Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Russia probe into 'gagged' babies
By Richard Galpin
BBC News, Moscow
Russian prosecutors are investigating allegations that hospital staff in Yekaterinburg gagged babies because they did not want to hear them crying.
The case only came to light because a patient at the hospital happened to hear the muffled cries of the children, who are all orphans.
She used her mobile phone to film the babies lying in their cots with their mouths covered with tape.
The case has caused widespread shock in Russia with widespread media coverage.
The patient says she approached the nurse in the ward and was initially told to mind her own business but eventually succeeded in getting the gags removed.
The nurse no longer works at the hospital and prosecutors have opened a criminal case.
It is alleged the babies were silenced because there were too few staff to deal with them.
Russians are used to scandals in the hospital here but this case has touched a raw nerve.
Monday, January 29, 2007
What is the definition of an orphan? No, it's not a trick question.
An orphan is the child of deceased parents.
Why then would someone INTENTIONALLY want to bring an innocent life inot thre world whose father is dead, and mother is "anonymous?"
According to a news article several people! grandparents with a need to have their "name carried on" and a grandchild to replace their deceased sons. Talk about a heavy load to place on a child...not to mention the creepiness and the confusion.
Try, learning that you were conceived from sperm extracted from you daddy AFTER he was DEAD!
Do people who do these garish things - and the courts that allow them to - give any concern to the best interest of these creations?
Besides, the potential mess surrogacy often creates when the mother she decides she cannot let go so easily, after all.
Court grants parents the right to impregnate stranger with son's sperm
JERUSALEM - In a precedent-setting decision, an Israeli court has ruled that a dead soldier’s family can use his sperm to impregnate a woman he never met.
Keivan Cohen, 20, was shot dead in 2002 by a Palestinian sniper in the Gaza Strip. He was single and left no will. But at the urging of his parents, a sample of his sperm was taken two hours after his death and has been stored in a hospital since.
When the family tried to gain access to the sperm, however, the hospital refused, on the ground that only a spouse could make such a request. Arguing that their son yearned to raise a family, his parents challenged that decision in court. And on Jan. 15, after a four-year legal battle, a Tel Aviv court granted the family’s wish and ruled that the sperm could be injected into a woman selected by Cohen’s family.
Rosenbaum said she knew of more than 100 cases of Israeli soldiers who, before last summer’s war with Lebanese guerillas, asked to have their sperm saved if they were killed. American soldiers have also begun donating sperm before heading to Iraq, she said.
“I think it is a human revolution,” Rosenblum said. “Ten years ago, who would believe that a human being can continue after he has died. I think it is great for humanity.”
Rosenblum said the woman who is to act as surrogate mother has requested to remain anonymous.
“She’s like family to us,” Rachel Cohen told the Tribune. “Cruel and good fate brought us together.”
WHERE HAVE HEARD THAT BEFORE??!! She's "family" until she lays the golden egg...and Heaven forbid she decides she wants to really be a mother!
Sex, Lies, POLITICS and Adoption
It is people like Gov. Crist - who refused to take a DNA to confirm or deny that a child of an affair is his...THIS is why records are sealed! THIS is who they are protecting. More often men, than mothers!
Crist won't comment on speculation he's child's dad
BY MARY ELLEN KLAS
NO COMMENT: Gov. Charlie Crist would not comment on a request by the family of an adopted girl to confirm whether or not he is her father. Rebecca O'Dell Townsend, right, is the mother.
TALLAHASSEE - Gov. Charlie Crist said today he would ''not dignify with a comment'' a request from the parents of a girl adopted 17 years ago to confirm whether or not he is the child's biological father.
The couple, Marshall and Cecilia Tucker of St. Petersburg, told the St. Petersburg Times in today's editions that they have documentation indicating that the biological mother is Rebecca O'Dell Townsend, who has claimed that the governor is the father of the child. But the adoptive family said they have not officially asked Crist to take a DNA test to determine if he is the biological father.
The couple told The Times they want nothing from the governor but are primarily concerned that their daughter, now in college, could be embroiled in a political controversy because of the persistent unanswered questions surrounding Crist's involvement with the child's mother.
Crist has denied Townsend's paternity allegations since they surfaced before the 2006 election primary. At that time, documents were distributed to reporters that showed that in May 1989, he signed a paper waiving parental rights, which allowed Townsend to go forward with adoption proceedings.
''Parenthood by myself is not possible as I never consummated the act necessary for parenthood,'' Crist wrote in the 1989 affidavit. Crist also signed papers consenting to the girl's adoption in June 1989, stating: ''I deny paternity of this child and claim no parental rights in relation to the child.'' The child was born on June 23, 1989.
The Tuckers have made repeated attempts through friends and relatives of the governor to speak with him, but none of their calls or requests have been answered.
The Tuckers' daughter was not identified by The Times but, in an interview, she said: ``It's not that I want anything from him, but if he is my birth father, I think my curiosity is justified.''
The governor was asked by reporters today if he planned to end the matter and consent to a DNA test now that the child in question has come forward.
''There's nothing to it, and I'm not going to dignify it with any further comment,'' Crist said.
The Tuckers could not be reached for comment.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
State adoption records made public
Database glitch reveals private info
MILWAUKEE (AP) - A teacher on issues related to computer security and ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater says he stumbled across a piece of his son's adoption record while searching a state-run court records Internet database looking for his parking citation.
"I was stunned," David Munro told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I knew some sealed records, including ours, had been partially revealed. I had no idea what the scope was."
Pieces of adoption records involving about 200 families were publicly exposed on the state system for about four months, authorities said.
But Jean M. Bousquet, chief information officer for the Wisconsin Consolidated Court Automation Programs, said no specific case information on the families was revealed. She characterized the situation as an anomaly and said she was unaware of it ever happening in the past.
The database Munro used is commonly referred to as CCAP, which stands for Consolidated Court Automation Programs, and it was implemented in 1999 to hold court records statewide.
There are more than 17.5 million cases stored on the CCAP system, of which 1.26 million are coded as confidential and not available for public viewing, records show. The latter include adoptions, juvenile records, mental health commitments, search warrants and terminations of parental rights.
Munro said he was checking CCAP to see what his students would be able to find out about him after he assigned them to use the database to look up information on themselves.
"Students get very bored if you start talking about ethics without any context," he said. "I'll say, 'Do any of you have a drinking conviction that your parents don't know about?' "
Munro said he came across a record that listed both him and his wife with the letter "P" after their case number, and it was cross-referenced with the case of a person they had never heard of who had "A" after his case number.
He said he searched the Internet for the name cross-referenced to his entry, and he came up with six listings in Wisconsin. He figured any one of them could be his son's biological family, but he didn't contact them.
"Our son, Matthew, has known he was adopted since he's talked, so I didn't see it personally as that big a deal," Munro said. "I was more alarmed for other adopted families. What if someone in my class checks CCAP and finds out they have a half brother or half sister they didn't even know about? It could be devastating for a family. These records are sealed for a reason."
Bousquet said counties are responsible for coding cases properly so the CCAP system can decipher whether the cases should be displayed on public access or not.
Victims of Child Welfare Memorial Day
-Victims of Child Welfare Memorial Day-
Government agencies, Social workers, judges they all make decisions -- and often GROSS MISTAKES! -- on what is in the BEST Interest of Children ... decisions which often determine their destiny.
Sadly, when the wrong decisions are made - Children are murdered!
They are beaten, tortured, sexually assaulted and murdered.
Who is responsible ?
The One making the decisions!
WE are asking for justice ... for Help!
Help never came for Angellika Nicole Arndt , Isaac Lethbridge,Daniel Jack Matthews, Ricky Holland, Christopher Michael, Sirita Sotelo, Nicholas Contreras, Sarah Angelina Chavez, Martin Lee Anderson,Ebony Smith,Kayla Allen,Candice Raynor...... and sadly many, many more
In The Name of Those Children
We are asking For:
-Victims of Child Welfare Memorial Day-
to remember those who have died as a result of Child Welfare in their lives. -
Take Action Send Citizen Request To: The White House
"When will justice come? When those who are not injured become as indignant as those who are." -Leon Tolstoy
Viat the memorial site at: http://protected-to-death-by-cps.memory-of.com/
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
VICTORY for Anna ae
The Tennessee Supreme Court recently ruled that it was clear that the parents of a little girl, Mr and Mrs Hes, gave up Anna Mae "as a temporary measure to provide health insurance" for her, "with the full intent that custody would be returned." The Bakers, however refused to return her and the case dragged on for seven years, leaving the press to drag out it's standard retort that the child was now "seprated from the only parents she has ever known."
