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The Future Of Adoption: International And Domestic

Russia, Guatemala, and more are slamming the door on American adoptions. Is the great age of international adoption behind us?

In this Jan. 30, 2013 photo, Drew and Frances Pardus-Abbadessa pose for a picture in the nursery originally intended for their would-be adopted son, at their apartment in New York. The boy's Russian name is Vladimir, but they hope one day to be able to name him Franco Michael, the name still displayed on the wall. (AP)

In this Jan. 30, 2013 photo, Drew and Frances Pardus-Abbadessa pose for a picture in the nursery originally intended for their would-be adopted son, at their apartment in New York. The boy’s Russian name is Vladimir, but they hope one day to be able to name him Franco Michael, the name still displayed on the wall. (AP)

Americans know international adoption well. Look around. There are families all over with adopted children from China, Korea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Russia.

But the profile of American adoption is changing. International adoption is way down over the last decade. Down by more than half. Sometimes it’s a political change: Russia just threw the brakes on last fall. Guatemala is housecleaning its adoption process. China has decided it needs its girls.

And there are a hundred thousand children in the US foster care system ready for adoption.

This hour, On Point: the changing global profile US adoption.

-Tom Ashbrook


Elizabeth Bartholet, professor of law and director of the Child Advocacy Program at Harvard Law School.

Kathleen Strottman, executive director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. (@KathleenStrottm)

Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a non-profit focused on adoption issues. Author of “Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming our Families — and America.” (@adampertman)

From Tom’s Reading List

ABC News “The 22-month-old boy ran out with a big smile and exclaimed, “Mama!” It was a moment Robert and Kim Summers had dreamt of for months, but feared would never happen. After weeks of uncertainty and diplomatic wrangling, Russian authorities have begun to allow a final few adoptions to the United States to proceed, squeaking in under the wire despite Russia’s new ban on adoptions to the United States.”

New York Times “The number of foreign children adopted by Americans has plunged to its lowest level in more than a decade as some countries have cut back on adoptions to the United States and others have struggled to meet stricter standards intended to combat corruption and child trafficking, government officials said Thursday.”

National Journal “As a mother of two adopted children and the wife of a man adopted from overseas, Sen. Mary Landrieu knows a thing or two about adoption. So when Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill last month banning the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens, the Louisiana Democrat took it personally. And she has been fighting ever since for American families left in limbo by the law.”


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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OM7NI4NW2XMDNI4QGCDIDBA3PI AnimalsRkool

    I think that if nothining works out people should start saying taht they will keep the birth name maybe who knows aybe that’ll change their mind. idk  but really hope it works out for these couple ;D

  • Ed75

    Would that couples considering abortion would decide to offer their child for adoption, there are so many couples who long to have children!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      There is a shortage of adoptable children?

      And I like how you glided right over “pregnant women considering abortion”. You’re not fooling anyone.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        “And there are a hundred thousand children in the US foster care system ready for adoption.”

        Guess Ed missed that part.

      • AC

        ones you can make a profit on, yes.
        the ones available for free usually have health issues, and no worries – there’s plenty of overstock on this kind.
        isn’t that an interesting coincidence?

  • Shag_Wevera

    GOOD!  I resent the wealthy suburban family with the cute Chinese or Eastern European baby.  Like a toy or a status symbol.  Adopt American babies!  I suspect many domestic babies might not be the right “color”.  Another example of American wealth and arrogance.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Seek help.  Quickly.

      • jomuir

         please consider there’s a germ of truth in shag’s remark before you condemn.

    • jomuir

       There is a shortage of any color babies for adoption in America. But there is a dearth of children in foster care who desperately need loving homes.Yet most people seem to prefer to go overseas, pay a small fortune to adopt a foreign baby, not sure if it’s a desire for an infant, or less ‘baggage’ for them to deal with. They do say that the regs for domestic adoption are onerous, but I feel that’s an excuse used to salve their consciences.

      Adopting children from overseas robs them of their culture, no amount of sensitivity to that erases it, which is my strongest objection to international adoption. As an adoptee myself, I seriously doubt I’d have had the resources available to me to successfully search & find my biomom in an other nation. I find international adoption to be sickening personally.

      • summar9232

        What do you suggest for all the children who are overseas sitting in orphanages?  Do you think that is better than being adopted by a family? 

        • jomuir

          I suggest we consider all the kids in our own nation desperately needing homes before we import them.

          • Carolyn Pruett

            So the US foster care system sucks, but do we have orphanages with 500 children in them in the US?  Do those orphanages have “dying rooms” in the back where terminal children are left to lay on urine soaked bamboo mats until they mercifully pass? NO!  It might be as simple as a baby needing cleft palate surgery but is allowed to slowly starve to death because there isn’t enough staff to take the extra time to feed a cleft affected baby. Thanks to the pollution in China, birth defects are up 70% in the last 10 years (mostly cleft palates and heart problems).  You have to prepay for surgery.  Children are abandoned in China at times still with IV marks where the $$ ran out before treatment was completed.  Those kids in the US have Medicaid until age 18! There’s no Medicaid there.  The children entering the orphanages have a higher rate of special needs and they are being cared for by untrained staff, often just girls who aged out (at age 14) and live at the orphanage as a caregiver instead of being damned to factory work because one’s orphan status follows them for life.

          • jomuir

             In no way are we as Americans responsible for the inhumane treatment of orphans in developing nations. That is just a ruse to distract from the fact that people don’t want to follow procedures in America designed to protect the most important person in the narrative-the adoptee. Sorry to say, they DO have rights. I feel badly for all the children suffering in far off lands, but there are more than enough kids right here needing adoption, maybe their stories aren’t tragic enough for you, but there they are, waiting. While we import kids from other nations.

          • Tyranipocrit

             interesting perspective–where i see that is probably tru in some cases i hae seen a different story–one where orphans get quite a bit of attention form volunteers–in china–but is a big country and many different cases

    • summar9232

      I have one of the “cute Chinese” babies you refer to.  I can assure you she is not a status symbol or a toy.  I also work in the adoption field and help families adopt internationally and domestically.  I resent people who codemn those who adopt internationally.  My daughter was considered special needs & could have been left to die had a family not gotten her out of the orphanage.  Is that what she deserves, just becasue she is not a US citizen?  Yes – there are children here who are available for adoption in the US but the system is very difficult to work with.  At some point, my husband & I may adopt through the foster care system but there are many factors to consider and we have not a decision at this point.  I say all of this to respectfully ask that those of you who have not adopted, please don’t condemn those of us who have – I can assure you that the families I work with do not do this to obtain a “toy or status symbol” – they do it to help children, no matter what their country of origin.

