Saturday, September 20, 2008

BETHANY ITS YOUR TURN

Yesterday this article came out about Bethany. I just wanted to puke. I know of natural mother who placed through them. I know that she was coerced to some extent. She was an active blogger. Unfortunately she has gone private with her blog. She was one of my favorites.

The day before yesterday I had quite a busy day. I was helping one family find the putative father law in California, asked to see if I could find another address for a possible mother in another situation for an adoptee, and then I get instant messaged from even another adoptee asking for help in her search.

The last adoptee was adopted from Texas Cradle Society. She had been given the run around by various people in Texas. Amazingly I found within thirty or so minutes. I was not real sure but she went and confirmed the information. Low and behold she is now in reunion. I now get my kicks by watching many of these reunions occur. I can't have my own so I help others get theirs. This young woman had been fighting for information for three years.

I am getting a little off track here. Bethany is who I wanted to discuss today. That article discusses the changes on the Bethany website. I quote the article:

"Bethany wants the communities they're working with to understand the concept of "a brand new day" and understand how the hope of the Gospel frames everything they do. Aside from telling people, they changed their logo to reflect their hopes.

According to official sources, the changes in the logo are purposed to remind those they're working with of their commitments. The verdant green colors depict life, growth, and hope -- all of which Bethany strives to deliver to children and families around the world.

The "child" above the letter "Y" is joyful, with uplifted arms. The white cross indicates that Bethany is Christ-centered by living the Gospel and demonstrating God's love. The letter "Y" is elevating the child, which shows that the focus of their service is children.

Even the name "Bethany" serves a purpose. It's larger than the other words, helping to brand the name, but "Christian Services" underlies "Bethany," for it is their faith in Christ that is the foundation of all that their teams do."

Of course they care about children. They earn massive amounts of money from adoption. They specialize in domestic infant, international, foster care, snowflake adoptions and estate planning. They want the adoptive parents to keep coming back. In Michigan they are the prime opponent in the adoptee access law.

Thanks to another friend of mine, I stumbled upon this story. I spoke with the natural grandmother in this case. In Feb of 2006, a baby was born to a mother who was addicted to meth. The father when he first found out that she was pregnant asked her if the child was his. She denied it. She said it was someone else. The child was in the care of Bethany's foster care because the child had serious health issues. The child was also full term. California doesn't have a putative father registry. So the agency must test every possible father. Bethany only tested one man. When the other man tested negative for paternity, the child was placed. No other man was tested. The father in this story found out this after the child had been placed. He went to the mother's parents and received pictures. Those pictures looked just like him as a child. They had waited to find out which agency. They had placed contact information at all the area agencies. Finally they found who the agency was. They wrote a letter to the agency explaining everything. Contact was made to the adoptive parents. They agreed to meet at the agency. All agreed that the next step was a DNA test. The father already had his done. They contacted the agency about it. They hemmed and hawed. They had got a hold of their attorney. They then sent a termination of parental rights and an open adoption agreement to them. He refused to sign them. He contacted an attorney. That attorney wrote two letters advising them it would be in their best interest and the interest of the child to have the DNA test. The attorney was an attorney. Before she had to resign the case (she was appointed to a judge position), she had recommended that he sue for parental rights. The adoptive parents were not willing to get the DNA test at the advice of Bethany. The agency wanted to control the relationship between the adoptive parents and this father. The last communication with the adoptive parents came from the father himself. They are now looking for an attorney to represent them.

When this started, these folks had not wanted to disrupt the adoption. These folks wanted to have a truly open adoption. We all know that organizations like Bethany do not want that. They can't control the flow of information. They honestly believe that we living adoption can not handle adoption by ourselves. They are also a member of the NCFA and the JCICS. They also have board members on these organizations. They also have been accredited by the COA in which they also have board members of Bethany.

Some other key points with Bethany is that they are working with many of the crisis pregnancy centers across the country. One of the many organizations that the COA accredits is employee assistance programs and various credit counseling organizations. So Bethany has their fingers in many of these organizations.

Now according to their own "Dear Birthmother" letter, the adoptive parents wanted an open adoption. Bethany defines open adoption as the following:

"Common Elements of Open Adoption

  • The expectant parents meet potential adoptive families before making their selection.
  • The birth and adoptive families fully disclose identifying information (names and addresses) at the appropriate time.
  • There may be ongoing contact, such as: attending the birth of the child, attending physician visits together, visiting the home, gathering as extended family members during special occasions, etc.
  • There is direct correspondence between the families.
  • The families contact each other directly by telephone.
  • There are face-to-face meetings during the child's lifetime.

Advantages

Everyone involved in an open adoption communicates directly, without a third-party (mediator or agency). This plan allows both families to nurture their relationship as it naturally develops. Information is shared more easily in an open adoption.

Disadvantages

Sometimes adoptive parents and birthparents are uncomfortable with the level and type of birthfamily participation in the life of the child. There is also the possibility that the differing family styles and cultures may cause discomfort.

Keys to a Successful Open Adoption

Adoptive parents in an open adoption accept birthparent participation as a way to enhance their parenting and the life of their child, not to diminish it. Typically, they are confident enough to say "no" to birthparents without fear of jeopardizing their relationship with the birthfamily.

Birthparents who do well in open adoptions view their role not as parents, but as people who are very special to the family. They are accepting of the entire adoptive family and build a relationship centered on what is best for the child. These birthparents are typically mature individuals who understand the need for boundaries. Often they are goal-oriented, looking for achievement in a direction other than raising a family. Open adoption is most easily understood in the context of an "extended family" relationship.

Every adoption has circumstances that help to define the parameters that will be best for the participants. Children thrive when the circumstances that prompted the adoption decision for their lives are shared with them to their fullest. Relationships with some degree of openness seem to give adoptive parents the best opportunity to answer their children's questions most effectively. In open adoption plans, children grow knowing that they are loved by their family members—the parents who adopted them and the parents who gave them life."

This agency and these adoptive parents are not giving the child his own best interests. Now I know that this agency is not interested in the best interests of the child but the dollar amount that this child brings in. I also know that it is paramount to their bottom dollar. What gets me is that adoption is supposed to be in the best interest of the child. Another situation where I am proven wrong. Its sad and disappointing that these adoptive parents and this agency don't want what is best for all involved.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

when i was pregnant ; i had an informal interview with "Bethany"....interesting..although they

could clearly see the stress and struggles i was going thru..

the only "help" they offered me was talk of "adoption"...


someone else who was intersted in taking my baby made a big deal about who would pay for the cup of coffee after the "interview"

just say the word adoption and i faint

what a disease

KITE KAMP GIRL said...

I hope that you kept and it sounds like you did. Yea as an adoptee, these agencies creep me out as well.