Why did we not hear such a refrain when Shawn Hornbeck was returned after 4 years with his captor? Even when children are kidnapped as infants, with no prior connection to their rightful family, you would never hear such a "complaint."
When will they start to charge people who defy court orders to return a child with kidnapping? Why is it that once there is any assumption of "adoption" it turns a kidnapping - a hostage taking - an abduction - into something much less devious and sympathy turns to the wrong-doers? Even Joel Steinberg - the monster - was never charged with kidnapping. Instead it was called an "illegal adoption." That's an oxymoron. An adoption is a legal arrangement, nothing more. If not done legally then it is not an adoption - it's a kidnapping.
Why is it that in MANY cases, even when it is determined that the adoption WAS illegal, i.e. fraud was committed, those who "illegally adopted' get tot keep the spoils of their crime?
Clearly the Bakers knew what the court knew. They have other children. Why couldn't they simply return the child as they had originally agreed to? Isn't not returning her the same as stealing her? Why are these cases allowed to drag on for so long making this child's transfer back to her parents a terrible situation?
I hope that this case gets lots of publicity and helps continue the downturn in international adoptions. Maybe this will make people think twice about the 'safety" and protection from natural parents that adopting internationally allegedly brings.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Strangers Get Child Who Has Family
Family questions DHS decision to allow adoption of murdered woman's daughter
By DEB NICKLAY, Courier Lee News Service
CHARLES CITY --- The image shows a dark-eyed girl, grinning, her arms wrapped around the neck of little girl's grandfather.
Lori Kuykendall is afraid photographs, like that one, are the only reminders her family will have of her grandniece, Destiney Martinez Fisher.
The Iowa Department of Human Services and Floyd County courts allowed the 7-year-old to be adopted outside her biological family even though blood relatives wanted the girl.
"The state's motto is that 'Iowa works to keep children in the family home.' Not in our case," said Kuykendall, 43.
Kuykendall and her husband, Mike, the parents of two grown children, believe the state should have placed Destiney with them. The girl is the daughter of the late Rachel Fisher, who was murdered. Lori is the sister of Destiney's maternal grandfather, Dale Fisher.
Court records show denial of Lori Kuykendall's petition to adopt Destiney was based primarily on her husband Mike Kuykendall's three drunken driving convictions. Lori Kuykendall said the last conviction was more than 10 years ago.
"Anyone that knows me knows I was the best candidate to raise and love this child," Lori Kuykendall said.
DHS rarely comments on specific cases, but in an unusual departure spokesman Roger Munns said the Kuykendall family had ample time to make its case for adoption. The state ultimately concluded living with another family is best for Destiney.
"The short explanation is, independent observers and decision-makers all agree that a nurturing, stable family has been found and that the alternatives proposed by the family would not have been in the child's best interest," Munns said.
Court records are available regarding Lori Kuykendall's application for a judicial review of the case. The information shows those charged with determining Destiney's fate --- Marilyn Dettmer, then county attorney in Floyd County; social workers; Destiney's court-appointed special advocate and her foster parents --- could not ignore Mike Kuykendall's past alcohol-related driving arrests.
Lori Kuykendall's application was denied in June 2006 following Destiney's adoption. The decision marked the family's second loss.
Destiney's mother, Rachel Fisher, 22, died in October 2003. She lived near New Hampton but was shot to death by her boyfriend, Rick DeVries. He later pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Rachel Fisher led a troubled life, according to her family, and she was facing felony burglary charges before her death.
Authorities removed Destiney from Fisher's home before the murder, according to court records. The information indicates the child was being exposed to substance abuse. A judge terminated the parental rights of Destiney's father, Gonzolo Martinez, in 2005.
The court placed Destiney with her maternal grandmother. The girl entered the foster care system a few months before Rachel Fisher was murdered.
Lori Kuykendall hired three successive lawyers in an attempt to stay in contact with Destiney. Her efforts were hobbled, she says, by an insensitive court system and social workers. One, she claims, refused to bring Destiney to Rachel Fisher's funeral.
Officials maintain their interest is only in providing what is best for Destiney.
Iowa Department of Corrections records show three OWI convictions for Mike Kuykendall. The last was in 1995. Mike Kuykendall entered counseling at Prairie Ridge Addiction Treatment Services in 1998, according to court records.
Mike Kuykendall was also charged with domestic abuse in 1993, though reports said he only damaged items in a house where no one else was present.
Lori Kuykendall says all of that information is old news.
" ... People make mistakes and learn from them," she said.
"He enjoys having a few drinks at night. Nothing wrong with that after a hard day's work."
She added the couple raised two daughters who attended college and got full-time jobs.
Lori Kuykendall alleges DHS officials were "against us from the get-go."
"They never worked to keep Destiney in our family home," she said.
Lori Kuykendall said the state pushed adoption and dissuaded the family from having contact with Destiney. She said she was allowed only four supervised visits with the girl following Rachel Fisher's murder.
On an appeal from a family therapist working for Lutheran Services in Iowa, Dettmer, the former county attorney, said the visits should be discontinued. Lutheran Services is licensed to conduct home studies of people planning to adopt children and is a subcontractor for the state.
In a letter in 2004 to Judge Gerald Magee in Floyd County, a social worker repeatedly characterized Destiney, then 5, as refusing to interact with Lori Kuykendall.
Lori Kuykendall kept extensive documentation and her version of events is different.
"You have to remember her mom was murdered in October 2003 and it was almost a year after that before I got visitations for short periods of time outside of her foster home," she said.
Munns said the state is required to check backgrounds, do home studies and conduct interviews.
"The applications for adoption were denied for a variety of reasons, such as unstable living situations," Munns said. "One denial was appealed twice (by the Kuykendalls), with an administrative law judge upholding the decisions both times."
Lori Kuykendall still questions the outcome and its effect on Destiney.
"I wonder what goes through her little head since we were never able to tell her that we were fighting for her. She just has to feel like she was not wanted by her family."
And she blames authorities.
"To me, they wanted me out of the picture of seeing Destiney."
Contact Deb Nicklay at (641) 421-0531 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, January 22, 2007
State ordered to offer pro-adoption license plates
CHICAGO - A federal judge ordered state officials Monday to offer license plates with the pro-adoption motto "Choose Life," brushing aside claims that the slogan is really a thinly disguised anti-abortion message.
Judge David H. Coar acknowledged concerns that the motto "Choose Life" could be considered an anti-abortion slogan - a worry that has doomed several years of efforts to get state legislative approval of the plates.
Coar said in his 20-page opinion he assumed that the request for a "Choose Life" license plate was prompted by a sincere interest in promoting adoption. He said the state must issue the plate as long as sponsors of the idea can meet certain numerical and design requirements.
State law initially required 10,000 people willing to buy such plates before they could be issued but that number now has been reduced to 850.
The secretary of state's office already issues 60 different kinds of specialty license plates to Illinois motorists. Groups with special plates dedicated to their interests range from pet lovers to environmentalists.
A group called Choose Life Illinois Inc., made up largely of adoption advocates, has been trying for several years to get legislative approval.
The group's president, Jim Finnegan, was not reached immediately for comment Monday night. A message was left on his answering machine.
Some legislators have said they distrust putting the slogan on Illinois license plates, believing it sounds an anti-abortion message.
State Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, reached Monday night, said he believed the message was designed to campaign for a ban on abortions, saying both the adoption and anti-abortion causes have a number of the same sponsors.
"The anti-choice folks will look for any edge they can find to push their agenda," Lang said.
State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, a sponsor of the measure, hailed Coar's decision. He scoffed at the notion that the "Choose Life" campaign was a way of getting an anti-abortion message onto state highways.
"It's a pro-life message, for children, not necessarily abortion," he said. He acknowledged that the measure had been killed in committee at the legislature by critics who saw the message in terms of the abortion issue.
Former state Sen. Patrick O'Malley, R-Palos Park, another sponsor, said in a telephone interview Monday night that it made no difference even if "Choose Life" did represent an anti-abortion slogan.
"Does that make it bad?" O'Malley said. "Whether it is or it isn't you should still be allowed to express yourself."
Among those who were critical of the legislation when it was introduced was U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., then a state senator.
"If we're going to promote one side, the other side has to be promoted as well," Obama said at the time.
Coar said in his opinion that it was "undisputed that the reason for not approving the plate was because of the politically controversial nature of the message."
But he said the message would not be relevant in any case.
