|Grieving mother Yulia Kuzmina|
The mother of the boys, Yulia Kuzmina, is pleading for return of Kirill, now two. Russian authorities, claiming she was unfit to raise her sons because of alcohol addiction, took them from her in 2011.* Alan and Laura Shatto of Gardendale, Texas adopted both boys in October, 2012 through the Gladney Center, a Texas adoption agency.
QUICK TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS
It appears that social services employees were quick to terminate Kuzima's parents rights and "free" the boys for adoption. Nothing in the news reports suggests that they tried to work with her, provide alcohol treatment, parent training, day care, whatever might have preserved the family. It's difficult to look at this case and not think that the Russian authorities fast-tracked the termination of Kuzima's parental rights because the children, young, blond, attractive, were a valuable commodity on the adoption market. Russian authorities and attorneys stood to make $20,000 for each boy, although perhaps the boys were offered as a package at a discount.
|Georgia Tann, Baby Thief|
Creating artificial orphans for profit has a long history. Georgia Tann perfected the business from the 1920's through the 1950's through her Tennessee Children's home. With the help of a corrupt judge, Tann became wealthy from removing children from their homes and placing them with Hollywood celebrities and wealthy easterners, garnering large fees in the process.
According to a 2009 news report, social workers in Kentucky took children from their homes on false pretenses and hastened their adoption. When families members complained, their children too were taken. In one case, a woman put in an order for children, identifying the children of a poor family in her neighborhood that she wanted. Accommodating officials took the children under pretenses of abuse and placed them with the woman.
The federal 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act created the incentive for child snatching by providing financial incentives to states to increase adoptions. The National Coalition for Child Protection Reform predicted that when adoptions level off agencies will "target children most in demand by prospective adoptive parents: Healthy infants from poor families. Agencies will rationalize that the parents really are "unfit" as they continue to turn their child-welfare systems into the ultimate middle-class entitlement: Step right up and take a poor person’s child for your very own.”
"SAVING" CHILDREN THROUGH ADOPTION
Others have manipulated the child welfare laws to gather children out of misguided (or morally deficient) beliefs about "the best interest of children." From the 1850's through the 1890's, the Rev. Charles Loring Brace and his Children's Aid Society took some 84,000 children from impoverished immigrant families in New York. The children were placed on "Orphan" Trains, to be adopted by farm families to work as laborers, an environment Brace thought was morally superior to living with their natural families. A century later, the British took children from poor unwed mothers and sent them to Australia where they were abused and forced into hard labor. At the same time the Australians used pretexts to take Aborigine children from their families and have them adopted into white homes. Lest we cast stones, Americans did the same thing to native American children. The 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act put a stop to this dreadful practice; sadly there are those who want to repeal the Act.
|Alan and Laura Shatto--child savers or killers?|
TO HELP CHILDREN HELP THEIR NATURAL FAMILIES
Let's hope all nations figure it out: anti-family child welfare laws and practices which allow hasty removal of children from their homes is not the solution but the problem. And let's hope Russian authorities move quickly to find out if Kuzmina is capable of raising Kirill and, if so, arrange to have him returned to her. -- jane
*According to the New York Times, Kuzmina said both boys were taken by social services while she was at the store buying them candy. According to the Huffington Post, in an interview on Russian on Russian television, Kuzmina said Russian officials took advantage of her absence from her hometown to seize her children.
Russian mother makes tearful TV plea for return of her son
Russian mother ask Putin to return 2nd Son after Death in Texas
Max Shatto Dead
Russian parliament demands return of orphan from US
Massive adoption fraud in USA for Bush federal adoption funds
National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, Family Preservation and Adoption
Oranges and Sunshine
Adoption Nation is No Country for Birth Mothers
Adopting form Foster Care: Helping Kids or Enabling Family Destruction?
Returning a child to her father is the right decision
Can the media get adoption right?
Russian say "nyet" to US adoptions
Foreign adoption may save 'one child' but hurts many
The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption
An episode in American adoption history little remembered by the public at large, the crimes of nationally-lauded Memphis orphanage director Georgia Tann are skillfully and passionately recounted by freelance writer Raymond, herself an adoptive mom. The portrait of Tann that emerges is a domineering, indefatigable figure with an insane commitment to ends-justify-the-means logic, who oversaw three decades of baby-stealing, baby-selling and unprecedented neglect. Meanwhile, she did more to popularize, commercialize and influence adoption in America than anyone before her.--Amazon Highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of adoption in America.
Wounded Innocents: The Real Victims of the War Against Child Abuse The war against child abuse has become a war against children. Every year, hundreds of children die, thousands more are forced to live with strangers, and countless American families are torn apart. This is called a 'child-protection system'. While the problem of child abuse is serious and real, journalist Richard Wexler charges that our solutions to the problem have actually made it worse - in fact, hurting the very children that they were intended to help. Wexler reinforces his arguments with horrifying descriptions of children summarily removed from their homes, of families shattered because of false reports, and of children whose parents are guilty of nothing more than poverty being thrust into the maelstrom of the chaotic foster-care program.He writes of severely abused children - those needing the most help - whose cases are ignored because the system diverts scarce resources to trivial or unfounded cases, and who are re-injured, sometimes fatally after their plight has been called to the attention of authorities. "Wounded Innocents" illustrates how well-meaning efforts to help children have gone terribly wrong and how the current child-protection system desperately needs to be replaced with one that offers real help and real hope to abused and neglected children. --Amazon
Family Matters: Secrecy and Disclosure in the History of Adoption
Lucid, well written, history of adoption in America and the long, continuing fight to unseal those friggen' sealed original birth certificates. A must for anyone involved in this fight to know how to talk to legislators when they say stupid stuff about sealed records! --lorraine