Adopted Russian boy’s return prompts many questions

You may have heard this weekend about the Tennessee family that returned the 7-year-old boy they adopted from Russia back to Russia. The family says they were mislead about his health and that he is violent and has severe psychological problems.

Russians are outraged about the child being returned, especially alone on an international flight, and are threatening to cut off foreign adoptions.

For me, the case leads to lots of questions about foreign adoptions and how they are handled.

Here is the background on the case:

From the Associated Press story:

“A 7-year-old boy adopted by a woman from Tennessee was sent alone on a one-way flight back to Moscow with a note saying he was violent and had severe psychological problems.”

“The boy, Artyom Savelyev, was put on a plane by his adopted grandmother, Nancy Hansen of Shelbyville.”

” ‘He drew a picture of our house burning down and he’ll tell anybody that he’s going to burn our house down with us in it,’ she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. ‘It got to be where you feared for your safety. It was terrible.’ ”

“Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the actions by the grandmother ‘the last straw’ in a string of U.S. adoptions gone wrong, including three in which Russian children had died in the U.S.”

Some more background on adoption problems in general:

From The New York Times:

“Adoption experts generally agreed that an abrupt return was cause for concern. The adoption agency that worked with the Hansens, Wacap, the main office of which is in Renton, Wash., released a statement on Friday that said in the 1 percent of adoptions that do not work out, the agency focused on moving the child to a new family, not returning the child. It was unclear whether the Hansens had asked Wacap for assistance.”

“But, Adam Pertman, executive director of Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, said the Hansens had a responsibility to seek help. He acknowledged that adoptive parents often have incomplete histories for the children they bring into their homes. And he said that for children like Justin, born Artyom Savelyev and raised in a Russian orphanage for much of his early life, the challenges can be immense.”

“Institutionalized children in particular tend to act out, he said, with the worst cases involving verbal abuse or children striking parents with heavy objects. “Kids who are beaten and neglected in foster care; kids whose parents drank heavily when they were pregnant; kids with severe disorders — they can cause real disruptions in a family,” Mr. Pertman said.”

“ ‘You need help if you’re having problems,’ he said. ‘There is this weird lingering myth that love will conquer all. Guess what, it doesn’t in biological families and it doesn’t in adopted families.’ ”

Lots of issues here to discuss:

  1. How do you evaluate how healthy a child is in a foreign adoption? I think people are willing to take children that may have disabilities or need extra help. They just want to know as much up front as possible.

1a. Do you think countries knowingly pass off children with problems without revealing them to the adoptive parents?

2. What kind of counseling, support or advice to adoptive parents get to help them deal with transition challenges such as if a child was in a group home? Or was mistreated in a foster home? Is that just all on the parents to deal with and pay for privately?

3. Similarly what recourse or support do parents have, especially with international adoption if things don’t go well? Or it just too bad, you’re now the parents deal with it.

(It’s interesting to think that parents who give birth to their child don’t know what health problems, behavior issues, or school issues their child may encounter as they develop.)

I really agree with The New York Times expert who points out that love doesn’t conquer all and sometimes parents (birth or adoptive) need a professional to help their child and family. So what do you think?

84 comments Add your comment

A. Nusman

April 12th, 2010
6:53 am

What”s wrong with adopting babies from this country?

M. Ruiz

April 12th, 2010
7:05 am

Nusman, just try and you will find out.

FCM

April 12th, 2010
7:11 am

The alarming part to me is: “Institutionalized children in particular tend to act out, he said, with the worst cases involving verbal abuse or children striking parents with heavy objects. “Kids who are beaten and neglected in foster care; kids whose parents drank heavily when they were pregnant; kids with severe disorders — they can cause real disruptions in a family,” Mr. Pertman said.”

If the agencies know this up front the better question is *do they do anything to help integrate the child to the new family. Do they offer assistance in various therapy? Is it a communication issue (do the perspective parents speak the native tounge)? Does the child just show up in the US with the new parents and are expected to “get with the program”?*

In short are the parents and children set up at the start to fail?

