Holy crap! Yep, USA published a story with this idiotic title, the part in quotes. I blame the title on whoever the editor is and the ignorant content to Wendy Koch, the author. Thanks to Adoption News and Events on Facebook for publicizing this article. Thanks to them for also spreading the word about Terry Achane. If you’re looking for news regarding adoption, all news, good and bad, I certainly recommend checking them out on the good ‘ole Facebook.
I have found Wendy’s article under two different names, but here is the full one I found titled: “Adoption Options Plummet As Russia Closes Its Doors“. Check it out.
I don’t have the time to tear into this as much as I’d like but its short and I’m sure you’ll be able to figure out most of it for yourself. Here’s my initial reaction though. One quick thing, I’d highly recommend sending Wendy, the author, a message if you find her article misleading, damaging, disrespectful….etc. Its quite easy once you click on the article to find the form to contact her. The link is entitled “Send Wendy Koch a Message” under her little bio.
Mostly, I find it troubling that Koch’s article frames the problem as a lack of adoptable children for US families. The focus is meeting the needs of the families that wish to adopt, not to mention say, the wellbeing of the children or their birth families. In fact, her article paints birth parents in a negative light by saying that “She said some, traumatized by costly failed attempts to adopt abroad, may not be ready to risk fostering a U.S. child only to lose guardianship later to birth parents whose parental rights are restored.” Really? This just fortifies the mentality that relinquishment is voluntary, that first parents don’t want their children. That once you’ve relinquished your child that’s it. You don’t get a second chance you don’t lost your opportunity. It also denies the possibility that a child could have BOTH sets of parents actively parenting them or actively in their lives. Whatsmore, this framing of the situation immediately places the adoptive parents and first parents as adversaries fighting over the child.
This section and the entire article frame the prospective, American, parents as the victims of a shortage of children who need families. What the fuck!? I think I’m beginning to understand what people are referring to when they speak of “the adoption industry”. An industry designed to function in order to provide children to parents that desire them. Its a transaction they are interested in, not creating a healthy living environment for a child or helping a struggling parent to keep their child. (FYI, I don’t really know who I am referring to besides the people in this article, as the adoption industry because I know there are plenty of people doing a splendid job as well).
“Oregon’s Patt Murphy and her husband Lawrence, who adopted their son from Russia in 2004, are now looking at foster care for another child, because they fear other countries may suddenly close their doors. They find adopting from foster care can be competitive but, she adds: “It’s definitely worth it. The children really need you.”” So adoption is charity? Nope! And parents you aren’t saviors even if it was.
“There are fewer foster-care children available, because more are reunited with birth parents or adopted by relatives and foster parents.” Um, is this supposed to be a bad thing? I’m gonna get all semantical (definitely not a word) now, but using the term “available” makes it seem like children are a commodity (re: adoption industry, again)!
I have found one thing I have in common with this piece of work though, we are both asking the same question, “Where are the children?” They of course are wondering where they are so that they can be adopted by the wonderful saviors of the world (American parents) whereas I’m wondering where the hell are the children in this article? As far I can tell this article could be about anything: baby squirrels, pet rocks, or freaking ferbies!
So Wendy Koch, even though you are writing a piece asking where the children are, I want to know where the hell they are in your article? And who appointed you authority on adoption anyway?
Just don’t read the comments section, it’s never healthy to read a newspaper’s comment section, ever.