"The First Amendment protects unpopular, even some hateful speech," he said. "The message conveyed by the proposed license plate is subject to First Amendment protection."
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's office opposed the suit, saying it believes that there must be legislative approval before it can issue any kind of specialty license plates.
A spokesman, David Druker, said that the secretary of state's office plans to appeal Coar's decision to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
"We have no opinion on the message," Druker said.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
As we know, women have been paid to provide eggs for the infertile for many years now.
Now, in questions is asking women to donate eggs for stem cell research. The debate is over such donors would be paid over and above reasonable expenses, such as those paid to volunteers in a drug study. Donating eggs requires spending 40 to 56 hours in medical offices, being interviewed, counseled and subjected to a surgical procedure, under sedation, that retrieves eggs from her body. Before that procedure, she takes hormone injections daily for more than a week to stimulate egg development.
I was recently contacted, for instance, and asked if I would participate in a study testing an arthritis drugs' effects on stomach ulcers. It involved screening and then a series of three endoscopies. The pay was $30 for the first visit, $100 for each endoscopy, and cab fare.
Yet egg "donors" for use to impregnate someone are paid $5-$10,0000 and more.
Feminists are reportedly divided on the issue of compensatory payment for egg donations.
One center has no position on paying women to provide eggs for fertility clinics, but holds that if women give eggs for stem cell research, they should only be reimbursed for expenses, including lost wages.
Isn't this ass backwards?
The "logic" is that is it more likely to produce a baby by using the eggs for that purpose than to find a cure through stem cell research. More likely...that's the only criteria??? Makes no sense to me.
AND, some feminists argue that poor women might be exploited! Gee whiz, ya' think? And yet far too few feminists are concerned about the exploitation of poor mothers for their live babies!
It seems a lot more noble to possibly help cure millions of people than to help one selfish woman have a child instead of adopting a child.
So what's so altruistic about creating babies...like the twins created by gay man in the previous story!
Could it Get any Messier??
State appeals twin girls' adoption by N.J. man
At issue is whether infants born to surrogate were 'hard to place'
Get out your score core and a couple of colored pencils to keep track of this disaster!
By Kevin Corcoran
Months after a Hamilton County judge decided in closed court to allow an unmarried New Jersey man to adopt twin girls over the objection of child welfare officials, the state is appealing the decision.
The state's notice to the Indiana Court of Appeals indicates officials will challenge whether the blond, blue-eyed girls, born six weeks early to a surrogate mother at Methodist Hospital in April 2005, had special needs making them hard to place.
That's a requirement before residents of other states can adopt in Indiana.
Attorneys for the Indiana Department of Child Services say the adoptions also violated interstate laws meant to ensure that children adopted across state lines end up in safe homes, according to the court filings, which the appeals court clerk has refused to publicly release.
James W. Payne, Indiana's top child-welfare official, acknowledged he authorized appealing the adoptions by Stephen F. Melinger, 60, Union City, N.J.
"We think there are issues that are significant to the business of child welfare and child safety," Payne said.
Payne declined to answer any specific questions, citing warnings from Hamilton Superior Court Judge William J. Hughes to the parties involved not to discuss the adoptions. Payne said he was worried about being found in contempt if he says too much.
Melinger's attorney, Steven C. Litz, filed an emergency motion in Hamilton County last week seeking a hearing on whether parties in the case should be held in contempt for violating confidentiality orders.
Litz's motion also asked for an emergency restraining order against The Indianapolis Star prohibiting it "from publishing further articles relating to this matter, including the filing of this motion." Hughes denied that motion Thursday.
Litz, whose company, Monrovia-based Surrogate Mothers Inc., advertises for clients, surrogates and egg donors on the Internet, declined comment.
Melinger did not return a phone call to his New Jersey home this past week. After taking a leave of absence to adopt the girls in Indiana, he is back at Roosevelt Elementary School in Union City as an instructor, according to the school's Web site.
Neighbors interviewed Friday said that more than six months ago Melinger moved out of a tiny apartment carved out of a turn-of-the-century wood-frame house, saying he needed more room for the twins to satisfy the adoption court.
Before the move, neighbor Edwin Estrada said, Melinger, who lived alone, often would leave the children in the care of his landlord, Miriam Mantilla. William Alvarez, owner of Willy's Grocery, a bodega across the street, described Melinger as a polite customer who mostly kept to himself; he said he has not seen Melinger since the move.
Hughes, the Hamilton County judge who gave Melinger custody of the now 21-month-old twins, Karen Zaria and Kathy Zee, declined comment.
Questions led to probe
As reported first in The Star in July 2005, court records show Melinger hired a 23-year-old woman, Zaria N. Huffman, then of Laurel Bay, S.C., through Litz's Surrogate Mothers firm to carry the babies.
Huffman flew to Indianapolis to give birth. Melinger drove from New Jersey to pick up the girls. Litz traveled nearly 50 miles from Morgan County to have Hughes approve the adoption paperwork in Noblesville. No one associated with the case has any connection with Hamilton County, where Hughes' court is located.
But the adoptions, approved in 21 days, ran into trouble after Marion County officials opened a child welfare investigation.
Melinger had raised concerns among hospital staff by showing up in Methodist's neonatal intensive-care unit to visit the newborns with a live bird in the left sleeve of his suit jacket and, later, bird feces on his clothing.
Nurses also were concerned that he did not seem to know how to care for the children and planned to drive them back to New Jersey by himself.
Marion County officials also uncovered inconsistencies in the adoption paperwork. For instance, Huffman, who is black, was identified as the girls' biological mother. The girls are white.
Melinger was identified as the biological father in a home study, while other adoption paperwork stated Melinger's sperm had been mixed with that of an anonymous donor. Litz later told The Star that Melinger was not the father, which was why Melinger had to adopt.
Litz acknowledged it was possible an egg donor had been used. If that were the case, adoption releases should have been filed with Hughes' court by the egg donor and the other sperm donor; none was filed.
Court records also show the adoptions were approved in April 2005 despite the absence of a legally required study of Melinger's New Jersey home or a period of preadoption supervision by an Indiana-licensed agency.
Marion Superior Court Judge Marilyn A. Moores, who was then overseeing Melinger's child welfare case, voiced concerns about the adoption to the U.S. attorney's office. She also made public the Melinger child welfare case file, citing public policy questions raised by the adoptions.
The FBI and Indiana State Police opened preliminary inquiries into Litz and his company that did not result in criminal investigations, spokesmen for both agencies said.
Within days of the initial report in 2005 by The Star on the Melinger adoptions, Hughes reopened the adoption case and appointed a court employee, Shelley Hiles Haymaker, as guardian for the Melinger children.
Haymaker and her Westfield attorney, Timothy Stoesz, immediately sought to close the Marion County case, saying the ensuing publicity could harm the children later in life.
It's unusual for judges to appoint directors of taxpayer-financed temporary guardianship programs who work directly for them, such as Haymaker, to represent children in cases before their courts, a state court official said.
"I won't say it doesn't happen, but it wouldn't be preferred," said Leslie Dunn, state director of Indiana's guardian ad litem and court-appointed special advocate programs for children. "It creates the appearance of being less than objective."
Stoesz, the attorney representing Haymaker, said he and his client would not discuss the case with The Star.
Hughes was granted sole jurisdiction over the Melinger adoption and child welfare cases in late 2005. He ended the involvement of competing guardians appointed by Marion County's juvenile court. After a series of closed hearings, Hughes issued a new adoption decree awarding the twins to Melinger last year.
The state's case
State court officials have refused The Star's requests to make public filings in the state's appeal, citing confidentiality laws governing adoption records.
But someone who has seen the records said child welfare authorities have asserted that the twins were adopted without it being shown that they had special care needs that would make them eligible for placement out of state. Children with disabilities or special health-care needs typically qualify.
Melinger's attorney has provided conflicting information on that issue. A home study in the adoption that Litz filed stated the girls were "not considered 'hard to place' " as defined by Indiana law. That flawed study involved a visit to Melinger's temporary Indianapolis apartment and not his home in New Jersey.
Litz's position seemed to change in the August 2005 interview with The Star. Litz said then that he thought the girls were biracial and would qualify as hard to place. He acknowledged that would not be the case if it turned out Huffman were not the biological mother.
Later, Indiana child welfare officials asked New Jersey officials to conduct their own study of Melinger's home. It's not clear what that state's findings were or whether New Jersey was aware the Melinger children had moved there. New Jersey child welfare spokeswoman Kate Bernyk said she couldn't comment on the Melinger adoptions.
