Friday, July 28, 2006
The US: Outrageous again!
"Kidsave is not an adoption agency. Rather it is a way for families who may be interested in adopting older children to meet the children first and decide if adoption is right for them."
Kidsave's "Summer of Miracles" program which brings kids from Columbia here - older kids (teens) who are about to age out of foster care and be left to survive on their own - here to for a CHANCE to be adopted.
They boast a 90% success, with the remainder shipped back where they came from, allegedly happy to have gotten a taste (tease?) of the good life, however briefly.
Kidsave arranges ice cream socials. "Often, adults are hesitant to adopt a child who is older than an infant, worried their personalities and histories may be too much for a new family to handle. Through Kidsave, children and potential adoptive parents can interact and decide if there is a good fit....You can take it one step at a time."
TRANSLATION: Come and gawk like visitors at the zoo, window shop, maybe even given one a test drive back to your house.
Here's the kicker...There are over half a million kids in US foster care, over 100,000 can never be reunited with their families. But wait...it gets better!
Each year, approximately 20,000 of the 542,000 children in foster care nationwide are discharged to live on their own. Five percent of these, or approximately 1,100 young adults, are discharged to fend for themselves in New York City alone. Nationwide about 20,000 children a year “age out” of foster care. Only half have a high school education, 2% a BA. Eighty-our percent become a parent within 12-18 months of being discharged from foster care. Approximately 25% are homeless. In Wisconsin, 34% of foster youth had been homeless or lived in four or more places 12-18 months after exiting the foster care system. Three in 10 of the nation's homeless adults report foster care history according to CWLA. That’s 5000 kids a year the US is dumping into the streets. Youth aging out of foster care have mean earnings below the poverty level. Youth aging out of foster care earn significantly less than youth in any of the comparison groups both prior to and after their eighteenth birthday. If foster children in general are a population at risk, youth aging out of the foster care system may be even more so.
Who is saving these kids while we have the audacity to save kids from other countries!!!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
First Ever AdopTalk Award Goes To....
Madonna turns out to be one of the few in show biz today with real class!
MADONNA has cleared up rumours she and husband GUY RITCHIE are planning to adopt a child by revealing she's actually planning to play mum to an African village.
The pop superstar set tongues wagging when news broke about her reported
links to African adoption agencies last month (JUN06).
More recent reports even suggested the singer and her movie maker husband were even seeking new dad BRAD PITT's advice on adoption after he became the legal guardian of girlfriend ANGELINA JOLIE's two adopted children.
But now Madonna has revealed, through her aides, she has much bigger plans.
In a statement released yesterday (21JUL06), a spokeswoman says, "Actually she is adopting a village of children... Madonna is participating in the building of a school and home for hundreds of kids in Malawi, Africa and that is her current passion and commitment."
THIS is what adoption is truly about! THIS is wha more wealthy people need to do!
Anegleina Jolie, I hope you're paying attention. You've been one-upped by the master!
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Madonna and Ritchie to start adoption search after tour
21/07/2006 Madonna and her film-maker husband Guy Ritchie are planning to start searching for a child to adopt in October, once the pop superstar finishes her Confessions world tour.
The Material Girl - who already has two children, Lourdes, nine, and Rocco, five - wants more kids so the couple have hired the adoption lawyer who worked for their friends Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
The 47-year-old singer and Ritchie have also talked to adoption agencies in both the US and the UK.
An insider tells British newspaper The Sun: "Madonna and Guy are serious about adopting a baby. They had a meeting with a British adoption agency but were not satisfied that it was the right one.
"So they found another agency in America and had a meeting with them about becoming parents to an orphaned baby. They both love children and are desperate to expand their family."
Earlier this week, Ritchie's father John Ritchie said: "I love my grandchildren, and of course nothing would make me happier than if they do adopt. How lovely to have another one, it sounds like such great, great fun.
"I'm sure both Rocco and Lourdes would love it as they are so close and another sibling would be super."
Thursday, July 20, 2006
MEN: Who Needs Them in This Brave (?) New World Order
Scientists have proved for the first time that sperm grown from embryonic stem cells can be used to produce offspring.
