Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Politicizing Adoption

UPDATE: 12/21 Putin HAS banned Russian-American adoptions, but for all the WRONG reaosns!

The Russian government has made many threats to shut down adoptions to the U.S. since 2009.

In the wake of SIXTEEN of their children winding up MURDERED by their US adoptive parents, many sent off to the ranch in Minnesota and countless other enduring unthinkable abuses, and one seven-year-old sent back to Russia on an airplane alone.....they have made demands for follow-ups on their vulnerable children placed in American homes.

They demand. They threaten. But it all seems to be a big act to APPEAR concerned.

Now, they are threatening again, this time not for the welfare of the children but as retaliation!

An amendment to a Russian bill has been proposed banning adoptions to the U.S. as re result of the Magnitsky Act in the U.S., which imposes sanctions on Russian human rights offenders. President Obama signed into law on Friday. The Russian bill is expected to be introduced on Wednesday and the entire package could be approved by the end of the month. Read more here.

The bill is supported by Russia’s children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhav, who correctly noted such a ban should have been enacted years ago.

Russia’s human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin disagreed however, calling the proposal “shameless.”

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov likewise slammed the proposed amendment, calling it “wrong” and adding that international adoption was a legal right. He called on lawmakers to come to a “reasonable decision.”

If nations are judged by how they treat and care for and about their most vulnerable - orphaned children - neither Russia nor many other nations including the U.S., will not fare well. History will write a very negative legacy of the immoral way children have been bought and sold as commodities.

Using these most innocent victims in need of care as a political rallying call to garner supporters is despicably done in Russia as here.  Without knowing the facts it might appear to the average Russian citizen or citizens of the world unfair to deny children an opportunity to be adopted into a loving family, even if half-way around the world in another culture speaking another language.

But when you look at the rate of disrupted adoptions amongst international adoptions, and then focus in on particularly Russian adoptions in the US, you see that you are not exactly providing assurance of a "better life" through adoption, but rather are clearly Russian Roulette with the lives and well-being of these innocent and vulnerable children.

Russian officials have made repeated loud demands for adoption follow-ups. In light of past atrocities such a demand seems more than fair but it will never happen.  US adoption laws treat finalized adoptions with a big fat lie pretending the child is exactly the same "as if" born to the adoptive parents and issues a "birth certificate" that says so!  Except of course if your name is Tori Hansen then you continue to fight the court order to pay support for the child you took as your own and sent back.

No Follow-Ups

There are no follow-ups. Period.

Masha Allen, one of several Russian children adopted by American pedophiles to be used and abused and exploited on the Internet, was placed in the home of a single man who not only had bedroom for her - he didn't even a bed other than his own, in which she slept!  Day after day and night after night as she endured his molestations, she prayed for someone form the adoption agency to come and check up on call and see how she was doing. but it never happened. Masha was only found and removed as a result of a sting on Internet child pornography!

Politicians in Russia and here who think that adoption is a warm fuzzy that always is a good thing and they cannot vote against it, need only to heed the words of the United Nations to know that International Adoption should always be a last resort.
As defined by International Law/UNCRC and the Hague Convention "International Law says that Family Preservation should come first, domestic adoption second and international adoption as a last resort. What we have today is the complete opposite where international adoption is used as the go to solution in separating children from their biological families."
Russia - show your love and care and concern for your tiniest in need!  Encourage domestic adoption and invest in your orphanages for the ones left behind...not wanted...

Stop putting price tags on the heads of your orphaned and disabled children and sending them off to be someone else's problem...sending them off into an abyss of abuse.
  • You are sending children to a nation that has more than half a million of its own children in unsafe foster homes.
  • You are sending your children to a nation that is gun crazy, where kids get shot at elementary schools.
  • You are sending your children to a country that exports some of its own kids foir adoption!
  • You are sending your children to a country that sits in blatant violation of multiple international treaties ignoring Guatemala's demand to return a kidnapped child because according to US law the kidnap victim was "legally" adopted by Tim and Jennifer Monahan. 
You can do better Russia. You owe it to your future generations.

Lesser of Evils?

Today, while being interviewed again by Russian-American television network, I was told that Russia justified these placements because the rate of death is higher in their domestic adoptions!

