For those of us who feel as though we're addicted to (or can't control) bad patterns and behaviors in our lives, the term 'withdrawal' carries a dread that goes well beyond the physical discomforts that go with ending an addiction.
The story of a NJ foster-father, (now deceased), is making headlines in the US this weekend as memoirs of Margaux Fragaso ("Tiger,Tiger") are making the news this weekend. [After receiving her Ph.D. in 2009, Fragaso was able to sell the piece that became her dissertation, and already translation rights have been sold to publishers in Italy, France, The Netherlands, and China. ]
Found on a blog, a proud friend wanted to announce her friend (who runs a non-profit adoption agency in Something's rotten in the State of Pennsylvania) is opening a new adoption program. I guess in her excitement, the blogging friend wanted to include the message written by the Adoptive Mother jump-starting two new programs for her private business entity.
Good news for all concerned adopting Americans, looking to help less fortunate foreigners.... Amici dei Bambini (Italy) is going to help a growing number of very desperate people who want to be parents, and assist 'neglected and abandoned' children left to languish in horrific in-care conditions.
For those not familiar with Italy's version of "Friends of children", (not to be mistaken with the Seymour Kurtz adoption agency with a similar name), AiBi, established in 1986, is the initiative of a group of adoptive parents who saw the value and merits of adoption, as only one can when creating a not-for-profit service entity, specializing in adoption-services.
The trend of declining numbers of inter-country adoption continued even when the 1090 children from Haiti for whom a Special Humanitarian Parole was granted are included in the statistics. In 2010, 12,149 children were adopted from abroad (11,059 excluding the children from Haiti who entered the country under the Special Humanitarian Parole). In 2009 the total number of inter-country adoptions in 2009 was 12,756, while the US at its peak, imported 22,972 children in 2004.
The decline of inter-country adoption is most notable when looking at the Russian figures. The number of adoptions has dropped under 1,000, while in 2004, still 5,862 Russian children were adopted by American citizens. This figure is unlikely to bounce back in the near future, given the ongoing problems with abuse of Russian children in American adoptive families.
I've been thinking about the many ways in which adoption gets sold to the public, and one of my favorite misleading paths adoption advocates like to take is the one that teaches newcomers adoption is an altruistic decision, made by people who really care about the lives of children.
While there are various formal social studies/essays written about the stigma of Adoptive Parent and Birth Mother status, I found an excellent blurb that explained, very clearly, why adoption is altruistic from an evolutionary perspective.
This morning I checked recent posts on the PPL pages and found a very nice blog-piece written by a person claiming to offer free services to those who lost a family member in El Salvador. Note, no private email or PM was sent to myself, Niels, or Admin, asking if advertisement for a service for victims can be posted in a blog.
The post, titled, "FREE INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES IN EL SALVADOR ON (MISSING CHILDREN OR FAMILY MEMBERS) IN EL SALVADOR ONLY" began:
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?”).