Toni_Italiana

April 12th, 2010
7:23 am

Children who never have a parent to bond with at birth are more likely to develop an attachment disorder which sounds like what this child has. It’s hard to treat but there are programs.

What’s awful is the fact that this little boy has been treated like garbage since his birth. He was born without parents and left for years in an orphanage. His adopted mom seemed not interested in helping him or she was not provided with prior knowledge of potential disorders and where she might get services to help the family.

I pray that someone who has the love and patience to have this boy in his life adopts him. All children deserve to be wanted and have parents at birth and not to start their life alone and unwanted.

phr

April 12th, 2010
7:25 am

An adoptive parent of a child from Russia here. This whole situation is heart breaking. I think there is a lot of blame in this situation. The Russians did probably hide some information from the adoptive parents (we had that happen in our situation). The adoption agency and the social worker that did the home study should have prepared the adoptive parents for all situations including the worst. They also should have given the parents more support once the child was home, that is if the adoptive parents asked for help. Ultimately, the adoptive parents should not have under any circumstances put the child on the plane to Russia by himself. Legally he was their child and they were abandoning it. Tragic!
In our particular case we have used services just like any one would for their naturally born children. We used Babies Can’t Wait, counselors, doctors, etc. No one has any guarantees whether they give birth or adopt. You just do the best you can.

Jeff

April 12th, 2010
7:27 am

Good questions FCM, but I don’t think they’ll be answered, unfortunately. Adopting in this country has become such a nightmare that parents go outside. It’s called human nature; all else being equal, do it the easier, cheaper way.

Adoptive parents need to be realistic. A significant number of these children will have serious issues. Yes, there are good kids to adopt. It’s probably statistically as prevalent as the hooker with a heart of gold or the single mom just dancing to put food on the table for her kids. They both exist but not very often.

Maybe not having kids is not in God’s plan for you, I don’t know. We’ll never know. If you are willing to bear the burdens that come with the adoption, you have may full support, but you can’t go crying about the downside if you also are enjoying the “attaboy’s” for adopting.

TT

April 12th, 2010
7:33 am

I can’t believe this story. Did parents just put a child on a plane with a note in hand? They should be prosecuted for that. It is like buying a product and then returning it for some reason. I don’t buy their excuse. So many birth parents deal with similar issues. It is called parenting. These parents do not have an option to return kids. We had to attend some mental hospital outpatient sessions because we had some challenges with our middle one, and let me tell you that there were so many non-adoptive families dealing with similar situations: suicidal kids, kids who put houses on fire, kids who threaten to hurt parents, etc.
If there was a problem, they should have dealt with it and if the problem was too big to deal with, then they should have contacted an adoption agency and perhaps tried to place a child into another family. Putting a 7 year old on a plane back to Russia is irresponsible.

motherjanegoose

April 12th, 2010
7:34 am

I am not advocating anyone “getting rid” of a child. That is a horrible thing.

Here is something I wanted to share. Many of you know the story of our dog who was run over just about 2 years ago in front of our house, by a neighbor. My daughter was so distraught and weeping every day. A friend told me to get her a new dog…which was no small feat ( sp?) as I was on the road traveling. I did a lot of research and checked places via the internet. My sister, husband and daughter went to the look at all of the dogs. Several dogs had serious issues and the folks wanted to get rid of them. Others were at puppy mills, pet shops and breeders with cages everywhere. We finally found our schnauzer at a home breeder with 2 moms and 2 dads who live inside the house and are treated as loving pets. They had a big back yard with lots of toys. We paid quite a bit for her but she is a wonderful dog and we are thrilled to have her.

My point…if animals have issues from neglect and abuse….children certainly have more difficulties in this area. CHILDREN ARE NOT THE SAME AS DOGS AND I KNOW THIS.

