The Child Exchange: Inside America's Underground Market for Adopted Children

The Child Exchange: Inside America's Underground Market for Adopted Children

Part 1 The Network
Americans use the Internet to abandon children adopted from overseas 
A look at the kids offered on a Yahoo group
Part 2 The Dangers 
In a shadowy online network, a pedophile takes home a ‘fun boy’
International adoptions: frequently asked questions
Part 3 The Middlemen
With blind trust and good intentions, amateurs broker children online
For desperate parents, ‘there was no other option’
Part 4 The Failures
Despite ‘grave danger,’ government allows Internet forums to go unchecked
Q&A: addressing abuses in private re-homings
Part 5 The Survivors
Orphaned in Russia, brought to America, and then abandoned time and again
A Chinese girl is moved to Tennessee, and ‘hell’ begins

About the series
Reuters investigative reporter Megan Twohey spent 18 months examining how American parents use the Internet to find new families for children they regret adopting. Reporters identified eight online bulletin boards where participants advertised unwanted children, often international adoptees, as part of an informal practice that's called "private re-homing." Reuters data journalist Ryan McNeill worked with Twohey and reporter Robin Respaut to analyze 5,029 posts from one of the bulletin boards, a Yahoo group called Adopting-from-Disruption.

Separately, Reuters examined almost two dozen cases from across the United States in which adopted children were privately re-homed. Twohey reviewed thousands of pages of records, many of them confidential, from law enforcement and child welfare agencies. In scores of interviews, reporters talked with parents who gave away or took in children, the facilitators who helped them, organizations that participated in re-homing, and experts concerned about the risks posed to the children and the legality of the custody transfers. Twohey also interviewed children themselves. They talked about being brought to America, discarded by their adoptive parents and moved from home to home.

The Child Exchange: a Reuters investigation
By Megan Twohey

Data analysis: Ryan McNeill, Janet Roberts
Additional reporting: Robin Respaut, Ryan McNeill
Web programming: Charlie Szymanski
Graphics: Matthew Weber, Maryanne Murray
Video: Zachary Goelman
Photo editor: Jim Bourg
Design: Troy Dunkley
Series editor: Blake Morrison

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NBC Investigations Coverage of stories

9-09-13 Inside America's underground network for adopted children
9-09-13 Adopted girl says mother forced her to dig her own grave
9-10-13 Unwanted adopted children traded online in underground network
9-10-13 Adopted girl says new 'mom' slept naked with her
9-11-13 Adopted girl: 'My parents didn't want me. I didn't want to live.'

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Reuters follow-up
09-13-13 Journalist spotlight: Megan Twohey on her investigative series on “The Child Exchange”
09-13-13 Governments call on U.S. to track foreign adoptees
09-25-13 China adoption agency furious over 'child exchange' report
10-29-13 U.S. Lawmakers Call for Action to Curb Internet Child Trading

03-21-14 Girl spent months harboring secret, fearing she would be sent away again

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[Cases on PPL which are part of this story]
Nora Gateley
18 Children in care of Tom and Debra Schmitz
Inga Whatcott
Children sent to Nicole and Calvin Eason
Quita Puchalla (Quita Davis)
10 year old Boy adopted by Glenna Mueller

Anna Barnes
8 year old California girl
Dmitri Stewart
Boy adopted by Tom and Misty Mealey

0

"regret"

I think it's important to define and differentiate what "regret" means in Adoptionland.

I believe, for many APs, "regret" often results from poor-preparation.  I see many APs are NOT being educated about various adoption issues and many are NOT being shown the various conditions children put-in-care will have, once 'home'.   I blame the adoption agencies for this poor preparedness.  Poor AP preparation and an absence of post-placement monitoring is not right... in fact, I think both forms of inaction in Adoptionland are inexcusable

However, we cannot ignore or dismiss those APs who "regret" becoming a parent, in the first-place.

