When is adoption an acceptable option?

Over the last couple of days I've been following a heated debate that followed the death of Chase Harrison/Dmitry Yakovlev, where proponents and opponents of adoption were caught up in a endless feud that seemed to have resulted in a temporary cease fire, only to be picked up at another time and another place.

What started as a factual summary of the circumstances of this Russian boy's death, led to a purging of all that is right and wrong in adoption, dished up in pro- and anti-adoption rhetoric, all in an attempt to beat the other sides of the triangle. It all ended in insult and name calling, hardly a fruitful way to approach the changes needed in child placement.

As to be expected in a battle of the forces, the entire "triad" was present to defend it's side of the three-faced coin and beating their own particular drum. All atrocities involved in child placement were dug up, from coercion to crack babies, from adopted serial killers to baby baking cradle robbers, all nicely decorated with the occasional fuck you/fuck you too.

In the undertow of the accusatory cacophony of opinion was a theme though, the question when adoption is an acceptable option and I'd like to address that issue in the remainder of this post.

At the risk of being labeled anti-adoption, which due to its connotation seems to equate utter and total retardation, I don't believe adoption is a viable option in most situations. Those opposed to the anti-adoption point of view will call this extremist, but as I will explain, I believe adoption is the extreme, not its opposition.

Since there is no single form of adoption, let's like to look at the various types of adoption and how they fit into the entire realm of child placement.

Domestic Infant adoption

While almost absent in most Western European countries, domestic infant adoption is still an ongoing business in the United States. Certainly the waiting lists are much longer nowadays than they were twenty/thirty years ago, but as an institute it hasn't disappeared like it has in Sweden and the Netherlands.

The fact most Western European countries hardly know any domestic infant adoption at all, demonstrates it is unnecessary, hence opposing it can hardly qualify as extremism. It's not in the child's best interest to be taken away from its natural parents, in the long term it's not in the natural parents interest to relinquish a child, so it only serves people wanting to adopt.

Despite two congressional hearings about baby brokering, one in 1976 and another one in 1984, not much has been done to bring down the numbers of domestic infant adoption. The reason numbers have dropped significantly can be contributed to better availability of birth control and the legality of abortion.  In fact the US government has, during the last seven years subsidized infant adoption awareness programs and has been a huge proclaimer of abstinence only sex education, both measure that run counter to bringing down the numbers.

If the government were willing to change the situation and had the potency to do so, the issue could be solved, especially if we look at the two main contributers to domestic infant adoption: teens and poor families that have already too many mouths to feed. The first group can best be served by proper sex education and easy availability of birth control, while the latter group requires better low income wages. As long as low income jobs can't supply the money needed to raise a family, the situation will be perpetuated.

Domestic infant adoption is a social problem, much more than a legal issue. The phenomenon in Western Europe didn't cease to exist because legislative measures were taken, but because the right educational and social services were implemented and because reasonable minimum wages were maintained.

Adoption from foster care

With adoption from foster care we touch upon a much more intricate subject. Where relinquishment in infant adoption is in theory a choice, placement into foster care is always forced. Here we enter the mine field of the various Child Protection Services and almost every state has serious issues going on. First off the work of Child Protection Services is a difficult one. Even under the most ideal circumstances there will be false negatives (children that needed to be placed out, but weren't) and there will be false positives (children that didn't need to be placed out, but were anyway). Still CPS does a bad job either way, there are far too many false positives and far too many false negatives.

One of the main factors in the malfunctioning of CPS is the complete lack of over sight over the workings of the agencies involved. All their businesses are protected by closed family court proceedings, much more to the protection of the agencies than to the protection of children on whose behalf they claim to work. It even goes so far that court proceedings remain closed if a child has died, supposedly to protect its privacy. This is all of course according to the letter of the law, but I believe it goes against the intent of the law. No dead child needs privacy protection, but agencies that make capital mistakes want it all the more.

To counter the many problems facing foster care the magical word "permanency" has been invented and with that magical word a whole array of subsidies, targets and quota have been instantiated to take children out of the foster care system and place them in permanent homes. All to often these permanent homes are also qualified as "loving" to sugar coat the practice even more, while little or no guarantees are provided that these homes are even suited to the child, let alone being "loving".

The problem with the push to permanency is that it only brings more children into the foster care system. As with all targets and quota systems the incentives offered usually have huge side effects. Reaching the target becomes a bigger responsibility than doing a proper job and with that comes a rise in false positives and false negatives. Young children from poor and uneducated families become easy prey, because they are highly adoptable, while older children from abusive families are ignored, because not many people want to adopt troubled, damaged older children.

I believe there is also something wrong with the notion permanency = adoption. While some children certainly need a place to live until they are mature enough to live on their own, it doesn't necessarily mean all ties with their origins need to be severed, which in fact, is a point that applies to every form of adoption. I see no need for name changes, no need for amended birth certificates, no need for the entire negation of a child's history, especially not when that child is completely aware of that history.

Whether we want to call permanent placement adoption or legal guardianship is mostly semantical, neither works if not properly implemented. I don't care so much for the word choice here as much as for a proper system that indeed does what is needed for a child.

International Adoption

While the previous two forms of adoption were already complicated, the issue of international adoption has the complexity of the two combined times 100. Like domestic infant adoption it is most of all a buyers market, where the money of people wanting to adopt speaks louder than the interest of a child. In that sense the practices of the baby scoop area have not really disappeared, they have just found another location. The business of International adoption is riddled with coercion and child trafficking, all in the name of saving a poor orphan, a trigger word for many Christians who see it their obligation to take a poor orphan into their home.

So how many of these children are in fact orphans?

Well most of them are not in the true sense of the word. Most of them have a mother and/or a father, though according to American law most are orphans, due to the fact their parents have not claimed them or been able to claim them over a six month period. This deliberately misleading use of the word orphan is one of the most flagrant abuses of language since George Orwell's invention of New Speak in his book 1984.

The tactics of the adoption industry are nowhere so devious and manipulative as in the realm of international adoption. The agencies can portrait themselves as clean, caring and ethical businesses, because most of their dealings take place outside of the American borders, outside the reach of US law, Officially their business is just paperwork, all perfectly accredited according to the Hague trade agreement.

Next to all the lies, the corruption, the trafficking, the down right detrimental effects of losing ones culture, to me the most compelling argument against international adoption is that fact that it doesn't solve a single problem. In fact it creates more "orphans" than it places. The promise of a bright future abroad fuels relinquishment, while the humanitarian aid in the form of adoption agency run baby homes and orphanages has a negative effect on the development of local services for children in need.

