“USA Faces Critical Adoption Shortage” Where Are The Children?


Holy crap! Yep, USA published a story with this idiotic title, the part in quotes. I blame the title on whoever the editor is and the ignorant content to Wendy Koch, the author. Thanks to Adoption News and Events on Facebook for publicizing this article. Thanks to them for also spreading the word about Terry Achane. If you’re looking for news regarding adoption, all news, good and bad, I certainly recommend checking them out on the good ‘ole Facebook.

I have found Wendy’s article under two different names, but here is the full one I found titled: “Adoption Options Plummet As Russia Closes Its Doors“. Check it out.

I don’t have the time to tear into this as much as I’d like but its short and I’m sure you’ll be able to figure out most of it for yourself. Here’s my initial reaction though. One quick thing, I’d highly recommend sending Wendy, the author, a message if you find her article misleading, damaging, disrespectful….etc. Its quite easy once you click on the article to find the form to contact her. The link is entitled “Send Wendy Koch a Message” under her little bio.

Mostly, I find it troubling that Koch’s article frames the problem as a lack of adoptable children for US families. The focus is meeting the needs of the families that wish to adopt, not to mention say, the wellbeing of the children or their birth families. In fact, her article paints birth parents in a negative light by saying that “She said some, traumatized by costly failed attempts to adopt abroad, may not be ready to risk fostering a U.S. child only to lose guardianship later to birth parents whose parental rights are restored.” Really? This just fortifies the mentality that relinquishment is voluntary, that first parents don’t want their children. That once you’ve relinquished your child that’s it. You don’t get a second chance you don’t lost your opportunity. It also denies the possibility that a child could have BOTH sets of parents actively parenting them or actively in their lives.  Whatsmore, this framing of the situation immediately places the adoptive parents and first parents as adversaries fighting over the child.

This section and the entire article frame the prospective, American, parents as the victims of a shortage of children who need families. What the fuck!? I think I’m  beginning to understand what people are referring to when they speak of “the adoption industry”. An industry designed to function in order to provide children to parents that desire them. Its a transaction they are interested in, not creating a healthy living environment for a child or helping a struggling parent to keep their child. (FYI, I don’t really know who I am referring to besides the people in this article, as the adoption industry because I know there are plenty of people doing a splendid job as well).

“Oregon’s Patt Murphy and her husband Lawrence, who adopted their son from Russia in 2004, are now looking at foster care for another child, because they fear other countries may suddenly close their doors. They find adopting from foster care can be competitive but, she adds: “It’s definitely worth it. The children really need you.”” So adoption is charity? Nope! And parents you aren’t saviors even if it was.

“There are fewer foster-care children available, because more are reunited with birth parents or adopted by relatives and foster parents.” Um, is this supposed to be a bad thing? I’m gonna get all semantical (definitely not a word) now, but using the term “available” makes it seem like children are a commodity (re: adoption industry, again)!

I have found one thing I have in common with this piece of work though, we are both asking the same question, “Where are the children?” They of course are wondering where they are so that they can be adopted by the wonderful saviors of the world (American parents) whereas I’m wondering where the hell are the children in this article? As far I can tell this article could be about anything: baby squirrels, pet rocks, or freaking ferbies!

So Wendy Koch, even though you are writing a piece asking where the children are, I want to know where the hell they are in your article? And who appointed you authority on adoption anyway?

Just don’t read the comments section, it’s never healthy to read a newspaper’s comment section, ever.

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5 thoughts on ““USA Faces Critical Adoption Shortage” Where Are The Children?

  1. Unfortunately, adoption is big business for some with lots of grey areas. I think international adoptions are popular because the adoptive parents can compartmentalize better, they can separate the child’s “old” life easier from their “new” life with them. The first thing my adopted parent’s did when I arrived from Vietnam was change my name to an American name. I don’t they did it maliciously, but not enough thought is given to the impact that adoption has and will have on the adopted child through their life. Great blog!

    • Yeah, I think you are right about international adoption that some parents feel like there is a concrete separation that they can make between an adoptee’s “old” and “new” life, without realizing how harmful that can be. It creates all sorts of problems to try to deny people their past. My parents gave me different first name, but kept my given name, Kumar, that I use. It is a bit strange that they made my given name my middle name since they knew I would use it. Thanks!

  2. Ah Kumar – you are seeing the “adoption industry’ many of us have problems with, and the distinction between “adoption” and “the industry” the latter of which is what makes us angry. I only found an abbreviated version of the story, and yes the title set me off (my version did not have the Where are the Children which made it even worse).

    But this quote below from your article (it’s expanded) is worse than the version I read, because Tom blames all the fraud problems on the country that they decend on, and side steps the agencies lack of oversight, and what seems to be lack of willingness to implement stringent protocals, to ensure no fraudulent adoptions occur under there watch. Because the “industry” could police itself if they wanted to, and get rid of the agencies who what seems like willingly go along with bad things by doing things like inserting gag clauses into contracts with parents, and lack of oversight on the ground, or checking reports that come with the kids to see if they are true. There is a growing body of parents who have proven lies in their adoptions that are speaking out.

    “”It’s been a cataclysmic implosion of intercountry adoption,” said Tom DiFilipo of the Joint Council on International Children’s Services, a non-profit. “It’s truly the children who are suffering,” he said, as countries accused of adoption fraud refuse to make changes and others acting out of nationalistic pride insist they can provide for their own.”

    • Yeah, I have so much to learn. Did my link work to the full article? It was strange how there was a difference between articles published. The title of the article was just “USA Faces Critical Adoption Shortage” and I added the question as my own commentary. I knew that would be confusing, but that’s what I get for trying to blog from a smartphone!

      Oversight is definitely lacking, as well as clear and stringent guidelines that are enforced to ensure that fraudulent adoptions are picked up and the agencies that conduct them are reprimanded.

  3. Reblogged this on One Woman's Choice and commented:
    After reading the article (linked to this blog), I agree with the blogger.

    I would like to add, what seemed to surprise me most was how the facts notated in Wendy Koch’s article were written with a negative aspect instead of as a positive aspect (ie. less newborn adoptions available because of single motherhood, or less available children in foster care because of a number of reasons listed). Aren’t those things good things. If we were talking about other awareness campaigns, these numbers would be used to highlight the positives (less smokers, less cancer victims, less suicide). Studies have shown that adoption comes with trauma and emotional/attachment disorders. I think we should be celebrating that there are less newborn adoptions because their parents or grandparents or extended family members are raising them or helping to raise them. Adoption will always have it’s place in society. But how we manage adoption says a lot about who we are as a people. I mean wouldn’t it be great if we had a society where adoption was no longer a necessary action and agency services were no longer needed, and babies and children no longer had a price tag on them? Call me crazy but I think that would be wonderful. A true utopia.

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