' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Spence-Chapin out of the infant adoption business

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Spence-Chapin out of the infant adoption business

Is that Grandpa or Dad on the right?
One of the best known and biggest adoption agencies in New York City, Spence-Chapin, is stopping infant adoptions which it has been doing for over a century. This change, not yet reported on S-C's website, is explained in an August, 2013 letter to the "Spence-Chapin Community," which a reader shared with First Mother Forum. Maud Welles, the Board Chair and Emily Forhman, the Executive Director, explained that the declining number of infants and young children available for adoption due to the "reduced stigma of single parent households, increased access to birth control, family unification programs, in-country adoption programs, and difficult bureaucratic or political policies" necessitated this change.

Spence-Chapin (whose name reminds me of an elite finishing school), has been the go-to agency for New Yorkers wishing to adopt since its founding in 1908. According to the letter, S-C is shifting its focus to domestic and foreign "school-age children, sibling groups, and children with special needs living in institutions," populations which have "grown considerably. There are 132 million children world-wide without families and 95% of those children are over the age of 6."

SWITCHING TO INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION
S-C is transitioning its programs that fall outside the scope of this strategy--"Korea, China, Moldova,
Jane
Morocco--to "like-mined adoption agencies. We have identified the Cradle [an Evanston, Illinois agency] to continue our Infant Adoption program on-site with existing staff....We will be working with a limited number of counties--Bulgaria, Columbia and South Africa--to find homes for these children that are routinely overlooked."

S-C's new focus is a correction long overdue. The decline in infants available for adoption is a cause for celebration: women have more control over their reproduction, and greater means to care for their children.

The adoption industry has been struggling for years with the shortage of infants, employing all sorts of tricks to meet the insistent demand. Agencies advertise spa-like settings to entice vulnerable pregnant women, use religious arguments, tout the benefits of more affluent homes for their children as well as increased opportunities for mothers unencumbered with a baby, sweetened with a promise of a college scholarship, seek out women of color they eschewed in the past, lure in expectant mothers through "crisis pregnancy centers," use first parents like the hapless Caitlynn and Tyler (of Sixteen and Pregnant) to promote adoption, promise open adoption although they know the agreements are not enforceable, use media personalities like Drs. Phil, Laura, and Drew to convince mothers their children belong with affluent couples, and enlist abortion providers and liberals to manipulate women with unplanned pregnancies into considering the "adoption option" as well as abortion and parenting. The industry lobbies legislators to pass laws "making adoption easier" meaning laws constricting mothers' ability to change their minds about adoption and cutting out fathers altogether. Meanwhile those desiring infants are resorting to DIY, unabashedly advertising for babies on Facebook and billboards.
"Loving couple" advertising for a baby on a Michigan billboard

While S-C is to be lauded for ending its infant adoption program, its new focus is troubling. We believe that children in foreign institutions, for the most part, would be better served in their countries. Child welfare advocates all over the world need to help parents keep their children and prod foreign governments to accept responsibility for their own children. Sending babies and toddlers to strange cultures is not a good idea, and the recent work of Korean adoptees such as Jane Jeong Trinka and Kevin Haebeom Vollmers, and Peter Dodds, adopted from Germany, readily demonstrates. 

S-C's claims of 132 million children in institutions world-wide is highly questionable. In The Child Catchers, author Kathryn Joyce notes that commonly-used figures for the number of children in orphanages are greatly exaggerated. She points out that while the United Nations estimated 143 million "orphaned and vulnerable" children, the number includes children who lost one or both parents. Most of these children live with their surviving parent or extended family, just as they would mostly likely in the United States, Canada and most countries. Many of the children in orphanages are still connected to their families who often use orphanages as boarding schools, or places for their children to stay because of poverty or work demands during a harvest season.

