Call for Signatures — Letter to President Obama, et al, From Family Preservation Advocate and The USA Adoption Community

Re-post with permission from Family Preservation Advocate Blogspot, at:

Saturday, January 30, 2010

 Call for Signatures

 I am hoping to get individuals and organizations to sign on to this letter. 

To sign, please send an email to with your name, connection to adoption, location and a brief comment, if you’d like.  Please pass the word via email lists, blogs, Facebook…

TO:        President Barack Obama
              First Lady Michelle Obama
              Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton
              Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius

RE:        Adoption Practices

FROM: The Adoption Community

Now that Haiti has declared a moratorium on the post quake rush to adopt its children, we must continue to protect the Haitian children from any continued hasty removals by predatory groups who might fly in once the airports re-open to scoop up children, no matter how well-intentioned, as we reflect on the course of future adoption practices.

Those of us whose lives have been irrevocably shaped by adoption offer our personal insight and ask you to listen to our voices and painfully gained wisdom. Adoption can provide a caring and safe home, but must always put the best interests of children first. Adoption should always be about finding homes for orphans and children who have no family members able and willing to provide safe care.  Unfortunately it has become more focused on finding babies or children to fill a demand of those able to pay high fees to obtain a child. Thus, for the sake of all children:

* We beseech lawmakers to not be influenced by lobbyists for the multi-billion-dollar adoption industry or by the religiously based organizations and agencies, no matter how well-intentioned, who wish to use the redistribution of children for financial gain or to recruit members of their faith. Follow the advice of child welfare experts and NGOs with no motivation other than what is truly best for children.

 * We call for an end to federal programs that promote and encourage adoption, e.g. tax credits,  Children in foster care are being used as pawns to get such laws enacted and renewed and then be left behind while prospective parents use tax credits to adopt from elsewhere.

 * We encourage the formation of a federal department of Family Preservation that would allocate funds to help families in temporary crisis, whether financial or otherwise, receive the assistance they need to remain intact. Programs such as in-home care have proven highly successful and more cost effective than foster care removals which put children into high risk situations. 

 * We seek federal protection of the constitutional right to parent one’s own children that are currently being violated by state laws such as Putative Father Registries.

 * We insist on restoration of the rights of all adopted persons in regard to the discrimination they face in accessing their own birth certificate. We demand that the Federal government prevent states from issuing falsified birth certificates that state that adopted children are born to their adoptive parents, and that often change not just their names but their date and place of birth. This is state committed fraud and violates the basic right of every human to their identity. 



1. Mirah Riben, mother who lost a child to adoption, New Jersey

2. Gaye Tannenbaum, New York adoptee

3. Caroline Collins, adult adoptee currently living in Texas

4. Aileen Brown, Mother that lost her baby to the adoption industry at 16 years old and ignorant of the effects adoption would do to herself and lost child, who would like to prevent it from happening to other families, Wisconsin

5. Rosalind Maya Lama, Lost a child to the foster care and adoption industry in New York
currently reside in California

6. Cathi Robinson, Natural Mother, Missouri

7. Roe Ruggerio Callahan, Philadelphia, PA

8. Amanda Woolston, Tennessee Adoptee residing in Pennsylvania

9. Bonnie Taylor, WV. Birthname (Teresa Elaine McKinsey) Born in York PA, adopted in Baltimore, MD Found birthfather (Gary Lee McKinsey-deceased), still searching for birthmother (Juanita Carson-McKinsey-Dunkelbarger-?Brashear).

10. Hannah Hope, natural mother, Essex, UK

11. Amy L. Loring – Lima, NY – Natural Mother

12. Celeste Billhartz, adoptee, Ohio

13. Samantha Franklin, Reunited Adult Adoptee, Oklahoma

14. Janet Sousa,  adoptee and search angel.  Owner of The Eyes Wide Open Registry, an online Emergency Medical Locators for Adoptee’s registry – Tampa, FL

15. Robert Wilson Harrington McCullough Haight, adopted person, Missouri, still denied access to his Original Birth Certificate

16. Lorraine Dusky, reunited natural mother in New York

17. Sandy Blais, Adoptee – Canada – please it is time to stop repeating the mistakes of the past that we should have already learned from.

