The orphan planes

Times have changed since the great depression, the time when the last orphan trains rode. Nowadays it's the Siberian express and the means of transportation has changed to airplanes, but other than that it looks exactly the same to me.

Lighthouse project links Russian orphans, American families

Friday, April 04, 2008


Family Talk Magazine

Fourteen children recently made the long journey from Russia to southwestern Michigan. They brought clothes and keepsakes in hopes of securing the one thing missing from their lives: parents.

The youngsters hope to join the 500 orphans who have already found adoptive homes in America through the Russian Orphan Lighthouse Project, founded in 1993.

``What we're really after long-term is adoptive families,'' said Becky De Nooy, Grand Rapids Lighthouse Project coordinator.

Russian adoptions require two trips to Russia -- one to meet their child and another to finalize the adoption.

But when families work through the Lighthouse Project, the Russian government generally counts the time spent with the child in America as the first visit, so families typically only need to go to Russia one time. It can take as little as three to nine months after the children return to Russia for the families to be invited to finalize the adoption.

During the periodic trips of Russian orphans to the U.S. in search of permanent homes, host families are needed, who often end up providing more than temporary housing for the program.

About 40 percent of host families ultimately become adoptive families, according to De Nooy.

Family Talk magazine appears in the Kalamazoo Gazette on the first Friday of every month. Look for a family-related story every Friday in the Today section.


Good thing I wasn't swallowing...

I was just about to sip my drink when I read: 

"What we're really after long-term is adoptive families,'' said Becky De Nooy, Grand Rapids Lighthouse Project coordinator.

I think what she MEANT to say is, "we are really looking for long-term salaries made by and through the rapid selling of other families' children", but I think that would have sounded a bit too coarse and truthful for the general public wanting to welcome a new child to a newly decorated bedroom.

An unfortunate reaction.

It's very unfortunate that you had this reaction - and even more unfortunate that you chose to post it. Just a little research - not much, just a little, would have revealed to you that you couldn't have been more wrong about this.

Becky is an unpaid volunteer that has devoted much of herself to helping these children find families. These children live in orphanages with very few resources, few options for life when they age out, and even less hope of ever having what every child deserves - a family to call their own.

It is certainly true that there are paid individuals within the Lighthouse Project organization. What is equally true is that they spend countless hours working tirelessly to help these kids find families - and devote their hearts and emotions to the project. Would you begrudge them their salaries when they are working for such a noble cause?

As for the adoptive parents - the paperwork required, the administrative hurdles imposed by the US and Russian governments, and the financial impact is significant. I have yet to meet an adoptive family through The Lighthouse Project that wasn't doing this because they felt called to.

Given the conspiratorial tone of the previous post, I may be accused of being a paid spokesperson for the program - I'm not. I've recently returned from Russia as the adoptive father of one of these orphans. Our family didn't set out to welcome a teenage boy "to a newly decorated bedroom", but we are certainly glad that he is now part of our family.

My hope for you Kerry is that you reach a point where the hardness in your heart softens enough to feel for these children that have no other hope for a family.

just because a person is

just because a person is pro-adoption does not mean that person gives a rat-shit about a child's best interest.

"Just a little research"

"Just a little research - not much, just a little, would have revealed to you..." how Russian orphans placed in (some) adoptive homes have fared.  [See Russia's abuse cases .]  

My hope for you Kerry is that you reach a point where the hardness in your heart softens enough to feel for these children that have no other hope for a family.

Personal experience has taught me not all adoption workers (paid or not) do their homework, so if my harsh attitude does not sit well with an anonymous poster, I suggest you read more about the "behind the scene stories" of the adoption industry, especially as it relates to child trafficking.  I believe (as an AP) you will soon see just how soft my heart IS for parents AND children.

Last but not least, as an adult adoptee who is trying to educate others about the many forms of abuse that take place post-placement, I believe the words spoken by one martyr said it best: "There but for the grace of God, (go I)" .


The closest I know...