IF WE BUILD AN ORPHANAGE, THERE WILL BE ORPHANS...
The adoption industry actual causes the "orphan" population to increase by expanding and building new orphanages, financed by donations from grateful adopting parents. (The idea is, "If we build it, they will come.") But as Joyce writes:
"When orphanages are created in places that didn't have them before, suddenly that region will have more 'orphans,' as poor parents see the institutions as a way to ease their burden and give their children an opportunity for better food, shelter, and education. Children who were not homeless or unparented before end up becoming institutionalized as a direct result of orphanages setting up shop in poor areas. Then adoption advocates point to the increased rates of institutionalization as evidence for the need for adoption. It's what some have come to call 'a culture of adoption,' functioning like a self-fulfilling prophecy." 
Although S-C is focusing on older and disabled children who historically have been ignored by those adopting internationally, these children may yet become commodities just as younger children have been. The sad smile of a child with a crutch or roaming through a trash bin can convince many an American to pay big bucks to bring him here. This occurred after World War II and the Korean War when many older children were brought to the U.S. Americans seem more willing to adopt "special needs" children from abroad than from the U.S., perhaps because the industry has convinced them that these children are more deserving and lack the emotional issues that challenge adoptive parents raising children from foster care. A horrifying but real possibility is that war lords may deliberately maim children to create invalids for the adoption market.

For the past several years, agencies specializing in international adoptions have closed as the supply of infants has dried up. We anticipate additional closures by agencies doing domestic infant adoptions or, like S-C, switching their focus to older and disabled children. Meanwhile, the demand for infants may level off or even decline as it becomes easier and cheaper to create children artificially. Oregon adoption attorneys tell me that they do fewer infant adoptions than in the past. More than half their practices today deal with issues related to "reproductive technologies" including surrogacy and egg and sperm donations.

In spite of these changes, more than 100,000 children in U.S. foster homes await adoption. Those seeking to build their families should consider these children. They are children who truly need homes, which should be the real purpose of adoption.--jane
____________________________
SOURCES
Spence-Chapin Adoption Services
Gladney Center for Adoption
Adoption law reforms desparately needed
Adoption Bill Board
Adopt US Kids
Alms Dealers (An excellent article about the harms wrought in poor countries because of "humanitarian aid" from westerners.

FROM FMF:
How adoption agencies 'turn' vulnerable women into spokespeople for relinquishing 
Former Bethany "recruiter" speaks up
Shotgun Adoptions v Crisis Pregnancy Centers
Are Open Adoptions a Boon for Birth Mothers or a Scam?
How the Internet is Changing Adoption
(Pro) Adoption Special: Dr. Drew encourages teen moms to give up their babies
Utah's anti-father policies an offshoot of Mormon agenda
Marketing Adoption
Adoption Posters at Abortion Clinics...Why Not Truth-Counselors at Adoption Agencies? We Volunteer
Response to the Adoption Option
State Adoption Laws
Finding babies through Facebook. And your manicurist And...

FURTHER READING
The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption
“This intricate investigation of adoption ethics and religion is an incisive, evenhanded corrective to the view of child adoption as benign and salvific….Grim but not downbeat, Joyce’s reporting also indicates signs of hope for reform….This exemplary study deserves a wide audience among all readers involved with adoption, from policymakers to prospective adoptive families.”--Library Journal
No one who reads The Child Catchers will ever think the same when she sees a child adopted from a poor country through a "Christian" organization. Incidentally, Christian World Adoptions declared bankruptcy and shut down on January 1st of this year. It was found to be taking children without their parents understanding exactly what was happening, and the focus of several law suits.  But of course, slather an adoption organization with religion and it all sounds so wholesome and good. --FMF

The Crisis Caravan: What's Wrong with Humanitarian Aid? “Particularly timely just now… Polman finds moral hazard on display wherever aid workers are deployed. In case after case, a persuasive argument can be made that, over-all, humanitarian aid did as much or even more harm than good… Her style is brusque, hard-boiled, with a satirist’s taste for gallows humor. Her basic stance is: J’accuse.” —Philip Gourevitch, The New Yorker  Order either or both by clicking on picture of book jacket or title.

25 comments :

  1. Spence-Chapin sounds like a fancy finishing school because according to their websites, both The Spence School and Chapin School in Manhattan are still actively wooing the affluent parents of girls for a K-12 education that would cost even MORE than a closed domestic adoption of a healthy white newborn.

    Glad to hear S-C has largely thrown in the towel on domestic adoption, misleading stats notwithstanding. The trend now appears to be a LEGO-like construction of the desired infants, via purchased embryos, egg-and-sperm combo plates, surrogacy, etc.: just shake 'n bake! Brrr!