I believe many people regret becoming a parent, for a variety of reasons.   Parenting itself is a very long difficult thank-less job; I also believe adoptive parenting, in many ways, is more difficult than traditional bio-parenting.  After all, an AP has to do all a bio-parent has to do, for another person's child.  It's hard to love another as if that person were your own.  [I know based on my own adoption-experience, the favoritism given by my APs to their own bio-son was - and remains - apparent, so to speak.]  APs have to parent with a knowledge and understanding... and a COMPASSION... for those with abandonment/adoption issues. 

Once again, I strongly believe APs are being failed over and over again each time the adoption agencies (and adoption lawyers) are not doing their part in educating the PAP.

With that, I think there are MANY who regret becoming a parent, regardless how that parenting role was created.

I find this complex and important subject-matter isn't discussed very openly on pro-adoption websites and forums.  I think much of that has to do with the fact that many do not want to disrupt the warm-glow-of-denial that comes with the adoption fog.  (The adoption fog is that blissful state that says all will be fine, thanks to the power of love.)  I also think many APs are afraid to admit their adoption-dream has a very dark and ugly reality.  I find on too many blogs/forums, too many posters want to attack the person with complaint and criticism, and do so without taking the time to look at the problem being presented.  How does attacking the person with a serious problem help?  (It doesn't...)

Bottom-line for most APs:  When it comes to adoption and good adoptive parenting, good intentions and love are NOT enough to undo the damage caused by poor care-systems.  APs chosen to care for a child relinquished by bio-families need help.  These parents of children with special complex needs need to be educated, supported, and monitored.  In spite of the hefty-fees many APs are expected to pay - up-front - many of the "services" that are REALLY needed for quality child-care either do not exist, or they are lame and insufficient, at best.

How is this practice good for a traumatized adopted child?

I think articles like the above are good and necessary.   I think people need to be exposed to the secrets kept in Adoptionland.  I also think there are times and situations when the PTB in Adoptionland SHOULD regret what's being done by the adoption industry and all that goes with "being called by God" and phrases like "in a child's best interest". 

Uninformed APs

Agree with the above comment. Though it is easy to attack any AP who "rehomes", but one has to realize the combo of unprepared eager well-meaning PAPs and children with issues who have no resources available post adoption, is not a good recipe. Unrealistic AP expectations and the sad reality that children miss their first families , adding that the child speaks, looks and acts differently.... creates this " the child does not fit in" situation (in ICA situations). The truth is, the child/teen/into adulthood will always miss their mother/first family and ache as to why they were given up.

Safety Procedures?

My concern arises about WHO is doing the "rehoming" procedure and if any safety nets are in place providing background checks, support, follow-up and of course the resources that the child requires post-adoption...again.

Kerry and/or Neils any ideas?

none

To my knowledge, there are NO safety-nets made for the children.  I think this lack of third-party involvement is what attracts so many to the underground networks, in the first place.

For examples, read here:  In a shadowy online network, a pedophile takes home a ‘fun boy’.

 

No Full Disclosure

Let us not forget that the majority of these children have not had their records fully disclosed to PAPs. Many soon to be APs have no idea of the psychological and emotional issues of the children entering their homes and the toll it will take on their families both emotionally and financially. So let us not forget the agencies role in ALL of this! Many APs are not prepared to deal with the long term or dangerous situations that they find themselves in. One can see how a parent is then forced to find a home in whatever manner that they can albeit the lack of safety nets is alarming and a social worker should be involved to do follow ups, etc.

What is being said?

Based on your reply, I get the feeling that 'full-disclosure' would stop many PAPs in their tracts and abort the adoption plan given to a specific child.  That's not a bad idea, actually.  I think it's much better to have fewer highly quality matches where the APs are knowledgeable, patient, and able to be loving parents to a difficult child than to have more matches where the APs do little to educate themselves and simply react (badly) to unwanted behavior.

This leads us to a serious question:  How many PAPs would have agreed to their adoption-plan if ALL about the child was disclosed to them, prior to the first meeting?  How many would accept a "difficult child", the anguish long-term trauma can bring, AND the high costs (and extensive travel) associated with long-term medical and mental health-care for one (or more) in that newly-created family? [This is not a judgment-call, but a valid question based on the idea that facts DO affect one's decision-making.]

