are kids in USA foster care really unwanted

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-katz/adoption-scandal-intersta_b_400108.html

link I found under the child law post

Sad, but I have been saying this for years....  even 14 year old boys who are African American have people wanted to adopt them.... 

When I was trying to adopt it was almost impossible to get a straight homestudy to adopt children from foster care.  There were upwards 300 families that would inquire about waiting children on lists; 

the mess up system would not let many kids get adopted.

the post under the link says only 71 children in the entire USA was allowed to be placed in a different state for adoption last year  from public foster care

that in some states it is so bad they don't let kids cross even in state county lines....  and they grow up and age out of the system...

0

What I Need Is A Mom

From the article Rinda posted:
Given the intensity of the need and the number of families that want to adopt, why is interstate adoption so rare? The primary reason is that we do not have a national adoption system. Instead, we have 50 different child welfare systems, each with its own process for adoption eligibility, recruitment, approval, and training.

Over the years I've heard lots of stories from PAPs like Rinda who have been frustrated by the foster child adoption process.  Some agencies require that PAPs become foster parents first.  We made it quite clear to our agency we did not wish to become foster parents before or after our children were placed in our home.  Also, we only wanted to consider children who were already legally free for adoption (parental rights terminated).  In too many jurisdictions this request alone would have effectively ended our chances to adopt an older foster child.  There's simply no good reason for it.

I've also heard that state agencies were less than receptive to inquiring PAPs.  Either they were unresponsive or they outright discouraged PAPs who wanted to adopt an older foster child.  We found a private agency (subcontracted with the state) and our experience was top shelf.

Although it's rather dated (1995), Conna Craig, Harvard grad and an ex-foster child, wrote an excellent article entitled "What I Need Is a Mom.  Here's a short excerpt:

The problem with foster care is not the level of government spending, it is the structure of that spending. The funding system gives child-welfare bureaucracies incentives to keep even free-to-be-adopted kids in state care. State-social-service agencies are neither rewarded for helping children find adoptive homes nor penalized for failing to do so in a reasonable amount of time. There is no financial incentive to recruit adoptive families. And as more children enter the system, so does the tax money to support them in substitute care.

By contrast, private adoption agencies are paid to find suitable families quickly, even if it means going out of state. The public social-service bureaucracy, nearly overwhelmed by other urban problems, has little to gain by devoting extra resources to adoption. Private adoption agencies are free to focus on finding homes for kids and are financially motivated to do so. Private adoption agencies are paid according to the number of successful placements; public agencies, in a sense, are paid for the number of children they prevent from being adopted.

http://www.hoover.org/publications/policyreview/3564917.html

It seems not much has changed since 1995 - at least for some PAPs.  And still if you peruse the pages of PPL at times, you're led to believe CPS is snatching kids for adoption left right and center so they can make $$$ off adoptive placements.  I guess it depends on which part of the elephant you're stroking.

Dad

Astute observation

In many parts of the world, infants are being wrongly removed from their families, and labeled "abandoned" simply because adoptive parents from wealthy countries want infants, not older children in their families. This is not myth, this is fact.

Thanks for sharing

My comments in this thread were limited to the domestic adoption of older foster children from US foster care, not infant IC adoption.  But thanks for sharing.

Dad

Asute observation.......

This is correct and what makes the whole myth of "orphan" even more obsurd.
While more that 70% of PAPs want an infant 0 to 18 months, this is what promotes baby mills in other countries.
I am hearing freaky stories out of Ghana and Ethiopia adoptions- PAPs are getting referrals that are 1 month old. How can this be that the child was "abandoned" and processed in the country and registered in such a short timeframe? Are they lying about the age? or is it simply an assembly line of birth-referral-adoption.
I say it is called "pre sell" inventory, put your order in and it is made to order. If countries would demand that adoption agencies take their older children first, I think you would see a bigger decline in adoptions. In fact, I would like to see the USCIS put an age limit on infants none less than 24 months, unless there is a strong urgent medical necessity.
Unfortunately Adoption, is a business and it is supply and demand. We have seen this in all countries--if the inventory doesn't exist for the client/PAP, the country facilitator will create the inventory by hook or crook.
While the TRUE orphans that are 5 years and up languish in the streets of most 3rd world nations!!! If a couple really wants to help a true orphan than why the cute little newborn?

Infants, not older children

While there are indeed many really great people wanting to reach-out to older kids stuck in crappy foster-care situations, I'm still in awe just how many pro-adoption advocates keep pushing infant adoption as the best option for couples wanting a child.

