Revocation of adoption license

Ethiopia Adoption Alert

Adoption Alert

Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues


February 8, 2011



On December 9, 2010, the Government of Ethiopia revoked the Better Futures Adoption Services’ registration to operate in Ethiopia because of the organization’s misuse of its license in activities concerning the welfare of children.


The U.S. Embassy strongly recommends that prospective adoptive parents who have entered into an agreement with Better Futures Adoption Services, or who are planning to adopt through Better Futures Adoption Services, seek the advice of a legal professional.

Amom's call: March 15, 2010

In response to other suspensions... one of PPL's members had this to say when she announced KAZAKHSTAN SUSPENDS INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION

next will be Ethiopia. 

It's amazing how long hope and questions have to be raised, before an answer from the government is finally given.  Granted, all of Ethiopia is not closed yet, but each time an adoption agency is shut-down, people will begin to panic and search for the next step.

As it has been done in the past, as more and more reports come in, and as they state very clearly, children are brought illegally to an adoption agency, and documents of children have been falsified, many PAP's will resist the next-step, the one that requests PAP's to SLOW DOWN, because they will insist this growing problem has nothing to do the adoption agency they use, or the orphanage 'their' child is at. 

Ah.... the egos... as if people in Adoptionland have not seen this same scenario over and over and over again!  Sierra Leone.... Vietnam.... Nepal....  the list continues

The call to suspend adoptions is so people will stop calling for more children.  There are problems, people.... and not just the problems I mention in Adoption Myths, and Realities (a very long piece, my apologies...)

Many of these not adoptable children, who are being sold as adoptable, have parents.  Many of these parents have been lied to, or tricked, and contrary to the wishes of those who want a child within the time it takes for a gestation, these parents have rights, but they are being denied basics, like the chance to learn more about the value of informed consent

Amazingly, too many people still cannot see how these illegal acts harm a child's welfare. Too many people will NOT open their eyes.

Instead, people will read the horrors of a day in the life of a foreign orphanage , where God help us, the population keeps rising....and people are asked to



and fall....


the fog...

as it goes a little bit like this.... 

It isn't supposed to be like this. Where is the happy ending? When does the hero ride in on a white horse and solve all of the problems? After our Friday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the world became a different place.

The care center where our son is staying is no palace. But he and 24 other children awaiting adoption share several caretakers and live in above-standard –– even if a little crowded –– conditions.

On Friday, we visited the state-run orphanages called Kolfe, Kibebe Tsehay and Kechene. Kolfe and Kechene are homes for older orphans. Kolfe is a boys' facility designed for 100 residents that now is home to 280 boys. It is not a glamorous place, but the boys have three meals a day, go to school and even have a soccer field and pingpong table to help pass the time.

Kechene was established around World War II as a hospital for the blind. It is still a nice facility designed for 150 girls up to the age of 16. But there are 255 there today.

Our agency, The Gladney Center for Adoptions, hires many of the girls who age out of the facility to work in its locations in Addis Ababa. Gladney is also responsible for all of the medical care for state-run orphanages.
And when Gladney families discovered that the child-to-caretaker ratio at Kibebe Tsehay was more than 25-to-1, they raised the money to hire enough staff to decrease that ratio to 7-to-1.

However, in recent weeks, the population at this orphanage for young and handicapped children has exploded to more than 150 in a facility designed for about 100. That ratio is 14-to-1 now, but it is still far better than before.

The tour of that facility was as emotionally difficult as anything I have ever experienced. About 10 tiny babies, some brought to the facility with the umbilical cord still attached, sleep in a room with a couple of dedicated but outnumbered caregivers. Most of the women in our group had scooped up a baby and helped feed them while tears were streaming down their cheeks.

When we moved on to the toddler room, it got no easier to bear. Children from 6 months to 18 months were lying two or three to a bed, eating from a bottle propped up on a blanket. This method of feeding almost always leads to pneumonia. But what else can be done? Feeding can't be a 24-hour-a-day process when the caregivers have only so many hands and dozens of diapers to change and upset children to calm.

The tiny smiles when attention is paid to them are sweet. There was also a little girl who would not let go of my wife's finger even though she found nothing to smile about Friday. She just wanted my wife to stay with her. She couldn't.

Then we entered the room where children suffering with HIV, cerebral palsy or other handicaps reside. I will never forget that room. The silence was only broken by a boy with cerebral palsy rocking his crib back and forth to get our attention. He smiled when two ladies near his bed reached out for him and touched him. And then we had to move on.

Older children don't fare much better. One sweet little girl was devastated to have her head shaved due to lice, scabies or some other fungal condition for which medicines are expensive and a shaved head and extra attention will cure far more quickly and efficiently.

But she didn't care about the economics of it. She was about seven and wanted to keep her beautiful hair. Her screams and tears punctuated a difficult day.