The discovery in mice could ultimately help couples affected by male fertility problems to conceive.
And by understanding embryo developmental processes better, a host of other diseases might be treated using stem cells, they say.
The study is published in the journal Developmental Cell.
The experiment was carried out using mice and produced seven babies, six of which lived to adulthood.
However, the mice showed abnormal patterns of growth, and other problems, such as difficulty breathing.
As well as the safety concerns, using stem cells from embryos to create sperm also raises ethical questions. [YA' THINK??!]
Stem cells are special because they have the potential to develop into any tissue in the body.
Professor Karim Nayernia and colleagues at the Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany, took stem cells from a mouse embryo that was only a few days old and grew these cells in the laboratory.
Using a specialised sorting instrument they were able to isolate some stem cells that had begun to develop as sperm.
They encouraged these early-stage sperm cells, known as spermatogonial stem cells, to grow into adult sperm cells and then injected some of these into female mouse eggs.
The fertilised eggs grew and were successfully transplanted into female mice and produced seven babies.
Professor Nayernia, who now works at Newcastle University in the UK, said: "For the first time we have created life using artificial sperm. This will help us to understand how men produce sperm and why some men are unable to do this.
"If we understand this we can treat infertility in men."
In the future, men with fertility problems might be able to have their own stem cells harvested using a simple testicular biopsy, matured in the lab and then transplanted back.
It is estimated that one in seven UK couples have difficulty conceiving - about 3.5 million people. In about a third of all couples having IVF, male fertility is a contributory factor.
"It is more difficult to say whether artificial sperm produced this way could ultimately be used as a new treatment for male infertility." Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield
About 1% of all men don't produce sperm and a further 3-4% of men have a low sperm count that could lead to infertility.
Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield and honorary secretary of the British Fertility Society, said: "To be able to make functional sperm under controlled conditions in the laboratory will be very useful to study the basic biology of sperm production.
"There are currently many things we don't know about how sperm are formed let alone why it sometimes goes wrong and leads to infertility in some men."
But he added: "It is more difficult to say whether artificial sperm produced this way could ultimately be used as a new treatment for male infertility. There are many technical, ethical and safety issues to be confronted before this could even be considered."
Ethical and safety issues
Professor Harry Moore, professor of reproductive biology at the University of Sheffield, said: "These processes in the test-tube are far from perfect as the mice that were born by this process were abnormal.
"We therefore have to be very cautious about using such techniques in therapies to treat men or women who are infertile due to a lack of germ stem cells until all safety aspects are resolved. This may take many years."
Anna Smajdor, a researcher in medical ethics at Imperial College London, said: "The creation of viable sperm outside the body is a hugely significant breakthrough and offers great potential for stem cell research and fertility treatments.
"However, sperm and eggs play a unique role in our understanding of kinship and parenthood, and being able to create these cells in the laboratory will pose a serious conceptual challenge for our society."
Josephine Quintavalle, of Comment on Reproductive Ethics, agreed.
She said the use of adult stem cells from sources such as umbilical cord blood had consistently produced more promising results than the use of embryonic stem cells.
Professor John Burn, professor of clinical genetics at Newcastle University, believes stem cells will be a treatment for all types of diseases.
"The same approach could ultimately allow us to control the development of liver cells, heart cells or brain cells... and make treatments for virtually any tissue that is damaged or diseased."
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Adopt-A-Kid Game Show!?
Tuesday, July 18 2006, 11:16 BST - by Daniel Kilkelly
A new reality TV show which sees celebrities trying to adopt a child has caused controversy.
The BBC One series, which is set to air next year, will follow three household names as adoption chiefs assess their suitability as parents.
"We were told they would love a celebrity to end up adopting a child," one adoption agency told The Mirror. "We gave them short shrift. It just doesn't seem appropriate for an issue as sensitive as this."
Mediawatch's John Beyer added, "It's a sensitive area to make into entertainment. To bring in stars to jazz it up is wrong."
A spokesperson explained that while none of the stars will actually be adopting a child via the show, they may choose to later.
"We're only using personalities with a genuine commitment to adoption and who intend becoming parents in the long-term," the BBC added.
