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The ups and downs of inter-country adoption

Earlier this month, the US Department of State, published its annual report on inter-country adoption, and for the 10th year in succession, the number of children adopted from abroad dropped.

Much has been written in the last decade, about this decrease in inter-country adoption, and while it is a real phenomenon that can be observed in all receiving countries, there is more to the story than just a decline within the last decade.

When American mainstream media reports news about the decline in inter-country adoption, they usually use 2004 as a starting point, when the US alone received 22,972 children from abroad.

Any recent figure will pale in comparison to this figure. For instance, the 6,441 children adopted from abroad in 2014 is less than one third of the number reached in 2004.

Boy adopted by Kimberly Durlin

14-year-old boy adopted by Kimberly Durlin was sexually abused by his adoptive mother. Durlin expressed that the sexual abuse started in an attempt to bond with her adopted son. According to news reports, when the detective contacted the boy's adopted father for a follow-up interview, the man allegedly told the officer that he didn't want to hear any more details about the case and said he planned on giving up his parental rights.
Date: 2015-04-11
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother


Rathdrum, Idaho
United States
See map: Google Maps

A belated farewell to Mary Landrieu

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,.

In hope of helping others, delegate reveals abuse as child

By Erin Cox / The Baltimore Sun

Del. C.T. Wilson stepped to the podium of a state Senate committee during a routine hearing, about to confess a secret..

He took a deep breath. "I don't really, really want to be here," he said.

He had weighed what might come of revealing his darkest truth to fellow lawmakers. At 43, he'd spent a lifetime building barriers of protection – 231 pounds of hulking muscle, hardly any close friends, training as a combat soldier, earning a law degree while working nights as a bouncer.

Wearing a gray suit, years removed from his daily nightmare, Wilson told the senators that as a child, his adoptive father repeatedly beat and then raped him.

"I can't describe to you the pain of being beaten, sodomized and molested for years," he said. Between ages 9 and 15, "I went from a difficult life to a downright hell."

The abuse at the hands of a man who died in 1999, Wilson said, made him an angry "monster" inside.

Torn from their mothers' arms

It's a tale of terrible heartbreak Britain's tried to forget: Hundreds of thousands of mothers forced to give up their babies because they weren't married. Now they want justice

By Frances Hardy/ The Daily Mail
24 March 2015

The legacy of loss and yearning has persisted — intractable and insistent — like a physical pain throughout Lorna Read’s adult life.

A day has not passed when she did not think of the daughter, her perfect baby with the white-blonde hair, she was forced to give up for adoption.

On a spring day in April 1969, when the child she had called Rowan was six weeks old, Lorna signed away her right to motherhood.

She did so for the simple reason — unimaginable today — that she was a single mother, having become pregnant to an art lecturer 11 years her senior when she was 23.

Girl adopted by Roberta and Joseph Shane

9-year-old girl, adopted by Roberta and Joseph Shane, was locked into a garage for extended periods of time.
Date: 2014-04-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal neglect, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother


Casper, Wyoming
United States
See map: Google Maps

Three children adopted by Jacqueline Ferguson

Three children adopted by Jacqueline Ferguson, were systematically beaten by their adoptive mother. There were already signs of abuse prior to the adoption, but nothing was done.
Date: 2015-03-23
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother


Lonoke County, Arkansas
United States
See map: Google Maps

Boy adopted by Eric and Angela Corcoran

16-year-old boy adopted by Eric and Angela Corcoran was kept locked in the basement
Date: 2015-03-16
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal neglect, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother


Deerfield, Michigan
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Douglas and Kim Sherman

15-year-old girl, adopted by Douglas and Kim Sherman was forced to live in a shed at the rear of the house. She was also beaten regularly.
Date: 2014-09-11
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal neglect, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother


Bloom Township, Ohio
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Justin and Marsha Harris

6-year-old girl adopted by Justin and Marsha Harris was re-homed, together with her 3-year-old sister, six months after the adoption was finalized. She came to live with Eric Cameron Francis, a former employee of Rep. Justin Harris. Cameron sexually abused the girl.
Date: 2014-04-04
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Other non-family member
Fundamentalist faith: yes


Bella Vista, Arkansas
United States
See map: Google Maps

The Good Adoptee

I have a question for you and would appreciate any insight. Is there such a thing as an adoptee being too good? 

