Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Threats to Family Presevation

Money. Demand. Lack of regulation of adoption"professionals," facilitators, and adoption agency business.

Exploitation. Coercion. Secrets and lies.

All of these are threats to the sanctity of families, particularly families in crisis and those lacking affluence.

Demand is a major part of the problem and demand will continue until such time as we face infertility as a major health problem and add information on reducing infertility risk to high school health education classes. of course, this is unlikely inasmuch as infertility supports several multi-billion dollar industries: infertility treatment and adoption... and now surrogacy. Until we stem the tide, nation after nation will be stripped of their children to meet the demand.

However there is another very important underlying cause of family disruption that is seldom if ever addressed:  The doctrine of "best interest."  

Best interest can be used to justify taking any child and placing him or her with a wealthier family who can provide more "advantages." As long as we as a culture place more value on material "advantages" than on connectedness, we will continue on a path of family destruction and recreation.

We see the very dangerous effects of this "best interest" doctrine in contested adoptions. Instead of being treated as kidnappings - which illegal, fraudulent or coercive adoptions are - the courts too often look at the "best interest" of the child...or at least those who hold the child captive from his or her family hope they will, and use delays and postponements to increase their boding time with the captive child.

In conjunction with this misused premise is the underlying belief that the end justifies the means.

This end-justifies-the-means belief is extremely dangerous in terms of adoption custody transfers as it can be used to condone a great many illegalities.  When end-justified is applied in adoption, it becomes OK to lie to mothers, dupe them, coerce then... all in an effort to remove their children to be raised by those deemed "better."

End-justifies-means has left Loyda Rodriguez's daughter, Anylie with Jennifer and Timothy Monahan despite Guatemala demanding the return of this kidnap victim.

End-justifies the means causes "desperate" for a child, prospective adopters top ignore blatant red lights, such as those delineated in the book Finding Fernanada and to condone paying bribes, as seen in the film Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy.

Entitlement? Yes. But entitlement is a personal feeling. But it takes the cultural acceptance of best-interest and end-justifies-the-means to uphold policies and court decisions that support personal beliefs of one party's entitlement over another's.

And the underlying prejudice in play in all of this is that wealth equals entitlement and less affluent parents are less fit and less able to provide for their child's "best interest" based on their financial status.

Biology, blood, genetics sadly seem to hold no sway in weighing a child's best interest. We as a society put no importance on these factors except when a doctor asks our medical history or when a baby is born and relatives debate who the newborn resembles most or parents want to take credit for their offspring's abilities or talents.


Robin said...

I am surprised you did not mention the legalized kidnapping of Veronica Brown in this excellent post. What happened to Dusten and Veronica would fit right in.

Mirah Riben said...

That recent and well publicized case certainly came to mind as did every contested adoption case, specially in light of how it ended - with Veronica ordered to live with her kidnappers.

The reason I did not include it, however,is because that case was more complicated. It was not just a battle over the constitutional right of a natural parent versus strangers who contracted to adopt a child, and a father's rights trampled upon by the natural mother and the adoption agency.

That case involved two states battling for supremacy and the US battling the sovereign rights of Native Americans and upholding a longstanding treaty with same.

As with Rodriguez vs Monahan, the treaty was ignored. However, the big difference and why I did not include it, is because initially, the child was returned to her rightful father.

The final decision in Brown v Capobianco relied NOT on best interest. That doctrine, which in this case favored the child remaining with her blood kin, was blatantly refused as an argument and reliance was instead placed, by the US Supreme Court, on whether or not the ICWA applied or not. It was decided that it did not apply inasmuch as Mr. Brown did not have custody of the child at the time of the adoption.

It seemed the SC looked for a loophole and found it and it also seemed that they chose to chip away at the rights of Native Americans just as they are chipping away at the rights of women of this country to control their own bodies.

Veronica's best interests and right, as well as Mr. Brown's constitutional rights were simply not at issue and totally ignored. A little girl was treated by the court as a piece of property and the question was who had ownership right to this property according to which state or federal law took ultimate precedent.

It is interesting to note that had the US Supreme Court heard the case of Rodriguez v Monahan and applied the same litmus test, Anylie would be back in Guatemala with her rightful mother not remaining with HER kidnappers. That child was taken at two years of age from her mother, the only mother she ever knew.

Laws, treaties and common sense are all rendered meaningless when it comes to adoption.

Add the word adoption after the fact to any kidnapping and a capital crime becomes a legal adoption. The excuse is too often that the END possessor of the child was unaware of the illegal means by which was the child was procured. Yet, if property law is applied, surely possession of s stolen vehicle or any property is a crime whether the end "owner" knew or did not.

Stolen goods are stolen goods, but kidnapped children - once adopted - not so much!