I've got a great suggestion for US TV execs always looking to one-up things:
How about a game show? The prizes are kids! Winners get healthy white newborns. No messy birthmother strings attached!
Second prize: an all-expnese paid trip to the country of your chocie where you get to rip off...er choose...your very own orphan and take her from her heritage!
Loosers get stuck with the dark-skinned, handicapped, older kids! What fun! Extra points (and ratings) are scored by heartlessly tearing babies from the arms of their mothers while they are screaming...
The show would not be lacking in commercial sponsors -- all of the rip-off "agencies" all over the Internet!
Monday, July 17, 2006
When all else fails...
PATRICK SWAYZE and his wife LISA NIEMI are considering adoption after spending years trying to conceive naturally. The actor is bitterly disappointed he and Niemi - his wife of 31 years - have never been able to have their own kids. Now they are keen to explore other options before they are too old. Swayze, 53, says, "I think I was born to be a father. I've designed the perfect life for kids and I believe I could prepare a child well."
The truth glares from this tiny piece! Not being able to conceive a child of one’s “own” is a major DISAPPOINTMENT – adoption is a second-best choice when that cannot be accomplished! I hope the child they buy can fill their expectations.
And they will be patted on the back for being altruitsic in adopting and the kid expected to be GRATEFUL...grateful for what, that they were infertile?
"Gee, golly, Mom and dad...I'm so glad you couldn't have a REAL kid of your own and took me as second-best...before you got to old!"
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Tue, Jul. 11, 2006
D'IBERVILLE, Miss. - A 19-year-old mother who put her baby up for adoption about three years ago is now charged with kidnapping the child.
Elizabeth McCollum was arrested on Sunday. She is accused of taking the 3-year-old child without the adoptive parents' permission and driving the toddler to an undisclosed location in Washington Parish, La.
The child was taken Wednesday from her baby sitter's home in D'Iberville, said Sheriff's Capt. Ron Pullen. McCollum, of Saucier, took the child to Wal-Mart to buy her some clothes, Pullen said.
"The mother went to Wal-Mart to confront her and that's when Ms. McCollum left and took the child to Washington Parish. The biological mother was allowed visitation," Pullen said. "The biological mother ... was only 15 or 16 when she had the baby."
Washington Parish deputies were able to find the child, unharmed, and placed her in protective custody, but they couldn't find McCollum. Gulfport police officers stopped McCollum on traffic violations Sunday and learned she was listed as a fugitive.
McCollum was held at the Harrison County jail on $25,000 bond set by Justice Court Judge Melvin Ray pending an initial court appearance.
From another article, also from: The Sun Herald:
Biological mom held in kidnap
By ROBIN FITZGERALD
A 3-year-old girl has been returned to her adoptive parents after an alleged kidnapping by the child's biological mother. "It wasn't a secretive adoption. The biological mother, who isn't related to the adoptive parents, was only 15 or 16 when she had the baby."
Look forard to more details on this!
Monday, July 10, 2006
The Devil Incarnate
NEW YORK -- Convicted child killer Joel Steinberg said that nearly two years after being released from prison he now spends his days as a construction worker.
Steinberg told the Daily News that he's living in Harlem and volunteering at a job training program near his home.
The sick MF continues to maintain his innocence in the beating death of his 6-year-old adopted daughter, Lisa Steinberg.
The girl died in November 1987, three days after she was brutally beaten in the apartment Steinberg shared with his former lover, Hedda Nussbaum, who had also been beaten.
Steinberg served two-thirds of the maximum 25-year sentence.
The man is so hated that prior to being killed, Leland Shiraz, Saddam Hussein's attorney, had told Saddam to shave off his mustache, claiming it could remind the jury of Joel Steinberg.
Tellin' Like It Is!
Adoptive Parents Publish an Adoption-Themed Children’s Book to Teach Children about Adoption
Jenny and Phil Thrasher adopted their children, Trey and Mackenzie, from Kazakhstan in 2004. They wrote The Golden Egg to help explain the miracle of adoption to Trey and Mackenzie. Jenny and Phil hope The Golden Egg will help children and adults everywhere understand the beauty of adoption.