    • loveandbelovedtoday

      So amazed by your comment.  I wish you joy in your life.  For many Americans, they seek to experience the joy of a family.  I am an American.  I was adopted at birth.  I have a biological son who took six years to conceive.  I have been reunited with my birth mother as an adult.  I have endured the path to adopting a child through the US foster system (home studies, background checks, fingerprinting, 30 hours of classes, etc……).  I have been told by a social worker the following, “We don’t have any children available like what you are looking for.  They are all damaged.”  This is after we listed on our profile that we were open to adopt, boy or girl, under age 5 (we already had a child and didn’t want to disrupt birth order), any race, even sibling groups, mild disabilities.  With over 100,000 kids in foster care across the country…   I still can’t believe we were told that.  We followed their rules, their program and waited, waited, waited.  We weren’t getting any younger.  We now have a second child who was 4 1/2 when he came home from Vladivostok, Russian Federation.  He’s not a status symbol.  He’s our son and we are grateful to be his family.  We love him.  He loves his big brother.  His big brother loves him.  He’s thriving in school and has a forever family, just like every child in the WORLD deserves.  

      However anyone chooses to create their family is an extremely personal path.  One that I believe is divinely guided, no matter what one’s personal beliefs or religion.  Please don’t judge.  Be grateful that one more child in the world has a forever family.  

      My hope is that the U.S. system will stop being about finding foster families and start being about finding forever families.  30,000 kids each year AGE OUT of our foster care system.  That’s 30,000 young adults every year who lose their only support system.  They don’t have a family to visit over holidays because the system failed them and didn’t find them a forever family.  That’s what needs fixing.  

  • Potter

    I have only unprintable words to describe Putin’s revenge, taking it out on the children and those with generous hearts here, wanting to adopt. I prefer to think of those wanting to adopt as generous, loving and exemplary, not as wanting “status symbols”. 

    • jomuir

       Funny, while I find his motivation to cut off adoptions, I’m glad he did it.

    • Tyranipocrit

       many christains want tin to adopt abroad seek power i heaven–they are not necessary loving or compasionate or kind–they beoeve they have a mandate form a book–however false

  • MarkVII88

    One of the reasons that foreign adoptions are so popular is because there was a much greater chance of adopting an infant than if you were looking domestically.  The sad truth is that the older children get, the less likely they are to find a loving family who will adopt them.  Not sure if this speaks more about the desires of the families looking to adopt or the issues that can develop in children who aren’t brought up in a loving family.

  • http://twitter.com/RevCrum Allen Crum

    As a future adoptive parent, one of the other reason we focused on international was that in the USA a birth mother can change her mind up to 10 day after placement. I have seen it happen where a birthmom waits till the last minute and then tries to take the baby back. There have even been cases where a birth parent comes after the child past the “waiting period”. With International this just doesn’t happen.

    • jomuir

       so you’re against the bio mom having any rights and it’s more convenient to go somewhere where she’s not honored or considered?

      • Samanthabrown3

        Not convenient. Some adopters think it’s less traumatic for the parent and the child.

        • jomuir

           good heavens that is so wrong I can’t believe it. Less traumatic? For who? Oh, the bio parents aren’t around to upset the apple cart, or threaten to, so adoptive parents can rest assured they’ll never be bothered by bio family? I really hope that’s not what you mean…

          • AC

            you are obviously young and not ready to be a parent. you MUST consider the child; a lot of children waiting are from parents with high risk behaviors.
            if you’ve ever known anyone who falls into that category, you will realize they will use & manipulate anyone they can. all you’d worry about is how they are stressing the child when you can not be there to assure or support them. kids aren’t kept under lock and key until they’re 18 you know.

            again, i question your presence on this board and on this subject. the majority of your commentary is sly and self-righteous. you are clearly a person who has not really considered this topic, just revels in their own opinion. which makes you rude and possibly evil. go away. people who can’t have kids have to take this seriously – we don’t need people like you around.

          • Tyranipocrit

             i disagree Ac–you and he both have contributed to this conversation–ive enjoyed both your comments and i feel, especially with this last one–youare both a littel defensive and harboring some bitter feelings.  You dont know Jormuir so you cant say such things about him–he hardly sounds evil to me–just bitter like you.  You bothe feel wronged but you both contribute more to this conversation than any guest or speaker on the show.  i wouldnt be surprised if you too ever met–if you liked each other a great deal–it seems to me–Ac wants to adopt and become a parent and jormuir was adopted–you could learn a great deal from each other

          • jomuir

             thank you ty

          • jomuir

             wow, so much assumption going on, mostly incorrect. I am not young (wish I were) & not trying to be self-righteous. I have considered the topic, quite a lot. If you would read my responses, you’d see I am an adopted person myself, and I have an opinion which I am secure in. Maybe you disagree but please don’t try to dismiss my opinion because it opposes yours. I could make a lot of assumptions about you, but I know on the net, in hot topics, we often don’t say things exactly as we might in person. So I invite you to consider there are other people in the world who will disagree with you. Get over yourself, and don’t resort to name-calling when your argument is weak. I’m neither evil nor rude, but am getting tired of defending myself against you.

            Remember, you started this w/your earlier statement, let me remind you of it, in all it’s ridiculous, unsubstantiated glory:

            “i’m afraid to say this, it sounds so cruel & cold hearted – but the
            majority of US kids waiting on adoption have severe health &
            disability issues.”

          • AC

            I gave you an answer you did not like; my social worker warned me & her warning so far is proving true. another comment beneath ours from another social worker says the same thing. If you google for statistics, the second line at the top of adoption.org informs you the majority of who is waiting:
            “Children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. Children who have been abused and neglected.”
            I feel ‘cruel & heartless’ saying that because I am acknowledging it is a weakness in myself that i do not feel capable of taking such a child. if i could & gave birth to such a child, what would i do? toss it? no. so why won’t i take what’s available and work with it? don’t know, other than i know financially it would be hard & that just feels like it’s not a very nice reason.
            I’m not sure why you came on so strong & then got so defensive, but you seemed that way to anyone who left a comment that had adopted. who cares what makes a family? why judge them if their intentions are good? what do you think of Angelina Jolie? Because I already told you – I would not be considering foreign adoption, I just don’t fault those who do, either. waiting sucks.
            If you’re doing anything (& well, you’re continuing it even days later), you’re making me reconsider adoption all together. Maybe it’s just not meant to be for me and i’ll stick to animals. The last thing i want is a kid who ends up hating me for adopting them (or anyone one who adopts period) when my intentions are nothing but good……so depressing

          • AC

            also, i did get mad & it seemed like you were attacking people who adopt or thinking about it. so i’ll take a breath and ask, what exactly is it you want? do you want no adoptions at all? or just no foreign ones?

          • jomuir

             ok, truce! Thanks for asking. My view as an adopted person is, the agencies & adoptive parents forget there’s another person in the mix, the adoptee, who has absolutely no control in the situation. Often adoption is the best for the child in the long run. But it’s not all rainbows & unicorns. Growing up not knowing your heritage, who you look like, etc can be hard. I was lucky to resemble my adoptive family a lot, so at least didn’t have to endure people looking at me & instantly knowing that I was adopted, as many foreign -born adoptees do. But my main objection is still the loss of culture. How can a Chinese girl (because they’re predominately girls coming from that part of the world-& I’m just picking one nationality for this example), how can she reconcile being American when she sees a Chinese face in the mirror every day? And yet has no connection to her roots. No matter how hard the adoptive family tries, they (generally) aren’t Chinese so how can they help her learn about the culture she came from?