From the full-disclosure perspective, it's easy to see how and WHY a lack of transparency is bad for the child, bad for the family, but REALLY good for the placement-business. 

I find this Pontius Pilot method of adoption practice (used by MANY adoption agencies) very disgusting, self-serving, and unsettling.... it's tragic for both parents, the child, and any other family members or pets living in the home where hell is about to break-loose.

 

Knowing AND regretting

The sad thing is, often APs know and end up regretting anyways:

"I have not spoken on the blog very much about Fetal Alcohol, other than to say that LGA has it. If you had asked me if I would have adopted a child with FASD, (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) I would have said "NO WAY!" That was one of the specific things I didn't want to have in an adopted child. However, we met the girls and my heart felt a pull towards LGA. She was a very sweet, sweet 3 yr old girl. We were quite taken and didn't hesitate to take them at the disclosure meeting. I think we got as far as the car and trip home before we'd decided the girls would come home to us.

Fast forward 4 years and life is SO much different. The sweet little 4 yr old is gone. In her place is a confrontational, tantrum/fit, argumentative, sometimes defiant, 8 yr old. She struggles to learn as her brain 'skips' and she can't retain the information she learns. There has been great discussion on various support boards, about retention and why children can't learn. I was told that for LGA it means her brain skips and can't retain info, so a lot of repetition is needed. LGA has a whole host of issues, including ADHD, OCD and probably some sensory issues. She may have some mood disorders, I'm not sure, so getting her tested this year is probably in order."

http://ouradventuresasafamilyof4.blogspot.com/2012/09/today-is-fasd-awar...

remorse and sadness or more regret

I read the rest of that blog-post, and the sentences immediately following what was posted here made me question:  is it regret or is it sadness and remorse for the child (and herself) ?

 Life is hard living with a child like this.  She is "special needs."  and in our first years I was naive. I only thought she had some speech and some learning issues. I didn't read about FASD.  I should have, but I just can't go there sometimes.  It makes me sad to think of what she faces, what we face with her.  One friend's mom who has some experience with this, at a gathering, when told that LGA was FASD, just uttered an "OH."  Like "wow, hope you knew what you got yourself into."  We didn't. Now we know what it is and are experiencing it full force.

Since no where on that blog-piece does the Amother mention re-homing (dumping and running) I'm inclined to believe the Amother THOUGHT she knew what she was getting into, but really didn't take the time to really RESEARCH the child's actual condition, for herself or for the child she was adopting.  That was a mistake, and it seems the mother regrets that mistake.  Personally, I am always encouraged when an AP verbalizes a sense of remorse for wrong-doing; this type of confession often leads to a change in behavior -- the parent's behavior.

Meanwhile, just to illustrate how regret can also operate:  I have been in contact with an Amother who knew her one adopted child was profoundly neglected and abused, but she had no idea how deep and wide the damage from pre-adoption events was and would continue to grow with puberty/adolescence.  This mother went from teacher to therapist, from school to pediatrician, from counselors to whatever else she could find, wherever it could be found.  She found more questions than answers, but as she's been braving this very difficult storm of the unknown, she has realized, this, for better or worse, is her child.  She wanted a child. She was given a child.  Was the child as she wanted or expected?  No.  Does that deviation from the dream mean it's ok to stop and walk away, because doing so would be best for the child?   (When is abandoning a child ever ok?)

When I asked about the temptation to send her away, so it'd be safer and easier for the rest at home, she gave the most beautiful eloquent response an Amother could ever give me.  She said:

If my child had leukemia, would I abandon her because the treatment was too difficult?  The answer would be no.  My child has an illness and she needs help in order to get better.  I will do whatever it takes to help her get the treatment she needs.  I am her mom; I'm not going anywhere, she needs a mom too much.  

I believe there ARE times when it's necessary to send a child away (to a hospital/treatment center) for long-term treatment/therapy.  I also believe when those children are away, they NEED family visits.  Without those family visits, what does that child have to hold on to?

