The dangers of the unprepared clueless Amother

Recently,  the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a government-funded group of independent experts,  addressed a comprehensive review of the available data on ways to detect maltreatment of children.

In a sobering acknowledgment, the USPSTF believes that there is not much that can be done to detect cases of child maltreatment that aren’t glaringly obvious. There’s simply not enough research to make a case for advising physicians to take specific actions during well-child visits, for example, to help determine which children are at risk. In 2010, nearly 700,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect; 1,537 of them died.

 [From:  Child Abuse: Why It’s So Hard to Determine Who’s at Risk, January 23, 2013 ]

The report continued:

The researchers at OHSU analyzed 11 studies that evaluated the effectiveness of child abuse and neglect prevention programs or interventions that took place in clinics — such as meetings with a social worker, for example. They gave parents questionnaires that assessed such risk factors as substance abuse, depression, stress and attitudes toward physical punishment — as well as noting whether parents were concerned that their child may have been physically or sexually abused. Doctors discussed the risk factors with parents and referred them to social workers if needed. After three years, researchers found that parents who took part in risk assessments and received social work referrals, if necessary, had decreased incidences of abuse, fewer reports to Child Protective Services (CPS) and better adherence to immunization schedules.

And still, no official correlation was made as to which parenting preparation programs work better:  those made available through adoption agencies, or those made available by non-profit programs like Nurse Partnership Programs for at-risk first-time mothers.

Contrary to the report findings, I believe there is an easy way to determine who is at highest risk of experiencing hidden domestic violence and child abuse.  Based on a 2006 study conducted in Australia , a staggering statistic was revealed: children under five living with a non-biological or step-parent are up to 77 times more likely to die from a violence-related injury than those living with their biological families.  I think for the sake of abuse study and domestic violence prevention, and for the sake of a child's best-interest, it really behooves those concerned about the rise of child abuse rates in the USA to keep a closer eye on today's foster/adoptive home, and those seeking the adoption--option for themselves.

Interestingly, while I have found many abuse studies correlate child abuse/neglect with drug and alcohol abuse and family structure breakdown, few mention the effect poor parent preparation has on child safety and wellness in the home.  And so the cycle of unrecognized abuse continues, especially when where one or both parents caring for a child are rather unprepared and clueless when it comes to demonstrating good positive parenting skills -- the type of skills that help raise a child from being a dependent needy creature to becoming an adult who is loving, confident, and very capable of independent living.

Recently I myself have been posting many pieces related to the un-fitness of a foster/adoptive parent, and how this itself is creating an alarming end-result in the form of abused adoptees.  [See:  Stigmas and reputations that need to be clarified and  Discrimination in Adoptionland is NOT a bad thing ]

In private, I have been receiving more and more complaints coming from adoptive mothers claiming they don't know what to do with the adopted problem-child in their lives, or those who don't know how to support out of control Amothers because those mothers seem so clueless when it comes to meeting the most basic needs of an adopted child..  In turn, the women who contact me seek parenting advice and my personal opinion, because I have become so vocal via the PPL pages.

Not surprisingly, I find many of these overwhelmed women are not liking my honest response to their replies, even if all claim they respect the blunt angry adoptee's POV.  My response to them reflects all that I myself post here on PPL; I remind them, as mothers, they own a major on-going responsibility to the relationship that makes a promise to a child.... that promise being, "I will not leave you, like others did".  My general response to most also includes the following observations and comments:

  • Adoption is a choice, and a major sacrifice.  As such, much independent thought, investigation and study should go into what it means to become an adoptive parent BEFORE one foolishly falls in love with a photo.
  • Adoption requires a significant amount of teaching and instruction, not to mention follow-up monitoring and guidance because today's adoptable children are far more troubled and traumatized than most want to think or believe.
  • Adapting to adoption, for the child, is not an easy process.  It can take years, (if not a life-time), to "get over" what caused the adoption relationship in the first place.  This difficulty in adaption can easily manifest itself in "unwanted behaviors".  It's the APs job to accept and assist in the process, not punish the adoptee for negative opinions.
  • Parenting, no matter how good or bad the child, IS NOT EASY.  Only a fool thinks being a parent is going to be a breeze.  As a mother myself, I can't count how many times I wanted to take a pick-ax to my head.  Why should Amothers not feel the same?  Good Parenting, for all, requires an ability to teach with love, forgiveness, and acceptance.  Anything less is not as good.
  • Adoption requires ongoing support in the form of talk-behavioral therapy, both for the AP AND the adoptee, as exampled in the article, Romanian foster care: equipping carers to help challenging children

After spending seven years at PPL, posting as I do, what type of Amothers contact me?  I'd like to introduce PPL readers to the three general types of AMothers who, in spite of really good intentions, became a clueless unprepared AP, which roughly translates into this:  an adoptive parent who is a real dangerous hazard to the adopted child cursed with many complex "special needs".  I will refer to these types of Amothers as:

  • AmK
  • AmL and
  • AmM

In order to get a better understanding of fail-fueled adoptive parenting, one must know a little background information about each.

Each woman represents very different backgrounds and lifestyles, showing us just how diverse the adoptive mother population really is these days.  Each represents  the new "normal" we see in marital/sexual relationships found in the USA.  One is in a traditional marriage (heterosexual); one is in an "untraditional" marriage (same-sex); and one represents the modern-day spinster -- the older single-woman who decided creating a family for herself does not require marriage, first.

In terms of their own childhood experiences, one Am came from a very abusive/dysfunctional family.  The parenting role-modeling was so bad, she was repulsed by her own genetic material and the idea of reproducing.  It's fascinating to note how she thought  putting an end to biologic-transfer would put an end to pathological parenting, as if learned behaviors could not be passed onto a child, biologically related, or not,  Another Am came from an unremarkable family, and the third Am came from "the greatest parents in the world" and according to her, she had the best childhood any person could ask for, somehow making her most fit to parent a child who turned-out to be nothing like any child found in her family..

In spite of these major differences, these three very different women share some very significant commonalities. 

Each entered adoption with the belief that she had all that's needed be a really great (adoptive) mom.  Each adopted a child with the conviction that all a needy child ("orphan") needs is love, and love is enough to make the parent-child relationship thrive and reward itself.  Each adopted at least one "orphan" with very complex "special needs".  Each chose her adoption agency with the same belief and confidence:  "this agency will provide all the information, tools, and support I need to help me make the perfect family, through adoption".  Each used a private adoption agency, one that specialized in ICA.

Sadly, and not all that surprising to me, each found herself in the all-too familiar scenario found in adoption-relationships that often end in disruption.  Each adoptive mother freely admitted she was unable to bond to one or more adopted child, claiming "The child is too much; he/she scares me; the child is too difficult".  For these women, and so many adopters just like them, the "forever family" complete with "unconditional love" (promised through an adoption agreement) has become contingent upon one thing:  the adopted child's behavior has to be "good", and not at all scary or too demanding or difficult.

What baffles me is, with so much information now available through the Internet and various adoption websites/support groups, how is today's PAP so unprepared and clueless?  How is it possible for any PAP to lack a decent understanding of core adoption issues (like how stress affects the traumatized child) and what it takes to properly parent today's "orphan" sent from abroad?

While I could revert to my old ways, and simply hate all adopters, I feel it's important to share what it is I have learned through PPL and the stories shared with me by some really good (patient!!) Amoms.  The shortcomings found in the overwhelmed Amothers I chose to write about were made worse by and through the private adoption agencies they used, and the American Adoption Industry, as a whole.  The list of failures begins with the absence of the simplest of all parent-teaching lessons all PAPs need to know and recognize as seriously significant:  To my knowledge, no agency addresses abuse statistics, as they relate to the female-child relationship. 

Not one Amother who contacts me has any knowledge just how easy it is for a woman to abuse a child with seemingly willful "bad behavior", and this blows my mind because it shows how little women know about the reasons and causes of violence against children.  It then comes as no surprise to me that not one AMother who contacts me is familiar with Lloyd deMause (an adoptive father) and his work, The History of Child Abuse  and The Evolution of Childhood , two VERY compelling reads since the first piece begins with the following:

In several hundred studies published by myself and my associates in The Journal of Psychohistory, we have provided extensive evidence that the history of childhood has been a nightmare from which we have only recently begun to awaken. The further back in history one goes--and the further away from the West one gets--the more massive the neglect and cruelty one finds and the more likely children are to have been killed, rejected, beaten, terrorized and sexually abused by their caretakers.