Just yesterday I was reading an article titled, "The Truth About Domestic Adoption".  The author explains to readers the myths behind domestic adoption, which include:

  1. There are no infants available for adoption in the USA.  [With places like Gladney and Bethany, of course there will be infants made available to the desperate PAP!]
  2. There is an endless wait and prohibitive cost. [Finding the right agency and lawyer, is key...]
  3. The birthparents are bad. [My personal favorite, because it's hard to be an adoptee and not think at some point, your birth-parents are at the very least lame for relinquishing parental responsibility.]
  4. Open adoption confuses children.  [Adoption itself confuses kids.... makes no difference if it's open or not.]
  5. Birthmothers are teenagers.  [Incapable of responsibility and unworthy of encouraging support?]
  6. Adoptees are troubled.  [If someone was not looking at, listening to, or addressing core problems plaguing you, wouldn't you be troubled, too?]

The sending-message being, if infant adoption is what you want for yourself... but you're afraid to buy a child outside of the United States, don't fret... don't be discouraged!  You CAN get your baby from a "responsible" birth-parent in the United States, at a reasonable price, and within a reasonable amount of time.... all you have to do is do your research and talk to those who got healthy babies.

Anyone see the twisted sickness in that pro-adoption sales-pitch?

Meanwhile, because healthy strong infants, (from "good" parents) are what many many PAP's want, desperate-for-baby PAP's are signing-up with adoption agencies that advertise "quick deliveries" to those not afraid to travel to countries known for child trafficking.

As much as I do believe there are many many people wanting to help take better care of children put in really bad "temporary"  living-conditions (foster-care, group-homes, institutions),  I also see a not-so hidden danger... one that affects older children waiting for improvements.  More and more I keep finding pro-adoption people, (many of whom are infertile and tired of expensive unsuccessful fertility treatments), are not looking at what's going-on in foster care.  Instead, they are keeping their eyes on the real prize --  infants "without legal parents" about to go into a really bad child welfare system. 

SD woman gets prison for duping Adoption Agencies

now here is a first....a bio mother ripping an Adoption agency off---imagine that?

Associated Press - April 17, 2010 1:55 PM ET

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A Sioux Falls woman was ordered to spend 16 months in prison and repay $11,212 to adoption agencies for her guilty plea to mail fraud.

The U.S. Attorney's office says Melissa Ann Bergstedt schemed to defraud two adoption agencies by applying with each to pay living expenses during her pregnancy. Each agency provided thousands of dollars without knowledge of the other's involvement.

Prosecutors say she also met with two sets of prospective parents about adopting her baby but did not proceed with an adoption after her baby was born.

Another waiting single PAP for Krygyzstan

Many of the 65 that are waiting received referrals of babies that were 2-3 months, such as this 33 year old single woman from Michigan. While my heart goes to her, she is still under the "baby fever" and truly believes the babies is "HERS" because after all she paid for it. IMO, she has been conned big time by this agency, WL is owned by a Russian woman (Tatiana Suslin) who claims to have connections in all of these former soviet states.
It's amazing what a little money can buy you in poor countries!

"I'm watching her grow up from far away"- Flint woman waits two years for daughter she loves in Kyrgyzstan
By Beata Mostafavi | Flint Journal
January 08, 2010, 5:45PM

Angela Sharp, of Flint, stands in the room she has set up waiting with clothes her adopted daughter Mia has already outgrown while stuck in adoption limbo with Kyrgyzstan because of paperwork delays. Sharp is among 65 families in the same situation. She met her daughter Mia in April of 2008, expecting to bring her home six weeks later. Mia is almost 2 and still in the overseas orphanage because of the hold up. Sharp and others are calling on Hillary Clinton and Obama to step in. Ryan Garza/The Flint Journal
FLINT, Michigan — Mia-Angelina’s room is ready to welcome the baby girl home in Flint, with a pink and green polka-dotted bed set, a closet stuffed with tiny dresses and shoes and Dr. Seuss books lining the shelf.

The brown-eyed orphan was three months old and just weeks away from being officially adopted when she met her mom-to-be Angela Sharp in April 2008.

But Mia has outgrown the never-worn ruffly outfits. She has never slept in her pastel-hued crib or played with the stuffed animals in the pink bins in her nursery.

Mia is among at least 65 children stuck in adoption limbo in the central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan because of a moratorium the Kyrgyz government placed on all international adoptions as it overhauls regulations to its adoptions system.