            Usually while the child is young, they won’t think about it much, but teen years & when they have their own kids, it def. crops up. Not nec. the fault of the adoptive parents, but yet it’s there.

            Also, I don’t think we’re solving long-term problems for orphans/parentless kids in the countries where we prospect for babies. Instead, they start to foist their less-desirable kids off on international adoptions, and true  improvements never come, why spend money on these kids when you can set up international adoption & let the rich Americans deal with them?

            Lastly, I suspect that the bio mothers don’t enjoy the same rights & freedom that they do in the US, yes the ones adoptive parents are stymied by & complain about. But I worry that some of these babies weren’t really freely given & am troubled by that notion.

            So, I’m not against adoption but am def. against international adoption. We need to fix domestic adoption before we head off elsewhere. If it’s as bad as prospective adopters say, they ought to make more noise locally & legislate some changes right here. There are way too many kids in America for me to be comfortable with going elsewhere for them.

            And it sounds like you would be a good adoptive parent, so good luck what ever happens, I will not to give you the stinkeye if I see you & your Asian baby at the supermarket one day :)

      • Tyranipocrit

         Jomuir–sadly, most of the bio parents in China at least–ar enot fit parents, deceased, or simply do not care–they abandoned the children because they were imperfect, or a girl.  They really dont care and are often not good people–certainly not fit for parenting–i have lived here a long time and have been involved in some ways and this is what i see.  If you were adopted, and your parents love you, you should be glad-they wanted you, they loved you and your birth culture is really not that important, especially in America where everyone is from somewhere else.  I am interested in my herritage but dont blame my ancestros for emigrating. I blame landlords and potatoes and English aristocracy for beheading my clan.–no actually i dont but it is history.  My brother was adopted and burned with identity questions,  I felt for him  I lov ehim.  He is beaitiful.  A blackboy in a white family.  My sister is bi-racial.  My aunt put up a child for adoption andhe later found her and is part of the family.  My brother found his family and they are par tof his life.  there was a little jeaolsy with my mother–and they actually wore the same dress to his wedding–oops.  But in the end we are all alone and we all die alone–we are ll “orphans”–that i think is what those bible thumping fundamentlaist christains are missing–they take things to literal.  I wish the best for you whatever your plight.  Bu t dont wast eanynmore time feeling angry or bitter–its lost energy.  Love your comments tho–they added depth and reason to the conversation.  forgiv eme i am overstepping the line or talkign out of my butt because I really dont know your situation

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Why are we importing children from around the world?
    Aren’t their plenty of American children up for adoption?
    Does American red tape make it easier to adopt kid from overseas or is there some factor at play in the decision to go overseas?

  • AC

    i’m afraid to say this, it sounds so cruel & cold hearted – but the majority of US kids waiting on adoption have severe health & disability issues. i don’t care about race or gender, but i just can’t afford a handicapped child, in time or money.
    i have said ok to mild learning disabilities, but beyond that, i’m too afraid to commit.

    • jomuir

       where do you come by your info to back up your statement? I don’t buy your theory at all.

      • AC

        my social worker? she told me my wait would be very long to meet my requests. it’s been 3 years already, still no mostly healthy child.
        also, i do not want ‘open’ adoption options.

        • summar9232

          As an adoptoin social worker - I can atest that many of the children in the US system have complicated issues (mental health issues, medical issues, etc).  It certainly does not change the fact that they need a loving home but families have to be prepared to parent children who have come from hard places – not all people are prepared to do that

        • jomuir

           hold up, your response is NOT answering your prev. statement, in fact it seems to bolsters the notion that you’re interested in convenience.

           So which is it-the MAJORITY are SEVERELY disabled as you said, or you don’t care to wait on an American child & the red tape invloved?

          • AC

            sorry; i don’t respond to aggressive people. if you don’t want to accept another person’s honest disclosure on a subject which is very personal, but only look for a way to bring them down, i am not helping you.

          • jomuir

             not intending to be aggressive, but you’re still not backing up your statement w/any facts. Instead, you changed your tune when challenged. Can we get back to your original remark or will you admit maybe you’re wrong?

            I can accept if you feel it’s easier to adopt internationally (maybe not agree but can accept your view) but your given reason doesn’t pass the sniff test. Please be honest about your motivations that’s all I ask AC.

          • AC

            i’m NOT adopting internationally – I’m WAITING for a child w/o serious health issues. I don’t have any more data other than what the social worker told me – her intent was to prepare me for the wait because the #s are high(likely more than 5yrs, it IS a problem here. & It has been a long wait, so I feel her warnings/#s are likely legitimate).
            Also, summar9232′s comment below adds more weight to the theory. ‘theory’ not fact…… 
            other than that, there are registeries with waiting children in libraries; you can go sit and search for yourself if you are so inclined to pretend it is not even  a variable in why people look elsewhere. there is also a ‘gray shade’ with some private agencies that can get those healthy babies from young girls that made mistake in religious families in ‘right-to-life’ type states, but not surprisingly, they cost a fortunate. Now there is where you should maybe for some ‘exploitation’.
            leave normal people alone. you don’t even ask if they’re sad they’ve had to wait so long….are you waiting? are you looking to even adopt? what is your interest in all this?

          • jomuir

             thank you for responding AC. I don’t have a dog in this hunt, other than that I’m an adpotee myself & find international adoption to be wrong from the point of view of cultural heritage being lost forever to the adoptee. I wish this discussion didn’t leave out the adoptee’s part in this, is my main interest I’d say. Wasn’t trying to get nasty w/you, but am still taken aback by your blanket statement then backpeddling. We’re trying to discuss too many issues here, when my main ‘complaint’ w/you was about the first part of your OP.

          • Tyranipocrit

             Another interesting commetn full of information that should have been addressed in this lousy program. Thank you AC

        • MarkVII88

          Why would the special needs of any prospective adoptive child NOT be included when considering whether to adopt them.  Special needs are special needs and not everyone is willing or able to accomodate them.  Adopting a child is a choice and if there are too many restrictions placed on adoptive parents, like saying that you have to take in the next child that becomes available or nothing at all, then why would anyone adopt, at least domestically?

          • AC

            o no, they DO take that into account!! I can’t imagine a social worker would just hand over whatever’s next. they are very, very careful in asking questions to make sure all issues are addressed.
            to be honest though, i don’t know how that works on the international market – i only briefly looked into outside adoption. still crosses my mind as i wait, wait, wait….

  • DrewInGeorgia

    The cynical reason: It’s cutting into their income Tom.

    • jomuir

       BINGO. Follow the money people.

  • http://twitter.com/KseniaL Ksenia

    My mom happened to be visiting family in Russia in December when the whole adoption legislation went down. She says the entire issue was presented to the Russian public as an issue of child welfare. Russian “media” only focused on vilifying American parents and showing how children in their care suffered. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/S2SYAP7KNWFYFQH6DMCGCGD3UQ SamanthaK

    Has the termination of the rights of the natural parents been discussed yet? Are some couples opting for international adoption, thinking there is less chance of the natural parent trying to re-claim his or her rights later in the child’s life?