International adoption only serves the needs of people wanting to adopt and lines the pockets of those working in the business. Because of that it has no moral grounds for its existence and should be halted altogether. Those who want to do something for the children in poor countries better support the local build up of children's services. It is much more cost effective, for the price of one international adoption, many children can be provided for for years, and helps to build up a country instead of tearing it down.

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oooh we are dangerous

Today I received the following message through PPL's contact form.

Adoption Tyraid

Tom Needham sent a message using the contact form

How ignorant you are!

Your tirade about adoption is false at least every case I am aware of. You talk about servicing the interest of the adopted parents only. There certainly needs to be some reform to the various systems but reforms are slow and there are children in need. When you factor that in with a supply of people that want children to love and care for. That can’t be overlooked as the most viable option.

You seem knowledgeable enough to be dangerous. A child being turned at age 15 with what would equal $5,000 is not a future that sounds good. Many of these children end up prostituting themselves for food and the suicide rate is tremendous. I adopted a Russian boy almost 2 years ago and he is thriving. He had some medical issues that have been managed or corrected relatively easily here; but would have gone untreated had he remained in Russia. Most of our expenses were travel related so he was not purchased or trafficked! He has a great home and a great future! People such as you who imply parents are  selfish should stop pontificating.

Post this I dare you!

Though the message starts proclaiming my ignorance, that very statement is contradicted by the statement: You seem knowledgeable enough to be dangerous. I am glad PPL is taken serious by those that oppose what we stand for. This is a huge encouragement to continue the work we are doing.

The real danger is ignorance

I personally think two years of adoptive parenting is limited in terms of knowing or experiencing how the life-long implications of adoption are for the child bought/brought from another country.   I know for myself, my hard-core adoption issues did not reveal themselves until I was in my 20's, when I needed to know more about the biology that created me.  It wasn't until I was in my thirties that I learned almost all that  I was told about the circumstances behind my adoption were lies, lies and more lies.

Do I blame my adoptive parents for the pain Truth has caused me?  No.  I blame those who made sure only half-truths and white-lies were told to those who had really good intentions.

Unlike this man with limited adoption experience, I know MANY MANY (published and private) cases that defy the angelic-nature of adoption agencies.   Only time will tell who has been victimized by a system that holds it's own version of "full-disclosure".  How many are still daring enough to take those chances?

The truth is, as long as there are adoption advocates who refuse to see and admit there is INDEED a dark side to the practices behind child placement, and those advocates refuse to see how the greed for money from misery affects all people, no family or child is safe from "government protection".

I may be biased, but I think PPL posts expose pieces that prove the deprivation of truth and honesty is every family's greatest enemy.   I may be wrong, but I think it's time an adoption-minded website dares to be different.  

I am an adoptive parent. We

I am an adoptive parent. We have always tried to make sure we have educated ourselves in all aspects, good, bad, ugly before we made any choices.  Unfortunately all that research didn't save us from an unscrupulous agency, we thankfully is now out of business, but you learn and move on.

I grew up around adoption with family (international) and friends. To this day (as adults in their 30's) they all feel extremely positive towards adoption, they all have relationships with their bio family, except cousin who was adopted internationally and despite my aunts encouragement to locate bio family, he does not want to. So it was surprising to me when I first started researching adoption, the whole anti adoption movement. I can completely understand in terms of the "baby snatch" era and those who were never told the truth. I think that is why adoption and adoption education have evovled so much, that most domestic adoptions are completely open. I have had so many discussions with cousin regarding the international aspect and he feels that yes, some people have alot more issues with it and that is ok, he just hates when those people think he should have those feelings and should be hurt and bitter when he is not.

While I agree in a perfect world there would be no adoption. All children would be wanted, they would be in loving and caring homes and there would be no infertility. Unfortunately that is not the world we live in.

Adoption did not cause the many social problems you list above but became an answer, maybe not the most perfect one (though in millions of cases, yes it is).

To me parenting is a priviledge, not a right. So unless every person on this earth who wants to get pregnant is screened and put under the microscope, (made sure they are prepared, required to take classes, make sure they have the financial stability to raise a child) like many of us adoptive parents are, you are still always going to have children who are abused and terrorized, children abandoned, children not wanted by their natural parents.

I worked for years in a major city withpre-teens and  teenagers, sex education, teaching them everything about abstinence, birth control, all their options to keep themselves not only safe of STD's but pregnancy as well. In my city, they can walk into any clinic and get free condoms, they can go in and get themselves placed on the pill. They are educated about this in school, community programs, but do you think they listen, no.  They just truly believe it won't happen to them is one group, the other group are the ones that want the welfare check that goes along with their new child. These are then the children we see in foster care, because their parents are completely ill equipped to handle a child. A child does not ask to be created or born, but that child has every right to a parent who cares, who hugs them and tells them everyday how much they wanted.

You are correct, our CPS system is horrible, ask anyone who works in it. It is frustrating and overwhelming. There is such a lack of funds to hire more social workers and advocates and new cases pour in each day. I my city, they still are on the notion, like you, that biology is best. In fact many times they don't look for permanency, they bounce kids from foster home to foster home, so they don't get "too attached" because they want them back with their bio parents. Meanwhile the bio parents can't seem to get it together whether it be drugs, alcohol, abuse. My good friend has been a foster parent for years, 3 of the 8 kids she has had that have been sent back to their "parents" went on to be killed, despite her insistence that each time these kids came back from visits with their parents, they changed back into the scared horrified little children that she had when they were first placed with her. Why do we do this to children? Drugs, alcohol, abuse were not created by adoption, they created themselves. adoption gives kids in these situations a chance. Yes you hear about the bad adoptive parents, but if you look at the numbers, they are in such the minority out there.

I agree, all ties shouldn't be cut with the biological family, children should know the truth, in an age appropriate manner, they should be able to communicate with their bio family in a safe and secure manner. Their safety and needs should come first.

I am curious, as I read your paragraph on international adoption (since that is the route we decided on) how do you go about lobbying a foreign government (like Russia, since that is our country) to change? There are over 1 million children languishing in orphanages throughout russia, do you just propose we forget about them? We give to groups who help these children in terms of education, health care. We have helped our agency set up a home for teenagers getting ready to age out of the system so they don't wind up on the streets and perpetuate the cycle. Russia has thankfully been promoting foster care and adoption by its own citizens, which I wholeheartedly support, but the only reason people have taken advantage of it is because it took a financial incentive to do so. Russians do adopt, it is just usually the newborn infants, so they can pass them as their own which is similar to how this country used to function. So domestic adoption does occur in EE. Unfortunately there are justy more children than parents over there. Also any potential medical issue is a stigma over there, most russian adoptive parents are not willing to take a chance on a potential medical issue. As was the case for both of my children.

