|Kiara Citizen-Williams grieves for her lost son|
According to a report from Fox TV in Houston, a caseworker from Christian Homes, Melanie Wallace, met Kiara and immediately took her to a UPS store, and had her sign an affidavit for voluntary relinquishment of parental rights. A UPS worker in the store notarized the document, and a random customer served as a witness. Wallace took Bryce and left.
THIS 'ADOPTION PLAN' STINKS
This is how adoption is done? Meet, immediately get the relinquishment, take the baby, and run? That's how it was done by Christian Family and Homes.
Two sides to the story? Like, we had a waiting customer for the baby and couldn't take the chance that maybe Kiara really didn't want to give up her son? Like, we needed to have her immediately the relinquishment papers--in obviously a moment of high distress--so we could get the child?
Kiara and Bryce's story cries out for justice. A mom who needed help may be separated forever from her son, whom she nurtured for the first year of his life. A boy becomes separated from the only mother he has ever known, placed with strangers, perhaps entering a succession of foster and adoptive homes. He must be traumatized. All because his mother trusted an agency with "Christian" in its name. Some of the most egregious act of adoption exploitation are done by agencies which call themselves Christian. The label is a great marketing tool, but has little to do with the teachings of Christ.
What about those who have Bryce? We'd like to think that they've seen the TV report and would do the right thing and return the boy to his mom. Alas, the pang of conscience rarely seems to take hold in these cases. The adoptive parents often hire media experts and start PR campaigns to trash the natural parents. At least in this case, the adoptive or prospective adoptive parents can't claim the moral high ground and wail about removing the child from the only home he has ever known, the importance of early bonding, yada yada yada.
This case is a textbook example of what's wrong with adoption and state adoption laws today. Kiera should have had an independent counselor, someone who would not benefit financially by the adoption. Kiera should have had at least two visits with a counselor, and explored ways that would allow her to care for her son. Perhaps there were welfare benefits, subsidized housing, food stamps, charitable organizations that could help--even family members she hadn't thought of calling. The counselor should have explained to Kiera the lifelong impact of adoption on mother and child. None of this happened.
'BALANCING RIGHTS' TILTED AGAINST THE MOTHER
If, after being offered help, Kiera still wanted to give up her son, Wallace should have told Kiera about open adoption and the right to have continuing contact with him. Kiera should have had the opportunity to select the prospective adoptive parents. Then Kiera should have met with an attorney who would have explained the documents before she signed them. The attorney would also have told her about her right to revoke her affidavit terminating her parental rights, and how to do it. Under Texas law, the affidavit, unless it states otherwise, may be revoked within 11 days of signing. Wallace never informed Kiera of this right--or apparently heeded it.
None of these things were done, of course, because Kiera might have decided to keep her son.
Texas is not a lone state when it comes to adoption exploitation. The laws of all states are tilted
towards the adoptive parents, and in some cases--such as in Michigan--recently enacted laws are making it easier, not harder, to give up a child more quickly. My state, Oregon, is among the worst. State laws do not require mothers' consent be informed, and give them little. if any, time to revoke their consent. Fathers have even less protection, often denied parental rights before they learn of the birth of their child. Purchasers of vacuum cleaners and washing machines have more legal protections than does a woman who wishes to relinquish her most precious child.
Legislators who pass these laws insist they are balancing the rights of natural parents and adoptive parents. Actually, these are adopting parents and should have NO rights until the adoption is finalized. We encourage our readers to join together to reform state adoption laws. The link below provides a summary of these laws.
Let's hope that when Kiera goes to court, the judge does the right thing and reunites Bryce with his mom.---jane
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Shotgun Adoptions via Crises Pregnancy Centers
Ethics in American Adoption By L. Anne Babb
"...a benchmark publication in the fields of ethics and adoption. [Babb] offers numerous case studies describing what is amiss with America's adoption system as it is currently constituted. She raises significant questions about what adoption facilitators are doing who is accountable for what they are doing, and whose interests they are serving. This seminal work should be read by policy makers, social workers, children's court judges, prospective adopters, and anyone else involved in the adoption process."--Wisconsin Bookwatch
The Stork Market: America's Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry
by Mirah Riben
"...informative, well-documented and fascinating expose of the many abuses - permeating a muti-billion dollar, unregulated adoption industry. Written in a crusading, investigative reporting style, the Stork Market is a courageous book. It will please many in the adoption world, but is sure to threaten others - especially those who profit from the lucrative business of adoption.
"As a pediatric/child psychologist, I have worked in the trenches and treated hundreds of the worst-case casualties, of our closed adoption system; so I can attest to the truth in this important book, and offer first person witness, to the validity of much that Ms. Riben documents and is concerned about. Surely, a family system based on secrecy, lies, and a denial of human/civil rights can not ultimately be "in the best interest of the child;" and a passionate caring that the needs of the children be primary, "not secondary, or even worse, irrelevant to an adult's agenda," is evident throughout the book."--David Kirschner, PhD, author of Adoption: Uncharted Waters
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