What I mean by that is, is it normal for an adoptee who was recently adopted behaving too good? A child who never complains, never asks for anything and is always polite. I came across this description in an article I was reading about a couple who adopted 8 kids. What jumped out at me whilst reading was how pleased they were that all the kids were happy, well behaved and polite and that none of the children made demands, infact they were all rather quiet.

I could not help but reflect on my own adopted cildren and noticed that the ones that were adopted older fit that same description, but the ones I raised since birth...did not. Infact, the children adopted as newborns (who are older now) make their feelings and wishes known very loudly to everyone around them.

I would appreciate any insight any one has as to what emotionally and psychologically is really at play here or the rationale behind this. Thank you in advance for the replies.

Greening My Engine

So, six  months later, how's the whole "aftermath" thing coming?  Well there's me, and there's me-and-them.  Let's talk about me first.

I got pretty stressed out around the end of the year.   Come January, I wasn't stressed at all. I felt drained, a little fragile, very mellow, and extremely lethargic. I had started reading Dr. Seligman's book Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being; at one point he talks about helping clients work through their depression. "I wanted to make them happier, but all I did was make them emptier." That fit me like a glove.  But when you've spent a lifetime full of pain, sorrow, and anger, empty is a big improvement, and a necessary first step to anything better.

There's all these little fractures in my psyche that used to be full of poison. Now it's gone, and I can feel all the little abrasions the acid of pain wore into my psyche. They need time to heal, and I don't need to let more poison settle in.

The extraordinary upbringing and daring escape of a victim of America's homeschooling fundamentalists

from: Daily Mail

At 20, Jennyfer Deister was all set to be married off to a man twice her age.

Her family, she says, had taken $25,000 in installments from the prospective groom and in return they were to give him her hand.

It would have been more — probably $50,000 she estimates — except that she had been sexually abused as a young child in one of the four foster homes she passed through before she was finally adopted.

'I was like damaged goods,' she admitted in an exclusive interview with Daily Mail Online.

Jennyfer — her birth mother chose the unusual spelling — had no say in the marriage and says her husband-to-be was actually a decent man. In fact he could have been an ideal husband 'except he was 20 years too old'.

3 children Children adopted by David and Rejeana Moss

Two girls, age 11 and 13, and an adult male, adopted by David and Rejeana Moss, were being kept locked away and were physically abused by their adoptive parents. The two girls alleged sexual abuse by David Moss as well.
Date: 2014-09-12
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Non-lethal neglect, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes



Dorset Township, Ohio
United States
See map: Google Maps

Three men accused of molestation in child porn ring that spans multiple Southern California counties

from: ocregister.com

Three men, including one who had been allowed to adopt two boys and work as a teaching assistant at Desert Hot Springs High School, have been charged with child molestation and human trafficking in a case involving what authorities described as a significant ring of child pornography.

Two of the men – William Clyde Thompson, 54, of Las Vegas, and John David Yoder, 43, of Desert Hot Springs – visited skate parks and other sites frequented by teenagers and young children, ostensibly to recruit them for a modeling business, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said Tuesday. But the modeling business was fake, and the minors were lured to produce pornography, Hestrin said.

The third person charged was Erick Alan Monsivais, 29, of Los Angeles.

Susan von Zabern, director of Riverside County Department of Public Social Services, would not discuss Yoder's adoption case, citing privacy regulations. She did say the department is reviewing its adoption practices.

Pridine Fru

Actress and talk-show host Pridine Fru was imprisoned and physically and sexually abused by her adoptive parents, Joseph and Evelyn  Djoumessi, from the time she was illegally adopted at age 14 until she was rescued at age 17.
Date: 2000-02-24
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes


Farmington Hills, Michigan
United States
See map: Google Maps

Hannah Hoag

18-months old girl adopted by Rebecca Cotes died as the result of medical neglect.
Date: 2014-03-24
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal neglect
Abuser: Adoptive mother


Wyoming, Michigan
United States
See map: Google Maps

Curious about similarities in Adoptive parents.

I have noticed a few odd similarities between my adoptive parents and the adoptive parents of some friends. My adoptive mother was quite sickly with very bad allergies, dry skin and asthma. Her side of the family were involved with the masons and her sister had given up a child for adoption years before my adoption. My adoptive father was a catholic with something against god and the church as well as an alcoholic and smoker. Both adoptive parents smoked when I was very young in the house. I developed all these afflictions as well. I am curious to see if anyone else had any of these type of similarities in the people they were given to or perhaps other things I haven't thought of.

