exposing the dark side of adoption
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by Mary on Saturday, 19 January 2008

Participants needed for research study on international adoption

Posted by: "jeff_leinaweaver" jeff@global-zen.com

Are you an international adoptee (or know an international adoptee) born abroad and adopted into a family from a different national, racial and cultural origin than your birth origin?

I am an international adoptee, adopted from Colombia, looking for potential research participants for a doctoral-level research study.

While many research studies about international adoption are conducted by non-adoptees, crucial to this research is that it is a conversation between international adoptees, discussing the issues of sharing one's personal narrative and origin/adoption stories.

by Mary on Friday, 28 December 2007
Re-evaluating Adoption: Validating the Localby Daniel Drennan

After it was reported that a French NGO named Arche de Zoé had attempted to airlift a planeload of children out of Chad for adoption in France, Ann Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF, stated:

"This is not something that should be tolerated by the international community.  It is unacceptable to see children taken out of their home countries without compliance with national and international laws."

Her outrage unfortunately reflects a one-sided worldview concerning adoption today.  It can be traced back to Pearl S. Buck and other advocates from the middle of last century who saw in international adoption a "saving grace" for children around the globe.  This sentiment, echoed in Arche de Zoé's mission statement, has always served as an excuse to use "orphans" as props, backdrops, and camera fodder.  Operation Babylift, the post-Vietnam War media relations effort of the United States government, attempted to give Americans a positive spin on its role in the war.  Unwitnessed, however, were distraught Vietnamese mothers, tearfully separated from their children who were forced onto waiting airplanes for transport overseas.  Adoption's current vogue due to Hollywood celebrity public relations campaigns, which date back to the days of Joan Crawford, exemplifies but one of its more cynical manifestations.  More recently, an article in New York magazine basically asks parents to quantify the unquantifiable: the love they have for their adopted children.  These examples, including the statement from UNICEF, likewise reflect only one side of the debate: namely that of the adoptive parent, couple, and country.

by Mary on Wednesday, 21 November 2007

from Fall 2007Adoptalk

by Joe Kroll, NACAC's Executive Director

Since 1997, many adoptive families have been able to use the federal adoption tax credit. The credit, however, is due to end in 2010 and some legislators are already proposing to extend the credit indefinitely. New evidence suggests that we must not renew the credit without first ensuring that it furthers the goal of promoting and supporting adoptions from foster care.

What the Numbers Tell Us

A recent Child Trends research brief1 uses 1999–2005 data from the U.S. Treasury Department to determine who most benefits from the credit. In his report summary, author Rob Geen reveals that:

by Mary on Wednesday, 21 November 2007

11/20/07 - EU Marks Universal Children's Day


November 20, 2007

November 20 marks the day on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). Both instruments recognize children’s basic human rights and give them protection and support in the development of their personalities. The Convention on the Rights of the Child affirms that a child is not only a fragile being that needs to be protected, but also a person that has a right to be educated, cared for, protected, wherever in the world he/she is born. And also that a child is a person who has the right to have fun, learn and express him- or herself.

Vice-President Franco Frattini, European Commissioner responsible for freedom, security and justice said: "Today we celebrate the 18th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The European Commission joins in highlighting the importance of this Convention and reaffirms its commitment to protecting the rights of vulnerable people such as children, and has resolved to place the Rights of the Child as one of its main priorities."

Furthermore, in regard to European Commission's report on the implementation by Member States of the Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA of 22 December 2003 on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, which finds that most Member States have criminalized sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and child pornography on the Internet, Vice-President Franco Frattini, stated: "The prevention and the fight against sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and child pornography is at the core of our commitment. No area of freedom, security and justice exists if our most vulnerable citizens are exposed to such offences. The approximation of legislation is the first essential step. But we can do more and better. Now we have to strengthen our action and reach more effective results. Recent incidents in Member States show that we have to be more vigilant than ever, and really protect our children."

Vice-President Frattini further congratulated EU countries which mostly meet the key requirements of the Framework Decision. "However, I am disappointed that so many Member States have not transmitted sufficient information about the real implementation of some essential provisions such as the jurisdiction rule which obliges Member States to prosecute sex tourism, and the special treatment of children as particularly vulnerable victims in criminal proceedings" said Vice-President Frattini. "Member States should go further. In certain areas such as child pornography the real level of protection varies in the EU countries depending on the age of consent to sexual relations established by national legislation, which goes from 13 to 17 years", added Vice-President Frattini. "From our side, we are considering the possibility of strengthening the EU legislative framework especially concerning offences committed through the Internet. We are looking at, in particular, the criminalization of "grooming", which is the solicitation of a child for sexual purposes, and the enhancing of international cooperation to detect crime and identify child victims on the Internet".

On the occasion of the International Children's Rights Day, the European Commission has put at media's disposal the following documents:

1. Information containing an overview of the Commission's work in this area, to be found at:


2. "Une aide concrète pour défendre les droits des plus faibles"

3.  "Member States Implement EU Legislation to Combat the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography. But Member States Can Still Do More"

4.  "REPORT from the Commission on the Implementation of the COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION on Combating the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography"

by Mary on Friday, 02 November 2007

Video clips like these should be mandatory viewing for prospective infant adopters.

Good Bye


Real Women

by Mary on Monday, 22 October 2007

At the inception of all placements are placed thoughts ... 

"You have nothing to offer this baby" (not even me? ... I must be of no worth to my child)

"Your baby needs a mother AND a father" (read: adoptive parents)

"Welfare is a dead end for you and your baby" (as if the mother would need such assistance interminably)

"Welfare mothers are the scourge of society" (this is usually unspoken but felt as thick as smoke... heap on the shame)


by Mary on Monday, 15 October 2007

Game for adoptees, fosterees...


by Mary on Saturday, 09 December 2006


America’s Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry

by Mirah Riben

Foreword by Evelyn Robinson


by Mary on Wednesday, 22 November 2006

MAJOR NEW REPORT ON BIRTHPARENTS FINDS FLAWED STEREOTYPES, PRACTICES NEW YORK, November 19, 2006 - Parents who choose adoption for their infants do not have their rights and needs sufficiently addressed in U.S. law and practice - largely because of basic misconceptions about who these women and men are - and they invariably fare better when they have ongoing information about and/or contact with the children they place into new families,according to an unprecedented report by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. This report, "Safeguarding the Rights and Well-Being of Birthparents in the Adoption Process," represents the most thorough, intensive and sophisticated effort to date to understand contemporary infant adoption, particularly as it relates to the least-understood and most-stigmatized participants in the process: the women and men usually termed "birthparents."

The principal findings in the 68-page report include:

  • There are more adoptions in America today than is commonly understood. The Institute estimates over 135,000 annually; 13,000-14,000 of these involve voluntarily placed infants. 
  • Women placing infants today differ vastly from the past. Only about 1/4 are teens; the main group are women in their 20s who graduated high school, and many have other children. 
  • Contrary to stereotypes about them, birthmothers rarely want anonymity and the vast majority meet their children's adoptive parents. Few "closed" adoptions take place today, and a growing number are open arrangements involving regular contact. 
  • Most states do not legally require prospective parents to receive counseling or information about their rights with which to make informed choices on whether to place their children. 
  • Birthmothers in "closed" adoptions or who felt pressured to relinquish struggle most with chronic grief. Research suggests more information/contact brings greater peace of mind.

"Mothers after childbirth are in a very vulnerable state, and this is one of the most important decisions of their lives," said Susan Smith, the Institute's Program and Project director and author of the study. "We need laws and practices that protect their rights and interests."

Among the Institute's main recommendations are: