Baby Tamia's close call is a warning
Baby Tamia, the 6-month-old Chicago girl who narrowly escaped being adopted by alleged drug users in Utah, was returned to her birth mother with great fanfare, but because of lax adoption laws, there are other Baby Tamias in-waiting. An adoption reform bill that passed the Illinois House 117-0 last week is the first step in shutting down predatory adoption agencies. The bill is sponsored by state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), an adoptee who is knowledgeable of the abuses that have crept into a process that should reflect a gift of love and a testament of compassion.
Under the measure, those who provide adoption services must be registered as charitable organizations under the federal tax code. The bill also establishes a complaint number where adoptive and birth parents can report abuses, and prohibits agencies and their agents from enticing birth parents to waive their legal rights. We urge the Illinois Senate to follow the House's lead so that both adoptive and birth parents can get relief from shady out-of-town adoption providers. Without reforms, there will be other Baby Tamia cases -- but without happy endings.