Indeed, my conclusion from a lifetime of psychohistorical study of childhood and society is that the history of humanity is founded upon the abuse of children. Just as family therapists today find that child abuse often functions to hold families together as a way of solving their emotional problems, so, too, the routine assault of children has been society's most effective way of maintaining its collective emotional homeostasis. Most historical families once practiced infanticide, erotic beating and incest. Most states sacrificed and mutilated their children to relieve the guilt of adults. Even today, we continue to arrange the daily killing, maiming, molestation and starvation of children through our social, military and economic activities. I would like to summarize here some of the evidence I have found as to why child abuse has been humanity's most powerful and most successful ritual, why it has been the cause of war and social violence, and why the eradication of child abuse and neglect is the most important social task we face today

How does this all fit with other failures found in and through the adoption process?  In my mind, any adoption agency that does not help educate PAP about the effects poor parenting has on a child, and any agency that does not help prepare an AP for the stress and strain child behavior can bring (and easily trigger an  unprepared parent), that agency is not ensuring a child's best interests and greatest needs (safety and guidance) are not going to be met through adoption.

In AmK's case, the very reputable adoption agency (with a very long history of great success with foreign adoptions) failed both Amother and Achildren put in her care, in many ways.  First, this agency encouraged her to become a mega-adopter.  (At no point did they tell this married woman, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 children with extensive "special needs" was too many for two average adults to handle).  Second, this agency did not tell her that the third child she was going to receive had been sexually abused, repeatedly.  She was approved over and over again to "save orphans" but she was given NO TOOLS, NO GUIDANCE, NO PREPARATION in terms of what is needed to help heal and re-mold such a wounded child.  Instead, she was encouraged to adopt MORE children with "special needs".  The end-result was tragic, yet not at all surprising:   The most difficult child, the one with the most complex emotional needs, Not only became sexual with the family pet, he became sexual with the youngest child with the most physical deformities.  That third adopted child among seven was eventually sent to live in a RTC.  If/when he will get out has yet to be determined.  All children in that home had to endure what should have been prevented, through the very "reputable" adoption agency.

In AmL's case, the private adoption agency she used promoted itself as an agency that was going to help save abandoned orphans, and promote single-parent/GLBT adoptions.  The two children put in her care both have very different personalities and needs. The oldest child is male, and an obvious favorite to the women in-charge.  His temper tantrums are many; their excuses for his behaviors are shameful.  The younger child, a girl, has been almost forgotten.  Her neglect and feelings of displacement manifest themselves when she is at other people's homes.  [She has become a real social terror.]  Home-life is rather trraditional: one partner works full-time, assuming the more traditional "male" role, while the other stays home, favoring the son.  No agency rep visits this family to see how many times they have moved, switched schools, and changed various parts of their lives, all to please the young spoiled unhappy prince they have at home.  I strongly believe It will only be a matter of time before the neglected little girl will act-out more, no doubt "shocking" both clueless women approved to adopt when they should otherwise have been told "No!".  But try warning them about that...

AmM, in my mind, represents the worst and most typical of unprepared clueless APs out there.  She asserts herself as the victim of a difficult adoption, and is in constant need of sympathy.  She claims she has read all the best adoption books, has spoken to all the social workers, and has consulted every AP she knew and knows as to how to parent an angry adoptee.  The adopted child was abandoned by his birthmother; before living in-care, he lived on the streets.  He was moved to America, thanks to this single-woman's dream to have a child who will love her unconditionally.  Since his stay, he has been bullied at school; he has been made fun by others because he has an accent and is not as quick as fellow students, making work at school very difficult.   As a single-parent, with no family support system, she has been left alone to be all roles and fulfill all the many needs a young boy in that situation really needs.  She is expected to be mothering nurturer, mentoring male-figure and round-the-clock care-taker, all while she goes to work/earn an income for herself and her son.  She gets no breaks, and is unable to recognize how firm boundaries and set limits are an act of love to a child living in single-parent chaos.  While I really empathize with her many difficult struggles, my empathy is limited since she, more than the other two , sees herself as the victimized martyr who never asked to be hated by the child who never asked to be "saved" by a single-female American adopter.

It's hard to pity the woman who failed to see how difficult single-parenting a child (now a growing teenage boy ) would be for her and the child who was handed a rough life.  As a result, many of his own unresolved abandonment/adoption issues have morphed into something much bigger and complicated.  It's hard to support the Amother who does not want to follow advice that involves more work and therapy, but instead complains how all she wanted was love, not the "scary bully" she got through an adoption plan.  To date, she's torn:  does she use the ever-popular underground adoptive parent networks that help re-home unwanted adoptees, or does she stay with  her "forever" son, even if doing so would require a lot more work from her.  These are difficult choices for a woman who had a dream childhood but now finds her own dream-family (made possible through private adoption) got too rough and out of control, and not at all as described by the pro-adoption brochures promoted by the community she molded herself into.

Truth be told, it would not surprise me one bit if the AmL and AmM types are blogging all their woes on the Internet, earning sympathy and really bad parenting advice from other APs, which will only make matters worse, not better, for their older adopted children.

And yet where are the private adoption agencies?

They are doing well.  Whether the adoption facilitators are still with the original agencies, or have moved to another popular child trade-group (working hard to maintain/increase adoption sales and profits), you can damn well bet more child-trade agreements will fall into one of the above described arrangements, thanks to the government's inability to recognize where the high-risk groups of child abuse and parental neglect exist.

Is this more than a little frustrating for the adult adoptee to know and witness?  You bet.

0

statistics

Kerry, Please be careful when you post statistics. Please don't twist the facts; it doesn't help your credibility. I have statistics from the article "Abuse Risk seen worse as families change" by David Crary. Here are some findings and quotes from the article: Children living in households with unrelated adults (meaning stepparents or live-in-boyfriends/girlfriends) are nearly 50 times as likely to die of inflicted injuries as children living with two bio parents (it says nothing about adoptive parents). Children living in stepfamilies or with single parents are at higher risk of physical or sexual assault than children living with two biological or adoptive parents. "I've seen many cases of physical and sexual abuse that come up with boyfriends, stepparents" said Eliana Gil. "it comes down to the fact that they don't have a relationship with these kids" "their primary interest is really the adult partner, and they may find themselves more irritated when there's a problem with the children." The way to prevent this is to strengthen biological families. Help prevent single motherhood. Provide free birth control and teach people how to use it. Encourage marriage when there is a pregnancy. Teach people how to stay married. Require parenting classes for single moms that include warning them about the dangers of cohabitation when they have a child. Teach parenting skills to bio parents before their child is born and before CPS is called. The best way to prevent adoption is to help make sure that children are planned and wanted by both of their biological parents who are preferable married to each other or at least can maintain their relationship.

References

I appreciate your remark, and I'd like to cite the entire entry I used to make the point of high-risk Amothers in my blog-piece:

Australian research shows that children under five living with a non-biological or step-parent are up to 77 times more likely to die from a violence-related injury than those living with their biological families.

A review by Deakin University of more than 1000 coroners’ cases between 2000 and 2003 found that stepchildren are at dramatically raised risk of being victims of fatal accidents, as well as physical abuse and homicide.

Children living with single mothers were no more likely to die from either violent or unintentional causes than those in biological families. But children living with neither biological parent, such as foster children and state wards, faced up to a 102 times greater risk of death.

Study author and psychologist Greg Tooley said the study appeared to back up theories that parents were biologically driven to be extremely protective of their offspring, less so than step-parents – also known as the ‘Cinderella Effect’.

He also said that despite sensitivities over the issue, the findings should not be ignored and child-welfare agencies needed to take it into account when assessing at-risk cases.

“This research is very relevant to the NZ setting as we seek to tackle our unacceptable rate of child abuse,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “It doesn’t mean that every step-parent is a child abuser but it does highlight potential risk factors.”

“The misguided solution to child abuse was banning smacking, but this research reiterates what UNICEF, CYF and other international research has highlighted – that the likelihood of a child being injured or killed is associated with drug and alcohol abuse and family breakdown and structure.”

Family First NZ has a 5-point strategy to deal with the real causes of child abuse. www.stoptheabuse.org.nz

[From:  Study Shows Child Abuse Rate Affected by Family Structure, May 2008 ]

I believe this information does not twist facts or make my argument any less credible:  many times the non-biological/step parents chosen for a child (through child-placement services) are unfit and unprepared to parent properly and are therefore a recognizable "high risk" candidate worthy of serious recognition.  This contradicts the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) findings that no such groups could be easily recognized or defined or seen as "glaringly obvious".

FWIW, I fully agree with the suggestion that more care and attention needs to be given to first-families:   

The way to prevent this [child abuse] is to strengthen biological families. Help prevent single motherhood. Provide free birth control and teach people how to use it. Encourage marriage when there is a pregnancy. Teach people how to stay married. Require parenting classes for single moms that include warning them about the dangers of cohabitation when they have a child. Teach parenting skills to bio parents before their child is born and before CPS is called. The best way to prevent adoption is to help make sure that children are planned and wanted by both of their biological parents who are preferable married to each other or at least can maintain their relationship.

