Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Big Business

So, we’ve all heard the news now about the Russian Adoption Ban.  Many great writers have commented on the story on their blogs, carefully highlighting facts beyond the tales of heart broken couples affected by Putin’s decision . . .

To me it is disappointing to see the majority of the opinions on the ban.  I readily admit to having a limited amount of knowledge about International Adoption compared to so many other wonderful voices out there.  But I do know the adoption industry and I do know it is, at its very core, a clear and true example of big business.

And I have no doubt the damage it creates in its wake holds so much responsibility for how we as Americans practice adoption and how we are viewed in return by other countries for our ways.

As a nation, we blindly, and without question, support and encourage a multi-billion dollar industry.  And we expect other countries to do the same and shake our head in disbelief when they don’t.

We refuse to see, or outright ignore, that so much of adoption in today’s world has nothing to do with finding families for children in need.  Instead it is a business, profiting off obtaining children for couples who want them.

There is nothing humanitarian about it.  Nothing charitable, kind or good, in so much of past and current adoption practices.  It is, plain, cut and dried, simple as can be, nothing more than paying customers – potential adoptive parents – hiring a business to find a baby for them, creating a personal demand they expect to be filled.  It is vulnerable, pregnant mothers being marketed for and counseled into giving up their children to create the answering supply for that demand.  And it is babies becoming nothing more than the product in between.  Priced and paid for just as in every business transaction that occurs.

That is it.  That is the majority of what adoption is in our country.  It has nothing to do with saving anyone.  It isn’t about heroes or saints.  Better or worse parents.  It’s about money.  It’s about the profits that can be gained in an industry that is mostly unregulated, powerful, and sitting comfortably with the knowledge that their unethical practices of acquiring and selling children are not only supported, but hailed as something wonderful by so many.

And the saddest part is, in so many ways, as a nation, we only have ourselves to blame.  We are a culture that firmly believes that those who can afford to pay for a baby deserves them far more than a mother in need of help and support.  We equate money with parenting ability and prefer those who do not require us to help a mother and her child in any way but instead allow us to walk away without concern.

And the children are the ones caught in the ugly middle.  They become the innocent victims in the business of adoption.  Taken away from their families, their countries, their culture after the price is paid for them and then viewed as “saved” into a better life.  Paying couples wanted them, vulnerable, frightened mothers provided them and the adoption industry profited off of them.

This is what we accept.  Encourage.  Support.

We embrace the business of adoption and its unethical and immoral practices then work ourselves into a frenzy when others dare to condemn the way we treat children and their mothers during times of need.

Fueled by the Adoption Industry in their quest to profit off of finding children to fulfill the demand of couples wanting a child . . . the needy, the vulnerable, the poor, become targets in our country and others.  But, unlike here in the States, other countries are beginning to realize the truth behind the business of adoption and are taking steps to protect their citizens from the damage caused by allowing greed and money to be a deciding factor in the life of an innocent child.

In Australia, where their Adoption practices were similar to what we have today, they finally realized the danger in allowing big business to determine a child’s future and created laws to protect a mother and her child from being separated to fulfill the demand of couples wanting a child.  Once money was removed from their adoption practices, their concerns changed to what was truly best for their children and supporting family preservation became a priority rather than a lack.

We can only hope that, maybe, with Russia banning the money driven business of American Adoption in their own country, there will also be a genuine shift in truly caring about what is best for their children. 

Though it is missed in all the heart breaking stories of couples who have had their hopes of adopting from Russia erased, Putin promised to sign a Presidential decree that would help the children in his country.  He has given hope that their focus will now turn in to what is best for children in need instead of what will profit those in the business of adoption.

I hope, more than anything, he follows through with his promises.  I hope Russian children will finally be given the care and support they truly need and that their lives will now be about what is best for them and not about what strangers desire to gain from them.

And I also hope that, someday, we here in the States will recognize and admit to the damage we cause by allowing Adoption to be a business based on profits, supply and demand.  That at some point we realize how terribly wrong it is to allow families to be torn apart because we use the illusion of money as a determination on who does or does not deserve a child.

Perhaps, someday, one of our own Government Officials will have the same courage to stand up and speak out against the business of paying customers, coercive counseling and unnecessary separation of a child from his or her family.  Someday maybe we will see a true concern for what is best for our children and a commitment to doing more to help families stay together rather than be pulled apart.

And maybe, just maybe, if we keep fighting for, and hoping for, change, we might see a time when society finally realizes how wrong it is to have a business that is centered around fulfilling the desires of adults at the expense of our children.  That demands an end to all profits made from taking a child from his or her family to satisfy the wants of strangers.

