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Thursday, February 26, 2009
Adoption Fraud
One of the things that was important to Jim and me when adopting was going through an ethical process. As much as we wanted to adopt, it had to be a process that was thoroughly vetted. We felt very comfortable with the China program, so we proceeded. Since then, we've learned that the program wasn't as spotless as we'd thought, but the incidents seem to be isolated rather than the standard.

This morning, I'm sitting at my classroom desk and listening to a morning news show on the TV. It's very foggy outside, so we have a delay. Students won't be arriving for another two hours. They reported on the resolution of a case from Utah that I must have missed hearing about earlier.

It is appalling.

A now defunct adoption agency in Utah "recruited" families in Samoa to give up their children. They promised them a good life and education in the United States, and they promised the children would have continued contact with their families. They then took these children and adopted them out to US families who were told they had been abandoned. From the television story, they reported that most of the children were toddlers. These toddlers were extremely upset and told stories of loving families that did not jive with the stories of abandonment and fostering the parents had been told. One father has since flown to Samoa and returned his daughter to her birth family. The other families are trying to negotiate a compromise where they fulfil the original promise of caring and educating the children while allowing them to maintain contact and visits with their birth families.

There are so many children in the world who need loving homes. There are so many loving homes in the world that need children. Getting them together shouldn't be this hard. Children shouldn't suffer through years of abuse and neglect by birth families or a broken foster system. Birth families shouldn't have to choose to abandon their children to get them health care, education, food, or to avoid breaking laws.

These birth families were victimized. These adopting families were victimized. And, most importantly, these children were victimized.

The perpetrators? They get probation. Oh, and they can't work in the adoption field anymore. Duh!

Now, I've read this article. I understand the grounds of their probation.

It is not enough.



Blogger Marcia said...

That is horrible. I haven't read the article yet...don't know if I want to. I just can't believe this!! I can't imagine what all of these families are going through.

Blogger Wendy said...

We read and hear about the adoption scams ALL THE TIME here in Utah. They involve people all over the world, not just Samoa. It is incredibly sad. The only people who DONT suffer are the scammers. It is prime example of how unjust our judicial system has become. Terribly sad and unfair for the families involved. IMO the judicial system needs to do something besides put the scammers on probation and a slap on the wrist but the jails and prison(s) are over-crowded and understaffed.

The state(of Utah) is cutting back on the corrections budget this fiscal year and cutting back on officers. They're not hiring officers, they're laying them off, paroling inmates due to the officer/inmate ratio. The system is wacked.

Blogger Kiy said...

Oh my gosh. I have no idea how I missed this either, thank you so much for bringing it to light for me (many of us?). More needs to be done about this, and not just a slap on the wrist! I can't even imagine what everyone is going through. We too looked very carefully into adoption before taking the plunge. The country we choose, the agency we used, the social worker(s), etc. And still, we feel we should have done some things differently (hindsight). You are right, it shouldn't be this hard to find families for children that need/want homes.

Thank you, hard to hear, harder to read, but we need to know this is going on out there.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have no words for this...

Blogger Tammie said...

I don't know how I missed this either. I'm horrified by these people & their actions. I hope they roast in hell for what they've done.

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