Stories abound of children stolen from their families in countries of conflict and chaos. Beware of countries with a history of atrocities and don’t become complicit: The “blinders” are quite profound once you enter the adoption process and become committed to a child.
This past week Torry Hansen was ordered, by a Tennessee judge to pay $150,000 child support for her adopted son, whom she returned to Russia by plane, unaccompanied.
This has been a good year so far for an international community of mothers seeking redress for millions of forced adoptions that took place in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s.
Because much of my research has focused on reforming intercountry adoption and most especially Guatemala, I opened Siegal’s “Finding Fernanda” cautiously. By the end of this captivating read, it is impossible to see Alvarado as anything but a strong and resilient woman who is determined to fight circumstances of poverty and oppression.
Many of the historical problems with adoption came from the desire to keep it secret, to allow adoptive families to “pass” as traditional, biologically related families. Fully embracing openness is key to our efforts to keep improving adoption and placing further distance between its dark and coercive past and its hopeful future.
Coercive sterilizations and castration are at the extreme end of a spectrum that also includes criminal sanctions for drug use during pregnancy and barring LBGT individuals from in-vitro fertilization services and adoption, as well as a host of other policies geared at making pregnancy and parenting difficult for those deemed unworthy.
For many committed to intercountry adoption, it is unfortunate that since the year 2004 the practice has declined more than 50%. An important question is: what is happening? The answer is complex. To begin with, the unfortunate reality is that intercountry adoption has a mixed history.
Trigger Warning: This article contains graphic descriptions of infant and child abuse.
The death toll from parents following Michael and Debi Pearl’s teachings continues to mount. Another child is has been “biblically chastened” to death via corporal punishment, and Michael Pearl is defending his teachings in the mainstream media while promoting his new book.
A well-known surrogacy attorney in California used her networks and well-financed practice to dupe families into paying over $100,000 for a child based on a fraudulent scenario. Basically, those looking to secure a child were told that a surrogacy arrangement had fallen apart—the intended parents backing out of the arrangement. This was false and a story constructed for fraud.
Even after the Silsby affair, when ten American missionaries were arrested in Haiti for attempted child theft, the Christian adoption movement is unchastened.