A time when we cry out with the same disgust, as so many have for the Russian Ban, against those who use the most innocent members of our society for their own gain.   Who market for and place price-tags on the heads of our children, making them nothing more than just another business transaction . . .

 Another product to be sold.


  1. Oh yes that's it. Lets leave a whole bunch of children without anyone who is willing to care for them and love them just so you and your cronies can make a point about how bad you think adoption is because you couldn't take care of your own kids. I hope you sleep well at night with what you are doing.

    1. Ah Anon,

      Since you have completely missed the point of this post and decided instead to go on the attack, I don't think there is really much to say to you.

      But I can assure you that I am, as soon as I publish this comment, headed off to bed and I do plan to sleep very well, thank you.

    2. At most, 5k children a year were adopted. In recent years, that number is closer to 1k. The total number of children in orphanages in Russia is over 700k. This law is hardly affecting the children of Russia.

      Maybe, instead of spending $50k a child to bring them over, that money should be spent on helping improve the orphanage system. That would mean tho that individual families would have to give up their dream of parenting tho and no one seems to want to spend that kind of money if they don't have a direct benefit from it.

      Removing children has done nothing to improve the system there, so maybe it's time to help do that so more than 1000 children a year can be helped.

    3. "Removing children has done nothing to improve the system there, so maybe it's time to help do that so more than 1000 children a year can be helped." Exactly!

    4. Sounds like you're bitter that you couldnt have a child naturally. Dont take it out on the OP, she made some very good points.

    5. FYI: I have two children. Both of which I was not coerced into an adoption with. Had I had an infertile couple crying over me as I gave birth, I am not sure I would have had the strength to keep my children and to tell them "no." America needs to catch up and disallow such a manipulation. It's a violation of children's rights.

      The cronie has not participated in adoption. NOR WOULD I. As a pro-lifer, I examined adoption BEFORE I would agree to advocate for it. American adoptions (not including foster care) are barbaric, fraught with manipulation and coercion. Vulnerable mothers are tricked into thinking that they owe their children to wealthier, infertile couples. Ahhh...anyone with a heart can see how wrong that is! Unless they are clouded by "infertility."

  2. anonymous (1/1/2013...9:43 pm),

    this post says it better than any reply I could give you. http://abolishadoption.blogspot.com/2012/12/thank-you-president-putin.html

    Written from an adoptee, btw, not one of our "cronie" fellow first mothers. Your assumptions are disgusting.

  3. Ah Anonymous at 9:43 pm....you seem very disturbed at what Cassie wrote. It is scary to have Cassie and others such as birth parents and adoptees talk about how family preservation should come before human trafficking. There are so many people who CAN take care of their own kids, and do not need to be coerced in to surrendering them to unecessary adoption.

    I hope in the future there will be better support systems for families, access to birth control, and little need for adoption in all countries. That is a scary new world for those who profit from adoption. And when adoption is necessary it will not come with secrecy and lies.

    I am sure Cassie and many others do sleep very well at night because the points they make are very important. Perhaps you are the one who does not sleep well, as you seem to be having a very knee jerk reaction to what Cassie said. Try not to let it bother you. There are so many others speaking her truth and their own truth at well. Perhaps you may need an Ambiem....bless your heart.

  4. Why I Don't Just AdoptJanuary 1, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    Thank you for exposing what for many people is the hidden truth about adoption, both domestic and international. For what it's worth, I'm very sorry for your loss and what it means for your children. Please know that at least some of us are aware that what happened to you (and so many others) was and is nothing short of evil.

    It's small comfort, I know, but at least I can say that blogs like this have made a difference for me, who totally bought the "just adopt" narrative until I stumbled across your site and an adoptee blog that opened my eyes. Now, despite constant pressure from family and friends, my husband and I will not continue the cycle of victimization. I am done with infertility treatments and may never be called "Mom," but at least I can hold my head up and know that I never paid people to break up a family for my sake.

    I dearly hope we can all find peace as we wait for legislation to change and the truth to be common knowledge.