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  2. How interesting that they are shutting the domestic program down.

    Adopting children out of foster care is not as easy as you make it seem. The system is severely broken and the children are VERY challenging to work with. A majority of these children need experienced therapeutic homes, not just some adoptive parents.

    I am a first mother who became a foster parent. It's not something just anyone should go into. Please, never, ever encourage people to adopt from foster care, unless they have lots of training and time.

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  3. Just a couple of things for clarification purposes:

    Despite Joyce's assertions otherwise, likening an overseas orphanage to a "boarding school" is just plain misleading. Boarding schools bring to mind images of stately furnishings, oversized fire places, prim instructors, clean furnishings, access to finer education, enrichment, kinship, all coupled with long holiday vacations at home and an eye on an elite college placement. HARDLY THE CASE FOR MOST OVERSEAS ORPHANAGES!

    Secondly, you wish for advocates to push for change for those children placed in institutions overseas but readily hope for the 100,000 children in Foster Care to be permanently and legally adopted to U.S. families, thus diminishing any hope of legal reunification with their families? Why is it okay for U.S. kids to be adopted but not so much overseas?

    Do you honestly believe that these overseas orphans are part of their culture? Prepared for real life when they are turned out of the orphanages at age 15 or 16 with no real life skills, no experience beyond the walls of their "boarding school" and no familial support or ties? Many of these children can't even read or write, let alone function readily in their society, birth country or not.

    Grassroots to help those countries? To impart our vision on other countries because we are just and right? To presume we can aid overseas families in overcoming centuries of gender based discrimination, mores, traditions and ingrained beliefs? All because we say so and toss enough money at the issue? Because Joyce says so? Because the U.S. is a shining example of keeping families intact? Because our sensibilities demand it?

    I agree, Spence Chapin halting infant adoptions is a good thing: but please don't stretch facts to serve a higher personal agenda.

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  4. From workers who have been at orphanags--sometimes they are kept looking terrible so rich Americans will feel the MUST give money to improve conditions. But the money is pocketed by child traffickers, who keep the orphanages looking like dirty dumps.

    Read about Nepal.

    http://www.firstmotherforum.com/2011/04/finding-families-of-lost-children-of.html

    Since I put the blog about Little Princes up on Friday, we have learned that
    police have rescued 20 children from Mukti Nepal, a Maharajgunj-based orphanage, and arrested its operator after finding the children living in squalor and without enough food. The children range from five to fifteen. Six boys and 14 girls were kept in one room. It seems clear that the orphanage was the dumping ground of one of the child traffickers in Nepal, and the deplorable conditions are often shown to Westerners as a sham to get money to "take care of the children." Instead, the cash goes into the traffickers' pockets and he looks for other Westerners to keep the money flowing. The following book review of Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal explains how child trafficking operates in Nepal.

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  5. Infant adoption through Spence Chapin has been very limited for some time for white caucasian PAPs. Their domestic program for white caucasian infants has been extremely small and they accepted very few PAPs into their program. For other ethnic groups, they did not encourage inter-racial adoptions by white couples.

    As for open adoptions, they are legally enforceable in New York (provided the agreement is incorporated into the order of adoption) and all Spence Chapin domestic adoptions have been open adoptions for a long time.

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  6. Sue, the parental rights of children in foster care awaiting adoption have been terminated by the courts. The kids are legal orphans and adoption is their only hope for permanent families. States are required to attempt to place children with relatives first. The 104,000 awaiting permanent homes do not have families (or at least the state claims they do not have families) they can be reunited with.

    Children in foreign orphans may have families who wish to keep them. While, of course, these are not posh boarding schools, parents may believe they offer the only hope of an education. Other children are in orphanages due to the illness or poverty of a parent or a parent leaving the area to find work. Parents intend these as temporary placements.

    Children in foreign orphanages with viable families are adopted into US homes because agencies are able to fabricate the necessary paperwork.

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  7. Faith, I agree with you to the extent that you should not become a foster parent thinking you will adopt this child from the system and, with love, everything will turn out just fine. I also agree that there are problems with the foster system - my husband and I have been through some frustrating times.