“It just makes you think of what almost was,” said Sharp, 35, through tears, touching price tags still hanging off pajamas bought in preparation for Mia’s expected arrival nearly two years ago.

Sharp is among dozens of heartbroken families who were just days away from becoming legal parents before the adoption halt and are at an indefinite standstill as their intended babies — many with special needs— pass milestones in orphanages thousands of miles away.

“The judge asked me ‘Do you like this girl?’ I said ‘I love her,’” Sharp recalled of her trip to Kyrgyzstan in 2008. “She said ‘I see no reason why you two should not be together. You even look alike.’

“Now I’m watching her grow up from far away.”

Sharp holds Mia for the first time in Kyrgyzstan. Adoption reform there has stalled Sharp’s efforts, as well as those of more than 60 other families.
On the visit, the two spent hours together. Sharp fed, changed and cuddled with Mia who was stiff at first because she wasn’t held often in the orphanage of more than 100 children.

Mostly, they just stared at each other.

“The lady at the orphanage said ‘You two have your own language,’” recalled Sharp, a local hair stylist who is single. “She had these big brown eyes. It was instant love. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. She was beautiful.”

When Sharp left, she promised Mia that the next time they walked out of the orphanage’s gates together, she would be bringing her home.

That was only supposed to be less than six weeks later.

Mia turns 2 on Jan. 22.

“I told her to be brave and that I would be back soon,” Sharp said, wiping away tears.

“I worry about her,” she added, looking at a photo of Mia with her single-candle topped cake on her first birthday. “I wonder is she happy? Is she eating well?”

Sharp and other waiting families who have connected through the Internet have written hundreds of letters to lawmakers, foundations, even Microsoft founder Bill Gates for help.

They’re now calling on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Barack Obama to get involved to urge the Kyrgyzstan government to allow them to bring their intended children home.

The U.S. State Department is also working on the families’ and children’s behalf to try to grandfather them in to the new laws being developed in Kyrgyzstan meant to clear out corruption in the adoption system.

The families had passed months worth of background checks and home visits to be matched with children who had been cleared as legitimate orphans after an exhaustive process.

For many families, it was simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I’m asking everyone to pray for a miracle,” said Frank Shimkus, 48, a retired politician and pastor in Scranton, Penn., who has been waiting more than a year to bring home baby boy Aidan Josiah who is in the same orphanage as Mia.

He and wife Gabrielle also believed Aidan would come home with them just weeks after meeting him November 2008, when he was 3 months old. They already had their “baby’s first Christmas” ornament.

They also had lined up doctors to perform needed surgeries for Aidan’s cleft lip and palate which they’ve been told is most successful at a younger age.

Like Sharp, it’s hard for the couple not to get emotional every time they pass the green nursery they prepared for him in their home.

“This is not a political issue. This is about a little boy. He is our hearts,” said a choked-up Shimkus. “We will never give up.”

Sharp made the decision to adopt nearly four years ago.

“I said here I am wanting a child and here are all these children wanting a mother,” she said

But it was a much more complicated process than she’d realized.

She said she pursued the domestic route first but that her single status made her an unlikely choice for birth moms who often choose homes with married couples.

And the wait in other countries was up to five years long.

Sharp started the adoption process with renowned Pennsylvania-based World Links International Adoption Agency in January 2008.

The agency could not be reached for comment.

Sharp has asked for the help of local lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, asking them to sign the letter. The Flint Journal could not reach Stabenow for comment.

Back in Kyrgyzstan, Mia is taking steps, babbling in Russian and growing into a playful toddler while waiting for a mom.

Sharp said she’s holding off on another visit to the remote mountainous country because of the emotional toll she thinks it would take on both her and Mia.

“I just ask people to write their senators and tell them what’s happening so hopefully someone can help us bring our children home,” she said. “The next time I go, it will be when my daughter can come back with me.”

What’s happening in Kyrgyzstan

• International adoptions had been on the rise in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan where the eight- to 12-month adoption process was relatively faster and smoother than in other countries and an attractive choice for families looking to adopt. The waiting lists in other countries, such as China, are as long as four to five years.

• Amidst allegations of fraud by adoption workers in 2008 and 2009, all adoptions abruptly stopped in Kyrgyzstan. That included the adoptions by at least 65 families who had already visited their intended adoptive children and were just weeks away from a court hearing to make the adoptions official.

• The government has been investigating claims of fraud in the adoption process, and is developing new adoption guidelines with the help of UNICEF.

