Yep this is going to be political. These are all topics being bantered back and forth in the media with Conservatives and Liberals being for and against each other. Faith based Initiatives, Abortion reduction, Financial incentives for foster agencies and my tax dollars has my panties in a twisted mood.
In the news recently, Congress passed HR 6307. It was introduced by Representative McDermott (D-WA).
According to the article this bill:
"H.R. 6307, introduced on June 19, by Representatives McDermott (D-WA) and Weller (R-IL), is a wide-ranging child welfare bill that covers such issues as supports for the placement of foster children with extended family, requiring reasonable efforts to place them together with siblings, requiring an oversight plan for the medical treatment of foster children, reauthorizing the Adoptions Incentives Program which expires this year, and Title IV-E access for tribal governments for foster children in their care."
I agree with most of this bill except and it is a big EXCEPT is the Adoptions Incentives Program. In theory, it is a good idea. Its not a good idea in practice. Adoption agencies are making too much money with little and unproven results.
I am going to use Texas as an example since all the records for these agencies are pretty much public. This includes the IRS Form 990 from 2006 and the complaints against an agency.
Since Gladney is so well known and adamantly opposed to adoptee access, I will start with them
Gladney earned $2,769,451.00 from government grants, adoption incentives, and other contracts provided to the government in lieu of pregnancy care and foster children.
Keep in mind that the adoptive parents pay $40,000 per infant adopted. This according to their 990 goes to the medical, room & board, and counseling services. There is also medicaid reimbursement to Gladney. Of course through their international program, the adoptive parents' fees goes to reimbursing the facilitator and the orphanage.
According to their 990, they placed 188 children domestically in their "forever" families. They also placed 182 children internationally in their "forever" families. They counseled 203 "birth mothers" in that year. Fifteen mothers escaped their clutches. Its obvious that they are encouraging more women to place than to keep. If I just used the median of their fees ($35,000), they earned $12,950,000 from their adoption agency. Hmmm that is quite a bit of money. They still got $2,769,451 from indirect public support (United Way and other organizations). You look at little further at their revenues. It is combination of other types of government grants and contracts. This does not include fees earned through adoption. That amount is $5,493,295. Total that up and its $8,262,746. Add that amount to the $12,950,000. That total is $21,212,746. God only knows how much they charge adoptees and natural families to search. They also run interference between them because they believe that these folks are incapable of handling their own affairs Keep in mind that they also have the Gladney Fund which is all over the United States. I won't even go there.
A portion of this is taxpayer's monies. Tax payer dollars that I have paid into our tax system for Texas and the federal government. Money that goes to the CEOs Money that they use against adoptees, adoptive families and natural families. Yep they use it against us in denying us access to the OBC.
Buckner Children and Family Services out of the Lubbock area. Both Gladney and Buckner are members of the National Council for Adoption. I looked over both of these 990s and saw no membership dues on these. You would think that they would but no they are not claimed. Lets look at the Buckner Children and Family Services.
They received 6,955,794 in indirect public funds. They received 12,200,907. Unlike Gladney they don't go into detail as to how many adoptions were performed. The form 990 asks these agencies to include government contracts and fees in with these. Its hard to determine what in fact they are getting from the state and federal governments.
I know of several other organizations within Texas that get quite a bit of money from Texas. It adds up real quick. Foster care is soon becoming as big and lucrative a business as infant and international adoption. If it is a several hundred million dollar business in Texas, it starts to add up. Just a rough estimate, foster adoption for these agencies is a $5 billion business.
After reading the Sean Paddock case, Children's Home Society got up to $45,000 to place these children with the Paddocks. I am sure Ms. Paddock really enjoyed the financial gains as well. I am sure that they were paid monthly via state funds and not funds from the agency itself. Children in foster care are considered special needs. Honestly this money needs to go to the children in foster care. I know that there are great foster parents out there.
However, we have way too many children dying in foster care nationwide. We have a serious crisis on our hands. Americans are going to other countries and adopting children who are not really necessarily better than our American foster children. It doesn't make sense to me. We are letting our children down here so that adoptive parents don't have to deal with "birth" parents and adoptees finding those "birth" parents.
We know that foster adoption has issues with corruption and greed. We know that international adoption is fraught with it as well. I have spoken with several adoptive parents who have complained about domestic adoption. We Americans seem to turn a blind eye to it here in the United States. The coercive tactics of yesteryear are considered illegal. They can't lock a woman without access to her family because she is pregnant.
I have heard it mentioned that Heidi Cox from the Gladney Center has recommended to adoption agencies to do their recruitment in State Hospitals and state prisons. I don't like it when we attack a woman when she is down. I consider that coercive. I am sure the adoptive parents are not being told all of this information either. Those pesky little secrets. So the National Council for Adoption along with the Family Research Council (headed by Tony Perkins) got with a marketing company called The Right Brain People. They created the "Birthmother, Good Mother" campaign. They basically come up with ways to counter "I can't give my baby away." They also want female adoptees to feel good about adoption so they then will feel that they can relinquish as well. It is a scary marketing plan.
As many of us activists have sniffed out where the money goes, adoptees and their families have suffered at the hands of these agencies. Before we can really do abortion reduction, lets see if giving accurate sex education doesn't help this. Lets provide resources for women and men to raise their own children.
For God's sake, lets reform adoption first. I as a tax payer am sick of these agencies using the funds that they receive from others and the government against me in order to deny me my rights. I have done my duty as an American. I have served in the military, vote every time that there is an election, raise my children, support my family and pay my taxes. Adoptees, adoptive parents, and natural parents are getting sick and tired of being manipulated by the adoption industry. We want to control our relationships. We are quite adequate at handling our own affairs (pun intended).