Birmingham, AL, July 10, 2006 --(PR.COM)-- According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 1.5 million adopted children in the United States. A survey conducted by the Adoption Institute in 1997 found that 58% of Americans know someone who has been adopted, has adopted a child, or has relinquished a child for adoption.
A married couple from Birmingham, Alabama who recently adopted two infants from the Republic of Kazakhstan, have authored a new children’s book – “The Golden Egg – An Adoption Story”. Published in May 2006 by Outskirts Press and available worldwide, THE GOLDEN EGG is a soft-cover, full-color children’s book that is wonderfully illustrated and tells a poetic tale of adoption through two chickens . . . “One laid a beautiful egg of gold, other ached to be a mother”. The story is very easy for children of all ages to follow, and the sing-song words are easy for parents and children to read and recite.
Co-authors Jenny and Phil Thrasher state, “Adopting our son and daughter has changed our lives forever. By writing THE GOLDEN EGG, we are hoping to help increase awareness of the miracle of adoption throughout the world.”
Jenny, a former elementary school teacher, is now a full-time homemaker, and Phil is the VP of IT Staffing for a Birmingham, Alabama recruiting firm. In addition to writing children’s stories, Phil and Jenny have created their own web site, http://www.adoptionrocks.com, which is a resource for anyone interested in learning more about adoption.
THE GOLDEN EGG and many other popular children’s books on adoption can be purchased at http://www.adoptionrocks.com.
For more information on THE GOLDEN EGG, or to contact Phil and Jenny Thrasher, please visit them on the web at http://www.adoptionrocks.com.
Jenny and Phil Thrasher
165 Essex Drive
Sterrett, AL 35147
Home #: 205-678-7866
Cell 1 #: 205-492-5421
Cell 2 #: 205-492-9861
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Rd – 515
Parker, CO 80134
888.672.6657 ext. 704
Retail Price(s): $10.95
Size and Format(s): 8.5 x 8.5 Full-Color Paperback
Page Count: 28
Availability: Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, www.adoptionrocks.com, www.outskirtspress.com/thegoldenegg
Sunday, July 09, 2006
MICHAEL JACKSON seeks to adopt more boys
LATEST: MICHAEL JACKSON's attorney has denounced claims his client sent a former business partner on an adoption mission to Brazil, ordering he return with "some boys". In court in Santa Monica, California on Friday (07JUL06), plaintiff MARC SCHAFFEL rejected allegations he had visited the South American country to recruit models for his gay porn videos, insisting instead the THRILLER hitmaker had hired him to collect potential kids. When quizzed about his ties with a company known as Latinboys, Schaffel countered, "No, I've not used any Latin models. The main purpose of my trip was Mr Jackson wanted to adopt some boys." However, Jackson's attorney THOMAS MUNDELL is enraged by the suggestion, branding the story a desperate attempt to damage the singer's reputation. He said, "It was an effort to smear Mr Jackson with a remark that could be interpreted to hurt him in light of the (child molestation) case against him last year." The claims came during an ongoing breach of contract battle, in which Schaffel is attempting to win back millions he claims he spent on Jackson's behalf and was never repaid.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Rogr Siegel Update
California man sentenced for stalking biological mother
NEW YORK - A California man convicted of using threatening phone calls and faxes to terrorize a woman who put him up for adoption nearly 40 years ago has been sentenced to three years and a month in prison.
Roger Siegel of Chula Vista was convicted in January of two counts of stalking over state lines. He was acquitted on a third count.
Siegel, 39, learned the identity of his biological mother in 2002 by persuading a court to unseal his adoption records.
When the woman, a lawyer from New York, refused to reunite with Siegel, he allegedly bombarded her with phone messages and faxes.
"I am somebody who has been deeply hurt," Siegel said at his sentencing Friday. "I was looking for what was missing in my life - a mom, a family."
At trial, the mother testified that her son was conceived in 1966, when she was raped by her ex-fiance. She told jurors she wanted no lasting tie with the father.
Note that his father tells a different story.
