Suffer the Children: The Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest—tost to me,”

And we will send you ours?

The Littlest Casualties

Worldwide, there are approximately 143 million “orphans” based on figures that include children with only one living parent, approximately 90% of them (Oreskovi and Maskew, 2009). Approximately 2.6% of these children are housed in orphanages (Ibid).

Within the United States half a million children are wards of the state in foster care system, despite the well documented risks, impermanence and cost. Of these, an estimated 129,000 no longer have any chance of reunification with their families and could be adopted.

What is in their best interest? Is redistributing them to far—off cultures and expecting these children—many who may have learning disabilities and other emotional, attachment and physical challenges—to learn new languages in addition to being separated from family and community they likely remember?

Do domestic and international adoption policies put the best interests of these most vulnerable children first and foremost, or are they being used as pawns in a multibillion dollar industry designed to meet the demand for younger and healthier infants?

The number of American children in foster care who are eligible to be adopted is startling in view of the fact that an estimated 10 million American couples who “would likely attempt to adopt an infant domestically if they felt they had a realistic opportunity to do so,” according to a poll by the National Council for Adoption (Wirthin, 2007).

An August, 2008 survey of the National Center for Health Statistics estimated that nearly 600,000 women are seeking to adopt. Even using this more conservative figure it is incomprehensible that the children in temporary care are being by-and-large left behind.

Children adopted from foster care used to be called “hard-to-place” which evolved to the more sensitive and politically correct “Special Needs” children. American adopters, however, still prefer international adoption (or domestic infant adoption, albeit in short supply since birth control became widely available, abortion rights were upheld, and increased acceptance of single mothers, even providing for expectant mothers to continue high school.

International adoption is preferred over adoption from foster care for three main reasons:

  • The desire for younger children from outside the country.
  • The belief that internationally adopted children and t are less “damaged” despite reports of attachment difficulties of children coming form orphanages, fetal alcohol syndrome and other health issues, many of which are not revealed accurately and thoroughly by international adoption agencies here and abroad.
  • Alleviation of the fear of an original parent (by birth) wanting contact, returning at any point, or worst of all attempting to overturn the adoption because of coercion—subtle or overt—including the lack of the birthfather signing a release of parental rights. However, these concerns would only apply to the small number of infant adoptions. The parents of children coming from state social services have had their parental rights terminated.

These fears, myths and misconceptions, coupled with the glamorization of rescuing orphans, are perpetrated by an adoption industry that generates an estimated 6.3 billion annually worldwide and 23 billion domestically.

Adoption Entrepreneurs

The reversal of supply and demand created a need for adoption profiteers to put a new positive spin on marketing. As opposed to the focus being on helping “wayward” girls of the 50’s 60’s and 70s ridding themselves of the shame of their indiscretions, today, adoption is encouraged as a way to rescue children from orphanages in impoverished parts of the world. This has resulted in international adoption by Americans nearly doubling during the 1990s, reaching twenty thousand annually and approximately 250,000 children in the last thirty years making the U.S. the number one receiving country. Globally, over a quarter million children have been redistributed by adoption in the past three decades.

Yet, one by one countries, which had been prime suppliers, have begun to investigate and validate the claims of corruption and child trafficking that is rampant in nations in political turmoil and developing countries with low per capita annual incomes. These investigations resulted in Vietnam, Romania, Guatemala disallowing the international adoption of their children at least until more restrictions can be enacted to prevent widespread corruption, Russia increased restrictions in an attempt to reduce the alarming number of Russian children murdered by their American adopters, and others sent back, abused or institutionalized.

The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, an international agreement between participating countries requires their member nations adhere to two primary goals: to protect the best interest of children, as laid down in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, are considered with each intercountry adoption, and to prevent abduction, exploitation, sale, or trafficking of children.

These restrictions have limited the supply of babies and in turn the incomes of adoption profiteers who now rely on international adoption to make up for the loss of domestic adoptions. Many American adoption agencies have closed as a result of the reduction in numbers of adoptions and the cost and difficulty complying with Hague requirements and becoming accredited.

The concerns of these entrepreneurs are represented by The National Council for Adoption (NCFA), lobbyists paid to represent the interests of adoption agency owners and employees in affecting U.S. adoption polices favorable to the encouragement of adoption and to assist in creating marketing programs aimed at mothers in crisis to increase adoptions.

The international equivalent of the NCFA is the Joint Council on International Children Services. In addition, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), lobbies congress to effect incentives such as tax benefits and payments states to increase family separations. The CCA also sponsors National Adoption Day and Angels in Adoption program to honor those who adopt and help facilitate adoptions.

Adoption attorneys, are represented by The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA) and Harvard Law School’s Child Advocacy Program (CAP) and the Center for Adoption Policy. ACT for Adoption, based in Rye, NY, is a coalition of adoption profiteers mobilized in late 2008 “to communicate with the White House, Members of Congress, government agencies and the press to educate and advocate for legislation, policies and administrative procedures supportive of adoption.”

ACT for Adoption is sponsored by the Center for Adoption Policy, and the Child Advocacy Program at Harvard Law School intentionally both of whom intentionally grossly overestimate numbers of orphans, repeatedly quoting the figure of 143,000, well known to be extremely overinflated as 88.7% of children in orphanages worldwide are not orphans and not eligible for adoption (UNAIDS.2004). Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Bartholet of ACT and CAP, applauded Madonna’s second adoption and, speaking at the 2009 Adoption Policy Conference, “International Adoption, the United States, and the Reality of the Hague System” stated that heritage is over-rated.

To counter these facts, ACT creates newspeak such as their newly coined term “unparented children” and applaud the adoption of children of living parents while recognizing that International adoption “has come under fire recently from UNICEF” because corruption and baby selling. They also use language such as a need to eliminate “barriers that hinder children from realizing their basic right of a family and ways they might act to eliminate them” without any consideration of a child’s foremost basic right to have his family receive the resources they need to remain intact or reunify.

Pawns of Pretense

Pro-adoption lobbying is not difficult in a nation that does not prioritize family preservation and instead vilifies mothers because of age, marital or financial status, would cast a legislator as a villainous scrooge. Legislators are particularly eager to support adoption promotions and incentive programs which are proposed as helping children languishing in foster care to find “forever families”

Susan Jackson, a family advocate and member of CPS Watch observed: “No one dares risk being politically incorrect, even to save hundreds of thousands of children who are sentenced to a life of disassociation and despair in multiple foster homes, and then, if they are ‘lucky,’ into an adoptive home, never to see their parents or siblings again (TCB 2007).”

And so the U.S. enacted state incentives to move children quickly into “permanence.” in 1997, Congress passed the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) and states quickly enacted legislation modifying child welfare procedures to conform to ASFA’s guidelines and qualify for federal funding. The new procedures place a premium on removing children from their homes—often because of poverty and lack of resources such as adequate child-care. Well-documented maltreatment of children in foster homes is then used to utilize AFSA bonuses to states to accelerate substantially the time frame for severing their original parents’ constitutional right to parent without due process.