My heart goes out to any child who does not know love or how to interact with a family.
It may be easy for us to judge the Mom who “sent him back” but the circumstances may have been much more that ” No, I do not want to brush my teeth…” Children are a product of their environment….I see this every day. Sad story for everyone.

mom2alex&max

April 12th, 2010
7:54 am

First of all, I didn’t think that children could be “returned” because “it didn’t work out”. They are not pieces of furniture or dogs (as MJG pointed out). I mean, if I had a child and he had problems that I couldn’t handle, it’s not like I could just go to Northside Hospital and say: Sorry, but he/she has too many issues, here take him back. So that right there, pisses me off. That woman should have known that adopting a child is a Big Deal.

Second of all, it is possible the Russians didn’t disclose all. Again, sometimes you have a child by birth and they have things you couldn’t have possibly know.

And thirdly, it really bugs me that because of this woman’s actions, hundreds maybe thousands of willing parents will have problems completing THEIR adoption process.

And to the person that asked why not adopt an American child: I know several couples that went through it and it is not only outrageously expensive, but long, riddled with red tape, heart wrenching, stressing, complicated, and half the time the birth mother changes her mind and your heart breaks. A lot of people go abroad because is faster, not as expensive, and (yes I know it is sad), most of those children have already been abandoned so there is no birth parents to contend with.

Andrea

April 12th, 2010
8:13 am

This is a sad case. I know first hand from going through the adoption process in this country that everything is NOT disclosed to the adoptive parents. I could only imagine what is hidden in international adoptions. I do believe that this child did have problems that weren’t disclosed to the adoptive family. I don’t think that returning him with a note however was the appropriate response. But, that family must have been really pushed to its limits to resort to such a drastic measure.

I am concerned that the agency that handled the adoption had no idea that there were problems in the family. I would think they would have a responsibility to follow up with the family, especially since this child would have to become acclimated to a foreign country.

Carmen Speranza

April 12th, 2010
8:14 am

Hi my name is Carmen and I am from Melbourne, Australia. I have been following the reports on the poor 7 year old child that was sent back to Russia by the American adopted mother. I must admit it shocked me!!!! Surely the adopted mother could have tried to help the poor child in some other ways through some sort of professional intervention than simply shipping this boy back to Russia alone on the plane!!! Not only is it bad enough that these poor russian children and other orphans throughout the world have gone without parents or personal traumas but they are not disposal toys where we can play with as we like. These children are human beings without parents, no belongings and no future. We must bear in mind that if any future potential international adoptive parents are thinking of adopting these children from overseas we must also take the responsibilites of what comes with it and the challenges that lie ahead. I have been reading a lot of Russian and Ukrainian Adoption Blogs by American families and it is nice to see the development between the adopted parents and the children. I wish international adoption would be more readily available to Australians but it isn’t. It is very hard for Australian families to adopt internationally and it is virtually impossible for Australians to adopt Eastern European children and Central European children.

CNB

April 12th, 2010
8:23 am

I am an adoptive mother of a now 10-month old…adopted domestically at birth. Fortunately, I have not had to deal with attachment or behavior issues. However, given the limited medical history I have received there really is no telling what might be in the future. THAT could be the case for me even if I had a biological child.

To this isse….For most, the adoption process whether domestic or international is a long process filled with paperwork, preparation, and interaction with adoption social workers. As part of that preparation, I do think many agencies fall short on counseling parents on the “what if”. What if your child has learning disabilities? What if your child has behavorial issues? What if the birth family doesn’t reveal a chronic illness? What if something happens in their health that you were not prepared for (as if you could be prepared for everything)? These are questions any parent – whether through childbirth or adoption – should ask themselves before they become a parent. We can’t possibly control nature and expect a perfect child. There is no such thing. HOWEVER, if you go into a situation and are looking to adopt an older child you MUST deal with the what ifs early. To not do so is just ignorant. Ignorance is not bliss in this situation. Agencies fall short in stressing this need….you have to be your own advocate and prepare. You also can’t possible prepare for every situation.

I am sad for this little boy. How could any responsible adult place a little boy on a flight all by themselves? No matter how frustrated or scared they supposedly were of the boy?