• Senators Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, and Barbara Boxer, D-California, are reportedly preparing a letter to Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev concerning the 65 stalled adoptions, with other senators expected to sign it. They hope to grandfather in the 65 families to new rules.

• The Kyrgyz Parliament is set to discuss the issue again Feb.15.

• How to help: Families waiting for adoptions are asking people to write Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and ask her to become directly involved in the situation.

People can write to: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520

Frank and Gabrielle Shimkus

Evidently, this couple is not without their controversies. They worked together at a local TV station, Frank under the anchor name of Frank Andrews.
Gabrielle, was in an auto accident and sued the station for over $600,000
Frank and Gabrielle have been married since May 2008. How is it that a couple barely married a year were allowed to adopt? Most agencies have a 3-4 year marriage requirement.

Excerpts from local news in PA where the Shimkus live:
For starters, former WYOU-TV reporter Gabrielle Prutisto and WYOU anchor turned state representative Frank (Shimkus) Andrews are the proud new co-owners of a fabulous, $370,000 abode located in beautiful downtown Throop. The newly engaged couple will be tying the knot this upcoming May with a reception extraordinaire planned for the glorious Scranton Cultural Center. Dying to find out more info, I rang the irreverent reverend up at the state capitol to get the low down on his and Gabby's impending nuptials. For starters, the lovebirds are not co-habitating before they walk down the aisle and no, Frank did not get Gabrielle her job in Harrisburg.

"I'm a mere freshman legislator," Sir Frank lamented, laughing. "I can't even get a pencil!"

And in case you've been living in a strip mine pit and didn't know, just last May the amicable Gabrielle was awarded $650,000 in an arbitration ruling from a car crash in the company Ford Escort when she was struck from behind by a flat bed truck while on assignment. Me thinks the last thing Miss Gabby needs to worry about is having her fiance secure her a job.

Instead, the uber-excited bride-to-be is concentrating on her upcoming big day and has secured a most spectacular gown from designer Vera Wang. She also assures me that Rude Rube will be first on the guest list, which may also include Gov. Ed Rendell, as long as he's not scheduled to be elsewhere. Interestingly enough, Frank asked the Governor if he could perform the actual ceremony but learned that in Pennsylvania, governors cannot officiate over weddings. However, Gov. Rendell's feisty first lady, Marjorie, serves on the United States Court of Appeals and technically could perform said ceremony.
A strange story keeps getting stranger. Former WYOU reporter Gabrielle Prutisto told Throop police that she found funny footprints outside her house and also found a cracked window and "blames Joseph Pilchesky’s Web site for inciting the suspected trespassing," according to Dave Falchek's Scranton Times-Tribune Sunday. Except that the cops told the paper that the double-paned window was cracked on the inside, not the outside.

Prutisto is engaged to former WYOU anchor Frank Shimkus (who used the fake name Frank Andrews during his journalism career), who is running for re-election to the General Assembly but has been accused by Pilchesky of not really living at the Scranton home cited on election papers as his residence
Over by the auction table, I spied state rep. Frank Andrews Shimkus with his missus, former TV reporter Gabrielle Prutisto, who happened to be busy bidding on baby items. My mouth foaming with impending scoop, I rabidly approached and demanded the skinny on her quest for nursery furnishings amidst a fierce re-election campaign. After much prodding, she finally threw me a bone and confirmed that she and Frank are, indeed, expecting the pitter patter of little feet - only these little feet will be coming from far-away Kryzikstan.

Yes, the couple is adopting a special needs baby they've already named Aidan Josiah who will be calling NEPA home as early as January. Frank and Gabrielle will be going to see their baby son the day after the election to finish up with the adoption paperwork and to spend some time with the lad. Sadly, baby Aidan was born with a cleft palate, but the doctors at Geisinger already have him scheduled for surgery once he arrives at his new home. In the meantime, Gabrielle is biding her time 'til she can get her arms wrapped around her wee one.

wrongful removal

Most of the removals for adoption placement  happen in the United Kingdom, where this is a recognized problem, addressed by both MP Tim Yeo and by MP John Hemming. Adoption target in the UK have the perverse effect that in order to increase the number of adoptions from foster care, more infants are being removed, because they are highly in demand.

In the US children are also wrongfully removed for many reasons, but this seems in most cases not related to the adopt from foster care programs. State officials overreact when a horrible abuse case makes the head lines by removing more children than is necessary. The practice is called erring on the side of the child, not recognizing that removal itself is by definition harming a child, even when removal itself is warranted.