    But I also felt, at least in our county, that our adoptions social worker educated us thoroughly about what we were getting into. She started out by saying, "This is not about you needing a child, it is about a child who needs a home." We were questioned extensively about our backgrounds, possible situations with troubled kids and how we would handle them, and what our comfort level was with various physical and mental problems. We were encouraged to be completely honest in revealing the types of problems we felt we could handle. The ones my husband and I agreed we could handle were based on our prior exposure to those problems or knowledge, from reading the scientific literature, about those problems.

    Several years ago, we met an 8 year old boy at a foster parent picnic and were very drawn to him. He was bright, artistic, playful, just melted our hearts. He had no family to adopt him, and we were moved to want to do so. But when we made further inquiries through his social worker, we found out that he had been sexually abused, repeatedly, by a male family member at a previous prospective adoptive home (makes me sick just to think about it). This boy specifically asked for a mother to love him, and he was prone to sudden violent rages against men. Much as we wanted to to give this boy a home, our adoptions social worker in the foster system spoke with us at length, urging us to think it over carefully because we had no experience dealing with the after effects of sexual abuse, particularly the possibility of violent rage being directed at my husband. So, after much discussion and with heavy hearts, we knew we could not move forward with that adoption. I mention this only because we felt quite well advised about the children and what they would need. The boy's social worker also said that while she liked us, she was concerned that we might not be the right parents for him.

    Of course, "trying it out" is never an option for children in foster care or, indeed, anywhere. You either agree to be their parent or you don't - especially for a child as old as 8 years, you absolutely must not break such an important commitment. I felt that was made pretty clear to us in our local foster system - we were never allowed to meet one-on-one with a child and talk to him/her about coming to live in our home unless we were absolutely sure we would take the child in.

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  8. It is very sad that when an adoption agency listens to birthfamilies and makes changes to better meet the population of children who are truly without hope for finding families, they received this back-handed slap from this forum. Older children. Children growing up hopeless and absolutely outside their country's cultures. Orphanages are their own cultures. I am an adoptee, and I am an adoptive mom. My oldest daughter came home at age 9 after spending her entire life growing up in her orphanage. No one was coming for her. No one had ever visited any of her friends either.

    She is now age 24 and living in China caring for medically fragile children from orphanages. I asked her to read your article and she sent me back a note of quiet anger. One quote from her email, "Mom, was not property to be left and claimed later. Why is it always about birth parents and not me or these children?"

    WHY? The Hague is in place. By being extreme...being so anti-adoption that it blinds you to the tragedy of hopelessness these children experience, you are just as bad as any agency you point a finger at. You are profiting by gaining attention and accolades for your extreme view point. Give some credit to a few countries making improvements, agencies listening and changing...and maybe understand that not all kids are in Korean or Nepal care/fosterhomes/orphanages.

    It's just so so sad that many people, doing good things, are denigrated by those who are blind to the suffering that they contribute to.

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  9. I received this letter from Spence Chapin, my alma mater.

    Once I requested information from them about my adoption back in 1999, I started getting solicitations for fund raising in the mail. Invitations to galas and benefits and whatnot.

    Every time I got an invitation from them, I discarded them, usually with a curse for the agency that fooled my poor mother. She was a young married pregnant woman who went into a church looking for advice. She ended up an unmarried woman without her baby. Spence Chapin was affiliated with the church, and they were happy to take me off my parents hands.

    So, I wrote a note on the back of one of the messages I received from SC, telling them not to contact me again. I explained that I wished my mother had never heard of their agency, and I told them how much it hurt me whenever I saw their return address in my mailbox.

    I never received another piece of mail from them, until I got this letter.

    Is it possible that my scrawled message ended up on a big wigs desk, and I somehow influenced their decision?

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  10. Martha's comment is the same tired old argument for international adoption of those who "saved" a child. Sure some children are saved. Even assuming, however, that all the 10,000 to 20,000 children adopted from foreign countries needed saving (and we know this is not the case), it's a drop in the bucket compared to the claimed 100 million plus needing saving.

    The money spent bringing a few Chinese kids to the US would far better be spent helping children in their own countries. Better still would be prodding the Chinese government to care for its children instead of expecting westerners to do the job for them.

