- Foster adoption is adoption of kids who have already been separated from their families, and are living in foster care.
- Infant adoption is adoption of children, often newborns but sometimes slightly older, whose mothers are unable (either by choice or, more often, through clever coersion and familial/societal pressure) to care for them.
COOPER: It’s — and so they’re handing this out. I mean, essentially, what we now know is, they were around in Port-au-Prince trolling for kids, I mean, going around, trying to collect kids under the age of 10, so, for whatever reason, they could take them to the Dominican Republic.And what they — we had also just learned today is they told that guy David Louis they were actually going to bring some of these kids into the United States, or they had offered to — to bring Richard’s kids into the — back to the United States, which, you know, the fact that Richard and his wife — that his wife said, look, do not go to this orphanage where our kids are in the process of being legally adopted, and they went anyway to try to get them, to me, that just raises all sorts of red flags.PENHAUL: It certainly does raise red flags, as well as the fact that they were looking for children aged from zero to 10, kids aged under 10.I asked an NGO specialist about that. Why zero to 10? He says kids zero of 10 are much easier to send in adoption. You can bet your bottom dollar, if those kids were going to be sent into adoption, they were not going to be adopted in the D.R. They would have been sent abroad for that. Maybe the D.R. was a halfway house.I don’t know that for sure, though, but, certainly, the people that you have talked to tonight, you can piece it together. It seems like that. And, yes, certainly, they were trawling for orphanages as well, because the three translators that we have spoken to extensively have said that they also were asked to telephone another orphanage, and that other orphanage also declined help.
- Domestic and international adoption scandals: children targeted for adoption, mothers coerced into surrendering, adoptive parents duped into a false sense of security about the adoption process
- Situations like Haiti, where crises are used to exploit children and families
- Sealed adoption records, the myth of birth parent “privacy”, the discrimination faced by adult adoptees and their mothers, and the facade of compromise legislation
- The lure of open adoption, which is rarely enforcable by the birth mother
- “Crisis pregnancy centers” which are often fronts for adoption mills
- Misinformation about the long-term effects of adoption, especially for transracial and transcultural adoptees
- The general public’s lack of understanding about adoption, which is promulgated by the adoption industry so clandestine and questionable practices can continue. Part of this is driven by media bias in adoption reporting, which leads me into…
- GET ADOPTION OFF TELEVISION. I have to wonder why there isn’t legal protection for minors exploited on television (think Jon & Kate or Balloon Boy). I think about these kids whose adoption stories are being told on TV (e.g. Teen Mom, 16 And Pregnant) before they even have a chance to know for themselves. Can you imagine how devastating that will be for them? It’s one thing to have consenting adults on these shows but something far different when we’re talking about babies and children. And even when it’s consenting adults, the information is almost always skewed. Let’s face it, reality shows and made-for-TV movies are not solid journalism, but most people base their ideas about adoption from them.
- Bastardette: Haiti Child Evacuation: A New Operation Pedro Pan?
- Bastardette: Haiti: Misc. Updates On Adoption And Pat Robertson
- Bastardette: Haiti: Operation Pierre Pan Postponed; Politicans Pander
- FirstMotherForum: When Disaster Strikes, Adoption Is Sure To Follow
- FirstMotherForum: What Of The Children In Haitian Orphanages?
- Family Preservation: Reputable Ways To Help The Children Of Haiti And Their Families
- AmyAdoptee: Haitian Adoptions In Trouble After The Earthquake
- Baby Love Child: Haiti’s Children And The American Adoption Market
- Motherhood Deleted: Heeere We Go, Again / Orphan Bonanza
We do not object to Haitian children, orphans and otherwise, being sent to credible and documented parents or family members in the US legally for temporary or permanent care depending on the circumstances. We do object to the unethical and possibly unlawful mass transfer of traumatized children, many with family status unknown, to foreign shelters and foster care, removed from their culture and language, with little hope of reunification. We also object to children being used as commercialized foreign policy pawns. Although Pedro Pan had positive outcomes for some, its intent and motives make it an illegitimate model for today’s Haitian earthquake child victims. Cold War politics destroyed Cuban families. Unchecked adoption industry greed, pap entitlement, and soft neo-colonial foreign policy cannot be permitted to disenfranchise a generation Haitian children.