This case will be use dby the opposition to keep adoption records sealed. It is importnat to point out in reponse that this is truly an ANOMALY...and this case actually PROVES that there are sufficient laws to protect people from harassment! Anyone can be mentally ill and a nuisance to another... an ex lover, ex-spouse, co-worker, blood relative, in-law, or just an acquaintance! The fact of Roger's adoption relationship to his mother is really irrelevant to the fact that he is mentally ill. It is actually very sad that he is in prison. A cell mate of his posted to my blog and reported that he is very disliked in prison because he wants to tell everyone about is mother...he should be in a mental hospital, not prison, IMO. It is also very, very sad that he has a son who he had custody of prior to this.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Update on Tina Carlsen
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Help Baby Riley
Tina Carlson's son Riley was born with poorly functioning kidneys and will likely need a kidney transplant in the future. His doctor wanted to prepare him for dialysis by surgically implanting equipment to connect him to a dialysis machine. His mother, whose family has a history of kidney disease, questioned why the operation and the dialysis could not wait until the procedures were really needed.
Tina did what any mother would do if she had concerns about the safety of her baby. She talked with other women she trusted in her community. She shared her frustrations that she was unable to find advocacy organizations to support her rights to seek alternative care for her child. She was distraught that she was being cornered to make a decision she could not agree with. She knew she had done the best that could be done by making conscious choices to breastfeed exclusively, to take only organic foods in her diet to make the best breast milk and even during hospitalizations she used glass bottles to feed her baby knowing that the nutrients of the expressed milk would not cling to the bottle. She used cloth diapers to prevent diaper rash and the possibility of infection. She made all of the appointments that were assigned to Riley to check his blood work for the possibility of a failing kidney. She had been reassured by the medical community that these measures would be adequate to prevent something life threatening from going undetected. Riley had not had even a runny nose, cold, fever or an episode of diarrhea while in her care.
Tina Carlsen was a concerned mother exploring natural alternatives to surgery for her 9-month-old infant.
As Tina began to assert her well researched opinions regarding her child’s care, steam gathered to push back at her resistance. A judge refused Carlsen's request to block the surgery, and on Jult 1st the procedure was done.
Carlsen, 34, of Sumner, spent five days in jail after she took her son, Riley Rogers, out of a Seattle hospital on June 22, prompting a two-day statewide Amber Alert. She was freed from jail but still faces trial on a charge of second-degree domestic violence kidnapping. She could face a maximum year in jail if convicted.
KIDNAPPING! She is ger child;s mother and took her child, not from his father, but form a DOCTOR!
The case has put her at the center of a battle testing the rights of parents and the roles of doctors and judges in disputes over children's medical treatment. State judges can override a parent's wishes concerning such treatment, but the child's life typically must be in imminent danger.
The state took custody of this breastfeeding baby on June 9 after Carlsen refused to go along with doctors' advice that Riley needed the surgery. How cruel is that?
The next step, folks: Parents will be jailed for not giving their ADD kids Rittlin!
YOU CAN HELP! Go to http://www.helpbabyriley.com/
Write to Governor CHRISTIE Gregoire http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/govemail.htm
WRITE LETTERS TO: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Meanwhile, back here at home...
And, in Texas the number of children taken from their parents shot up 30 percent in a single year -- from 13,431 in fiscal 2004 to 17,428 in fiscal 2005 as aresult of "panic" in response to highly publicized deaths of children "known to the system." As in Kentucky, many of those children were taken from parents who were neither brutally abusive nor hopelessly addicted. Instead, their poverty had been confused with "neglect."
Monday, July 03, 2006
Truth Hurts: Part II
How to Shop for Kids the Brangelina Way
Angelina's "looking at different countries" to find another child to adopt. We weigh some likely possibilities.
By Leslie Gornstein, Special to The LA Times
Less than a month after giving birth to her first biological daughter, Angelina Jolie said Tuesday that she plans to adopt another child. The Oscar-winning actress already has two adopted tykes — a boy, Maddox Chivan, from Cambodia, and a girl, Zahara Marley, from Ethiopia. Jolie also has her hands full with new baby Shiloh Nouvel. (We hear Shiloh's father is an actor.)
"We're looking at different countries," Jolie told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "And it's gonna be the balance of what would be the best for Mad and for Z right now. Another boy, another girl, which country, which race would fit best with the kids."
This country is like a machine — an adorable, adoptable-children machine. More than 7,900 rugrats adopted last year came from China. If Jolie seeks her next child in this country, she'll most likely get a girl; only 5% of available children are boys.
Estimated total cost: $20,000 to $25,000
Upside: Babies! Squadrons and squadrons of little babies!
Downside: Only a limited number of singles may adopt. (The exception: special-needs kids.) And when Jolie isn't growing her family, she's busy denying marriage rumors. Also, Jolie would have to go through an agency approved by the Chinese; no private adoptions permitted. That could mean less discretion than the publicity-picky star might like.
Likelihood: Low. Jolie already has two girls. Add a third, and that makes for a perilously outnumbered Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt. Jolie says she wants "balance," which probably means a boy, and China isn't the most logical place to find one.
This country is the second biggest supplier of adoptable moppets. More than 4,600 kids came from Russia last year.
Estimated total cost: $30,000 to $40,000
Upside: Ample pickin's. Ratio of boys to girls is 1 to 1. And if Jolie's plans for "balance" call for an older child, this is also a good country; in 2004, almost half of the children looking for parents were ages 1 to 4.
Downside: No private adoptions here either. And maybe some bad blood. In 2004, British and Russian papers buzzed that Jolie was preparing to adopt a Muscovite orphan boy named Gleb. If there was such a failed plan, then Jolie's relationship with the Russians may be as frosty as a St. Petersburg ice sculpture.
Likelihood: High. Unless the Gleb tale is true. Then low.
A rising contender in family-building, this Central Asian country adopted out about 750 kids last year.
Estimated total cost: $30,000
Downside: Jolie had better have time to kill. The country requires adoptive parents to visit for at least a month before it will part with a child. Kazakhstan also insists on yearly progress reports detailing an adopted child's welfare, until the kid turns 18. One other factor: Like orphans in Russia, Kazakh children under 6 months are not available for adoption.
Upside: The month-long visit can be split into two trips.
Likelihood: Low. This is Jolie. She is on a schedule, people. She has movies to make and wells to build and diseases to eradicate. That month-long stay could be a deal-breaker.
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Lots of adopted kids come from here. It ranks No. 4 in international adoptee output, having found homes for 4,630 little ones last year.
Estimated total cost: $20,000 to $28,000
Upside: A nice place to get a very tiny infant, which seems to be Jolie's adoptee size of choice. Ninety-five percent of available South Korean children are under 1 year; Jolie could get a baby as young as four months. Plus, she could phone in her baby order from her VIP suite at the Raffles L'Hermitage in Beverly Hills; South Korea does not require aspiring parents to visit.
Downside: Only couples married for three years are eligible to adopt.
Likelihood: Low. Brad doesn't appear to be getting down on one knee anytime soon.
A dark-horse contender. About 820 international adoptions sprang from this country last year.
Estimated total cost: $30,000
Upside: Ukraine has announced plans to open a brand-new adoption authority this month. That could mean a pileup of kids who have been waiting for new mommies. And Jolie certainly will appreciate the variety?
Downside: A kid needs to be available for a year before she can snatch one, unless the child is ill.
Likelihood: A toss-up.
SOURCES: Children's Hope International, U.S. Department of State, Adoptive Families magazine.
L.A. Times trivializes adoption
"Oh, it was supposed to be funny, you know. Let's make fun of celebrities! Let's all have a good laugh! But the tongue-in-cheek piece about the possible countries Angelina Jolie's next tot will likely hail from has adult adoptees and adoptive parents fuming---with good reason. The flip comments, the equating of adoption with picking out a new pair of shoes... this is supposed to be journalism??"
Others said: "It's pretty bad. I'm horrified that a newspaper would publish something like this....people wil be ignorant."
From the source: "Adoptive Families offers information and resources to help parents adopt and support them as they raise their children, and we deplore the fact that our content was used as a "source" for this shabby piece of journalism."
Another said: "A "lighthearted look?" Really? Is that some sort of metaphor for "bigoted, ignorant and obnoxious?"
MY REPLY to y'all: If the shoe fits a bit too damn too tight - go barefoot!!!
Notice that those who were offended, shouted foul play and called it "mean", but could refute the facts. And the truth of the matter is that in their homes at night with their spouses, or over coffee with other adoptive mothers and those hoping to adopt, they all discuss the exact same pros and cons! They just did not like exposing the ugly truth of what adoption has become. They much prefer to keep it shrouded behind a curtain of "altruism" while allowing the children who need homes to remain insitutionlized or in foster care as they "shop" for those that fit them best!
The truth is that most go overseas to avoid contact with birthmothers or the fear of them returning.
The truth is that one by one foreign nations - like Romania - are closing the doors to the exploitation of exporting their chidlren.
The truth is that many children we like to think of being "rescued" from foreign lands are stolen and sold on the black market.
And the ugliest truth of all is that twelve babies adopted from Russia by Americans has been killed by their adopters!
Truth Hurts: Responses
Infertility is traumatic I do feel for any couple who WANT a child and cannot have one without participating in the trauma of another parent or parents who must relinquish a child to fulfill their dream. I am a 50-something adopted daughter of an infertile couple so I have personal experience of this issue. I had great parents but, because I had no knowledge of, or connection with, anyone who shared my genes, I wanted very much to have a child myself, the old-fashioned way.
The real problem here is that times have changed. First of all, unplanned pregnancies happen less often because of widely-available birth control options and, when they do, they do not automatically result in adoption. Another consequence of changing times is cost, not because of inflation but because the government has shifted its focus to unwanted and/or inadequately parented children who are not infants.
When my parents adopted me in 1953, it cost them less than $50 in attorney's fees and court costs; I was placed with them by what was then known as the welfare department. However, today adoption is big business and most adoptions of healthy infants are handled by private outfits who, while they may be categorized as not-for-profit agencies, never-the-less, have to raise operating monies somehow. And they do -- in the form of fees from desperate would-be parents who have tried everything and failed to reproduce naturally. And that's why adoption costs so much whether foreign or domestic.
Fortunately, some foreign countries have realized that children are not a marketable and exportable commodity. Someday, the USA will reach the same conclusion. Domestic adoption of an infant is not, as the columnist suggests, necessarily cheaper. Adoption of a child from foster care, may be. But most would-be prospective parents do not want "damaged" goods. They want a "perfect" infant, preferably white, but they will take an imported Asian or a Hispanic infant. Many, no doubt, believe that an adopted an infant will lose all connections to his family of origin even though this flies in the face of logic and science.
While their manners are appalling, so are the comments of the relative who is concerned more about money than about the couple's motivation and Amy's "advice" is not particularly comforting. A couple who would create a "gift" registry to encourage monetary donations to their adoption plan may be looking at the child as an coveted accessory to their marriage, rather than seeking the opportunity to provide a home and love to a child who needs both.
In the past several decades, since the supply of healthy white infants available for adoption decreased sharply, too many folks seem to have forgotten that adoption is NOT about finding a child for a couple who wants to be parents but about finding a loving home for a child who needs one.
P.S. BTW: I am childless unless you count the hundreds of students who have passed through my classroom and found a place in my heart.
Dear Amy: A big point is being missed here. Adoption should not have to cost a great deal and doesn’t have to. There are over half a million children in foster care in this country, many of them with no chance of being reunited with families.
It is not only unnecessary to spend money to go overseas to adopt, it is a selfish act done by people who claim to be desperate to parent but are choosy as to skin color and age. Romania has stopped the International adoption of their children because of the corruption money brings to the picture. Russia is about to close their doors as a result of 12 Russian adopted children being killed by their American adopters.
These countries and others do not want our “help” in taking their children. These children do not need adopting, ours right here in the US do!
Truth Hurts: Part I
Saturday, June 24, 2006; Page C08
My brother-in-law and his wife are adopting a child from another country.
The couple has created a Web site about the impending arrival of their child. They are planning a baby shower.
What seems strange to me and my husband about the excitement surrounding this adoption is that the couple also has requested financial donations from friends and family, including setting up a PayPal account to expedite these donations.