    "Humanitarian aid" by westerners can have significant negative effects on the people it is supposed to help. Take a look at this New Yorker article Alms Dealers

    And as Lorraine pointed out in her comment, foreign orphanages thrive on western money which comes when Americans adopting foreign children see the deplorable conditions in these orphanages. US dollars often go into the pockets of the owners and not to help the children. The worse off the children, the more money they can rake in.

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  11. @Jane and others,

    That's just not completely true. You assert that the monies paid by adoptive families ONLY benefits the brokers or the few.

    Have you been to an overseas Orphanage? One, two, how many?

    You call our arguments tired, well pot calling kettle black please!

    The old stand by of these elusive "families" pining for children they were forced to place into institutions until coming for them - perhaps for a small few, but for the majority? Never a reunion or possibility.

    Have you done your homework beyond one study or Joyce? Do you know the statistic for a young girl aging out of the system in an Eastern European country at age 15? 90% will turn to prostitution or commit suicide. For the boys the grim reality is only slightly better.

    While you tout ideological change, those children wait....and wait......

    To the point of only the brokers or few lining their pockets with Western monies fueled by adoption: again, incorrect in many instances. I have worked and visited over 20 Orphanages in China, Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia and beyond and let me tell you that overseas adoptions, sponsorhips and aid group DO make a difference. In one remote Babyhouse in Kazakhstan an entire water filtration system was finally installed diminishing the once 75% rate of giardia in the children in residence to zero! Monies provided as gifts by adoptive families.

    That is but one example. I have seen (firsthand) lead based paints replaced with healthy alternatives, toys, murals, foods, diapers, medicines, etc. ALL delivered by adoptive or Christian groups; life can improve for those left behind.

    And while certainly no one would maintain that this alone should mean a green light for International adoptions, making sweeping and false generalizations also should not be given a green light.

    Fact checking please ladies!

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  12. We have read enough about international adoption to have our facts in line.

    We have not adopted internationally however, as you probably have. Beth, if you want to comment here in the future, you need to leave your full name and connection to adoption that can be verified.

    Fact checking, Beth, that's all.

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  13. With all due respect, I reserve the right not to share my last name in a public forum. I appreciate that you and other contributors do, but because I am a mother to minor children, I do not wish to do the same; I didn't realize that was now a criteria for voicing an opinion on this site and respectfully ask if everyone is asked for this full disclosure?

    Obviously this is your board to do as you wish, but since you give the opportunity for even Anon.'s to share, it seems odd that I would be asked for a resume.

    Nevertheless I am proud to share what I can and lend "credibility" as it were to the validity of my previous statement.

    I am a Mother to 4 children, 2 via birth and 2 via International adoption. Our children via IA were both Preschool aged/special needs, though honestly their only Spec. need was needing a family to call their own, proper nourishment, stimulation, cleft surgeries etc.; we have been blessed with all 4 of our children.

    The groups I alluded to that have provided such funds for the water filtration system ( Karakastek, Kazakhstan Babyhouse btw for your references) were at that time known to as Two Hearts For Hope; a philanthropic aid group founded by 2 IA Moms dedicated to helping those children left behind. They have since branched out to assisting Orphanages and children's homes in Russia and Africa. They are not affiliated with any adoption agencies, nor do they facilitate adoptions. The bulk of their funding comes from adoptive families and all the monies raised are spent overseas for those left behind. They hand deliver the funds and usually are with a group of volunteer adoptive parents who oversee the installations of playgrounds, water filtration systems, windows, etc. firsthand; often doing all of the labor themselves. Most recently they gave several thousand dollars to a home in Kaz. for disabled children operating with NO assistance from the Kazakhstani government.

    Additionally the sponsorship I speak of is through the Antares organization. These are children not eligible for adoption in Kazakhstan and often in the most impoverished and remote areas. Most, if not all, of the sponsors are AP's and they send monies for basic needs, small gifts, notes of encouragement, etc; often monies are raised to pay for life changing or life saving surgeries that these children would otherwise not receive.

    When these children "age out" as I stated in my previous comment, these families often pay for them to receive schooling or to study a trade; they are the few lucky ones.