To a Russian adoption is an adoption from Romania.  Even coming home at almost four years old, the evidence is clear that
her emotional needs were not met.  And the very nice family she was adopted into just did not react to the non-bonding child she was/is.  I just could not have taken what they take in such a loving manner.  The lack of emotions and empathy were met with love and acceptance; yet, is this a way to live?  I don't know.  I didn't even see it in my own son and daughter.  And this is why it is so dangerous to go country-hopping, accepting any child for the sake of adopting a child.  Some AP's choose to be blind to needs and just settle for the fact that "I did it"  I adopted a child! 

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

More concerning

it is so dangerous to go country-hopping, accepting any child for the sake of adopting a child.  Some AP's choose to be blind to needs and just settle for the fact that "I did it"  I adopted a child! 

Well, according to this Lighthouse Project Program, PAP's are not even required to hop back-and-forth from sending-to-receiving country:

But when families work through the Lighthouse Project, the Russian government generally counts the time spent with the child in America as the first visit, so families typically only need to go to Russia one time. It can take as little as three to nine months after the children return to Russia for the families to be invited to finalize the adoption.  [From above, original article]

 [Removing this "pesky little travel problem" reminds me of the Holt's approach described in Kimette's blog.]

Rather than letting a child meet his/her PAP on their "own turf", the "unwanted orphan child" is put on a plane (with others from their now-former-residence) and brought to a new country, complete with different language, culture and visual familiarity.  Sure sounds like a little game of Russian Roulette... don't you think?

yes, it does...

It does sound like that, Kerry.  But this is nothing new.  Korea for years only required parents to pick their child up at the airport in the states.  At the very least, these AP's are seen by the country....  LOL....  isn't that sick?  Some countries in South America have always required the PAP's to visit the country for up to a month while the paperwork was being done to finalize the adoption.  I know one family who adopted from SA and went down there to find out that the child was retarded and had C.P.  and how they stayed and did adopt that child and brought that child home.  I visited that family right after they came home and saw the devastation in their eyes; and there I was with two normal little boys that just twisted the knife deeper into their hearts.
They became martyrs with grief-stricken faces.  They did love that child.  But the best thing they could have done was to adopt again and balance the grief with a little happiness and given that child even more.  I know you won't agree with me on this, but that couple's child is now 18 and has been placed in an in-community group home about 50 miles from here.  They spent these years in such grief and agony over not having the family they thought they would have. 
I adopted a child with C.P. and MANY unknowns; he is also in another placement about 40 miles from here.  He does have a good life in that they can watch him 24/7 and provide the different people it takes to handle a child with such high needs.  Both families adopted children knowing of some of the needs.  But not knowing all the needs.  And this is what I see in these Russian adoptions:  not enough knowledge and education to make an informed decision that will affect the rest of their and the child's lives.  People only see the now instead of what could be.  Adoption is very scary; nothing to be gone into with so little time taken to think it through and plans made for what might/could happen.  All for the sake of getting what they want, fast.

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

until it freezes over

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and nobel desires, but it's still the wrong direction. Among all the people that adopt from other countries and all the people that work to get children adopted from other countries, there are certainly plenty who do so with the best intentions. Question remains, whether they do any good. Sure some children will find a good family who would otherwise have had a much bleaker future. Other's end up finding homes that are ill-prepared or are not as loving as it had seemed when the future was still depicted in the brochure. If adoption from abroad were such a good idea, why do so many adoptions end in disruption and why do some end up being killed, abused or being taken advantage of.

At the same time, keeping the flow of children coming to the rich western world going, keeps sending countries from doing for their own children what they need to do. It's not that Russia, China or South Korea cannot take care of their own. I've said it before and I will say it again: "If you can organize the Olympics, you must be able to take care of your own population". Some countries are indeed dirt poor, Ethiopia being a good example, but those countries are not helped if we ship four or five thousand of their children each year. Is Ethiopia doing better now than it was 10 years ago when there was no adoption from that country? Are children in Ethiopia better off now than they were ever before?

It's a fallacy to think adoption is helping children and poor countries. It is helping rich people either feel good about themselves (until reality catches up), or to fulfill the desire to have a child that didn't come naturally. Of course it is all in the name of a child's best interest, but then again, that was a definition created by adults all along.