“The federal government offers a perverse incentive to states when they think that a family is having problems: Take children away and we’ll pick up a large share of the tab” observes Richard Wexler (2006) commenting on the rush for removals. “[The money is unlimited; the federal government helps pay for every eligible child thrown into foster care, no matter how many are taken. But if a state wants to use safe, proven alternatives to foster care, the state often must pay almost all of the bill itself.”

Through waivers, states may spend Federal funds in alternative manners, since 1996, just 17 States have implemented 25 child welfare waiver programs including: assisted guardianship/kinship care; services for caregivers with substance use disorders; and adoption. A barrier to implementation of these programs is that while Federal title IV-E payments help States pay foster parents and adopters of special needs children, these funds cannot normally be used to pay subsidies to extended family members who provide legal guardians. According to the National Family Preservation Network, “[E]very dollar invested in keeping families together saves $2-$3 on placement services.”

In addition to state incentives to increase family separations and adoptions, the U.S. Federal government, prompted by pro-adoption profiteers and their lobbyists, enacted Adoption Tax Benefit legislation in starting in 1996 “to encourage further the adoption of special needs children.”

The “special needs” wording in the original legislation was the foot in the door need. A summary of the data from the U.S. Treasury Department to determine who most benefits from the credit, however, reveals:

  • The vast majority of adoption tax credit recipients completed private or foreign adoptions rather than adoptions from foster care. The tax credit disproportionately supports higher-income families.
  • The tax credit primarily supports the adoption of younger children.

Nearly 90% of those receiving the credit have incomes above $100,000 benefitting only one in four adopting from U.S. foster care, but nearly all who adopted children from other countries were supported by the tax credit. . From 1999 to 2005, the vast majority of adoption tax credit recipients adopted infants or younger children via private domestic or international adoptions, doing nothing to reduce the number of children in foster care, despite that being the alleged intent of the tax incentive.

In 2004 just 18 percent of children supported by the tax credit and 17 percent of the funds so allocated, assisted children from foster care. In 2005, nearly 90 percent of filers with, and 71 percent of all families adopted children under age five. Only about 10 percent of higher-income families adopted from foster care, and very few adopted older children.

The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, whose goal is to promote ethical adoption polices and legal reforms, reported (1999), “The federal government, for example, offers financial incentives in the form of tax credits to families who privately adopt infants (and who are often affluent), yet does not offer the same support to those families who adopt children in foster care (and who usually have the greatest need for such support). Is it ethical that intermediaries and those least in need benefit the most from these tax credits?”

“Today’s reality,” comments Joe Kroll, executive director of the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) “is that the original intent of the adoption tax credit legislation has been turned upside down. Those who most need support to adopt (lower-income families who are adopting children from foster care) are receiving the least benefit, and those for whom the financial outlay is not a barrier to adoption benefit the most.” Elizabeth Samuels (2005) likewise found that “federal tax benefits for adopters generally provide greater benefits to families involved in more expensive healthy newborn and international adoptions, although the benefits are promoted as a means to increase adoptions of children out of foster care.”

And, as with state incentives, these funds are allocated to adopters but are not available to assist families in crisis who are instead stigmatized if they need and or accept government financial assistance. Nor are tax credits available for extended family who care for a related child.

Exportation of American Children

While Americans are adopting allegedly unwanted orphans from impoverished orphanages, in larger number than those of any other country, plans are underway to increase the adoption of our own children who are fostered and institutionalized in small orphanages called group homes… by exporting them.

Placing American born children out of the country is nothing new. Quietly, approximately19 states including Oregon, Washington, California, Texas, Florida, New Hampshire, and Arkansas allow “home state finalization” for the outgoing international adoption of U.S. children. The U.S. State Department indicates that seventeen American adoption agencies have been accredited or temporarily accredited under the new Hague rules for outgoing adoptions. Some, American based adoption agencies such as VidaAdoptions.org and IllienAdoptions.org, have included exportation of children as rates of international adoptions into the U.S. have dropped post Hague.

The process has been called “reverse commute adoptions” by attorney Michael Goldstein and his social worker wife, Joy, founders of Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA), who claim to have placed some 65 American born babies for adoptions out of the U.S. between 1997 to 2007. Some of Goldstein’s adoptions have been high profile cases such as two American babies adopted by British Foreign Secretary David Milliband and his wife.

Additional international demand for U.S. born children is currently being created by same sex couples in Europe who see America as the perfect source inasmuch as it is currently the only country which allows––in at least some states––for adoption by same sex couples. But these type of adoptions and those conducted by FFTAs are just the tip of the iceberg.

The Donaldson Adoption Institute estimates the current number of children exported from the U.S. for adoption at 500 a year (Smolowe, 1994) while Thomas DiFilipo, president of the Joint Council on International Children’s Services in Virginia puts the number of American children exported for adoption at “[a]pproximately 800” a year going to “Canada, Mexico and France,” adding that Irish families who wish to adopt privately from the U.S. are also free to do so (Palmer 2008). In 2008 189 American children were adopted by Canadians, second only to China.

Intercountry adoption has traditionally been divided into sending and receiving countries with the senders being nations under political and social unrest or entrenched in widespread poverty making incomprehensible the out of country placement of children born in America—an industrialized stable nation with millions vying to adopt and taking children from all over the world.

The redistribution of children is frowned upon by NGOs such as Save the Children. Sarah Jacobs, Save the Children’s Africa specialist, working on issues of child protection, hunger, health and education asserts that “children are much better looked after, even if they’ve lost their parents, within their home communities.” Dominic Nutt, spokesperson for Save the Children UK concurs (CNN, 2009) on opposing Madonna’s Malawian adoption: “children in poverty should be best looked after by their own people in their own environment.”

Likewise, Roelie Post (2008), of the European Commission, who has an intimate knowledge of the exportation of Romanian children and defines herself as neither pro- not anti-adoption, asks: “is intercountry adoption a child protection measure, or do children have rights in their own country and is intercountry adoption the ultimate breach of such rights?”

Proponents of the redistribution of children in and out of the U.S. have a clear financial stake in adoptions and have persuaded well-meaning organizations and politicians that the need to perpetuate all of these adoptions is noble. They claim that nations such the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Great Britain—all of which have adopted American children—have less issue with adopting non-white children than do Americans, pointing to reports that indicate African American children are over represented in national foster care, have to wait a long time for permanent placements, and leave institutional care at an older age. During the time adoption and reunification are being weighed and options sought, non-white infants remain foster care, often in several families or homes, notes those in the Netherlands and elsewhere eager to obtain such children.