I replied that it is far easier for them to follow up and provide resources and support for families who adopt within their boarders, than to expect to do it here. They cannot abdicate responsibility for their children in need - send them away - and then expect to dictate their care. If they want to protect their most vulnerable children, do it there where they have the ability to follow up.

"Over the past 30 years, the number of families from wealthy countries wanting to adopt children from other countries has grown substantially. At the same time, lack of regulation and oversight, particularly in the countries of origin, coupled with the potential for financial gain, has spurred the growth of an industry around adoption, where profit, rather than the best interests of children, takes centre stage. Abuses include the sale and abduction of children, coercion of parents, and bribery."  UNICEF's position on Inter-country adoption.

"...overseas adoption is a kind of child abuse by the state. ....Overseas adoption is the forced expulsion of children from the society where they are supposed to live. In this sense, overseas adoption is a social violence against children. As humans, we exist as part of a gigantic ecosystem. The existence of the biological parents of adoptees can never be annihilated nor denied.
"Overseas adoption is a forced separation of children from their natural ecosystems, as well as a way of forcing them into compulsory unity with settings different from and unnatural to their genetic and original social systems. Through this forced separation and compulsory unity, not only the adoptees, but also their biological parents, adoptive parents and their family members suffer trauma." Pastor Kim Do-hyun, director of KoRoot


Anonymous said...

Anti-adoption legislation was passed, and you still aren't satisfied. You won't rest until there are NO adoptions and kids who need new will have to stay in abusive homes. Abuse of children by their natural parents means NOTHING to you, as long as the natural parents are doing it and not adoptive parents.

My father is so very glad he was taken away from his abusive parents and adopted by a couple I am proud to call my grandparents. But not before people like you tried their best to help him stay trapped in that abhorrent environment in which he was living.

Mirah Riben said...

You could not be further from the truth. Your false assumptions and judgments of me prove that you have not read the tabs above that describe Family Preservation.

I am an advocate for mothers and their children and laways put the needs of children first.

No child deserves to be left in harms way subjected to abuse by any caretaker: natural, adoptive or foster parent, babysitter, relative or stranger!!!

You are very misinformed! Family Preservation is about elimninating UNNECESSARY adoptions and coercive, exploitive adoptions that take children from LOVING parents to meet a demand!

Please educate yourself before you make totally untrue slanderous allegations.

I have never ever advocated for allowing any child to remain in an abusive home! NEVER!!!

CC said...

I read every bit of it, especially the part where you never give an answer to the question "Are you anti-adoption?" And that "I don't like labels" nonsense does not cut it. Your bitterness towards those who have adopted, your desire to deny couples fertility coverage just to save money (with that "no one owes you a child" excuse), and your bitterness and ridicule of couples who have infertility problems says it all. You seem to think women who can conceive and do so irresponsibly are superior to those who are productive and cannot, just because they wanted to work first and have security for that child they wanted.

Barbara said...

Follow up? Provide resources and support from within their borders? A good idea but it is not even close to reality at least in Russia as of 8 years or so ago....
My two adopted daughters (adopted from Russia at ages 7.5 and 8.5 years) have no living biological parents or known siblings (due to drugs/alcohol). Both were in orphanages when we adopted them.
I had a private searcher verify their birth parents status and look up what limited relatives are still alive to keep my daughters in contact with who is left. Although interested in what happened to my daughters, none of their extended family in Russia that we have contact with were able to step up for my children when they were placed in an orphanage. Had our girls remained in their orphanages they would have received very limited education and been released in a large city at about age 16 or so with a small amount of money. Most with this fate live lives of destitution, prositution, drugs and alcohol followed by early death.
Yes, my adoption of them probably is not perfect and has separated them from their culture. Unfortunately their culture and country had absolutely nothing to offer them.
Thankfully for my children they have had the medical care, extensive psychological support, love of parents and a warm, extented family in their new home to bring them to the point of a successful life. It is not a fairy tale or a happy ever after story. It is hard work for all involved and a work in progress for a lifetime.
The Directors in the orphanages from which we adopted our daughters were well intentioned and selected them for a chance at a different destiny than the one they faced in Russia. Thankfully they found one. Many don't as we hear.
The opportunity to find a better life should not be summarily eliminated unless some other opportunity is put in place.

Mirah Riben said...


No, no adoption is pretty. Every adoption begins with a tragedy.