Such programs do exist, as mentioned in many of my posts, [See Nurse Family Partnership Program]  however these programs are not nearly supported as they need to be, thanks to among other things, the adoption lobby and those "desperate to adopt", ("desperate" in this case meaning many adopters want a child desperately, and that desperation is not necessarily in a child's best interest --as exhibited by my three Amother examples in the above blog-piece). 

Unfortunately, I myself have no statistics about abuse rates in adoptive homes OR how frequently adopted children are rejected by their APs and re-homed via underground AP networks or adoption disuptions.  To date, no official statistics exist, especially in the USA.  However, I do believe our abuse archives, and the recent report from Washington State (slamming private adoption services), shows just how poorly so many foster and PAPs are prepared for foster/adoptive parenting. 

please send info

please show me your proof that "thanks to the adoption lobby and those desperate to adopt" is the MAIN reason programs for helping first families are not better funded. You didn't use to words MAIN reason,but you implied it. In my opinion, there are MANY reasons these programs are not better funded and this includes: most charities are underfunded for economic reasons, the religious right, anti-abortion and PRo Life groups, culture, attitudes about sex, religion, the attitude about most social problems that concentrates on trying to fix it after-the-fact rather than preventing it, etc. I would really like to see your proof that adoption is the main cause. The fact remains, most cases of child abuse in this country are by bio parents and/or their live-in partners, not adoptive parents. what do you suggest to stop the abuse of children living in those situations?

Choose, with care

I'll be blunt, I don't appreciate your obvious attack based on your own interpretation of a single sentence where you inserted your own inferred word-choice, on my behalf; it's clear to me you are looking for and creating argument where there does not have to be.

Why?  I don't know.

With that, your own comment provides the proof you seem to need:

[please show me your proof that "thanks to the adoption lobby and those desperate to adopt" is the MAIN reason programs for helping first families are not better funded.] You didn't use to words MAIN reason,but you implied it. In my opinion, there are MANY reasons these programs are not better funded and this includes: most charities are underfunded for economic reasons, the religious right, anti-abortion and PRo Life groups, culture, attitudes about sex, religion, the attitude about most social problems that concentrates on trying to fix it after-the-fact rather than preventing it, etc

The religious right, anti-abortion Pro-Life group represents a large percentage of the adoption lobby, an organization of too many groups to list; this lobby is what made what the adoption industry has become, a multi billion dollar industry.  Their interests, therefore, become limited, if not incestuous.

Private donations that go to the adoption lobby and private adoption agencies like Bethany Christian Services or Gladney (religious right anti-abortion pro-life junkies) could go to children's charities and programs that provide educational programs for first-time parents and programs that  support family preservation -- and maybe some people and some companies do donate to both -- but given the strength of agencies like Bethany, it's clear monies that could help single mothers and family preservation programs are going to adoption agencies, instead.  After all, adoption itself is pitched as an altruistic humanitarian endeavor, ideal for those looking to improve an image, and without forced donation fees and 'service fees' via adoption, how would orphanages get the donations they receive from adults NOT seeking a child to keep?

The unsugar-coated truth is, supporting mothers to keep their newborns/older children is bad for the adoption business which is littered with the frustrated the infertile and the desperate.

I wouldn't mind the abundant funding made available to the adoption industry if the services from adoption agencies weren't so inadequate and NON-transparent.  But add measures of gross negligence and oversight to outstanding available budgets, I simply don't think enough is being done where it's most needed because the special interests of the adoption lobby and those desperate to have a child supersede the needs of those with much greater needs.

Like it or not, the seasoned adoption critic understands the goal in the American adoption industry these days is not to FIX social problems; the goal is to increase adoption numbers.  Need proof? Read adoption lobby response in Foreign Adoptions By Americans Decline Again

Sadly, I feel as though we now live in a society where adoption is hailed as the greater good, putting the educating and preserving of families as an unwanted after-thought.  This relative disinterest in providing better bio homes and families puts the burden of "better parenting" at the mercy of adoption programs.  There is a irony to this:   in-theory, adoption agencies help educate PAPs how to be a fit parent for an adoptee -- a child who has already experienced trauma.   Unfortunately, based on feedback given to me by APs and based on news reports featuring adoption abuse cases, I don't see too many adoption agencies doing their job.  In fact, in many cases the only benefit of an adoption agency education is seen through a completed scrapbook made for adopted child before Gotcha Day.  Where are these agencies and teachers when adoptive families are struggling with their difficult traumatized adopted children; where are they as the rates of disruption continue to increase and even worse, go unmonitored and un-reported to the state?  

Personally, I don't understand the mind-set that sells the idea that adoption is The Best Choice for a child in a less than ideal life-situation; as an adoptee who was later abused in the adoptive home, I find the glorification of broken families a real testimony of just how twisted our morals have gotten the United States.  But hey, as an angry adoptee, what do I know?  All I can say is, had I been kept and abused by my birth-mother, I would most definitely advocate the need for better parenting education so abuse could end.  Instead, I was adopted and abused.  I think as an advocate for better care, especially in the adoptive home, it's best to keep with what I know best from personal experience.

bizrre

again, exactly what proof do you have that a large percent of the pro-life lobby are part of the adoption lobby? any statistics about the memberships of these organizations? I know MANY adoptive parents (including me) who are very pro-choice. In fact, I have volunteered for Planned Parenthood. I know other adoptive parents who show up at the state capital for the pro-choice rallies. It is my understanding that close to 50% of American adults are Pro-Life, yet only about 5% of all children in the US are adopted; think about that. Most Pro-Life people have no interest in adopting a child. The Pro-Lifers promote adoption because they view it as better than abortion, and not because they will benefit financially. The bottom line is something that many people don't want to hear. The main cause of adoption is unplanned pregnancy. Countries with a low-rate of unplanned pregnancy also have a low rate of adoption. Wouldn't you be better off spending your time to help prevent unplanned pregnancies rather than complaining on the internet? I find it strange that the word "desperate" is applied to adoptive parents but not applied to many people who chose to conceive children. I find the circumstances under which some people chose to conceive children to be simply mind-boggling. For example: people who can pass on a serious or fatal genetic condition to their child, people who do drugs and alcohol during pregnancy. People who can't even care for themselves but still think it is OK to bring a child into the world. People who pay a surrogate to gestate their child even though pregnancy can cause serious and fatal health problems. Men who have sex and walk away, and could care less if the conceived a child or not. I find it strange that you think it is not the public's business when a bio child is abused. How do you think a child abused by his bio parents would feel about that statement? BTW, child abuse is illegal and it doesn't matter if the kid is bio or adopted.

Linda....

Have you at all read my original post and what PPL is about?

If so, you would agree your posts are really troll-material.

an answer?

Sounds to me like you don't have any facts to answer my questions

fun answers

Those are quite a few questions and remarks you place, but they are also fun to answer.

exactly what proof do you have that a large percent of the pro-life lobby are part of the adoption lobby? any statistics about the memberships of these organizations?

I must assume you have heard of organizations like National Council for Adoption (NCFA), one of the two major adoption lobby influence groups. The name of the organization doesn't necessarily give away the NCFA is otherwise openly an organization that promotes the interests of religion-based adoption agencies of the pro-life kind. Joint Council on International Children’s Services (JCICS) the other large adoption lobby influence group, a trade association of organizations doing inter-country adoption, has a large number of religion-based agencies of the pro-life kind among their member base. You can check this for yourself in our database, if you care.

The pro-life movement has made a huge point of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, bringing together such stalwarts of the pro-life movement as Focus on the Family and Campus Crusade for Christ. In promotional campaigns such as Cry of the Orphan, Faces of the Forgotten, Hope for orphans, Orphan Sundays, members of this christian alliance and many evangelical churches are involved.

So, simple counting tells us that both a large percentage of the pro-life movement is involved in the adoption lobby, but also that a large percentage of the adoption lobby consists of members of the pro-life movement.

I know MANY adoptive parents (including me) who are very pro-choice. In fact, I have volunteered for Planned Parenthood. I know other adoptive parents who show up at the state capital for the pro-choice rallies.

The fact that there are pro-choice adopters, doesn't deny the fact that many adopters are pro-life and/or adopted through an adoption agency related to the pro-life movement.

It is my understanding that close to 50% of American adults are Pro-Life, yet only about 5% of all children in the US are adopted; think about that.

I did and what you say makes no sense to me. The adoption supply is somehow limited to about 5% of the children. This gets somehow distributed over the population, with a significant number of people being pro-life (lets say in the order of 50%).

Most Pro-Life people have no interest in adopting a child. The Pro-Lifers promote adoption because they view it as better than abortion, and not because they will benefit financially.

Given the relatively tight supply of adoptable children, there will be plenty of people of the pro-life persuasion, willing to adopt a child. Certainly the pro-life movement promotes adoption appealing to the abortion issue, and that will make some people more receptive to the idea of adoption. As to financial benefits, I would never underestimate a Christian to combine making money with religious "duties", nor would I do so with people of religions other than Christianity.