Two tiny spermatozoa maneuver their way through the dark passageway in search of the prize when suddenly two large oval shaped masses loom in front of them. Each sperm cell burrows its way into the warm gooey side of its respective prize and becomes one with the egg, fertilizing it and thus beginning the cycle of life anew as it has done since the dawn of creation.The now fertilized eggs begin the trip back down the same way that the sperm traveled up not too long before. As they travel, toward their new home for the next eight months, the eggs begin to divide becoming multi-celled organisms. They eventually reach the uterus where they burrow into the soft lining and continue to grow and divide.Six weeks pass and by then the host knows of the presence of the two travelers and she welcomes them, but not all are happy about their arrival. The host is told to get rid of the ‘unwanted mass of cells’ but she refuses to. She does her best to protect the two little travelers but it is difficult. On two separate occasions violent earthquakes rock the cocoon that envelopes the twins. They do not know that is happening, only that what was thought to be safe and secure is not. The twins grow more anxious as each day passes, afraid of what will happen next.Though on the outside, the next six months pass by without incident, all is not well within as the food supply becomes non-existent. The smaller of the twins grows weaker each passing day and it becomes apparent that it will not survive to see the outside world. The Littlest One, as it is called, musters its remaining strength and telegraphs the message to the one in front that it can no longer hang on. As a bright light appears and surrounds The Littlest One, it telegraphs a final good bye to its companion and is lifted by gentle hands into the loving embrace of the Creator and carried into the light. ‘But, wait,’ The Littlest One asks, ‘What about the one left behind? I can still see her.’ ‘Don’t worry’, says the One with the gentle hands. ‘She will be born very soon. She will not know about you until many moons have passed but she will never forget you because she will carry that knowledge deep within herself that you indeed existed. You will not be forgotten. Fear not little one and rest now, for you are home.’No one knew whether the Littlest One was a boy or girl nor did they care, except for the remaining one. She mourned the loss of her companion, yearning to once again see his/her face. It was the Creator of all Life who reached down and took the Littlest One home, where He named the child and where He continues to gently rock the little waif in His loving arms, even to this day.
In the WTF category, this article (Houston Chronicle: Family eases grief of lost child through adoption) makes me sick, sick, absolutely sick. I feel so sorry for this girl and the expectations that are going to be heaped on her, above and beyond those expected of most adoptees.
The adoptive parents are in mega-denial:
“I’m convinced Marin [the deceased child] and Sioban [the Chinese adoptee] met in passing,” Lori [the adoptive mother] said. “Marin told her, This is how you get to Daddy’s heart, and this is how you get to Mommy’s heart.'”
No, I bet the former was pissed off at missing out on her life, and the latter is… well, pissed off at missing out on her life. What is most telling to me is this paragraph:
So they settled on adoption. And they decided on China, because most of the infants there are healthy and, because of the one child policy and male bias, there is a preponderance of girls up for adoption.
Translation: International adoption is easier because it’s less likely those pesky birth families are gonna come searching. It’s also easier because the records are more readily obfuscated. I don’t suppose this family bothered to learn anything about the real state of international adoption, such as the number of children who are being kidnapped–yes, kidnapped–in China and elsewhere to fulfill Western desires to adopt:
- BBC News: China babies ‘sold for adoption’
- Reuters: China takes aim at officials’ illicit accounts
- Straits Times: Illegal babies sold: Foreign adoption programme in China spawning ‘Baby Economy’
- ChinaDaily: Orphanage probed over baby adoption scandal
More telling quotes from the article:
The adoption itself was a 21-month process. Flying to China, Lori cried and cried. Was their adopting a child really God’s will? Were they supposed to have just three children? What if she didn’t feel love for this new baby? “But that second they put her in my arms, it was instantaneous,” Lori said. “I was like, This is my baby.’ It was very clear cut that our daughter just happened to be born halfway across the world.”
This is NOT YOUR BABY. This child HAS a family IN CHINA. The fact that you used the coercive and corrupt American adoption system to purchase a child does NOT make it “God’s will”. It’s blatant delusion. It’s failure to process grief. Who the hell approved these people to adopt? They already have three kids, for crying out loud! These are not desperate infertiles. These are people who had their hearts set on four kids and dammit, they are gonna have four kids even if they have to swipe one from somebody else.
And the couple says she has helped make the family whole again. “I tell you, she’s got McGrath blood in her,” Lori said, cradling Sioban in her arms.
No, she DOESN’T, and she never will. Does anybody think this family is really going to encourage this girl to explore her origins when she is old enough to understand? I’m betting on Chinese fairytales and the occasional take-out dinner as the extent of it, if that.
The next time somebody gripes at me about mentioning an entitlement mentality among many prospective adopters, I’m showing them this article. And if that makes me “anti-adoption”, then you can bite my bastard ass.