    • jomuir

       Once parental rights are terminated, they cannot be reclaimed. Admitting that not all kids in foster care have had parental rights terminated & are available for adoption, but once it’s done, it’s done, no going back, so nothing for adoptive parents to fear.

      • Carolyn Pruett

        Nothing to fear in theory, but in the day of social media and attorneys who will fight for extended family to still see the children, it is a concern.

        • shaslang

          Why is it a problem for birthfamilies to see birthchildren?  We have two open adoptions and it is wonderful for everyone concerned.

          • Tyranipocrit

             and the children often seek birth parents when they are grown–so it is somethign that wil always burn inside them–why would loving parents deny that need

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/27CWWGNM5XRKRTRYVZ4H37SX64 Mary

    Come on Meryl!  My Chinese daughter isn’t an exotic ‘thing’ we traveled to China to bring home as a fancy sourvenier!   At the time, China was faster than the US.  Additionally, at 40, we were told that an infant was probably unlikely.  We all make choices and know what we can handle.  We made our choice and our proud of it!  Our daughter is a wonderful, happy child. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Maybe the thing to do is cheer those willing to adopt instead of criticizing how/who they adopt?

  • Erica Blair

    Hi Tom,

    We adopted a wonderful little girl via the MA Dept. of Children & Families. She was in foster care for years and was miserable before she came to us in fact, she had her own psychologist taking care of her needs. After just a few weeks of being with us as a foster child, he told us that he didn’t need to consul her any longer!

    We love her so much and she’s such a good kid – really an angel. We also paid nothing and are still given a stipend that nearly covers her day care costs. We fostered her starting when she was 3.5 years and she’s now 7. We adopted her after a stipulated period of time passed. We did have to attend a foster parenting course that was sponsored by the DCF and have an FBI background check with fingerprinting, etc. The effort and waiting period was nothing compared to the joy our daughter gives us. Please tell your listeners to give kids in the states first choice, there are thousands of them waiting for a home…

  • smith_mcgowan

    I am sorry that the caller (from TN?) feels “bent out of shape” by people choosing to adopt internationally, assuming that they want “exotic” children. I think that childbearing, adoption, however you build a family–all are very personal decisions. I don’t think we should assume to know why one family feels a connection to one way, or one country, or another.

  • eliza_garfield

    Shameless Plug: Both Ends Burning Org.”Stuck” – film going on national tour – tells the story of both international kids and American families stuck in the adoption process. Everyone who has an opinion should see it…..
    We all loose out – if we prejudice our country against international adoption. US adoptions are helped as well.

  • Lisa Anamasi

    A former landlord’s son worked in an adoption agency and had some abhorent things to say about why he was getting out of the business (in 1999).  Wondering if the state of the institution has changed much since then.  He told of additional nonsensical pricey fees that would be tacked on just before the child arrived from another country.  The private agency would claim that it had to do with last minute legalities.  The parents would be so far into the process at that point, that they would always give in (fearing that they might not get the child otherwise).  I really hope that this is not the case any longer.  Quite sickening.  

  • jomuir

    I know it’s getting late in the program, but I’d like to hear about the loss of culture internationally adopted kids have to deal with. Or-gasp-maybe an internationally adopted person as a guest would’ve been an idea… There is someone being left out of this conversation, and they’re an integral part of the adoption triad. The adoptee!

    • Steve_the_Repoman

      Our family adopted a 4-1/2 year old girl from China in 2001.

      Despite encouragement when younger she wanted no involvement with Chinese culture.

      She is now in high school and is planning to return to China this summer.

      She will be traveling with the women who ran the orhange at the time of her adoption and will most likely be meeting the Chinese foster families that took care of her.

      • jomuir

         what are the chances she can learn he mother’s name? Or meet her?

        • Steve_the_Repoman

          She was abandoned at one week due to birth defect – birth mother has yet to come forward.

          Other parents who gave up their children have come forward - at the orphanage – but after the fact. 

          China had a stricter one child policy then and families at times abandoned children that were girls, sick children, children with birth defects, ect…

          • jomuir

             thanks for your response Steve

          • Tyranipocrit

             still do abandon them

    • Tyranipocrit

       again, brilliant point jomuir.  i would like to know.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    I’m surprised the crash of 2008 hasn’t been brought up – wouldn’t a lot less money translate into a lot less international adoptions, which are generally hugely expensive?

  • David Sanderson

    Off Topic – but thinking about the perspective of orphans hoping to be adopted, it occurs to me that there may be some ideas that could help undocumented immigrants find sponsors as a path to citizenship.

    • Tyranipocrit

       that sound interesting–good idea.  problem is–the only “qualified” sponsors in the eyes of the 1% are the 1%–peasent views are worthless to them.  I tried to get my girlfreind to come home for xmas with a letter of invitatin from my parents–two weeks–she was rejected because of her race, because she isnt rich

  • Mom_in_Metrowest

    Another big difference between domestic and international adoption is that with domestic you have the opportunity for an open adoption.  My son and we have a ongoing relationship with both his birthfather’s and birthmother’s families, and a very strong bond with his birth mother.  She and he text each other very frequently, directly between themselves; I call and email her often, and we also visit as often as we can afford to.  We value this highly for us, and for our son as he grows up, and it is something that is virtually unheard of with international adoptions.

  • shaslang

    It should be noted also that in many US states the state places children through non-profit agencies if the child has not been removed for abuse and neglect.  This is a problem in some states because the agencies are explicitly Christian and won’t place children with “non-Christian” families.  We had this problem in Michigan and ended up having to adopt through the state of Texas because we couldn’t find an agency that would even do a homestudy for us in MI.  This is a significant barrier to domestic adoption that also violates the separation of church and state.

  • Sofie

    We have just been licensed to become foster parents with the end goal being adoption in California. It was a long difficult process to get to this point, after a long difficult journey through infertility. We looked at all of the options for adoption. International seemed too expensive, often too long a wait and too risky since you are at the whims of international bureaucracies. Domestic adoption through an agency of an infant ( birth mother chooses the adopting family) for us was going to be just as expensive as international with the risk that the birthmom could change her mind after the child is born and any of her medical, housing expenses we had paid would not be reimbursed. Remember, we have already paid out thousands of dollars in infertility medical expenses. Domestic infant adoption through a lawyer or agency and international seemed too much like buying a child– we were told and saw in many publications that we could expect to pay $30,000 to adopt this way. The thing with adopting through the foster system is that the children have often been exposed to trauma- whether in utero via drugs and alcohol, or in their homes. We have decided that we are willing and able to handle this and to help them to overcome this trauma. But not everyone has the capacity to do so. We are open to sibling groups ( up to 3), we are open to any race, what is important to us is being able to love and raise a child. Sure I would love to start my relationship with my child from infancy, but I’m realistic that an older child needs loving parents too. Adopting involves a certain amount of being open to unexpected experiences. People who don’t have to go through adoption to make a family should not judge those of us who do for our decisions. Adopting is a difficult journey.