Mark H

April 12th, 2010
8:23 am

The problem here is two-fold: adoption agencies in the US are obviously not preparing parents for possible mental problems, and the parents are obviously not doing their homework.

Anyone who adopts a child over 2 years old who has been living in an orphanage since birth, needs to know that this child will likely have some mental/emotional issues, and they need to be prepared for the worst. I am sick of seeing stories like these where parents jump into the complicated matter of adopting a child from an orphanage (especially an older child) and then act surprised when there are issues.

This is reality: these kids are damaged goods. It is not their fault, and they need parents who are prepared to deal with their issues. That means pre-adoption counseling and learning how to face potential problems. If the potential parent can’t handle even this much preparation, then they have no business adopting in the first place.

adoptivemom

April 12th, 2010
8:29 am

This is a tragic story indeed, and we have yet to learn the full story. I am an adoptive mother myself. I think putting this child on an airplane by himself was a travesty. I also agree that this family has caused undue setbacks for families waiting to adopt children from Russia. All that said, I hope the some good will come from this case in getting people to understand RAD — Reactive Attachment Disorder, which is prevelant in children who are institutionalized and/or abused. My daughter suffered from RAD — we were completely unprepared for dealing with her issues. It is SO true that love simply can’t conquer all. It is frightening parenting a child with this disorder, especially if the child has passed the age of three (it’s much harder to effectively treat it after this point due to brain development). While this case is truly shameful, there are countless families out there struggling with similar issues. And many, like us, weren’t prepared. I am proud to say that my daughter no longer suffers from RAD, but I must add that it took years of intensive therapy, doctors, etc., not to mention the expenses. If you haven’t lived it, you might not be able to understand just how challenging it is.

Nora

April 12th, 2010
8:45 am

I grew up in a family that included an “adoption gone wrong” (adopted siblings). But it was a domestic adoption. Same story, though: neglect in infancy, the trauma of extended foster care, severe psychological issues, violent behavior and acting out, and the complete disruption to our family. It was a nightmare. Although the adoption wasn’t reversed, it caused trauma to our family that still affects us today – decades later. It can be a BAD situation for everyone involved. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know what the problem is in a very personal way.

alice

April 12th, 2010
8:47 am

If this was ten years ago, I could understand how the adoptive mother wouldn’t be prepared. But his information about the difficulties that families who adopt from the former Soviet Union countries face is very public, very well known, and frankly, expected.

There has been no mention of a father in this case, is there one?

mom2alex&max

April 12th, 2010
8:48 am

@adoptivemom: while I cannot TRULY know ow challenging it can be, I do know that lots of biological parents deal with lots of severe issues with their biological children. With adoptive children it can be RAD, with biological children it can be autism, it can be Down syndrome, it can be ADD, what have you. Having said that, I applaud you!

What this woman did is child abandonment, plain and simple. And it not only affects this poor little boy, it has severe ramifications for the countless couples that are awaiting to adopt from Russia as well.

Children are not pieces of furniture you return because it didn’t work out.

t. powell

April 12th, 2010
8:53 am

This is not ‘normal’ in anyway! People look at a little sweet child and think it’s the parent’s fault there are problems. Many parents suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) after trying to love and parent these children. Parents can definitely do wrong things b/c of the child’s actions but burning down a house w/ the parents in it…..are you kidding me? Why doesn’t the media cover RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder)? It should be covered regularly so the word would get out to Americans. International adoption agencies will lie just to get the money! Why should that surprise us? A friend of mine spent time in an African ‘orphanage’. There was no supervision…no adults stayed on the property! There was little food and no electricity. It was only ‘housing’ for orphans and every night…the older boys raped the younger children. The only reason for it’s existance was the orphanage owners received money for the adopted children.
All people see is the romance in adoption but they either don’t know or don’t want to know what can happen. Adoption can be wonderful but it can also be catastrophic. RAD kids kill pets in the home and sometimes family members. They have no conscience. Without treatment, it is always a tragedy. They hate the ones who love them the most b/c they believe love hurts. It hurt them when they were infants and it takes intensive, expensive treatment (that many times bankrupts the adoptive family) for them to be able to accept love now.
*** I can’t believe anyone would compare a child’s trauma and needs to a pet’s….what an insult! ….give me a break and step into reality! THERE IS NO COMPARISON!***

t. powell

April 12th, 2010
8:56 am

“With adoptive children it can be RAD, with biological children it can be autism, it can be Down syndrome, it can be ADD,”

This statement shows a complete lack of knowlege of RAD.