Thanks to Amyadoptee for pointing out this article, I think. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to be violently ill.
Don’t drive through Texas if you want to keep your kids.
According to the Chicago Tribune that’s the message being sent by a small Texas town, where cops are alleged to have racially profiled motorists, telling them they had to forfeit their cash, possessions, and even their children.
[T]he police seized $6,037 that Boatright [one of the motorists] said the family was carrying to purchase a used car—and then threatened to turn their children, ages 10 and 1, over to Child Protective Services if the couple didn’t agree to sign over their right to their cash.
“It was give them the money or they were taking our kids,” Boatright said. “They suggested that we never bring it up again. We figured we better give them our cash and get the hell out of there.”
Several months later, after Boatright and her husband contacted an attorney, Tenaha officials returned their money but offered no explanation or apology. The couple remain plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit.”
I’ve blogged before about children targeted for adoption by social workers and others in authority. This article makes me wonder if there was some sweet deal between the police and CPS, or if the cops were simply using the time-honored tactic of bullying people by threatening their children. Either way it’s abhorrent. We all know once CPS (or whatever they’re called in your state) gets involved, parents are guilty and have little recourse however wild or unfounded the allegations. Which I’m sure was exactly why those motorists surrendered their money to the cops instead of their kids. Who wouldn’t? I’m just glad they’re taking their case public to demonstrate the sorts of atrocities that too often happen behind the scenes. I also wonder if we are seeing an uptick in this sort of behavior given the economy, the federal funds behind adoption subsidies, and the pretty penny to be made adopting infants. In this case I’m guessing they’d have bunted the 10-year-old to foster care in order to snatch the more marketable 1-year-old sibling. Sounds like Nebraska.
It’s a dirty secret that children are targeted for adoption. This time it’s happening in my own backyard. Check out this story from the Chicago Tribune.
The lawsuit charges that authorities “tore a healthy and happy toddler from her innocent parents.” Then, it alleges, child welfare investigators “held the toddler hostage until the parents agreed to forfeit their constitutional rights to live without unwarranted restrictions.”
Two child welfare investigators and two Tinley Park police officers visited the Evans home and found her “safe and well-cared for,” the lawsuit said. Days later, DCFS social workers took the child from her parents for several hours.
The social workers then, according to the suit, threatened the parents with the continued custody of their daughter and placement in a shelter “unless they signed a so-called safety plan restricting their custodial rights.”
Note that the initial investigation found her “safe and well-cared for,” yet Illinois DCFS shows up days later to take the child. Also note the mention of a “safety plan restricting custodial rights,” because that’s how it begins. Once an allegation is made, no matter how wild, parents are considered guilty and are hard-pressed to prove otherwise.
Why target children for foster care and adoption? Because it’s lucrative, as explained in this article about babysnatching in Britain:
Meanwhile, millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money has been given to councils to encourage them to meet high Government targets on child adoptions… This sweeping shake-up was designed for all the right reasons: to get difficult-to-place older children in care homes allocated to new parents. But the reforms didn’t work. Encouraged by the promise of extra cash, social workers began to earmark babies and cute toddlers who were most easy to place in adoptive homes, leaving the more difficult-to-place older children in care.
The secrecy surrounding foster care and adoption works to the snatchers’ advantage. From the same article:
Crucially, the courts’ culture of secrecy means that if a social worker lies or fabricates notes or a medical expert giving evidence makes a mistake, no one finds out and there is no retribution… From the time a child is named on a social services care order until the day they are adopted, the parents are breaking the law – a crime punishable by imprisonment – if they tell anyone what is happening to their family. Anything from a chat with a neighbour to a letter sent to a friend can land them in jail. And many have found themselves sent to prison for breaching court orders by talking about their case.
Another example comes from Kentucky, where social worker whistleblowers accused the state’s Child Protective Services of pressuring birth families and staff to boost adoption rates. Further, those in positions of power were actually able to place orders for children:
The high-adoption trend apparently began in 2004, when adoptions in Kentucky ballooned to 724 while the federal bonus money more than doubled from $452,000 the previous year to more than $1 million.
“The Cabinet puts pressure on stats because federal and state money come from statistics,” said another social worker who wants her identity concealed for fear of retaliation against her family. “You get praised. The Cabinet praises you for terminating rights and adopting kids out immediately.”
She said the concerted effort to take children away and put them up for adoption was so brazen, she actually saw someone successfully place an order for children.
