Newsletter November 2007
PPL watchdog's chronicles
Today, one year ago, Pound Pup Legacy was born as the brain child of two adoptees from the sixties. Twelve months followed of building up the site, adding articles, having discussions, researching and making contacts around the world, finding and defining our place in the global realm of child placement.
In September we launched the first annual Demons of Adoption awards to raise a voice against adoption propaganda and the self-congratulatory practice of the Angels of Adoption awards gala. To give a follow-up on that, we decided to start distributing a monthly newsletter, this edition being dedicated to the Demons of Adoption awards.
In its early days, PPL has been criticized for its animalistic view on adoption. Still, our position has always remained constant and true: it's cruel to mistreat and misplace children, and think it will have no ill effect on his/her future. Society needs a wake-up call. Roosters and birds do what they were born to do. In a dog eat dog world, we pups will bark until all children are treated right.
The National Council for Adoption is DoA
By Jessica DelBalzo
Every October, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute presents various adoption supporters with the "Angels in Adoption" award. These prestigious awards are received by organizations and individuals whose commitment to family desecration has been proven time and again. Confident that they have had a hand in destroying the lives of more parents and children than their colleagues, recipients are proud to proclaim themselves "angels in adoption."
This year, Pound Pup Legacy decided it was time for a change. Just in time for November, America’s National Adoption Awareness Month, PPL is ready to announce the unfortunate winner of its first annual Demons of Adoption Award. Nominees include:
- Adoption.com for being a big business with international forums that ban members who vocalize any negative views about adoption.
- The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, for acting as though individuals and organizations that threaten family preservation are deserving of support and praise.
- The Council on Accreditation, for the dubious conflict of interest caused by including pro-adoption lobbyists on its board.
- The National Safe Haven Alliance , for advocating infant abandonment and ignoring the real problems that contribute to infanticide and abandonment.
- The NYC Administration for Children‘s Services, for not checking up on Judith Leekin. ,
All of these contenders put up an admirable fight, but they were unable to beat out the infamous lobbying arm of the United States adoption industry, the National Council for Adoption. True to its name, the NCFA is an unabashedly pro-adoption organization. Formerly managed by the infamously anti-open-records Bill Pierce, this vulgar group is now manned by Tom Atwood. He may have a new name and a new face, but he presents the same anti-family points of view as his predatory predecessor.
Among the DoA-worthy sins committed by the National Council for Adoption are:
- The conception and implementation of the Infant Adoption Awareness Training Program. IAATP is a government-funded course which instructs pregnancy professionals in the art of adoption coercion. The goal? To procure even more infants to meet the demands of prospective adopters.
- The promotion of irresponsible and hurtful adoption terminology unfittingly named Positive Adoption Language. PAL includes such disparaging qualifiers as "birth" and "biological" in reference to parents who have or are considering surrendering a child for adoption, as well as the very deceptive term "adoption plan" to describe a mother’s surrender.
- The legislative support of Safe Haven Laws. These laws dangerously allow anonymous infant abandonment, leaving children without their medical records, family history, and most importantly, family members. They fail to adequately protect parents, grandparents, and other relatives who may wish to raise the abandoned child. Additionally, Safe Haven Laws have shown themselves to be ineffective in preventing unsafe abandonment and addressing the psychological and social issues that contribute to abandonment.
- The presentation of open records as a violation of parental privacy rights. Despite exiled mothers of the Baby Scoop Era railing against the NCFA’s claims that they were promised confidentiality and do not want to reunite with their adult children, the NCFA continues to uses these mothers in its campaign to keep adoption records sealed.
In short, the NCFA is this years Demons of Adoption Award recipient because of the measures it has taken to increase the number of adopted infants, promote adoption among marginalized pregnant women, and continue the abuse of families separated by past adoptions. The bottom line is that the National Council for Adoption wants nothing more than to help its supporters line their pockets with money accrued through predatory adoption practices. With the presentation of this, the very first DoA Award, Pound Pup Legacy is pleased to announce the tarnishing of the NCFA’s already bent and broken halo. Remember, lurking within every "adoption angel" is a demon just waiting to be exposed.