We have located and now have relationships with both of our sons birthfamilies. We did this for them, so they will always have that connection and while they are too young to grasp it, they know them. They know their pictures, we have read their letters and at age appropriate times will hear the truth in terms of their background (which is not very pretty). I can tell you that both of their birthmothers have told us over and over again, that they are grateful that our boys are doing so well and are so loved. I have asked if given the chance would they have kept the boys and both have said no. We do our best to keep their culture alive in our house, we attend many russian events, we celebrate russian holidays, we cook russian food. It is as much of our heritage now as our Irish heritage. We plan to go back and visit the families in a few years, when traveling with two kids because a little easier. Our children will always know their background, their stories, and their birthfamilies.

I have to say it is hard for me to think that there are people out there that would rather see my kids living in an orphanage without hope for a family and be kicked out to the streets at age 16. I can't imagine how that wouldbe healthier for them, just because they are in their own country? I wish I could put my brain around that one, but it is hard when I see them thriving, especially my youngest who was so sick. It is hard because I love them with every inch of my soul, they are my life, so it is very hard to understand how that is wrong.

But we do continue to try our best to understand all aspects and views surrounding adoption, because I want to be prepared to help my kids should they need it, I want them to be able to talk openly and honestly about their feelings and I want to be able to say and do the right things for them.

Kind regards,

Kris

Call me silly and simple...

In response to the comment:  "how do you go about lobbying a foreign government (like Russia, since that is our country) to change? There are over 1 million children languishing in orphanages throughout russia, do you just propose we forget about them?"

Show me a nation or country that doesn't suffer the consequences of neglect and poverty, and then show me a country that owns no wealth of it's own, and is monetarily incapable of caring for all its people.

Is it America's responsibility to do another country's work, when we have so many of our own children abandoned by parents and hurt by a social system devoid of guaranteeing each child's long-term safety?  As a parent, I think teens today need to learn more about long-term sexual consequences and what it takes to become a responsible parent than they need to learn about pregnancy prevention.  You can't stop people from having sex, but you can teach them how to become more accountable for their actions.

In terms of funding relief, I believe Mandela's birthday wish says it best for all nations with parents and children:

“There are many people in South Africa who are rich and who can share those riches with those not so fortunate who have not been able to conquer poverty,” Mandela said.

Mandela B-Day message: Rich should help poor, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25731473

Ridding the children living in neglect is not solving any world problems... it is simply spreading them.  if we want to eliminate children languishing in poorly operating orphanages, an educational program for all parents-to-be must begin.

 

My comment that you quoted

My comment that you quoted was in response to the original paragraph regarding international adoption and how it would be best suited for adoptive parents to spend their money in terms of promoting community there instead of adopting the children. So I was asking the question, how do we do that.

We had already been sponsoring activites here and abroad, but it still didn't cut down on the amount of orphans currently in the system, maybe it helps prevent more during their lifetimes.

To answer your question, is it america's responsibility? I don't know, we tend to get involved many places where it may not be our responsibility. As an individual, I help as much and wherever I can. To me a child is a child, doesn't matter where they live or what their background is, they all deserve the same. So basically I have always tried to "spread the wealth" so to say. I am not a bleeding heart nor a radical christian. I just always felt that so many kids get a raw deal and I was lucky and blessed to have two parents who loved me and cared no matter what. Every kid deserves that.

I wholeheartedly agree education is the key, but having been an educator previously it is very frustrating when they don't listen or don't take to heart what you are getting out there.

It would be wonderful to break the cycle. I hoped I helped at least some of my teens do that, but I know it was not the majority and that is what is frustrating.

There is no clear cut answer unfortunately and it isnt simple, but taking away adoption as a potential way for a child to live in stability and love is not an answer either.

About lobbying and the effects of international adoption

Thank you Kris for writing this thoughtful and well versed response to my post. I have carefully read your words and given it some time to think over my response.

Let me start addressing international adoption first since you asked me how to go about lobbying other countries to change.

Lobbying other countries for change is at the moment very difficult, especially due to the existence of international adoption, which is one of the big issues I have with the international adoption system. Not only the US, but certainly also France, Italy and Spain have very vocal prospective adoptive parents, who will put their issues on the political agenda in case something might influence their adoption and usually find a willing ear in that up to the highest political levels. I know for a fact both Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell have put on political pressure on Romania at the time to stop the moratorium on international adoption, as did former Italian prime minister Berlusconi and French president Chirac and several prominent members of European Parliament.

The lobby to keep business as usual is very strong, even when there are compelling reasons on children's rights and humanitarian level to stop the practice. When the corruption is known and blatant, like it was the case in Guatemala or when a country finally decides it cannot accept the situation any longer like it was the case in Romania, political pressure is put upon those countries to keep their borders open to international adoption, not because children's rights organization claim their best interest is at risk, but because of the emotional and monetary investments made by people wanting to adopt.

Certainly there are many adopters who adopt considering the interest of the child involved. I've read stories, both on this website and beyond of people whose good intentions are beyond question and for whom adoption is a privilege not a right. Reading several adoption forums and groups on the internet I've also come across many posts where it was evident people were only interested in receiving "their" child, most often only knowing that child from a photo and the descriptions given by agency workers.

But my opposition is not so much directed towards adoptive parents as it is towards the industry involved. Under the guise of humanitarian help, orphanages and maternity homes are being put up, subsidized by Unicef, USAID or some fund within the European Union, run by adoption agencies, whose interest is certainly not served by helping families and mother's to keep and take care of their babies. Even when such is not explicitly pushed, living in a house where one crib after another is filled with babies waiting to be send abroad is hardly an encouraging environment to make a decision that goes against their providers best interest. It is exactly the presence of international adoption that fuels abandonment, like this British study indicates.

Indicating some of the issues involved in international adoption doesn't solve them and understandably you state: There are over 1 million children languishing in orphanages throughout russia, do you just propose we forget about them? My question in response to that is: how much does international adoption help in that?. During the heydays of adoption from Russia, the US adopted around 5000 children from that country and the numbers for Europe were about the same, making a total of ~10,000 children being adopted, that means there are still 990,000 Russian children languishing in orphanages throughout Russia. So for individual cases it makes a huge difference, but for the problem at large the effect is only marginal. The problem of children in institutional care in Russia is not and cannot be solved through international adoption. All that can be done is help Russia find ways to solve their problems themselves and they certainly need that help. Their birth-rate is extremely low, so instead of sending children to other countries they should try their hardest to keep all children in their own country and take good care of them, which is very much needed for the future of that country.