AnAdoptee

April 12th, 2010
9:00 am

I think these parents weren’t given the full story nor put in touch with resources that might have helped them cope. However, I take objection to the implication that children are somehow a commodity to suit the parents’ needs and are therefore exchangeable or returnable when they’re not.

My mom said it took me a long time to warm up to her and there were times she was frustrated trying to get me out of my shell. I wasn’t fussy or demanding, but I also was not affectionate towards her. I was 7 months old and hadn’t had a consistent mom; how could I have had some automatic bond with her that was going to make her feel complete? Thank goodness she recognized this.

Granted, in my case, I was just a confused 7 month old baby and didn’t have special needs otherwise. However, adoption is no different from natural birth – you can’t give your biological kids back; you cope with their issues like parents should.

Chatarri

April 12th, 2010
9:01 am

We are friends with 4 families who have adopted from Russia and our cousin recently adopted from China. Why foreign? Because adopting locally is actually more difficult and poses risks of parents who change their minds and want the child back.

That said – the two families who adopted “babies” – less than 18 months old – are thriving. The 3 families who adopted older children – both from Russia – have experienced heartaches beyond belief – although they have found joy in these children. Two were found to have hearing issues from prolonged untreated ear infections. Two acted out to the point of busting out tv’s, turning over a refrigerator, turning on bath water and leaving it running to flood on purpose, stealing from other homes visited, trying to stab a sibling at the dinner table with a knife – and the list goes on. These children are all “taking advantage” of government entitlement programs in the schools and for healthcare. Their needs too many for the parents to meet financially without taking those programs.

I would love to see the orphans in our own country addressed first. We could become foster parents almost immediately without much checking verification being done, but, once we began the process of adoption – our home was inundated by social workers – even as far as because we were on a septic tank instead of sewer, having to have the system pumped and water testing done. The majority of problems the children here in the good ole USA experience are in the foster homes. Help speed up adoptions here, quit allowing people to “retrieve” their children – one case in place – my neighbor who has fostered a child for 22 months but cannot adopt because the parents want the child or want the child with family, but no one can pass a drug test on a regular basis – but these people are given 100 chances to do so – meanwhile, my neighbor loves this child, but cannot give this child all they want to because they can’t adopt.

This incident – while sad/tragic – should act as a wakeup call to everyone to stop foreign adoptions until all of our USA babies/children have homes.

MamaS

April 12th, 2010
9:06 am

Enter your comments here That the adoptive mother went about ending the adoption the wrong way — no argument! That she might have had reason to end the adoption – quite possibly. If the child was truly a RAD child, I can understand her feeling she must do something. Read the RAD boards — parents who alternate sleeping so that one is always awake and on guard for fear a child (not a teenager, a child!) will set fire to the house, torture a pet, attack and injure or attempt to kill a sibling.
Professional help, if you can find it, costs $1000s a week, is not covered by insurance, and usually is not successful in changing the child. It just keeps him/her out of the family home.

DB

April 12th, 2010
9:18 am

I find it amusing/infuriating that Russia can piously proclaim that they are “worried” about Russian children being “mistreated” by adoptive parents, when in fact a Russian orphanage is one of the more horrifying places in the world to grow up. My daughter spent a spring break working with an orphanage in one of the former Russian provinces, and two years later still tears up when she thinks about the toddlers that were chained in their beds, babies that were three and four to a bed, etc., etc. She ran into some of the attachment disorder issues even during the week — a child, in particular, who would scream and hit at anyone who tried talk to her. Now, you have to figure that this was probably one of the BETTER orphanages, if they were letting American school kids work there. The one you didn’t see were probably horrific.

