Friday, November 18, 2011

Lip Service

There is a heart breaking story out there about a grandmother who lost her grandson to adoption . . .

It is, unfortunately, another incident of another adoption agency destroying families at any cost for the sake of profits. Of more proof to the fact that as long as we allow these agencies to go unregulated and unchecked, they will continue to commit such crimes without punishment.

And adds to the sad realization that such agencies are the norm, not the rarity in the billion dollar world of adoption.

I’ve heard the argument, the justifications, but the truth of the matter is . . . there is no such thing as an ethical adoption agency. They don’t exist. They can’t exist under the nature of what adoption is in our culture.

As long as there is no protection for pregnant mothers or the children who are supposed to be the most important in adoption. As long as there is profit to be made off of human beings, government-paid programs teaching counselors how to convince women to give up their babies and more of our taxes going into helping couples adopt over helping mothers keep and raise their children, there will never be anything but corruption and greed, coercion and manipulation in adoption.

And an adoption agency can give hopeful adoptive couples or frightened pregnant women all the lip service in the world, it will never change the fact that it is just that . . .

Lip Service.

Because for an adoption agency to be truly ethical, to really care first and foremost about pregnant mothers and children, they would have to go against just about everything they are in business for. They would actually have to admit that adoption counseling is coercive just in the very nature of how it is done. Admit the damage separating a child from his or her family causes. And turn away from the profits they earn with each “successful” adoption.

A truly ethical adoption agency would refuse, without question or argument, to see or talk to a pregnant mother about adoption until she had received crisis counseling for her situation . . . TRUE crisis counseling. Not the kind that comes from counselors that earn their paychecks from mothers giving up their babies. Or Social Workers who aren’t trained to recognize or work with those who are in the midst of a crisis.

It has to be from those who know. Those who are licensed and have been educated and trained to realize that a mother claiming she wants to give away her child is not a normal reaction. To understand there are fears driving such feelings and a responsibility on the one offering counseling to help her not only work through her fears but overcome them so that any decision made is one done so outside of the emotions that are pushing her to make a rash decision that will affect her for the rest of her life.

But there is not an agency I know of that has such requirements. Instead they work their way around that by claiming they truly care about the pregnant mother because they offer “options” for parenting. What they don’t say, but they know . . . trust me, THEY KNOW . . .is that it doesn’t mean a thing to offer such options to a woman who is already caught up in fear. Already believes she can’t do it.

If she hasn’t been helped to overcome her fears, encouraged to seek solutions and answers to what is pushing her to make such an irrational decision, such options are going to be rejected without thought because she is already living under the terrible fear that she isn’t good enough for her own child. And NOBODY has helped her work through that fear or overcome it.

She has already been denied the help she needed . . . deserved. And is instead being manipulated because of her fears. Her desperate emotions being used to push her to give away her child.

There is nothing ethical about that. Absolutely nothing.

But it doesn’t even stop there. Again, for an agency to be ethical, they would also have to put every effort into making sure a child remain within his or her biological family if at all possible.

Not just in foster care adoptions – such as the grandmother who tragically lost her grandson because of the illegal practices of an adoption agency – but in ALL adoption situations.

They would make sure every pregnant mother who came in their doors was aware of the studies, the research, that shows children do better within their biological families versus being raised by strangers. They would encourage family adoptions over stranger adoptions and they would ALWAYS put their highest effort into keeping a child in their family, through whatever means possible.

There would no longer be counseling that encouraged grandparents to “accept” their daughter’s decision instead of stepping in to help support and raise their grandchild. No more suggestions that family offering to help was the same as them not “respecting” a pregnant mother’s decision.

And there would definitely not be situations such as this grandmother’s where biological families were denied their own grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, because there were already strangers being given the promise of adoption.

Keeping children, whenever possible, within their families would go beyond just a practice. Beyond whatever it is an adoption agency might tell others to appear ethical. It would be a requirement, a must, before any other form of adoption occurred. They would fight for it, be vigilant about it. And wouldn’t stray from it, not even if their profits were threatened.

And that is the final reason why there can never be an ethical adoption agency . . . profit.

They make money. They gain. They succeed off of taking children from their mothers and handing them over to strangers who have the ability to pay for them. They lie to adoptive parents, first parents and even adoptees. They cover their tracks, call themselves non-profit, do whatever they can to hide the one and true reason why they do what they do . . .

MONEY.

The money they will not give up. Money that keeps their manipulative, coercive, corrupt and illegal practices going. Money that pays for lobbyists to push for laws that keep them unregulated, untouched even when they clearly break the law. Money that denies protection for pregnant mother and children.

Money that does and will continue to make it impossible for any adoption agency . . . anywhere . . . to ever be ethical. Because they can’t be. They don’t want to be. And they never will be.

Not it today’s world. Not in the ugly truth that is adoption. The ugly truth that won’t change until our support, our belief . . . our own personal ethics . . . change and demand better.

18 comments:

  1. I do agree that we need to have more good agencies but I don't believe every adotiotion agency is bad. The agency, a act of love we used to adoptg our little girl was great and very good and caring. Instead of labeling every agency as the same maybe we should make a nexample of those that do good and encourage everyone else to be like them.

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  2. A Act of Love? This adoption agency is guilty of so much corruption and screwing fathers out of their rights to raise their own children. Ya, great example.