The bottom line is something that many people don't want to hear. The main cause of adoption is unplanned pregnancy. Countries with a low-rate of unplanned pregnancy also have a low rate of adoption.

I don't think there is much disagreement with that statement.

Wouldn't you be better off spending your time to help prevent unplanned pregnancies rather than complaining on the internet?

Who are you to ask what better to spend time on? What gives you that arrogance? I could ask you why you are wasting your time on this thread, but I don't.

I find it strange that the word "desperate" is applied to adoptive parents but not applied to many people who chose to conceive children.

I find it strange you think that the word "desperate" is not applied to many people who chose to conceive children. Do you have any statistics about that? I am quite certain the word "desperate" is used in conjunction with adoption, but there are certainly plenty of couples "desperate" to have a child, eventually conceiving naturally. On the other hand, some natural conceptions have to do with unplanned pregnancies, and since those can hardly be described as "desperate", it is logical that there is a larger section among adopters to whom the word "desperate" applies than among couples conceiving naturally.

I find the circumstances under which some people chose to conceive children to be simply mind-boggling.

Me too.

For example: people who can pass on a serious or fatal genetic condition to their child, people who do drugs and alcohol during pregnancy. People who can't even care for themselves but still think it is OK to bring a child into the world. People who pay a surrogate to gestate their child even though pregnancy can cause serious and fatal health problems. Men who have sex and walk away, and could care less if the conceived a child or not.

Indeed

I find it strange that you think it is not the public's business when a bio child is abused.

I would also find it strange if I thought that.

How do you think a child abused by his bio parents would feel about that statement?

I think most children abused by biological parents would find that statement completely idiotic, as do I.

BTW, child abuse is illegal and it doesn't matter if the kid is bio or adopted.

As to the legality of child abuse there is no difference between biological or adoptive families, but the conclusions we must draw are vastly different. When abuse gets noticed by authorities, one of the questions to ask is could CPS have intervened earlier to prevent abuse. CPS has no legal right to interfere with families that are not suspected of child abuse and therefore have a limited ability to monitor abuse. Hands-off is the default approach to all legal families and therefore to all biological families

Adoptive families however, have been screened by licensed social workers and are approved by a court of law to take on the parental responsibility of either a ward of state, or a child whose parents just relinquished their parental rights.

As such there is a decision moment in the procedure that in our opinion doesn't work well enough. Zero abuse in adoptive families is a reasonable baseline and all exceptions should be investigated to find out why the system failed to prevent the abuse.

You see, all fun answers to somewhat hostile questions. I am still not sure why you use that tone on our website.

Comment to "Anonymous"

I am commenting on a comment made by "Anonymous"
Thread: http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/53876
Post title: "bizrre"

First I am not following your train of thought in respect to the thread nor other comments posted. But I do want to address a comment you made regarding PPL. When I read it, I was shocked, as I am sure others were.

"Wouldn't you be better off spending your time to help prevent unplanned pregnancies rather than complaining on the internet?"

After my initial dismay waned, I realized that you may not be familiar with the work that PPL has done and is doing to help and support countless Adoptees, Biofamilies and Adoptive Parents. For years PPL has maintain a high quality of documentation and has brought to light the injustices that have occurred and continue to occur to those affected by the adoption, all the while comforting those that seek help whether they be adoptees, biofamilies and adoptive parents. I urge you to read the all the threads and comments made over the years here on PPL.

I have no idea where you are in your journey, but I do hope and pray that your journey brings you to a point where you feel no need for hitting below the belt or attacking those the give so freely of their own time (with no pay) to those that have been hurt by the adoption industry.

I agree that no child, be them bio or adopted, should be abused. But I also believe that no human being, be them bio or adopted, should be insulted. Until then, your statement reflects the adoption bias that so many adoptees continue to experience.

Honestly, I feel it is an unfair statement that you made. And I, as I am sure MANY others also feel, want Kerry and Niels to CONTINUE complaining (as you so put it). They are the voices of those that have no voices.

I hope that one day all of us, adoptee, biofamilies and adoptive families, will be able to stand together and demand that the injustices stop and comments like yours are never ever made again by the uninformed.

Do not silence my child's voice

To Anonymous- I am an AP. I am an AP of a child who was abused by their biofamily. I am the AP of a child who was abused while in foster care. I am very insulted that another AP would tell an abused adoptee to "stop complaining."

When my child find's their own voice and is able to share with others, I hope that no AP stands in their way or has the audacity to tell them to stop complaining.

Very disgusted.

Liz H.

Apples and oranges

The fact remains, most cases of child abuse in this country are by bio parents and/or their live-in partners, not adoptive parents. what do you suggest to stop the abuse of children living in those situations?

The short answer to that is: nothing, just like Amnesty International is not going to do anything to stop the decline of the population of polar bears and Save the Children is not going to do anything about financial manipulation on Wall Street. Each organization has its own goals and its own focus. Our focus is on all the wrongs going on in Adoptionland, which already has a huge scope, addressing issues like abuse in adoptive families, child trafficking, coerced adoption, adoptee deportation, disruption and dissolutions of adoption.

That said, your remark seems to suggest that adoptive families are somehow the same as biological families. Nothing could be further from the truth. A biological family is entirely created in the private sphere and unless there is evidence of neglect or abuse, remains a private entity without public oversight.

Adoptive families on the other hand are created in the public sphere. A judge, upon recommendation of a licensed social worker, makes a decision to bestow parental right upon adopters, based on the assumption that adopters are willing and capable to act in the child's best interest. The judge in question fulfills a public function, while the social working, through state licensing is considered by the public to be capable of making proper screening assessments.

Abuse in biological families, horrible as it is, is a fact of life, that the public has only limited influence upon. We don't want to live in a police state that monitors every family to make sure no abuse or neglect takes place. The right to privacy for all is considered more important than the well-being of some. As a result we have to accept abuse in biological takes place and all we can do is try to minimize it. Every case of abuse in biological families prevented is gain.

Abuse in adoptive families on the other hand is an indictment of placement decisions made in court. Every case of abuse in an adoptive family taking place is a loss.

When we look at abuse in biological families, the base line is the current abuse ratio, and the goal should be to bring down that ratio.

When we look at abuse in adoptive families, the base line is zero. After proper screening and preparation, abuse should not take place, and the goal should be to prevent any misplacement from taking place.

bio family abuse

I have re-read your comments on my statement. Are you aware that I asked "what do you suggest to stop the abuse of children living in these situations?" Your answer was "nothing". Therefore, isn't it common sense for me to think that you don't care about the abuse of bio children?
Exactly why do you think nothing should be done? I am not saying that PPL should do it; obviously that isn't part of this organizations mission. I am just asking your thoughts.
My point is that every adopted child starts off life at the time of conception with two bio parents. My opinion is that the best type of adoption reform is the kind that prevents adoption. Therefore, building better bio families is the best way to prevent adoption.
I don't expect the laws to change about who can be a bio parent and under what circumstances. what is needed is something more powerful than laws, and that is cultural change. Many things can help build better bio parents, but first we need to stop viewing bio parenting as a "right" (ethically, not legally; i don't expect laws to change) and view it as a job (which in fact it is). We also need to accept the fact that bio children are a gift and not an entitlement. This means that classes on parenting and child development should be strongly encouraged in high school or even before (as some people become bio parents before they even reach HS age). Encourage supervision by an adult for all teen parents.
Strongly push the use of birth control and make is easily accessible. The culture should expect that all parents will be open to having nurses or social workers come to their home to help them be better parents. The problem with so many cases of child abuse is not lack of love or money, but lack of parenting skills.
If I were a child living in the foster system because my bio parents had abused me, I would find it insulting that no screening or training was done for my parents until after I was placed in the system. Until after the damage was already done. I would wonder why nothing was done to prevent my bio parents from hurting me, and why the other people didn't think I was worth protecting until after someone had abused me. Isn't prevention the best medicine?
Although I am strongly pro-choice and really hate the pro-life movement, I really don't think their main purpose is to benefit financially from adoption. Pro-Life people have been around long before adoption became a big business. I suspect that many of them could care less about adoption.
For anyone who is offended that I asked why Kerry doesn't spend more time doing something concrete such as volunteering at a birth control clinic rather than complaining on the internet, I am sorry you feel insulted. I only meant that I think the most powerful way to prevent adoption is to prevent unplanned pregnancies . I was also referring to the fact that this website obviously took a lot of time and energy to put together and continues to take up a lot of time from those who frequently post, and I think that it can still be a very effective website if those who post frequently used some of that valuable time to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. that is the most effective way to shut down the adoption industry.

some lessons in cordiality

Linda, I am impressed; you have outdone yourself. Ever since you started posting on our website, I have been struck by the sheer density of your logical fallacies and your ability to derive a counter-factual reading of what is being posted on our site. Most of all, you are a champion of the use of red herrings at a rate rarely seen anywhere on the internet.