  5. Cassi, thank you for writing this and for sleeping well! : )
    From one of your dearest cronies ~ Hugs!


  6. One of the biggest problems in Russia is that institutionalization is part of the social fabric, as it is in many Eastern European countries, and dismantling it (like Burgaria is trying to do) means dismantling part of the economy. That is not so much about profit as it is about the jobs Russians would expect to find in the system, and about the custom of institutionalizing very poor and handicapped children—a cultural trend you are not going to reverse overnight. As in China, attitudes to people with disabilities are not progressive. Second, economic transformation in Russia since the fall of communism has left single moms unprotected: women have a harder time finding jobs and publicly funded pre-school care programs have been eliminated. Half of all Russian single moms already live with their parents or other relatives. So the system is already strained. Third, domestic adoption in Russia has not been a success story. There has been lots of child-dumping, abuse, and homicide—the numbers are not encouraging. The ban, like so many things in adoption, is just the tip of a complicated situation. You imply that PAPs are the driving force for relinquishment, but relinquishment happens in Russia for all sorts of in-situ cultural reasons that have nothing to do with adopters. Why else would there be three-quarters of a million kids in Russian institutions but comparatively few available for adoption?
    I understand the ban, but would also hesitate to characterize every single adoption in Russia as having absolutely nothing to do with any humanitarian instinct (“There is nothing humanitarian about it”), especially when kids can get medical care in NA that they cannot get in Russia, or being entirely about selfish, personal demand. There are some kids whose lives have been improved by being adopted, as there are others who undoubtedly fared better by not being adopted by religious nuts or by people who were woefully prepared. The situation isn't black and white; neither is the ban.

  7. I agree with the commentor above; the "demand" for children didn't create the crisis overseas as seen in Russia, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Romania and so many more. The problems there are systemic & existed long before Americans set their sights on adoptable children.

    There are few to no social supports in these countries. Single mothers choosing to parent face unbelievable hurdles and even if successful find their children stripped of basic rights/identity, unable to attend schools, oft times ridiculed, bullied, attacked and more, such is the stigma of single parented homes and fatherless children ( as these children are considered overseas).

    Additionally, Russia did not suspend adoptions for ALL countries, meaning peoples from around the world can still "create" that demand as you see it and adopt Russian children - just not Americans. A complete ban may have signaled a movement to keep these children with their families and improve domestic adoption. Sadly that is not the case.

    There is no meaningful movement to support families in Russia wishing to keep their children nor is there a will to do so at this time.

    Succintly put, this was political based retaliation with children being used as collatoral pawns. THAT is something EVERY mother should abhor, regardless of which side of aisle you stand on.


  8. @Anonymous 9:43pm "Oh yes that's it. Lets leave a whole bunch of children without anyone who is willing to care for them and love them just so you and your cronies can make a point about how bad you think adoption is because you couldn't take care of your own kids. I hope you sleep well at night with what you are doing."

    First off, I and so many other mothers "could have taken care of our children", better than you and your "cronies". Get way over yourself. You cash didn't make you a better parent. Make no mistake. Most of us were more than capable, allowed ourselves to be brainwashed to believe otherwise; just like how so many adopters now brainwash OUR children to believe bogus nonsense to keep our children loyal to them and their insecure, possessive, cold hearted selves.

    Awww... and YOUR problem is that you and your "cronies" can't adopt white Russian babies to have the 'as if born to myth' without the pesky natural families so close by. If they are all the way in Russia, who has to worry about "them" being in the picture at all, huh?!

    Lady, if you and your "cronies" were so concerned about a "whole bunch of needy children", you'd be visiting all the orphanages right here in the good ole USofA and adopting children who TRULY have no families. You aren't doing that because you don't want to adopt older children with histories you can't erase (even though you can't erase the histories of the infants you adopt either, although you think you can). You don't give to s**** about the older children languishing in orphanages in Russia, either. It is about the blank slate infants you want, that are so hard to come by here in America these days, (perhaps because more and more mothers are coming forward with stories of how they were conned and manipulated out of their infants with bogus open adoption promises.) There was a whole new hope of adopting Russian infants you wanted your greedy, grubby hands on. Now that has been taken away from you. BOO HOO.

    I will quote the blog mentioned earlier:


    "Thank You President Putin.....For finally giving American Adoption Agencies and Adoptive Parents that vie for Closed Adoption Records and who have broken Open Adoption Agreements a taste of their own vile medicine..."

    Sweet Karma. Ain't it a bitch?

  9. @ Sweet Karma a.k.a. Mom422

    Must give you tremendous pleasure to dance in glee at the pain of others; are you shaking your fist high in triumph with giddy euphoria because you believe someone else may be suffering?

    Well, dance away Mom, dance away.....btw, have any of you checked the stats on children adopted domestically by Russians and noted the high incidence of abuse, death and disruptions? Did anyone beside the 2 coherent Anon. posters above understand banning the U.S. from adopting Russian children IS NOT the same as a comprehensive family first plan or a way to deal with the staggering numbers of institutionalized children in Russia?

