With the current interest in the history of child placement, I started surfing the internet and stumbled upon this article from the Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies, which mentions adoption dating back to at least the "first half of the second millennium B.C". Here is the introduction of the article. To read the entire article click on the title.
The adoption of children has been practiced throughout the history of mankind with its legal, social, and ethical implications. Presently the number of illegitimate births is skyrocketing in Western societies, and complications associated with adopting and raising these abandoned children has made adoption a social problem in modern society.
Our ancestors in ancient Mesopotamia had the same problem of maintaining these abandoned and orphaned children, though for different reasons than illegitimacy. Poverty, continuous warfare, famine, and disease were the main causes of abandonment and orphanage of infants and children. The ancient Mesopotamians wrote laws and set social customs and traditions to protect the rights and interest of both the adopters and adoptees alike. The adoption agreement was documented and confirmed by witnesses and sealed on tablets.
To a great extent, Assyrians and Babylonians were motivated to adopt for reasons similar to those existing today. Most typically, adoption was intended to provide an heir to a childless couple who had lost the hope of producing their own children. Even though a marriage that failed to produce a male heir could be legally dissolved or a second wife could be taken for the purpose of bearing a son as an heir, adoption of a stranger’s child was a common practice.
Adoption was not inspired solely by the desire to obtain a male heir who would preserve the family name. Another common motivation was the desire of the adoptive parents to have a son who would support them in their old age and perform the religious rites required upon their death. In other instances, a craftsman might adopt a male heir for apprenticeship to assure the continuity of the family business.
Not that many large scale studies into adoption have been done, with the exception of this Swedish programme perhaps, which lead to the following article:
A summary of the results of key international adoption research projects based in Scandinavia.
By Dr. Monica Dalen, Department of Special Needs Education, Faculty of Education, University of Oslo
Foreign Adoptions and Research
The adoption of foreign children started in Scandinavia around 30 years ago, and a total of around 65,000 children have been adopted into these countries. Sweden has the highest number, with 35,000 foreign adoptees. In second place comes Norway, with 15,000 adoptions and then Denmark with 13,000. Finland has the lowest number of foreign adoptees.
Research into international adoptions started at the beginning of the 1970s in those countries that were the first to adopt children from other countries (the USA and Sweden). As adoptions across national boundaries gradually became more and more common, this research work spread to many countries. International, scientific literature on adoption across national and race boundaries is, however, relatively recent and limited in scope compared with research literature on the adoption of children from the same country as the adoptive parents.
Target group and methodic approach
In most of the projects, the researchers have approached the adoptive parents. Only rarely have they started off with the biological parents. This can naturally be explained by the anonymity considerations that characterize all adoption activities. Often, no information is available, and at other times the biological mother will be unknown. This is particularly pronounced when it comes to foreign adoptions. The biological origins of many foreign adoptees are also unknown. It would undeniably be interesting to gain a closer insight into the circumstances that lead to children being put up for adoption and perhaps particularly into the biological mother’s thoughts, not only when she decides about the adoption but also later on in life.
When reading this article one part really struck me:
The abduction and sale of children, as part of the broader phenomenon of the abduction and sale of people, has a long history in Russia. It is dealt with in legal codes such as the "Russkaya Pravda" (11th-12th centuries) and the "Sudnye gramoty" of Novgorod and Pskov (15th century). As the victims were already serfs or slaves, it was considered an offence not against them but against their rightful owners.
Here follows the entire article, digging even deeper and further away into the history of child trade.
As a mom of three, I honestly don't think I could have made it through the long nights, never-ending diapers, and countless trips to the pediatrician's office without the pals I've met along the way. Here are the mom friends I couldn't live without -- and why you need them too.
The First 12 Months
The Role Model
This is the absolute first mom friend you need -- a buddy with some mothering miles under her belt. Her kids are a few years older than yours, so she's the go-to person for questions about teething, getting rid of the pacifier, or finding a reliable sitter. My sister-in-law Janet turned out to be my mommy mentor. A full five years older than me, she was already the mother of three by the time I had my first baby. I looked to her for guidance and reassurance -- and thankfully, she found no question too idiotic: Will the weird infant acne go away on its own? What exactly should an umbilical stump look like? Does a baby have to wear a T-shirt under every outfit? I knew I could call her at 2 a.m. with a screaming infant on my shoulder -- and she would calm me down and promise me that motherhood would get better.
Given the popularity of adoption, and single-sex relationships, I'm surprised the following focuses only on The Father. After all, not all babies are born into traditional family homes, roles and units. When baby-makes-three, new problems, troubles and concerns arrise and arrive. How many adults are mentally prepared for parenthood? How many grow-ups are mature enough to adapt to the constantly changing demands and needs of another human being? How many parents relate to the phrase: "I ought to have my head examined!"
The following article probes the parental brain and asks, "how does stress affect the expectant parent?"
Originally Researched & Compiled by Kate Workman...with Additions/Corrections & Documents provided by PeopleFinderNow.com team
January 1, 2007
It's a fact that ALL states allow falsification of birth certificates - they are all guilty of changing the true birth information, issuing an amended birth certificate, and sealing the original... usually 'forever'. However, some states go even a step further, according to reunited triadians:
From the beginning of the 20th century through the 1950's and 1960's, unwed pregnancy was considered extremely shameful. Although a thin cloud of shame remains, the sexual revolution of the 60's changed forever the way families dealt with unwed pregnancy.
In the first half of the century, it was common for pregnant girls to be "sent away" to maternity homes or to a distant family member's home to have their baby in secret. Someone made arrangements for the baby to be adopted. After the birth, the child was whisked away from the birthmother. She often did not even know if she had given birth to a boy or a girl. The adoption worker told her it was best if she knew nothing of the baby. She was told to forget about the whole experience and get on with her life.
The issue of shame drove the train of secrecy. It was shameful for a woman to pregnant out of wedlock. The thought followed that a child born out of wedlock must therefore come from "bad blood." Professionals involved in adoption advised birthparents and adoptive parents that it was best for adoption to remain secret.
The adopted baby grew up in his adopted home. Adoption workers told the families to move on with their lives as if the child was born biologically to them. Sometimes the child was never told he was adopted. The children who were not told of their adoption at an early age, usually found out later when a friend or relative accidentally let "the cat out of the bag."
Looks like Catholic Charities might have to reconsider it's Adoption Options, if they want to pay off their debt to some American children. According to new reports, a landmark $660 million settlement has been negotiated between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and more than 500 alleged victims of clergy abuse. (LA church settlement goes to courtroom)
The formal statement made by the LA Archdiocese starts with the following:
The end of the Vietnam War precipitated increased adoptions of Vietnamese children by American families. In April 1975, two years after the Americans signed a cease-fire accord with Vietnam, North Vietnamese troops spread through the South. The war's end caused hundreds of thousands of citizens to flee the country, fearing for their lives.
Perhaps the most dramatic changes have come about as a result of the unprecedented increases in rate of incarceration, the size of the U.S. prison population, and the widespread overcrowding that has occurred as a result. Over the past 25 years, penologists repeatedly have described U.S. prisons as "in crisis" and have characterized each new level of overcrowding as "unprecedented." By the start of the 1990s, the United States incarcerated more persons per capita than any other nation in the modern world, and it has retained that dubious distinction for nearly every year since. The international disparities are most striking when the U.S. incarceration rate is contrasted to those of other nations to whom the United States is often compared, such as Japan, Netherlands, Australia, and the United Kingdom. In the 1990s, as Marc Mauer and the Sentencing Project have effectively documented - the U.S. rates have consistently been between four and eight times those for these other nations.(3)
Above all, you must realize that you'll be a prisoner like all the others, reduced to just a number, and no better than an illiterate Cuban whore or white trailer trash.
Never, EVER become involved in gambling. It's a death trap, as sure as walking into an aryan fest with name badge that says zog.
NEVER involve yourslef with punks. Do not have sex with punks, do not associate with those who have sex with punks, etc. Many an inmate has been killed by a jealous boyfriend. This may not seem like the shiny happy egalitarian thing to do, but believe me, neither is dying.
NEVER invoke debts you cannot repay. It is best not to invoke any debts period. When you first enter any institution, you will be approaced with 241 offers. Meaning that the person will front you 1 item (pack of cigs, commisary food, whatever) but you will have to repay them two. This is a classic trap for unexperienced inmates. If you smoke, quit. If you want items from the commisary, etc. wait until you have money on your books, or your in a position with your prison job that you can run your own hustle, and have items to barter with. The basic rule, is to NEVER take ANYTHING on credit. This will get you killed or seriously injured or TURNED OUT and pimped to pay your bill real fast.
NEVER use drugs in prison, of any type. I will make an exception for Marijuana, because it's not addictive, but again, ONLY smoke it if you can pay for it. Take NOTHING ON CREDIT.
NEVER collaborate with the hacks against a fellow inmate, and NEVER give any information up about another inmate.
If you are arrogant to other prisoners, you'll alienate them and create many enemies. This could prove fatal.
Always be respectful and polite to other prisoners, regardless of how weird they may act or dress. First, because you don't know who or what they are, and second, because respect and personal dignity are the most valued possessions left to a prisoner.
Never tell another prisoner what to do or give anyone orders. Don't tell the noisy ones in the law library to be quiet. Prisoners deeply resent being bossed around by another prisoner. Their likely reponse -- even to a polite request -- is, "What are you, a fuckin' cop?"