One of the temporary guardians appointed by Marion County said she was pleased to hear the state is appealing the adoptions.
Cynthia K. Booth, executive director of Indianapolis-based Child Advocates Inc., said a member of her staff regularly observed Melinger's visits with the children for the Marion County juvenile court until the child welfare case was transferred to Hughes' court.
"I'm glad that it was appealed," Booth said. "I think there are some things that need to be reviewed with those adoptions."
State officials have said the Melinger case was a "carbon copy" of eight other adoptions Litz filed in Hamilton County arising from surrogate births.
Those adoptions also failed to abide by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, a contract among the states requiring child welfare officials in sending and receiving states to sign off on adoptions that cross state lines, Payne said in a 2005 interview.
Payne confirmed recently that Indiana had notified child welfare authorities in Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah and Virginia of those adoptions so they could take additional action, if warranted.
Preadoption home studies involving the prospective parents in those eight cases were conducted in temporary Indiana homes or apartments and not in the states where the children were headed, Payne said in 2005.
The home studies were conducted by a woman hired by Litz, the same woman who handled the Melinger home study in Indianapolis.
Litz and Hughes are acquainted through more than 15 years of court cases and their work for a pro bono legal services nonprofit. In an interview with The Star on June 30, 2005, in his Noblesville judicial chambers, Hughes said Litz had filed "maybe three, four, five" adoptions in his court -- "no more than maybe 10 a year."
Hughes said then that he wasn't sure why Litz drives from his law office in Morgan County southwest of Indianapolis to appear before him in Hamilton County.
Indiana adoption law does not limit jurisdiction, allowing lawyers to file adoption petitions before judges of their choosing.
"I wouldn't dream of trying to guesstimate or estimate what Steve's motivation may be in where he chooses to file a case," Hughes said.
During that interview, Hughes also declined to comment specifically on Melinger's adoptions, except to suggest that he might not have had all of the facts before him the first time he approved the adoptions.
"Lots of folks assume judges have more information than we have, but we only have the information that is given to us," Hughes said in the interview, which was taped at his request.
Hughes did not cite examples, but the initial petition for adoption that Litz filed on behalf of Melinger stated that Melinger was born in Indiana and lived in Indianapolis.
However, a home study Litz filed as part of the adoption case stated Melinger was born in the Bronx, N.Y., and planned to return to New Jersey -- an account supported by New Jersey records.
After the initial Melinger case, Hughes said he tightened procedures for handling adoptions in his Hamilton County courtroom. Hughes would not confirm that the changes were related to the Melinger case.
"We're not starting to review papers we didn't before," Hughes said during the nearly two-hour interview in June 2005. "We're adding an additional level of review. Two sets of eyes are always better than one."
Call Star reporter Kevin Corcoran at (317) 444-2750.
Reporter Kevin Penton of the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press contributed to this story.
Copyright 2006 IndyStar.com. All rights reserved
Panel proposes adoption rules
Raleigh | State law allows children adopted in North Carolina to stay in touch with birth relatives, but a study panel proposed creating legislation Friday that would set out enforceable rules for those agreements.
The Legislative Study Commission on Children and Youth approved a draft of a bill to create guidelines under which biological parents or other blood relatives could stay in touch with children after adoption.
Existing state law decrees that all relations between a child and biological relatives are severed when someone else adopts the child.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
OH MY GAWD!
http://www.ipt- forensics. com/journal/ volume10/ j10_10_18. htm
Why Children Aren't Adopted
Few know the child welfare system as intimately as does George Miller, former Chairman of the Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families of the Committee on Ways and Means. And nowhere is the bureaucratic imperative for expansion and survival more evident than in his own home state of . As Miller explained: "In , we are finding overloading of the system with children never intended for foster care, for the single purpose of reducing state costs by qualifying otherwise ineligible children for Federal reimbursements" (Committee on Ways and Means, 1987).
A recent lawsuit filed in Contra Costa County, Laurie Q. v. Shalala, illustrates the extent of this problem. The complaint alleges that the county has maintained adoptable children in foster care-some with foster parents who have actively sought to adopt them-for the sole purpose of misappropriating their Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) into the county treasury. In one case mentioned as representative in the suit, a child was found to have been assigned six social security numbers by the county, not one of which was her own. Another plaintiff charged that, when she called the county to inquire as to the availability of SSI for her disabled foster child, she was told by a county employee that she would not be seeing any as it "all goes into a pot." As a result, her foster child went without a needed wheelchair. These and other such practices are alleged to have continued for years. Among the highly detailed allegations set forth in the civil complaint:
The County routinely ignores state-mandated timelines concerning permanency planning for disabled children in foster care, thereby keeping adoptable children in foster care much longer than necessary. The County engages in a custom it terms "red dotting" which involves deliberate shelving for indeterminate amounts of time and/or refusal to allow adoption by labeling children with documented medical and/or behavioral disabilities as "unadoptable. " By intentionally delaying the adoption of disabled children in county custody, the County is able to remain the representative- payee for the children's SSI benefits and is able to continue its practice of misappropriation and unlawful self-reimbursement.
Conna Craig and Derek Herbert of the Institute for Children identify as the most troublesome obstacles to foster-child adoption, (a) a federal funding scheme that compensates states for keeping children in care, (b) the failure of states, including the court system, to expedite adoptive placements, (c) overuse of the "special needs" categorization, and, (d) a lack of public awareness about the number of children in foster care who are legally free for adoption but not in preadoptive homes. Insofar as the special needs categorization of children is concerned, Conna Craig points out that in her own home state of , child welfare agencies are known to defer requests for termination of parental rights until children reach the age of seven, as at that age children are deemed to have "special needs" for which child welfare agencies may claim additional federal reimbursements (Mack, 1997).
The reasons for this become clearer on examination of the regulations guiding the recovery of allowable administrative costs under the Adoption Assistance Program Under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act. Among the allowable costs chargeable to the program are the determination and redetermination of eligibility, fair hearings and appeals, rate setting, other costs directly related only to the administration of the program, the costs associated with grievance, negotiation and review of adoption agreements, post-placement management of subsidy payments, recruitment of adoptive homes, placement of the child in the adoptive home, case reviews conducted during a specific preadoptive placement for children who are legally free for adoption, case management and supervision prior to an interlocutory of final decree of adoption, a proportionate share of related agency overhead, referral to services, development of the case plan, home studies, and a proportionate share of the development and use of adoption exchanges. Three conditions must be met in order to trigger these funds. The state must determine that 1) an eligible child cannot or should not be returned to the home of his parents, 2) that the goal for the child is adoption, and, 3) that the child has been determined by the state or local agency to be a "child with special needs" (Administration for Children, Youth and Families, 1983). Once a child is adopted, most or all of these funding streams stop flowing.
As an obvious consequence of the lack of accountability in the child welfare and adoption systems, in 1974 less than 4% of the 30,000 children in the foster care program were referred to adoption, while 29% of all foster children in had retained this status throughout their entire lives. "There was recognized to be a definite profit incentive for keeping the child [in foster care]," Representative Mario Biaggi explained to a Congressional subcommittee. "Once the child left the facility," he explained, "the payment to the agency was stopped." Little has changed since. Today, more than 18,000 foster children have a permanency goal of adoption, many of whom are legally free for adoption. Yet the agency completes only approximately 2,400 adoptions each year (Marisol v. Guiliani).
Renny Golden (1997) notes that, without an effective long-term plan, "children don't stand a chance of being adopted." Golden notes that less than 3% of adoptable children were actually adopted in in 1994, and that of 5,000 children in foster care in Milwaukee County in 1993, only 50 were adopted. Ludicrous case records play a role, according to Pia Menon, formerly an attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian. "I know for a fact why adoptions fail," she says. "It is because of lousy record keeping and useless evaluations of children. You can't give a caregiver a good assessment of what's wrong with a child without a good case history. People adopt children assuming everything is OK, and then the problems start coming out and they can't deal with them" (Golden, 1997, p. 178).
Indeed, Theodore Stein (1987) points out that information maintained by child welfare agencies is often incomplete and poorly documented. Child-specific data, such as custody date and type of permanent plan, may be missing from a computerized information system. Case plans may exist as a document which reports a planning goal, such as return home, while containing no information about how the goal is to be accomplished. Stein notes that workers "often fail to document the basis for decisions made and tend to record inferences without providing descriptive support." Staff may fail to log chronologically worker-client or parent-child contacts or to monitor service provision.