While I feel for the frustration this adoptive couple must have gone through, I think they made a completely wrong choice in how to handle it. Let’s face it, they didn’t just plop the kid on the airline — they had to have made arrangements with the airline for the child to fly unaccompanied in the first place. I’m sure there is much more to this story than meets the eye. However, just because one wacko family did the wrong thing doesn’t mean that there aren’t thousands of other families out there wanting to embrace a child.

And yes, I DO think that the orphanages held out on vital information in order to move the kids out. What kind of sanctions can be pursued to an orphanage or state institution that deliberately LIES to adoptive parents, especially from half a world away. They do it because they CAN, and they know the repercussions will be slight, if any.

ATL06

April 12th, 2010
9:34 am

Not sure about foreign adoptions or the fostercare care systems in other countries but I know first hand that agencies do not disclose all information on the children that they are placing.

Justin

April 12th, 2010
9:45 am

We have adopted three children very, very easily from this country. We also have 2 biological children. Mine are all great, but I do know some people who have adopted children that have virtually destroyed their entire family. Biological or not, I will not allow one child to totally disrupt and threaten the lives of others. I have seen it first hand so I feel total empathy towards this lady. She might have been better off dealing with DFCS in this country though.

ATL06

April 12th, 2010
9:46 am

Also you never know what you will do unless it happens to you. I am not saying that she was right for sending him back to Russia on a plane by himself she was wrong for doing that but I also think that it was a drastic measure and maybe she was at her wits end.

JATL

April 12th, 2010
9:47 am

This story infuriates me and makes me want to cry. I get the adoptive parents being scared and upset and feeling like they were possibly mislead, but how much due diligence did they do when adopting from Russia -PARTICULARLY an older child? I have no plans to adopt, and even I know that Russia has a horrifying rate of orphaned children with fetal alchohol syndrome and their state run orphanages are legendary hell holes. If I DID adopt from there, I would be expecting some issues, and if I adopted an older child from ANYWHERE, I would be expecting to go through counseling, get the child psychiatric care if needed, etc. It sounds to me like these folks thought -”OH -if we take him to WalMart and Chuck E Cheese a few times, he’ll be so happy to be here -that will solve everything.”

The fact that anyone would put ANY child, no matter how horribly behaved on a long, international flight “home” by themselves with a note makes me want to bawl! How horribly sad. Whatever this child’s problems were before, now they’ve been compounded quite a bit. I don’t think Russia is blameless. They probably do hold back as much as possible when adopting out children. The adoption agency along with the prospective parents should have really been proactive as far as evaluations and possible therapy needed.

It’s just a terrible shame. The people who put that child on the plane should be shamed forever.

LaToya Mack

April 12th, 2010
10:10 am

I hope the important questions are going to be raised. (1) What resources are available to adoptive parents when dire financial circumstances arise? When parents voluntarily relinquish rights to their biological and adoptive children, they are being failed. I distinctively remember parents crossing state lines to take their children of all ages to hospitals when state laws changed to allow for such provisions with no legal ramifications…. (2) Is it true a child in the US can be of legal school age and NOT attend – not even be considered ‘home schooled’?

Professor

April 12th, 2010
10:18 am

Hola,

Why not adopt kids in this country?

Well a lot of people are looking for the blond, blue-eyed baby and they do not want children that are beyond the toddler age, a child with a mild disablity or different skin tone. There are plenty of American children here, but our society wants the description posted earlier or an “exotic” child from a different land.

Meme

April 12th, 2010
10:21 am

My sister’s best friend adopted from Russia. Both boys have mental issues.

Professor II

April 12th, 2010
10:34 am

Professor you couldn’t be more wrong. The problem with adoptions here are the fact that the parents giving up the child wants them to be open adoptions so they can participate without having to be responsible for the child. Also the laws here continue to favor the birth parents later on when they “decide” they want the child back.