I have re-read your comments on my statement. Are you aware that I asked "what do you suggest to stop the abuse of children living in these situations?" Your answer was "nothing". Therefore, isn't it common sense for me to think that you don't care about the abuse of bio children?

Your opening statement already shows why common sense cannot be trusted. Common sense is the act of finding a logical sounding phrasing for a gut feeling. Common sense therefore says more about the inner world of the one applying it, than about the topic being addressed.

I will try to make this clear to you with the example given. Your gut feeling seems to tell you we don't care about abuse of bio children, a point you have made over and over in this thread. Since we never make such bizarre statements ourselves, you construct a phrase that sounds like a logical inference, using words like "therefore" and "common sense" to make it sound as if no other conclusion can be drawn.

Without such preconceptions about our presumed cold-heartedness towards abuse in biological families, my answer to your question can only mean one thing: that I make no suggestions as to how to stop abuse of children living in abusive bio-families. This becomes more apparent if you read the second part of my answer where I draw the comparison with other organizations that focus on specific  issues.

Your conclusion therefore is a very creative form of wackadoodle, since by extension it would mean that no member of Amnesty International can ever be concerned about the decline of the population of polar bears, nor that a representative of Save the Children could ever be aggravated about financial manipulation on Wall Street.

Exactly why do you think nothing should be done?

This is a nice example of "begging the question". Your assumption is that I and by extension, PPL, don't care about abuse in bio-families, and therefore ask me why I think that way. You used a similar technique in one of your previous posts where you stated:

I find it strange that you think it is not the public's business when a bio child is abused. How do you think a child abused by his bio parents would feel about that statement?

If your intention is to push me into a corner, your attempts are too transparent, and in strictly artistic terms, I think you are overusing this particular poetic device, making your comments repetitive.

I am not saying that PPL should do it; obviously that isn't part of this organizations mission. I am just asking your thoughts.

You are indeed right that it is not part of our mission and by now learned it is impolite to tell us what we should do, however, your asking about my thoughts is not so innocent as you make it out to be, since in the prelude to that remark, you actually try to paint me in a ludicrously cruel and inhumane corner.

My point is that every adopted child starts off life at the time of conception with two bio parents. My opinion is that the best type of adoption reform is the kind that prevents adoption. Therefore, building better bio families is the best way to prevent adoption.

For the remainder of your comment you go on about your personal ideas about adoption, which are in no way related to either the topic of this thread or any of the comments made by others, making it appear all out of context. I will not address all you say in detail, but I'd like make a couple of observation.

First of all, not all adoptions take place because of abuse or neglect. Not all relinquishing parents lack the skills to properly raise their children, some simply lack the means or the support from family and community to do so. Furthermore, not all neglect is due to lack of parenting skills, but the result of balancing the need to make an income with the needs to take care of children. Not all single mothers with two or three minimum wage part time jobs are necessarily lacking in parenting skills, but may not be home enough to do proper parenting, leading to neglect.

Moreover, I find your reasoning simply to be a pie in the sky. Legal change, no matter how difficult, can be achieved. Cultural change however is unattainable. Of course cultures change, but they do not change because we want them to. The direction you take in your call for change is also completely out of touch with the realities of American culture.

Many Americans find government to be too intrusive already, mandating health care insurance, requiring back ground checks upon the purchase of fire arms, having agencies like EPA, CPS and the Department of Education. Many Americans want to be left alone so they can do whatever they themselves deem right and don't want to be told what to do and how to think. This is not the place to discus the merits of that mentality, but it is a fact of life that many people want less government and less monitoring, less public influencing, not more.

That said, I wish you luck achieving your goals. It would be a wonderful world if children were only born into loving families that have the skills and the means to properly raise their children, but I am not going to waste my precious time chasing rainbows. Instead, I devote my time on issues that can be addressed, like demonstrating the flaws in the screening methods in place to vet prospective adoptive parents, and demonstrating the flaws in the placement process that leads to coercion and child trafficking. That is a contribution to this world that I can make and that has a positive effect, since more and more parties in the position to make change are actually seeing the issues we address.

Now back to your comment. Your closing argument starts with:

For anyone who is offended that I asked why Kerry doesn't spend more time doing something concrete such as volunteering at a birth control clinic rather than complaining on the internet, I am sorry you feel insulted.

Nice try, but it shows your underlying need to add more insult, instead of offering a heartfelt apology. You see, it is not just a question of "feeling insulted", that would mean the we are simply thin skinned. The fact is you actually do insult. Your choice of words betrays the fact that you see running a website like PPL is nothing more than complaining, something that has no concrete value.

It is not my style to boast, but our archives of wrongdoings in Adoptionland are used and referenced in reports and papers. The issues we address are being discussed within NGOs and by state legislators. The analyses we write about the adoption system are being taken seriously. In that sense our work has more impact than mere volunteering at a birth control clinic could ever do.

The fact you still don't see how insulting your remarks are, and the fact you are still trying to be cute about it, makes me wonder if you are simply not a lost cause, who will never learn to engage in a cooperative and cordial fashion.

I only meant that I think the most powerful way to prevent adoption is to prevent unplanned pregnancies . I was also referring to the fact that this website obviously took a lot of time and energy to put together and continues to take up a lot of time from those who frequently post, and I think that it can still be a very effective website if those who post frequently used some of that valuable time to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. that is the most effective way to shut down the adoption industry.

It is not our intention to shut down the adoption industry. We are highly critical of the workings of the adoption system, but realistic enough to know that its existence is a fact of life. We do want to see reform of the adoption system, with proper legislation and professional practices so the system works properly in those situations where adoption is in the best interest of the child. Apparently we are not as anti-adoption as you are.

only my observations

From personal stories I've heard or read from abused adoptees where there are also biological children, there are two cases:

- The parents abused both their biological and adopted childred.
-The parents abused only the adopted child/children.

I've never heard of a story where only the biological children were abused. These are only my observations of course, not statistics.

My adoptive father had five biological children (four sons and one daughter). He didn't abuse any of them.  I was his only adoptive daughter and I was the only one who was abused.

I can now understand as adult what made my adoptive father cross the prohibited line with me (and not with his real children). I looked nothing like him physically because of my slanted eyes and he was raised in a white society  which consider Asian women as being exotic. He told me several times that when he was young, his friends and him heard that Asian women had their vaginas splitted in the wrong way, so they all wanted to sleep with an Asian girl to check if it was true. I heard him saying that about a year or two after my arrival. I was too young to understand what he meant.  He began to abuse me three and half years after my arrival. Two years later, he told me again about Asian women having their vaginas splitted in the wrong way. He said that  to console me because I was worried I would never have a boyfriend because of my "Chinese" eyes. He said not to worry because every boy would want to date me to check if is is true or not. This was said a few times in front of my mother..He also added that he wasn't sure if this was said about  Asian women or Black women. I thus believe if I had been a black girl, he would still have abused me because of his youth fantasy about Asian women (or Black women) having their vaginas splitted in the wrong way.

I've learned there are four steps the sexual agressor has to go through.  In one step, the child agressor has to overcome his internal inhibitions. At this step,  the (potential) agressor will say to himself, for example,   "It's wrong the child is blood related to me" or he could find reasons to continue further, such as "the child will like it", "it's not incest since the child is not blood related to me".  By  giving the latter example, I want to point out is that the step parents or adoptive parents will find more reasons to overcome their internal inhibitions and go further to other steps that will lead to sexual abuses. Although I'm not an expert, I can extrapolate for other kind of abuses too.

It's difficult to experience, observe, and absorb

One of the early comments you made, [ - The parents abused both their biological and adopted children or the parents abused only the adopted child/children - ] contradicts what adoption think-tank reps (Adam Pertman) want the public to believe, which is, parenting the adopted child and biologic child is the same, and for the most part all are happy and not experiencing any major troubles as seen in the abuse cases featuring Russian adoptions, which, at the time (2004) resulted in 12 deaths.  [Cases that resulted in death, not cases that include lethal AND non-lethal child abuse.]

Note the difference in opinion from two adoptive parents-- one a physician and Amother and the other, Adam Pertman, notoriously biased mouth-piece for The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.  All quotes come from the same 2004 article, Adoptee deaths rare, experts say 12 Russian cases troubling, puzzling.

The deaths, these experts say, are only the tip of an iceberg of adoptive families ill-equipped to deal with troubled children.

"We're talking about very, very at-risk children placed with families who don't know what they're doing, who are often left completely on their own," said Dr. Jerri Jenista, a Michigan physician and adoptive mother who consults with families seeking children abroad. "It's a prescription for disaster."

