There was never a time I did not know I was adopted. In fact, there was never a time I did not feel different, not-quite-right, and not altogether like those around me. I have always felt like I was the outcast, the mixed mutt..the runt... the one who got chosen to live among strangers not because I was wanted, but because someone had to choose me, otherwise I'd be put down or left to die, whichever created less stir for the public.
I was born in 1968 in Newfoundland, Canada, a hot-spot for infertile Americans in want of a healthy white newborn who was "orphaned" by its unmarried and "unfit" mother. I was not born an American; I was manufactured to become one.
As an adult, I learned the facts surrounding my adoption story were nowhere near the "facts" my adoptive mother told me about my adoption history.
As a believer in God, and follower of Jesus, I have always found the rationale for adoption given by practicing Christians both amusing and hypocritical. I could never understand how God would "want" man to separate mother and child, simply because a society ruled by misogynists say an unwed pregnancy is unlawful. After all, when Mary found herself pregnant without a husband, at no point was she "counseled" by adoption facilitators and told it was in the best interest for the unborn child to be relinquished, and given to council-approved strangers, while she was to act as if the pregnancy never took place. Instead, Mary, the only mother of Jesus, was told to have faith; she was told support would be provided, through the assistance of a benefactor. That benefactor would be a man named Joseph, a man who would provide for Mary and her child, for 13 years. It should be noted, at no point during Jesus's time on earth did he ever claim Joseph was his father. Instead, Jesus (and Mary) recognized God as his only father.
The bill is intended to counteract the decline in inter-country since 2004, a trend that has many prospective adopters worried and cuts heavily into the revenues of adoption service providers.
The inter-country adoption lobby has been in full blown panic over this decline for several years now.
Already in 2009, a legislative attempt was made to curb the downward trend by means of the Families for Orphans Act. This effort failed miserably, but now the adoption lobby has regrouped with new blood and fresh money.
A comprehensive history of inter-country adoption has thus far not been written. Some adoption websites give a brief summary of the history of inter-country adoption, and there are several books trying to do the same, but a thorough study into the origins of inter-country adoption is still awaiting scholarly initiative.
In the book Intercountry Adoption: A Multinational Perspective, by Howard Alfstein and Rita James, the following is said about the history of inter-country adoption:
Earlier this year a study was published, analyzing the European Union's reversal in approach towards inter-country adoption from Romania since 2007.
The study sheds some interesting light on the motivations behind this radical shift and serves as a warning when it comes to the politicization of child protection.
Initially we wanted to write a review about this fascinating, albeit very dense study.
However, while researching the topic of the Romanian adoptions early 1990s, we felt compelled to write about a subject only touched upon in this study: the political influence of adoptive parents.
We will use the Romanian adoption crisis as a backdrop for this article, although it should be noted that similar patterns emerged around adoptions from Vietnam, Guatemala, and Ethiopia in more recent times.
Niels you asked, "I wonder if your agency advertized with statements like: "finding families for children"."
The answer sadly, is yes.
We were told that the reason that the biological mothers relinquished is because they could not take care of the children nor care for them.
At no point did we ever imagine that 7 years later we would find our children's biological family, intact and doing well, albeit poor.
Which brings to mind the question of when is poverty ever a criteria to give up a child for ICA?!
The latest fatality of an adoptee from Russia was all over the news the past few days. The Russian media are heavily focused on this case, while the American press mostly reprinted the same Associated Press article in all major news papers and news sites.
The case of Max Shatto (Maxim Kuzmin) raises many questions, the most prominent of which: why has the US Department of State not reacted to this case before Russian authorities did?
For months Adoptionland has been in a frenzy about Russia's decision to ban adoptions to the United States. Prior to that decision, promises were made by the US Department of State to improve monitoring of Russian adoptions. The case of Max Shatto shows once more, the US Department of State to date is not capable of properly monitoring adoptions from Russia, and any promise to do so can not be kept or guaranteed.
For the 8th consecutive year, the number of inter-country adoptions showed a decline, albeit a smaller one than the year before.
The decline of inter-country adoptions in 2012 is all the more remarkable since China, the largest exporter of adoptable children, (which corners almost one third of the market), showed a slight increase of the number of children sent to the United States.
Over the last couple of weeks, Adoptionland has been up in arms regarding the Russian decision to ban inter-country adoptions of Russian children by American adopters. Yesterday, January 2, the Washington Post added the umpteenth article on the topic, focusing on the group hardest hit by the ban: evangelical Christian adopters.
Over the years, we have paid much attention to the so-called orphan crusade, a mission that is immensely popular among evangelical Christians. The adoption zeal of evangelical Christians is problematic because it arises from faith not from facts and evidence. This is all the more an issue since rational debate is not welcomed when zeal meets revved-up emotions.
Stuck is produced by Both Ends Burning, an organization whose goal is to expand inter-county adoption by a factor of five. Both Ends Burning is the brain child of former football player Craig Juntunen, after being ticked off by the level of red tape he met when trying to adopt himself.
Yesterday, the Baptist Press published an interview with Tony Merida, the author of the book Orphanology, a book promoting adoption and orphan care on an evangelical basis.
Let's dissect the article in order to get a better understanding of the movement that has been taking over the adoption system over the last 10 years. The article starts introducing the author of the book:
Every adoption story is unique, but the tale of how pastor and author Tony Merida came to see he should adopt -- essentially, through his own sermon -- likely is quite rare.
The uniqueness of things is of course debatable. In The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Blondie says: Every gun makes its own tune, while Family Guy's Stewie claims: A bullet sounds the same in every language.
The other day I was reviewing some articles about gendercide in China, the practice of forced abortion, and child trafficking, and I was thinking how these types of events help create complex adoption issues many foreign born adoptees have to face, especially if one was adopted from a chauvinistic society like India or China. It seems there is a sad irony that exists when foreign social activists fighting for human rights come to America seeking support and assistance from American politicians.
It is a curious little piece, claiming to give an answer to the question why the number of inter-country adoptions over the last 8 years have dropped significantly. Unfortunately the article doesn't investigate the matter, but tries to prove a preconceived idea, that the Hague Convention, UNICEF and the policies of the Department of State are to be blamed for this decline.
The bias of the article is overwhelming, so we'd like to dissect it for our readers and put this piece into perspective. The author starts with the following: