We want to thank our friends at Rally Efforts For Orphans & At-Risk Minors (REFORM) for sharing their post about two disturbing situations in the adoption world. When you read or hear about the things in REFORM’s post, as an adoptee, you can’t help but feel like a commodity. And, you can’t help but feel like an “angry adoptee” when you read the comments that were posted to this entry. PLEASE READ THE COMMENTS! Dear Reader, I will let you decide what the things are that you find disgusting about these two situations.
From REFORM. Originally posted January 10, 2012
(1) There is a new program by a Hague-accredited agency (that we cannot name) who is actively trolling on adoptive parent groups offering Japanese “tsunami orphans” to families. This program is not advertised on their website.
Besides the underhanded, unethical way of going about this “pilot” program, possibly violating regulations or laws (not like any regulator would care ), we have the following concerns:
• Child abuse/neglect is far less prevalent in Japan than in the US.
• Child care facilities are generally known to be better staffed and more caring than those in the US.
• With the incredibly lax standards for who can adopt, children will be more at risk being adopted abroad than if they stay in their home country.
• Moving children from their culture, language and racial communities is never a good idea unless absolutely necessary. Inflicting unnecessary trauma is cruel and should be avoided unless there are no other alternatives.
To the agency: If your program is so helpful and great, why is it so “secret”? We really are asking for you to respond.
(2) A 13-year-old Chinese adoptee is charging money to write letters to other potential adoptees to encourage being adopted. This boy was adopted at an age when he was very close to “aging-out” of the possibility of being adopted internationally. His adoptive mother claimed he didn’t want to be adopted. This service started being offered only on private Yahoo groups. Now he has taken his business to a website at http://adoptionletterstranslate.angelfire.com/
The adoptive parent blogs at http://petersadoption.blogspot.com/ with explanations of why her family is homeschooled: http://petersadoption.blogspot.com/2011/12/schooling-adopted-children.html
“I have never seen my husband go absolutely bonkers (he is an attorney), but I thought his head was going to explode when the vice-principle bluntly announced that John would never graduate high school. He’d be 21 (and age out) first because John was going to miss 3 core subject classes a day, in order to attend his federally mandated ESL classes. John would not get enough credits to graduate, according to the administer, in four years of schooling because of the ESL classes. I had to almost physically restrain my husband when the principle said that, by the way, HE was going to make the educational decisions for John, since John was at school 6 hours a day and ultimately the principle is responsible for the child’s education and the principle knows what is best….I am certified in NY to teach Reading K-12 and English 5-12, so I could at least speak the school’s lingo, but the administration was practically trying to bully us!
We will withhold our comments on the grammar and spelling in the above excerpt as the point is to connect one of the red flags of child collectors to one possible outcome (business run by adoptee in which the adoptive parents will make money). We have seen this “model”/way of life/outcome in other cases, and it is rarely, if ever, positive for the best needs of the adoptees.
The other blog this family has can be found at http://petersadoption2.blogspot.com/ . I can only hope that John, the adoptee in question, never reads an entry like this one from January 7, 2012 http://petersadoption2.blogspot.com/2012/01/bragging-rights-or-not.html “John, adopted at age almost 14, has more spit and vinegar than them all. He spent 18 months fighting me, since he spent a life-time fighting for survival, and then he decided to use me to make money. It’s all good. He’s recently launched his letter writing and translation business, and I swear I spend 2 hours to his 1 coordinating his contacts. He is also writing a book about living in China and being an orphan. He’s going to make us rich. Really; the kid is amazing, and now he has me backing him and doing 1/2 the work.”
Not only is this a gross invasion of John’s privacy, but it does not exactly portray his “business” in the light he might want it portrayed.