I never quite fully understood

Neils wrote:
If adoption from abroad were such a good idea, why do so many adoptions end in disruption and why do some end up being killed, abused or being taken advantage of.

As an advocate for the adoption of older children from foster care, I never quite fully understood the appeal of adopting older children abroad.  It's not like there's a shortage of legally free domestic foster children.  Adoption abroad is significantly more expensive and often takes longer than domestic older child adoption.

The due diligence required in properly vetting both child and prospective parents is much easier accomplished in close proximity than from a great distance.  We had several extended weekend visits followed by a lengthy placement in our home before our adoption was final.  We were not asked to make a final decision under duress thousands of miles from home - with limited exposure to the child we wished to adopt.

We relied on domestic medical records which I believe to be more reliable and required no "translation" into English.  Had we wanted an independent medical or behavioral evaluation, we could have had our children examined *in person* by our physicians.  I can't tell you how many horror stories I've heard from international adoptive parents who brought a child home only to discover there were significant undisclosed medical and/or behavioral issues.

There are far fewer post placement services for parents of internationally adopted children.  Our agency specialized in hard to place domestic children, but they soon gained a reputation as the place to call when overseas adoptions turned bad. Far too many foreign adoption agencies provide little or no post placement services.

Before we place all the blame on the adoptive parents and their agencies, let's not pretend that a significant percentage of children adopted internationally haven't been abused, neglected, or damaged in utero by drugs or alcohol.  While this forum would rather not address abuse/neglect at the hands of biological parents, it would be foolish not to consider the impact of biological parent abuse prior to placement as a contributing factor in post placement disruptions.


My own "special interest"

I personally have a difficult time understanding why so many Americans want to adopt from other countries, given the many numbers of children in the USA who need help and the complications you described.  As I state many times, I simply don't see the "many benefits" International Adoption brings a family, unless you consider the many economic benefits/incentives child-selling brings a government and private adoption/health-care agencies.   I suppose in this regard, I have a very basic belief that help for families and children should begin "at "home" and within our own back-yards.  [In fact, maybe if each government took a little more interest in the safety and well-being of "their own" children, the number of those living in abominable, less-than-acceptable conditions would be much, much less!]

The fact that many children are born to drug addicted/abusive parents does not at all mean ALL children put in "out-placement" (foster care/orphanages/children's homes) have abusive parents/extended families or pre-existing medical conditions that were caused by poor maternal (pre-natal) care.  So while I agree there are many scary unstable people having babies, I cannot accept the belief that each "placed child" comes with a laundry list of medical disorders/disabilities, and a family legacy that is tainted will all sorts of horrible stories.  In many cases, I believe the very worst thing you can be in this world is a young family with financial trouble.

In any case, knowing how adoption quotas operate, it should not be a shocking surprise to learn people who work in family services do, on occasion, LIE!  Why?  Selling "healthy children" to people who are eager to be parents can bring in LOTS of money.

Now, we can be a website that features the sadistic side of biologic families, but I think that angle seems to be covered quite well by other websites/forms of media.  What most people DON'T get to see is the dark-side of family services, and how that dark-side affects people and their opinions.  Contrary to popular belief adoption DOES create it's own breed of victims, and I think these are stories that need to be told.  With that in mind, after reading all the articles we DO feature, how can any PAP be absolutely certain the abuse/neglect experienced by a "waiting child" was caused by the first-parents (and not the result of being "in temporary care")? 

How many AP's are not told the child "available for adoption" was actually stolen (or coerced) from his/her parents?

How many AP's are not told about sexual abuse that took place in a foster home or orphanage?

How many AP's are told one thing about their "promised child", only to learn everything promised was not remotely true? [It's amazing how some adoption agencies operate!]

I believe MANY AP's are relying on facts, when sadly, much of what they are getting is fiction.  How does something like that translate?  MORE innocent lives are going to get torn apart because too many people are basing their life-decisions on wishful thinking.

If you ask me, I think it's foolish to believe everything that comes out of the adoption industry is completely honest and I believe this type of deception is exactly why many adopted children end-up being removed from their adoptive homes, only to be put back in "state/institutional care".

Why did I do it...