Girl adopted by Terri and Pamela Dennis

7-year-old girl adopted by Terri and Pamela Dennis died after having been unresponsive for over eight hours. Her death was caused by blunt force trauma.
Date: 2013-04-04
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Disabilities: yes


Newport News, Virginia
United States
See map: Google Maps

The Price of Questing

I stared angrily at the scale.  Where had all my hard work gone?

Four years ago I started an exercise program to get my body back in shape.  Two years of steady, constant exercising later, I was feeling fit and fine -- so fit, my subconcious deemed me able to handle a huge heap of repressed childhood horror.  The next two years were taken up with nothing but repairing damages done to my mind and my soul.  The work was so intense I could do nothing else.  Some days just making it out of bed was all I could manage.  In the process I've lost all the fitness progress I made over the previous two years.  My weight is back up and my stamina is nonexistant.  Physically I'm right back where I started.  I've got all this psychological stuff seen to  but -- I know the metaphor of life being a great big spiral but I don't need it to play out so literally, darn it.

2 girls assaulted by Louis A. Martinez

2 foster girls were sexually abused by Louis A. Martine, who ran Heart Gallery Hawaii, an organization that recruits adoptive parents for children in foster care.
Date: 2011-00-00
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Other non-family member


Honolulu, Hawaii
United States
See map: Google Maps

Why a Generation of Adoptees Is Returning to South Korea

By MAGGIE JONES / New York Times
Jan 14, 2015

Laura Klunder’s newest tattoo runs down the inside of her left forearm and reads “K85-160,” a number that dates to her infancy. Klunder was 9 months old when her South Korean mother left her at a police station in Seoul. The police brought her to Holt Children’s Services, a local adoption agency, where a worker assigned Klunder the case number K85-160. It was only two weeks into 1985, but she was already the 160th child to come to the agency that month, and she would go on to be one of 8,800 children sent overseas from South Korea that year. Klunder became part of the largest adoption exodus from one country in history: Over the past six decades, at least 200,000 Korean children — roughly the population of Des Moines — have been adopted into families in more than 15 countries, with a vast majority living in the United States.

Girl adopted by couple from Jackson County, Michigan

5-year-old girl adopted by a couple from Jackson county, Michigan, was sexually abused by her adoptive father.
Date: 2014-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father


Jackson County, Michigan
United States
See map: Google Maps



hits all the RAD cult experts... sad... at least he isn't in an American run RTC and he is out of Ranch for Kids

One boy’s un-adoption, two families who love him and a woman’s mission to bring ‘rehoming’ out of the shadows

By Lisa Belkin
December 10, 2014 7:01 AM

Yahoo News

The phone rings at the ranch house in the Horse Prairie valley of Montana, and Cyndi Peck puts on her headset and settles in for what is always a long conversation. Sitting in her tiny home office, surrounded by milk crates full of files on the floor and a map of U.S. time zones on the wall, she folds her hands as if in prayer and listens as yet another adoptive mother explains why she wants to return another adopted child.

Boy adopted by Christine Evelyn Baughman

11-year-old boy, adopted from Ukraine in 2013, by Christine Evelyn Baughman, was allegedly physically abused by his adoptive mother.
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother


Ringgold, Georgia
United States
See map: Google Maps

Parallel Dialogues- Based On Two Separate Life Stories

Parallel Dialogues-
Based On Two Separate Life
Arun Dohle & anonymous Indian Birthmother

I want my baby back!! But nineteen years later she is not the baby I had to give up. Will I ever
have the joy of knowing her? Will the pain of being separated all these years go away? Does she
long to see me?

I want my mother back! After 34 years she is still my first mother. Will I ever be reunited with
her? To be reunited is something I desire very deeply. Will seeing her ease the pain of being
separated for so long? Maybe she doesn´t want to see me?

In 1973 my parents went on their honeymoon. Their honeymoon was an exchange trip to India, and they
were guests of a family. Since they desired to have a child and it was clear at that time that it
was difficult for them to have biological children, the family suggested that they adopt a child
from India. So my adoptive parents adopted me with the help of this family, from a well known Pune
orphanage which also runs a women’s shelter.

In 2002, I discovered that I was actually an unwanted child belonging to the extended family of my

Victoria adoption family alleges ministry hid extent of abuse

CBC News
November 20, 2014

A Victoria family says the Ministry of Children and Family Development failed to support them as adoptive parents, and did not disclose their adopted son's history as a victim of sexual abuse.