We are aware of the costs associated with an international adoption, but such donations to finance it seem something of an affront to us.
My husband and I are very proud of their decision, as they are unable to conceive. Nothing is more life-affirming than providing a stable home for a child, regardless of country of origin.
I suppose it is the request for money that has us concerned.
As the parents of two children, we understand how much it costs to feed, clothe and educate a child.
How can we relate this to them without squelching their excitement about the adoption?
A Concerned Relative
AMY'S REPLY: Your husband should have a discreet conversation with his brother that can start something along the lines: "I'm worried that you and Sandy can't afford this adoption. Is everything okay?"
As you point out, one problem with this is that the expenses of child-rearing only begin once the child is brought home. If a couple can't finance the mechanics of having a child (whether through the high cost of fertility treatments or of overseas adoptions), then perhaps they should wait for the blessed event until they are more financially secure. Domestic adoptions can be far less expensive, and if this couple hasn't considered adopting an American-born child, then they should.
Raising money in this fashion is a step way above and beyond gathering gifts (financial and otherwise) through a baby shower. Either this couple is very hard up for money or they feel entitled to use their child's adoption as a way to raise funds.
Either answer isn't good.
This response evoked the following opinion:
The birth of a really bad argument
THE STANDARD M.O. as a journalist is that you have your colleagues' backs: You read their stuff, they read your stuff, and if either of you don't like each other's stuff, you just keep your mouth shut. You turn the page, wipe the newsprint off your hand, check out how inane Family Circus is and go on with your day.
And before the M.O. police fire up their e-mail, I will quickly point out that the one-'l'ed Bil Keane is not my colleague, and my conscience is clear when I say Family Circus long, long ago tickled its last funny bone.
Anyway, those are the unspoken rules. And now that I've spoken them, you will understand why I'm about to take a sledgehammer to "Ask Amy," the advice column that appears in this newspaper, and in particular the "Ask Amy" column that appeared June 24 with the headline "Adoption fund shill."
See, Amy doesn't work here. Amy works for the Chicago Tribune. Amy's asking and answering is done from the Windy City. Amy just gets her queries and responses reprinted in my employer's newspaper on a syndicated basis.
Amy is no colleague of mine.
So I don't think it's unfair when I say Amy really whiffed last week.
But first, let me back up. I can't take credit for noticing Amy's horrible at-bat in real time. See, I'll read her stuff occasionally, but, as has been established, she's not my colleague and I'm not religious about it.
Instead, Amy's effort from last week was pointed out to me by a fellow Oakland reader. She wanted to remain anonymous, though, so from here on out, I'll refer to her as Dolly, in a vain attempt to keep Bil Keane on my good side in case he's reading this too.
At any rate, Dolly read the first letter in Amy's column, from "AConcerned Relative," who was up in arms that her brother-in-law and his wife, who were unable to conceive, were adopting a child from another country and were asking friends and relatives if they'd like to help with a financial donation.
"Concerned" was worried that her brother-in-law was over his head, since "Concerned," who had two children produced from her own womb, knew how much it costs to feed, clothe and educate children. "Concerned" was fretting that her in-law just didn't know how important money was.
As it turns out, Amy, in her infinite wisdom, agreed "Concerned" should be, well, concerned. She offered that if the couple can't finance "the mechanics of having a child," maybe they should wait for the "blessed event until they are more financially secure." She also seemed to think "Concerned's" in-laws were trying to glam up the adoption process by going out of country, saying domestic adoptions can be far less expensive and that, indeed, the woman's in-laws probably didn't realize how important money was.
Well, Dolly read that column and her blood absolutely boiled. As a woman who's struggled with fertility issues for years and is a member of Resolve, a national infertility organization, Dolly was all but certain that those adopting, infertile in-laws knew more about the value of money than "Concerned" and Amy combined.
Steaming, Dolly contacted me, knowing I would relate. See, I've been diagnosed with the extremely vague "unexplained infertility" and for the last couple of years have been doing all sorts of unnatural things to achieve the most natural order of the world: To become a mother.
to be continued....