Tuesday, November 5, 2013

National Adoption AWARENESS Month: Myths and Facts

Lauren Casper is an adoptive parent whose National Adoption Month blog post, It All Starts With Ashes, exhibits her sensitivities to the losses that precede adoption.

Recognition of the loss, pain and trauma that precedes every adoption is a very good FIRST STEP. Reunification with original family, whenever possible, is a far more important step for adoptees and the families they are born into. 

But, we cannot simply recognize the losses of adoption and continue to perpetuate them. All of us who have become enlightened have an obligation, I believe, to educate others to PREVENT as many future losses, pain and suffering as possible. 

We can either be part of the solution or part of the problem.  To see wrong and not do right is to be party to that wrong.  Far too many adoptions begin with good intent on the part of the adopters, but are accomplished with corruption, coercion and exploitation on the part of those meeting the demand for children for adoption - unbeknownst to well-intentioned adopters.

We who are enlightened about the truths of adoption need to educate those who are still in the dark. 

What better time than National Adoption Awareness Month to help dispel the myths and bring light to the lies perpetrated by the adoption industry and its practitioners whose livelihood depends filling a demand for children. Adoption is romanticized and glamorized (as smoking once was in our society!).  It's encouraged, promoted and supported by laws and policies including tax breaks. Yet, by and large the children used as the face of those in need are left behind as adoption serves its paid clients' desire for young babies, or children from overseas. 

MYTH: Adoption is a win-win. It matches unwanted children with families who want them.

FACT: Unplanned is not unwanted, nor is being pressured to relinquish your rights, or coerced to.  No woman - American or foreign born - dreams of conceiving a child, carry and birthing that child, and giving it away. The vast majority of adoptions are a result of the exploitation of a temporary crisis, most often poverty that could be resolved in ways that help the entire family and allow them to remain intact.
“Unwanted” is a euphemism applied to children and their families who are too poor and have too few social supports. The making of money as a prerequisite for parenthood in a society that privileges the White heterosexual individual is a key component of the continued disenfranchisement of the least powerful. Trading in Babies by So Yung Kim, Aug. 13, 2009, Conducive Magazine
FACT: Worldwide adoption exploits natural disasters, war, and unstable governments.
“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.
On an individual basis, adoption exploits poverty and ignorance, taking advantage of people's inability to read or understand english to even the concept of adoption as permanent. Parents are lied to and deceived to believe their children are coming to the US for an education and will be returned to them.

Domestically, mothers are given unenforceable promises of open adoption and are pre-birth matched getting them enmeshed in relationships with those vying for their child in ways that make them feel indebted and obligated.

MYTH: There are 140-150,000+ orphans available for adoption.

FACT: Nearly ninety percent (88.7%) of the children in orphanages worldwide are not orphans but have at least one living parent and/or extended family.  Families in many nations use orphanages to provide services for their children such as education and medical care that they cannot afford but have no intention, however, of having their child taken for permanent adoption. Nor are these children available for adoption.

"...95 percent of orphans are older than 5. In other words, unicef’s “millions of orphans” are not healthy babies doomed to institutional misery unless Westerners adopt and save them. Rather, they are mostly older children living with extended families who need financial support." E.J. Graff. The Lie We Love, Foreign Policy, Nov./Dec. 2008

The numbers of 'orphans' are intentionally inflated by the adoption industry which uses terms such as "half orphan" or "social orphan" to tug at heartstrings, and encourage religious and humanitarian adoptions.  A half orphan in the industrialized world is a single parent, who ironically can adopt!
"Defining the child as an orphan is frequently done by people who have a vested interest in the final outcome." In an Era of Reform: A review of social work literature on Intercountry adoption, Rotabi and Bunkers
FACT: If there were truly so many children in real need of adoption placement, why do nations such Guatemala, Vietnam, Russia, Nepal, Ethiopia stop International adoption (IA) because of corruption, specifically child trafficking for adoption to meet a demand? Worldwide, babies and children are abducted by child traffickers and passed off as abandoned to foreign orphanages. Consumers - and even reputable US adoption agencies - have no way of verifying that children being offered for adoption have not been stolen, kidnapped, or coerced from unwitting parents.
"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.
FACT:  When nations have shut down their IA programs the number of orphans has not increased indicating clearly that demand creates the "supply." Adoption is market-driven and serves those who are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a child, not the children in need who remain behind in orphanages and US foster care.

FACT: The average cost of an adoption is $40,000. If your goal is altruism, there are many better ways to help orphans rather than plucking them one at a time from their homeland, their culture and heritage while leaving their siblings behind in the same conditions. Donations to organizations such as save the children, Christian Children's fund and UNICEF provide much needed medical provisions, wells, schools and school books.
"...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 
MYTH: Children who could be adopted from foster care are likely to be "damaged" in some way.

FACT: There are half a million children in US foster care. More than 100,000 of those have no identified family to be reunified safely with and could be adopted. While these are in fact "older" children and some may have disabilities, the same is true of children adopted internationally although the truth of IA child's developmental problems are far more likely NOT to be revealed truthfully or fully.