There is still a lot to say on this topic, but I leave that for another comment.

heavy sigh

i was up until 5 am addressing all your points in a long tome, but thankfully saved it to my notepad to sit upon before hitting the dangerous send button. after stewing for some time, i tried to figure out why your post irritated me so much.  so here goes an attempt to illustrate:

i live in seattle, where i am surrounded by earnest, laurel-branch waving, forward-thinking people who are concerned about all the most politically correct, environmental and social issues.  and whereas i generally support and embrace the things they support and embrace, i choose to separate myself from them because they wear their causes like the uniform of an urban tribe - and for the same reasons - for validation and recognition of community.  in many ways, these modern day saints are closed-minded in their open-minded double speak and politically correct lingo.  this is why when visitors come to seattle, they are bowled over by the civility and graciousness of everyone yet appalled that there is no REAL dialogue.  and there is no REAL dialogue because everyone has wrapped themselves  in congratulatory self satisfaction:  they take their understanding only to the level necessary to feel good about themselves and stop there.  adoptive parents are the same way...

now don't get me wrong, i think the slow shift towards considering the international / transracial child's needs is a wonderful thing.  and the fact you are making that effort IS laudible and you get more points than many other adoptive parents.  however, that doesn't exonerate you of responsibility for the fundamental choices you made which your efforts are now trying to ameliorate. 

when it comes to international adoption, there is no such thing as guilt-free adoption.  there is complicity in participating with other entities when adopting from other countries.  you wouldn't buy kathy lee's clothing from walmart if you knew they were made in child sweat shops.  by not buying those clothes, that might mean immediate hardship for those children and their families.  but by not buying those clothes, you change the PRACTICES and the CULTURE upon which it was deemed socially acceptable to exploit those children.  participating in international adoption is the very same thing.   it is not death creating orphans, but neglect of social services and the discintigration of cultures that fill orphanages, and those are disproportionately influenced by economics.  our demand for babies (read:  commodity) perpetuates questionable practices and exploits birthparents under stress in the same way children are exploited in sweat shops.  the immediate relief and improvement to those birthparents and sweat shop workers is not debatable.  but what of its long-term effects?  to the adoptee, to the birthparent, to their country, to their culture. 

it was my personal experience, and perhaps the experience of other international adoptees, that attempts to connect me with my heritage were poorly masked attempts at lessening my parents personal guilt.  and even worse, something for them to boast about.  my concern for this new generation of adoptees and their more informed adoptive parents is when the right things are done to reduce guilt, they aren't done in genuine ways.  children are smart and pick up on these subtleties.  and really, how effective are these attempts?  heritage camp is like being told about snow and then given a snow globe.  it just underscores how separated from that environment you are.  and when you take those children to their mother land, they will feel like aliens or tourists.  it will have no meaning except for birth blood, ashes and dust.  so it will also mean everything.  it might mean a crisis of consciousness.  unless you take them when they are too young to think about identity issues. 
  
when i read the words of most adoptive parents, even the most progressive ones like yourself, what strikes me most is their tone.  there is this shared tone of indignation and defensiveness about their choosing to adopt.  it has the same ring as the words of missionaries or benevolent colonists.  it has the justification of improving the life of the child/savage/indigenous people.  it is well-meaning.  it is also paternalistic, condescending, and disrespectful of those people's identity.  it is often racist.

as for international adoption, i feel there is a lot of underlying racism and xenophobia going on.  i often have to confront my own racism.  for example, on my travels i see a dirty, sweaty man of african descent that i need to ask a question of.  i am shocked and pleasantly surprised how eloquent he is.  why was i shocked?  why was i surprised?  why?  because i'm a racist.  i was raised that way.  i have to confront the racist in me all the time and kill it.  why, too, is everyone under the assumption that these countries children come from are backwards?  why is it assumed that everyone poor or without education is stupid and unfit to parent?  what other assumptions do you make about families of origin to justify the case for adoption?

particularly galling was this:

To me parenting is a priviledge, not a right. So unless every person on this earth who wants to get pregnant is screened and put under the microscope, (made sure they are prepared, required to take classes, make sure they have the financial stability to raise a child) like many of us adoptive parents are, you are still always going to have children who are abused and terrorized, children abandoned, children not wanted by their natural parents.

what constitutes parenting priviledge? 

  • sexual responsibility?  i personally don't know one person who hasn't blundered at least one time in their life regarding protection. 
  • age?  there are many, many young single mothers in our country doing an amazing job parenting with support of extended family. 
  • money? there are many, many financially stable adoptive parents screwing up their parenting.  these pages are filled with people whose abusive adoptive parents were financially stable and passed all screening.  economics may provide a cushier life, but it doesn't necessarily indicate the quality of parent one gets assigned.... 
  • how do you demonstrate good parenting skills prior to having children?  the truth is nobody knows what kind of parent they will be until they are tested.  the truth is poor people love their children as much as financially stable ones do.  my truth was my baby was the only unconditional love I've ever gotten from anyone ever.  under your criteria, i didn't deserve to raise her. 

who makes these decisions?  holier-than-thou's with money, that's who.  this is blatant classism.  and as an abused adoptee, i'm also tired of hearing adoptive parents strike a martyr pose about all the pre-adoption work.  it's NOT ENOUGH.  especially in light of all this talk of "forever" families... 

as for your cousin, if you'd interviewed me every five years from the time i was adopted until present, i would have feigned boredom or annoyance.  it is annoying to be asked by everyone you meet about your feelings about adoption, and the tendency is to be dismissive and say it is other people's issue, not mine.  it took me forty plus years to formulate how i feel about it.  and, btw, the era of baby snatching is far from over...

in general, the saintly martyr-like tone of your post is the voice of all adoptive parents.  just once i'd like to hear one state the truth, which would sound something more like:

you know, i just wanted to grow someone to love me - i didn't care how much it costs or what the circumstances were or what the consequences will be - i want what i want

wow

Obviously you have been pained and hurt by your experiences and for that I am deeply sorry for what you have gone through. It must be hard to live with that daily.

I am never going to convince someone like yourself that any type of adoption is good and I don't feel the need to.

Everyone has their opinions and that is ok.

I don't harbor guilt now over my adoptions and I didn't at the time either, did I have some guilty and sadness when we met our son's birthfamilies, sure we did I wouldnt be human if I didn't.  We have had long discussions with them and even gave them the opportunity to raise them with our financial help. They refused and preferred our boys stayed where they were in our home. So I know they are where they were meant to be and no one will ever convince me other wise.

As far as my cousin, he is the one who brought up the anti adoption movement to me, as a warning. Because he is from an asian country, once people found out he was adopted, they tried to recruit him and hazed him when he didn't feel the way they felt. Can that change-of course it could and we as a family would respect that and support him. What aggravated him the most is people trying to tell him what his feelings should be.