    -Mara

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  3. While I totally agree with you and am a strong advocate for family preservation, I don't think this will happen without a complete overhaul of our culture. The U.S. does not believe in social benefits, we have no Universal healthcare and some of the worst welfare benefits in the western world. Young, unmarried expectant parents without financial resources are an expense to the state whereas older, financially secure PAPs are not. When you couple this with our bull$h*t belief that biology doesn't matter (because it's love that makes a family) you end up with the strong pro-adoption culture that we have in this country.

    @Mommyof3,
    A Act of Love?? You have got to be kidding me. They are always in the news for some unethical adoption deal they put together. Hell, they can't even spell.

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  4. What I can't believe is when PAPs are willing to take a child when they knew s/he has loving, safe extended family who wants him. They are just as guilty as the unethical adoption agencies.

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  5. Mommyof3, what you need to realize is that adoption agencies are businesses, and you're their customer. Babies are the products they sell. Just because they are polite and friendly to you, an adoptive parent, doesn't mean that they are doing the right thing by birth parents and children.

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  6. "A Act of Love"

    My God even their name is coercive.


    Joy

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  7. mommyof3 -

    Oh dear God (and I mean that in the most respectful way possible, God)!!!!!!! Are you serious? You want "A Act of Love" to be held up as an agency that is doing "good"? SERIOUSLY????? Don't you read the news or are you too busy playing house with your bought-and-paid for babies?

    Do your homework, mommyof3. Start with abuse of father's rights and violation of inter-state compacts then work your way through the coercive tactics used by members of the NCFA. And if "A Act of Love" is the MOST "ethical" agency you can think of, then you need to stop adopting children NOW. Capital N-to-the-freakin' BIG O-to-the-giant-W NOW.

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  8. And please, please, PLEASE tell me you aren't LDS, mommyof3.

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  9. mommyof3...sit down calmly, reread post and then think about it, take on board what is the essence of what has been written and then tell us your agency was ethical.No agency is ethical, ever.Adoption is not ethical, there are alternatives but instead of making huge sums of money for agencies and attorneys they cost money, need imagination, hard work and ethical practise.It's time!
    Great post from someone who knows what she's talking about!!

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  10. Oh and BTW and agency that refers to adoptees as 'Recently Placed Adoption Situations' deserves to be closed down!

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  11. Adoption agencies exist to make profit, because those who run them have their own families to feed.

    However, an adoption agency can only exist if there is a woman who gives up her child.

    Paradox, much?

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  12. Mommyof3,

    I'm not sure if you are truly unaware of the practices of A Act of Love or if you mentioned their name simply to try and stir up trouble. Either way, as Von said, no agency is ethical. It is impossible for them to be.

    I know many adoptive parents are told of all the services that their agency provides to pregnant mothers and are led to believe that their first concern is for the mother and her unborn child, but such a reality is impossible when their paychecks, their profits, their very way of life depends on mothers giving away their babies.

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  13. A Act of Love!@

    Are you crazy?They are one of the worse agencies in the world. IN THE WORLD.
    They steal babies, don't they?

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  14. Cassi:

    The original story that led to your post is so sickening that I could barely read to the end. People who look at how children from foster care found that when they found relatives--grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, second cousins, anyone related--the kids fared a great deal better than when placed with strangers. Why is this so hard to understand when it makes common sense? The fact that the grandmother Roxanne Gant lost her grandson Bradley is unconscionable. Now he will grow up with genetic strangers. And this is better for whom? No Roxanne Gant, and certainly not Bradley.

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  15. I would consider an agency that

    1.)fights for records access
    2.)does not promise confidentiality and instead makes every party aware that the adoptee will have access to his or her own records.
    3.) encourages openness
    4.) Does not charge any adoption fees whatsoever (this actually should be my #1)
    5.) has separate representation for the adoptee, the mother, and the adoptive parents.
    6.) does not market adoption
    7.) does not take stances on other political issues or donate money to political causes.
    8.) does not lobby for unethical policies.
    9.) provides support services other than just adoption.
    10.) has family preservation as a part of their mission.
    11.) serves the children most in need or all children equally, such as children of color or foster children, instead of mostly handling adoption in White/light-skinned babies.
    12.) has adoption competent professionals, REAL social workers who have a social work education, and follows strict social work ethical guidelines.
    13.) offers free, life-long counseling to all involved.

    That would be an agency that I would consider itself to be on its way to being ethical. There are actually small agencies working towards this. They charge no fees and seek to serve the neediest children and families of color. I can't remember the name of the agency I found. They caught my attention when they were interviewed in the news and stated that charging adoption fees is something they'll never do because it is a temptation for corruption.

    to one of the other commetners: being "nice" and "caring" does not make an agency ethical--not in the least bit. Of course they're going to be "nice" and "caring" for crying out loud. How many adoptions do you think agencies who are "mean" and "indifferent" facilitate?

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  16. What a great checklist from Amanda and one with which it would be imnpossible to disagree.
    An agency that is 'nice' ad 'caring' would in my mind immediately arouse suspiscion and call their motives into question for me.For those of you taken in by 'nice' and 'caring' perhaps you're not aware the agencies use sophisticated marketing techniques in order to equip their workers with the skills to relieve women of their babies and adopters of their money.

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  17. Some adoption agencies in the UK use some very dubious methods. As can be seen at http://invisibleengland2.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/first-hand-account-of-holding-therapy-in-the-uk/

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  18. they especially offer the parenting "option" as a scare tactic with things like, do you really think you are ready to be a parent? It is a 24/7 job that you can't take a break from....

    http://reformadoption.com/Advocacy/main.shtml

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