The Dutch Minister of Justice, Hirsch Ballin, is quite mindful of American adoption trends and polices and has argued that Americans are less inclined to adopt children over the age of five—as are the majority of adoptable children in U.S. foster care. And thus would be suitable for Dutch adoption. Additionally, a recent Dutch petition pointed out that foster families in the U.S. often have as many as six l children at a time, breaching the principles of the Hague Adoption Treaty. Conversely, the pursuit of younger babies than are available to be adopted domestically is what drives U.S. citizens to prefer to adopt internationally.

Once again children in foster care—America’s most vulnerable—are being used to support the adopting infants who have never been in state care. Goldstein, in fact, claims that most of the children he places out of the country, like those adopted by the Milibands are “healthy white Caucasians” (The Rye Chronicle, 2007). Additionally, the The Texas Cradle places 10 to 20 percent of American children with wealthy Mexicans who seek white children.

Conclusion

Babies are being kidnapped, stolen or coerced from their mothers and trafficked to meet the demand (Smolin, 2007) while older children, and children with disabilities are left behind and are like a lost leader in advertising­ to push the sale of the higher priced goods––younger and presumably healthier babies.

How large a community should it take to share the responsibility of children in need? With adoption in the hands of entrepreneurs in a “free market,” which is more often than not a fair market, who is advocating for the interests of these voiceless victims? Is passing them around ever in their best interest? Is it as some opponents say, cultural genocide to sever children form family, extended kinship or is it preferable to remaining in institutions or foster care within their own culture?

Hw do we justify using our most needy children as “fronts” to promote adoptions that do nothing to help the children in the most need here and abroad? “The most vulnerable children are not the group most in demand for international adoption. Demand is focused on quite a small group of under three-year olds, where the number of potential parents far exceeds the supply of children,” according to Riitta Högbacka, University of Helsinki, Finland (2006).

When reviewing the pros and cons, it is imperative to consider the financial motivation of those weighing in as “experts” on what is best for children. Adoption practitioners including, but not limited to, attorneys? Lobbyists? Professional marketers? None of these actors have any specific education or training in child care of social services and their income is derived directly or indirectly from non-relatives placement of children. Save the Children, on the other hand, spends 92% on services and just 4% on fundraising and another 4% on management and all other expenditures.

ACT for Adoption is right on target when they state that children being dislocated from their families “have no seat at the policy table, and no voice.” Their claim, however, that their pro-adoption position speaks for or represents the children whose custody is being transferred assumes that children want advocates who support adoption over helping their families overcome non-endangering problems and remain intact.

Many pro-adoption organizations as Donaldson (which recently partnered with LifeCare to encourage employer benefits in support of adoption) and Ehica want to see adoptions, including international continue, as long as they are ethical. However other than agreeing that child trafficking needs to be curbed, there are few guidelines for what is ethical and what is not, rendering the word as meaningless and subjective as the word nice. Ignoring and exploiting our treatment of our tiniest and most at-risk victims—our foster children—is neither nice nor ethical.

References:

Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. 1999. Money, Power and Accountability: The “Business” of Adoption. Conference summary Anaheim, November.

Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. International Fact Sheet International Adoption in the U.S. Prompted by War, Poverty and Social Upheaval.

Hilborn, Robin, “2008 jump in international adoptions to Canada: latest statisticsAdoption Helper.

Högbacka, Riitta. 2006. “The Global Market for Adoption.” SixDegrees. Feb 22.

Kroll, Joe. 2007. “The Adoption Tax Credit: An Ethical Dilemma” Fall Adoptalk North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC).

National Council for Adoption. 2007. Adoption Facebook IV.

Oreskovi, Johanna and Maskew, Trish. 2009. Red Thread1 Or Slender Reed: Deconstructing Prof. Bartholet’s Mythology of International Adoption. Buffalo Human Rights Law Review. Vol. 14.

Plmer, Caitriona 2008. “So you want to adopt a baby … then head to the United States where it’s an easier, but more expensive, process than in Ireland.” January 2.

Post, Roelie 2008. “The Perverse Effects Of The Hague Adoption Convention” Research Center of Ministry of Justice.

Samuels, Elizabeth. 2005. Time To Decide? The Laws Governing Mothers’ Consents To The Adoption Of Their Newborn Infants. 72 Tenn. Law Rev.

Smolin, David 2007. Child Laundering as Exploitation: Applying Anti—Trafficking Norms to Intercountry Adoption Under the Coming Hague Regime, Vermont Law Review.

Smolowe, Jill, 1994. “Babies for Export,” Time, Aug. 22,

TCB Chronicles Staff. 2007. “Dorothy’s Never Coming Home: New Law Puts Families in Crisis: States Report They are Increasing Efforts to Take Children From Their Homes to Collect Federal Bounty” From CPS Watch, ©2000. Oct.

Wexler, Richard. 2006. “‘Family Last’ Policy May Have Killed Ricky.” Detroit News, March 8.

UNAIDS, 2004. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). “Children on the brink 2004: a joint report of new orphan Estimates and a Framework for Action.”

Mirah Riben is an activist/author/lecturer. Read other articles by Mirah, or visit Mirah's website.

40 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Abrazo Adoption said on November 23rd, 2009 at 11:12am #

    The truth hurts, as they say, and Mirah Riben is on target with some of the more painful accusations contained within this article.

    Adoption (even in the nonprofit sector) has become “big business” and across America, a multitude of sins are committed in the name of the “best interests of children” (with those best interests all too often being determined by those with a vested interest in children being placed for adoption, sadly enough.)

    The Hague Treaty did nothing to stifle the baby-brokering that goes on across the U.S., as nonlicensed “adoption facilitators” mine the country for women desperate enough to barter their young for free rent, grocery checks and/or plane tickets to CA. (Indeed, such coast-to-coast advertising increased incrementally when the Hague Treaty forced some of the less savory American adoption brokers out of the international market, inspiring them to focus their efforts closer to home.)

    The exporting of American-born children to adopters outside the U.S. is nothing new, unfortunately. We suspect the actual numbers are much higher than reported; one only needs to looks at the differential fees charged by agencies that do such placements to recognize their incentive to send a baby outside the country vs. placing with a lesser-paying client in-country.

    Riben would be wise, however, to fact-check her work. While it does not take away from the horrific problem at hand nor lessen the need for American children to gain more effective advocacy, loss leaders in advertising are rarely “lost”– and Texas Cradle isn’t likely to be still placing 10-12% of its children with wealthy Mexicans, given that the agency closed its doors nearly 9 years ago.

  2. lichen said on November 23rd, 2009 at 5:57pm #

    “Is it as some opponents say, cultural genocide to sever children form family, extended kinship or is it preferable to remaining in institutions or foster care within their own culture?”

    No, it isn’t. Parents who abuse, neglect, and mistreat their children should not be able to keep them, and, further, the US needs to sign into law —and— take seriously the full consequences of the UN Convention On The Rights of The Child, which means making corporal punishment and any other physical, emotional abuse or humiliation of children illegal. The conservative, child-hating view running through this that family is somehow ‘sacred’ and children should be subjected to it no matter what the cost and no matter the fact that their real rights–the rights to full and equal protections under the law as adults–are completely ignored is a ridiculous, far-right anthropological view that cares nothing about children as people. Financial support for parents, maternity care, parental education, and hard laws are what is needed.

  3. Al said on November 23rd, 2009 at 9:35pm #

    A racket!
    Just like everything else in this Capitalist shithole.

  4. Mirah Riben said on November 23rd, 2009 at 9:37pm #

    I am as far from a conservative as a progressive can be.

    I fully support the US RATIFYING the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child wgich is why Appendix A of my book, The Stork Market, contains a 2007 UNICEF press release which states (in part):

    “Adoption should always be the last resort for the child. The CRC, which guides UNICEF’s work, states very clearly that every child has to the right to know and to be cared for by his or her own parents, whenever possi-ble. UNCIEF believes that families needing support to care for their children should receive it, and that alterna-tive means of caring for a child should only be considered when, despite this assistance, a child’s family is unavailable, unable or unwilling to care for her or him.”

    “We therefore call upon the participants of the Inter Country Adoption Conference to seriously consider these issues and advocate for child adoption mechanisms that are transparent and in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and The Hague Convention.”

    Neither I nor UNICEF, the United Nations, or the CRC, Ethica or any other child welfare organization are advocating for any child to remain in harms way. What we are concerned with is the violation of the rights of children to remain with parents or extended family who are capable and willing to care for them but who are coerced, lied to or victimized by kidnappings to fill a demand in a multi-billion dollar industry.

    I hope this clarifies the issue and my views.

  5. Lisa S. said on November 24th, 2009 at 6:32am #

    UNICEF?? ? They funded Palestininian children’s participation in Terrorist Camps on the West Bank. They helped close adoptions in third world countries (Romania, Guatemala, to name just two) and then DID NOTHING to alleviate the suffering of the additional children who poured into the already poor and taxed public (almost non-existent)welfare systems.
    Every child has the right to a loving permanent family. Mirah, you and UNICEF have no right to sentence children to a lifetime of suffering. Take a trip to an average orphanage in a third world country and tell those children they are better off there. Ya right!!!!!

  6. cynthia schenk said on November 24th, 2009 at 7:11am #

    This articles misses the fact that domestic adotions offer parents a monthly stipend of up to 1,000.00 and full medical coverage and in most states Foster children who get adopted get a full college tuition. If the child has specail needs this stipend will follow the child for htheir entire life. A Foster parent actually negociates the financial arrangement with DHS. So, to give an additional tax incentive is not appropriate. If anyone thinks that people adopt internationally for the benefits of a tax credit they are sadly mistake. This author has never visited a foriegn orphanage. Once they have I would welcome further discussion.

  7. Mary said on November 24th, 2009 at 8:22am #

    @ Lisa S Please clarify and give us some evidence (if there is any) for this Zionist based remark. Who are the actual terrorists? The IDF.
    ‘They funded Palestininian children’s participation in Terrorist Camps on the West Bank.’

  8. Lisa S. said on November 24th, 2009 at 8:03pm #

    Mary –
    My remark was not a Zionist based remark – it was a fact. Here is the evidence. You can google it yourself and find even more.

    http://www.adl.org/PresRele/IslME_62/4153_62.asp

    http://lists.mcgill.ca/scripts/wa.exe?A2=ind0208c&L=paldev&P=1960

    http://urban.probeinternational.org/political-reforms/civil-society/unicef-same-old-tricks-no-treats

  9. b99 said on November 25th, 2009 at 7:31am #

    Lisa S – These links you provide are INDEED Zionist propaganda orgs. The third link is that of a group headed up by Lawrence Solomon, a Canadian Zionist who writes for the National Post, a newspaper owned by CanWest – a notorious ‘Israel First’ publishing house.

    I think your remarks on Unicef funding of terrorism training can be taken with a grain of salt.

  10. NO TO ZIONISM said on November 25th, 2009 at 8:40am #

    Another racist Zionist , LISA S, has landed on this site. This site has been taken over by the Zionist liars to brainwash American fools.
    Americans must rise up and force Zionists out of power. These Zionist agents are working on Israel behalf to expand the ‘jewish state’ interest against the interest of all including American people. They are 5th column in majority of countries around the world. They served as spies for the western forces against Ottoman Empire. They serves as traitor and spies against Algerian people. They have killed Americans when were working with British and French against American interest. They will spy for China when American people are not useful to them anymore. They have no shame but they lust for power.
    AMERICANS MUST RISE AND FORCE ZIONISTS OUT OF POWER.
    THESE ZIONIST AGENTS ARE SPREAD THROUGHT OUT THE WORLD AND HAVE HIGHJACKED FOREIGN POLICY OF THESE COUNTREIES. UNLESS THESE ZIONIST AGENTS ARE NOT TOTALLY IDENTIFIED AND DESTROYED NO ONE WILL BE SAVED ON EARTH.
    ISRAEL HAS EXPANDED HER INFLUENCE AROUND THE WORLD BY BOMBING AND KILLING WHOEVER THEY HAVE CONSIDERED TO BE AN ‘OBSTICLE.’
    IT IS TIME TO GIVE ISRAEL A PIECE OF ITS OWN MEDICINE. BOMB ISRAEL AND FREE PEOPLE ON EARTH.
    BOMB ISRAEL TO FREE A ZIONIST SLAVE, OBAMA, SO HE BE ABLE TO PROTECT AMERICAN INTEREST.
    BOMB ISRAEL TO FREE STOLEN LAND OF PALESTINE. BOMB ISRAEL TO SAVE PALESTINIANS FROM THESE WAR CRIMINALS . BOBM ISRAEL ….

  11. Mary said on November 25th, 2009 at 8:52am #

    Thanks B99. You beat me to it. I got as far as looking at the first link dated 2002 and from the ‘anti defamation league’. I didn’t waste time in looking up the others. Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm are a much better read than this Hasbara stuff.

    If anyone wanted more proof that Israel is an apartheid state in the South African model, read this appeal from Sydney Levy/ Jewish Voice for Peace.

    ‘Palestinian human rights activist Mohammad Othman needs your help. He is being held by the Israeli government indefinitely and without charges, and he needs international pressure to either call for a fair trial in a court of law where he can defend himself, or to call for his release.

    Yesterday, after 61 days in jail without charges, Mohammad Othman received his first administrative detention order for a three month period — a period in which Mohammad will be held without charge or trial. The judicial review of the order is scheduled to take place tomorrow, November 25th, at the Military Court of Administrative Detainees in Ofer Military Base, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, and we need you to take action right now.

    If you are in the US or are a US citizen residing abroad, we need you to email the American Embassy in Jerusalem ASAP and ask them to send a representative to the hearing. For other countries, please call or fax your own consulate in Israel. You wll find easy instructions at the end of this email (immediately below my signature).

    Mohammad Othman was detained on September 22 by Israeli authorities when returning to the West Bank after a human rights advocacy trip to Norway. Since his detention, he has endured long interrogations, solitary confinement, and long periods of time without access to his attorney or even to his own hearings. The charges against him have not been made clear, but there is reason to believe that he is a prisoner of conscience, arrested solely for his human rights work and his peaceful criticism of violations of international law by Israeli authorities. His harassment must stop. He should either be tried in a court of law where he can defend himself or he should be released.
    Do not be fooled by the name ‘Administrative Detention.’ Here’s how Btselem describes the procedure:

    “Over the years, Israel has held Palestinians in prolonged detention without trying them and without informing them of the suspicions against them. While detainees may appeal the detention, neither they nor their attorneys are allowed to see the evidence. Israel has therefore made a charade out of the entire system of procedural safeguards in both domestic and international law regarding the right to liberty and due process.”

    We need you to take action right now, before the hearing.

    Thanks,

    Sydney Levy
    Jewish Voice for Peace

    If you are not in the US, please follow these steps:
    (1) Go to (www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Sherut/ForeignInIsrael/Continents/) and get the phone and fax number of your Consulate in Israel. If you prefer email, you may find an email for your consulate in Israel here: (www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-in/Israel)

  12. b99 said on November 25th, 2009 at 9:28am #

    Yes Mary – and in rereading my post, maybe I didn’t make it clear that the first two links are explicitly and unabashedly Israel-First sites – as you mention (Anti-Defamation League) as well as Palestinian Media Watch.
    While I’m at it, folks may be familiar with another organization Palestine Media Watch – an effort aimed at uncovering media bias against the Palestinians. They should not be confused with the other PMW (the tipoff as to their differing agendas being one group would not admit to there being a Palestine, and so refer to ‘Palestinians.’

  13. Mary said on November 25th, 2009 at 10:58am #

    The loathsome bunch have really muddied the waters by pinching Palestine Media Watch’s name and as usual they have superior resources and backing. When I googled Palestine Media Watch, the Zionist version takes the first seven places.

    http://www.palwatch.org/
    The Zionist/Hasbara version

    http://web.archive.org/web/20080315215249/www.pmwatch.org/pmw/cast/aboutpmwatch.asp
    The Palestinian version

  14. Steve said on November 25th, 2009 at 1:37pm #

    Maybe Lisa’s credentials regarding Palestine have been adequately challenged.

    I want to address the rest of that comment, which is as biased and maybe more incorrect than the first part:

    FYI to all: The author did visit Third world Orphanages, and blogged about it, in July, I think.

    Lisa said: “They helped close adoptions in third world countries (Romania, Guatemala, to name just two) and then DID NOTHING to alleviate the suffering of the additional children who poured into the already poor and taxed public (almost non-existent)welfare systems.
    Every child has the right to a loving permanent family. Mirah, you and UNICEF have no right to sentence children to a lifetime of suffering. Take a trip to an average orphanage in a third world country and tell those children they are better off there. Ya right!!!!!”

    Yes, Unicef helped stop adoptions in Guatemala. I helped too. The level of corrupted cases; those where there was grave concern for the well being of the birth mother because documents proved fraudulent, DNA tests fabricated were seen to have reached about 30% of the international adoption cases by 2007. And specific proven cases of abuse, coercion, and even stolen children continue to surface, as women come forward with their stories, and actual forensic police work is applied. Americans don’t seem to realize what that means…30%!!!! How many of the children adopted in this period are going to read history as they get older, and then look at their adoptive parents questioningly….who will have no answer.

    If the other countries often listed by the people angry about UNICEF’s “Interference” were anything like Guatemala, then UNICEF is to be honored. And UNICEF was saying this a long time ago: Orphanages and Adoption don’t do a thing to help the socioeconomic conditions causing the situations that are then used to encourage people to pay a lot for adoptions, and support orphanages.

    In the meantime, even as the “Children’s homes ” that were nothing more than way stations for adoptions have all closed, those who really care about the plight of children in Guatemala continue to care and grow, and build bases for helping women and children. We are succeeding in many areas. The needs are clear, but those who care, instead of closing down when the adoption payments ceased, are expanding programs, and capacities. That is because they never were in it for the money.

    Consider 2 logical evaluations:

    1) The actual number of abandoned children reported in 2008 ( the year after international adoptions stopped) in Guatemala was around 200. If you compare that with the number of adoptions started in 2007, which was around 7,000, you have to ask what happened? If your assumption is that the agencies who started these adoptions were telling the truth in their websites, saying often that the children being adopted would otherwise have been abandoned, or would have starved, then you would expect that there would be an equal number the following year. But there wasn’t. Will you, in light of that, consider the fact that they may not have been telling the truth? Or do you get macabre, and say there must be 6,800 little bodies hidden in corn fields throughout the country?

    I met many mothers giving their children up for adoption throughout the last decade, and they ran the gamut of situations for having gotten pregnant. But the majority f them would have kept their child, if that had been an option. If there was a vehicle for giving aid, they would have kept their children. Some could not, because of the stigmas. But even they are heartbroken … continuously.

    2) They would have have jumped at the chance for someone to commit to $50 a month in aid. Even with stipulations like standards of food, and assurance of education.

    Now, divide the average amount that an American family paid for their Guatemalan adoption in 2007 by $50. Who, other than the agencies know, but I am sure the AVERAGE was well over $30,000. That’s 600 weeks. 12 years. Now add the money the adoptive parents would have paid for the child’s sustenance and education after adoption. Just add the Yearly tax deduction. Now add the $12,000 federal tax credit.

    Money is not the answer, but putting it in simply monetary terms… And only using the money the families first shelled out, then only the US TAX PAYER SUPPORT OF THAT ADOPTED CHILD ….and consider how that kind of money could have been used to better the life of the child, and the mother. How can people say that adopting the child is the first alternative that should be considered when a woman has experienced a crisis pregnancy?

    Or, rather, who is the beneficiary of this situation? ( hint…who is motivated to pay?)

    Then, who will benefit form that willingness to pay?

    WHO CARES ABOUT THE CHILD, AND THE CHILD’S MOM?

    Adoption in the case of no living parents is a wonderful, and needed thing. So is protecting children from abusive situations. But the rash of RAD children now in adoptive homes in the US suggests that they have suffered a trauma. A significant trauma.

    Adoption advocates try to explain that by substandard conditions in orphanages. But don’t see the HUGE point. The abnormal thing that occurred in this child’s life in removing him or her from MOM.

  15. Lisa S. said on November 25th, 2009 at 1:57pm #

    To all you racists and anti-semites may I just say your remarks mean nothing to me. If you think the Anti-defamation league would make up something like this, you know nothing about that organization. And if an organization is pro-Israel, it doesn’t mean that everything they print is a lie. But when you are anti-semitic , fear and hatred are your logic. I feel sorry for you.
    Contact a big wig from Unicef and they will admit to this happening. Good luck getting in touch with them – they don’t like to pick up their phones or respond to emails.
    Closing adoption rather than making changes within an existing system does nothing but punish the children. Sure, some of you pat yourselves on the back and say, “I’m so good – I helped stop a corrupt adoption system,” but that is all you have done. Nothing more. You have not made any changes in the lives of the families and the children. There were many other ways to make changes to that system that would not have resulted in what has resulted.

