Holt's take on orphans in foreign countries
- Adoption Issues in the US
- Dark side of inter-racial adoption surfaces with arrivals of grown-up adoptees
- Open discussion about Open Adoption
- The Orphan Trade
- Tragedy Exploited: A Sad History Repeating Itself in Haiti
- Russian Adoptions Slow but not Stopped a Year after Uproar
- Babies just another commodity
- Reviewing Jedd Medefind's response to "The Evangelical Adoption Crusade"
- Ambassador post blocked as US adoptive families fight for release of Vietnamese orphans
- The problem with saving the world's 'orphans'
Earlier I read an adoption-related article that began with the story of an adoptee who wanted to marry an older woman he loved... a woman who happened to be his mother. In the article titled, Man sought mom's hand in marriage, authored by Telegraph staff writer, Laura Newell, 65 year old adoptee Ray Walker Price shares thoughts about good ol' adoption issues like genetic sexual attraction, and feelings like "something just felt wrong". Unfortunately, his few lines of text got cut-off by an unrelated essay advertisement promoting Holt international, and the wonderful benefits that go with international adoption. [For the life of me, I'm still trying to see how a writer can make such a leap... domestic California adoption story turns into Holt International sales-pitch, in the turn of a single sentence? Well, I'm sure the author had her reasons...]
I will reserve snarky comments mocking the bait-and-switch technique used in adoption marketing/advertising for another time.
Instead, I'd like to draw attention to the use of '163 million orphans around the world'... as only an international adoption agency, like Holt, can do.
[Keep in mind, my understanding of the term orphan goes as follows: an orphan is a child who has lost both parents... before an adoption plan has been made, not after.]
In the adoption-friendly article that starts with the lurid tease of a sordid love-affair - a relationship that could never be between an adoptee and his bio-mother - another more socially acceptable adoption story forms. Why none other than Aaron Klein, (who is HE?)... a brother to an adoptee and two-time satisfied customer of Holt International, joins the page, adding his own personal adoption experience. Oh, might I add, Klien's adopted sister was purchased through Holt, too.
Yes, move-over Mr. Price, you and your domestic adoption problems are old and not a concerning problem for any young-ish person considering a modern-day adoption.
According to Holt International, there are orphans to save, and fear not ye smart enlightened brethren who took the time to read a history page or two... old-time adoption practices are now new and improved. Yay! Let us forget stories of stolen babies and corrupt governments... let us forget the new domestic adoption-craze that's driving down foreign adoption numbers. Instead, let us all bring our eyes and minds back to the problematic orphan issue. Oh, how can we ever forget those poor poor young children living in those horrible horrible orphanages... the poor babies non-profits like UNICEF have waged an unethical adoption war against? Yes, ye with feeling, weeping, bleeding God-fearing and worshiping heart, let us all focus on the many ways
child-trade international adoption can benefit soooooo many people.
“International adoptions are a little more difficult, but we are very open with them having a relationship with their biological parents,” Klein said. “I can see how it can be a little nerve racking for some, but we had a good relationship and experience. We will continue to send her (the biological mother of one of his children) information and photos. It’s a beautiful relationship.”
He said while he has had only positive experiences with adoption, the process is different today.
"Adoption has changed over the years in positive and healthy ways,” Klein said. “For many years people would only adopt kids who looked like them and then would keep it all a secret. But over the last few decades it has become a very positive thing and is just another way to add to your family.”
He believes that when adoption is done responsibly, it can benefit the children and parents.
“It’s important that you have an open relationship with your children so there is not this fear and secrecy that adoption used to have,” Klein said. “I think in the next few decades, you will hopefully never hear about these stories like what happened to this gentleman (Price).”
While there is a difference between domestic and international adoptions, he said adoption needs to grow in a positive way to best benefit children.
“It just grips me that there are 163 million orphans around the world and only one in six will be adopted. I would love to see that number grow to two or three out of the six,” Klein said. “At the end of the day, adoption needs to grow.”
Wait...163 million orphans... Mr Klein did not clarify if these are the orphans with BOTH living parents, the orphans with ONE living parent, or the orphans with NO living parents... or maybe, that 163 million number reflects the total sum of all three major orphan-types sold through international adoption agencies. (?) I don't know...forgive me, I get so confused when pro-international adoption advocates use the word "orphan" with big (yet incorrect) numbers, to help make a very serious point.
The belief that adoption needs to grow is confirmed by Cynthia Shockency, director of Holt International (Sacramento branch office), since 2007, thank you very much. [Indeed, 2008 brought good returns for Holt International; adoptions and revenues increased, compared to numbers from the previous year.]
“With domestic adoptions, there are a lot of times where the children want to eventually go back to biological families,” Shockency said. “So families that adopt internationally don’t have that happen as much.”
Families that adopt internationally don't have children going back to bio-families "as much". Great news for the insecure AP afraid to lose a child. But is this low-rate of return all that surprising? Not really. Ever see the records kept by adoption agencies/orphanages? [For kicks and giggles, watch The Mystery of # 4709 - Who Am I? -- a documentary featuring false and missing adoption records in S.Korea.]
Holt branch director also reminds readers in California, once a child is of age (18), he/she can search for their birth parents through the agency. The article does not mention if a fee for this special Holt service is required, (or if parents/bio family members are actually found). Nevertheless, future clients are reminded Holt has been doing business since 1956.
Question: if there are 163 million orphans in the world, WHY is Holt selling children with one or more living parents/adult family members to foreigners who can afford international adoption fees? Is it because Holt cares about the well-being of children forced to live in orphanages.... or is it because Holt recognizes a simple truth -- many PAP's would much rather pay more money, and wait a little longer for a young child/infant, especially if it means in the long-run, both AP and adoptee will have little to no contact or interference with any bio-family members in the future?
Before anyone gives an answer, just take a peek at Holt's photo-listings of available 'orphans' ready for the taking. Picture how many infertile or desperate to have a small young child would instantly fall in-love with the little face looking back on a screen. Then picture how such a photo-list can appeal to a pedophile wanting to see more.
I'm sick and tired of the way in which 'orphans' are being advertised on the internet. The images used to illicit a "I want to help" response are only putting the youngest of children in serious danger.... but tell that to the director of an adoption agency, or a person trapped in the magic spell cast by the very profitable adoption industry.