It is the same with my sister in law and her birth mother. This drives them nuts that people tell them how wrong their adoption was and that she should have fought to raise my sister in law.

I understand everyone thinks and feels differently, but why is it wrong if a person who was adopted is happy and fulfilled with their life and how it came to be?

I am not going to be sorry about my family or how it came to be. They are my life and my soul but I will do whatever I have to to help and support them through their lives and however they may think or feel about us and adoption.

assumptions

you know i'm all for adoptions when necessary.  
you make assumptions that because i'm against international adoption as the commercial trade that it is, that i'm against adoption in toto. 
another assumption is that i or anyone here are against adoptees that had better fortunes.
that's quite an insult to my intelligence, as i would never do that.
i was merely pointing out that if there are issues, they take time to reveal themselves.

and REGARDLESS of the adoption outcomes, there are serious ethical and moral questions regarding international adoption
that every responsible citizen of this planet should not condone. 

even though you are the exception rather than the rule in regards to the birthmothers, you're still promoting this industry.

what you seemed to have missed was that i was responding to was your pious justified tone. 
which totally isn't necessary.  it's the twin sibling of reminding your kids how grateful they should be.
whatever - you just continue talking as you do - i'm sorry i spent so much time on this.

accusing

I may be guilty of assuming, but I felt you were accusing me. I am not acting like martyr. I did not get into adoption on the note of "saving a child" and I am extremely grateful for my children and they don't ever have to be grateful to me, I am not a parent who would want any child of mine, bio or adopted to think they have to be grateful.

I do understand wholeheartedly that issues could take years or a lifetime to surface, why do you think I am here. Why do you think I put myself out there as an adoptive parent on a site like this, because I enjoy because called names or being accused of doing wrong by my children and all the children in the world, no I want to understand and be prepared, I want to do only the best by my children. Put yourself in my shoes, you want to have a family, you get criticized and condemn for trying infertility treatments and then you adopt and the same thing happens. No matter what you do, someone thinks you are a monster.

Yes there are many things wrong with all aspects of adoption just as there are many thing wrongs and immoral about parents all over the world and how they deal with their children, bio or not.

Romania was used an an example, do you think because IA shut down there, life is any better for those kiddos? It is not, they are just in different types of institutions, ones that look and appear cleaner then those previous. Children are still relinquished and abandoned daily. I know, I have been over there as a volunteer. There are children who would break your heart if you saw them, children who have no idea what a hug or a gentle touch is. Stopping IA did not fix any problems in Romania and I am not so sure how it would fix itin Russia. It can take lifetimes to change how a country feels and behaves towards children and families.

Yes Russia is pushing towards adoption by its own citizens and that has cut down drastically the numbers of IA, that is wonderful, but it is still not enough. Children shouldn't have to live without a family if they have a chance to.

My kiddos were presented to a total of 7 russian families (3 for one child, 4 for the other), all turned them down due to their medical issues at the time. Before being able to be adopted by us, the birthmothers were told what was happening and had to sign off twice once prior and once right before our court date. Should we have not continued with our adoptions?

I am just not convinced that not adopting these children will change anything drastically and quickly.

If I may interject an opinion...

I think there's a bigger issue that needs to be addressed by all:  adoption does not eliminate the need for child protection, as many published (and unpublished) cases of abuse in foster/adoptive homes prove.

What can be done to ensure the safety of ALL children so abusive-ways do NOT have to become a new family legacy?

Beginning With Emotional Stability In the PAP's

"What can be done to ensure the safety of ALL children so abusive-ways do NOT have to become a new family legacy?"

If there had been a REAL test of the emotional stability of both my husband and myself, there never would have been
any adoptions for us or several couples I am aware of....

There MUST be a way to implement an accountability so that "friends" giving references for "friends" as to their emotional
stability are able/willing to tell the truth!  Two couples who really didn't want to be a reference for us finally gave in.... and
look what happened?  I see this in hindsight as a habit of ALL friends of PAP's.  Doctor's do the same thing:  a fat doctor
will sign off on a couple who is fat, etc...  There are MANY things that SHOULD be done to ensure the safety of ALL children so abusive-ways do NOT have to become a new family legacy.

We adopted only special needs children.  The requirements should be higher and not lowered for a SN child.  YOUNG
couples should be REQUIRED to be open to a SN child instead of it being a requirement of older PAP's, who probably
already have enough children already.

SURE, we'll approve you for adoption:  you doddering old fool with good insurance and job security.   BUT you MUST
take a SN's child!  BUT, you older people with GOBS of money, we will give YOU a referral for a "normal, healthy, baby!
I can just hear that agency's BwaaaaaHaaaaaHaaaaa!  It happens every day.  SAFETY is NOT an issue with them.....

IN A WORLD OF WHY,
Teddy

Looking into "the needs of a child"

What, exactly, is a "special needs" child?

Is that a medical term, (a child with a legitimate medical condition that requires special treatment, like a child with AIDS or other long-term (often fatal) disease) -- or is "special needs" a term used by a mental-health team reporting to educators?

good question

I think I have been using it erroneously to describe what should have been referred to as "hard to place" which would encompass both...

In My Experience

Every one of my adopted children was labeled a Special Needs Child which, for them, was a life threatening situation which
placed them at the top of the list of Special Needs Children.  Failure to Thrive is NOT a special needs!

IN A WORLD OF WHY,
Teddy

This is KEY

Kerry, you've hit on the ONE THING that causes everyone to dismiss adoption reform.

This is the same problem that abortion advocates had for decades.  (this is just a parallel - don't want to start a discussion on THIS!!!)
advocating abortion was erroneously connected in the public eye with wanting abortion

It wasn't until they changed the coinage to pro choice that this became more distinct, but the previous connection still lingers, even though most pro choice advocates hate the idea of abortion as well and only don't want their options taken away.

To be an adoption reform advocate today is erroneously connected with the desire to abolish abortion - or - to specifically be interested only in open records.
When actually it should be a more literal interpretation.

Too late:  the connection has already been broadcast.
We need a new way to refer to REFORMING adoption which clearly indicates we are interested in protecting children but distinguishes itself from children's rights.

Rephrasing policies

As one who loves a good game of word-play, the Language of Adoption has altered the terms under which a child is now given "protective care".  Adoption was created so children in harm's way would be protected, "for life".  However, the cold truth is, as long as adopted children are being found dead in their newly chosen abusive environments, no child placement system is safe.

I think in terms of final placement, adoption reform IS a matter of life or death... only now it's become a matter that requires a re-thinking of options:  what is best for a child's physical safety and emotional well-being?

I propose brainstorming...

i guess we need a term that is more proactive than protective care...
but it is still clear to me that adoption reform is automatically typecast. 

and, i believe changing the lingo from pro abortion to pro-choice made a HUGE difference in getting people to recognize what they were about

so I propose brainstorming an alternative to adoption reform.