My own Aparents got rid of me when times got too hard for them  The lesson taught me: There are those parents who abandon their children without a second thought.  They do this because they just can't a) take any more stress or b) can't be bothered with the hassles and the hardships that go with recovery from trauma.  Then there are the parents who teach their children:  a family never quits.  It may get ugly, difficult, and really hard... but a family never quits because at the end of the day the family has enough love (and strength) to get through the most difficult of times.

As an adoptee and as a parent, I have determined as much as bio and adopted children are different, they are also the same.   Just like kept-bio children, adopted children need love AND a parent who is willing to learn with each-step, every day.  Both bio and adopted children do NOT need a parent who will start, then quit. 

For the sake of the adopted child, there can be no room for quitters in the adoptive family.  Sadly, in America, we have a whole lotta quitters looking to adopt.  (Surely there MUST be a way to weed those quitters out.... before it's too late, and the child is already sent to live in that home.) 

Sending Countries Responsibilities

Although I agree about the lack of safety-nets, as well as the agencies not disclosing fully the child's full medical history (or preparing PAPs for the reality of adopting a child with needs or the needs that arises from adoption), one cannot ignore the responsibilities of the sending countries in all of this. If sending countries took care of their children and provided women with the necessary necessities and support, there would no ICA industry in the first place! If sending countries would strengthen their social services as well as provide well run orphanages for children who neither have a functioning extended family to go to or have severe needs that cannot be met by their families, alot of what many of these ICA children have endured would not have occurred. In no way am I condoning any of this underground child trafficking done by APs, but don't ignore the sending countries culpability in this big hot mess.

Truth be told....

I agree with all you say about the role each country has in providing better care for women and children.

However, let us not forget EACH PAP plays a role in all of this too.  Because each PAP plays a role in the population of children placed for adoption, each PAP has to look into an adoption with both eyes wide open to ALL the poor-practices done throughout the adoption process.  Each PAP has to take a serious look at cause and effect, and how an adoption-plan alters the options that COULD be given to mothers with small (healthy/desirable) children.

Thankfully, in today's adoption-age, more information and warnings about the dark side of adoption practice are on the internet for prospective adopters to read.  (This was not true 10 years ago)

So, in today's adoption atmosphere, when it comes to the condition of the child that is adopted, we can blame the agencies and sending-countries all we want  but at the end of the day, it's the PAP who makes the final decision as to what he or she is going to accept...and allow into their home.  If the AP accepts all that goes with corrupt practice, and poor child-placement, isn't there a small part of you that says, "Those adopters got what they deserve because they did NOT do their home-work and research like they were supposed to do, on their own."

I know a not-so-small-part of me says that phrase when I hear PAPs complain, "How was I supposed to know ____ would happen?"

(...although now that I know what I do about some of these horror-stories, I'm not sure ANYONE deserves what some of these parents and children are put-through and forced to endure.)

the role of adopters

I concur with what you say, Kerry. In the end the responsibility for every adoption rests on the shoulders of the adopters.

All too often, the excuse of poor preparation is made, whenever adopters end up abusing the children they took in their home, or disrupt an adoption .It's an easy excuse, and quite frankly, mostly misplaced.

Many of the children beaten to death, were adopted only a couple month before their death. How overwhelmed can one be within a month or two? Disruptions often follow a similar pattern, where the decision to end the adoption is made relatively soon after it started.

It is also true that quite a number of prospective adopters deliberately take in children with severe special needs, because they feel they have a calling to do so.

This is not to say, adoption agencies are without blame. Each and every case of abuse and disruption shows how poor the job of screening and preparation is done, but in the end it remains the adopters responsibility.

Despite the fact that PPL pays a lot of attention to the workings of the adoption industry and all that goes wrong there, adopters and prospective adopters remain the cause of all that goes wrong.

It is the demand for infants, the insistence on quick delivery and the willingness to pay exorbitant amounts of money, that makes the existence of the adoption industry possible. Without overheated demand there would be no adoption related child trafficking . Without the insistence on quick delivery there would be proper screening and preparation.

In most news media, adopters are treated with kid gloves. That maintains the illusion children are being saved through adoption, while in reality adoption is mostly about providing families with the children they so much want.

