January 3, 2014 marked the departure of Mary Landrieu from the national political scene and with that, her 18 year tenure as leader of the adoption lobby within congress.
During her years in the Senate, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption (CCA) grew out from a caucus that promoted adoption from foster care, to a full fledged lobbying arm of the adoption industry.
Most notable in that regard, was the foundation of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), in 2001. This tax exempt, charitable organization, went far beyond the original intent of the adoption caucus, and became a front office for the adoption industry and religious organizations,.
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.
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.
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:
This is the rhetorical question I read on page 26 of Erin Siegal's book, Finding Fernanda. This question was asked by a real (non-fictional) mother. I found myself unable to read much further, as the answer to this question made me wonder how many times religion was used to excuse corrupt behavior.
Recently, the adoption blogosphere has become abuzz with the case featuring a Christian family wanting to adopt, a Russian boy with Down Syndrome, and the Russian government.
Greg and Tesney Davis, a couple from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, seem to believe their desire to adopt this "special" boy is being blocked by the Russian court, and their story has made small-time news. The news-media version of the story begins with the following three lines:
"This child is better off just staying in an institution than having a forever family."
That's basically what a judge had to say after a hopeful and prayerful Alabama family was questioned last week in a European court room. Questioned by judge and prosecutor. Questioned for FIVE HOURS.
Apparently the prosecutor and judge were having a hard time understanding why the couple would want this particular little boy
Found a red flag among the many Christian adoption blogs calling for others to heed the call to adopt.
Adoption Ministry of YWAM - Ethiopiais a Christian agency establishing Widows and Orphans Homes in Ethiopia. The heart of our ministry is to find loving Christian families in the U.S. to nurture, love and disciple children in forever homes and to minister to those in Ethiopia who are without hope.
For some, Paradise is a long lost garden, bound to a time when Man and God walked together. For others, Paradise is the promise of an idyllic afterlife. For Lydia Schatz, Paradise was a hell hole in the northern foothills of California's Central Valley.
Lydia Schatz was one of three children adopted from Liberia in 2007, by Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz. Lydia Schatz is no more. On February 6 of this year, Lydia died on her way to a hospital. She had been beaten for hours with a length of plastic tubing, for the mispronunciation of the word “pulled”, during one of the children's homeschooling sessions.
Lydia's sister, Zacharia received similar beatings that same day. Lucky for her, she made it to the hospital alive, and survived the torture her adoptive parents administered.
For years adoption advocates and adoption agencies have used the claim that there are 143 million orphans in the world, based upon an estimate made by Unicef, to further the agenda of inter-country adoption.
Loving Shepherd Ministries, a Christian adoption advocacy organization speaks of an orphan crises and says on its website: Over 143 million orphans live in the world today, many of them struggling to survive in the worst of conditions.
While presenting adoption as nothing but a good cause, CCAI is in effect one of the few industry lobbying groups in Washington that actually consists of active members of congress. It is a well known practice that politicians, after leaving office, join lobbying firms to further the interests of particular industries. CCAI is exceptional in that it looks out for the interests of an industry, while its members are still being in office.
Over the years much has been written about the Religious Right, but mainstream media have often overlooked the adoption angle when describing the workings of this section of American society.
Ever since the late 1970's the so-called Religious Right has managed to gain an enormous influence in American politics and that influence can hardly be overstated. While consisting of many different organizations, the movement is very homogeneous in its goal and very little dissent exists among its members. That is mainly so, because the Religious Right is the works of a relative small group of highly influential and highly affluent individuals that make up the boards of these various organizations.
The agenda of the Religious Right can be summarized in three main goals:
Eliminate the public sector and break down the separation between church and state