'Tis the season for entitled APs.....

Just when you thought the entitled AP, Jessica O'Dwyer, who wrote a book about her ICA experience in Guatemala was enough (http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/48717), there is yet ANOTHER AP, this one with his own website that caters to APs in process from Guatemala, known as Guatadopt's Kevin Kruetner. The heydays of adopting from Guatemala are long gone, but nevertheless he just wrote a review or what he refers to as "a personal reflection" on the book "Finding Fernanda". If you can stomach it or...stay wake, read: http://www.guatadopt.com/archives/001147.html#001147

What really gets under my skin is the way in which Kruetner downplayed what occurred in Guatemala and then turned his book review into a platform where he could do damage control and reputation preservation. For instance, he writes:

"One of the things I did after Elizabeth (PAP) contacted me was to check with some of my contacts to see what they knew about this case. Two sources came back to me with the same story. They had heard that Mildred (Fernanda’s mother) had relinquished the children but then had tried to offer them to other attorneys for more money. These two sources had both been proven trustworthy in the past and had no known connection to one-another. So we’re talking two “independent” sources saying the same thing. One of the sources was the investigator referred to as “Pablo Hernandez” in the book. While I won’t divulge who the other was, I think it is important to say that it was not Susana, who by that point in time was pretty upset with Guatadopt. It is clear now that, for whatever reason, what they told me was incorrect. At the time, it seemed more plausible than the wild story portrayed in the newspaper, which by supposition indicted the sacred DNA sample sites. Elizabeth could confirm that my position if in fact this had been about a mother’s children going to the highest bidder, never once did I support anyone hiding the children or taking any action other than the attorney with the children brining them into the court system with full disclosure and transparency. And of course my position was irrelevant anyway.."

For the record, Susana Luarca (adoption attorney) was their main source of information for Guatadopt. She is now on house arrest in Guatemala for processing illegal adoption/child trafficking/ and falsification of documents.

Kruetner was the main writer of Guatadopt. He was to go-to-guy, the one MANY Prospective Adoptive Parents (his words) asked for advice and insight. He touted about his sources IN Guatemala, and yet now he feels as if his role and position is irrelevant?

How many asked for his advice? See below. He went as far as proclaim himself the hero of "Finding Fernanda":
"Most of our avid readers know that much of our work was done behind the scenes, helping individual families with an open ear, compassion, honesty, and experience. And when I combine that with how our status made us privy to pieces of other things, well maybe I should be the one writing a book. We pieced together many puzzles with some amazing results. Heck, Finding Fernanda is evidence of that. For while I write this defense-of-sorts, the reality is that Elizabeth Emmanuel first made the connection as a result of reading a Prensa Libre story posted on Guatadopt. Who knows where Fernanda would be today without the site. For that, I am immensely proud."

He goes on to say:

"So where does this all leave me? With all this remorse has my overall position changed? Do I now wish I had chosen to advocate for ending adoptions from Guatemala? Do I regret having been a ICA advocate and promoting the things I did? The answer to those questions is almost entirely “no”. I support ICA and I think these laws that end the systems are wrong. "

There is something not right about his focus in this whole entire piece, which is supposed to be a book review. He whines about the role of Elizabeth Emmanuel, and loses all sight of the bigger problems that the book "Finding Fernanda" presents. These problems include the sad reality that money plays a huge part in ICA; poor women in Guatemala were coerced and families were torn apart so people could make money off of them, and false documents were issued and children processed as orphans, when they were not at all "orphans". In my book, these acts example corruption and these many corrupt acts need full attention, not sugar-coating.

Guatadopt was a forum where those who tried to post about corruption were quickly quieted or deleted. APs and PAPs turned on the very voices who spoke up about corruption. Instead of being a beacon for ethical adoptions, on Guatadopt, corrupt attorneys became the lead source for adoption-related information. Imagine the implications if you are a nervous PAP. As far as I could see, no post adoption education advice or discussions were posted. The site seemed to focused on getting cases home, to the USA, however and whatever that would take.

Many cases of kidnapped children occurred during this time, yet Guatadopt chose to silence those with some insight, or worse, it would let other APs harass those posting news of it or questioning the system.

The question has to be asked, as a web-host, where is his loyalty, and where should an AP in such a position stand on corruption in adoption?

You can read the rest of his "what-about me" drivel yourselves; instead of a book review, he writes more of PR piece in self defense. I cannot help but wonder why?

After reading his piece, I left the site with the saddening realization that ICA or adoption reform is never going to change when you have folks like him downplaying the bad things than can and do happen. I also felt depressed knowing there are people who will go against APs who have spoken out against corruption and have reunited a mother (not just a "birth mother) with her kidnapped children.

How and WHEN can APs get their heads out of the sand when the very sites that are suppose to be intended to educate APs, instead turn out to be voice pieces for those that benefit monetarily from ICA?


AP's and identity issues

I'll admit, when I read the web-host's book review, I lost sight of the book's topic, which is corruption within the adoption industry.  In my mind, this very serious topic should NOT be sugarcoated or overlooked, because even though ICA adoption doors have been closed in Guatemala, they remain open in countries like China, Nepal, and Ethiopia -- hot spots in corrupt adoptions.

So I see a real problem when I read a book review that keeps the focus on reviewer, and not on the critical subject-matter. 

I'll admit, I'm a wee bit tired of the self-promotion that takes place among APs in Adoptionland. I'm a wee bit tired of hearing all the good an adopter can do, and how important it is for all to remember just how good adoption really is.  I grow tired of this trend when the context of discussion is related to falsified/altered legal documents, misleading parental consent, and of course, identity theft.

I have a problem with APs with black and white identity issues, much like a great many people have a problem with black and white thinking had by an adoptees.  The black and white sides being Bad and Good... who is and who isn't.

Recently, I wrote to a friend who happens to be an AP, and I explained a hard-core AP belief, one I have witnessed over the years, and how it alters reality and puts innocent people at terrible risk:

I have learned most pro-adoption people do not want to see the horrible and the wrong in their beliefs and actions... they want to acknowledge some bad may exist (among others, of course) but by and large, they want to hold on to the core belief that their role is good.... ALL good.  [I see this as a form of self-preservation.]
I don't think you will ever convince anyone associated with an adoption agency, what they do or have done is, or has been, directly linked and related to something very bad, like kidnapping or stealing children for an adoption plan.
I would think for one of the more ethical "good" people to admit or acknowledge such horrible things exist in their own practice or circle, that admission would be followed by a  profound sense of loss... a questioning grief... a feeling of deep devastation.... a recognition of failure.  This fall-out of sorts is what happens when a strongly held belief-system gets shaken at it's roots, and people prove to be on the bad-side of human.

It takes a lot of work to maintain the delusion of Good in self and others.... much like it takes a lot of work to maintain the delusion that ALL are bad.  [Many of us adoptees, are guilty of the latter, thanks to the effects of poor placements and post-adoption abuse.]
In any case case, what agency folken, and their clients, need to realize is one simple fact:  when it comes to the adoption industry, there are too many players involved in the game to know for sure which character is on which team.  The days of Bad Guys always wearing black are over.  Those wishing to help abandoned children found in orphanages need to acknowledge not knowing who is who or what is what IS is a really big bad problem, for all touched by adoption.

Another thought fraught with problems I have is this:  When AP's in positions of power or in roles that provide education to PAPs miss the lesson and teaching opportunities found in books and articles about corruption in adoption, they fail as role models and leaders, and fail parents who want the best for children.  Failure in adoption is becoming quite big.

Finally, one has to wonder the sort of American AP who would criticize and attack the actions of those who help investigate and reunite a child (who was obtained for ICA through fraud) with her first and only mother.  The critic may not be a bad person, but the extreme self-centered "what-about-me"isms voiced by an AP are more than a little obvious.  Take it from me, PPL's resident angry adoptee, over-time, such egotistical behavior owned by the AP will be seen as the Aparent the adoptee with hard-core identity issues cannot relate to and does not want.

Pound Pup Legacy