These overwhelmed AP are left-alone because once the adoption fees have been paid, the AP's with hurting troubled children - often from another country speaking a different language - are of no good use and value to the adoption agency that wants to sell, sell, sell, not help, help, help.  How is this standard in adoption practice good for anyone?

The article minimizing abuse rates in Ahomes continues with the all-too safe disclaimer made by A.P. himself.

Studies show that most adoptive parents are happy with their children--whether from Russia or elsewhere. These parents wince when the press plays up deaths in adoptive families, said Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a New York nonprofit devoted to improving adoption policy.

"Far more children die of abuse and neglect in biological families than in adoptive families," Pertman said.

Sure the APs wince; abuse in the adoptive home makes APs look bad.  My question is, how can those who "study adoption issues" claim abuse rates are higher in bio-homes than foster/adoptive homes when A) abuse in the adoptive home is not recognized as the very real problem it is and B) there are no studies or mandatory reports required from adoption agencies that look specifically into abuse rates in adoptive homes?  This question of the legitimacy of his argument is supported by the fact that ALL abuse statistics are the findings from bio homes and foster/adoptive homes COMBINED.

Agencies such as the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics do not break out child slayings according to whether or not the victim is adopted.

Still, experts knew of no other country from which so many children have been killed

From my own POV and personal experiences shared with me from other adult abused adoptees or siblings of adoptees, abuse in the adoptive home is NOT as rare as most would expect or assume. What is rare is a compassionate response from members of the adoption community when an angry adoptee dares to complain.  I have found few believe or accept the fact that adoptive parents can be JUST LIKE bio-parents in the sense that BOTH can be unhealthy, unstable and dysfunctional, and both can be not at all prepared to deal with the many stresses that come with parenting.  Just like bio-breeders, some APs can be unfit to parent in general, let alone an adopted child who has VERY special needs because that child enters the new family already bruised by post-adoption depression and trauma. 

But how can this point me made when those who dare to speak-out are met the the unfortunate (and  much more common and not very surprising) angry reaction and response coming from the outraged adopter, like the one we see on this very thread, as exhibited by "Linda".  I think she epitomizes the AP forum-poster who wants to visit a site she knows little about and decides to argue inane points about pro-choice v. pro-life groups and the fact that bio-homes are far more dangerous than adoptive homes.  [My personal favorite attack from her recently being:  Wouldn't you [the abused adoptee] be better off spending your time to help prevent unplanned pregnancies rather than complaining on the Internet?.]

Really?

Would such a remark and suggestion be made to the victim of bio-father incest or bio-family neglect?  No... the victims of bio-incest and bio-family abuse are often praised for their bravery each time they go-public and speak about the harms and dangers associated with unfit/unprepared parents and what it is they do to children over the length of an entire childhood.  These victims, unlike victims of abuse in the adoptive home, get sympathy, empathy, and the apology that says "I wish you were given NEW parents through adoption!"

Kimette -- would you ever wish your APs on any child removed from his or her first family and put into an adoptive home?

I know I wouldn't wish my APs on anyone - bio or adopted.  Unfortunately they had both.

As for your own break-down of how a sexual predator AP can methodically justify the sexual relationship between adoptive family member and adopted child, I found it to be very disturbing since I do believe my own sexual abusers (in my Afamily) considered the same thing:  "it's OK to do what I'm doing because we're not blood related."

But it was NOT OK!  What was done to me damaged me immensely.  I STILL get nightmares... I still have difficulty dealing with people and relationships.  All of this, PLUS adoption issues can be too much for one to take, which may explain why so many adoptees who were abused in their A homes turn to drugs and consider suicide as the ultimate answer and way to end the pain. 

So let's make this as clear as it can be:  It's never OK to have forced sex on a child, especially if the adult sexual predator is the excited PAP who agrees to go through the adoption process and states over and over again he - or she - will do no harm to the child put in his or her care.

Such betrayals are never OK.  Never.

<sad sigh, for SOOOO many>

Thank you Kimette for your response and forgive my delay in commenting.  As always, you bring a very somber thought-provoking voice with the messages you leave.  Sometimes I need a few days to take in and digest what you write because what you say is a truth many of us have to keep to ourselves, hidden from others because no one wants to hear how the dark-side of an adoption plan can be.  PPL is lucky to have your continued interest and support and shared personal accounts -- you often provide simple obvious (disturbing) reminders that so many seem to want to ignore and/or forget.

abuse rates

Please be careful not to twist the words of Adam Pertman. He did NOT say that abuse rates are different in bio homes vs. adoptive homes.
He said that "far more" (as in total numbers, not rates or percentages) of children died in bio homes vs. adoptive homes.
However, I do think it is far more helpful to have statistics about percentages. I don't know if info is available on that or not.
Just looking at total numbers doesn't say a lot because there are many more children living in bio families than adoptive families.
This reminds me of a comment I read a couple of years ago from a Russian journalist. He complained that the Russian government was having a special meeting to discuss the approximately 13 Russian children that had been killed by their adoptive parents within a certain time-frame, yet no special meeting was called to discuss the 2,000 Russian children that had been killed by their bio parents within that same time-frame.
Shouldn't we as a culture be equally concerned about abuse of any child (bio or adopted)?

Twisting?

This reminds me of a comment I read a couple of years ago from a Russian journalist. He complained that the Russian government was having a special meeting to discuss the approximately 13 Russian children that had been killed by their adoptive parents within a certain time-frame, yet no special meeting was called to discuss the 2,000 Russian children that had been killed by their bio parents within that same time-frame.
Shouldn't we as a culture be equally concerned about abuse of any child (bio or adopted)?

And your response/comments here on PPL reminds me of the reaction given by members of the Catholic Church when victims at church-run orphanages and children's homes complained about clerical sexual abuse.  [If unfamiliar, see:  The Ryan Report.]  Shouldn't we as a culture give equal and fair interest in child abuse that takes place in bio AND homes associated with the care-system, which include (but are not limited to) private and state-funded orphanages, children's homes and foster/adoptive homes?

I'm fascinated by the idea that you are so certain I am consistently twisting words, meanings, facts and statistics (NOT shared by those paid to study adoption issues) to fit an agenda I'm not even sure we agree I am following.   Unlike many of those within the adoption industry, I cannot twist or manufacture information that does not exist, all so I may create an image that is not true.   Abuse in adoptive homes is a fact.  How rampant and common is it?  We don't know.   I find your nit-picking and displeasure at every example I use, with hyperlinked reference you may check for yourself, both frustrating and annoying, to say the least.  Such nit-picking does not encourage discussion, it demands argument.  Over what?

I wish abuse in both bio AND adoptive homes were not true.

While I myself can' t prevent "unwanted" pregnancies OR adoption (my word, imagine how criticized THAT anti-adoption sentiment would fly among the infertile bloggers and those who participle in popular religious-based adoption forums ever so eager to support any and all who are anxious to purchase an available "unwanted pregnancy"!)  I CAN, in addition to working as a charge nurse at a local extended care-facility and raising 4 children, bring a greater awareness to a group that is very near and dear to my heart because the group represents much of what I myself went through when I was growing-up in my dysfunctional adoptive home.  Maybe if you took your own guard down, you would learn child abuse issues + adoption issues = a whole new type of victim.  Sadly, these victims are not recognized as being significant or important enough to receive specialized care and attention.  I believe much of this oversight is due to the fact that the recovery process -- the issues that need to be addressed during recovery -- are very complex and not well understood by many adults or trained therapists who maintain the belief that vetting foster/APs is enough to guarantee "safe" placement and a relinquished child's healthy growth and development

So I will ask:  How is bringing an awareness to abuse in adoptive homes, and some obvious risk-factors that exist in some of those cases, a bad thing or an insult to those who suffer abuse in a bio-home?   I  feel as though it's obvious you have a natural disdain for me and the responses I offer because while I agree, unwanted pregnancies SHOULD be prevented, I also believe abuse in the adoptive home is a more critical urgent event that needs more immediate addressing.  As we both type, there is a child in a bio home left outside and there is an adoptee chained to a cold garage floor thinking all have forgotten him.  The only real difference is, the second victim was already taken from unfit parents/unhealthy living environment and put in a seemingly loving adoptive home.  What sort of hope does the child "saved through adoption" have if the abusive Jekyll-Hyde AP(s) he receives represents the "trained, educated and screened" parent that is seen as the ideal?   If I were an AP I would be outraged such people were approved to adopt, and I would want such approvals to stop!

