This week the Department of State put out the following question on their blog:
How can the international community best ensure that adoptions are transparent, and that the rights of adopted children, birth families, and adoptive families are protected?
It is good to see the Department of State is looking for input, though the assurances being looked for can only be appreciated when realizing adoption is a business and has been around for more than 100 years.
In 1881, thirty years after the first modern adoption act, several syndicated news papers ran a story about baby brokering in New York City. The article contained a striking phrase: "generally the demand is rather in excess of the supply, and hence the chances of profit are fairly good".
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.
On September 28, 1854. the New York Times ran an article with the title: Murder of an Adopted Child in New-Orleans, describing the abuse and subsequent death of Christian Rohnor, a two-year-old boy, adopted by a couple from New Orleans. Christian Rohnor was locked up in the attic, starved to the point of being completely emaciated, and eventually beaten to death by his adoptive father.
The story of Christian Rohnor is almost entirely forgotten and we may like to think those barbaric times are long gone. We may be compelled to think that in the 156 years that have passed since the death of Christian Rohnor, adoption standards have been raised to the point that such horrific abuse of an adopted child no longer takes place.
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?”).
Since we started archiving cases of abuse in adoptive families, we have been able to find information about 473 such cases.
In this article, we'd like to explore the meaning of this number and what it says about the the adoption system in place.
There are no official statistical sources about abuse in adoptive families. In fact, there are in general very few reliable statistics in the field of adoption.
This is why we have to rely on an archive of abuse cases, mostly based on news paper articles, and in some cases court documents.
A lack of source information makes it difficult to make reliable statements about the prevalence of abuse in adoptive families for several reasons:
Abuse may not be reported at all. Many cases of abuse (whether in adoptive or in non-adoptive families) are never reported to authorities. As a result the number of abuse cases we can report is always much lower than the actual number of abuse cases.
The status of adoptee may not be mentioned in the reporting about abuse cases.
News papers are not a consistent source of information about investigated abuse cases. While several investigated abuse cases are reported by news papers, many others are not. Reporting is based on the "news-worthiness" of the case, making it likely that many investigated cases never made the news.
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.
EVERYONE THAT HAS KIDS IN FOSTER CARE PLEASE FIGHT TO GET THEM. I LIVED IN FOSTER CARE FOR OVER 13YRS. IT IS SO PAINFUL AT TIMES. I USE TO FEEL LIKE IF MY MOTHER DID NOT WANT ME THEN WHO WILL. I AM GROWN NOW AND STILL HOLDIN ON TO PAIN THAT I CAN'T LET GO. I STILL CRY SO MUCH. SO PLEASE DO WHAT U GOT TO DO
The more I see articles presenting the arguments for and/or against gay (LGBT) adoption, the more I get annoyed by this mythical notion clouding the minds of the masses, suggesting all people have "the right" to adopt a child. A human right to adopt? Can we please get serious? [This mythical thinking reminds me of the comical illusion created (and perpetuated) by the adoption industry, suggesting <
Two days ago we started the nominations for the Annual Demons of Adoption Awards for the fourth time in succession. As much as we like that we do this every year, and how much we love to point out the "bad guys" in adoption, it's also important to realize that the adoption system itself is most evil of all and that pointing out a few "bad guys" is not going to solve the ethical problems related to adoption.
The Demons of Adoption awards started four years ago in response to the congressional Angels in Adoption, annually awarded by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI). What is presented as a means to promote the adoption of children, in fact is an adoption industry love fest. Among the recipients of the award, we do not just find families that opened their doors for children from foster care, but also couples whose only "merit" is that they adopted through Bethany Christian Services of Virginia. Many of the other recipients are insiders in the adoption industry. Among the recipients are many adoption lawyers, whose "merit" only exist in the fact that they make a living preparing the paperwork for an adoption.
In 2007 Pound Pup Legacy instituted the annual Demons of Adoption Award to raise a voice against adoption propaganda and the self congratulatory practices of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute's annual Angels in Adoption Awards TM.
Until September 30 you can nominate candidates for the fourth annual Demons of Adoption Award, after which we will put up a poll to vote for the nominees. Please add a comment to this post with your nominee and a short explanation why this candidate has the dubious honor of winning the award. You can also email your nomination to this address.
An incredibly important Supreme Court decision has come out of India on Monday!
I have no real time to write about it all at the moment, so instead, I'm going to pull a variety of quotes out of some of the articles from the past day or so to lay out the outlines of what has just taken place.
The ruling comes in a case brought by Arun Dohle of Against Child Trafficking or ACT (which has long been listed in my links list. They have been doing critically important human rights work for both adopted people and their families.)
Please note that while the news reports are dismissive of Dohle's "lineage plea," what the court actually ruled was that he would still be able to file a suit for seeking relief.
Certainly not a full victory by any means, ( at least not yet,) but when it comes to establishing the absolute right of Indian adoptees to their documentation, the high court finally gave over full access, rebuffing arguments by the agency/NGO claiming adoptees have no right to such or that their files should be covered by "confidentiality"or "mother's privacy."
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.