After seeing how almost 700 of the 7 million Ethiopian orphans live their daily lives, I wanted to turn back the clock to a time when I imagined things to be much better. My Americanized rose-colored glasses and attitude of "how bad could it really be?" were both shattered by the sights, sounds and smells of the day.

I left wanting my eyes to forget everything they had just seen. I wanted my mind to forget everything I had learned. I want my ears to stop hearing the cries of the orphans.

Ignorance may have been bliss, but ignorance will not solve this problem. Incredible amounts of hard work and tall piles of money may not offer a complete solution, either. But I can't keep living like I lived, now knowing what I know and having seen what I have seen.

I don't know what to do to help, but I know we have to do something. The money we throw away during one night out would bring about a positive change for weeks for these children who have so little.

In James 1:27, God saw true religion as caring for widows and orphans in their time of need. I thought I knew what that meant. I understand it differently now.

We don't have to sacrifice everything to help orphaned children in Russia, China or Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. But we should care enough to help.

If you open your eyes to the problem, I will guarantee that soon they will begin searching for a solution.

Soon after, your hands and feet will follow, putting action into the ideas inspired by what you have seen, what you have heard and what you will forever know.

[From:  Kent Bush: Visiting orphans in Ethiopia, February 7, 2011 ]

Well, I opened my eyes, and this is what I saw, and thought:

 <start dreamy voice, because I still feel like I'm in this fog>   

WOW... it's a good thing someone went to Ethiopia, and is able to make sure Americans still desperate to adopt - or at least have a newborn/child under the age of 3 - learns about 10 tiny babies, some brought to the facility with the umbilical cord still attached  and how they, sleep in a room with a couple of dedicated but outnumbered caregivers. And I'm so glad I can close my eyes and imagine Most of the women in our group had scooped up a baby and helped feed them while tears were streaming down their cheeks.  And as the descriptive tour goes to the next room, I'll be sure to notice the Children from 6 months to 18 months were lying two or three to a bed, eating from a bottle propped up on a blanket. So sad, especially when we learn This method of feeding almost always leads to pneumonia. But what else can be done? [Sorry, I almost laughed out-loud, because in my mind I could actually see and hear the theatrics...] Feeding can't be a 24-hour-a-day process when the caregivers have only so many hands and dozens of diapers to change and upset children to calm.

Yep... all it takes is a few to open their eyes and think:  the solution is through international adoption... and we must call the good folks at Gladney, because they know how to do adoptions, they can be trusted, (and yes, they have the cash to make sure those mothers and babies are good and healthy, and ready to go... not like those annoying messed-up mothers you're gonna find in America.)

<shaking head>  Fog, completely gone.

I'm reminded of an excellent article found in, of all places, The Daily Mail.  [I tease my friends across the pond that it's pure tabloid compared to real American news....] Back when Madonna was in the news, making history in Malawi, Anna Feutchtwang, (chief executive of the charity EveryChild) wrote the the following:

There is much evidence to show that children in care are more likely to fall prey to dangerous sexual practices than those brought up in their own families.

I have known chilling instances in Eastern Europe of children who have been spirited from orphanages and sold, not only for adoption, but also into forced labour or prostitution.

Madonna's victory in the Malawian court may further endanger the vulnerable children she purports, so vociferously, to want to help.

Consider the legal system that has endorsed the U-turn in the country's adoption policy. And I have no doubt that corrupt adoption agencies and child traffickers, newly alerted to the ease with which Malawian laws can be circumvented, are even now planning to target the country.

We are also witnessing the rise of a distressing new phenomenon dubbed the Madonna Effect, in which destitute mothers abandon their babies in the hope that they will be adopted by wealthy foreign mothers.

[From:  Misguided Madonna's just helping the baby traffickers ]

I'd like to repeat part of that last sentence:  destitute mothers abandon their babies in the hope that they will be adopted by wealthy foreign mothers. 

I find this really sad, because I have no idea what's considered 'wealthy' to someone in Ethiopia, but I DO have an idea how a lot of poor mothers are treated, when an American gives a mom or mom-to-be an adoption-plan to consider. 

So... we know there's trouble in Ethiopia, (that's not shocking news), we know the folks at Gladney are there, reminding us to do what we can "for widows and orphans in their time of need." 

We know what people want to do with the "orphans". 

What about the "widows"?

The widows...

Screw the widows. Just take their babies! They aren't worthy to raise their own children!

Ok I'm being sarcastic. Great article, Kerry. I read that Gladney drivel earlier today. Bleah.

Loved the reaction!

I always loved it when someone would react to things like I would... I didn't get much of that in my adoptive home.  I was always the outsider, never thinking or reacting like the people around me did.  My thoughts and reactions were different, therefore wrong.  I was different, therefore I was wrong. 

Idiots.... gotta love closed-minded idiots who want nothing to do with the benefits that come when one broadens the minds to new possibilities.