This is where we have the real heart-break:  It is presumed by all who love APs that those children taken from unsafe living environments are now and forever safer and better off in their "carefully chosen" adoptive homes.  It is assumed all beatings, rapes and acts of negligence have been removed, freeing those children to experience the second chance at life they deserve. I challenge you to take the time to review a small portion of our abuse cases featuring Attachment Therapists, a group that advertise and attracts desperate and disillusioned APs on AP forums. The use of torture, through punishment, discipline, deprivation, humiliation, and forced confinement -  all to encourage "bonding" - (?!?!?)- is legendary. Why should stronger focus NOT go to these cases? Why should these children go ignored?

 [More abuse cases can be found here:  Recent PPL Abuse Cases ]

There are many websites and organizations that focus on child abuse as a general generic topic. There are also some websites that will focus on only specific types of child abuse like those sites that invite/accept only those affected by incest, rape/sex abuse or clerical abuse. PPL focuses on abuse in the child placement system, specifically the adoptive home.  It is also open to all.   I understand the subject-matter we feature offends and insults many APs. Hell, much of the subject matter offends and depresses me as well, but that does not make the subject matter any less important than any other form of child abuse.

If you are at all familiar with adoption reform, you will know we are a long way from creating the reform needed to improve child placement standards and practices so adoption CAN become a better safer option than what it is today.  The way to do this is not just reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.  Reducing the number of "available" newborns for the infertile will only create a new uprising (led by very wealthy and powerful religious groups) and this uprising and debate will do nothing but distract others from the bigger issues like what are we going to do about all the stolen children for the adoption market and what are we going to do to prevent/stop abusive adoptive parenting?  While working on a champaign for reducing pregnancies may be good for yourself, I prefer to discuss reform strategies with those who agree with me:  the best most effective way to achieve adoption reform is if we find a way to eliminate the profit-centric attitude and non-transparency that plagues the adoption industry.

The bottom line is simple:  If you don't like PPL, me or our focus, please, by all means, find the group that appeals to your own passion, and stick to it.  That's the great thing about America - we have the freedom to choose which causes we want to follow and support.  So, as the resident voice that represents those victimized by the dark-side of private adoption practice and abusive adoptive homes, your arguments, anti-PPL sentiment and hostility toward me personally are not wanted or welcome and I kindly ask you to refrain from smearing my name here or anywhere else.  However, if you want to learn more about what we feature on PPL, by all means, please ask.  We are more than capable of providing and presenting factual material that supports our belief that not enough is done to prevent child abuse in bio AND adoptive homes.  Our archives are filled with enough disturbing facts to enlighten those who fail to see just how twisted the American adoption industry has become...(for instance, my posts on surrogacy v. adoption are very easy to read)...,  and we are more than excited and delighted to discuss various ways so many "unwanted" aspects of the adoption industry can be stopped or prevented.  All one has to do is show a genuine interest, and not spend so much time fixating on details and semantics that promote more argument than proactive discussion.

a reply

I never said that anything was wrong with discussing abuse in adoptive homes or trying to prevent it. I re-read my posts, and can't find any such thing. If you think I implied that I don't care about abuse in adoptive families, than please find the quotes. Of course any abuse is horrible. It doesn't matter if the child lives in a group home, institution, foster home, adoptive home, bio home, whatever. My point in discussing the Russian journalist is that there is nothing wrong with the Russian government having a special meeting to discuss adoptive parents who are abusive, but it is wrong for the government not to pay the same amount of attention to those abused in bio homes. I am not trying to justify abuse of adopted kids, I am only saying that sometimes in cases such as this Russian journalist mentioned there is so much publicity given to the adopted kids and not to others who are equally deserving.
Every adopted kid is also the bio kid of two people. The child's in utero experience and early life experiences with bio family will remain with him for a lifetime
I am glad you wrote to clarify and explain that you are equally concerned about abuse for bio kids. It definitely was not obvious that you felt that way when I originally asked what you thougt should be done about abuse in bio homes and your reply was "nothing".
As for attachment therapists, I am not sure if I understand you correctly, but you spoke about attachment therapist in general and did not say "some" attachment therapist us abusive techniques. Are you familiar with the work of Heather Forbes, Brian Post, and Nancy Thomas? They NEVER recommend any type of physical punishment. I hope you are not judging attachment therapists as a whole and only judging the bad ones.
I NEVER said that bring about awareness of abuse in adoptive homes was an insult to the ones in bio homes. The insulting part is when NOTHING is done to try and prevent the abuse in bio homes. I am only stating my opinion about how I would feel if I were in the shoes of a child placed in a foster or adoptive home due to abuse in the bio home. You state repeatedly that bio homes are a private legal entity that the government has no business attempting to intervene in until the first report of abuse; did I understand that correctly? Maybe that isn't what you meant, I am not sure. My point is that kids in bio homes are equally deserving of some attempt at prevention.
The other issue is true for both bio and adoptive homes. Exactly what can be done to 100% be sure there will not be problems? It is almost impossible to do that in any home. I am not saying we shouldn't try, only saying that it really is a difficult thing. Background checks are no guarantee a parent won't be abusive since there is a first time for everything. social workers visiting the home are no guarantee because everything could look fine during her visit, and do a 360 the moment she leaves. setting up cameras or having a 24/7 nanny might help, but not very realistic.

A response

I'll admit, it's hard for me to engage in any serious discussion about preventative measures that help reduce child abuse in ALL homes when you present yourself as a visitor who keeps prefacing her posts to me with admonishments like "Kerry, please be careful when you post statistics.. " or "Please be careful not to twist the words of (insert name of member of the adoption industry)"  I find your own lazy carelessness in response rather time-consuming and frustrating.  You demand all sorts of documented proof, statistics, and information that supports my arguments and when I do provide them for you,  you respond with snarky comments like, "Sounds to me like you don't have any facts to answer my questions".

I have my own opinions on pathological parenting, (which can apply to both adoptive and bio families), however, it is clear to me you are critical of my posts and have gone as far as express the opinion that I am spreading inaccurate information to fit my own "agenda" on Yahoo AP support groups, and should therefore not be trusted because I do not speak the truth.  Meanwhile, you're all over the place here with remarks like:

I am glad you wrote to clarify and explain that you are equally concerned about abuse for bio kids. It definitely was not obvious that you felt that way when I originally asked what you thougt [sic] should be done about abuse in bio homes and your reply was "nothing".

Before expressing an insincere word of implied thanks, you may want to re-check your own facts as to who says what, where.  For example, your dis-satisfaction with the answer given about what we should do about abuse in bio-home ought to be directed to the person who made that comment.  See:  Apples and oranges.  You will note the author of that comment was Niels, not me.  You will also note, Niels has already addressed this criticism/complaint made by you, so there's no need to waste more time on this repetitive insanity.

Just as you believe "there is so much publicity given to the adopted kids and not to others who are equally deserving", I just as strongly disagree.  I believe there are many groups that focus on domestic violence and child abuse, but ignore the problems associated with abuse in adoptive homes.  I believe there are many places where a person can be highly critical of bio-parents but there is no such safe PUBLIC place if one wants to criticize adoptive parents or those leading/instructing adoptive parents. PPL is perhaps the only site of it's kind that puts a strong focus on the dark side of adoption, abuse in adoptive homes, while it also provides a safe platform for those who want to vent and justly criticize some dreadful actions done by APs, without the fear they (those who dare to vent) will be tarred and feathered by others. 

Its ok if you don't agree or support our focus; fortunately, there are many who do.

This leads to the next point you made re:  attachment therapists/attachment therapy.   I really hope  you're joking about the likes of Nancy Thomas, but if not, we are most definitely NOT on the same page.

Truth be told, Linda, I find your posts exhausting and proof that there is a very strong need for a site like PPL and a very strong need for angry adoptees and victims of  shoddy post-adoption services to voice as loud as they can:  the ills found in the American adoption industry deserves more attention!

not nancy thomas

I really meant to say Karyn Purvis and not Nancy Thomas. she wrote a book called The Connected Child

continuing the false equivalence

Always, trying to be cute, aren't you, Linda.

I never said that anything was wrong with discussing abuse in adoptive homes or trying to prevent it.

Certainly, I am not able to give you a quote where you say this, but the fact you chose to engage in this discussion, interjecting the issue of abuse in bio-families gives the impression that you were triggered by the fact we talk about abuse in adoptive families only. Moreover you keep on pushing a false equivalence (another  logical fallacy you deploy on a regular scale in this thread), between adoptive families and bio-families as demonstrated in this idiotic statement.

My point in discussing the Russian journalist is that there is nothing wrong with the Russian government having a special meeting to discuss adoptive parents who are abusive, but it is wrong for the government not to pay the same amount of attention to those abused in bio homes.

I know it is rude of me to call this an idiotic statement and I rarely resort to such behavior, but it has to be called that way when it really is.

One of the primary tasks of a government is to monitor and control the execution of the law. Judges, both in the Russian Federation and in the United States have been given the power to transfer the parental rights towards adoptive parents. As can be clearly demonstrated, this power is not always wielded in the best interest of the child.