CPR Reform

in the medical field, CPR is known as Cardio-Pulminary Resuscitation.

In the spirit of "name-change", how does Child Placement Reform sound?

 

Sounds Like

It sounds like a very proper Kerryism.  How long did it take you to come up with that?

IN A WORLD OF WHY,
Teddy

In a word:

instantly

I love it

It excises adoption from the equation.  Because that's not really what it's about or should be about.
It should be about whatever's best for the child.

Good Job!

just got a second

not the term i'm supposed to be brainstorming BUT

instead of the adoption triad, how 'bout we refer to it as the adoption quad from now on?
'cause actually, there's another entity that somehow doesn't have enough validity to count...

if this were to be implemented, however, maybe a former adoptee could stand in as child advocate for children too young to voice their own opinions and study/read the reports.
then it could be, agency, pap, birthmom, AND adoptee or advocate...who gets access to ALL the paperwork as well.
one more voice/monitor speaking to the judge can't hurt.

Adoption reform IS a matter of life or death!

I LIKE YOUR PLAY ON WORDS/WORD PLAY!  AND YOU DO GET THE POINT ACROSS VERY WELL...
WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE ORPHAN TRAINS DO NOT EXIST ANYMORE; ONLY TO BE REPLACED BY WORSE
THINGS.  WE HAVE PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES INSTEAD OF JUST TRAINS THAT CARRY THE
CHILD TO THE NEXT STOP, WONDERING IF WHO CHOSE/BOUGHT THEM REALLY WANTS THEM.

"what is best for a child's physical safety and emotional well-being?"   WAS THAT EVEN TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION
WHEN THOSE TRAINS PULLED OUT YEARS AGO? 
BEST IS DEFINED AS:

  1. Surpassing all others in excellence, achievement, or quality; most excellent: the best performer; the best grade of ore.
  2. Most satisfactory, suitable, or useful; most desirable: the best solution; the best time for planting.

Surpassing all others in excellence would mean that other options were thought through first before choosing the
"best" instead of settling for the most useful.

IN A WORLD OF WHY,
Teddy

The Power behind The Connection

WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE ORPHAN TRAINS DO NOT EXIST ANYMORE; ONLY TO BE REPLACED BY WORSE
THINGS.  WE HAVE PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES INSTEAD OF JUST TRAINS THAT CARRY THE
CHILD TO THE NEXT STOP, WONDERING IF WHO CHOSE/BOUGHT THEM REALLY WANTS THEM.

Before there were orphan trains in America, there were ships filled with children coming from the UK.  Yes, among America's first slaves were England's white vagrant children.  I'm not an economic scholar, but I know with industry comes the drive to become the best, meaning richest, of course.

Do you think it's coincidence that some of the biggest financial supporters behind American Adoption are from the banking/mortgage, travel, and automotive industries? 

Seems to me, the term "take-over" has a whole new meaning when you use "needy children" and "wanting parents" as a source of immediate income.

I'll confess, I can't help but laugh at the implications fuel-costs are going to have in the international child-market.  [Hey... maybe the poetic justice in "reduced travel" means more countries are going to be forced to keep and care for their own children!!!]

 

NOPE!

They'll just revert back to putting them on ships...

IN A WORLD OF WHY,
Teddy

On Romania

Do you think because IA shut down there, life is any better for those kiddos? It is not, they are just in different types of institutions, ones that look and appear cleaner then those previous.  Children are still relinquished and abandoned daily. I know, I have been over there as a volunteer. There are children who would break your heart if you saw them, children who have no idea what a hug or a gentle touch is. Stopping IA did not fix any problems in Romania and I am not so sure how it would fix itin Russia.

I don't think IA did much for the children you refer to either, when Romania still practiced IA. What reached the news here in the west were horrible pictures of the so-called Camine Spital (homes for disabled children), while most of the children that arrived from Romania were children from the so-called Leaganes (Baby homes), even most children in the Casa de Copii (children homes) were never adopted, because the biggest demand is for infants, not older children and not for disabled children.

By setting up a foster care system in Romania, instantiating a local adoption system, the Leaganes are now a thing from the past. I think that is a major improvement over the past situation. Also the following phenomenon will not occur anymore:

The rejection of the child is much more pronounced in the case of mothers who resort to abandonment in maternity wards, as they have already firmly made up their mind to put their child up for adoption.

from: Situation of child abandonment in Romania

Abandonment and relinquisment still occur as you stated, but the rates have dropped significantly:

Partly as a result of some of these programmes, child abandonment rates have dropped considerably over the last couple of years. According to ANPDC, in 2007 only 1,710 infants were abandoned in maternity centres by their parents, as compared to 5,130 such cases in 2003.

from: Child Rights Information Network

last reply

There are two components to your thread - your personal exceptional story, and the broader topic.

Re:  your personal story:
Nobody here called you a monster.  On the contrary, i was complimentary about your efforts.  At the worst I accused you of being like a Seattle-ite.  I do not represent PPL.  I represent a person sick of sugar coated rhetoric and the gesture of listening without any hearing.  It seems most of your opinions are already set in stone, and you really only asked one real question.  I accused you of being too judgemental of young mothers.  Essentially, I asked you to explore where that judgement comes from.

You said you wanted to learn about what to do for your international adoptee children, and I told you my perspective as an international transracial adoptee.  Possibly the worst and most annoying thing we have to deal with is the focus on adoption and our parents attitudes about our heritage and our adoption.  If you were my mom, I would think you sounded self-congratulatory, and that would make me resent you.  That subtle little revelation that makes you cringe.  That's what you can be to your kids if you keep it up.  You asked and I delivered.  Whether or not you alter your voice is up to you. 

Re:  the larger issue:

International adoption only serves the needs of people wanting to adopt and lines the pockets of those working in the business. Because of that it has no moral grounds for its existence and should be halted altogether. Those who want to do something for the children in poor countries better support the local build up of children's services. It is much more cost effective, for the price of one international adoption, many children can be provided for for years, and helps to build up a country instead of tearing it down.

Most people are not like you and do not take on special needs hard to place children.  Most people do not offer to help support birthparents like you did.  Most people enter into adoption under the guise of wanting to do something for the children in poor countries, but actually they really only want to have children no matter what the cost. 

In pure economic terms, it does not matter what you are seeking to acquire:  the responsible thing is to know about how the product was sourced and delivered.  By our purchasing and participation in that exchange, we are complicit in perpetuating that method of acquisition.  I don't care if Ghandi himself had adopted internationally, the same standards of ethics would apply to him.  He would still be a saint.  And I would still take him to task if he did not acknowledge the ugliness of that transaction.  Unfortunately, people are more interested in finding out whether or not their coffee beans were fair trade than they are about the adoption industry.