Children are also removed and kept in State care, when large state welfare organizations have political power at the local level to keep children in institutional care. Institutions receive per diems for each child in their care, and as a result have every incentive to keep their facilities maximally utilized. Given incestuous relations between state officials and private institutional care facilities, CPS in certain states (Michigan for example) work at the behest of these private institutional care facilities, not necessarily in the best interest of the child.

What I Need Is A Mom - the real Conna

As touching as Conna Craig's article may be she is a pretty heartless, ignorant and hurtful woman. Ironic for someone who speaks on behalf of child advocacy. I recently read a post from Harvard University's Alumni Forum on Linkedin and a fellow member (who happened to be a Harvard Extension School Graduate) requested some job advice from the community and though everyone else was being helpful, all she could do was create a hostile mood and highlight the fact that she did not consider him Harvard Alumni since a Harvard Extension School education is not at equal status - seriously Conna?

Being both a Harvard Alum AND an ex-foster child myself I am disgusted to say the least at her attitude.

Across borders

[Copied from the cited article, mentioned by Rinda]

Following a "Tuesday's Child" spot about a 7-year-old black boy named Justin, I received a call from a woman in Massachusetts. She was a lawyer and her husband, a doctor. Both were black. She explained to me that she and her husband had been considering adoption for several years. They saw Justin on TV. They were moved by his story. They prayed. And they decided that they wanted to adopt this child.

But they never did. Rhode Island was not legally able to provide a "home study" to a Massachusetts family. And Massachusetts would not use precious state resources to prepare a family to adopt a child in another state. This situation repeats itself, every single day, in America. The simple fact is that it is virtually impossible to adopt a foster child across state lines in the United States.   [Adoption Scandal: Interstate Barriers Keep Kids in Foster Care, Jeff Katz]

And yet.... foreigners, from well across the pond are allowed to adopt from the American Foster Care system.

From a total of 767 foreign adoptions last year, 56 were of American children -- the third largest group after China and Haiti.  [From:  Netherlands limits adoptions of US children ]

  Go figure.

Surely there must be a reason why foreign adoption is favored by so many.... 

more worthy

Some children are seen as more worthy of adoption by APs. 

Hmmm...

This has me curious... what does "more worthy" really mean?

One example: A child of

One example: A child of poor, desperate parents in a developing country can be seen as more worthy than a child of American drug addicted parents who haven't helped themselves.

Worthiness and those in-need of help

Personally, I think both examples represent parents who need help and assistance... but the needs in both cases are very very different.

I'm the first to admit, I'm guilty of always looking at adoption through the eyes of the child.... so with that, let me share my grown-up opinion on the words "worthy" and "in-need", as it relates to family-assistance and services.

If my birth-parents were poor and desperate and in need of help, I would hate to think no one wanted to help them keep not only their home, but their children, too. I would hate to know my parents had to relinquish all rights that go with being my parents, simply because the house was too crowded and there was not enough food to eat.

If my birth-parents were drug-addicts, I would want to be away from them, but I'd also like to know someone was taking care of them, too.  [Yes, I would very much want to know someone was reaching them... teaching them essential life-lessons like how to grow-up and cope with life-stress, so maybe one day they could come back to me and show me they are NOT losers stuck on drugs.] 

Maybe I'm really simple, but I do think children want to see their parents doing everything they can to keep their family together.

So, if you ask me, while the first example may seem more "worthy" of assistance, I see the second example as being the one that needs the most help.  The irony to me is....as non-religious as I am, I am one of those people who will ask, "What would Jesus do in this situation?".  You see, growing up, I used to read the bible for fun.  [What else was I going to do if I wasn't allowed out, and I had to remain quiet? ]  I learned all sorts of things about the human-spirit and how rulers like to keep certain people down.   As much as I loved the not-knowing-what-comes-next aspect of the Old Testament... it was the New Testament that appealed to me the most.  I didn't care about the apostles so much... I simply loved reading stories about this guy named Jesus who kept getting angry at priests and kept traveling, helping the poor.  Correction.  He kept finding and assisting the most wretched... the ones no one wanted to touch, help, or be around. 

I know a lot of people find sympathy for those living in poverty.  Poverty, itself, is not a sin... it's not a crime.... it's a living condition many people are forced to adapt to.   But it must be remembered, just because a family (in a developing country) doesn't have indoor plumbing or electricity doesn't mean that family can't be loving, caring, and happy. 

I find it sad people would rather take a child from the poor, than help re-build the family that's breaking apart... simply because one type of person is seen as better... more "worthy".