In a society that has grown to embrace the idea that certain single parents (spelled m-o-t-h-e-r-s) are not fit to parent their own child(ren), it's hard to explain the errors of the old religious ways, without getting attacked. 

The more I learn about the various ways a child is brought to the auction adoption block, the more I am aghast at how little support and help is given to any single parent that is not an adoptive parent.  Now, I understand there are some seriously screwed-up people having babies.  I am fully aware there are some situations where the parent/family is so messed-up, the only chance that child has to break from the toxic cycle is if that child is removed from it, and given a second-chance and taught better ways.  In those cases, I see how the parents screw themselves for not changing old family patterns and very bad habits.  In those cases, I can see how a new family is an amazing generous gift for a child born into a family full of narrow-minded losers who refuse to change their ways or improve their lives, for the sake of their children.

But  not having the means to make a lot of money.. is that really proof a parent is unfit?  No.... it simply means the parent needs help with a task that takes at least two people to do.  

I never understood the 'need to be married' crap.  When I was little, and had to pay admission (my weekly 'offering')  to sit, stand, kneel, and listen to the priests and the nuns tell me stories about the sins of divorce and the sins of sex before marriage, and all the sins related to coveting and stealing, the only sin I saw was the parent who got up and left the other parent to do the work of two people, forcing that other parent to do all sorts of crazy crap just so parent and child could survive.  

But hey, I was razed Catholic, and look at the wealth that church has accumulated.  Can't exactly say the unmarried guys in hats and long dresses are stupid.

Marriage, as I always understood it in the bible, was an agreement that protected women.  If the man was having sex only with his wife, there would be no reason to fear STD's or unwanted bastard babies.  [No need for protected sex.]  If the man did his part to provide, and the woman did her part, that working team would have a lot to be happy about, and  thankful for. [Who doesn't enjoy a few words of praise once in a while?]   This brings me to the story of marriage and family I love most... because no story gets more screwed and manipulated by religious bible-thumpers than the story of Mary, Jesus, and Joseph.  Had Mary not gotten 'with child', she would not have had  to marry Joseph.  Well, no story or lesson there, so more has to go into it to give it a lesson of Biblical proportions.  OK, so 'good' Mary did get 'with child'.  What was she to do?  Well, we all know Mary could not marry God, like he was some average guy who blew into town.  True, God is the one who made the pregnancy possible, but what would all His Followers think if God got married and helped his wife and child like your ordinary average regular Joe?  No, that plan would never do.  Abortion was out of the question, because she'd be killing God's baby.  You don't kill God's baby, without asking, first.  Pregnant, single, family wants no part of the scandal, not many jobs openings for the single-gal-who's-pregnant.  What is a mom-to-be do?  Well, there's the find a man and get married plan.  What would happen if 'good' poor Mary did NOT marry Joseph?  More than likely, she would have been stoned to death because that's what people did back then when someone broke a very serious law.  What fascinates me is, would they have stoned her while she was still pregnant, or would they have waited for her to give birth, THEN do away with the useless used bitch?  And who would get the baby?  The real father... or the person who paid well above the asking price?

Yep, these are the things a sick adopted pup like me would think about, as I did my good-girl Bible reading.

The way I see it, once ultra religious people get involved in adoption services, well.... all new rules apply to the act of human kindness and the spirit of good cheer and brotherly love.

I guess that's why each time I hear an infertile married woman say, "God has planted the seed of adoption in my heart", I want to say, good.... then let your man go, and let him take care of the mother of the child you saw and love so much... he can send you letters and pictures, and come back when the mother dies or the child is old enough to work -- whichever comes first. 

How many women would think:  screw that shit!

They'll just change their name

They'll just change their name to fix 'that little problem' and keep the money train movin' while it's still hot in ET. If that isn't enough to mask their stink, they'll move states and incorporate there, leaving no trail.

Rinse. Repeat. Rinse. Repeat.

You'd think after years and years and years of this routine, the US DOS (or USCIS) would be "on" to this, but sadly as we all know, the powers that be have more lobbying power (fueled by the a-buck), and no one wants to be painted as "anti-adoption" or crapping on ICA and abandoning orphans of the lord or whatever.

Rinse. Repeat.....

What about Celebrate Children? Wasn't it enough that there's allegedly a video of Sue Hedberg "convincing" first/birth mothers of "relinquishing" their children?

Don't answer that... I know the answer.

Sick comedy

You know, if it weren't real.... if so much of this dirty sneaky freaky crap wasn't so real and hurting so many real people, it would all be quite funny.  I try to imagine some of the private discussions, (among the PTB in an agency), and all I can do is think:  if this were a dry-sitcom, like The Office, people would be LOVING just how horrible and stupid so much of the stuff really is. 

And if all that isn't entertaining enough, throw-in a celebrity cameo appearance.

That's always good for ratings... even if the acting is real bad.

Pound Pup Legacy