“Someone could not have a child and wanted a child so within the community,” the social worker said. “This person saw a family in distress, having a hard time, relayed to workers that they would like those children, and that’s exactly what has happened.”
And a former CPS supervisor, who also wants anonymity for fear of retaliation, said if an order for a child was delayed or denied, her supervisors would overturn local decisions.
“This one family was promised a child, and when it happened that this child was going to be reunified with the parent, they called our regional office, and our regional office came in our county and they harassed the birth parents and that kind of thing because they didn’t agree with our decision,” the former supervisor said.
There’s no guarantee that a child will be protected once in foster care. In a recent case in Georgia, the natural parents were scant weeks away from getting their child back when the foster caregiver let the girl suffocate in a van. One little boy named Donte May from Peoria, Illinois, is remembered only in a scattering of blog posts:
All wars have casualties, and the war against child abuse provides no exception. In the state of Georgia alone, 433 of our children have died while in the hands of the state over a period of some several recent years. Even a cursory review of recent press accounts reveals: In Peoria, Illinois, the state’s child welfare agency “rescues” Donte May from a neglectful and possibly abusive mother, only to place him in a foster home where he dies suspiciously from bleeding in the brain.
Of course, the canonical example of targeting children for adoption is the recent Texas “sect” case, in which officials were clamoring to adopt the kids out practically before they even raided the compound. And, as we all know, Texas was forced to return those kids. That’s the exception, not the rule.
Illinois DCFS has had a boatload of problems in the past, charged with failing to provide basic services and allowing negligence and abuse. And it appears to be common knowledge that Illinois DCFS targets children for adoption. Such targeting is more widespread than is generally believed, so much so that there are web sites and blogs dedicated to helping people fight false allegations and try to reclaim their kids.
I hope this lawsuit sheds light on this reprehensible practice, and that these families can find some healing after such horrific experiences.
This election really has me in a lather, as far as the abortion debate. Some pro-lifers seem hell-bent on stopping abortion with no thought whatsoever to *gasp* actually supporting mothers and children in need. Instead they chuck those infants into the adoption mill, which is about as savory as a puppy mill. The message “abortion is murder” implies that adoption is salvation, but adoption can be murder too, as sadly memorialized here, here, and here. Please take a moment to light a virtual candle for murdered adoptees, and those who still suffer abuse and neglect.
I think it’s high time we added adoption to anti-abortion slogans. In the spirit of the marvelous yet truly disturbing Adoption Apparel Translator (baby bibs reading “Born In Africa, Loved In The USA,” perfect for publicly humiliating your infant adoptee), I humbly offer the following Adoption-Fortified Pro-Life Slogans. Delicious, nutritious and chock-full of all those inconvenient truths that seem to be missing from the Right To Life brand. And it’s melamine-free!
- Abortion Stops A Beating Heart…
Adoption Sells It To The Highest Bidder
- Abortion Kills…
A Perfectly Good Chance To Make A Buck Selling Babies
- It’s Not A Choice, It’s A Child…
Buy Yours Today – Or Be Like Brangelina And Adopt A Complete Set!
- One Abortion: One Dead, One Wounded…
One Adoption: Two Life Sentences
- Abortion: Infant Genocide…
Adoption: Human Trafficking
- Abortion Is Like Magic: It Makes Babies Disappear…
Adoption Is Like A Fun-House Mirror: It Distorts The True Picture
- Abortion: The Hand That Robs The Cradle…
And Pockets The Proceeds
- Pregnant? Scared? We Can Help…
Ourselves To Your Marketable Infant
- Adoption: The Caring Option…
Caring About Our Agency’s Profits
- Keep Your Laws Off My Tiny Body
But Feel Free To Adopt Me To Pedophiles And Murderers
- Blacks Didn’t Choose Slavery, Jews Didn’t Choose Genocide, Babies Don’t Choose Abortion
We Don’t Choose Adoption Either, But That’s Not In The Brochure
- Smile! Your Mom Chose Life!
Frown If She Was Forced To “Give You A Better Life” Through Adoption
and a personal favorite:
- Choose Life
But For Heaven’s Sake, Don’t Give Those Bastards Their Birth Certificates Or It Will Be THE END OF THE WORLD!
I’ve talked before about the stereotypes we find in adoption. Today I’m going to lay them out, Dungeons and Dragons style, so we can see what they really reveal.