    Still want to equate U.S. Foster Care with orphanages in Russia? Hmmm...I've been overseas a dozen times with Doctors without Borders and visited MANY orphanages - please let me be the first to say that by in large conditions are deplorable (especially in Russia) the child to care giver ratio 10 to 1; many go without essential medicines, heat in the winter, diapers....shall I go on? How about a single influenza outbreak causing the death of 12 and quarantine of dozens more? 3 year old children weighing 15 pounds? Rickets, malnourishment, RAD, Sensory deprivation? Still shaking your fist and grinning a nasty grin? How about this then?.....children aging out at 15 or 16 with no social supports, familial connections, life skills or hope.Something like %75 of girls will end up in prostitution or dead and for boys only a slight improvement. Karma? Yes, karma has really kicked those PAP's butts this time around! Something to kick our heels up and celebrate!

    Mom422....still feel like espousing karma? Karma for those Russian kids or for youself for filth like this? I get that you are bitter and maybe with due cause. But this Russian move was a political F U to the U.S. not to PAP's and caught in the middle is kids. But what else is new, huh?


    1. How does adoption solve those orphanage problems?

  10. @Dave- "Must give you tremendous pleasure to dance in glee at the pain of others; are you shaking your fist high in triumph with giddy euphoria because you believe someone else may be suffering?"

    Kind of like how adopters "shake their fists high in triumph with giddy euphoria" because they KNOW others are suffering without their children? If you happen to be one, which I highly suspect you are, you are all too familiar with that giddy euphoria, aren't ya?

    Give me a break. You claim to care so much for Orphans? Well do something about it in your own back yard, then. There are thousands of Orphans right here in America, languishing. Why aren't you lining up to adopt them? Something just doesn't add up with the picture you attempting to paint of your deep concern for "orphans".

    What, you say? You only want a newborn infant fresh from the womb of it's mother and adopting an infant here in America would mean the pesky natural families being just a bit too close to you and THEIR child you purchased, correct? That is what this is REALLY about and I will never doubt that.

    No, Dave, I don't wish for the suffering of any child and it is truly heartbreaking knowing their are children languishing in any orphanage, anywhere. There are orphans the WORLD over, including thousands here in America. Get to it, if you are so interested in helping Orphans (not newborns you wish to procure from their mothers because you can't have your own). I don't think you are. It is you and your cronies who wish for and inflict pain upon natural families every day by the way you dehumanize and demonize them once you get your hands on their infants. Funny, not one time in your rant did you mention that. That is always so conveniently left out by you and your "cronies".

    Perhaps Russia saw the sickening entitlement of Americans and they way they feel they have some right to other people's (and countries children), so just it just may not be the political F U you are "espousing" it is.

    Filth. Yes, I am all to familiar with adopter filth and the way they treat natural families and their filthy, sickening and disgusting entitlement to something that is not theirs.

    Now head down to the local orphanage and adopt all those kids who TRULY have not family you are so very concerned about, instead of scolding mean ole Mom422 who wants children to suffer. (nice try, Einstein). Those orphans are waiting. Would you like some names and addresses of some orphanages here?

  11. And since you apparently have the means, humanitarian Dave, why don't you move to Russia on a permanent basis and take care of all the orphans in deplorable conditions; instead of being so concerned about your adopter friends being able to adopt the infants they so desire and having the time to scold me on a blog from a natural mother called ADOPTION TRUTH.

  12. I know there are terrible things that happen within adoption "business". Sadly, there are terrible things that are happening in the world, unjust and evil things.

    But can we truly say that no adoption is in a child's best interest? There are children who are left on street corners, in dumpsters, completely abandoned and without any hope of anyone knowing who their birth parents were. For those children, their only hope is institutional care. And, while I hope someday this care would be good, the sad truth is, currently it's not.

    Unfortunately we can't change the care that other countries would provide children who are truly abandoned. There are systems and organizations set up to help children, but truthfully there are more children than there are workers and it will be a long road to change. While we hopefully await that change, what about those children aging out of the system?

    If we knew a child was truly abandoned and was able to give him or her hope for a family rather than allowing them to naturally age out of a socialized system where their most likely future is either living on the streets or prostitution, would we make the choice for adoption?

    Again, I think the corruption that can happen in the adoption "business" as you put it, is terrible and needs to be stopped. But, maybe along with helping fund childcare in other countries, we could agree that truly abandoned children deserve a hope and family if it's possible?

    Maybe more regulations just need to be put in place to know that every option has been exhausted before adoption. Maybe I'm missing a step in the order below, but at some point, what other option is there for a child if we're truly looking out for their best interest?

    1. Work to keep the child with their birth parents.
    2. Work to find and keep the child within their own family (even if extended)
    3. Find an adoptive family for the child within their own country.
    4. Last and final hope for a child to have a family: international adoption.
    5. Allowing the child to stay in the orphanage and age out of the system to an unknown future.

  13. You're absolutely right, it's all about money.