Anonymous said...

Educating on infertility risk? Yeah because those who are infertile caused themselves to be infertile. I guess that "education" will help those cancer patients who become infertile or those born with genetic conditions.

If you are going to talk about infertility educate yourself on it.

Mirah Riben said...

Are you suggesting that no infertility is preventable? Delaying childbearing just for one?

We are educated constantly to stop smoking to reduce risk of cancer and heart disease and other ailments.

We are educated about the risks of sun exposure as a cause of skin cancer. We are educated about obesity and the health risks.

Why on earth would we NOT educate people to help avoid or reduce the heartache of infertility???

Some people are childless by choice but no one infertile by choice! Infertility treatment is a multi-billion dollar industry because people will go to great lengths to try to reverse or resolve their infertility - why NOT do all you an to PREVENT it???

It is NOT victim blaming to be educated about PREVENTION of any disease or condition!

Knowledge is power!

The Mayo Clinic website says:

"Some types of infertility aren't preventable. But several strategies may increase your chances of pregnancy."

Try reading 15 Ways to Prevent Infertility here:

Anonymous said...

The myth about infertility today is that it's caused by people delaying childbearing years when the reality is most of it is caused by environmental factors such as cancer and being exposed to the many toxins in our environment. So yes you are victim blaming and it's wrong that you are kicking people while they are down.

So again I suggest you do more research on infertility before addressing it. Stick to what you do know and have experience with.

Mirah Riben said...

It is no myth that delayed childbearing is ONE OF the many causes of infertility. I have not mentioned any percentages. I have simply stated the FACTS that there ARE preventable causes of infertility. I have cited my reputable sources of such. So go "blame" Mayo Clinic, not me! I am merely the messenger. And, BTW, environmental pollutants are one of the preventable causes we as a society could work to reduce and those seeking to reproduce need to be aware of their environment, especially at work an the effect it might have on their ability to reproduce.

AGAIN: Education is NOT blaming!!!

As for "victim blaming" the shoe is on the other foot. Interfiles who resort to adoption after exhausting all other means, very commonly blame mothers for having children when they are too young or too poor to care for the, because so doing makes the adopter feel more noble about the coercion of mothers to supply babies for an increasing demand that is now being added to by same sex couples.

In Guatemala for years it was rumored and believed that mothers there SOLD their babies when in fact their children were being kidnapped and sold. One such kidnap victim, identified by the gvt of Guatemala, remains to this day with her captors Timothy and Jennifer Monahan. Who's the victim in that case? Read "Finding Fernanada" by Erin Seigal. And read The Lie We Love by E.J.Graff and then talk to me about VICTIMS.

BUT...I have never in any of my writings diminished the pain of not being able to bear a child when one longs to be a parent. Never. It is in part BECAUSE of my keen awareness of the agony and desperation it creates that IO preach reducing the number of sufferers through education! What is wrong with that???

If you see yourself as a victim, I am very sorry for you, I truly am and I sincerely hope you get some help with those negative feelings and are able to move beyond.

Mirah Riben said...

And please,m please, please try and understand that while I am cognizant of the agony of infertility, I am also aware that far too many who suffer that loss try to "cure" it by causing others loss.

Every child that is adopted by someone who longs for a child they cannot have is a child torn from a family it was born into and a mother who carried that child left with a permanently broken heart and and a void that nothing can ever fill or replace.

There is not a plethora of children waiting to be adopted - except for the 100,000 or more in the foster care system who could be adopted. All other adoptions - infant or international - involve coercion and exploitation because just as mot young girl dreams of suffering infertility - trust me when i tell you that no young girl anywhere in the world dreams of having a baby taken form her for adoption!!

One woman's "problem" is being resolved at the detriment of another's.

Read: ""Reverse Robinhoodism: Pitting Poor Against Affluent Women in the Adoption Industry"

Anonymous said...


Might I suggest that you change your approach/delivery. When you talk about "ways to prevent" infertility you imply that those who are infertile caused their infertility. You need to recognize that this is triggering for many infertiles.

Those who are infertile even in situations when they had nothing to do with their infertility blame themselves and have low self esteem due to their bodies failure. As much as you believe you are "cognizant" of the agony of infertility in reality you know a fraction of it. It goes beyond just being sad about not being able to have children. As I said earlier I think it's best you stay away from this topic and stick to adoption.

As for the 100,000 children in Foster Care there is nothing stopping those who are fertile from passing on conceiving children and adopting them. It isn't the obligation of those who are infertile to adopt those children. It's bad enough those who are infertile are used and cast aside by the fertile world making us obligated to care for the children they refuse to is insulting.

Mirah Riben said...

