After Baby Tamia case, Illinois Adoption Reform Act shut down shady operators

But Internet has yielded troubling loopholes to laws

By Bonnie Miller Rubin

April 3, 2011 / chicagotribune.com

The "Baby Tamia" case shined a light on the unregulated corners of for-profit adoption and sparked a new law, ensuring that adoption was about building families, not making money.

Some six years later, the Adoption Reform Act has gone a long way in shutting down shady operators, but the Internet has opened up troubling new loopholes, say child welfare advocates.

"The Internet and adoption is like the Wild West," said Adam Pertman, director of the Donaldson Adoption Institute, a research and advocacy organization. "Stuff is happening out there that no one is moderating, regulating or paying attention to."

The measure required all agencies involved in adoption in Illinois to be licensed, tax-exempt and transparent about fees and policies. It also banned unlicensed groups from advertising here, which is how Carmen McDonald found the now-defunct A Cherished Child in Utah.

However, if you search online for "adoption" you'll find several out-of-state agencies promising "aggressive birthmother outreach" and promoting their ability to circumvent rules that apply to state-regulated firms.

Bruce Boyer, director of Loyola University's ChildLaw Clinic, said cyberspace has allowed agencies to get around the law. "If they're doing business in Illinois, they should be subject to Illinois regulations … and that's something that the attorney general should be taking a closer look at."

So far, no complaints have been filed, according to Lisa Madigan's office. Still, the attorney general has "serious concerns" about the issue and has started looking into unlicensed services, said Maura Possley, a spokeswoman.

It can't happen soon enough "if we don't want another Baby Tamia," said Pertman, whose group has launched a research study on the Internet and adoption.

"Adoption should never be about recruitment, but about assisting those unable to raise a child," Pertman said. "It's about helping the child find a family, not casting a net and seeing what you can pull in."

0

Profit in adoption

The "Baby Tamia" case shined a light on the unregulated corners of for-profit adoption and sparked a new law, ensuring that adoption was about building families, not making money.

Is this to seriously suggest those "directors" who help operate a "not-for-profit" adoption agency do NOT benefit, monetarily speaking, from each and every adoption they facilitate?

Pahlesse... gimme a freakin break, (NOT OK) A. Pertman!

Uh.... HOW LONG has Pertman been "studying" the adoption industry????

Good grief!

<looking for a bottle of SOMETHING>

Let me shed a little light onto the Baby Tamia case....

Carmen McDonald, suffering from post-partum depression and bipolar disorder, felt overwhelmed, and in a weak moment called an 800 number she found for 'A Cherished Child' to explore the possibility of placing her child for adoption.
She and her three-month-old baby daughter were flown from Illinois to Utah. Within hours, Carmen was asked to sign a relinquishment document. When she tried to back out, she was threatened to be left without return airfare, which would have left them stranded - and with no money - in Utah. Frightened and feeling alone, she caved in and signed.
Later the prospective adoptive parents, with whom Tamia already had been placed, were arrested on drug charges, putting Baby the girl in the care of Child Protective Services.
Eventually Tamia was returned to her family in Chicago
[From: Baby Tamia case-page ]

In Adoptionland, another form of post-child-delivery depression has made it's way to adoptive homes.  It's called post-adoption depression.

The result?

Adoption disruptions --  the PAL version of an aborted adoption plan.

[This topic was covered in a thread, following the news-piece,  These boys deserve so much more than I can give them .]

The adoption industry cannot fail, in terms of making a profit (salary) for key players.

As long as people are lied to and given false hope, those providing less than adequate services will STILL survive, and thrive... because no one is doing much to change the laws applied to adoption and adoption services.

Beyond the Wild Wild West...

"Some six years later, the Adoption Reform Act has gone a long way in shutting down shady operators, but the Internet has opened up troubling new loopholes, say child welfare advocates.

"The Internet and adoption is like the Wild West," said Adam Pertman, director of the Donaldson Adoption Institute, a research and advocacy organization. "Stuff is happening out there that no one is moderating, regulating or paying attention to."

Yes!!! Stuff IS happening out there that no one is moderating, regulating or paying attention to!!! People are using the Internet and Yahoo groups to "find a forever family that is the real one for " their adopted child, this unregulated under the radar "rehoming" of adopted children is unacceptable.

Post child delivery depression and ICA

A very good point made about depression after delivery, this is especially interesting when one takes into account ICA and certain countries where newborn referrals were common. I wonder how many mothers would have relinquished if more time for mother-child bonding was allowed?...(and no scrupulous attorney workers were around to coerse the mothers)...Hmmmmm.

Pound Pup Legacy