It is good to put the blame for this entire mess where it belongs. In the end adopters are responsible for creating Adoptionland and they are also responsible for it being such a shady place.

Two Types of APs

I think there are two types of APs we are talking about here:
1) The Serial Adopters who may or may not abuse the child
2) The APs who are not prepared to deal with a child with severe psychological issues, nor have the resources available to help the child.

I'd like to add more....

While that makes a good generic start, I think there's more to the categorizing of people who adopt.

There are the APs who adopt because they really want to make a positive difference in a child's life.  [While I have no statistical proof, something tells me this type of AP represents the smallest percent of all adopters.]

There are the APs who adopt because there is this instant-celebrity that goes with adoptive parenting.  [These APs are clueless, btw, when it comes to hard-core Adoption Issues]

There are the APs who collect children, for psychological reasons (fear of being alone; they were "called by God" to do something for The Orphans)

There are the APs who adopt so they can abuse.  [Many sexual predators without a known criminal background DO foster and adopt (and linger around orphanages) so they can have access to more children; other radical religious people adopt so they can convert sinners into Saved Souls ]

There are also the APs who adopt because they could not - or did not want to - have children of their own.  [I personally believe infertility should NOT be a reason to adopt...but that's my own personal opinion.]

Those responsible for "permanent" child placement ought to know these huge differences exist.... and with this knowledge, they OUGHT to be choosing fit parents for children, and stop this choosing children who need to fit and suit the desires of those who paid the required fees and managed a way to present a home-study.

Flash news

Hate to be a debbie downer here but in the article the investigative reporter states that several sites that "rehomed" kids were shut down.
Flash news: There are MANY still in operation. MANY are by invitation on both Yahoo and on FB.
Shutting down those few sites is a drop in the bucket. It hasn't changed a thing!

Have to agree with "Flash

Have to agree with "Flash News", many sites are still up and running.
Also< PPL has discussed rehoming and adoption disruption many times over the years in many threads.
Read: http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/41323

More protections for pets (!(

What absolutely kills me is that a whole lot more thought, consideration and oversight seems to go into "re-homing" pets vs adopted kids.

Really.

I adopted my dog from a breed-specific rescue about 5 years ago, that I now volunteer for. Folks who want to adopt a golden retriever are required to fill out an application form, provide references, name of their vet and have a volunteer visit their home before this organization will give them a dog. Anyone who gets a dog from the rescue is also required to RETURN the dog to the rescue if they can't or don't want to keep the dog, no questions asked. This from a tiny organization, run on a shoestring by volunteers. This is a million times more oversight than the whole vile underground rehoming networks provide! Wrong! So so very wrong!!!

Women's Rights Issue

Hate to argue, albeit adopters do fuel and create the situation, but it really boils down to it being a....
Women's Rights Issue.

http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/59021

Adoption hurts women and children

With the fuel coming from APs, there comes motivation to continue to do what hurts women AND children and their right to be free from exploitation.

Much thanks for this social set-back goes to US senators and the adoption lobby that helps fund them.

Children's rights issue

Although I don't disagree with the fact that women's rights play an important part in adoption, it has been established that adoption is primarily a children's rights issue, as codified in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Adoption.

Women's rights play a role, but only the children's rights angle is wide enough to encompasses all aspects of adoption, not just relinquishment.

The Adoption Fog

Though researching should be done, it isn't. People wanting to be parents are too much in the adoption fog to even realize that they should really research and look into the complexities of what they are embarking on. And fwiw, the adoption fog is so thick, I don't think they would even realize what they are reading and it would all boil down to "that can't happen to me" and "I know what I am doing and I like kids" syndrome.
I know, I was one of them.

Resources?

What resources are available to APs when a child needs psychological services? Treatment center? Long term therapy?
If anyone thinks that there are great services out there, think again.

Parents: Be Aware

From what I understand, (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong...) the vast majority of APs looking for help get advice NOT from their qualified pediatricians, but from other APs.  How else does one explain how a former dog-groomer (Nancy Thomas) became a popular and infamous "Family Educator"????? 