    Currently none of the work being done by these groups are for countries 'open' to IA and I can assure you, having traveled to many countries/orphanages the plight of these children is real. It's not just a statistic and IF (and that's a big IF) a biological parent can be found, often they don't wish to be, instead giving false names, addresses, etc. These children, while not considered classic "orphans" under the Hague definition are nevertheless ON THEIR OWN....... WITHIN THEIR COUNTRY OF BIRTH, BUT SADLY NEVER PART OF IT. No social or familial ties, no means of self support and no understanding of a world (let alone a culture) beyond the chain fence surrounding the institution they were abandoned to. Pretty it up all you like, but those are the stark facts.

    How have I come to travel to so many Orphanages and countries? I am a nurse who donates her vacation time yearly to travel with doctors and dentists without borders, as well as, other relief groups. I DO KNOW FIRSTHAND of what I speak.

    Can the same be said of you?

    I share this because it balances out a very narrow viewpoint offered here; an important perspective of what happens to the children while folks play "philosophy" or try to figure it all out.

    Thank you.


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  14. Beth, It is your superior attitude that rankles other readers here to wit: I am a nurse (ie good huminitarian) who has traveled, therefore my opinions are better than yours because I am a helper firsthand and therefore I know better than you. I will not discuss the corruption that feeds moving babies around because I don't need to. I am a nurse.

    That is what your comments give off.

    Yes, I am being harsh, and also hiding behind anonymity, but I am pointing out why you are not better received by Lorraine and others here.

    Humility would help your comments be better received. Of course, you are a nurse and therefore roam the world doing good.

    It does sound as if you know many who do, and you yourself could be counted among them, but humility and looking at the big picture--even admitting there is one--would certainly help your cause--and make your opinions and ideas better received.

    While I'm here, do you see anything wrong with the wholesale removal of children from one culture to another? Just asking, I am not being snarky now with this question. Is it all good?

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  15. Beth,

    Of course the plight of the children you describe is real. Of course you'll find new water systems and safer toys at the orphanages thanks to donations by adoptive parents.

    (The boy who was blinded and became a beggar in "Slumdog Millionaire" was real. The money he received did benefit him but most of it went to the people who blinded him. While this was a work of fiction, my Indian neighbor assured me it was all too real.)

    Do you know how much the orphanages you write about raised and how much they spent on the kids? Have you seen audited financials?

    Would the governments have stepped up to help their children if American help was unavailable?

    The authors we cite have visited the countries they write about. They don't deny some children live in deplorable conditions. Their argument which they back up with facts is that western "help" does more harm than good.

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  16. This is an age old argument but Beth, you understand that there are children right here in,our very own country going through many of the same things you describe. They live in "group homes" rather than orphanages and they need help too. On our own soil.
    I try to help them although I am not a nurse. The help Imcurrently provide spdoes not make me superior to any of my friends here on FMF.
    It seems so strange to me that you feel this desire to lord over us with your good international works when there are more and more families every day living in impoverished conditions and quite a few of them are also orphans...right here in the USA.
    It's good to have a cause, it's bad when you use it to stroke your own ego or put others down.
    Because the truth is, you have no ides what any of us have done to better the lives of orphans but I CAN tell you that adopting one or two children away from their homeland and culture is never helpful in the big picture because the money spent in "adoption fees" simply lines the pocket of corruption and I don't need to go to Kazkhastan to know that.

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  17. Good grief people!

    Beth was asked point blank to provide more information and tangible facts. When she does so she gets labeled as egotistical, lofty, overblown, etc.

    Really? Cuz I didn't read that at all. I see someone clarifying upon request and I wonder if perhaps some of you feel threatened by her remarks because she is doing both the walking and talking why so many of you just do the talking and condemning.

    Talk about "old arguments"; we hear it all the time. What about the kid's here? Why not help them? Who says you can't do both? This article highlighted IA and Beth spoke to that end. She was asked to elaborate and did.

    @Viktoria, humility? How about a dose for you? It's now Beth's job to ease your mind and present herself and her good work in a more humble format? Honestly would that make a difference for you or would you still find an "issue" to find fault with? Yeah, I suspect the latter. I don't recall seeing Beth asking for help in her communication skills nor did she seem to be seeking your approval.

    She was asked to add more and she did so.

    Just sign me an Adult Adoptee busy rolling her eyes at some of you!

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  18. I'm sorry, Beth's comments do contain a superior, preachy attitude. She is free to comment here just as I am.