    I hate to break it to all you anti-semites, but it is a well known fact that UNICEF has lost its pretentious glow as a good organization. Open your eyes and listen- might be more productive than what you are doing now which is NOTHING!!!!

  16. Lisa S. said on November 25th, 2009 at 1:59pm #

    And by the way, the article was about ADOPTION not ISRAEL. There are many more websites where you can spew your hatred and prejudice .

  17. B99 said on November 25th, 2009 at 2:04pm #

    Lisa – The Anti-defamation League has nothing to say about the OCCUPATION of Palestine – illegal, and by it’s nature – racially Apartheid. That you would reference an organization that has nothing to say about the ‘defamation,’ to say nothing of subjugation, of an entire people – says more about YOUR ignorance – perhaps willful ignorance – or even your racism – than that of anyone else posting here.

  18. Mirah Riben said on November 25th, 2009 at 3:47pm #

    Well….now this leftist, bleeding heart liberal JEW has not only been called “conservative” but also anti-semitic!

    This is quite an interesting website! These are FIRSTS for me!

    Lisa, my dear – 90% of children in orphanages worldwide are not orphans but have at least one living parent and are not eligible for adoption.

    More importantly: 95% of institutionalized children are over five years of age while those being adopted are under five. In 2007, 98 percent of U.S. adoptions from Guatemala, for instance, were babies who had never seen the inside of an institution, but were signed over directly to private attorneys who approved the international adoptions—for a very considerable fee—without any review by a judge or social service agency.

    Babies are being stolen and kidnapped to meet a drmand for under five years olds while the older kids languish – despite 20,000 international adoptions per year! Stopping those international adoptions hurts not one child. To the contrary of your misconception of the facts, closing international adoptions increases the chances of those within such countries to adopt without having to compete with wealthy Westerners. and helps those kids remain in tbeir culture.

    This had been proven over and over as countries have stopped international adoptions. You need to check the sources of your mythology. Baby brokering agencies and those who lobby and market for them tell lots of lies and spread falsehoods to convince the public to continue buying babies for THEIR PROFIT!!

    Please read: The Lies we Love by E,J. Graff

    Please read: the works of David Smolin on child trafficking…

    Just google them, or check them out, and other adoption info at http://AdoptionResourceCenter.org

    FINALLY – none of your arguments make the exporting of US babies defensible – which was the major focus of this article.

  19. Lisa S. said on November 25th, 2009 at 6:15pm #

    No one was calling you anti-semitic Mirah, I was referring to the disgusting comments in response to my first comment. Go back and read them. Suddenly the adoption discussion turned to an anti-Israeli discussion. Nice. Here are two of them:
    ie. “Another racist Zionist , LISA S, has landed on this site. This site has been taken over by the Zionist liars to brainwash American fools.”
    ie. “The loathsome bunch have really muddied the waters by pinching Palestine Media Watch’s name and as usual they have superior resources and backing. When I googled Palestine Media Watch, the Zionist version takes the first seven places.”

    I rest my case.

    About the situation in Guatemala, I am very familiar with it. How many domestic adoptions have been completed in Guatemala since adoption closed almost 2 years ago? The CNA (Central adoption committee in Guatemala) won’t give exact numbers. Some say it is around 100, some say a few hundred. Now they are playing with the idea of opening adoption to other countries again.
    Do you think that in a poor country like Guatemala there are many families lining up to adopt a child? Are you aware of the prejudice against the indigenous population in Guatemala, and that families of Mayan decent are considered inferior and looked down upon? Did you know that there was a civil war in Guatemala for over 30 years when the Mayan population was in danger of being wiped out?
    The majority of children placed for adoption in Guatemala are of Mayan decent.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the adoption system in Guatemala and many other countries had to undergo some serious changes, but slamming the door shut on adoption punished the children.

    Yes, many perhaps most children in orphanages have a living parent or parents, but they often NEVER see them. These children have the right to a permanent loving family. Life in an orphanage, at best, is a pathetically poor substitute for a family. Children aging out of orphanages in Guatemala often join gangs, commit crimes or become prostitutes in order to support themselves.

    And to Steve – you made this statement and I know for a fact that it is not backed by concrete numbers.
    “DNA tests fabricated were seen to have reached about 30% of the international adoption cases by 2007. ”
    Where is your proof of this?

    You said: “Stopping those international adoptions did not hurt even one child.” That is very untrue. Babies are being found abandoned on roadsides and in dumpsters regularly. Steve says that “The actual number of abandoned children reported in 2008 ( the year after international adoptions stopped) in Guatemala was around 200.” That is reported cases, and much of what really goes on in Guatemala is never reported, especially in isolated indigenous villages. Orphanages are overflowing. These are FACTS not random statistics, observed by people I personally know that go to Guatemala.

  20. Mirah Riben said on November 25th, 2009 at 6:36pm #

    I have been to Guatemala and I have met women whose babies were kidnapped for adoption, such as Ana Escobar. Victim of fraudulent DNA testing. My position is that until OUR government and theirs can ASSURE this will not recur, there should be no adoptions.

    What of the 129,000 children in US foster care? Nearly 20,000 US teens “age-out” of the foster care system each year. What of them?

    Why should we support transnational adoptions while ignoring our own kids in need?

    Who is adoption supposed to be for – the kids who need it or adults who want to ignore those over age 5 and demand younger babies, supporting unscrupulous baby brokers and child traffickers?

    Our taking children does not resolve the problems of other nations. In Guatemala violence against women, machismo attitudes, and birth control access needs to be addressed. Mayan women are secretly obtaining Depo Provera from midwives in an effort to control the size of their families.

    I encourage you to read what adults adopted from Korea feel about having had their situations exploited by those who profit from adoption, and also read how their mothers – who never forget or resolve such a grave loss – feel.

    “Regrettably, in many cases, the emphasis has changed from the desire to provide a needy child with a home, to that of providing a needy parent with a child. As a result, a whole industry has grown, generating millions of dollars of revenues each year, seeking babies for adoption and charging prospective parents enormous fees to process paperwork. The problems surrounding many intercountry adoptions in which children are taken from poor families in undeveloped countries and given to parents in developed countries, have become quite well known, but the Special Rapporteur was alarmed to hear of certain practices within developed countries, including the use of fraud and coercion to persuade single mothers to give up their children.” –United Nations, Commission on Human Rights, 2003, IV A:110,

  21. B99 said on November 25th, 2009 at 7:10pm #

    Lisa – Remember, it was you who started the racist rhetoric against the Palestinians, and you would besmirch UNICEF just to make your case – and use tendentious front organizations to do so. You should understand that Israel not only makes orphans via killing Palestinian adults, it shoots their children too.