I was older.  I did not qualify for a "normal, healthy, infant" and having gone through the foster care system and experiencing the damage of 12 children that AMERICA help destroy;  I went overseas because I hoped that maybe other countries didn't abuse their children like America does.  But they do...
My situation is the extreme.  Maybe dad's is not.  So we are getting two sides of the adoption issue right here with two different outcomes.  Kerry, you are in the middle and I hope can see both side.  dad was given the option of having the child in foster care and seeing for himself if he and his family could accept, love and raise a child that was not their's biologically.  They obviously made the decision to keep the children they adopted; and obviously, so far, this is working out for them.  I see you, dad, as a part of a determined "team" (husband and wife) who has the ability to love and give, while accepting what is given to you.  I do not own those qualities because of my childhood abuse and eventual abuse by my husband.  I am only half of a team trying to be a whole team. 
dad, it worked for you...  it doesn't "work" for everyone who tries this.  I think your children are still very young and that you don't have a lot of children; which makes it possible for your team to work together and meet the needs of these children.  I'm jealous of your ability and your teamwork.  But you are an example that it can be done. 
I just could not accept the extent of abuse and acting out of the 11 foster children I had in my home; one little boy was different and he went to his father.  Going overseas is how people try to avoid the abused children in the American foster care system.  We truly believe it will be different by going overseas; we are very deceived by the agencies who present these children as "normal, healthy children who just need a home."  In America, and with the ability to have the child in the home before deciding to adopt or not, there is still a lot of lying and misrepresentation going on...  I feel it is just the ability of some people to accept any and all circumstances surrounding a child that makes it possible to have a good adoption experience for the child as well as the parents.  But for any of us to think we are better for the child/children than their real parents is just so much hogwash. 
Like Kerry pointed out:  if people were putting the child's best interest first, then we would be seeing more people giving money to keep the families intact instead of the humongous amounts of money to adopt.  There is just so much "self satisfaction" involved in adoption that it gets in the way of the child's best interest.  And no child can live up to the real expectations of an Adoptive Parent without there being damage done to that child.  I've seen it, done it, and experienced it from the point of  a bio child who couldn't even be what my own parents wanted me to be.  They wanted me to be seen and not heard.  Exist and not need anything.  And I see this with many adoptive parents and know of adopted children who just could not be what was expected from the adoptive parents.  We ask too much.  We get disappointed because of the lies that were told to us.  And many, many children suffer.
Adoption was a good idea.  But adoption didn't take into consideration the abuses/losses that people have suffered to bring them to the place of seeking to adopt.  They won't admit it to you because it would be more loss of self to admit there was a deficiency in them somewhere that urged them to seek another person's child to fill that void.  Children can not fulfill the emotional needs of an adult but many people give it a try.  And what results are the thousands upon thousands of abuses being reported and observed in these adoptive families.
You ask how someone could abuse a child so severely as to kill it or maim it?  Because the child didn't know he/she was there to heal the AP's pain and emptiness; he/she was "told or presented" as they would be loved and cherished for who they are, not what they were to give the AP's and their family.  NO child comes "home" knowing there is something required of them.  NO child has the ability to fulfill the emotional needs of an adult.  And ALL people who seek adoption have many losses and emotional needs they are seeking to appease.
This is why adoption is wrong.

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

"filling voids"

I really appreciate your input because I think you represent the AP who was sold a lot of crap, just because you showed an interest in adoption.  You see, I believe far too many state governments want to be relieved of the financial costs "child welfare" brings each year, so they will push the adoption platform so others can pay for the problems created by "poor care". 

Sadly, I believe few want to discuss the failures adoption bring simply because for too many decades, too many people have been investing their focus on the adoption-option.... as if there aren't better options for a child in need of care.

Going overseas...

Teddy wrote:
I think your children are still very young and that you don't have a lot of children; which makes it possible for your team to work together and meet the needs of these children.

I'm not sure what you mean by "very young", but my "children" are now 19 and 16 years old.  They were placed in our family when they were both 5 years old.  My wife and I will both turn 50 this year.  You can do the math.

I have been blessed in that I was raised by excellent parents.  My mom and dad stood by me no matter what.  I wasn't the easiest child (or teenager) to raise by any means.  My parents weren't perfect, but there was no abuse, no neglect, no drugs, no alcohol, no mental illness, and no violence within our family.  I like to think of my parents as "perfectly flawed" -  and I'd like to believe I am half the father to my son that my dad was for me.

My wife grew up in a biological family with so many dysfunctions.  She was molested at age six by an extended family member.  Her father suffered from schizophrenia and would become paranoid and violent when off his meds.  She witnessed her father's violent death by suicide when she was only ten years old.  There's more - but you get the picture.

Today she's a very good mom, wife, teacher, and she has lots of close friends.  Some people overcome the dysfunction within their own families - some people ultimately succumb to it.

Going overseas is how people try to avoid the abused children in the American foster care system.

I never quite understood this line of thought.  What makes a person think that children in state care in a foreign land are significantly different than children in similar circumstances here?  With the possible exception of China, the reasons overseas children are in state care are the same within our own borders.

Here's an article written by the director of our agency more than 10 years ago.  I've posted this many times over the years, old adoption dog that I am.


Back in February of 1994, we began receiving calls from families we did not know, in states outside of our service area, asking us if we could find another family for the child they had adopted and brought home from Eastern Europe. "We just can't continue," they would say sadly. "We've heard that your agency finds good families for Special kids. Can you do that for our son (or daughter)?"

We didn't think much about this (other than to grieve with these disrupting parents and see how we could help) until the calls kept coming and coming. We started charting these calls and started asking colleagues around the country:

What's happening? Why all these disruption calls? And - Why are they calling us - strangers to them - why aren't they calling their own agencies? We've sure learned a lot about this sad phenomenon since that first contact back in 1994.

I wanted to take the opportunity here to you at this, the five-year point. I would like to tell you that this was a brief flash in the pan and it has stopped. It hasn't. The calls continue to come.

As of March 31, 1999:

- Total number of Eastern European-born children, adopted into the US, whom we have been asked to replace: 78

- That comes out to be 78 in 61 months - more than one request a month, steadily for five years.

- Child's average age when placed with the family: 5.2 years old

- Child's average age when the family called TLS: 7.0 years old (These are averages - youngest child we were asked to replace was 8 months old, eldest child was 15 years old.)

- About even on gender: 38 girls; 40 boys.

- Number of US states the families have called from: 27

- Countries of origin of the children:
Bulgaria -1
Estonia - 3
Georgia - 4
Lithuania - 1
Moldavia - 1
Poland - 2
Romania - 14
Russia - 50
Ukraine - 2

The families who call are sad, angry, scared, disappointed. The behaviors of the children have brought them to their knees. The behaviors they each describe are all so similar and pretty much can be found on the checklists for Reactive Attachment Disorder. Nowadays, by the time the families get to us, they have already had the child tested and evaluated and the parent rattles off to us over the phone the many diagnoses the child has: Attention Deficit Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Hyperactivity, Learning Disabilities, possible Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, etc. etc.

I have become rather tedious on this subject, I know. I have exclaimed about it to colleagues in other agencies, talked about it at Joint Council meetings, consulted with Attachment therapists ("Are you seeing lots of kids adopted from
Eastern Europe?")..

Many international agency people would like me to clam up and stop already about this subject. Believe me, I'd like to. But then the next call comes from Massachusetts or Illinois or Texas and the story is the same and we try as best we can to help another devastated family.

As long as there are adoptions, there will be disruptions. We hate this but we accept it as truth. However, the numbers of disruptions of Eastern European born children are too high - way out of line. Yes, I know that Russia is sending thousands of children to the US for adoption and statistically speaking, 50 kids (see above) is tiny. Yes, I know that the only numbers available are those TLS has been keeping and these comprise a count which is necessarily skewed. No one calls from Idaho to tell me how GREAT their child is doing. Still - there's too much of it. Kids have been coming for adoption for over 40 years from other countries. Ask anyone who has been around during that time working in this field. If they are being honest, they will attest to the fact that we as a profession have never seen this number of kids with such severe problems all coming from one part of the world resulting in their adoptive families seeking to disrupt the adoption.