Never stare at another prisoner for more than a second or two. He may be a walking powder keg, set off by an intrusive stare. He may either assault you on the spot or wait until darkness. Even if he doesn't kill you outright, your face will never look the same again.
Avoid anyone offering to "take you under their wing" or help you out. Generally, they are booty bandits, or Jailhouse pimps running a well thought out and practiced game against you.
Kids who stayed with their families were less likely to become juvenile delinquents or teen mothers and more likely to hold jobs as young adults, says the study by Joseph Doyle, an economics professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management who studies social policy.
"The size of the effects surprised me, because all the children come from tough families," Doyle says. The National Science Foundation funded the study. [Does "tough", and "troubled" mean "dysfunctional"?]
Doyle says his research, which tracked at least 15,000 kids from 1990 to 2002, is the largest study to look at the effects of foster care. He studied kids in Illinois because of a database there that links abuse investigations to other government records.
To avoid results attributable to family background, he screened out extreme cases of abuse or neglect and studied kids whose cases could have gone either way.
Studies, including those by Mark Courtney while at the University of Chicago's Chapin Hall Center for Children, show that the 500,000 children in U.S. foster care are more likely than other kids to drop out of school, commit crimes, abuse drugs and become teen parents.
His research has shown that this holds true even when foster kids are compared with other disadvantaged youth.
Doyle's study, however, provides "the first viable, empirical evidence" of the benefits of keeping kids with their families, says Gary Stangler, executive director of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, a foundation for foster teens. Stangler says it looked at kids over a longer period of time than had other studies.
"It confirms what experience and observation tell us: Kids who can remain in their homes do better than in foster care," says Stangler. He says some kids, for their own safety, need to be removed from their families, but in marginal cases of abuse, more should be done to keep them together.
Smaller studies have found kids from abusive families do better in foster care. "There are high rates of re-abuse" for those reunited with parents, says Heather Taussig, a pediatrics professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Taussig co-authored a study in 2001 that found kids reunited with families after a brief stay in foster care were more likely to abuse drugs, get arrested, drop out of school and have lower grades than those who stayed in foster care. She followed 149 youths in San Diego over a 6-year period.
Taussig says case workers shouldn't assume that keeping kids with relatives is better. "We need more research," she says.
Doyle says foster care remains a needed safety net for some kids but he agrees that it merits further study.
Coral Dow, Analysis and Policy
Social Policy Section
In the early 1990s a campaign by key Indigenous agencies - including the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care, the NSW organisation Link-Up, and a large 'Going Home Conference' in Darwin in 1994 - presented their concerns that public ignorance of the history of forcible removal of Aboriginal children was hindering the recognition of the needs of its victims, their families and the provision of services.
In May 1995 the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families was established by the former Attorney-General, the Hon. MichaelLavarch, who announced the terms of reference. The Inquiry was asked to:
examine the past and continuing effects of separation of individuals, families and communities
identify what should be done in response, which could entail recommendations to change laws, policies and practices, to re-unite families and otherwise deal with losses caused by separation
find justification for, and nature of, any compensation for those affected by separation and
look at current laws, policies and practices affecting the placement and care of Indigenous children.
Hearings were held in every capital city and many regional centres between December 1995 and October 1996. The Inquiry received 777 submissions, including 535 from Indigenous individuals and organisations, 49 from church organisations and seven from government.
Seattle Woman Took Babies From Poor Cambodians, Told Americans They Were Orphans
Nov. 19, 2004 --
In Seattle today, a woman was sentenced to 18 months in prison for running an international adoption scam.
Lauren Galindo, 53, provided approximately 700 Cambodian children to American couples for adoption. The only problem is that some of the children were not orphans; many of them had been virtually stolen from their parents.
Galindo pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit visa fraud and to launder money.
U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agent Leigh Winchell said, "This is profiteering in the adoption process in the grossest sense. This is people making a dollar at the expense of the innocents around the world."
'Tis the season to prepare for summer-camp programs. <groan>
My mother used to send me to a camp sponsored by the Salvation Army. [I was a "Sunbeam"]. My brother was never sent to any camp-program, but I was. I hated it. It felt like I was being shipped-out, so they could be A Family without me. I'm sure my mother thought I would enjoy being with a bunch of girls my own age, and away from my brother, but in my mind, I was being pushed out and away. I hated camp, and I hated how my brother - their natural son - got to stay home. When I think of "camp", I think sad lonely thoughts of wanting to go home, and not being wanted by the people who called themselves Family.