David S

April 12th, 2010
10:37 am

Unmentioned and uninvestigated in all of this is exactly what it does take to adopt a child in this country and why so many people find it EASIER and cheaper to adopt a child from another country.

Adoption in this country is political, and whenever the government gets involved, nothing ever gets better. Not that is free from politics in other countries. That is part of the problem there too.

Blaming this parent for taking responsibility for the realities of her circumstance combined with what appears to be a misrepresentation (far too common) is not the answer. Taking a bigger look at how the “system” makes it so difficult to adopt in this country would be far better use of investigative journalist efforts (if we actually had any of those left in this country).

Cammi317

April 12th, 2010
10:41 am

Anyone ever see the movie “Orphan”?

MomsRule

April 12th, 2010
10:49 am

@Cammi317, Yes, I saw the movie.

Cammi317

April 12th, 2010
10:54 am

MomsRule was that not the first thing that came to mind when you read where the child was from and the description of the child’s behavior?

Jess

April 12th, 2010
11:20 am

I read that she changed the name of the boy, a 7 year old boy! She changed the kid’s name!

lynda fory-stevens

April 12th, 2010
11:23 am

This story is a tragedy.No matter how badly behaved this child was,there is no excuse for sending him off alone.The child is seven years old…seven.Do you know any seven year-olds able to cope alone for even an hour?The “mother”talks of threats and houses burning etc.I would like to know:in what language were these threats made?Did the child speak English,does this woman speak Russian. Do these people in Tennessee know anthing about the culture etc of any foreign country?.I would like to see what would happen to any child from the states suddenly whisked off to another country expected to melt right in…this is child abuse.It is never up to the child to complete the rosy picture of the perfect family.It is up to the consenting adult in an adoption to do as much as possible to make the fairy tale come true (the same has to be said when an adult woman decides to have her own child.) the child owes nothing to the parent who decides to give birth.I speak here of one parent as there is no father,only a woman and her mother. I am the mother of three biological children who are fine adults.Due I like to think thanks to good parenting but surely to a bit of really good luck as well.If things had not gone well I could not have just decided I had made a mistake and returned “it” to the hospital. I am appalled that anyone could not blame these people for what they did. In America there is help,counseling coaching and schooling available.They have no courage,no heart and no soul.Can they even feel remorse or regret?

Professor

April 12th, 2010
11:42 am

Professor II Please list your stats and references, because there are plenty of non-white babies in America waiting for a home and there parents are not asking for “open” adoptions.

Have you ever listened to 98.5 the lady in the evening Daliah (sp) talks about this freely on her show and she has adopted several “American” children?

Jesse's Girl

April 12th, 2010
11:47 am

There simply don’t seem to be enough adoptive parents….the VAST majority of which are white…that are willing to adopt and parent a child of another race. One of my dearest friends adopted all 3 of her kids. The girls are bi-racial and the boy is white….though getting him happened because the agency they used were so impressed with them as parents that when his adoption became a neccessity because of abandonment…they immediately turned to them. He was older, 15 months at the time. The point is my friends were desperate for ANY child. And there doesn’t seem to be a long line of adoptive American parents ready to raise a child of another color. Not to mention how criminally expensive it is. Which is why so many turn to international adoption. Its cheaper and faster….and often times, the parents can get a child of their “color”. But you absolutely take your chances on disclosure. Its a risk that needs to be weighed properly and with massive forethought.

Professor

April 12th, 2010
11:49 am

@Jesse’s Girl my point exactly a lot of parents do not just want ANY child they are looking for certain children.

adoptivemom

April 12th, 2010
11:51 am

Professor,

Your question is inappropriate. It simply is not your business why people choose to adopt internationally versus domestically. Each family makes the decision that is right for them. If you decided to adopt domestically, I would applaud you for giving a child a home. I adopted from China (not for an “exotic” baby — hugely insulting — as was the comment about blue-eyed beauties) because 98 percent of the children in orphanages there are girls. My family wanted one less girl in an orphanage there and one more in our lives. There’s no need to be so judgmental as it is a deeply personal choice and, frankly, not deserving of your scrutiny.