At the risk of being still more tedious, I will again offer for consideration the following things we believe in and practice and advocate for all adoptions. This is how to lessen the number of disruptions. Our 27-year-old program placing only Special kids is living proof of this:

- Solid, Realistic, Educational pre-adoption Family Preparation (and no, this can't be achieved in a weekend or a couple of hours) comprised of lots of information, hard questions and a practice of parent SELF-ASSESSMENT as opposed to agency investigation of parents.

- Meticulous review of background information on the child by the family and the agency worker - asking questions, pointing out red flags.

- Supportive and nurturing post-placement services by the agency which did the Home Study.

- Ongoing post-finalization services as needed over time over the life of the family. I.e. - the agency responds whenever and for whatever is needed.

EVERY child coming from an orphanage is a Special Needs child - whether s/he is one month old or twelve years old. The sooner placing agencies start leveling with interested families about this fact and prepare families for this, the more likely it will be that TLS will experience a decline in the numbers of disruption calls coming our way.

< end >

where I come from...

"Going overseas is how people try to avoid the abused children in the American foster care system."

I guess it's the people that I know personally around here who have gone overseas to adopt; and from what we have seen and experienced in the foster care system, overseas looked pretty good.  Looking back it was a huge mistake for some, but not all of my adoptions.  My first two are wonderful young men; and my last two are the same even recovering from the abuse of the three middle ones.  So I see both sides of the adoption option.
I thought your kids were younger; so maybe you did make it.  Maybe I just want to see and think the worst for everyone because I have experienced some of the very worst that anyone could dare to imagine.  Maybe I envy you...
Overseas meant, for me, acceptance whereas the US only placed with me some of their worst cases of abuse and sickened me on adopting in the US.  If I would have stopped with my first two overseas adoptions, things would have been 100% better for this family.  These two are simply wonderful in every way.  I wanted a girl.  We were getting older.  We were told we had to settle for special needs or be turned down.  That was a lie.  It was to place those unplaceable children that no one wanted.  I'm not making this up.  It happened to several of my friends; and then we watched while "normal, healthy children were placed with other couples who had won the hearts of the social worker.  We were furious!  And in talking recently to one of the couples who are now 60 and their youngest is 8... we both realized that we had been harshly lied to about several of our children and how it has negatively affected our lives as older parents. 

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

that magical place

Teddy wrote:
I thought your kids were younger; so maybe you did make it.

We haven't arrived at that magical place, if it actually exists.  There is no finish line although some times I feel we're ultimately moving in the right direction.

Maybe I just want to see and think the worst for everyone because I have experienced some of the very worst that anyone could dare to imagine.  Maybe I envy you...

Do not waste your envy on me.  We have had our share of difficulty raising our children.  My son had some very rough times in 2007 which almost resulted in the break up of our family.  We were lucky to come through it intact.

I do not claim "success" as an adoptive parent.  I'm not even altogether sure what that really means.  Ultimately, my children's opinion on that matter counts far more than mine.  Not to worry, they may have children of their own to answer to some day.



Thanks for being so human and open...

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

The moment of truth

Ultimately, my children's opinion on that matter counts far more than mine.  Not to worry, they may have children of their own to answer to some day

For me, personally, I did not begin to feel the enormity of my grief and pain (related to "adoption", itself) until I had my own children.  It's a grief and pain that has yet to go away, and it's a grief that comes in two-parts -- there is the pain caused by my biologic family; and there is the pain caused by my AP's.  In a world where everyone expects the adopted child to be grateful/thankful for their adoption, I found myself going deeper and deeper into my painful grief.



Home and Overseas

I think every child entering the "placement system" represents an entire family with special needs, so I'm not all that sure adoption is always the best solution for each family... nevertheless, I'd like to address the following questions mentioned within the above comment:

What's happening? Why all these disruption calls? And - Why are they calling us - strangers to them - why aren't they calling their own agencies?

