a baby, the amount of money they are prepared to throw at it can be limitless," said Andy Elvin of Children and Families Across Borders. "In some countries, those amounts of money on offer mean that people do things they wouldn't otherwise do, and that's the problem."  Profit, not care: The ugly side of overseas adoptions: Lax regulation and an endless demand by childless couples in the West has created an often exploitative market in babies born in the developing world 
No demand, end of story. demand drives he corruption that is adoption today and trying to end the corruption as long as there is demand people willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a child is pretty futile, even with the Hague. All that happens is that the nation of supply changes.


Anonymous said...

I can't speak for every case, but public opinion has definitely been with John Wyatt. Something like 90% of the comments were in favor of him after the Dateline episode. Most people outside of Utah don't like Utah's adoption laws - perhaps because of the interstate effect.

Anonymous said...

"IF everyone who wanted a child could have one... accepted childlessness, or adopted a child from foster care who could not be reunited with family instead of demanding healthier, younger, whiter children from here or abroad, there would be no adoption corruption and child trafficking that is rampant today"

There will always be infertile women who want children and there are very good reasons why they would want a younger child rather than an older one, the adoption of older children is frequently unsuccessful. An elimination of demand for adoption is about as likely as eliminating crime and world peace.

Mirah Riben said...

First off - isn't it interesting that crime and the absence of world peace are not encouraged, promoted or looked upon as good or noble.

More importantly, just because I may not succeed (in my lifetime) is no reason not to keep on trying!

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." ~ Unknown

One never knows. Social attitudes toward children - and adoption - change over time. Also, technology is providing ever new ways to conceive a child which is always preferable to adoption. A new feminism might even arise that reverses the dictate to delay childbearing until after ones education and career - and reverse that order to better meet nature and the likelihood of becoming pregnant.

More likely, as become more and more a global economy and the middle class continues to shrink, fewer and fewer will able to afford the price of adoption and many of the baby brokers will then disappear when it is no longer lucrative for the dwindling number of wealthy clients. The disappearance of the middle class will also take with it the current social pressure for women to seek higher education and careers. They will work, but at lower paying jobs and so may be less likely to delay childbearing - and like the rest of the poor - have kids when they are most fertile.

"Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because his conscience tells him that it is right." ~ Martin Luther King

WOW! How very optimistic of this pessimist!! Thanks for causing me to think about that!

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