Yes.  I accuse you.  I accuse you of not recognizing and acknowledging you participated in a corrupt system.  Does that make you a monster?  No.  You are probably a victim.  But it still needs to be recognized.   Change can not take place in a culture of denial.  And saying the problem will take years and is too big is nothing but a cop-out. 
Your experience with the adoption agency should illustrate that corruption.  You KNOW this system is broken.  You could help change it.  Instead of parroting all the same old reasons the adoption industry says to justify its existence.

no apologies asked for - just acknowledgement

Kris' writing to Niels was the same voice my abusive adoptive parents used - intelligent rationalizations, sweetly delivered - with an absolute refusal to question themselves, their own motives, or practices.

this instantly hit home with me and I had to write about it.

the only time my voice gets angry is when i face people with a lack of self critique and the gesture of dialogue but with a closed door. and i have no tolerance for people who can't concede that i've made any points or at the very least  can say to me - your point is under consideration.

you don't know it, but it is my mission to ENGAGE adoptive parents and to remind adoptees to temper their angry voice when engaging the public at large as audience.
but as visible as it is, here, in this place, my voice can be a raw voice and the audience is other abused adoptees. 
this place is where we bring subtle, subtle points about our adoptions to light and examine them thoroughly with a microscope.
this place is where adoptees who've been abused speak and are considered - and i welcome adoptive parents - but at the very least they should recognize that this is the (for many of us) the only place where our points on this topic ARE considered, and to respect that.

do i hate all adoptions?
absolutely not.

do i have anger towards all adoptive parents?
absolutely not -  though i DO GET ANGRY when i see little transracial adoptees and their adoptive parents lapping up the attention they draw and making a spectacle of themselves...and it's pretty clear what those babies were bought for. (sorry, this is fresh from last night!)
back to the question -
do i have anger towards all adoptive parents?
nope.  mostly just Kris.  my annoyance with her is actually independent of adoption...i detest smug do-gooders who are really deft at sounding saintly...they seem to share this trait of not being self critical.  it might be a coincidence my parents were also this way.  or -maybe adoption attracts this type of person, i don't know.  anyway, Kris happens to be both.

i applaud Kris for adopting special needs children.
i asked Kris to think about her aquisitions and how they were sourced and delivered, which i don't applaud.
to further illustrate the coffee analogy, i have drunk a lot of coffee and am guilty of exploiting plantation workers.
but NOW THAT I KNOW about that flawed economic system, I only buy fair trade coffee.
do i feel guilty about all those gallons of unscrupulously acquired coffee i consumed?  no. what's done is done.
but i acknowledge that i did, indeed, participate in that system.
THE KEY to progressive change is acknowledging the problem and my role in it.
through that acknowlegement, i can take a stand to no longer participate in or support that system,
and i can then tell others not to participate in a system that profits by exploiting people. 
THIS is what i would like current adoptive parents to do.

i also did not ask Kris to apologize for adopting or to feel guilty.  i asked her to acknowledge her guilt.  TOTALLY DIFFERENT animals.

does this mean i want adoptive parents to grovel for forgiveness?
absolutely not - that would be disgusting and pathetic.
what's done is done.
it sure would be wonderful if they examined themselves thoroughly, though. 

i would much rather they come here and just lurk about and CONSIDER, consider, consider all that we talk about here.
because, as unsavory and as much as they don't like much of it - it is OUR PERSPECTIVE - there is no right or wrong about it or us.

Thank you

Thank you all for the extremely thought provoking responses. My apologies for not reolying this weekend as I was away.

I wanted to clarify, that I did not mean anyone hear called me a monster, but it has been done.

Yes I am passionate about my kiddos and adoption, but I can also agree reform is needed, but adoption should remain a viable option if it is in the best interest of the child. Did I know that in the beginning, of course not, like most people you usually don't realize what a big issue something is until you are involved in it. When we got screwed by our first agency, it opened my eyes alot. I searched for an agency whom I felt their fees were in line for what I would pay for any type of service and an ageny would did a great amount of humanitarian work.  I know that still isn't right in the eyes of people here, but we felt it was the best thing we could do at the time, backing out was not an option. We checked out the backgrounds of our kiddos as much as we could. I wanted a situation where the birthfamilies were given a last choice to take the kids back. I think we did find that situation and as it seems to me for now at least it was the best for all involved. My kids retain dual citizenship until they are 18 and then they have to choose. If they ever decide that Russia is where they want to be, I would accept that, it would break my heart not to be near them, but I would support them. They have family there and if that is what the choose, it is their choice and we will support them 100%.

Yes, I do  think adoption reform does get equated to abolishing adoption, because there are people out there who believe it and when I first started searching for more info, that is what I found first. There are truly people out there who rather a child stay with their bio parents or in a orphanage or institutional setting, then be placed ina foster or adoptive home. They are the people who refer to myself and other adoptive parents as monsters.

It actually breaks my heart to be subtly compared to your abusive parents (almost human), I am truly sorry for all you have been through and anychild who has been abused or neglicted by their parents. I have never laid an angry hand on my children, nor would we ever. Do they drive you nuts somedays, of course, but I take a deep breath and walk out of the room.

There was a post earlier on how to prevent children being placed in abusive household. Yes we had letters of recommendations by friends, we needed a total of 6. For Russia it is now required that every parent undergo a psychological screening and testing, by either a psychologist or psychiatrist. I have known of two families who did not pass and their agencies would then not work with them. I think it is one step for sure.

To me though, the bigger question remains, how do we prevent kiddos from even getting to the point they need to have placement?

I truly was not being self congratulatory, just sharing my story and while many think I am the exception, I am not. I know hundreds of adoptive parents who feel the same way I do, who have done the same thing I have. I do not use a self congratulatory tone with my kids. I don't sit down and talk to my kids the same way I would write on a board.  Adoption is only a piece of who my children are, I don't want it to define them, when I know they have and will have so many wonderful qualities and gifts that make up who they are. Adoption is a piece of that. They will always know the truth, they will always have contact with their birthfamilies and they willalways be given an open dialogue to discuss with us whatever they are thinking or with whomever else if they need to. Their story is not a secret, but we also dont run around broadcasting it to everyone we meet. As they get older it is their story to tell to whomever they choose.

Yes I do want to want to learn more, I have been reading this site for several weeks and finally worked up the courage to post. I do appreciate everyone's responses even if they hurt to hear. I can say though for sure, do I feel guilty no, because I know their birthfamilies are very happy with how things worked out and I feell we have a very happy balance right now. Did I harbor guilt prior, of course, guilt and sadness for the situations that my children, who didn't ask to be born, were now in. But I will never feel guilty for loving them and doing all I can for them which again is why I am here to make sure I do right by them no matter what that means.