    • Tyranipocrit

       this is an informative comment–why couldnt ONpoint have anything interesting or informative to discuss.  There is more being said in this comment section than the entire show–more evidence that NPR was just pushing somebody’s agenda–frantically seethign at the mouth with the word “rotting”

      thank you Sofie for your comment

  • http://www.facebook.com/beth.papariello.7 Beth Papariello

    I have a 12 and a 5 year old my husband and I adopted from South Korea from South Korea. I take a little offense to the idea of some people maybe adopting internationally because they’re looking for an “exotic child” or because if you go internationally you have more control on what your family may look like. After a couple of years of dealing with infertility and then spending 3 years waiting to adopt domestically my husband and I put our resources towards international and within 7 months our son arrived from South Korea. 
    You don’t have to have problems with infertility to adopt from the US. There are many children all over the world in need of a loving home and the decision over whether domestic or international is a very personal one, not a right or wrong one.
    We can’t imagine our family being any different than what it is today.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CBKTPJYUZV4QRJVQCAH4OB63GI Laurie

    As I stood in the hall of the orphanage in Korea, and heard the orphans cry, not a person on this planet could distinguish those children by race, color, gender, age, etc.  Why does it seem to matter?  We seem to forget that this is about the children…PERIOD!  God called us to adopt internationally, and that is what we did.

    • Tyranipocrit

       whatever–i fell sick now–the bible is not real.  and why dont you try doing something because you care–inherently–feel compassion–not just because its a charity and you think –you will get in heaven–your motivated purely by self-interests and i think fail to understand the Christian message–whether real or not.

      but here it is–words from the christain mouth–god told me to do it–you will see in my other posts that is exactly what i said is happening–perhaps this will give my comments some credibility.

    • Tyranipocrit

       and i think you are missing the metephorical language of the bible message–we are all orphans in need of care–reach out to one another–it doesn litteraly mean “rotting orphans”.  You would be bette roff looking to your own democracy at home and trying to get universal health care for all, freer education for all, and equality–you would be better off caring for all people–because “we are orphans of god:–i think is what is intended by the biblical message.  if you believe in god so desperatly and his infinite powers and wisdom then perhaps you should start believign that IT speaks thru all finds of peopel and books–not jsut one compiled by tyrants 1400 years ago to manufacture consent–as does our media.  if youwere so enlightened you would notice that GOP polticians and BUSh and cheny were quite evil–and not christain at all

  • jomuir

     frankly, I found all the guests on this program to be revolting in their pursuit of adoption at all costs. They all left out the adoptee in their ‘big picture’ and it was sickening to me to listen to them. You are quite correct in your analysis of the true situation. This is about the machine of adoption, not saving poor babies around the world.

    Why does everything track back to the money in life? It sure ain’t charities doing this ‘work’.

    • AC

      goodness, you’re so noble!
      just out of curiosity, how many children have you fostered or adopted?

      • jomuir

         none, does that mean I have no right to an opinion? Oh, wait, I was adopted myself, maybe now I have legitimacy (pun intended). Not directed to you AC, but I’m still revolted by the adoption machine. As you say you’re in the process, I hope you’d agree there’s more going on than simply adopting out children…that’s what I dislike.

    • Tyranipocrit

       spot on jomuir–i was sickened too–”if i heasd her say “rotting” one more time i was gonna shove her ina dark room–there are people who care for these orphans–like myself–they are not rotting.  they go to school, they have friends, they see an overwhelming chain of support thru volunteers and caretakers and donations, internally and form abroad–they are not stupid or creatures of mars–they understand their plight better than we do.  its a complicate dissue that was not even addressed in these rants of rotting

  • CPK61

    I called in to the show right at the end and I am not at all happy with the response to my comment. What I said was that when biological parents decide to start a family they can exercise a reasonable amount of control over when that will happen. In choosing their partner they are also exercising control over what their child will look like. Infertility is all about lack of control and when prospective adoptive families are choosing where to adopt from/what their future family will look like/how long they are prepared to wait to become parents/how many trips they want and how long they are able to be away from home, this is actually exercising that same control. But Tom Ashbrook seemed to think that was “shopping off a menu” I had also another comment but the screener had strongly urged me to stick with this one so I am feeling somewhat “set up”. My other comment I wanted to make was also around making the choice as to whether to adopt from the US or from another country. I wanted to say that some people might be more disturbed by certain aspects of poverty/neglect/abuse/abandonment and may be drawn to adopt from countries that they feel the children are more likely to be exposed to any or all of the above conditions. I

    • Tyranipocrit

       you really think orphans in America dont have abandonment/abuse.disability issues?–they need love too.  You speak of control and choice to choose what your baby will look like–thats shrieks racism to me–the fact is these Christians just dont want black babies. 

      And, biological parents dont really have a choice of how their babies will look either, or if they will be healthy.  There is never that much control.  Why are you and these people trying so hard to “control” everything.  What is your agenda?

      But I agree, the producers should have let you speak and address your concerns.

      • harverdphd

         I need love too…does anyone care how I look?

        • Tyranipocrit

           yes–i imagine you are cute and cuddly and lying about your phd at harvard–i think you got your phd at the chapel and knee banjo slapping school up in them there hills spiitinn and slobberin all over the house–oooh–copenhagen.

        • CPK61

          your looks are not important. As for whether anyone cares about how you look, I would imagine you do. And that’s really all that is important.

      • CPK61

        so…lets clarify…choosing a partner to fall in love with and having a biological child with that person is not making a choice as to what your future family will look like? Or what the future may hold for you? Of course it is. Subtle maybe, but a choice nonetheless. If you want to call that racism then go right ahead. Choice=Control, right? Every choice we make is an attempt to control the outcome. Otherwise we’d all be floating around in Karma Land. There are as many choices in International Adoption as there are adoptive familes. Time to stop the same old International  V Domestic debate. People make choices for personal reasons that have no business in a public debate. And those who have not walked that road have no business judging. The bottom line is that a family is formed as a result of those choices. As for control, family planning is just that; planning (and therefore controlling) when a child will come into your family. Some children just come down a different road.

        • Tyranipocrit

          I disagree. Private choices are a matter of public debate. otherwise we get corruption, pollution, an enormous gap between the rich and poor, and countless other ethical considerations. Many peasant farmers in China pay to have young women abducted and forced to be wives that bear children for them–raped and incarcerated under the watchful eye of the whole village–these are public matters–their private choices should not be protected. Hoover, essentially, they are–police will do nothing because the farmer makes the argument that we have no right to take away his wife he paid for fair and square in the market place. I think his private choices should be made public. Of course we are not talking about the same thing, but the choices we make, the actions we take effectt us all and influence greater society. Would I try to control those choices–yes I would. Would I try to control where people adopt –no. But it is worth considering in public debate. And I do not disagree with everything you are saying, just your basic assumptions and your offensive tone. Be careful your bad karma doesn’t come back to bite you. or me. I’m sure you are a wonderful person with the best of intentions.