I was in my early 30's when I started to "seriously" search for my birth records.  I only knew of "big-name" adoption agency names like Catholic Charities, Holt, and Pearl Buck, so I had automatically assumed the adoption agency my AP's used would still be in operation.... or at least have my records saved safely in some archive for me.  I laugh thinking about how stupid and naive I really was back then...  As angry and upset as I was learning the things that I did, I also felt bad for the SW caught in the middle of my new-found misery.  It was not fair some Adoption Counselor had to explain to a distraught woman why so much information was missing, when that SW never worked for the agency-in-question.  All she could do was tell me what gets told to many people looking for records, and you know what?  The fact that she had said the same well-spoken words to so many people made matters so much worse.

I believe many international agencies are shut-down for reasons that include money laundering, child trafficking and a wide variety of other adoption scams.  In fact, I have learned a "bad agency" may indeed get reported, investigated and closed, but that does not always mean vital facts and records are going to be found (it's amazing how many files can get "lost" or "destroyed" right before a formal investigation), and a shut-down agency does not mean "questionable" operators will leave the adoption business, completely.  

Sadly for ALL parents involved, once an adoption is made final, there is very little parents/APs can do.  So when a parent learns he/she has been lied to, what sort of recourse is there?  [This is where health-care can become such a real horrible messy issue, too!]

Since we started posting articles about adoption agencies, I have been able to grow a sincere concern and compassion for the many MANY AP's who write about their personal experiences, detailing the many ways unethical, unscrupulous political leaders, priests, medical professionals, lawyers AND adoption agencies devestate unsuspecting people.  However, I wonder just how many PAP see how their insatiable desire to adopt helps create the mess we keep seeing and repeating.

 I can understand how the adopting-community would like to think "all children coming from an orphanage is a Special Needs child".   I just don't think that many people know just how different and twisted "special needs" can be for the child put on the adoption-block.  [Yes, I think some cases are more "special" and more "needy" than others... but then that's a different topic altogether!]


Bottom line for me is this -- NO ONE should be hurt because of the personal greed that takes place within the adoption industry... and yet, what "should" take place, and what actually takes place are often two VERY DIFFERENT things. 

All of this makes me want to ask:  why does adoption have to be the only way and means a child "put-in-care" will get "special attention" from complete strangers?  Is adoption really the only way a child's long-term needs can be fulfilled and what can be done about the Lauryn Galindo's in the adoption-world?

some of my thoughts

Even though our website focusses on the dark side of child placement, it would be foolish not to acknowledge the abuse taking place in natural families. I won't deny it, but I won't emphasize it either. There are plenty of organizations that focus on child abuse, but very few organizations and websites look at the wrong doings within the child placement system, so that is our main focus.

As a result of that I am a bit reluctant about child placement in general. I know there are cases where it truely is in the child's best interest to be removed from an abusive family, but over the years I have come accross many cases where out placement was done, because it was the safest option for the case workers involved. Whenever a child dies within its natural familiy, CPS takes the heat for not having properly protected that child and as a result, children are being removed just in case. On top of that there are several cases where incentives, quota and targets have influenced the placement decision.

From that perspective, I am usually cautious when it comes to out-placement. Some cases are cut 'n dry, but most are not. Even when it is clear a child is better off living outside the family it was born in, I am generally not in favour of adoption, which has more to do with the history of adoption as the creator of an "as if by nature" family. I don't like the name changes, I don't don't like the sealing of identity, I don't like the pretense, which is the historical origin of adoption. I know some children need a family to live with and some need a place to call home, but I would hope we can get rid of the make belief traditional adoption brings to the table.

What I hear...

This seems like a short-cut to adoption that a lot of people will seek out...  and again, just like we've said, without the time invested to check out these PAP's and them to seek more information about these children, there is heartache headed their way.  I'll bet these are mostly first time adopters or older people who want to adopt, to fall for this.
Sorry, but this doesn't even make any sense to me other than another scheme to shorten the adoption process and place children with too many unknowns.

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

The only thing that scares

The only thing that scares me is rich greedy people. Shorten the adoption period the faster child trafficking money can be made. But you when it comes right down to it.... at least we know what to expect. It makes swallowing this BS little easier..

Length of wait

Shorten the adoption period the faster child trafficking money can be made.