Two of the most important conventions dealing with international adoption are the United Nations Conventions on The Rights of the Child and The Hague Conference on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption.
Convention on the Rights of the Child: Article 21:
States Parties that recognize and/or permit the system of adoption shall ensure that the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration and they shall:
(a) Ensure that the adoption of a child is authorized only by competent authorities who determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures and on the basis of all pertinent and reliable information, that the adoption is permissible in view of the child's status concerning parents, relatives and legal guardians and that, if required, the persons concerned have given their informed consent to the adoption on the basis of such counselling as may be necessary;
(b) Recognize that inter-country adoption may be considered as an alternative means of child's care, if the child cannot be placed in a foster or an adoptive family or cannot in any suitable manner be cared for in the child's country of origin; (c) Ensure that the child concerned by inter-country adoption enjoys safeguards and standards equivalent to those existing in the case of national adoption;
(d) Take all appropriate measures to ensure that, in inter-country adoption, the placement does not result in improper financial gain for those involved in it;
(e) Promote, where appropriate, the objectives of the present article by concluding bilateral or multilateral arrangements or agreements, and endeavour, within this framework, to ensure that the placement of the child in another country is carried out by competent authorities or organs.
The Hague Convention Article 4
An adoption within the scope of the Convention shall take place only if the competent authorities of the State of origin –
a) have established that the child is adoptable;
b) have determined, after possibilities for placement of the child within the State of origin have been given due consideration, that an inter-country adoption is in the child's best interests;
c) have ensured that
(1) the persons, institutions and authorities whose consent is necessary for adoption, have been counselled as may be necessary and duly informed of the effects of their consent, in particular whether or not an adoption will result in the termination of the legal relationship between the child and his or her family of origin,
(2) such persons, institutions and authorities have given their consent freely, in the required legal form, and expressed or evidenced in writing,
(3) the consents have not been induced by payment or compensation of any kind and have not been withdrawn, and
(4) the consent of the mother, where required, has been given only after the birth of the child; and
d) have ensured, having regard to the age and degree of maturity of the child, that
(1) he or she has been counselled and duly informed of the effects of the adoption and of his or her consent to the adoption, where such consent is required,
(2) consideration has been given to the child's wishes and opinions,
(3) the child's consent to the adoption, where such consent is required, has been given freely, in the required legal form, and expressed or evidenced in writing, and
(4) such consent has not been induced by payment or compensation of any kind.
It would seem, if so much money is being invested in child-placement via international adoption, there should be a group that watches-over the child placed away from his/her natural family, ensuring there is indeed, a measure of standardized care given to that child placed away from his/her natural family. This both conventions aim to address, yet where is the representation of adoptees and natural parents in their conferences?
There are needs that must not go unattended, and it must be realized that these needs last the lifetime of a displaced child. Moving a little one is a risk agencies have to take, so those responsible enough to engage in the adoption practice should have no problem supporting the wishes of the combined efforts and life-time experience adoptees and parents have to offer these agencies.
We think it's time PPL world bastards become ambassadors to these meetings and make sure the industry knows watch-dogs are making sure no child is being mis-counted or misplaced anymore.
News of The World
Between all nonsensical news of the last month, both Spice Girl, Jerri Halliwell and Kylie Minogue showing an interest in adoption, the Faroer Islands (Denmark) having such a cosy relation with adoption, there was a lot of small and big news in the world of adoption.
Of course for the first couple of days the news was dominated by the recipients of the Congressional Angels of Adoption awards, though that was soon taken over by the usual debate over gay adoption, Madonna's Malawian master plan for of public interest and Dannii Minogue in a pathological case of sibling rivalry announcing she wants to adopt too.
In North Carolina adoption specialist Jackie Adams of the Department of Social Services talked to ABC news about the failing adoption from foster care program. Adams says prospective parents are usually looking to adopt infants. “They say we want children we can mold and watch grow-up”, she says in a much more down to earth voice than the yearly Gregorius Chant of the Congressional Coalition.