News of the many wrongful adoption suits filed against child welfare agencies and service providers may also deter many prospective adoptive parents. Almost invariably, child welfare agencies and their service providers raise public policy concerns in their defense against claims of fraud, concealment, and deliberate misrepresentation. In M. H. v. Caritas Family Services, for example, service providers Lutheran Social Services of , Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and , and Children's Home Society of joined the defendant as amicus curiae, arguing that the deliberate withholding of information about an adoptive child's background makes for sound public policy. In Roe v. Catholic Charities, the defendant argued that disclosure of the requested information to the adoptive parents would have violated public policy evidenced by statutes. In Meracle v. Children's Service Society, a case, the defense argued that public policy precluded an action against an adoption agency for negligent misrepresentation. Similar arguments were raised in Michael J. v. and in Mohr v. Commonwealth, a case in which Special Assistant Attorney General Owen Gallagher advanced the argument on behalf of the Commonwealth, and John T. Landry, III, Special Assistant Attorney General, argued the case on behalf of the social worker who was charged with misrepresentation and fraudulent concealment.
The cited cases constitute but a small representative sampling of many such cases in my possession, the common elements of which would be willful and deliberate misrepresentations of material facts, fraud, and concealment. While it would be improvident to suggest that the adoption end of the child welfare industry is deliberately designed in such a manner as to deter prospective adoptive parents, it can fairly be argued that if a system were to be designed with this objective in mind, one would need hardly improve on the model currently in place. As Children's Rights attorney Marcia Robinson Lowry (Committee on Ways and Means, 1988) explains:
Access to adoption is a cruel hoax. It does not exist for most of these kids. It takes such a long time to decide whether or not to free a child for adoption that by the time a child gets on an adoption track, the child is both so old and so damaged by his experiences in foster care that he becomes truly unadoptable. Then the States say, look, the only kids we have are kids that nobody wants. The State has put them into that situation and the State has delayed getting these kids into a situation where people would know that they were available for adoption.
The problems underlying the failure of the child welfare system to achieve permanence and stability for foster children are attributable to structural deficiencies which "are both numerous and complex," notes the Pacific Research Institute (Matlick, 1997). "Inefficiencies, failures, and misdirected motives exist at every level, from the individual caseworker to the judges that preside over reunification hearings, to the adoption system that is supposed to provide efficient exit." In the final analysis, however, the researchers note that there is one unifying factor underlying all of these deficiencies:
While each level can and should be examined individually, it must be recognized that every problem can be traced to the fact that, structurally, the system fails to promote its own goals. Administrators and caregivers are neither given incentives to promote permanency nor held accountable when they do not.
Copyright © 1989-2006 by the Institute for Psychological Therapies.
This page last revised on May 25, 2006.
Friday, January 19, 2007
No wonder some adoptees express feeling that they were "hatched"....
"The lack of emotional security of our American young people is due, I believe, to their isolation from the larger family unit. No two people - no mere father and mother - as I have often said, are enough to provide emotional security for a child. He needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond which he cannot break if he could, for nature has welded him into it before he was born." ~Pearl S. Buck
How can an adopted person feel this sense of connection when he is cut off from all of his kin and his birthline?
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Israel Considers Privitzing Adoption
Kentucky's adoption system rife with problems
Biological parents: Kentucky's adoption system rife with problems
Jan 17, 2007 05:13 PM
(FRANKFORT, Ky.) -- Dakota Greyhawk lost custody of his son last summer after state child welfare workers accused him of neglect and placed the boy in foster care.
The Louisville landscaper thought he would be able to clear the matter up and get 5-year-old Dakota Seth back home. Instead, Greyhawk said he has hit legal roadblocks at every turn, and he fears the state may put his son up for adoption.
"I feel like the system is nothing but a legalized black market for kids," Greyhawk said. "I want my kid back."
Greyhawk was among about 75 people who gathered in Frankfort on Wednesday for a public hearing that was intended to gather suggestions for improving the state's welfare system. Most of those who attended were biological parents or grandparents, who told horror stories about children being "snatched" away by state workers.
The public hearing came just a week after the inspector general in the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services released a report detailing numerous problems in the state's foster care program in the Elizabethtown area.
Investigators planned to turn some evidence over to prosecutors to possible criminal conduct.
The report said some regional managers for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services abused their power in removing children from their biological parents, failed to follow standard operating procedures, and retaliated against staffers who complained about the problems.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
The Steinberg Monster
Girl’s Killer Tries to Reduce Judgment, but Is Dealt Only Rebuke
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By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS
Published: January 17, 2007
An appeals court refused yesterday to reduce the $15 million award that Joel B. Steinberg owes to the mother of Lisa Steinberg, the 6-year-old child killed nearly two decades ago by Mr. Steinberg in one of New York City’s most notorious child abuse cases.
Mr. Steinberg, who had illegally adopted the girl, asked the court to reduce the award to Lisa’s mother, Michele Launders, because the child’s death was preceded by “at most eight hours of pain and suffering.”
Mr. Steinberg, who was once a lawyer, acted as his own lawyer in his appeal to the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
The court majority rejected his argument in strong moral terms.
For Mr. Steinberg to diminish eight hours of pain and suffering by a child “demonstrates that he is as devoid of any empathy or human emotion now as he was almost 20 years ago when he stood trial for Lisa’s homicide,” the majority said, in a decision written by Justice James M. Catterson.
Two of the five judges dissented, saying the award did not fall within the boundaries set by case law. But those in the majority said that they felt free to evaluate the award subjectively because they did not know of any other case like it.
Mr. Steinberg fatally injured Lisa, a first grader, by knocking her down with a blow to her head about 6 p.m. on Nov. 1, 1987, and leaving her without medical attention “while he enjoyed dinner and freebased cocaine,” the decision said. His companion, Hedda Nussbaum, put Lisa on the bathroom floor of their Greenwich Village apartment and tried to revive her, the court said, before joining Mr. Steinberg to freebase cocaine.
Lisa was 3 feet 10 inches tall and weighed 43 pounds, and medical evidence showed many bruises from previous abuse, the decision said. She may have been conscious at first, doctors said, and her brain had been swelling for 6 to 12 hours before she received medical treatment. She died in a hospital on Nov 4, 1987.
Mr. Steinberg was acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter. He was released from prison in 2004, after serving 16 years.
Quoting phrases from the testimony in Mr. Steinberg’s trial, the judges said: “For Lisa, lying on a bathroom floor, her body aching from bruises of ‘varying ages,’ her brain swelling from her father’s ‘staggering blow,’ those 8 to 10 hours so cavalierly dismissed by Steinberg must have seemed like eternity as she waited and wondered when someone would come to comfort her and help make the pain go away.”
NOTE: It's a paper victory only, as it is highly unlikely that Michelle Launders, Lisa's mother, will ever see a penny from this dead beat who is literally un-hirable for any job.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
It's been reported that China will have 30-million more men of marriageable age than women in less than 15 years as a gender imbalance resulting from a tough one-child policy becomes more pronounced, state media reported.
Wouldn't Americans have just gone berserk if someone told them how many kids they can or cannot have? And just imagine the reaction if we learned that nation - in Sot=uth America, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa or wherever - enacted a policy of taking every child from women under the age of 20 and gave them to women over the age of 30. or, if they demanded that every child of a person or couple earning less than the equivalent of $20,000 a year must be immediately removed for the protection of the child and placed with a family earning in excess of $60,000.
Americans would see this as equally as bizarre as China's restrictions on childbirth. How totally opposed to the "freedom" we hold so dear in the USA.
And yet, while not laws...they certainly are social standards. Once it was single versus marrieds in terms of who was deemed "ready" and able to make good parents. But money and age have definitely taken over as the most important criteria. If you are single, as long as you are "mature" and can "afford" to raise a child (read afford day care or a nanny) it is socially acceptable and you will receive not a word of pressure to relinquish your child. You will not be told how many deserving couple s there are and how a child needs a mother and father. In fact, single women of means can - and do - avail themselves of reproductive technologies and adoption, without any questions asked! If you can afford, you deserve it...that's the American way!
If you are young and have no income of your own, or older and poor - even if married - watch out! The hawks and vultures will be circling to obtain any child you bring into the world. You will be scorned and told how selfish you are.
Brave New World has met The Handmaids! Social engineering while not directly legislated, aided by laws and polices. Reduce welfare to single mother; deny them abortions and any means of day care; offer tax breaks for adopters and strangers who foster but not to family members. Offer federal incentives to state to speed adoptions taken from mothers for the "crime" of not having a baby sitter one day while she goes to work, cause she has no sick time on her minimum wage job. Tighten the rope. Squeeze them till the hand over the golden egg.