I agree with you, seeing how so few want to adopt an older child, and how many want to buy themselves "a new baby", the rule of shortening the adoption period, (as suggested by this AP/Actress in Australia) , definitely makes me think child-trafficking can easily go on the rise in money-hungry countries.

My belief and feeling from

My belief and feeling from being a part of it is adoption is child trafficking. Till children are placed in homes ONLY when absolutely necessary and no one makes profit from it then I will think differently and it could be called adoption once again. So it will pick up for sure... fast quick money off children... I am sure for some it's a dream come true :)
Especially all those poor suckers out there... who think they are doing a good thing... and maybe 1 out of every 10 is... that is about the ratio of good stories I hear and bad stories... perhaps I am even being a bit kind.

Faster adoptions means faster child trafficking income. And the more lucrative it becomes... how is selling drugs and selling child any different. I have seen alot of my being passed around between people as a kid (remember I was there for it all)... and meeting points in the middle of the night as I hop 1 car to another and off with another stranger... Funny how I grew up on the streets and seen people there doing the same thing... but it was called pimping or drug dealing....

Perhaps we could call drug dealing.... adoption to and get it made legal?

I know some just read that and are scratching their heads going "wtf is that guy smoking" But I think you need to be in the middle of both these types of transactions from a spectators position like I have been to understand..or maybe not.


You crack me up!  <giggle>

Perhaps we could call drug dealing.... adoption to and get it made legal?

Dealing... adoption... let's see:    I can definitely see how drugs, "dealing" and adoption can get used in the same life-sentence.  Funny when my Amother was taking mind-numbing drugs, it was "safe" because they were prescribed by a doctor.  When her brother took drugs, he was a criminal.  Go figure.

Here's an equally twisted thought -- knowing how many foster-kids are put on so many medications "for their problems", one has to wonder who's pushing the deal that links "more adoptions" through "more foster-care".  [Perhaps that "more" equals "more" is a bit too cryptic for many people to follow, too.]

Isn't it funny, (in that sad, pathetic sort-of-way), how so many in our state-prisons are in for drugs, and mandatory minimums?  If the pills at home didn't help, maybe what's found on the street might work a bit better?  Who knows how that all operates.  In any case, the link between drugs and child placement is a huge one.... one that more people need to see for themselves.

[You DO know, Bizzi.... people don't like it when we get angry about the many realities behind child-placement and adoption practices.... right?]

Ironically, back when I was on heavy medication, (used to sedate me and keep me from remembering or feeling too much), I had no ability or interest in the real-dealings that were taking place in "family services".  Some might think those years of deadened silence was a sheer blessing.

why over seas

because it is more of a sure thing... I have run into dozens and dozens of people trying to adopt from the USA foster system ... some pay for their home study, many get the free one,.... and then SW after SW does not make a placement.. sometime for good reason, sometime I think just to be mean...

I see kid after kid being raised by foster parents living in the poorest section of town (it isn't because others don't want to help, it is because the poorer people have nothing to loose... )

the whole system is screwed... I have even heard that Missouri and California in particlar send a lot of USA kids to Canada...

Attachment disorder is actually a problem

and causing a lot of problems for kids in foster care in the USA... sad fact is a lot do have exposure to drugs, etc.. and have behavior and learning problems because of that... meth has hit most of our country hard... causing in more problems...

there isn't help for most people who adopt from foster care either, much less the international... if you look at the federal laws, apparently most of the help is actually supposed to come from local public schools which get the funding.... dependening on where you live, no one gets that help (something I just recently found out, but really, public schools are supposed to provide most of the services for any child with problems from ages 3 to 21....)

my son, who actually still have charges pending from sexually assulting a neighbor at 1am in the morning about 8 months ago, is not getting access to RTC because of his school district (wtf?) yet medicaid and his sending state have approved funding, I am being told just to place him back in jail...

fucked up system I tell you... all the way around

I agree they should not be bring kids here from other countries when they don't care for the kids here already...


if no one made money

I think that goes for in the USA too, I mean with public foster care, when people stop making money off this crap, then kids will get treated right...

I think that is the main problem

Pound Pup Legacy