  • Steve_the_Repoman

    My wife had recently given birth to out son and we were not considering adoption.

    One of my wife’s friends from college was running an orphanage in China aned a number of the children were going to be transferred to a State-run and poor quality orphanage due to internal Chinese politics. 

    We added our first daughter 12 mos. later.

  • Tyranipocrit

    Nothing has been said in this conversation–30 minutes in and I’ve heard nothing said.  Some of these callers and the guest are using the same rhetoric–and are politicizing children–”just rotting, just rotting, just rotting”–that;s really harsh language that is NOT true.  And really they are saying nothing–what are the reasons, why–they’re just rotting?  How so?

    1) i see no evidence in China that they are rotting–these kids get tremendous attention from Chinese volunteers–they have more donated clothes then they know what to do with and often turn them away–bags of clothes sitting in back rooms unused–rotting–and many of these kids are living in quite comfortable conditions, well, fed, toys, activities, affection from care-takers and volunteers and external organizations, summer camps where they learn photography, and swimming and foreign culture, and singing–here in china they are not just “rotting”–and many of these kids are not babies–they are school children who’ve grown in Chinese culture–they are Chinese–imagine being adopted and taken from your country to a place you don’t understand to a language you cant understand with parents you don’t understand–and they have a religion you don’t understand– that seems quite spooky. 

    These new standards have nothing but the childrens’ best interests at heart and it is small and petty for these people to bully people around with their agenda and rhetoric and politics for self-interest.  They are clearly using sound-bytes lsogans to emphasize their non-point.–talking points–you have guests and callers using the same language–but nothing has been said.

    I have been involved myself in orphans here in China and see first hand–these are smiling “healthy” kids (many with disabilities, but “happy”–generally-as happy as any of us are i guess–of course they would love parents but parents must be chosen carefully)

    consider–In China
    1) what Chinese see coming from America to adopt–they see fundamentlist christians–a religion they cant aceppt in many cases–and see as a cult–it is like an obese david karesh drooling over exotic children.  Seriously, most educated Chinese, rational Chinese, dont understand christainity and see it as quite cultish–as do I–it is not part of their traditional culture nor dos it dominate culture and so they see it as strange, even sinister

    2) almost all of these adoptive parents are Christan but also obese–just enormous.  Children learn by example–most fat people have fat children–this is not about appearance–it is about health–obesity means diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc…a diet of coke and Apple-bees and McDonald’s and a fast food nation–this is a legitimate concern for the Chinese.

    3) there are people having babies just for the money–these people are paid quite a bit–hundreds of thousands of dollars–that’s good good good money here in China–so it is becoming a perverted industry–it is child-trafficking. 

    Not only do you have people birthing babies just for adoption and the money, you have a huge abduction problem in china–now consider those parents desperate to find their children who were abducted–but will never find them because they went home with obese cultist Americans (this is often the thought process in the mind of Chinese)

    you spoke of none of these things and after 50 minutes i learned nothing–nothing–the whole conversation was empty, and repetitive–with opportunists clearly harboring an agenda just saying over and over again missing opportunities, rotting children we want your babies–but gave no solutions, no evidence, no hard facts–and no convincing rhetoric besides

    very disappointing.  

    Moreover, they kept side-stepping the fact that many many American orphans are waiting for adoption. 

    Furthermore, many of these Christians come here with an agenda–i have discussed this with many Chinese and they agree, and often bring it to my attention–that these Christians have less affection for the children than they do for some higher cause–being charitable–to open the doors of heaven to themselves.  They read scripture and interpret it as saying that christ instructed them go out and adopt orphans, to take care of orphans and surely the pearly gates will open to you. 

    Many of these Chinese with these concerns don’t understand all of this, they just feel that the big folks with their bibles are self-motivated–it’s a feeling they get–especially when they start preaching.  It’s sickening.  They come over here with cultural gifts–always a bible–with eerie threatening inscriptions of salvation and looming hell.

    I can see why some people might want to protect their orphans.  And you never did touch on the fact that China has a super imbalance of boys to girls, and its the girls being adopted. Like 15-20% of the boys will never find a spouse/partner.  That is heartbreaking. 

    • harverdphd

       I hav discuss wid many Chinese aso…dey wan to go to merica…

      • Tyranipocrit

         chinese–or chinese orphans?  And personal interests are not the same as wanted to be adopted.  Of course people want to travel, people want opportuniites–real or imagined–people want escape pollution and authority and censorship–that being a big one–but ask a 20 year old if he wants you to adopt him or her and i think they will laugh in your face or stare at you liek a mad man

    • Steve_the_Repoman

      I would be interested in hearing more of your experinces in China – they at times do not coincide with ours.

      We have been to China a number of times and have seen State run and private orphanges for the better part of twenty years.

      • Tyranipocrit

         okay, and i would love to know what your experiences were and what you saw.  My fiance is more involved than me.  i support her and have met the orphans from time to time and helped to raise money for them,etc.  She organizes summer camp for them all over China.  She teaches them photography. They have kept in touch with her over the years and write her letters and tell her how much they love her.  Orphanages often turn down donations or volunteers.  I have seen many pictures and visited orphanages on occasion, briefly, but my fiance goes to them often.  When pressed, she claims she has never seen any abuse or reason to suspect it, and has only seen affection.  I have never seen poor conditions, especially when compared to the status qou in China.  My fiance has witnessed quite nice orphanages–that amazed her.  I couldn’t tell you if they were state or private but i would be more suspect of a private orphanage then a state one, only cause i am very cynical of private endeavors in China–they often and usually try to operate (whatever business or organization) by cutting corners or making a profit with great disregard for integrity or people.  I should say I am cynical of all institutions in China, gov or private.  But I have not seen any abuse in the orphanages–and I am no expert–i only talk like one sometimes.  I imagine if there is some it is mostly in rural places, backward places quite far from modern society.   But America is not free of abuse or violence or slave-trading, etc…and if it occurs in an orphanage here, anywhere, it doesn’t reflect the organization as a whole.  i do know that in orphanage, my fiance was complaining because the care-takers refused to get the children officially registered, so the could get an education.  I can’t recall what the reason was but wasn’t sinister.  i think it was born out of ignorance and some kind of irrational fear over something.  i dont recall.   I think it was actually to protect the children in some way.   What was different in your experience?

        • Steve_the_Repoman

          I know of both compassionate and corrupt official orphanges in China.

          At the time of my visits each was very underfunded – particularly for the unwanted (children with health problems/birth defects) 

        • Steve_the_Repoman

          Thank you for the conversation

      • Tyranipocrit

         As far I know–there are NO private orphanages–could be your were lied to and deceived for some reason–a bit of of something sinister going on maybe

        • Tyranipocrit

           the private organizations help poor kids–not orphans.  The State runs all orphanages.

          • Steve_the_Repoman

            My knowledge of China suggests that there are many official channels run through the State and the Party, but that the people have systems through which they thrive/take care of eachother/survive that are based on relationships (both inside and outside official channels). 

            I would suggest that some of these systems are beyond the purview of State control and that they exist either underground or with the tacit approval of local/regional leaders.