The issue here is RAD, and I am so relieved to see that so many of you truly get it.

And I think it’s fair to say that NO ONE feels that what this woman did was proper. What I said was that I’m hoping it shines the spotlight on a condition that not everyone knows about.

Professor

April 12th, 2010
12:00 pm

Adoptivemom,

Please read me again, because I did not say blue-eyed beauties. I guess the truth hurts. I state fact I was not being judgemental, and the fact is there are American children that can be adopted. If you look at the blog I did not ask that question, but provided an answer.

Professor

April 12th, 2010
12:01 pm

***I stated a fact***

Jesse's Girl

April 12th, 2010
12:07 pm

I will not sit in judgement of this woman’s choice. I did not live her experiences with this child. He may very well be the antichrist. And its just as likely that she wanted to be a mommy and thought this was the easiest and fastest way to do that. Whatever transpired…she for sure did not do her “homework” on adopting an older child….especially a boy. While I cannot say with any degree of certainty that I would have acted differently…I would obvioulsy like to think I would. I would like to think that I would have taken him to a specialist and just dealt with it the best way I could. This kid needs love. Its just a damn shame no matter how you look at it.

Warrior Woman

April 12th, 2010
12:09 pm

The problem is more likely American social workers insisting on placing the child with a family of the same race and ethnicity, even if it means continued foster care instead of adoption. Further complicating matters is the stance of favoring biological parents’ “rights” over the child’s well-being.

adoptivemom

April 12th, 2010
12:10 pm

Your answer (below) to the question, Why don’t people adopt kids from this country? insults me as an adoptive parent. What you state are facts are subjective. You simply cannot speak for why people adopt — you can only speak for why you adopted. Anything else is speculation (and judgment).

“Well a lot of people are looking for the blond, blue-eyed baby and they do not want children that are beyond the toddler age, a child with a mild disablity or different skin tone. There are plenty of American children here, but our society wants the description posted earlier or an “exotic” child from a different land.”

Professor

April 12th, 2010
12:15 pm

Well adoptivemom it is your fault that you are insulted. We can agree to disagree because I stand behind my answer.

realist

April 12th, 2010
12:17 pm

My immediate concern is for the fact that American law officials are not stepping in and charging this woman with child abandonment……..if she was engaged in a legal adoption of this boy and just placed him on a plane to rid herself of him without following a protocol then this may be child abandonment. My other concern is how did this boy make it to a plane when he is 7 years old. The age requirements for international travel for unsupervised children is …I beleive to be much older than 7. It seems that there are several pieces missing in this puzzle and ofcourse what is this woman’s motivation for adoption……..is she wanting to help others or gratify her own world. Maybe she has JOLIE syndrome where she views children as means to gratify her over inflated ego.

Professor 3

April 12th, 2010
12:20 pm

Professor,
Why do you care who adopts and what their preference is???? I mean, really, how many American kids have you adopted? Tell us so we might understand better your hostile bigotry.

And what business of yours anyway if somebody wants to raise a kid who matches their own color?

Jesse's Girl

April 12th, 2010
12:29 pm

I kind of get what he’s saying…re-read his comments and don’t see any hostility. There is a socio-economical element going on. We have an over-abundance of black children in foster care waiting for a family. But the families that can afford to adopt are very often white. And for whatever reason(s)….a lot of these families want a child that “matches” Sad to say…but it is one of the truths in a lot of these cases. I am big enough to admit that adoption is likely not something I am meant to be a part of. I would have trouble treating the adoptive child the same as my bio children. They would always be my priority. Doesn’t make me a bad person…just truthful. However…if I were unable to conceive, I’m sure my tune would change. The entire process needs to be reevaluated. Children need love. I am thankful and grateful to those of you who are called to do this.