It is therefore exactly right for the Russian government to first address the issues they themselves are involved in, before addressing a completely separate and much more nuanced subject as how to prevent child abuse in general, while maintaining a right to privacy so important for a properly functioning society.

I am glad you wrote to clarify and explain that you are equally concerned about abuse for bio kids. It definitely was not obvious that you felt that way when I originally asked what you thougt [sic] should be done about abuse in bio homes and your reply was "nothing".

Oh please, don't feign naivete. It was perfectly clear what was meant with the reply "nothing", since it was in the context of a longer sentence explaining that one-word response. Insisting it was open to other interpretations, you risk being perceived as either being disingenuous or simply dense, neither of which being a very positive trait.

I NEVER said that bring [sic] about awareness of abuse in adoptive homes was an insult to the ones in bio homes. The insulting part is when NOTHING is done to try and prevent the abuse in bio homes.

I find this a very curious statement. since a lot is already being done to prevent abuse in bio-families. There is Child Protective Services; medical doctors and school teachers are required by law to report any signs of abuse to authorities. There are many non-profit organizations dedicated to just the cause you mention, unless of course you mean the prevention of abuse in bio-families only. If you want an organization dedicated to rooting out abuse, except in adoptive families, then you are free to start one yourself. However, I am skeptical towards the popularity of your cause.

You state repeatedly that bio homes are a private legal entity that the government has no business attempting to intervene in until the first report of abuse; did I understand that correctly?

This is getting really repetitive. Either you lack comprehension skills, or you deliberately distort what is being said. I don't know which one is actually worse.

What is being stated is that every family, both the ones with biological children only and those having adoptive children, are private legal entities that have a right to privacy. This right is neither absolute, nor should it be trampled with, unless it is reasonable to expect abuse from taking place. That is not just our opinion, it is part of the Constitution of the United States, which reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

(fourth amendment)

You continue:

Maybe that isn't what you meant, I am not sure. My point is that kids in bio homes are equally deserving of some attempt at prevention.

The fact of the matter is that according to the law, biological children and adoptive children are the same and deserve the same attempt at prevention. The only difference is that adoptive children, prior to their adoption (before they became adoptive children), have a placement where prospective adopters are being screened. Would you suggest we do away with this screening to create more equality between biological children and adoptive children?

Exactly what can be done to 100% be sure there will not be problems? It is almost impossible to do that in any home. I am not saying we shouldn't try, only saying that it really is a difficult thing. Background checks are no guarantee a parent won't be abusive since there is a first time for everything. social workers visiting the home are no guarantee because everything could look fine during her visit, and do a 360 the moment she leaves. setting up cameras or having a 24/7 nanny might help, but not very realistic.

There are no 100% guarantees, but that doesn't mean nothing can be done. It's perfectly reasonable to work towards a child protective system that prevents more child abuse, both in bio-families and in adoptive families. This is a huge topic that lies outside the scope of PPL. It is also perfectly reasonable to work towards better screening and preparation of adoptive parents, which by now I hope you understand is an unrelated issue from the prevention of abuse in general. Current screening practices vary from excellent to totally shoddy, so much improvement can be made in that field by demanding more rigorous professional standards.

CPS unfortunately is often

CPS unfortunately is often not notified about abuse and neglect until after it has already occurred. therefore, it isn't very effective in preventing the first-time abuse although it can prevent further abuse. Same with laws requiring doctors and teachers notify CPS with suspicions of abuse.
Unfortunately I think that in this country we sometimes value freedom to a fault, to the point that some people get hurt. ALL jobs require some type of training (except the job of parenting bio kids). Many bio parents do a fine job of preparing on their own, but some do not. Realistically no law will ever be passed to force training, but I hope the culture changes because all kids need and deserve parents who are prepared.
I am definitely not saying that we should do less to help prevent abuse in adoptive homes. I am saying that we need to do more to prevent abuse in bio homes which should never mean that we do less to help those in adoptive homes.

Perspective of an abused bio child

When it comes to abuse, what really matters is the feeling of the abused child. That is more important than what an adult thinks of the issue. Looking back on our long conversation about this issue, I think we should ask ourselves: what would an abused child think of our words (both a bio and an adopted child)? If I were a child abused by my bio parents, this is what I would think: Prevention is often the only thing that works. Once instance of abuse is one time too many. It is not OK with me that nobody checked on my welfare or screened my parents for risks of abusing me just because they are my bio parents. It is not my fault that I live with bio parents and not adoptive parents. why were the adoptive parents next door screened for abuse before their adopted child arrived, but nobody cared about trying to prevent the abuse my bio parents did to me? why does it matter that the adoptive parents required court approval to be parents? my bones are able to break just as easily as those of the adopted child next door. we talk about equal rights in this country, that nobody should be discriminated based on race, sex, or religion. shouldn't those equal rights also include whether or not a child lives with bio parents or adoptive parents.

POV

Again, Linda, I have to disagree with the extent to which you belabour your own point:

When it comes to abuse, what really matters is the feeling of the abused child. That is more important than what an adult thinks of the issue.

If the abused child is an adoptee and that child is able to survive long enough to become an articulate educated adult, capable of expressing thoughts and feelings as they relate to specific life-altering events and types of child abuse, then why not listen/read and learn from that adult -- the one who has lived through the experience of a very specific type of abuse?  Is that too much to ask from an adult ... an AP? 

At PPL, the thoughts and feelings of abused adoptees are shared and given special focused attention.  I realize for some, this feature and topic-matter is a real threat to those who so desperately want and need to believe that adoption puts an end to toxic bio-family relationships, domestic violence, and child abuse.

If this focus on the angry adoptee bothers and disturbs you as much as it seems to disturb you, please leave, without further response.  However, before leaving, (allowing you the freedom to smear my name on other sites or not), I ask one favor:   please do not leave PPL without re-reading one more post -- a post that features what one victim of child abuse had to say about her own post-adoption experience:  I wasn't abused in my natural family

Since you yourself are an adoptive parent, I would like to believe the POV from a survivor of abuse -- neglect/abuse in the adoptive home -- would be, at the very least, an interesting and enlightening read all on it's own.   If I am wrong, and adoptee-centric topics do not at all interest you,  then I openly confess:  I feel sad for your adopted children... I feel sad for any and every adoptee who lives with the arrogant mis-informed AP who refuses to see the world through the eyes and POV of the adoptee especially if that child was put in a less-than-safe and stable home -- chosen by paid professionals/service-providers who proclaim the choice made was based on a child's best interest.  I feel very sad for every child put in an adoptive home where his/her most basic individual needs were NOT treated like top priorities.

good luck

If you want to live in a police state that monitors all parents, by all means be the founder of a country that operates that way. This website is not the place to  promote such a society. We don't endorse your idea of state intervention in the private sphere that even goes further than that of North Korea, China, the former Soviet Union, or Nazi Germany, but I wish you the best of luck finding enough people willing to live under such a regime that you can start your own country.

That said, I am going to end the conversation. It already cost more of my precious time than necessary.

I wasn't abused in my natural family

I've lived over 8 years with my natural family and 13 months in orphanages before being adopted at 9 years of age (with reduced age by adoption agency to make me adoptable/salable).

My natural family was poor, but I didn't even know we were poor. I had everything a child needs to grow happy and healthy. I was loved and well-cared by my parents, grandmother and three older siblings.  I didn't experience any sadness until the deaths of my mother and grandmother when I was 6.
After my mom's death, my father drank for a while. But he made sure to never appear drunk in front of us. He showed me more affection than to my siblings. He gave me more food because I was his younger child. Like all men at that time, he didn't know how to take care of children.   He was naive. He lost all his money that came from the compasation for my mom's death; he lost the money by lending it to his cousins and also to two women who were supposed to marry him. My family became very poor. I experienced difficulties due to poverty. With hindsight, I can say that I was neglected because of poverty, but 've never felt neglected and I was a happy child.

My adoptive family on the contrary was rich. I had everything a child needs to grow happy, but I was not happy.  I missed my father and siblings, I missed Korea, my home. This time, I was neglected due to richness (parents to busy with work).  My adoptive mother decided to take a year off six months after my arrival, to take care of me.  But she never took care of me, she was always busy talking on the phone with friends.  It didn't take her long to miss her work. After she went back to work, I became accessible to my adoptive father. He started abusing me while she was busy working hard. And she started drinking. Unlike my natural father, my adoptive mother appeared drunk in front of  me. She beat me often after drinking.

I was not abused by my natural parents. I was abused by my adoptive parents.

I was removed from a loving family and adopted into an abusive and dysfunctional parents.

I never wanted to be adopted to begin with. 
The only thing I wanted while living both in orphanages was to go back to home, that's where my father lived.
The only thing I wanted when I was sent to America was to go back home, that's Korea where my family lived. 

Pound Pup Legacy