Recently there has been news of deaths of two Russian adoptees. One of which was adopted by a Russian American. From what I hear, Russia is looking to close adoption again until laws are in place to protect Russian adoptees in other countries. I do believe agencies here in the United States need to be examined more closely. The adoption industry in the United States regulates itself. There is no federal nor state level regulation. This all adds up to corruption, coercion and deception. It hurts not just the adoptive parents and the natural parents but ultimately adoptees. We are the ones that pay the ultimate price. Do I believe adoptive parents need to go through more thorough investigation? Yes I do. They are given a gift of a raising someone else's child. It is a very serious choice. It is not a right. It is not a privilege. Its huge responsibility. They are held up to a much higher standard that they must honor. To be honest it is not the adoptive parents that I am after in this post. I hold the adoption agencies and attorneys responsible.
Just in today's news alone, there are several articles with adoption corruption. Lisa Novak along with her husband operated the Claar Foundation was arrested today. This woman wrote a bad check to a Guatemala adoption agency. She is robbed adoptive parents both of their dreams and their money. I ran across a story of a woman adopting from Russia. She had custody of her son all of a few hours only to have her son die. The world needs to start treating children more than products. Every country in the world needs to support children. Children are our future. They are not a commodity to bought and sold on someone's whim. They have rights just as the adults do. I fight for those rights daily. Another story out of Florida states a woman faked her pregnancy with an adoption agency. She was charged with theft of $5,000. Honestly the adoption agency should have tested her first thing before giving her a dime.
I have been lucky in the folks that I have met in my path. I met an adoption agency executive director recently via email and phone conversations. To be honest, this woman has got it right. She may not be able to enforce all open adoptions but she does give it her all. She left a comment on my blog recently. One of the ways to hold agencies accountable is by requiring openness in adoption. The relationships are up to the adults granted. Requiring openness. This reassures the adoptive parents that there is not any coercion This reassures the natural parents that their children will have contact with them and that those children will be raised right. I have spoken with quite a few of this agency's adoptive parents and a few of the natural parents. I am impressed. It takes a lot for me to be impressed. There is a concept that another natural mother and I discussed. Just because a natural mother relinquishes doesn't mean she stops being a mother. Its nature. Its God's will. Whatever you want to call it, once a mother gives birth, she is always always a mother. She is just as much a mother as an adoptive mother is a mother. This applies to the natural fathers and adoptive fathers in this world. There needs to be transparency in adoption.
The movie Juno is another hot topic. Its upset the members living adoption. I can see why. It disregards the heartache and trauma of natural parents. It totally ignores the adoptee's future needs. It slams adoptive parents as being needy and greedy. It doesn't represent the truth in adoption. Here is a letter from a blogging friend of mine that was posted in USA Today.
Juno’ out of touch with sacrifice, suffering of adoption decisions
Robin Westbrook - Sanford, Fla.
It is painfully obvious that the young woman who wrote the screenplay for Juno is not really in touch with the full experience of surrendering one's own flesh and blood for adoption. If she interviewed young women who have gone through this process, then she probably met a lot of women in denial ("In Juno, adoption pain is left on cutting room floor," The Forum, March 19).
I was in Juno's shoes more than 45 years ago, and giving up my baby for adoption was no laughing matter. The movie should have shown an older, wiser Juno about 18 years down the line, her face etched with grief and regret.
The young women of today have access to birth control and to legal, medically safe abortions. If they decide to carry a pregnancy to term, then why not go all the way and take total responsibility by raising the child? When I meet young women who are pregnant, I try to help them find the resources they need so they can keep their babies. The ones I have helped are glad they kept their babies and have turned out to be exemplary mothers who also completed their educations. Juno is a mockery of the pain that millions of women have endured. It certainly didn't deserve an Oscar.
Pain is missing
Jill Schoer - Superior, Wis.
Thank you to Jean Strauss, who wrote the Forum piece about Juno. In 1983 I was 19, a sophomore in college and unexpectedly pregnant. Like Juno, I made the decision to carry my daughter and to go through the adoption process. I did everything I could to disconnect myself from what was happening to my body — to not fall in love with the child I was carrying. I gave birth but chose not to hold my daughter, fearing I would not be able to follow through with my decision. I left the hospital determined to move on with my life. In reality, as Strauss stated, I was broken and changed forever.
I was hopeful that this movie would reflect the reality of adoption and the pain of relinquishment. There were subtle moments in the movie when I saw Juno's pain — but not enough. I hope there is a time when Hollywood finds a way to depict the reality of adoption from a birth mother's perspective. I have a happy ending: My daughter found me four years ago. But a clear understanding of the pain caused by adoption for birth mother and child is important to ensure healthy futures for everyone.Its time to demand changes in adoption. I hope that every adoptive parent, every natural parent and every adoptee will step up and make those changes. Its time for all of us to hold adoption agencies and attorneys accountable.