Tuesday, August 21, 2012

SHAME on the Social Work Profession

An Open Letter to Joshua John, MSW at USC:

Shame on the profession of social work, on the school that are teaching false information and those practicing who are spreading FALSE information!  Your adoption info-graphic contains so much incorrect and false information it should be called a misinformation-graphic.

Read on below the graphic...

Adoption in America

Let's start at the top.

The first thing you say is that adoptions "have given many people the opportunity to have a family" as if that is the first and primary goal of adoption. That a child MIGHT find "happiness" is secondary and highly speculative.

Are you aware that this is WRONG thinking? Adoption should never put the needs of those seeking a child first and foremost. Doing so immediately commodifies children as "necessities" to create families for others. It places them in a position of needing to fill others wishes and desires instead of it being about finding homes for children in need!
“Regrettably, in many cases, the emphasis has changed from the desire to provide a needy child with a home, to that of providing a needy parent with a child. As a result, a whole industry has grown, generating millions of dollars of revenues each year . . .” The Special Rapporteur, United Nations, Commission on Human Rights, 2003.
You then tell a blatant out and out LIE that children of the poor are orphans!  What a HORRIBLE thing to say!  If parents lack the resources to financially support their family -- instead of being a decent, humane social work and seeing these as families in need of social services -- instead you kill them off with your incorrect use of language and label their children orphans and thus "available" to make some family happy?  Exploit poverty to meet a demand -- is that what they taught you in social work school? is that the purpose of your profession in 2012?

Shame, shame, shame.

The same is true for parents who are "too young."  Age, marital status and finances are all TEMPORARY problems that do not require a permanent, irrevocable and life changing loss and familial separation to SUPPLY an insatiable demand and fatten the pockets of the baby brokers and all who rely on the redistribution to earn a livelihood.  Reprehensible.

By your own order of things, truly orphaned children - those who have no living parents - are listed last because they make up the smallest number of adoptions worldwide, and fewer still of those within the US.

Now lets talk about the biggest most blatant LIE in this graphic: the number of orphans. The figure of 145,000 touted by Elizabeth Bartholet and other pro-adoptionists has been PROVEN INCORRECT!

This figure only applies using your false standards and mis-use of the word "orphan."  It includes terms coined by the pro-adoptionists in order to intentionally inflate this figure to induce sympathy and thus increase adoptions and money made from them. It includes "social orphans" and "half orphans" - all newspeak for mis-labeling children to make them "available."  Another most disgraceful term used is "fatherless children" totally disregarding paternal heredity and rights. This practice is disgraceful and totally disrespectful of the children and their families. It creates situation such as the adoption of two children by Madonna - to name just one of thousands - from families who cared for their children but like many worldwide use orphanages to provide temporary care in crisis or as a boarding school. people who had no idea of the permanent concept of adoption and did not want them for the kin.

Nearly NINETY PERCENT of the children in orphanages worldwide HAVE FAMILY! They are NOT ORPHANS. You either know that and choose to ignore it or are ignorant of the true facts. Either way, shame on you!

You also fail to mention:
Although the number of adoptions has risen, the adoption rate per 100,000 adults in the United States has decreased. The adoption rate per 100,000 adults (i.e., persons aged 18 and older who became adoptive parents) in 2000 was 61.5, and the adoption rate was 58.3 in 2008—a 5-percent decrease. 
You also neglect to mention that your numbers of domestic adoptions include a large number of step-parent adoptions.In 2007, 63,775 children (47 percent of adoptions) were adopted through other sources [which includes step-parent adoption], and in 2008, 63,094 children (46 percent of adoptions) were adopted in this manner. In 2000, they accounted for 47 percent (59,775) of all adoptions. 
I BEG you to listen to the words of a venerable social worker who devoted her life to making adoption practice more humane and child-centered. Did you learn the name Annette Baran in your classes on
adoption in social work school?  She co-authored the Adoption Triangle and spent her life dedicated to reforming American adoption practice. Please, please, please listen to the videos she made before her death: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

Listen and learn. put the caring back into your profession. Stop being Reverse Robinhoods and taking babies from the poor to supply the wealthy!  Stop believing the nonsensical fairy tale pie-in-the-sky myth that adoption is a win-win! It is very much NOT. Every adoption begins with a tragedy of a family that failed to receive the resources necessary to remain intact, and it remains a lifelong tragedy for the mothers who grieve. And even if children are provided more material advantages and opportunities through adoption it is at best a trade-off. they loose a great deal in terms of truth, heredity, ancestry, medical history, culture - in many cases  including their native language.  The vast majority of these are UNNECESSARY tragedies.

In the vast majority of adoption that occur as a result of poverty - domestically and internationally - you are "saving" or "rescuing" ONE child while leaving their family, their village, their nation behind in the same destitute conditions; leaving their brothers and sisters still in poverty. How is this within the realms of human social care?  And how can you condone paying tens of thousands of dollars  - and your figures are very LOW, the AVERAGE is now $40k and above - to "save" one child when that same amount could build a well or provide needed medical supplies or books for an entire village? How is that sound social services?

Why do you think South Australia has issued an apology for policies that encouraged adoptions on families in crisis, mothers who were simply too young, unmarried or too  poor? Adoption loss and separation is NOT the solution for poverty!!


Amanda said...

The graphic is pretty wonky but most Social Workers have nothing to do with adoption. Seriously. They don't. The entire profession cannot be lambasted because of the few misinformed people who put stuff like this out on the internet. When we, yes myself included, exclusively define Social Work based on its involvement in adoption, we're diminishing the immense impact Social Workers are making behind the scenes in all social systems. If Social Work ceased to exist tomorrow, the world as we know it would change drastically.

My short time in this profession has shown me this. Men and women behind the scenes, for little pay or appreciation, working tirelessly for the benefit of others that most people will never know how a Social Worker played a role in making their life better nor will that Social Worker ever be recognized. You've got to give those folks some credit. Adoption is just a small tiny piece of what is Social Work.

Mirah Riben said...

Adoption IS a small part of what social workers agree and they are underpaid and overworked. I agree.

BUT.... what is the social work profession to improve family preservation and stop the coercion and exploitation in adoption? Why do they allow themselves to work for private entrepreneurial adoption agencies and do their home-studies? Why are not more speaking out like Annette Baran?? Most are right there promoting and encouraging adoption as a win-win because social works school is still teaching that BS and not the truth.

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