    "Fact checking please ladies!"

    There, there, she is saying, you are so wrong! I know better than the people who write books and articles about the state of international adoption!

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  19. Honestly, I don't know how a person can rescue one or two children from an intentionally impoverished orphanage and be able in good conscience to leave the rest behind. How is that ethical or right? How does international adoption help anybody but the very few being "rescued" and their new "parents of course? And then many of those children are brought back here to the good old USA and are abused and exploited and left in hot cars to die. Or they get sent off or disrupted because surprise, surprise institutionalized children don't attach so well. Please someone truly explain to me how international adoption does anything more than give a very few number of children a "second chance" and line the pockets of corrupt agencies and governments who can't be bothered to care for their own children?
    And why, when there are so many American children living in group homes and foster homes right here, why am I being scolded for not traveling internationally to care for children who should be cared for by their own countries?
    Like I said, my family does what it can for foster children living right here in my county. I do what I can. I don't need to be told that the work I do isn't good enough because I don't think it's right to rip children from their countries of origin and try to force them to attach to me.

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  20. Really, Anon, Beth can do what she wants. Her attitude comes across as superior and we are supposed to kiss her hem for her better, informed knowledge.

    I'm at a loss to figure out how me calling our her on attitude makes me not humble, unless it is realizing that she is so superior to the rest of us.
    But that's just me.

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  21. @Bee,

    You equating All adoptions of IA children to those extreme and rare (but well publicized) cases of being sent back to Russia ( one instance only, EVER) or left in a hot car ( have you checked recently of how many a year die from that? Please compare to how many are NOT adopted)IS EQUAL TO the mainstream media/adoptive parents, etc. who claim all impoverished or young mothers are unfit because some abuse the children they parent.

    Would you so carelessly draw that parallel? Lump them all so easily and readily together to make a self serving point.

    I really hate to keep perpetuating a thread but the nonsense keeps flourishing?

    Its unethical to adopt a child because others wait? Can the same logic then be used with critically ill patients awaiting an organ transplant? How can one receive the care, while others languish?

    Same old arguments? Why a child overseas? I guess they are less worthy than American kids? Why bring one home if you can't save them all? I guess we should look the other way collectively at suffering....why help one but not all - doom them all.

    Beth spoke of many Adoptive parents and groups stepping up to support those kids left behind? Is that too not enough?

    Finally, do you know that some ( MANY) kids left in orphanages are not legally available for adoption because their birth family refuses to sign papers allowing for adoption? Sure, that's their choice....and it's their decision to leave those kid's there until they age out, are alone....it's their choice to never visit or enter their lives...it's there choice to doom that child to an institution and no family of their own.

    I won't even judge it ~ it's their decision after all...it's too bad it's the kids who suffer.

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  22. Part of the problem is with the number of "orphans". The 132 million number is thrown around alot but it includes children who still have a parent. In other words, one parent died and the other parent is still raising them. They aren't all out there needing homes. Yes there are a lot of kids needing homes.

    But I fail to see the benefit in adopting an older child from a foreign intsituation vs adopting a legally free for adoption child in foster care in the US. Older IA kids have just as many or more issues as kids in foster care.
    So why do we need to add to their trauma by removing them from language, culture and country? I just don't understand the reasoning behind it.

    As for this agency, they are trying to stay in business. They are making a business decision. It's about profit. It's no longer profitable for them to have a DIA program, so they're dropping it. It has nothing to do with doing the right thing for children.

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  23. What is DIA?

    If International Adoption is IA, what is DIA?

    Domestic I? Adoption?

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  24. DIA is Domestic Infant Adoption.

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  25. "As for this agency, they are trying to stay in business. They are making a business decision. It's about profit. It's no longer profitable for them to have a DIA program, so they're dropping it. It has nothing to do with doing the right thing for children."

    Dmdezigns is correct. From my experience as a Spence-Chapin adoptee, I can tell you everything about the agency right now is done for their bottom line. Spence-Chapin claims it is concerned about the well-being of children, but this is false. If you look closely at their language, it is incredibly paternalistic. I agree Spence-Chapin should not be taking children out of their countries and bringing them to the United States. These actions only benefit the well-paid executives who run the agency.



    ReplyDelete

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