The story you describe of drug addicted framily and children set loose at age 16 with no education winding up homeless and in into prostitution describes very much the fate of half a million children in the US foster care system!

And what I am saying is that each nation has an obligation to care for its own children that are in these horrendous situations. AND each nation also needs to work on prevention: help for those addicted - help that helps the whole family. We need to offer sex education and access to birth control so that every child born is wanted and then provide resources for single moms in financial need.

Putting people in jail does not prevent crime. Adopting children one at a time does not prevent the provery or any other problems of their family or their nation. It merely exploits those problems. We need to fix our own problems and let them fix theirs not simply use them as a source to fill a demand for children for adoption.

And, Barbara, are you aware that yet another - the 20th - child adopted by Americans from Russia has reported murdered at the hands of his adopters?

Max Shatto WAS his name. Laura and Alan Shatto his adopters. Look it up!

PhoenixRising said...

Looks like stalker CC made her way over here too, to slander and defame another natural mother. CREEPY lady, this is.

Barbara said...

I looked it up. Authorities have determined the death of Max Shatto accidental.

Below is the story from the LA Times exactly as it was reported.

By Marisa Gerber

March 1, 2013, 4:17 p.m.
The death of a 3-year-old Russian boy whose story triggered a rebuke of his American adoptive parents by Russian officials has been deemed accidental, officials in Texas said Friday.

Max Alan Shatto had bruises on his body when he died at a Texas hospital in January, officials said, which led one Russian official to accuse his adoptive parents of "inhuman treatment" and stoked already sensitive Russia-U.S. adoption relations.

Doctors determined that the bruises were “consistent with self injury,” according to a statement from Sgt. Gary Duesler, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department in Ector County, where the boy’s parents live.

Three pathologists from Tarrant County, where the boy's body was sent for an autopsy, agreed that “based on all medical reasonable probability, the manner of death is accidental,” Duesler said.

Cause of death, Duesler said, "was a laceration to the small bowel messentery artery due to blunt trauma in the andomen."

Amid accusations by at least one Russian diplomat that the parents had drugged the boy, the medical examiner’s office tested the body for drugs. The toxicology reports were negative, officials said Friday.

Attorney Michael Brown said he considered the announcement a vindication for his clients, Alan and Laura Shatto.

Attorney Michael Brown said he considered the announcement a vindication for his clients, Alan and Laura Shatto.

Laura Shatto, who Russian officials specifically alleged had beaten Max, told authorities that she found the boy unresponsive outside their Gardendale home where he had been playing. Max was later pronounced dead.

“None of us are surprised at the outcome,” Brown told The Los Angeles Times.

Brown said the district attorney could still try to bring negligence charges, but not murder charges, which were hinted at by the early accusations out of Russia.

“It’s been something no one should have to go through,” Brown said, adding that officials have limited Laura Shatto to seeing her other son for only four hours a day while the investigation is ongoing.

“She’s been staying with friends,” Brown said. “They’ll go through that drill until [Child Protective Services] clears it.”

Child Protective Services spokesman Patrick Crimmins told The Los Angeles Times on Friday afternoon that the investigation into allegations of physical abuse and neglect continues.

“That’s still going on,” Crimmins said. “We don’t have a final autopsy report in our hands and we need that.”

The branch of the department in charge of residential child care licensing, however, has cleared the Texas agency that handled the Shatto adoption -- the Gladney Center for Adoption -- of any wrongdoing, he said.

I am saddened that any child should meet such an end.

My Note: Although I agree that many adoptions may fill the "demand for children for adoption" as you suggest, I adopted my children for humanitarian reasons not to fill an unsatsified desire for children.

There is a place for trying to change public policy but there is also a place for adoption of older children both from the foster care system and foreign born. Saving lives one at a time is also worthy.

Mirah Riben said...

Thank you. Yes, I was aware of this update since this december posting.

And yes I agree: "There is a place for trying to change public policy but there is also a place for adoption of older children both from the foster care system and foreign born. Saving lives one at a time is also worthy."

The issue is not the saving of lives through adoption, but the fact that 19 Russian adopted children were MURDERED by their American adopters and countless others enduring abuse or abandoned.

The other issue is that infant adoption is big business and serves the needs of the paying client not necessarily the best interest of children.

Resolving the problems - too often financial - that lead to children needing to be placed outside their family should always be the first priority.

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