True, but...

the vast majority of APs looking for help get advice NOT from their qualified pediatricians, but from other APs

True, but many AP understand more about run of the mill issues than the average pediatrician: ie H pylori; sensory issues; the best way to get a newly adopted child to sleep; the benefits of frequent snacks, how to help with food hoarding)

It is my sense that most Int APs see an International Adoption specialist upon arrival....they know what they are doing. But the average ped that a parent sees 2-3-4x year does not see enough institutionalized children to become very familiar with the issues.

The abusive families here in our archives?
For the most part they talked to no one outside regular ped, perhaps an IA specialist.. They certainly were not active learning, reading, asking questions, and sharing info with other experienced APs. Some of them were unbelievably isolated in fact.

Influencing factors

While there are geographical factors that DO influence the availability of high quality health care, I still maintain much of an AP's drive to find the help they need is based on their own motivations. For instance, there are the APs who want to fully understand the whys and reasons behind a child's behavior. Then there are those who have no time or patience to learn; they simply want unwanted behavior to stop. Those two POVs can make a world of difference when it comes to the treatment of an adopted child. With that, based on our own archives, I got the impression that many of the more severe injuries (resulting from torture, forced confinement, forced feeding/food deprivation) came from those APs who were indeed isolated from the general public, but they were NOT isolated from other APs and/or members of their congregation.  Based on what I read in cases like Theresa Hansen, The Schatz, and so many more (faith-based?) home-schoolers... the parents in those cases were more likely to follow the advice coming from those who referred to the bible or animal training books and manuals for advice, NOT updated science-based journals.

My point is, one can claim to be an expert at adoptive parenting, after "training up" 20 adoptees, but that doesn't mean that AP teaches safe science-based parenting techniques.  In fact, I believe in many cases, certain APs WANT to be encouraged by another AP to use extreme forms of punishment and force to train and control a child's unwanted behavior.  Surely this type of parenting can't be good for the troubled adoptee or those that adoptee is going to encounter, later in life.

I think you are right and

I think you are right and this depends on the flavor of AP. The APs silent1 is talking about are probably more informed, with a desire to try to help children overcome challenges. There are other APs who seek control and compliance so they are going to seek out other APs who back up and fuel that type of parenting.

Unless there is a run of the mill medical condition to address my experience is that pediatricians are not all that helpful with children adopted from foster care or private adoptions including children with neglect or abuse backgrounds.

Aren't these the same yahoos

Aren't these the same yahoos who give-up on domestic adoption because the wait is too long and the home-studies are too invasive?

Agencies

If people think agencies aren't in on the gig, think again. https://www.facebook.com/secondchanceadoptions

this is INSANE!

The Facebook page, which is open to the public, is little-more than a pedophile's dream match-making dating site.

Are these adults (posting photos, names, and bios of young children for anyone to see) INSANE?

Second Chance is run by an adoption agency

Second Chance is a program ran by an Adoption Agency Wasatch international Adoptions http://www.wiaa.org/
Wasatch International Adoption
Second Chance For Kids Program

so.....

THIS is how a private adoption agency operates?

While I admire and respect "second-chances" for adoptees, I hardly think this particular method is in an adoptee's best-interest.

photolistings

Public agencies utilize public photolistings as well

You can select criteria and see a photo and write up on the children that meet that criteria
http://www.adoptuskids.org/meet-the-children/search?m=y

Also state photolistings
http://www.adoptuskids.org/meet-the-children/state-photolists

Here are few I picked randomly
https://www.nwae.org/PhotoIndex-IARE-dbC.php?tn=3
http://www.nebraskaheartgallery.org/meet-the-children/
http://www.ndheartgallery.org/meet-the-children/

Gone

It seems after many complaints issued by the public, (including PPL), the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/secondchanceadoptions. has been removed from public view.

Second Chance Adoptions is back online

Second Chance Adoptions is back online... and it's a public Facebook page. My heart breaks for those kiddos whose personal info is all over that Facebook page!