    On the other hand, I believe every word Mirah Riben says.

  22. Lisa S. said on November 25th, 2009 at 7:31pm #

    To B99: Pardon me? Where do you see racist rhetoric against Palestinians in any of my comments?
    And besmirch UNICEF to make my case? What a load of b*&&$%&t. End of discussion with you.

    To Mirah:
    I’ve read a lot of what Korean adoptees have had to say and am in contact with one of them who has returned to live in Korea. Adoptees were treated radically different at the time many of these Korean adoptees were brought to the U.S. Adoptive parents were told to act as if their adopted child was just like them – the old “melting pot theory.” Little if any discussion of adoption took place and the adoptees’ ethnic background and culture were ignored. Things are radically different now in most adoptive families.

    And regarding who decides how a person enlarges their family – You said, “Why should we support transnational adoptions while ignoring our own kids in need?” That decision is up to the people who are going to raise the child. And why put this burden solely on people who are adopting? Following your train of thought, why not force people to adopt these children rather than have a biological child? Is it only people who have fertility problems or a desire to reach beyond the borders of their own country that should take care of the children in foster care in this country?

  23. B99 said on November 25th, 2009 at 7:44pm #

    Lisa – There’s never an end to a discussion. For you to use propaganda organizations who have signed on to the notion that Israel should be propped up whenever possible and that the Palestinians should be derogated whenever possible disqualifies you as one who can discuss the issue rationally. And to present their ‘findings’ as fact!!! Because Palestinian Media Watch says so!!! Hubris or ignorance, I don’t know.

  24. Lisa S. said on November 25th, 2009 at 7:49pm #

    B99 – I said end of discussion with you.

  25. B99 said on November 25th, 2009 at 7:56pm #

    Suit yourself Lisa – just as long as you understand that anti-Arab racism or any other kind of racism will not go unremarked upon here. You want to help children? Work to get Israeli high school grads out of Palestine where they put the children of Palestine in their gun sights – and pull the trigger. Israeli kids are raised on that, you know?

  26. lichen said on November 25th, 2009 at 9:12pm #

    B99 and the others are right about you, Lisa–accusing the Palestinians of being “terrorists” (and of course in your narrow mind any tactics such people take to resist occupation, land theft, and murder must be ‘terrorist’ because they don’t have a state while Israel does) and using some zionist blogs as your proof is ridiculous, and no, people don’t tolerate it here.

  27. Mirah Riben said on November 25th, 2009 at 9:43pm #

    No one is ‘forced’ to adopt, but 20,000 Americans are adopting transnationally each year, many claiming they are “desperate” to be parents. Some are adopting — even when they have biological children — because they believe they are doing a good deed. Yet, in either case, they are, by and large, mostly choosing to adopt children under 5 and are choosing to ignore older children in US foster care and in overseas orphanages.

    As for Korean adoptees versus domestic, you might want to read:

    A recent study, “Beyond Culture Camp: Promoting Positive Identity Formation in Adoption,” by Evan B. Donaldson examined two adult groups — Korean-born adoptees and white adoptees. More white adoptees (35 percent) than Korean (21 percent) indicated teasing simply because they were adopted.

    *** And one more time – my major criticism in this article is EXPORTING US kids, and again I ask: what rationale is there for that? ***

  28. Lisa S. said on November 26th, 2009 at 7:37am #

    “Yet, in either case, they are, by and large, mostly choosing to adopt children under 5 and are choosing to ignore older children in US foster care and in overseas orphanages. ”

    Mirah, when someone wants to expand their family, it is their right to choose where they adopt from and what age child they feel capable of raising.

    Many Canadians have adopted American childen over the years. You can check out the stats at this website. http://www.adoption.ca/2008%20International%20Adoption%20Stats.htm
    African Americans do not suffer from the same degree of prejudice in Canada as they do in the US. I do believe that many of these children are part of open adoptions, an option none of the Korean adoptees in the study ever had.
    For that matter, adoptive parents with children from other countries are doing searches for birth parents so that their children will have contact with their birth parents. That contact makes a world of difference to the adopted children and brings peace of mind to the birth parents, and allows the adoptive parents to know the true circumstance behind the reasons for the adoption.

    Adoptive parents of children born in Guatemala often help support the birth families back in Guatemala.

    Elimination of corruption in adoption must always be strived for. However, I do not agree with you that adoption should be eliminated. As more longitudinal studies on the effects of adoption on internationally and transracially adopted children are done, there will be a difference in results from the study by the Donaldson Institute (I read the study by the way). Adoption is no longer a “dirty secret,” and the children adopted in the last 10 years or more are growing up in a healthier more acceptable and understanding environment.

  29. v said on November 26th, 2009 at 8:20am #

    I really can’t believe there are people writing so many *&@%* about adoption. I’m from one of the poorest country in South America, one that is closed for International Adoptions and what’s the result of that decision? Hundreds of children in the street taking drugs and little girl prostitution, no one told me…. I see them everyday in my way to work and I’ve seen girls as young as 6 waiting for “clients” at night.
    The government says “they’re trying to help” but that “help” means give them some food and nothing more because they DON’T CARE!
    I rather see a little girl/boy being adopted by an American family that see them dying of hunger and diseases, I agree they should try to place the child with a local family but the reality is that people in countries like China, Russia, India is not willing to adopt, specially in China when there is “only child policy”.
    Kids are not being kidnapped, they’re being abandoned by parents that probably have many kids already or don’t want a baby girl because they are not as worth as boys but like happens here many of these children are being sold by their own mothers.
    It easy to write against adoption when you don’t live in a 3rd world country (visiting doesn’t count) three weeks ago a 15 years old girl offered me her baby girl for 10U$, I told her to give her to adoption… she asked me how much they “pay” for the baby.
    I invite you to move to one of these countries for 5 years then write about adoption again, you have to learn a lot.

  30. Mirah Riben said on November 26th, 2009 at 10:26am #

    Not asking for an end of all adoption – calling for a refocus back to what adoption was intended to be for: helping ORPHANS and children who do not have parents who are capable of providing them with safe care. Calling for an end to eradicating a child’s heritage. Calling for enforced openness….and end to just sending babies back and forth in and OUT OF he US for baby brokers profit!!

    Adoption is intended to help kids – no one has a RIGHT to adopt! Those who are adopting ARE choosing and their choices are leaving behind those most in need while creating demand that perpetuates more child trafficking.

    Children ARE kidnapped and trafficked for adoption in Guatemala and elsewhere. Saying it is not so does not change that proven FACT. There children have been identified as living with US families and our government has not complied with international treaties to investigate .

    See: threedaysforthreedaughters.typepad.com

  31. Lisa S. said on November 26th, 2009 at 10:37am #

    Mirah, read the comment above your last one.
    Amen.