Moreover, I find it sad people think because of the sins/mistakes of the parents, a child is seen as NOT worthy of help, or support.

worthiness

Yes - You are right and I totally agree with you.  I meant to show how superficial it can be how APs decide where they want to adopt from. Another thing people think is that in the US, there are more safety nets, therefore less need for adoption.

Elephant in the room

I meant to show how superficial it can be how APs decide where they want to adopt from.

Elephant in the room with this entire topic is...WHICH APs?

I'd say the answer is plain as day, but may be a blind spot for some, dunno.

The principle of "unworthyness".

The principle of "unworthyness" you describe is based on a longtime philosophy that came along with the "poor law". It is called "less eligibility" and was used to establish the workhouses in which the "poor" were housed in Britain. Prior to this Britain aparently had a welfare system that was the forerunner of the current system where people who needed economic help were given it. This was called "outdoor relief". With the onset of the "enclosures" and the industrial revolution, (which by the way roughly coincided with the Rev Malthus"s writings namely "The Essay on Population" in which Malthus "demonised" the poor), the principle of "less eligibility" advocated successfully it seems to safeguard the "public purse".  The policy deliberately seeks to make receipt of charity a painful and unattractive process by depriving the recipients of the comforts of friends and family. Married couples were separated, often in old age, children were separated from first fathers and then mothers. This principle still exists. Mathus's essay sraised the issue that the "poor" should not be allowed to multiply. Malthus's followers still exist today. They still seek to punish the poor and non-compliant. Mathus advocated late marriage and restraint as virtues and the policy now entrenched in social policy, seeks to "punish" "unrestrained" reproduction of human beings least they overrun and polute the planet. by removing their children. A leading mathusianist, a woman no less, stated that women who bear children out of wedlock in particular should be punished by having their children removed from them at birth. If you wish to know more try the website "keepyourbaby". This was one of the first websites I came accross that openlt spoke about the dark side of adoption, and advocated mothers rights.

I could write more but the post would become unmanagable so I will end my post here and give others an opportunity to contribute to the discussion. I will post a blog soon but am a bit snowed under at the moment.

                                                                                        Cheers Dandelionchain.

Malthus was an a-h***

Glad that SOB is long dead, though as you note, his ideas persist.

They still seek to punish the poor and non-compliant.

Ohh, yes. That they certainly do.

Neo-Victorianism lives.

The "business" of adoption

There are several fundamental reasons why Americans default to international adoption.

1.) Though international adoption is an arduous, time consuming process it is much "faster" to complete than foster care adoption.

2.) Prospective adoptive parents are told and wrongly believe that "birth parents" will be less likely to disrupt a placement. (This is a particularly specious argument since, the last time I checked, perhaps 1/2 of 1% of all adoptions were disrupted under those circumstances and most of those cases had obvious underlying legal defects in the TPR. In fact, in foster care, unlike infant adoptions (see the Baby Gabriel case), TPR's are thoroughly and finally addressed by the court, in most cases, before the child is even placed on a waiting child list.

3.) Prospective adoptive parents are encouraged to shy away from those "damaged foster children" in the US, despite the fact that 100% of international adoptions involve "foster children" in their home countries, most of whom have far more complex special needs, esp in countries where it was unlikely that there was any prenatal care.

Despite the fact that foster care adoptions are generally free or very inexpensive, the American adoption community in a conspiracy of both hypocrisy of silence has encouraged a generation of families to ignore the very real needs of American children and spend enormous amounts of money to adopt children abroad. They do this because of the incredible financial incentives to "market" international adoptions which provide substantial cash flow. They avoid foster care adoption because the reimbursement rates from states are low and dealing with state agencies is generally an arduous, frustrating task. Private agencies have been reluctant to advocate for state or federal subsidization of adoption a la family planning - though that is one obvious solution to the commercialism of American adoption - because they do not want the oversight, enforcement and accountability that receiving public dollars brings about.

Adoption is not a state law issue. All inter-country adoption is by definition "interstate commerce". Every adoption agency with a website is a multi-state operator. Yet adoption, unlike coal mines and health clubs, remains beyond the reach of federal regulations when it comes to consumer protections. In this case, any triad member that engages the adoption system, whether bparent, aparent or the adopted person themselves, is a consumer of adoption services.

Few, if any, American officials have examined the perverse market forces that have arisen around international adoption and how they work against the interests of American children. If they want to preserve anything good about adoption, it's long past time they did. There are 125,000 American children legally free for adoption in any given year who are a good reason to take up the issue.