While it's true I may not have been sent away more than twice, (two years in a row), I do remember crying each time, each day I was away from my mommy. I remember there being a policy of "no calling home", but I must have been in a real state of hysteria because I remember being allowed to make one phone-call to my parents. I remember begging and crying to go home... and being told I had to stay. I hated being at camp, and I hated not being taken home right away. I hated that my parents weren't willing to stop whatever it was that they were doing, just so they could rush to find and hold me. They never came back to get me. They left me among strangers, and I was told to make the best of it. I tried my best, but I was miserable and sad, and no one seemed to care how lost I felt. The way I saw it, my parents were content with my being away, and "toughing it out", so they didn't rescue me when I needed rescuing.
E-Brief: Online Only issued October 2001 David Watt, Information/E-links
Coral Dow, Information/E-links
Social Policy Group
Background to the scheme
Between 1922 and 1967 about 150 000 children with an average age of eight years and nine months were shipped from Great Britain to help populate the British Dominions of Canada, Rhodesia, New Zealand and Australia with 'good white stock'. Estimates of the number of children sent to Australia vary from 5 000 to 10 000, most of whom were sent to charitable and religious institutions. The Australian Government welcomed the scheme and encouraged non-government organisations such as Barnados and Fairbridge to continue settling child migrants who were regarded as adaptable with long working lives. However many child migrants later claimed that they were ill-treated in the institutions to which they were sent.
Child migrants are represented in Britain and Australia by a number of organisations. The most prominent is the Child Migrants Trust which was established in 1987 to assist child migrants seeking family reunions. Child migrants and the Child Migrants Trust have lobbied for compensation and an apology from governments.
Other bodies which offer assistance are the Child Migrant Friendship Society, and in Perth, the Christian Brothers' Ex-Residents Services (C-BERS Services) and the Catholic Migrant Centre.
A system by which a certified, stand-in "parent(s)" cares for minor children or young people who have been removed from their biological parents or other custodial adults by state authority. Responsibility for the young person is assumed by the relevant governmental authority and a placement with another family found. There can be voluntary placements by a parent of a child into foster care. Foster placements are monitored until the biological family can provide appropriate care or the biological parental rights are terminated and the child is adopted. A third option, guardianship, is sometimes utilized in certain cases where a child cannot be reunified with their birth family and adoption is not right for them. This generally includes some older foster children who may be strongly bonded to their family of origin and unwilling to pursue adoption. Voluntary foster care may be utilized in circumstances where a parent is unable or unwilling to care for a child. For instance, a child may have behavioral problems requiring specialized treatment or the parent might have a problem which results in a temporary or permanent inability to care for the child(ren). Involuntary foster care may be implemented when a child is removed from their caregiver for his/her own safety. A foster parent receives monetary reimbursement from the placement agency for each child while the child is in his/her home to help cover the cost of meeting the child's needs. The amount of financial assistance typically varies from state to state and even city to city.
How many children are in foster care?
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, "Over 500,000 children in the U.S. currently reside in some form of foster care. Placements in foster care have dramatically increased over the past 10 years. Despite the increasing numbers, children in foster care and foster parents are mostly invisible in communities and often lack many needed supports and resources."
Casey Family Programs is a national operating foundation with offices across the country. It's mission is to provide and improve—and ultimately to prevent the need for—foster care.
The National Foster Parent Association is the only national organization which strives to support foster parents, and remains a consistently strong voice on behalf of all children. Their mission is to support foster parents in achieving safety, permanence and well-being for the children and youth in their care.
With U.S. Couples Eager to Adopt, Some Infants Are Abducted and Sold in China
By Peter S. Goodman
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, March 12, 2006; A01
DONGGUAN, China On a muggy evening in July 2004, on a concrete lane reeking of raw sewage and chemicals from surrounding factories, a stranger leapt from a white van. He yanked 16-month-old Fei Mei from the arms of her 8-year-old cousin and sped away.
All night, her parents searched this industrial city in southern China for their round-faced baby girl.
"We looked everywhere, on every street corner," said her father, Xu Mohu. "We thought maybe the guy wouldn't like a girl and he would abandon her."
That was once a reasonable assumption. For generations, girls in rural China have been left to die in the cold or abandoned on doorsteps while families devote their scant resources to nourishing boys. But over the past decade, a wave of foreigners, mostly Americans, has poured into China with dollars in hand to adopt Chinese babies, 95 percent of them girls.
Last year, the United States issued nearly 8,000 visas to Chinese-born children adopted by American parents. More than 50,000 children have left China for the United States since 1992. And more than 10,000 children have landed in other countries, according to Chinese reports.
The foreign adoption program has matched Chinese babies with foreign families eager for them, while delivering crucial funding to orphanages in this country. But it has also spawned a tragic irony, transforming once-unwanted Chinese girls into valuable commodities worth stealing.
It's estimated that at least 40,000 children are adopted internationally every year. The aim of the system is to give abandoned children in developing countries a home, and childless couples in the West a family. It would seem an ideal solution.