          • Tyranipocrit

             Exactly, but they are not organizations that i would trust or would be very skeptical of–especially with the child-trafficking being such a problem in China

      • Tyranipocrit

         the time i mentioned below where registration for education was involved was about Christainity–the care-taker wanted them to get educate din jesus, and didnt want them corrupted by a proper education–very sad. She would have got her brianwashing in jesus form American Christains who come her on missionary wars to convert humans into zombies

        • Tyranipocrit

           the caretaker said bible and songs for god will perfect their education

          • Tyranipocrit

            she won’t even let the kids talk to the outside world

  • Tyranipocrit

     these people are not concerned about the human rights issues, the poverty, the abuse, the child-trafficking, and abductions–going on in these countries–sadly–and you are right–its time we addressed these issues home and abroad.  fix the source and you wont have so many babies–”rotting”

    • harverdphd

       I got “fixed”…no babies rotting from me…!

      • Tyranipocrit

        ?  what jumbo–didnt catch your meaning?

  • Tyranipocrit

     but you sentiment about control is apalling to me–why the need for so much control–it suggests control issues–a n obsession with appearence, with color, race, gender…you cant control the world, let it be–and it does feel a but like picking off a menu

    • CPK61

      I think you should listen again. The comment was that any choices regarding whether to adopt a child and/or what country to adopt from is a choice and not unlike the choice biological parents make as to whom they have their child with and when their child is born. You dont belive that choosing a partner with whom to have a child with is in some way making a decision as to what your future family will look like?  Of course it is. That’s the point. And that decision is actually an attempt to control the outcome of when children are born/how many are born/how far apart they are born and also how they are raised. If you dont think this is exercising control, then tell me what is? Why do you hate the word control? Every choice we make, every day is an attempt to control the outcome. When Adopting, parents will make a choice of where to adopt from based on how soon they might want to become parents. That might depend on their age or their job stability or where they live. Same choices . Different situation. You really should do yourself a favor and look at the regulations different countries have around International adoption before you judge us. Educating yourself before you speak is always wise.

      • Tyranipocrit

        From your very first sentence you want to force control. And your tone is very defensive and controlling–you are shouting. I think you would do well to calm down calm down calm down breath breath stop trying to control everything. Perhaps people would understand your message if you weren’t shouting or harassing them about their “choices” and wrote in a more concise way without double negatives–which is designed, either by intent or lack of ability, to confuse your argument.

        And no I dont try to control every choice I make–if I lie in karma land I’m happier for it. I go with the flow–I don’t try to control situations. I let situations arise. I am not so self-absorbed to control appearances either–I have had many partners of diverse backgrounds with strikingly different appearences, race and personality and loved them all. African-American, African, British-white, Pakistani, Chinese, German, French, brunette, red-head, blonds, black hair, short, tall, petite, gorgeous, beautiful pretty, and what some consider not so pretty, but average. I did not make my choices for my partners on appearance so much as personality or circumstance–I allowed them to be who they are and in turn gained something in myself. I saw something different in each. There is no pattern whatsoever in my choices for partners. And half of them would have made great mothers, the rest I imagined bearing my children. I get that some parents are in a hurry and can’t wait for legal ethical procedures to adopt in America but how many have considered where these kids in Asia are coming from–most are in all good faith, but there is a child-trade problem in Asia and many opportunists making a fortune hand over fist in the baby trade. Do your clients ever consider ethics or morality? Or where these babies come from? I am not saying they should not adopt from Asia, just that they should consider the wider picture. I come from a very mixed family so asking me to make a choice about appearance or race wont fly. I don’t expect you to understand that. And I am quite educated, thank you, thru books and empirical experience. I do have some knowledge of the Chinese adoption process and with the children living it. I know that sometimes it seems they are as treated objects and tools by Christians who care more about ascendency to a golden fascist city in heaven then they do the children and what is best for the children.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507834170 Jared Kusar

    I want to hear about what the adopted children think of being adopted as they grow up.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8602752 Laura Klunder


  • Richard Peterson

    Being adopted is like being born again.  It’s a mixed bag of experiences.  I was adopted.  My parents were great, but my other relatives were mildy racist.  The area I grew up in wasn’t the best for a kid from Asia.  It was difficult.  My parents also didn’t have much money.  They worked hard and saved to adopt from Korea, but they couldn’t afford to send me to college.  I had to take loans out.  I know a lot of people do, but if you’re going to adopt, you should be able to cover the cost of a child over their lifetime.

    There are other adoptees I know that were adopted to save their parents’  marriage.  When the marriage failed, they were sent off to foster care in the US.  Assuming that all people who are adopting are good people is illogical and a bad assumption.

    • rjwaggoner

       Richard – when reading, “but if you’re going to adopt, you should be able to cover the cost of a child over their lifetime” you come across as sounding completely ungrateful.  Have you ever stopped to consider what kind of life you would have if you were never adopted at all.  Stop considering what kind of life you would have had if you were adopted by a wealthy couple and start appreciating the sacrifices your adopted parents made to love you and bring you home.  And not to many people in this world cover their children lifetime expenses – sorry Richard that’s reality.  I have 50k in student loans as well.  And someday, I plan to take care of my parents.

  • Stejohn53

    know and love a number of families and children who have adopted or were
    adopted through international adoptions. However, I have worked with many children
    in the United States who would love to be adopted but there is no one who wants
    them. The USA political machine should stop trying to pull the “humanity
    splinters from other countries eyes” and focus on the “humanity beams
    in our own countries eyes”. When I say this I know about the wide range of
    inhumanities throughout the world. Is our own country, and the children so
    broken that we have to outsource adoptions?

  • Leah Thompson

    Something that I don’t see mentioned but is a huge concern for many, is the subject of special needs adoptions.  In Eastern Europe, babies born with Down syndrome are routinely put in orphanages until about age 5, after which they go to adult mental institutions where the conditions are horrible.  Most of these children will die within a year.  In some countries the conditions in the orphanages themselves have been revealed to be horrible, where it is a miracle that children even survive these conditions.  In these cases, adoption provides the only opportunity for these children to even survive.  They are discarded in their own cultures.  There has been a big movement for American families to adopt these children.  Taking away this opportunity only hurts the children.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=698145259 Nick Dimitrov

    The adoption was a consequence of the case in which American mother send her adopted son back to Russia. That news did not get big publicity in US, not the case in Russia, in Russia it became huge. You cannot just send the child back because being parent is tough. That combined with “The Magnitsky act” became the last drop in the cup. 

    Conditions of the Russian orphans are bad. Yet not as bad as the orphans of Eastern Europe as whole. Bulgarian, Romanian, Former Yugoslavian.. just name it. Russia and China are not the only countries who have orphans in need of adoption.

    Adopting child is not equal to adopting a puppy at the Humane society. Ya don get to send it back if you don’t feel like it. 

    I think the problem here is much bigger then it seams. It is the problem with our Diplomacy. I think we need to rethink our actions. As the old Russian saying goes… “Heavy is the Kings crown”.    