Reply

There must be information missing, or this is hype: interstate adoption happens all the time and it's a lot easier than inter-country (we are Canadians and have adopted from the US qand it was fairly straightforward.) We also have a family living nearby (here in Canada) that have adopted two pre-teen girls from the US foster care system, so there are opportunities out there.

Canada: The 51st State

Hmm.  I didn't know that a Canadia - U.S. adoption qualified as an interstate adoption.  You learn something new every day.

Dad

Cross the border child-trade

Granted, there are those who may not see Canada/America as two foreign entities... nevertheless, doesn't everybody in Adoptionland know by now more money (profit) can be made through an international adoption than a domestic adoption?

Question:  why would someone in Canada adopt from America?  Are there no adoptable children in Canada anymore?  [As one who was birthed in Newfoundland and sold to grossly dysfunctional Americans, I gotta be honest, there were many times I thought how much better it would have been had 'my own-kind' adopted me way back when I was a chosen-to-be-relinquished baby, "waiting for a family".  I don't know how other 'foreign adoptees' feel, but in my case, NOT being chosen by people in my own country... Mother-land, if you will.... it kinda added a new depth to the visceral sadness that goes with the natural question adoptees often ask: "What's wrong with me?... why don't my own-kind care about or want me?"]

I thought is was disturbing to learn the Dutch were adopting American foster children... knowing Canadians are adopting American foster kids... all I have to say is:  WOW.

Baby Gabriel's family fears he was sold in underground adoption

I have been following this case since the beginning of the year.  If you REALLY want to see someone get fired up over this tune into Nancy Grace on CNN.  She is going after this mother and hanging her out.  Even if it is an underground adoption anywhere is better than living with that crazy mother of his.   

Gabriel Johnson's Family Fears Missing Baby Was Sold in Underground Adoption

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(AP Photo/Tempe Police Department)
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NEW YORK (CBS) As Logan McQueary searches Texas for his 9-month-old missing infant son Gabriel Johnson, the father has new worries that his baby boy may have been sold into an underground adoption.

Photo: Gabriel Johnson.

PICTURES: Baby Gabriel Johnson Missing

Since Feb. 2, McQueary has been retracing a road trip that 8-month-old Gabriel Johnson and his mother, Elizabeth Johnson, took last December from Tempe, Ariz., to San Antonio, Texas - the last place the little boy was seen alive.

Elizabeth Johnson, 23, told a TV station she gave the child to strangers in San Antonio, allegedly told McQueary that she killed the baby and threw him in a trash bin, and hasn't told the police much of anything.

Photo: Logan McQueary and baby Gabriel.

PICTURES: Baby Gabriel Johnson Missing

Arizona police have her locked up on charges of kidnapping, child abuse and custodial interference.

But McQueary has kept hope alive.

On Sunday, he and his family met with an adoption expert who often consults with the FBI in the world of underground adoptions, and learned some startling connections, according to CBS affiliate KPHO.

Photo: Elizabeth and Gabriel Johnson.

PICTURES: Baby Gabriel Johnson Missing

According to the expert, who asked not to be identified, The Homegate Hotel, where Elizabeth Johnson stayed in San Antonio, is well known in adoption circles. Agencies put girls up there for meetings with families and to complete paperwork, the expert said.

The last known photos of Gabriel were taken at the hotel. In one of the images, the boy is holding a prescription drug container. In another, his eyelids are eerily half closed.

Photo: Gabriel Johnson.

PICTURES: Baby Gabriel Johnson Missing

On Dec. 26, the same day the photos were taken, Johnson and Gabriel were spotted on surveillance footage outside a Six Flags amusement park in San Antonio.

The expert told the McQueary family that this too fits the bill of many underground adoption he's seen.

"Often girls go to Six Flags to meet with the adoptive family. There’s a lot of people in and out there, and there’s also security there, and it’s a safe place for both the mother and the family to meet, often to bring the child, introduce the child to the family,” the expert said according to Lisa Peters, McQueary's cousin who has been accompanying him on his search.

That was also just two days after she posted two comments on her MySpace page stating, "Where there's a will, there's a way" and "Excited to start my new life."

San Antonio investigators have said that they are now classifying the case as a kidnapping homicide because it allows them to search for a dead body as well as looking for a missing person.

Ten most wanted list in Utah, Gabriel

Ten most wanted list in Utah is children.

Start looking there first.

What a precious little boy

He is so beautiful.