THREE re-homings on Second Chance adoptions

It’s a bumper crop of disruptions today at Facebook.com/secondchancedoptions. THREE kids (2 Ethiopia, 1 Chinese) are being offered as “free to a good home”.

So much for shutting down the black market in "re-homed" adopted kids in the wake if Reuters Child Exchange investigation.

Kid #1 Josiah from China: “We need your help, this child needs a new home; please post his to your own Facebook page. “Josiah” is a14 yr old child whose current adoption is not working out, and he needs a new home asap. Josiah is age 14 and was adopted from China approximately 10 months ago. He came to the U.S. without much education. His adoption was an attempt to help an orphan child be adopted before he aged out at age 14.
He came into the orphanage in China at age 7. He had previously been in an extremely poor home and was eventually abandoned on the street. When he came to his U.S. family, he didn’t understand what it meant to be adopted and he had not been prepared.
He was considered developmentally delayed while in China, but the physicians here in the U.S. believe he has normal development and his experiences at school seem to show this too.”

OMG! You adopt a FOURTEEN year old orphan who… doesn’t know what it’s like to have a family. Whodathunkit?? A kid who has been an orphan his WHOLE
DAMN LIFE.

Kid #2) Breanne from Ethiopia: “Breanne is an 11 year old girl adopted from a popular country in Africa in February 2009. She was adopted along with her younger brother (also pictured on this webpage) and a younger cousin.
Breanne lives in a Catholic home, and her religion is very important to her. For this reason, we are seeking a new home for her that is Catholic, if possible.
Breanne came from one of the poorest regions in Ethiopia. Her father died when she was very young, and her mother died when she was around 4.
Breanne is a beautiful girl, she loves to receive affection from parents and grandparents. She loves, reading and sharing stories, singing, swimming, riding her bike and drawing. She is always willing to help at home, enjoys cooking and learning new things. She likes her cat. Her nature is gentle, she is well mannered, and responsible. Breanne says a lot with her eyes and her smile. When asked Breanne, “What do you think you might want to be when you grows up,” she said, “I don’t know…but I do want to be a saint.”
She has been diagnosed with RAD and this causes her to reject affection at times and act on her negative feelings. She see herself as loveable and is willing to give love. She needs help in processing her feelings, living in reality, and building a healthy self-image. “

The APs are kicking an otherwise healthy young girl with no major bad behaviors to the curb?? Really?? My bible seems to be missing the page where Jesus advises folks to get rid of a child due to slightly problematic behaviour!!

Kid#3) Tanner from Ethiopia: “Tanner was born on January 26, 2004, making him almost 10. He was one of three related children adopted from a popular country in Africa almost 5 years ago. He is being placed separately from the other 2.

He was adopted by a California family along with his biological sibling and one older cousin. Tanner is in a Catholic home, and his religion is very important to him. For this reason, we are seeking a new home for him that is Catholic.

Tanner came from one of the poorest regions in a popular adoptive African country.
He is extremely intelligent, does wonderfully in school, is very well behaved except for one habit (write us at secondchance@wiaa.org for details).
He has been diagnosed with RAD but is not on any medication. He has an IEP in school. He is homeschooled because it is more challenging for him, and he feels he learned more at home. School and teachers who oversee the homeschool said Tanner was exceptional student. Tanner excels academically although math is a little hard for him. He scores exceptionally well on his report cards. In spite of his struggles in math, he scores in the advanced level on his report cards. Tanner is a wonderful young man with capabilities of high achievement, he responsibly and works very hard. He loves to read historical books, and has developed a very high level of comprehension of many world situations and issues.
He also loves riding his bike and enjoys swimming, woodworking and has built a birdhouse on his own; he clean and well mannered. He is complimented when in public on how well behaved he is. He is athletic and loves sports. At this time the parents don’t have their children in sports because it’s too hard on mom, father works out of town all week. Tanner has no peace living with his sisters, his mind is somehow over stimulates in their presence.
His adoptive parents love him, and he loves them. However he has a problem (please write for details) that is making it impossible for him to live in his home with his biological sister and cousin who were adopted at the same time.
Due to some adverse attitudes towards women, Tanner cannot be adopted by a single woman, but a single man would be ok, or a 2 parent home. It is preferred that one parent stay home.”