Friday, January 12, 2007
The Face of Adoption TODAY!
Two mothers have been in touch with me. There cases are NOT on the front pages like Allison Quets, but their plight to retrieve children taken under duress and fraud is just as poignant.
The first mother "C" writes:
"We filed suit in December and the timeline at this point gives the adoptive parents until January 15 or 20 (depends on mailing times) to respond. The suit is is currently not public record (which is good, especially at this point). I have an extremely strong case now. The adoptive parents did not file the post-adoption contact agreement with the Court when they finalized the adoption, which likely makes the adoption itself invalid (essentially, they lied to the Court about it being an open adoption). Also, they actually admitted in writing (in response to our demand letter to them before we filed suit) that they *never* planned to file it--so we have an admission of intent. I have the strong support of the adoption counselor who handled the adoption; she now believes it was intentional fraud from the very start of our interactions with the adoptive parents. Overall, it's looking very good (though I'm still being very careful in how we handle things)."
The other is fresher still. "H" writes:
" I am 33 years old my son, C.L., was born on August 20, 2006. He is 4 and a half months old. I am in NY but my baby is now in NJ because I was conned into signing a interstate compact form. The date of my relinquishment was November 24, 2006. The father did not relinquish his rights to my knowledge. The attorney I had representing me during the adoption process did not want me to inform the father, who is my ex boyfriend "R". She advised me not to, and said that it would make things messy and that I would regret it. I found out that I signed a paper that I had never seen before which contains a bunch of lies that there was no father, no one who acknowledged the pregnancy ect. This is all untrue. My ex boyfriend, R, knew about the pregnancy full well, we were together the entire time and he did pay for some things. He was with me on the day I gave birth and he visited his son at the Medical center Hospital in NY. Please help me, I am beyond distraught without my son here with me. I need my baby boy back, I'm willing to do whatever it takes, fight as long and hard as I have to and I'm willing to comply fully with any and all that is asked of me. Please help me
A mother in desperation"
I referred "H: to a NJ attorney and told her that she seemed to have a good case of fraud, however, a fight would be lengthy and very expensive.
The face of adoption has changed. The mothers are no longer teenagers. some are married. The promises are different. Shame and secrecy are no longer prized openness is. But the coercion, the pressure, the lies, the fraud, the exploitation of a mother in distress are all still there. Every day.
Every day countless women are being pressured in this manner.
When will it stop? WHAT CAN WE DO TO STOP IT???
Does anyone really believe that talking or writing about our pain - especially the pain of living with secrecy - will change the face of private adoption with baby brokers making millions of dollars with promises of openness to lure women???
Any of us who are able to must stop liking our own scared over old wounds and get back by making a real change! Mothers are changing much more major things in this world! Cindy Sheehan lost her son. he is DEAD - the ULTIMATE loss! yet instead of crying over her son and all the others who died...she is trying to STOP THE ONGOING CARNAGE!! The mothers who started MADD; the mother who got Megan's Law passed so we all now have notification of a sexual predator in our midst did that on behalf of her lost daughter; and the Amber alert was likewise cerated by one single courageous mother who did not let her child's loss be in vain but worked to prevent others from losing their children. These are just a tiny tip of the iceberg of outraged mothers who have made a difference for the FUTURE...for those who come after them...to spare other mothers and their children the same pain and suffering they have felt.
This is OUTRAGE and PAIN turned into real constructive POWER.
We have a huge fight. We have to fight a multi-billion dollar INDUSTRY. It will take many of us fighting together - focused on stopping the MACHINE that is stealing our children! Every journey begins with a single step. You cannot not refuse to TRY just because it seems a daunting task. it IS daunting, but is NOT impossible. The cigarette industry was taken down. We CAN do this!!!
This is the thesis of my soon to be released book, "The Stork Market: America's Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry." But as I said, writing about it is NOT ENOUGH! The book is a CALL TO ARMS!! I hope you hear the call and ACT. "C" and "H" and mothers and fathers EVERY DAY are counting on YOU! We need to say NEVER AGAIN and stop merely providing an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Vote for Your Favorite!
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Truth and Honesty in Adoption
Adoption reform has always been about Truth, Honesty and Opennes, and an end to lies and secrets. This applies to all aspects of adoption reform.
Expectant mothers and prospective adopters should be treated with dignity and respect and given HONEST, unbiased option counseling, telling them the pros and cons of what to expect from any choice they make. No one deserves to be lied to, coerced, pressured or swindled, scammed or conned for considering adoption.
When adoption is chosen the same respect must continue throughout the process. Promises made need to be kept. Pressure - even the subtlest - needs to be censored.
There is no one in the adoption reform community who would disagree with any of these simple tenants. We not only stand for Truth and Honesty - we fight dishonesty wherever it is used in the adoption process.
Adoptees and mothers who have relinquished are appalled when untruths about mothers wanting and asking for anonymity are used to protect the secrets of adoption. We speak out and do all we can to dispel these myths, lies and exaggerations that are used as smoke screens.
Now let us explore what happens once an adoption is finalized: The Ultimate Lie occurs and is government produced and sanctioned! Not only is a false birth certificate issued, but it is called an "amended" certificate. If that is what amending is - our constitution would look a lot different than it does!
We do not condone or accept any other lies of adoption - why would anyone wanting to reform adoption continue to support such a BLATANT LIE?
This is THE LIE that all adoption is based on. This is the motherload.
Adoption today is about filling empty arms and doing it in such a way that the paying customers are totally happy. It is allowing them to feel that they are sole owners of the property they have purchased and are protected from anyone taking it from them or sharing it with them. (Even "open adoption" gives adopters all power and control.) And, they want it to be in every way possible "the same as if" that child were born to them! What better way to aid them in their game of pretend than to issue a certified government document stating that it is exactly the same as if they had given birth to the child they are raising. A birth certificate witht heir name on it - just like a Cabbage Patch Doll!
This gives them total ownership and control rights. If they chose to never tell their child he's adopted, that is their prerogative and he could live all his life and never know that he is giving false medical information, and never know to fight for so-called "open records." Or, they could do as is currently advised of those adopting today and tell the child he's adopted at the earliest possible time and let him live all his life knowing that hes adopted and nothing more (until, as an adult, IF he is lucky enough to have been born in one of four states, he is allowed to peek at records containing the names of people who may well be dead by then). Just leave him to WONDER who he looks like, what ethnicity he is, where was he really born, and WHY was he abandoned. if he needs an organ transpplant or bone marrow - he can take his chances witht he courts which have not been very helpful. If he has a sevre emotional need to know - S.O.L.! We'll just ignore the higher rates of all psycholgical problems and suicide among adolescent adoptees.
Is this the adoption that reformers support? I don't think so!
Why then are all the bills proposed asking for "open records" for ADULT adoptees and not just asking for EQUALITY with non-adoptees - access to your birth records at any time anyone else in that state can get them? And why do we use terms like "open records" and amended certificates when what we need to DEMAND is an end to the government sancioned FALSIFICATION of birth certificates!
As of today no adoption reofrm group is addressing these issues. Instead we accept adopted persons living lives of lies and asking to see their records when thy are adults. this is not equality! This is NOT the "better life" I relinquished MY daughter for! What about you???
Conversely, if adoptees who petition the courts ask only for the records to adults - which continues to treat them as separate and different and lesser than non-adopted persons and also plays into the hands of those who say opening the records is dangerous and they need protection....if that is what they want, then the records should be opened unilaterally to both the adoptee and the original parents when the the adoptee reaches adulthood.
Every relinquishment agreement I have read - and I have read many from varying states and times - states that the mother (and father) are relinquishing their right to PARENT the minor child, or infant child. Once a person is an adult, what protection do they need from another adult??? The relinquishment is non-binding upon adulthood.
Monday, January 08, 2007
Adopting: Good Deed or Self Aggrandizing?
Not so many years ago, in Ireland, when an illegitimate baby was adopted, villagers would cluster around his new home praying for the soul of the poor little bastard stained with sin. In the West generally, adoption has widely been considered a last resort for couples unable to conceive, often after expensive attempts at IVF.
But this year, an adopted baby became the family accessory du jour: not the old kind of adoption, but elective adoption as a political and ideological fashion statement. Not only Madonna — whose swoop on a Malawi orphanage caused such a furore — but other high-profile celebrities have been busy adopting from across the world: Angelina Jolie from Cambodia and Ethiopia, Ewan McGregor from Mongolia, and Meg Ryan from China. Sharon Stone, Calista Flockhart, Michelle Pfeiffer and Nicole Kidman have all adopted within America.
