Monday, January 5, 2015

Preventing Un-Adoption Tragedies


By Mirah Riben


In September 2013 Reuters shocked the world by exposing the dangerous practice of re-homing adopted children. The five-part series called "The Child Exchange" described adoptive parents giving the adopted children that they were unable to handle to total strangers found online. Many of the children were from Russia and were described as presenting a danger to their adoptive families and, in some cases, were given to unsavory people and pedophiles.

Dan Rather's recent two-hour AXS-TV report, "Unwanted Children: the Shameful Side of International Adoption" featured children adopted from India and Ethiopia who were abandoned by adopters, some after just three months, some after seven years. Some had been adopted by a couple who had been lauded for adopting 28 children, many from Ethiopia. They reportedly abused some and abandoned eight.

Rather also interviewed single mother and best-selling author Joyce Maynard. She sees herself now as having been foster mother to the two Ethiopian girls she adopted and promised to love and care for forever.

There are multiple reasons for disrupted international adoptions, primarily from Russia and Ethiopia. First, many adopt internationally because they feel unprepared to deal with the special needs of children coming from foster care.

Orphanages provide bios of children that are often incomplete, inaccurate, and downplay problems. The descriptions are accompanied by photos and the prospective adopters begin to feel love for the child and talk about bringing "their child" home. Adoption agencies say that adopters hear what they want to hear. Adopters say that because of misrepresentations they get "more than they signed up for" and are prepared to deal with.

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