I do want to add that many agencies and social workers encourage parents to read these types of sites, we were given a list. We were instructed to read: Twenty Things Adopted children wished their parents knew..  Most of the adoptive parents I know are reading and learning, they just don't post out of fear. The message is getting out there. Honestly though it is hard for many people to grasp, because what they see are children without parents or natural families wanting to pursue an adoption plan coupled with the fact, they cannot biologically have children.  Ideally none of this would exist. I would love to see agencies stop raking in the big bucks, I would love it to stop seeming like a market (yes I know I fed into it), but I don't want to see it go away, not if it means stability  and love for a child.

It would be wonderful if politicians stopped raising millions of dollars towards campaigning but raised it to provide health care, jobs, day care, education, so families can stay to together or to prevent unwanted pregnancies. I do think even if we revamped our system completely in terms of welfare and focusing on the family, we would still have unwanted pregnancies and abusive parents and other situations where the best interest of the child is alternative placement.

I wanted to also address the special needs question. My kids were both deemed special needs, they are no longer, although many issues in terms of learning are not seen until school age. Without divulging too much of their medical issues, alcohol and heroin abuse throughout the prenatal time, hepatitis, prematurity, malnourishment issues were involved. They were both deemed extremely hard to place, one was labelled mentally retarded. One was very sick, respiratory wise which required hospitalizations upon arriving home. There is alot more, but you get the picture.

Special needs, at least in my experience, are known needs, medical, physical, emotional which then makes them hard to place. The other side of hard to place are older children who may be fine physicially because of their age are harder to place. There was an interesting story recently which I will find the link, in one of the regions in Russia, the older children's orphanages were disappearing. The children were being taken in by families in town, which on the surface is wonderful. The issue is, it appears they are being used almost as slave labor, in farms, factories, businesses. It is hard to know the ramifications of this, where were they better off? It is yet to be seen? 

Anyway, thank you for all your responses, I am going to get myself some tougher skin, because I know it is important for me to continue to read and stay active and I apologize if I hurt anyone with my responses previously. I am not a very good writer and find it hard sometimes to put on paper what I am really thinking.

Thanks again!

special needs child!

Special needs child here because I wasn't born all white. My mothers 1/2 of me classified me as less than and hard to place simply because she is Hawaiian / Chinese.

There is so much in this thread, that I want to comment on.

I think that a lot of the child "saving" could be done without adoption. Surgeries to children in need in other countries who otherwise "wouldn't" get the procedure done, don't have to be adopted in order to receieve the medical treatment. its just that American couples aren't willing to do that for a child as often as they do unless they get to bring the child to their home and call him/her theirs in return.

For the cost of one adoption of a child in South America you could feed that childs family for YEARS. YEARS. And whats chilling is that most children adopted from there are surrendered due to poverty. I know this because i backpacked through countries down there for a few months a few years ago. I was asked on multiple occasions if I was an american adopting down there. Seriously, think about that for a minute. Americans coming there to take their children, that is the reputation, I as an American had on me until I noted otherwise.

More than once I walked into a bar / restaurant as the only "white" looking couple and Eminems song "white america" would "happen" to be chosen. It was very important for us to make clear our positions and feelings towards our country before we were accepted by the people who's country we were in.

Children can "thrive" in many different situations. What I have heard some AP's label as poverty and horrible living conditions, I saw children thriving in. yes, poverty in third world countries exists but does that mean the child should lose their culture and family in order to receive an education? And really, what will an American education bring you? Money? How important is money in the value of human life?

Never have I been to another country, like Peru where the sense of family was so strong. Mothers wear their children in slings around their bodies easily into ages 5 and 6. children running around the streets together playing all day long, where literally you hear the laughter of children in the streets of the cities. You don't get that in America. At least not in my upper class, white community. The unity among the people in the cultures of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia that I saw was like nothing I have ever seen before, or since my travels to their country. Yes, they were poor. Really poor. Some people lived in shacks made of that sheet metal, and it wasn't really "some" it was most. A different way of life, YES, but a life worthy of removal from their land, family and culture because its not as "rich" as Americas? or not as modern as America? I don't think so.

Its an entirely different way of life. But it doesn't mean that their way of life isn't as "good" as ours in the states. It doesn't mean that ours is "better" than theirs. And it doesn't mean that if you feel they could benefit from money, your money, that you can't give it to them without taking one of their children in return to call your own.

If someone wants to help people, adoption is not the answer to doing that.

Adoption removes children from their motherland, from their families, from their people, from their culture, from their language, from their security. It strips them of their rights, puts prices on their skin, bodies and age and then seals it all from them to keep them children forever and tells us to be grateful in return.

From where I stand, all of this "good" that we see adoption taking credit for, could be done without adoption all together.
Maybe then the focus could get back onto the children who really do need new homes, placement reform, and the true best interests of the children.

Don't forget Europe


There is so much in this thread, that I want to comment on.

There is also much in this tread that is unfortunately not based on personal experience. The member you are responding to was found out to be an impersonator, asuming the identity of a member that later on signed up as RealKris.

That said, I entirely agree with all that you said, though I would like to include Europe in the picture.

About half the children adopted internationally end up in the US, but the other half goes to a handful of European countries, where the same attitude can be found. Amercans are more likely to be seen as the big child importing nation and while in absolute numbers they certainly are, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland, in fact, adopt more children from abroad per capita than the US, for much the same reasons Americans do and with wallets just as big.

Singling out the US as the one big bad country would be a grave mistake. Even if the US would pull out of international adoption altogether, the demand for children would not be all that much lower. In Europe the waiting lists for international adoption are very long, for every adoptable child in a sending country there are easily a hundred European families wanting to adopt.

still worthy of comment

real kris or fake kris, it still generated valuable discussion and it's still worthy of comment.

the fake kris still represented some very popular views, so perhaps it's even more worthy of comment.

Agree

I agree that the comments made by the unreal Kris are still worthy of response. I also know that Kristine had been away from PPL for some time and probably had not picked up on the commotion surrounding the unreal Kris, hence my explanation.

I had no idea

I have been away for a while, and had no idea about the real kris, fake kris situation.

Nor did I know that the waiting lists for international adoptions in said countries was as long and the demand as high outside of the US. I have a lot to learn, i'm glad i'm in good company to learn from.... assuming... there are no more imposters.

My adoption focus seems to be so US centered, I'm glad to be learning about the complexities and demands in other countries.

Thanks guys

Pound Pup Legacy