Adoption scam hits home

By Sharon Roznik

March 2, 2009 / fdlreporter.com

With only five hours notice, Patti Sawyer and her family faced the cameras of "Good Morning America" last week to tell a story fraught with heartbreak but also hope.

The Fond du Lac mother of three was the focus of a segment on an adoption scam that involved her Samoan daughter, 8-year-old Jayden.

The girl's biological Samoan parents — along with other Samoan parents —were tricked into giving up their children after being told they would be educated in the United States and returned at age 18.

On Feb. 25, a Salt Lake City federal court sentenced four people associated with the adoption agency, Focus on Children, to five years of probation on misdemeanor counts of aiding and abetting the illegal entry of an alien. They were also banned from the adoption business for life, according to the Associated Press.

For now, it's good news for the Sawyer family. So far, the U.S. government is making no attempt to disrupt the adoptions and the Samoan government is stating that the 37 American adoptions involved in the case are legal.

"In all reality, Jayden's parents wanted her here," Sawyer said. "But, in return, they wanted communication, and that's the side we have to work on."

Warning signs

Sawyer adopted Jayden on Feb. 9, 2005, from Western Samoa, a Pacific island with no telephones and little communication with the outside world. Sawyer said she had thoroughly researched Focus on Children and from what she could find, the international agency had a good reputation.

Looking back, she recalls red flags going up as the adoption process became an ordeal and things she was being told didn't seem to jibe.

"Snags came up, delays and excuses. When I finally did get her home, I was glad to be done with the whole thing," Sawyer said.

At first, the agency told Sawyer that Jayden had been found abandoned in a restroom, and there were no siblings or biological parents

Later, the story changed. The agency told Sawyer that Jayden was the youngest child in a family of eight youngsters, and the parents had relinquished her because they couldn't afford to feed her.

"They said to me, 'Oh Patty, don't worry about it. We have to say she has parents over there, otherwise the paperwork moves so slow and we would have to do all these legal postings and searches,'" Sawyer said.

"They put a guilt trip on me about the need to rescue Samoan children from certain poverty. I had doubts about what was happening at the time, but I wanted to believe them — that we were working together to help these children," she said.

Jayden, who turns 9 this week, arrived in Fond du Lac a healthy, happy girl, socially outgoing and energetic. Although she didn't appear to be suffering from poverty, Sawyer put the questions out of her mind as Jayden learned English and thrived in her new home.

About a year after the adoption, Sawyer received a letter from federal government officials, asking her to contact them about her daughter's adoption.

"According to a special agent, the Samoan parents were told that their children were being sent to America to get an education. They believed there would be periodic visits home, with letters and e-mails in between, and that their children would return home permanently when they were age 18," Sawyer said. "The agency told the Samoan parents the same thing they had told us: Just trust us, don't worry about anything."

The scandal was brought to light when an older, adopted child picked up English and told her adoptive parents stories that didn't match what the agency had told the couple.

Sawyer's case was one of 37 Samoan adoptions brought forth during the indictment proceedings, though the agency had been involved in 81 adoptions. News reports indicate that only one American man chose to return his adopted daughter to her Samoan parents.

Unanswered questions

The ruling from the federal judge requires that the convicted set up a trust fund for adoptive parents to use to communicate with the Samoan families, but Sawyer said she doesn't know what the amount will be.

"I am trying to respect the wishes of Jayden's parents. They wanted her to have opportunities, and they wanted communication. The difficulty is, I don't have the money to travel and take Jayden back there for a visit," Sawyer said.

Bill and Donna Harmer first met Jayden when she showed up one day doing cartwheels on their front lawn. Soon, she had moved in her coloring books and crayons, and become an integral part of their lives.

"We live next door and she just sort of adopted us. She is very close to our hearts and you should hear the sounds of joy that come from this house when she is here," Bill Harmer said.

He believes it would harm the 8-year old if she were forced to return to Samoa.

"She has been here long enough that it wouldn't be to her advantage to be taken away. It's not the right thing to do," he said.

Sawyer points out that Jayden hasn't seen her family in three years, and if the opportunity arose, the child would need counseling to understand what was going on. She sees a bright future for Jayden, when some day she will have two sets of families that will know her and love her.

Still, there are unanswered questions that nag at Sawyer.

"I'd like to ask the agency whether they were doing all this for money, or if they were really thinking that they were bettering the lives of some of the Samoan people. I struggle with the reason because Jayden came here a very happy, well-adjusted, healthy young girl," she said.

The Sawyer family also includes 16-year-old twins, Cameron and Mallory — both sophomores at Fond du Lac High School.

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We wanted to believe...

""I'd like to ask the agency whether they were doing all this for money, or if they were really thinking that they were bettering the lives of some of the Samoan people."

I believe all AP's do want to believe that the agency they have picked (notice it's all about making choices?) is really thinking about bettering the lives of the children they place. We all sorta have this tunnel vision where we don't dare look to the left or the right, for fear of finding something we don't want to deal with...

I made 4 trips to VietNam, and on each trip I would visit the foster family of one of my adopted sons.  The last time i saw them, I had hired the desk clerk at the hotel to translate for me; before this, it was always translated by the SW.  This time, the question was asked, "are you going to bring Hung back when he is 18 so he can find a Vietnamese girl to marry?"  I was shocked because Hung has spastic quadriplegia, and mental retardation, which was the reason they didn't keep him, but went on to adopt a normal, healthy girl of 3 years. Now that I am learning so much more of the deceit that goes on behind an adoption, this question from the foster parents becomes very clear, now.  Even they thought their foster child was to be returned after schooling.  I do remember reading where the foster mother had told Hung that he was going to the USA to have his legs fixed... so the lies even went further.