US overseas adoption rates skyrocketed after Angelina Jolie adopted her two, and last month she was rated “best celebrity mum in the world” in an American TV poll. Praised for bringing up her kids as “global citizens”, Jolie has said she would like both to have more babies and adopt more, thus producing, as one wry observer put it, “An achingly cool rainbow family perfect for a Benetton ad.”
As we know, motherhood is the new black, and Africa is very now — a focus for celebrity activism from Gwyneth Paltrow’s Aids ads to Bono’s debt-reduction campaign — so what better way to attract the world’s attention than for Madonna to rescue little David Banda from an assuredly bleak future?
Fame is the perfume of heroic deeds, according to Socrates, and cynics note that adopting a poor black baby neatly proclaims a celebrity’s maternal, compassionate and cosmopolitan credentials in one poignant little package. Then when they get home there are staff. They make adoption seem easy when really it is fraught with expense, bureaucracy and potential disaster, those sweet babies turning into troubled teenagers who feel they don’t quite belong anywhere.
Still, an image of Brad Pitt with little Ethiopian Zahara in his arms is a far more potent symbol than cautionary tales about the pitfalls of inter-country adoption. Hats off, then, to Emma Thompson who three years ago quietly adopted Tindy, a 16-year-old refugee from Rwanda. He was alone and friendless in London and she invited him for Christmas; he slowly became part of the family. Tindy is now 20 and studying politics. “He calls me mum,” says Thompson. “I am so proud of him.”
How about Mia Farrow who did it way before it was trendy?
Better still, how about Oprah Winfrey who does charitable work without taking home trophies?
In Jewish law there are eight levels of doing good:
1. The highest level of charity is for one to make it possible for an indigent not to need the help of others.
2. The second level of charity is where the benefactor does not know the identity of the recipient and the beneficiary does not know who the benefactor is.
3. The third level of charity is where the benefactor knows who is receiving the money, but the beneficiary of the money does not know the identity of the benefactor.
4. The fourth level of giving charity is when the benefactor does not know who the recipient is, yet the indigent knows the benefactor's identity.
5. The fifth level is where one gives to an indigent prior to his asking for help, this being less embarrassing.
6. The sixth level is where one gives the indigent what he needs only after he has requested help.
7. The seventh level is where one gives an indigent some of what he needs, yet he gives it with a happy countenance, making the poor person feel good.
8. The eighth level is where one gives money to the poor, yet does so with a heavy heart. Nevertheless, it is still considered charity since the poor are unaware of the donor's negative attitude. (One who dispenses charity but openly demonstrates his displeasure in giving, loses the merit of the goo deed.)
Where does adoption fit as an act of charity?
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Falsified Birth Certificates
For more on the issue of BN and falsified birth certificates, see Bastard Granny Annie, Saturday, January 06, 2007 "BASTARDS DON'T LIE" for Anita's post "refuting" statements I allegedly made here... and be sure to check the comments.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Doin' it Right!
|DiCaprio jumps on the African adoption bandwagon|
Washington, Jan 06: Leonardo DiCaprio is the next one to follow the African adoption trend set by Angelina Jolie and Madonna.
During the filming of `Blood Diamond`, the actor met a little girl in South Africa, and fascinated by her, decided to adopt, according to the New York Post.
However, unlike his predecessors, the Titanic actor will not be bringing the girl home, but will be funding her expenses and making telephone calls to check her well being.
During his stay in Africa, Leo spent time with the SOS Children`s Village Charity, which provides a home environment for children who are orphaned.
On the other hand, Jennifer Anniston, 37, is considering adopting a boy.
Material Girl at it Again..or Still...
Meet Willard from Malawi. Madonna's paying £20,000 for his education in Britain. Oh, and he works for the adoption ministry.
The row over Madonna's adopted African baby has erupted again after it became clear that a civil servant working for the ministry which handled the case is studying in Britain at her expense.
The Mail on Sunday has learned the singer agreed to pay for Willard Manjolo's living expenses and tuition fees, thought to be about £20,000, four months before she was granted temporary custody of the child.
Leading Malawian lawyer Justin Dzodzi says her sponsorship of Mr Manjolo 'could be construed as payment for the adoption'. Mr Dzodzi, who is campaigning for a legal challenge against the adoption, said: "The entire circumstances surrounding the case need to be re-examined and this latest disclosure is something we would wish to bring before the courts."
Mr Manjolo, 40, who is married with four children and has one grandchild, began a bachelor of science social work degree at Swansea University in September - a month before Madonna left Malawi with 13-month-old David Banda. Malawian government officials said they would have been unable to fund him.
Adrina Mchiela, principal secretary at the country's Ministry for Gender and Child Welfare, said: "Madonna is paying for everything and we are extremely grateful.
"We had talks with her in June about adopting a child. She asked us whether we had any problems and we saw a chance. We told her the ministry lacked trained personnel and asked if she could help. We told her about Manjolo, who is a social welfare officer, and she immediately responded.
"Madonna indicated a willingness to sponsor more officers. We just have to inform her of our need."
The Mail on Sunday found Mr Manjolo enjoying a breakfast of chicken and rice at his halls of residence. He said he was grateful to Madonna and planned to thank her in the forward of a dissertation he is writing.
"But I don't much like her music - it is for a younger audience,' he confessed. "I prefer music by Rod Stewart and Fleetwood Mac."
Mr Manjolo said he was not involved in the adoption process and had never met the singer, adding: "It is unfortunate if people use their wealth to manipulate events, but I don't think it happened in this case. Her application was considered on merit.
"If it is in the best interests of the child, people should not argue about it. This child is being given an opportunity. But you must adhere to the professional requirements to avoid child trafficking."
Mr Manjolo has settled in well in Swansea. As part of his induction, he was given a lecture on the city's most famous son, Dylan Thomas. He spends his spare time watching football and enjoying the scenic Gower Peninsula.
"I like the area very much,' he added, 'although the weather is cold and I am missing my wife Taonga. She is a computer programmer and mother.
"I wanted to come on this course in 1984 but funding was a problem and has remained a problem for 22 years.
"I was appointed as the national co-ordinator of a programme to help vulnerable children in 1999, but I thought there would be no chance of completing this course because of a lack of government cash. It was only last August that I was told money had finally been sourced."
Mr Manjolo will remain at Swansea University until November.
Unlike most student digs, he keeps his 12ft by 10ft room in pristine condition with a pile of neatly folded clothes in one corner and a list of seven sins according to Mahatma Gandhi pinned to his noticeboard.
He said Madonna's cash would allow him to train social workers to encourage Malawians to adopt Malawians.
Ironically, that would make it more difficult for wealthy Westerners to use their fortunes to acquire African orphans. Mr Manjolo added: "Over a million children in Malawi are orphans and half of these either lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. Fewer than 100 social workers are struggling to cope with this human tragedy.
"Until now, adoption has always been a foreign practice in Malawi, but the intention is to encourage Malawians to adopt Malawians.
"My completing this course will help my department to develop this policy."
Madonna's spokeswoman was unavailable for comment. Last year the singer defended herself against allegations that she broke Malawi's adoption laws, claiming it had none 'so we made them up as we went along'.
But David Banda's father Yohane said recently that he never wanted the adoption to go ahead.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Clarification and UPDATE A judge this afternoon granted a bail release to Allison Quets, 49, who was arrested at a home in downtown Ottawa lasRe Quets
From The OriginsUSA Board of Directors
January 1, 2007
OriginsUSA does not hold an official position on the flight to Canada of
Allison Quets with her twins. Individual members of OUSA may or may not
support Ms. Quets as is their right as individuals. Implications of this
case, however, are beyond the mission statement of OUSA.
OUSA does believe that the entire situation could have been avoided if there
were adequate legal protections from predatory adoption practices in place
for pregnant American women.
As of this moment it is unclear what Origins Canada official position is on this, but they are NOT planning a demonstration at the Ottawa courthouse.
It appears that I reported inaccurately, based on mis-information that they had dropped their support of Quets based on her manner of conception.
The official statement above makes good sense as an organizational statement due to the line crossed of possible illegality in the alleged kidnapping. However, inasmuch as the adoption was never finalized - despite the press insisting on using the surname of the perspective adopters for the children - and in view of the fact that it was contested within 12 hours...the courts will have to decide if in fact a mother can kidnap her own children. It is because of the questionable state of the unfinalized adoption that Quets had unsupervised visitation. And she reason to fear that once it was finalized the adpters would not only stop her visitation, but would also move.