Second Chance Adoptions

As a mom who has had to make the difficult decision to disrupt an adoption and let a child go that I loved dearly, you are bashing people who are trying to help hurting families find a better placement for a child. Second Chance Adoptions is a licensed adoption agency and follows all state and federal rules.

Having been a hurting family 11 years ago and having little to no resources for mental health help for our son, we found him another family ourselves, through our church family. Most of these kids have RAD or attachment issues, that make the family unit become a very toxic place for all involved. Do you parent a RAD child? Have you adopted a child from an institution? Most of these kids do better in their second families, because the first family learns what the child's needs are. Most of these kids need to be the youngest or only child in the family in order to get their emotional needs met.

Our former son is now 17 and just last year, after contact with us, had a huge breakthrough with his family and his emotional walls have just come down, he cried for the first time, told his family he was so sorry for putting them through so much pain, told us he was so thankful we adopted him and that he felt he would have been, "dead and in hell" had we not adopted him. We adopted him from Russia at age 3, it took 13 years for him to bond with and feel the love for his family and us. RAD is no joke and if you have never personally handled a child with RAD, you should maybe think twice about commenting negatively about Second Chance Adoptions, who are helping these kids get what they need.

I disagree, to a point

While I can be sympathetic to your own situation, I disagree with a basic principle.

I do not believe "Most of these kids do better in their second families, because the first family learns what the child's needs are."

I believe these children do much better because there was a measure of transparency, and honesty, that did not exist in the first place.

I believe these same children would do much better in a first and "forever" adoptive family IF the adoption agency used prepared and supported the AP and adoptee pre and post adoption, with a variety of much-needed services and resources. I also believe (like you yourself stated), most of these kids ought to be the youngest or ideally, the only child in their new adoptive family.

In situations that involve re-homing, I blame the chosen adoption agencies for not preparing the first APs, in the first place.

So what can be done?

As an adoptive parent who chose to give your adopted child a second chance, through a second family, in retrospect, what do you wish your agency did differently?

Would you have adopted this child, knowing what you learned, on your own?

Blame the adoption agencies, too

Adoption agencies don't set realistic expectations. Our adoption agency, because we were adopting from a country with children who might have a different ethnicity, spent all their time talking about how to respond to questions like "is that your child?" and "are they adopted?". They also talked about how to take care of "ethnic" hair (not an issue for the country where we adopted). What they DID NOT discuss is FASD, RAD, health issues, malnourishment issues, post institutional distress syndrome, etc. Fortunately, we did the research on our own and were well prepared. P.S. It has been one hell of a bumpy ride with one of the two siblings but we did not, nor do we ever plan to, disrupt. I just want adoption agencies to cover the difficult topics. Not just ask us to be sure we would consider moving if our child needed to see more people of their ethnic background in their neighborhood. Too many parents walk into these adoptions having no clue what they can actually expect.

Wasatch second chance

While researching adoption I came across the Wasatch Second Chance page. I was truly shocked when I read about a little boy who masturbated to the point of drawing blood. I couldn't believe such personal information about a child was available to anyone. It is hard to believe that the little boy is real and he is being rehomed. I was quite upset after reading the page and I think that such personal and private information should not be available at all. I think that advertising your child at all is very wrong.

"The APs are kicking an

"The APs are kicking an otherwise healthy young girl with no major bad behaviors to the curb?? Really?? My bible seems to be missing the page where Jesus advises folks to get rid of a child due to slightly problematic behaviour!!"

I suspect that that's really not the case but that Wasatch Second Chance are being dishonest about this child's needs, sugarcoating the issue. It does mention that Breanne has RAD which would mean that she has serious emotional and behavioral problems for the diagnosis to be made. All the kids posted on their Facebook page are made to sound like they have minor issues which is, in my opinion, unconscionable and harmful to the children. They won't get their needs met if adopted by people not equipped to meet them. They are setting the children up to fail and be failed, again. The whole thing is repulsive from beginning to end.

Pound Pup Legacy