Famous detective hired to find missing Baby Gabriel

Call me naive all you want, but this Det. Armes declares he has been involved with 150 such cases of underground adoption--sounds like this sort of thing is more common than we realize.  If the mother Elizabeth keeps being uncooperative with police about Baby Gabriel's whereabouts, put her in a cell with some other tough female prisoners and let them beat the information out of her.  She needs a good scare. 

Famed sleuth hunts for missing baby

February 12, 2010 - 10:25PM

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Gabriel Johnson’s mother, Elizabeth Johnson, 23, of Tempe, drove Gabriel to San Antonio on Dec. 18 in the midst of a custody battle with her estranged boyfriend and the baby’s father, Logan McQueary.

Gabriel Johnson’s mother, Elizabeth Johnson, 23, of Tempe, drove Gabriel to San Antonio on Dec. 18 in the midst of a custody battle with her estranged boyfriend and the baby’s father, Logan McQueary.

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A renowned private investigator and four of his associates who are conducting a nationwide search of missing 9-month-old Gabriel Johnson believe the boy is still alive and they are close to finding him.

Jay J. Armes, whose office is based in El Paso, Texas, told the Tribune he believes Gabriel Johnson has fallen victim to an underground adoption, and he and his investigators are following up on more than 350 leads nationwide that include sightings of the boy.

Gabriel’s mother, Elizabeth Johnson, 23, of Tempe, drove Gabriel in her grandfather’s 1995 white Delta-88 Oldsmobile to San Antonio on Dec. 18 in the midst of a custody battle with her estranged boyfriend and the baby’s father, Logan McQueary.

The child was last seen on Dec. 26 at a Quality Inn and Suites motel, where Johnson was staying. The next day, Johnson told McQueary via text message that she killed Gabriel. The mother has since said she gave the baby away, but she remains uncooperative with police.

Armes, who has 40 years of investigative experience, has a claim to fame of finding actor Marlon Brando’s son, Christian Brando, who was kidnapped in 1972 and held in Mexico for ransom.

Armes, who did not reveal his whereabouts or his strategy to find the Gabriel, said his office has been receiving 70 tips a day for the last week on the “Baby Gabriel” case that has received national attention.

“My feelings about the child, my gut feeling, is that he’s still alive,” Armes said. “I have no thought otherwise. There have been no clues that the baby is dead. I’m very optimistic that we’re close to finding him. If we do this investigation right, it’ll come out right.”

Johnson was arrested without the child on Dec. 30 in Miami Beach, Fla., where she told an FBI agent that she was approached Dec. 25 in a San Antonio park by an unknown couple who wanted to adopt a child. She told the agent she gave Gabriel to the couple the next day in the parking lot of the motel and signed an adoption form, according to a Maricopa County Superior Court document.

Armes said he has recovered 150 children from underground adoption cases of the 300 such cases he’s been involved in. He said he is familiar with underground adoption rings, including those south of the border in Mexico, where he believes Gabriel might have wound up. People will pay as much as $50,000 for a child in an underground adoption after a child is sometimes kidnapped and taken south of the border, according to Armes.

Armes said he was retained to direct a national search for Gabriel, but offered his services pro bono to McQueary’s family last week. Armes said a woman working for a missing children’s group in California brought the case to his attention, and he said he knew McQueary did not have the financial means to hire private investigators.

McQueary has told the Tribune he has taken leave of absence from his job stocking shelves at a retail store in Tempe while he searches for clues in the case. He currently is in San Antonio with relatives. He also is passing out flyers featuring pictures of Gabriel.

Up to a $5,000 reward is being offered through Crime Stoppers in San Antonio for information that could lead to the safe return of the boy.

San Antonio police currently are conducting parallel homicide and missing person investigations into the disappearance of Gabriel. Authorities began excavating a section of a landfill in San Antonio this week in searching for evidence or possible remains of the boy. Two tips led police to that section of the landfill, and it was closed on Jan. 9 at their request.

Johnson is being held in the Maricopa County Estrella Jail on a $1.1 million cash bond on charges of kidnapping, child abuse, custodial interference and conspiracy to commit custodial interference.

Tammi Smith of Scottsdale has been charged with conspiracy to commit custodial interference and forgery. Tammi Smith and her husband, Jack Smith, were persons of interest in the case and were interested in adopting Gabriel, but McQueary objected to the adoption.

If anyone has any information about Gabriel’s whereabouts, they can call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 or Armes’ office at (915) 532-5739.

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