Many development delays and behavioral problems are not evident until after international adoptions have been finalized. Any child who has been institutionalized is "damaged" and many of the children form Eastern Europe suffer fetal alcohol syndrome. Utilizing foster-to-adopt programs prospective adopters can live with a child before making a lifelong, permanent commitment and it is also easier to obtain family medical histories which are non-existent on children claimed to have been abandoned.
"There is an almost inexhaustible demand for very young children to adopt. People looking to adopt are generally looking to adopt children under the age of three, and preferably under the age of one. That's your essential problem. In America, which is the biggest importer, if you like, there are 23,000 children in the foster system waiting for adoption, but most of them will be aged five to 16. There's a very rich, powerful and well-resourced inter-country adoption lobby in the United States."  Andy Elvin, of Children and Families Across Borders
MYTH: Adoption is the same as if the child were born into his family.

FACT: While the system was aimed at creating and perpetrating this myth, even falsifying birth certificates to list adoptive parents as parents of birth, it is not the same. Adopted children have their own heredity and genes that effect their physical appearance and health as well as their psychological development.

Even legally, adoptees are not equal to children born into their families as the vast majority of US states deny adopted persons access to their own birth certificate for all or part of their lives.

MYTH: Adoption provides children a better life because those who adopt are highly motivated, of higher socio-economic status and better educated, etc.

FACT:  Adoption is a trade-off which usually provides more material "privileges" in exchange for a loss of heritage and genealogical connectedness, often with feelings of abandonment and rejection.
"Adoption Loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful"The Reverend Keith C. Griffith, MBE 
FACT: Adoptive parents die and divorce at at least the same rate as all parents and this often leaves a child in a single-parent home with the same disadvantages that brings.

FACT: Because adoption in the US today is privatized, and entrepreneurial, home studies are paid for prospective adopters and are less than thorough. Children have been adopted by pedophiles and other abusers. Children have been beaten, caged, burned, starved, tortured, sexually abused and murdered by adoptive parents.

FACT: Adoptees suffer a disproportionate rate of substance abuse, are disproportionately seen in all types of treatment facilities, and suffer a higher rate of suicide than non-adoptees.

Read about "Post Adoption Issues" in Impact of Adoption on Adopted Persons from the US government's Child Welfare Information Gateway here.

FACT: Approximately 10-25% of adoptions fail and adoptees are abandoned or given to total strangers as detailed in a 5-part Reuters investigative report, Sept, 2013.

The FACT is that every adoption starts with a tragedy - a family who failed to find the resources they needed to remain together.  To promote or encourage more loss is immoral. Chemo helps many people survive cancer, but we don't stop seeking a way to prevent this horrible disease and simply put more and more people on harsh drug, and radiation therapies or expose them to surgeries.

Humane societies need to regulate adoption so that it is safe for the most vulnerable of their citizens and enact Family Preservation measures to reduce the number of children redistributed.
"The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which guides UNICEF’s work, clearly states that every child has the right to know and be cared for by his or her own parents, whenever possible. Recognising this, and the value and importance of families in children’s lives, UNICEF believes that families needing support to care for their children should receive it, and that alternative means of caring for a child should only be considered when, despite this assistance, a child’s family is unavailable, unable or unwilling to care for him or her...." UNICEF's position on Inter-country adoption
The FACT is that adoptions based on lies and government committed fraud to promulgate those lies in the form of falsified birth certificates and denied access to the accurate vital record of the birth, are a violation of human and civil rights and need to be outlawed.

How can any society promote what amounts to indenture and laws that discriminate, applying only to SOME citizens and not others, based solely on what was done TO these people without their knowledge or approval? 
"It should matter to everyone that adopted people, on reaching the age of majority, cannot automatically obtain their own original birth certificates like the rest of us. We should care, and we should feel outraged, for the same reason so many men supported suffrage for women and so many white Americans joined the civil rights struggle -- because we should find it offensive when any minority group in society is deprived of equal rights." “A Civil Right: Adoptees Should Have Access to their Birth Certificates” by Adam Pertman, The Huffington Post, 1/12/11 

  • Profit, not care: The ugly side of overseas adoptions  
  • Adoption as Supply-and-Demand for Infertile Couples  http://www.americanmamacita.com/blog/adoption-as-supply-and-demand-for-infertile-couples/
  • Profit not care: the ugly side of overseas adoptions  
  • Orphaned or Stolen: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/schuster-institute-for-investigative-journalism/orphaned-or-stolen-the-us_b_825451.html
  • Duped by Indian adoption agency, US family cautions couples. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/
  • Julia Rollings story at: http://bittersweet-story.blogspot.com/
  • The Lie We Love by E.J.Graff http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2008/12/11/the-lie-we-love
  • The works of David Smolin on child trafficking: works.bepress.com/david_smolin/1/
  • The Child Catchers by Kathryn Joyce
  • Finding Fernanda by Erin Siegal
  • Romania: For Export Only by Roelie Post
  • The Language of Blood by Jane Jeong Trenka
  • Outsiders Within by Jane Jeong Trenka
  • Fugitive Visions by Jane Jeong Trenka
  • The STORK MARKET: America's Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry by Mirah Riben
Many good articles exposing the underbelly of adoption are published at DissidentVoice. To see a complete list, use this link.










Inside Ethiopia's Adoption Boom  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304811304577368243366708110.html
"To focus on these children without focusing on their families or communities thus becomes an ignoble hypocrisy; as if to say, 'give us your huddled masses–but only if they are cute children and can be indoctrinated from an early age'.” 
Nineteen Russian children have been MURDERED by American adopters.

1 comment:

Lioness said...

Nice post. You also reminded me that technically adoption can never be a win-win. Since there's at least three parties involved, not just two. It can be a win-win-win or a lose-win-win, but never a win-win. In most cases it's a lose-lose-win.

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