    What about Magnitsky case…   

    “Bill Browder and Edmond Safra founded Hermitage Capital Management in 1996 for the purpose of investing initial seed capital of $25 million in Russia.” I quote Wikipedia. Those were the Yeltsin’s years. I don’t trust anyone from that time period. Especially former American turn British and a Lebanese Jewish businessman, with a company in Guernsey who invest in 1996-97 Russia. No way. I watched Mr. Browden on Charley Rose show on PBS back in the day. A whole hour about the Mr. Magnitsky and his prison time, and no information of what or why the offshore investment company was blacklisted for, or who did they work and what did they invested in. It puzzle me why we side with shady businesses and even worst. We create national policy that damages our diplomatic relations. 

  • microem

    One important point that has not been
    made in this thread is the role that Westerners played (are playing) in facilitating
    circumstances that led to huge numbers of orphaned children in other countries
    (for example: wars, economic instability).

  • microem

    One important point that has not been
    made in this thread is the role that Westerners played (are playing) in facilitating
    circumstances (war, economic instability) that led to huge numbers of orphaned children in other countries.

  • Maof3

    As and adoptive parent I wanted to share from our experience with domestic infant adoption, which I did not feel the show gave a clear picture of. We worked with an agency, Bethany Christian Services, not an idividual lawyer. There was a flat fee for their services, even if one adoption match fell through, which was important to us since we wanted to work with a predictable budget. At the time (5 years ago) this was $18,000. The time period is different for every family, but for us it was not very long. We posted our profile in Arpil and were at the birth of our son in August.

    I think for many perspective adoptive parents the idea of an open adoption, which the majority of domestic infant adoptions are, sounds very intimidating. After working as a social worker in foster care for many years, I can understand some of those concerns. I must say though that there is a major difference between a mother who is choosing of her own free will to make an adoption plan for her unborn child, and parents who are fighting against the state for custody. We met our birth mother before our son was born, was able to get to know her and ask her questions, and we both got to decide if it was a good fit. We have a positive, respectful relationship with her. She gets pictures and letters which I know give her peace of mind knowing that her baby is having a wonderful life, one that she was not able to give him at the time. Our son will grow up knowing his complete adoption story, which included pictures and information about his birth mother, which I believe is a healthy part of establishing his identity.

    All in all, our experience with domestic infant adoption has been wonderful. As doors close for foreign adoption, please don’t hesitate to look into what is available in our country.

  • kfc2003

    To Merrill and to those who think that adopting from another country is a desire for “exotic” children, think again.  I tried to adopt domestically for about 5+ years with no success.  They didn’t want breast cancer survivors.  In the case of foster care, they refused to terminate parental rights, despite the fact that the child had been dropped on the courthouse steps (literally) or taken away due to abuse multiple times.  I tried to adopt a sibling group of 3 minority children, but DFS couldn’t agree on who would supervise as it crossed county lines so they terminated the adoption ONE DAY before we were to become parents.  Actually, they delayed it and wouldn’t give us a reason, leaving us in agony and heartbreak for over a month!  I didn’t renew my foster license after the horrible experiences.  Gave up on adoption after my divorce and remarriage.  At age 50, I saw an article in the paper about some Russian children in my town for an adoption camp.  The phrase “these kids are cold and hungry on a daily basis” haunted me until I finally called and asked what the age limit and health requirements were.  They said, “in good health and under age 65.”   We went to the camp picnic and fell in love immediately with our daughter.  I KNEW that she was what God had in store for us.  I later learned that she was born 300 miles from where my great grandmother was born (in Sweden) and that her biological parents are the same age as us.  (I was 50 and my husband was 53 when we adopted her.)  She was 11 years old and had special needs.  What a blessing she has been to us.  What was her future in an orphanage?  She had been sent there due to neglect and abuse.  Her parents didn’t visit her while there.  In the meantime, she is now 20 years old, a high school graduate, and just got engaged to a wonderful young man!  In the meantime, we have undertaken a birth family search to help her find her brothers in Russia.  Why did we spend $27,000 to go to Russia instead of adopting domestically?  Because God says we should care for orphans — He didn’t give a race or nationality, but it is throughout scripture.  And she knows that we feel she was worth the financial sacrifice on our part.  She didn’t get  expensive toys, but she got our love and she got a forever family.  And we got a precious jewel that fills our hearts.  Wow!  ALL children deserve a home.  Not an institution.

  • kfc2003

    It is disturbing that some of the people who comment “Why not adopt here in the US?” are those who have no experience whatsoever with adoption.  So I hereby challenge you to give a child a forever family.  Experience the process yourself.  You will need extensive training on parenting children of trauma because they don’t get into the system without trauma.  Even if you get an infant at birth, there is trauma in separation from the birth mother (they learned the sound of her voice while en utero.)  I am the leader of a support group for adoptive parents (as well as being an adoptive parent) and know the issues we face well (and firsthand.)  Once you have experienced it, then I will give credibility to your comments.  If you can’t adopt, support an orphanage in another country.  If everyone would step up to the plate, we wouldn’t have the orphan crisis.

Aug 20, 2014
A man holds his hands up in the street after a standoff with police Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, during a protest for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo. (AP)

A deep read on Ferguson, Missouri and what we’re seeing about race, class, hope and fear in America.

Aug 20, 2014
In this Oct. 21, 2013 file photo, a monarch butterfly lands on a confetti lantana plant in San Antonio. A half-century ago Monarch butterflies, tired, hungry and bursting to lay eggs, found plenty of nourishment flying across Texas. Native white-flowering balls of antelope milkweed covered grasslands, growing alongside nectar-filled wildflowers. But now, these orange-and-black winged butterflies find mostly buildings, manicured lawns and toxic, pesticide-filled plants. (AP)

This year’s monarch butterfly migration is the smallest ever recorded. We’ll ask why. It’s a big story. Plus: how climate change is creating new hybridized species.

Aug 19, 2014
Lara Russo, left, Cally Guasti, center, and Reese Werkhoven sit on a couch in their apartment in New Paltz, N.Y. on Thursday, May 15, 2014.  While their roommate story of $40,800 found in a couch made the news, other, weirder stories of unusual roommates are far more common. (AP)

From college dorms and summer camps to RVs and retirement hotels, what it’s like to share a room. True stories of roommates.

Aug 19, 2014
Police wait to advance after tear gas was used to disperse a crowd Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, during a protest for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer last Saturday in Ferguson, Mo. (AP)

“War zones” in America. Local police departments with military grade equipment – how much is too much, and what it would take to de-militarize America’s police force.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Your (Weird? Wonderful? Wacky?) Roommate Stories
Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014

We asked, and you delivered: some of the best roommate stories from across our many listener input channels.

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Our Week In The Web (August 15, 2014)
Friday, Aug 15, 2014

On Pinterest, Thomas the Tank Engine and surprising population trends from around the country. Also, words on why we respond to your words, tweets and Facebook posts.

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Nickel Creek Plays Three Songs LIVE For On Point
Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014

Nickel Creek shares three live (well, mostly) tracks from their interview with On Point Radio.

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