- THE PERPETUAL CHILD
The Perpetual Child is an NPC (non-player character) that anyone can control. You can easily obtain one at any tavern, inn, or local gnome’s lair. They’re worth a fortune to the seller, but their only power is the Spell Of Assuaging Guilt In Adoptive Families.
- THE CRAZY ADOPTEE
Intelligence: More than expected
Charisma: None-adoptees are insignificant
Weapon: Wand Of Searching
Armor: Shield Of Origin
The Crazy Adoptee (also called the Searching Adoptee) lurks inside every Perpetual Child, and emerges when the glow from the Warm Fuzzy Orb Of Adoption fades. Any questions about adoption can bring on the transformation, so if you see an adoptee begin to ask about his or her origins, better run ’em out of town before they turn, like werewolves, into Crazy Adoptees!
- THE STALKER ADOPTEE
Strength: 18 (+20 in Berserker mode)
Intelligence: 18 (-5 when dealing with Reputable Adoption Agencies)
Weapon: Vorpal Sword Of Original Birth Certificate Access
Armor: Elven Chain Mail Of Ingratitude
Eventually Crazy Adoptees become Stalker Adoptees, haunting the shady dens of late-night news and made-for-TV movies. Obsessed with search, the Stalker Adoptee pursues any avenue to track down and harass blood relatives. They thirst for birth names, and hunger for unconditional records access. The worst ones (“Bastards”) can be found hunkered behind blogs, screaming their misshapen notions at the world.
- THE STALKER BIRTH RELATIVE
Strength: None-birth relatives have no power
Intelligence: Not as much as Kind Social Workers
Weapon: Crossbow Of Determination
Armor: Blood Ties
Like the Stalker Adoptee, the Stalker Birth Relative can be found seeking the dark recesses of reality television and horror movies. Stalker Birth Relatives prey primarily on Loving Adoptive Families, eagerly awaiting a chance to snatch away a Perpetual Child (or at least turn them into Crazy Adoptees).
- THE BIRTH MOTHER PROMISED “CONFIDENTIALITY”
Intelligence: None (or so the Reputable Adoption Agencies assume)
Weapon: The Mother-Child Bond
Armor: Shield of Ablative Motherhood, rusted
The Birth Mother desires privacy at all costs, and will immediately hide in her shell should a Perpetual Child or Crazy Adoptee appear. At the sight of a Stalker Adoptee she will scream, siren-like: “I was promised confidentiality!” to every legislator and Reputable Adoption Agency within hearing. She has never regretted her decision and has been able to move forward with her life just as the Kind Social Workers promised.
- THE SLACKER BIRTH FATHER
Charisma: 12 (+30 to Birth Mothers)
Weapon: Broadsword Of Virility
Armor: A Wink And A Nudge
All Birth Fathers are Slackers. They abandon Birth Mothers and could care less about the Perpetual Children they sire. None of them ever offered support, and none of them wish to know adoptees, crazy, stalker, or otherwise.
- THE KIND SOCIAL WORKER
Charisma: 18 (+20 with Reputable Adoption Agency)
Weapon: Rogue’s Dagger Of Half-Truths
Armor: Cloak Of Concealment
The Kind Social Worker will gladly take that Perpetual Child off your hands. She is smiling, cheerful, and full of wise sayings, like “Most birth mothers forget” and “Children deserve two-parent homes.” Like the eyestalk of a Dalek, the Kind Social Worker has one weakness: she is vulnerable in the face of Pregnant Women Who Educate Themselves About Adoption. But if you give her your Perpetual Child, she’ll disappear in a blink.
- THE REPUTABLE ADOPTION AGENCY
Intelligence: Less than estimated
Weapon: Adoption Stereotypes
Armor: Gauntlets Of Wealth
The Reputable Adoption Agency has everyone’s best interests at heart. They’re a charity, in case you can’t tell from the gold-painted walls, and they would never do anything so horrible as deal with known baby brokers or offer children whose parental rights were terminated illegally.
- THE LOVING ADOPTIVE FAMILY
Strength: Taken by infertility
Intelligence: Minimal near Kind Social Workers and Reputable Adoption Agencies
Charisma: See Strength
Weapon: The Promise Of A Better Life
Armor: Plate Mail Of Public Opinion
All adoptive families are Loving, if you missed the brochure. Adoptive parents are screened to make sure they aren’t pedophiles or murderers. They always tell Perpetual Children and Crazy Adoptees the truth about adoption, even when it conflicts with their own desires.
See, isn’t it fun playing the Adoption Game? Let’s keep playing before the Thought Police come to take away our Player’s Handbooks and painted miniatures.