Meanwhile in India the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) finished its investigations into the Preet Mandir adoption agency and gave them a clean chit, despite investigations made by CNN-IBN that demonstrated child trafficking took taking place at their orphanages. The Bombay's High Court, which ordered CBI, was said to be upset with the report. All the while Adoptions from the Heart are still “excited to be working with Preet Mandir orphanage in India on several projects to help improve the lives of women and children in India”. Denmark resumed adoption from India earlier October.
Family Adoption Fundraising organized The Family Harvest Festival in Eau Claire Wisconsin to raise awareness and money for the “good cause”. According to Family Adoption Fund-raising, “60 percent of families in the area think about adopting at some point in time, but only three to four percent follow through”. Quite the emerging market for adoption: Chippewa valley.
World Magazine featured serial adopters Jay and Suzanne Faske from Brenham, Texas, already having adopted 12 children, now going for 15, supposedly they rather raise a support group than a family.
In January the BBC already reported on babies being removed from their homes to meet adoption targets set. “In 2000, ministers set a target of a 50% increase in the number of children in local authority being adopted by March 2006”. This month The Independent paid attention to the Pauline Goodwin case already covered by the Telegraph in August, while the Nottingham Evening Post covered the Rachel Pullen case, both women claim social services took away their babies to put them in foster care as easily adoptable infants, in order to meet the targets set.
In the USA, Ethica, “a voice for ethical adoption” released their latest statement in which they “strongly support the processing of pending cases to completion” and will “join the Department of State, JCICS, NCFA, and others in requesting that agencies refrain from issuing new referrals, and strongly urge adoptive families not to begin a new adoption from Guatemala at this time”. It almost looks as if the adoption industry creates its own breed of critics to control the debate at any level.
Malawi was again in the news this month. For once Madonna was not the centre of attention, but Dutch adoption agency “Kind en Toekomst” as they finalised their first inter-country adoption from the African country. It seems more and more countries are becoming part of the open market of inter-country adoption with further ratification the Hague Convention. Was this conference intended to be a civil rights agreement or a trade agreement?
Elsewhere on the continent of Africa, in the Chad, French humanitarian aid organization “Arche de Zoe” tried 'rescuing' 103 African 'orphans', but got caught. Six of their members and three journalists were arrested and charged with child abduction and fraud. Their founder is the former president of the French Association for SUV's and former fireman, Eric Breteau. In his former position he was quoted to have said “SUVs have the right to drive everywhere, just like other vehicles”. Obviously for this “saviour” the rights of rich men's vehicles count more than the rights of poor men's children.
This month Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited was published, a book written by Elyse Schein and Paula Bernsteins, twins separated at birth in the 1960's by now defunct adoption agency Louise Wise Services and unaware of each other's existence placed for adoption. This all as part of a twin study performed by psychiatrist Peter Neubauer from 1953 to 1997. Only look at the origins of the names and think back of twin studies from the past.
Dutch television aired a documentary under the title “De Markt voor Adoptie” (the market for adoption), dealing with inter-country adoption as an overheated buyers market. Domestic adoption in the Netherlands has become a rarity, hence prospective adopters look primarily abroad for children. Dutch agencies that play by the rules, receive less children than US agencies that have less rules to play by. Ironically more and more Dutch prospective adopters seek refuge on the American adoption market, where adoption attorneys are willing and able to provide healthy, young white infants for couples that are able to afford the dollars involved.
What's to be expected of the upcoming month: probably more superfluous celebrity hogwash, lot's of self-appraisal all month long, since the USA celebrates its annual National Adoption Month. The UK will be having their annual National Adoption Week in that same period. Poor bastards of the UK, getting only a week. Be comforted with the thought the Netherlands and Belgium each only have an Adoption Day and it's not even an official national one.
The National Council for Adoption will hold their ultimate party for adoptive families, “Kids at heart”, cosily featuring families who have just finalized their foster care program adoptions during New York's adoption week, which happens to coincides with National Adoption Month too. For $50.000 you can become President Circle Sponsor, which includes an invitation to an exclusive briefing “to meet members of Congress and national and international adoption experts” and a whopping 25 “complimentary family passes to the event”, which must be enough for even the most avid serial adopter.
Touched by Adoption
© Pound Pup Legacy 2007