The CBC is abiding by a court-ordered publication ban protecting the identity of the couples' son.

'We had already fallen in love with him and spent a year getting to know him'- Victoria mother of adopted son

The parents described their son's tragic early life in an interview with the CBC's Jo Ann Roberts, where they said their son was born in Romania, and adopted by Canadian parents, who moved the boy to Ottawa and then Victoria. But the parents say the first set of adoptive parents chose to abandon the boy in Libya, before adopting another child.

They say when he was discovered he was sent back to Victoria and held in the care of the ministry, and after several years and eight foster homes he was adopted by his now parents at the age of 11.
History of abuse discovered

Rare and ... Rare

"Have you ever heard of people saying, “this feels like it’s happening to someone else” or something to that effect? Now I can completely relate to that. I kind of feel like. Well, I don’t know exactly how to quantify it. It’s a new sensation.  Extremely weird, but not entirely unpleasant." - my newly-discovered maternal half-sister

"I have to admit, this is incredibly awkward, but I am happy to get to know you." - my newly-discovered paternal half-sister

"That is a picture of your grandmother.  If you want to know what she looked like when she was younger, look in the mirror.  You look just like her." - a great-uncle

"Who the Hell are you, where did  you come from, and what's this nonsense about a Promised Land?" - the Canaanites

Adoption by Gentle Care recipient of Demons of Adoption Award

For eighth year in a rows, Pound Pup Legacy has asked its readers to choose the worst person or organization in Adoptionland as the
recipient of the Demons of Adoption Award. Today we announce this year's recipient.

We started the Demons of Adoption Awards, back in 2007, as a parody of the Congressional Angel in Adoption Award , annually awarded by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI). Although humorous in form, it was serious in intent.

At the time, little attention was given to serious issues like abuse in adoptive families, child trafficking, coerced relinquishment and re-homing., while at the same time, Members of Congress were busy praising adoption attorney's and executive directors of adoption agencies, by honoring them a Congressional award.

Something was very wrong with this picture. Abuse in adoptive families and re-homing often are the result of bad screening practices and insufficient preparation of prospective adopters, if not the result of withholding information about the conditions of the child, important to make a proper decision whether to go forward with an adoption. Coerced relinquishment often is the result of having no well-defined protocols to guide the adoption process. Child trafficking is often the result of working with unreliable partners in sending countries and the profit motif that can easily become the driving factor behind the adoption process.

Members of Congress should worry about these issues and provide regulation that curtail what is wrong in Adoptionland. Unfortunately they much rather look the other way and sail on the feel-good sentiments that surround adoption.

The Angels in Adoption Award gala is mostly an adoption agency's love fest, organized with congressional allure It openly shows the intimate embrace of special interest groups and federal government, more so than in any other field of business.

Congress is often said to be ruled by special interests, but nowhere is the intimate embrace of politics and business so blatant as in the field of adoption.

There are no congressional awards for members of the petrochemical or financial industry, nor is there a defense contractor of the year award. When it comes to these branches of business, members of congress at least presume to maintain a certain distance.

Adoption is an entirely different matter. Members of Congress don't view it as a business, after all, as defined by law, no children are being sold. And even if viewed as a business, it dwarfs in comparison to Wall Street, the oil industry, insurance, and the pharmaceutical industry.

For members of congress the political value of adoption is not economical, but sentimental. Members of congress like to present themselves in favor of adoption, because it superficially shows a virtuous side, something as much needed to get elected as having well filled campaign coffers.

For members of the adoption industry, adoption certainly has economic value. Their livelihood depends on it. Of course the industry likes to present itself as virtuous and charitable, but at the end of the day salaries need to be paid and the cost of doing business needs to be recouped.

The Angels of Adoption Awards shamelessly shows the exchange of sentimental political capital for the economic and religious interests of the adoption industry. Members of Congress get the opportunity to demonstrate their virtuous side, and the industry gets Congress's seal of approval,and  minimal federal oversight.

This cynical trade of feel good sentiments for economic and religious interests made us start the Demons of Adoption Awards, seven years ago.

As a parody of the Angels of Adoption Awards it only highlights the worst. Just like no agency or attorney is as angelical as Members of Congress want us to believe, neither are the demons of adoption exceptionally evil. For every nominee there are several others equally guilty of unethical practices.

The Demons of Adoption Awards shine a light on the darkest corners of Adoptionland, but they don't tell us much about the overall darkness of the adoption industry.