For goodness sake the anti-smoking campaign has been ongoing for decades now and now we are subjected to DISGUSTING TV commercials showing the AWFUL health risks of cigarette smoking. Does that BLAME those who get emphysema or lung cancer??? I don;'t hear anyone complaining about that as victim-blaming.

Get off your pity pot for goodness sake!

It is mortally responsible to discuss cause and effect of health hazards, not victim-blaming.

Mirah Riben said...

In other words.... If you advise your loved ones not to smoke because they could get cancer or emphysema or if sow concern about an obese friend's risk of diabetics are you helping them or blaming them???

The CDC and we as a nation/society/culture seem to believe in PREVENTATIVE health care a LOT! We spend lots of dollars on campaigns to educate the public to avoid other health maladies. WHY NOT INFERTILITY?

Do not Safe Sex campaigns exist to try to avoid the spread of STDs - which BTW id another cause of infertility???

I asked you and you ignore answering: Wouldn't you want to spare people the agony of suffering infertility???

Give it up!~ at best, we agree to disagree. I think you are dead wrong if you are suggesting we never speak about the preventable causes of infertility. I totally disagree and believe it should be a major campaign just as these other health prevention campaigns are and I believe it should be taught in HS health classes.. ,

Mirah Riben said...

I also asked and you never answered: Are you suggesting no infertility is preventable???

Mirah Riben said...

Whoever you are I am not responsible for how you TAKE my words. I MADE NO SUCH "IMPLICATIONS" regarding blame!!! That is all in your interpretation and in YOUR head, not anywhere in my words. As I said, why are you not blaming the Mayo Clinic and many other reputable sources who likewise list PREVENTABLE causes of infertility? Would you not agree that we should all work to reduce environmental contaminants? Should we not work to expose the dangers of obesity, which INCLUDE infertility?

Dragging out the old cliche that adopting from foster care is the responsibility of all regardless of ability to conceive is very telling of your total lack of compassion for women who have been coerced out of their children to meet a DEMAND. the demand is mostly caused by infertiles who make a choice NOT to take children in need in foster care.

That comment is as ridiculous because those of not trying adopt any child are not the ones causing the DEMAND that in turn causes corruption, trafficking, exploitation and coercion.

Anonymous said...

The difference between those who smoke, those who contract STD's and those who are infertile DUE TO A MEDICAL CONDITION is that the first two groups made the decision to engage in activities that resulted in their condition. Those who are infertile due to cancer and hormonal/genetic conditions made no decisions in their lives that caused them to be infertile.

The percentages of infertility that are "preventable" are smaller than the percentage of infertility caused by cancer. Things like Endometriosis, PCOS and male factor infertility (which is just as common as female factor) are more common than delaying childbearing years.

Again regarding the children in Foster Care those who are infertile are not obligated to adopt them. What drives the demand for private domestic infant adoption are those who are fertile who outcast the childless from society. You people are the ones who drive those who are infertile to do what they do to become parents. Maybe if you better supported the infertile community the demand wouldn't be what it is. If you want to do something about the demand you can do that rather than spread myths about "preventable infertility". You'll be doing future generations of potential adoptees a favor.

Mirah Riben said...

You are obsessed and so very narrowly focused on your own issue that you lack compassion for anyone but yourself.

To say that people who have contracted STDs CHOSE behaviors that cause their diseases is INSULTING, IGNORANT and shows total lack of compassion and understanding of FACTS.

#1 - ever hear of rape?

#2 - the vast majority of STDs are spread as a result of carriers having no symptoms and not knowing the are infected. How is a recipient thus to be blamed???

As for smoking being a CHOICE, maybe it was to begin with but many of today's smokers began before the damage was known and are no more responsible than those who sub-bathed before we knew that cancer risk.

Nicotine is known to be addictive and smoking is an addiction. Addictions are recognized as a disease...thus who is the one victim-blaming here??? You are cruel! It sounds like you WOULD in fact blame those who have cancer for causing it while wanting nothing but PITY for infertility!~!

You are soo extremely self-absorbed and on such a pity trip and involved in playing victim.

Again, I hope you get help.

Mirah Riben said...

And note that AS I POINTED OUT we DO have camapigns to EDUCATE peeople about the angers of STDs and smoking!

So again , WTF is your problem with preventative health care for ANY and ALL things that we CAN prevent through education to whatever degree???

If we can prevent ONE case of infertility is that not worth it???

Bottom line - infertility is VERY VERY sad but NOT life threatening!! No one DIED from not giving birth!! Yes, some of causes may be life-threatening cancer, but infertility in and of itself is not. So get over yourself and your victimology and pity party, for goodness sake!!

And stop posting here as you are just embarrassing yourself.

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