  32. Lisa S. said on November 27th, 2009 at 6:37am #

    From my friend who just returned from an orphanage in Guatemala City she visits regularly. Remember, when they have time to “prepare” before an outsider comes to visit, the kids get cleaned up and so does the hogar.

    ” The kids are beautiful and they are just starving for attention! I would guess there were between 40 and 50 kids from age 4 and down outside playing when we arrived and just 4 women trying to be care giver, referee, booboo soother and play partner. An impossible task! They do their best but the odds are a little overwhelming.”

  33. v said on November 27th, 2009 at 7:02am #

    You have to make up your mind… you say “Not asking for an end of all adoption” and then “no one has a RIGHT to adopt!” sooooo….??? If you’re not against all adoptions but you say no one has the right to adopt, so who can adopt?
    Again …No one has the right to adopt? So no child has the right to live in a family? No infertile woman has the right to have a baby?
    You rather see them in the streets or locked up in Institutions that don’t care about them and where people just “do their job”?
    As I told you before, you have to really live here to understand what you’re writing about.
    I help a Children’s Home called “Hogar Bethel” it’s a place where parents that can’t raise their kids but don’t want them to be adopted leave their children as long as they want. There are 64 children, 36 have been there more than 5 years, some since birth, and do they get visits from their family? Yes of course, four times a year for those that are “lucky”, once a year they give the family the chance to place their child for adoption, in 80% of the cases they agree so the child is moved to another place to wait for a family that it’s more likely to never show up because they’re not babies or toddlers anymore.
    You look too worried about the “loss of heritage” of these kids so let’s prohibit Chinese, Hindu or Mexicans couples that live in the US to give birth there, don’t you think? so their child won’t “lose their heritage”.
    I wasn’t born here, I moved from Uruguay when I was 3, did I lose my heritage? I really don’t care; I like this country also love Uruguay but above all I LOVE having this “mix” of cultures, just because you look Chinese doesn’t mean you HAVE to be Chinese.
    Kids are being kidnapped for adoption in Guatemala? So you’re telling me Guatemala’s population decreased significantly? Where are getting short of Guatemalans? No? I though so…
    It’s easier to say they’re being kidnapped from their poor family to sell them to rich Americans couples that admit the ugly truth; they’re being sold by their own parents, but you don’t have to believe me just grab a newspaper from one of these countries, every day you’ll find news about abandoned, sold or like I read today “Mothers kills her 9 months baby girl and drop the body in the sewer” I have to admit it I rather read about killed children than about abandoned or raped girls in the streets.

  34. Lisa S. said on November 27th, 2009 at 9:40am #

    Thank you for your honesty v. A Guatemalan friend of mine living in Guatemala City tells me exactly what you are telling us – things she SEES and things she reads in the newspapers everyday, and that is just the reported cases. In remote areas of Guatemala where poverty is greatest, things happen that are never reported.

    It is hard for some Americans to understand the mentality of families living in destitution. They examine situations from their ideology and norms – and that is unrealistic. Does this justify kidnapping babies and coercing parents to place children for adoption? Absolutley not. But there were MANY changes that could have been made to the adoption system without closing down adoption AND leaving over 900 children in the middle of adoptions in limbo. Their birthmothers have ahd the opportunity to reclaim their children, but haven’t.

    Ideally, no child would ever be separated from their parents and every family would be able to raise their children. That would be a perfect world and we should aim for that, and many adoptive parents are huge supporters of the countries their children come from. But until the world is a better place for everyone, these children CAN’T WAIT. They need food, home, education, and most important a LOVING permanent family.

  35. v said on November 27th, 2009 at 9:45am #

    I saw: threedaysforthreedaughters.typepad.com and read all the news about adoption in Guatemala, one of the articles says “One in every 100 Guatemalan children is adopted by an American family” then “American families adopted 4,728 Guatemalan children last year” so you’re telling me there were 472.800 orphans in Guatemala? let’s assume half these kids were kidnapped, do the Guatemalan police have 236.400 missing child reports?
    Ok, so there’s something wrong with Guatemalans adoption but don’t assume that what happens there happens everywhere.

  36. Lisa S. said on November 27th, 2009 at 9:46am #

    Mirah,
    Just for the record, I did not say that people have the right to adopt (although they do in my opinion if the birthparent chooses to place their child for adoption), I said “Mirah, when someone wants to expand their family, it is their right to choose where they adopt from and what age child they feel capable of raising.”

  37. Mirah Riben said on November 27th, 2009 at 10:43am #

    “True” rights are inalienable. They exist whether or not they are recognized, and whether or not the ability or the will to defend them exists.

    True rights do not impose an implicit obligation upon any other person to provide them to us. In fact, rights exist in greatest measure when we are each simply “left alone”.

    If something must be provided to us at the expense of someone else in order for us to have it, then it may be an entitlement, a privilege, or an act of charity – but it is not a “right”.

    The constitution of the US grants further “rights” such as a right to nurture one’s biological children. The UN CRC calls for the right of children to maintain contact with their family of origins.

    However, there is no right to adopt the child os an unrelated person. it does not exis anywhere in the world. It is a PRIVILEGE!

  38. Mary said on November 27th, 2009 at 11:55am #

    If you are mega rich like Madonna, you can just waltz into an African country and take your pick.

  39. v said on November 27th, 2009 at 12:18pm #

    Ok, so there’s isn’t the “right” to adopt but what about the Child’s right of a family?
    or your right to a family? When you say “no one has the right to adopt” you’re saying that no-one has the right to a family including the children.
    Please think twice before writing and just for the record those kids dying in Africa or being prostituted here are still living with the biological family so that’s the best for them?

  40. Mirah Riben said on December 9th, 2009 at 8:54pm #

    Ah…the child’s right family…INDEED!

    “Every child has the right to know and be cared for by his or her own parents, whenever possible. UNICEF believes that families needing support to care for their children should receive it.” UNICEF

    The Uniform Adoption Act calls for the protection of “minor children against
    unnecessary separation from their birth parents.”

    Get it? Children have a RIGHT to their “own” parents – i.e. those who conceived and bore him,. that is very child’s fist right. Alternative care is necessary for children who are truly orphaned or have no extended family able to provide safe care for them…but they still should ne be deprived of an ongoing relationship or knowledge of their original family. American adoption denies them that human right. But such alternative care is always a last resort after all means of keeping the child within his kin is explored and exhausted. And international adoption is the last, last resort …again, as per the UN.

    Adoption is about finding homes for needy children. It is NOT about – or should not be about — finding children to meet anyone’s desire or the orders they believe entitled to such as specific ages.

    Children have become commodities. There is big money in their redistribution. That is why they are being sent INTO and OUT OF the US!! They go anyone who can pay. They’ve even been adopted to pedophiles!

    The profit must be removed from child care for it to be child-centered and put the interests of children first. THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT HERE. Nothing more and nothing less.