Business methods, used by the worst agencies of our time, are the same as those used by "demons of adoption" a century ago. Coerced relinquishment, fraudulent paperwork, the use of jurisdictional mazes, illegal payments, all of that is not a recent invention; it has been part and parcel of the adoption business since its inception.

This year's recipient of the Demons of Adoption Award is a good example of being among the worst in an industry that thrives on bad practices.

Founded, in 1978 by attorney James S. Albers, Adoption by Gentle Care has been in the spotlight before. Already in 2011, the agency was nominated for a Demons of Adoption Award for their handling of the case of Benjamin Wyrembek.

In that case Adoption by Gentle Care placed a boy with an Indiana couple, in November 2007, knowing that the paternity of the child was not established. Benjamin Wyrembek, the father of the child contested the adoption and after a long court battle, the adoption was dismissed.

As a result, the child was officially in custody of Adoption by Gentle Care, which was ordered to show the child to his father on February 8, 2010. The agency failed to comply with the court order and through it's executive director John Cameron was held in contempt on July 2, 2010.

The Indiana couple appealed all the way up to the US Supreme Court, but eventually October 30, 2010, the boy was handed over to his father.

Adoption by Gentle Care quickly dismissed executive director John Cameron, who was replaced by Trina Saunders. This change of leadership however didn't change the way Adoption by Gentle Care operated.

In March 2014, Adoption by Gentle Care was involved in the placement of Camden, the son of Carri Stearns. Carri Stearns found herself in a crisis situation after getting pregnant as the result of a one-night-stand. Her partner wasn't exactly pleased and told her to choose between the baby and their life together.

Carri Stearns contacted Adoption by Gentle Care days before she was due, to discuss the placement of the child. Adoption by Gentle Care was very eager to assist in the placement and their counseling was geared to only one option, to make sure the child was being placed for adoption.

In the process Adoption by Gentle Care ignored all red flags. The mother was financially capable of raising the child, she herself wanted the child, and she had proven to be a good mother for her other children.

When the issue of paternity came up, the agency coached Carri Stearns to list the father as "unknown" on the birth certificate, even though the father was known.

The case worker, having learned her lesson from the case of Dusten Brown (baby Veronica) asked if Carri had any Native American blood. When she answered truthfully that she did, the case worker responds: “Carri, you can’t say that. If we name Native American blood, then this adoption won’t happen. He’ll go to foster care.”

Apparently the fear of the child going into foster care was enough for Carri Stearns to lie, something Adoption by Gentle Care apparently found entirely acceptable.

Three days after the initial intake and only counseling session, Carri gave birth to her son Camden by means of a c-section. Four days later, she signed off on the adoption.

During the relinquishment she had to testify that she was of "sound mind and body". In such testimony one must state that they are not under any mind altering substances and are making this decision of their own free will, independently of any coercion of duress. At the time Carri was still under doctor’s prescription for Vicodin and Dilaudid, but was advised by Adoption by Gentle care worker to say "no" to the question whether she was using any medication.

Three days after the relinquishment, reality what has transpired set in and Carri came to the conclusion she had made a terrible mistake.

Adoption by Gentle Care refused to revoke the consent and pushed through with the placement of Camden. However, the family chosen to adopt the boy, returned him to the agency and he has been in foster care ever since.

Adoption by Gentle Care, with this case proved to be anything but gentle, and it seems all they cared about is the quick placement of children. They didn't seem to care about proper procedures, proper counseling and it wasn't even beyond them to instruct someone to lie.

We believe our readers made an excellent choice by declaring Adoption by Gentle Care this year's Demon of Adoption, and with sadness realize next year we will most likely have another recipient just as deserving.

Joint Council Update - Visit by Dutch and Belgian Authorities

• From: "Anna Rough"
• To: ,
• Subject: [hague-l] Joint Council Update - Visit by Dutch and Belgian Authorities
• Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 14:25:37 -0500
• Importance: high
• Priority: Urgent

Joint Council Update

Program International Relations Initiative
Date September 10, 2008
Regarding Visit by Dutch and Belgian Authorities

On Monday, September 8, 2008, a Joint Council delegation met with representatives of the Dutch and Belgian Central Authorities and the U.S. Department of State. During the meeting, held at the Adoption Center of Washington, information was exchanged on the United States’ policy and procedural implementation of the Hague Convention and the functionality of current procedures. Discussions also centered on finding families for American children (including those in foster care) with Dutch and Belgian families.

Outgoing Cases

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