The one who got this story totally right, IMO is the Ottawa Sun: "Adoption under the microscope: The fate of Allison Quets and the twins she birthed has raised questions about the fairness of procedures"
They get to the heart of the issue reporting:
"After conceiving Holly and Tyler Needham through in vitro fertilization, Quets signed adoption papers for the twins six weeks after their birth but changed her mind 12 hours after her fateful decision. In Ontario, birth mothers have a total of 28 days to revoke consent on an adoption, including an initial seven-day waiting period immediately after the birth. For decades, lawmakers have debated the most appropriate length of time birth mothers should have to reconsider the adoption of their baby."
This is what it's all about! It's not about kidnapping or her method of conception: It's about coercing mothers out of their babies! What happened to Allison Quets - prior to her resorting to taking the law into her own hands - is in direct conflict with good, decent, moral, ethical adoption practices! THIS is what needs to be focused on!
A judge this afternoon granted a bail release to Allison Quets. She was ordered to reside until Monday with former Renfrew police chief Robert Thompson, who posted a $5,000 bond. On Monday, Quets is expected to surrender to Ottawa police and then be returned to the U.S.
An FBI warrant was issued for Quetts’ arrest after she failed to return the 17-month-old twins to their adoptive parents in North Carolina on Christmas Eve.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
The Quets Debate
Allison Quets has become a controversial figure embroiled in an extremely complicated custody battle. Some first mother groups have dropped their support of her because fo the nature of her conception.
I ask: What difference doe sit make how they were conceived...she was COERCED and her desire to revoke the adoption - stated within HOURS was ignored!!
Who are we to JUDGE when we were judged so cruelly? What difference does conception make" Some babies are conceived in love, some in lust or passion and others as a result of rape or coerced sex. Some are conceived to appease a boyfriend or husband, some are conceived as a result of incest. Some women have no idea when or by whom thye became impregnated. Some don't even know thay are pregnant until they deliver. What difference doe sit make?
If we start to judge people on how they conceived instead of on the facts of the ADOPTION case...where do we stop?
A very vocal birth mother has often made a huge point of saying that reproductive technologies are a separate issue and have nothing to do with adoption because they occur before there is a child to be adopted. I believe this is true.
Allsion Quest is a mother. Every mother has a right to not be pressured or coerced into adoption and every mother has a right to have her wish to revoke such a choice within a reasonable amount of time honored! Not just the "classic" stereotypical mothers who were young, and stayed in maternity home, and loved their boyfriend, and it was the first time they had sex...but ALL MOTHERS! Married and single, young and old, conceived intentionally or not.
I am shocked and saddened to learn that OUSA's has withdrawn support for Allison, because she may be BIOLOGICALLY connected to her twins. And these are the people that hate being called BIOLOGICAL mothers! is it the biology that makes us mothers, or is it feeling life inside our womb and wanting to raise those lives? I have heard some say that if the eggs were donated as well as the sperm, that makes her equivalent to an adoptive mother! No it does not! Adoptive mothers do not carry their children inside them, risking thei very life to bring them into the world. Whoever donated or sold the egg was DISCARDING it. They didn't care who it went to. they didn't try to revoke the sale or donation as Allison has tried to revoke the adoption of her living children.
Those Lyin' Bastards!
Some of you may have seen the BN Quarterly Spring/Summer 2006 which printed my article entitled “Dear Bastards: Demand Equality!” published as a point/counterpoint. In it I asked BN why they do not focus on the real issue: the falsification of birth certificates. If you missed it – I posted it here on Wednesday, September 27, 2006, “Dear Bastards: Demand Equality!” with their very lame counterpoint.
Monday, December 11, 2006 the daily Bastardette blog posted:
“MOTHER MAY I? GRANNIE ANNIE NAILS IT!” regarding what they saw wrong with the NJ legislation (and the adoptee activists who worked on it for more than 25 years!). It was the third or fourth post on their complaints about this and other bills that are not “pure” -- with no compromise. I wrote several comments and asked why, if they are so against compromise, are they willing to ACCEPT a life of lies if only they can get a peek at the truth when they are adults.
Marley Greiner states: “Half-measures are not acceptable. New Jersey’s adoptees deserve more. Why are they settling for less?” and “The keystone of adoptee rights has always been access and identity for all adopted persons who want it--without prejudice-- a right, not a favor.”
If the keystone is access for ALL ADOPTED PERSONS, why does BN limit it to only adult adoptees? This is not an acceptance of a modification added to a bill they introduced…it's a limitation THEY put on themselves -- only request right for adults!
Regarding a Mass bill, they write: “Please veto SB 2690 and let Massachusetts adoptees and those who stand with them return to the Great Court and pass a genuine records access bill that makes all adoptees equal to each other and the non-adopted” and “Please veto SB 2690 so that in the next session adopted adults and legislators can work together to fashion a bill that will treat all adoptees equally.” In regards to the Jersey bill Marley asks: “Don't all adoptees count?”
They rant and rave, claiming to want ALL adoptees to be treated equally, but they really mean only all ADULT adoptees! What about adopted children who need a life-saving transplant, or are suicidal? What about the teens on drugs and depressed, feeling abandoned? I have bene contacted MANY TIMES over the years by desperate adoptive parents wanting to open a closed adoption.
What about those who are adopted and don’t know they are adopted, so even as adults they don’t know there is an “original” certificate to ask for? Instead, they go on into adult-hood giving false medical information. What of these adoptees? How does BN help them?
I wrote comment after comment, trying to get a reply from Marley – or anyone in BN as to why they self-impose a limitation on the rights of adopted persons and yet get bent out of shape when bills are passed that limit their rights. No reply. I wrote and wrote and asked over and over why they do not even use the phrase “equal access” instead of “open records” which implies they are opening Pandora’s Box…and why they accept living a life of lies until they are adults? No reply.
And then, it finally hit me! Suddenly the answer was perfectly clear. And I presented it: They don’t mess with the falsification of their birth ccertificates because they want to have their cake and eat it to. They love having been adopted into a higher socio-economic strata. And they don't dare rock the boat or bite the hand that feeds them and has educated many of them very well indeed!
And, more importantly, IT IS ALL ABOUT C-O-N-T-R-O-L!
They prefer to live their lives, pretending to be born to their adoptive parents, and have the control to choose where, when and what they do with their true information once they are adults. Maybe stalk us and see if we are “worthy” of them. See exactly what kind of blue collar trash we are before deciding. Maybe contact us once, get some medical information, and then toss us away.
If their birth certificates are never falsified to begin with they loose that control! Why, WE, their blood-related mothers and fathers might actually take the initiative to contact THEM! Horror of horrors! We might actually make ourselves available to their adoptive parents while they are still young, so that we could help in touch and offer the TRUTH and updated medial information – open their closed adoption! Don't they realize we are still persons non gratis - we have no rights. We are but strangers to the, in the eyes of the law. We could take no control form them or their adoptive parents.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand fully why anyone, and adoptees especially, want to have full control of their lives. I have no problem with that. What I have a problem with is talking out of both sides of your mouth at once. Don’t claim that you want equality for ALL adoptees when you want adult adoptees to have special privileges you wish to keep minor adoptees deprived of.
In opposing the Mass legislation they write: “tiered rights systems such as codified by SB 2690 are open to legal challenge. SB 2690 creates a class system in which adopted persons are segregated and treated different from everyone else (the non-adopted)…. it treats some adoptees better than others. Why, do adoptees, because of the date of their birth deserve “special rights”--or “special disabilities“--as the case may be? What makes a person born on July 18, 1974 less worthy of rights than someone born on July 17, 1974 or January 1, 2008?”
How totally IRONIC and HYPOCRITICAL for a group that supports the rights of some adoptees based on their date of birth!
I put forth this theory of control, and on or about December 16 or 17, Marley Greiner finally replied. The 40th comment on Monday, December 11, 2006 to the daily Bastardette blog post: “MOTHER MAY I? GRANNIE ANNIE NAILS IT!” And this is what she said:
"I intend to answer your comments separately in the next couple days when I have more time. Maybe I'll even blog them.” More than two weeks – and nine posts later – I am still patiently awaiting Greiner’s reply.
I wait and I wonder: Will adoptees ever grow the BALLS to ACT like adults and really DEMAND their true rights instead of accepting a life of lies (and blaming everyone else for limiting their rights). It's damn pitiful!