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.
This week, Adoptionland has been in turmoil over the publication of a series of articles by Reuters and NBC-news.
The articles portray the drain of the adoption system, the practice of informal re-homing of adoptees who are no longer wanted by their forever family.
Just like it is with every abuse case and every trafficking case found in Adoptionland, the mouth pieces of the adoption industry are quick and ready to down play the situation. The good name of adoption MUST be preserved, at all cost, even if doing so leads to more abuse, more disruptions, more dissolutions, and more child trafficking for adoption purposes.
We already addressed the text of the petition in a previous post, and would like to focus on the actual petition in this installment of the Ethiopian adoption saga. Before we do so, we would like to pay a little more attention to the organization that started the Ethiopia petition.
When Pound Pup Legacy started the Demons of Adoption Awards in 2007, it was very much a spur-of-the-moment action, triggered by the sugar coated news surrounding the Congressional Angels of Adoption AwardsTM. Over the last couple of years the Demons of Adoption Awards have grown into an anticipated annual event, followed by many in the adoption community, and a critical voice kicking off Adoption Awareness Month.
This year we want to add an even more sobering element to the start of the adoption love-fest, introducing Rohnor's Angels, honoring those children who died this year due to abuse in their forever family.
This week the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute published a lengthy report calling for improvement in post-adoption services.
The executive summary starts with the following observation:
Several months ago, when the media focused the nation’s attention on yet another sensational adoption story – this time about a Tennessee mother who put her 7-year-old son on a plane back to Russia – all sorts of disquieting questions flowed through people’s minds. They ranged from the rhetorical (“What kind of mother would do such a thing?”) to the important (“Are children in orphanages being adequately cared for before adoption?”) to the inadvertently stigmatizing (“If a child can be so easily `returned,’ is adoption really permanent?”).
This week, E.J. Graff published a long article called Anatomy of an Adoption Crises, in which she describes the shut down of adoptions from Vietnam in 2008. The article is based upon the release of several government documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. We are not going to rehash the story as told by E.J. Graff, instead I'd like to focus on the players in this drama.
The first released documents is dated July 2007 and details several visits made by members of the US. Embassy in Hanoi, to several orphanages in Vietnam. Unfortunately the document doesn't provide any detail into the findings of the investigations, since most of it is redacted in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974.
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.
Yesterday, the Associated Press reported the State Department released the international adoption figures for fiscal year 2009. The reported numbers are no surprise, more than a month a ago, we already published the preliminary numbers, and the figure presented now are nearly identical.
Not surprising, but none the less distressing, is the enormous growth of Ethiopian adoptions. In 2000, the number of children adopted from Ethiopia was 95, while this year it has sky rocketed to 2277. With this sort of exponential growth, Ethiopia is following in the foot steps of Romania and Guatemala.
Two months ago, we published an article about the Families for Orphans Act 2009, a piece of legislation co-authored by the Joint Council on International Children's Services (JCICS), a trade association for adoption service providers. We do believe in the power of repetition and in the need to oppose this bill, so today we will again pay attention to this attempt to institutionalize federal promotion of inter-country adoption practices on behalf of adoption service providers.
The Families for Orphans Act is the result of a lobbying effort of the so called Families for Orphans Coalition, of which JCICS is the self-proclaimed leader, claiming to have written this specific bill. The proposed legislation is every adoption agency's pipe dream, unfortunately it is at the expense of children and vulnerable families.
Upon reception of said request, we were faced with the dilemma to either honor the request or to ignore it. The message written was certainly most polite, making it harder for us to simply ignore it. So eventually we decided to choose neither the option to honor nor the option to ignore the request and instead pay some more attention to the document we obtained.
On December 3, 2009, the Joint Council on International Children's Services (JCICS) presented to its members a proposal to change the organization. It seems, if nothing changes, JCICS will have to close is doors somewhere in the year 2010.
The proposed plan is confidential and intended for JCICS members only, but was leaked to the internet earlier today. Since it contains interesting information about the workings of JCICS, we decided to republish it on PPL's website.
The document establishes two distinct problems JCICS is facing. First of all the trade association of adoption service providers is in dire straights and needs to seriously cut back its activities to remain financially sustainable. The document is not all that specific how financial sustainability can be achieved without eliminating their core activity "advocacy, awareness and public policy initiatives".
In many of the discussions I follow on the internet, the Romanian situation keeps returning when talking about banning inter-country adoption. Not so much by those that oppose inter-country adoption as an example of a successful ban, but quite to the contrary, by proponents of inter-country adoption as a failed attempt.
The arguments used by proponents usually take two forms, either they address the abandonment figures, or the situation of disabled children.
When in 1985, Seymour Kurtz incorporated his Homes for Children International, he was probably not the first to use the state of Georgia, to make money out of the trade of children, but he certainly was not the last.
In october 2006, Atlanta's WSB-TV channel 2's action news presented this news. Alpharetta police had opened a criminal investigation into international adoption services company AmRex for having pocketed $500,000 in fees paid by prospective adoptive parents.
Where Kurtz, in the 1980's had been called a baby-broker, times had changed in the new century, Sergey Zasyatkin and his ex-wife Marina Zakharova going by the more respectful sounding title of adoption facilitators. Though much like Kurtz, they had a complex network of organizations and affiliations, all starting and ending with AmRex.