Teddy

ouch

It's very difficult and sad reading this:

I made 4 trips to VietNam, and on each trip I would visit the foster family of one of my adopted sons.  The last time i saw them, I had hired the desk clerk at the hotel to translate for me; before this, it was always translated by the SW.  This time, the question was asked, "are you going to bring Hung back when he is 18 so he can find a Vietnamese girl to marry?"  I was shocked because Hung has spastic quadriplegia, and mental retardation, which was the reason they didn't keep him, but went on to adopt a normal, healthy girl of 3 years. Now that I am learning so much more of the deceit that goes on behind an adoption, this question from the foster parents becomes very clear, now.  Even they thought their foster child was to be returned after schooling.  I do remember reading where the foster mother had told Hung that he was going to the USA to have his legs fixed... so the lies even went further.

It really backs-up the claims many so-called anti-adoption activists make -- parents (and children) are being lied to, all so an adoption-plan can be made.  Imagine if you did not hear what that desk clerk said, on a family's behalf!

I honestly don't think decent people would go-through the chosen adoption plan (made for them), if all facts and factors behind the placement were made very transparent and clear.

For instance, I think of all the cleft-lips sold to AP's.  Those lips/mouths can be easily repaired in a country like America.  Why must those children remain, with the "new Afamily"?   Is that just part of the health-care deal?

Doesn't any one think the first family would want the little one back, but healthier, and much better?

Thank you for your story... I hope others are digesting what these confessions are offering.  (I think an honest look into foreign adoption services is enough to turn a moral person's stomach.)

Lies + Lies = More Lies

"Sawyer's case was one of 37 Samoan adoptions brought forth during the indictment proceedings, though the agency had been involved in 81 adoptions. News reports indicate that only one American man chose to return his adopted daughter to her Samoan parents."

Bravo to that ONE brave APfamily for doing this. What are the other APfamilies going to tell their "children" when they grow up?
It will happen, they will ask. They will ask why did you keep me when my mother was searching and wanting me back? Start working on your answer now.

What is sickening was when this was happening and APs are bringing issues to light about Focus on Children, other APs who used or were using the same agency were defending the agency! DISGUSTING!

Focus on Children/Lies and secrets of Samoan adoptions

 

Thank our dear Savior that Samoan lies are still in the news.

Did the Banks do this for the children or for the MONEY.  Lets see,  I am willing to bet the back 40 or the 81 plus children, and I will throw in the Nanny House on that the Banks did it for the MONEY.

Everything that you read shows us the MONEY!  The adoption business is lucurative.  This one in particular.

Why, at the court hearing did Samoan AP's defend the Banks, and others minions.  It was in the name of their Savior.  See, they were all of the same Savior Faith, and they all stick together, they do business together, they support each other, they provide for each other and they lie for each other.  A religion, that becomes more powerful than the welfare of children, yes, it does exist.  Dan Wakefield, another Savior member, who just happened to be a cattle rusttler at the same time that he was rustling up "orphans" to sell to Savior members" became the fall guy.  The Banks got a "gag" order  that was to shut everyone up, so that "they would recieve" a FAIR HEARING.   Well when those who will be doing the hearing on this case are also members of the Saving Faith, what difference does it make, if it is a fair hearing or not.  The Judge, said that these "barrowed" children, could stay in their adoptive homes!!!!  Wow, lucky for these barrowed children,,although they already had familes that were "lied" to,,they were to stay with the AP's who paid the Banks for them.  

 

The "orphans"  have not ever heard of the word "fair".  They were just the commodity, and without the commodity to trade, there would be no business.  Orphans, an interesting American concept.  We all know from all of the articles on this Samoan Adoption Scam that the word "orphan" was a trick word for the owners of Focus on Children

So now those "commodiies" are growing up and learning of  their real familes,  and the AP's are dealing with all of this " happy aftermath" of adoption, that began in a small delapitated "nanny house" on a remote Island that was filled with natives, who had the wool pulled over their eyes, when it came to EDUCATION, and VISITS and the Magic age of 18 when these little Nanny Housed natives would be returned as Educated, productive and Americanized, spoiled brats.  Kids that would have nothing in common with their familes, even if they did return.

Disgusting, yes.  But please remember Kerry and La Ronda,,their just children. 

 

 

 

Children, with hawk eyes and rabbit ears...

Disgusting, yes.  But please remember Kerry and La Ronda,,their just children. 

Fortunately, there are children who have experienced enough evil to recognize it when they hear, smell, and see it.  Call those children crazy nosy-bodies, but they grow to become adults who are far more astute and aware of any questionable activity going around those in Adoptionland.

Children are not stupid... which is why so many adults realize they (the children) need to brainwashed, so they will see right as wrong and wrong as right.  They do this so the inquisitive child will stop asking so many questions.

Paranoia and over-dramatic emphasis on my part?

<shrugging shoulders>

Since PPL has started, more and more are awakening to a new more truthful reality; many are seeing clarity for the first time since they, too, were put in an the adoption fog.

Disgusting?

No.

Disturbing?

Yes.

Necessary? 

Absolutely.... adoption without full transparency is a crime just waiting to happen.

Pound Pup Legacy