18. Susan Gill, reunited natural mother, Nebraska

19. Laurie Staley, Michigan adoptee, adoptive mom

20. Alyce M. Jenkins, adoptive mother and adoptive/family rights advocate , NJ

21. Mari Steed, Intercountry adopted adult (Ireland, reunited); Birthmother, Pennsylvania sealed-records system (reunited)

22. Rupert Wolfe Murray

23. Dana Lowrey, adopted person, mother to a son lost to adoption, Reunited with all family members, Roseville California

24. Theresa Hood, Pennsylvania-born adoptee residing in New York, denied access to my original birth certificate

25. Barbara Pasternak, CT. I’m a Mother who had no choice when I lost my son to adoption 50 years ago. An adoptee is not, should not, be a commodity.

26. Bonnie Parmelee, mother to a son relinquished in late 80’s, happily reunited. NY

27. Julie Kelly (reunited adult adoptee) Vancouver WA

28. Lori Trevino, reunited natural mother, Wisconsin

29. Ibbaanika Bond, a natural mother of a child on which an adoption was unsuccessfully attempted.
Kansas City, Mo.

30. Joan M Wheeler, birthname Doris M Sippel, New York Adoptee reunited 36 years,  I’m a half orphan, but sealed and amended birth certificate laws are meant to hide illegitimacy. I did not need to be “legitimized” by adoption. I needed to be raised with full knowledge of, and socialization with, my siblings, and father. Guardianship, not adoption; Family Preservation, not family separation.

31. Mara Rigge, Trinidad, California, Adoptee, Reunited With Natural Mother.

… … … … … …

As the author of this blog, Forbidden Family, and the author of the Book by the same name (see Widget at the Left) in which I state very similar legislative proposals on a Federal Level, I, Joan M Wheeler, suggest to add the following (no, this is not a contest as to who gets the prize for “winning” — this is to say that many of us have been saying the same thing for decades, without being heard). My proposals for Federal Legislation or a Constitutional Amendment are paraphrased from my book:

 –         to the proposed Federal Department of Family Preservation: whether financial or otherwise, Please add: “to protect our own domestic half and full orphans…”

 –         after Putative Fathers Registries, Please add: “and federal guidelines to discourage religious and social service programs (Crisis Pregnancy Centers) that encourage the relinquishment of infants from young mothers.”

 –         after, We seek federal protection of the constitutional right to parent one’s own children, Please add: “We seek federal protection of the constitutional right to our name at birth and our birth certificate at birth, and the right to be raised by our parents with our sibling groups intact.”


–          “We seek federal protection to promote legal Guardianship instead of adoption to protect a child’s right to her name at birth, birth certificate at birth, and the legal right to continued social contact with parents, siblings, and extended family.”

 It might be helpful to add that the Amended Birth Certificate issued at the finalization of adoption should be an Adoption Certificate that details facts of adoption.

Press Release: Layers of Trauma for Haiti’s Orphans: A Webinar featuring Dr. Bruce Perry

Adam Pertman, Executive Director

Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute


 Layers of Trauma for Haiti’s Orphans: A Webinar featuring Dr. Bruce Perry
Monday, February 1st, 2010 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM Central Time
(a recorded version will be available subsequently)


This free webinar features Bruce D. Perry M.D., Ph.D., the Senior Fellow at The Child Trauma Academy. He will discuss the likely impact of the many traumas children coming home from the orphanages in Haiti have experienced.

The webinar will help prepare families who are now awaiting or have already received placement under the United States’ expedited program.

Dr. Perry will cover the impact of the multiple traumas on this group of kids, explain what parents can expect, and give advice on how they can ease the transition for their child. The webinar will have practical advice for adoptive parents, adoption professionals, and interim caregivers.

Please forward this invitation to any family awaiting a placement from Haiti as well as staff and/or interim caregivers for these children. In order to give priority to families who will benefit the most from this live webinar, we ask that you refrain from inviting those who are just starting to explore the option of adopting from Haiti.

Dr. Perry will address specific trauma-related questions from the audience as time allows. We ask that you submit questions in advance through the registration form.

PLEASE NOTE: this session is intended for those families who were in process of adopting from Haiti prior to the earthquake and are therefore receiving an expedited placement of their child. The Haitian adoption process itself as well as advice for those looking to start the process of adopting from Haiti will not be covered.

This webinar is brought to you by Adoption Learning Partners, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, the Joint Council on International Children’s Services and Heart of the Matter Seminars.

To register, please click the register button below:

click here 


Local Woman and Pre-Adoptive Son Survive Earthquake; Boy and 5 Other Orphans Arrive Miami

Buffalo, New York, USA


The experience of surviving the earthquake in Haiti is indeed traumatic. I’m glad she and her soon-to-be-adopted-son are alive. They will be coping with that horrendous experience for the rest of their lives.

But that’s not the whole story.

What troubles me is the unsettling details of this boy’s journey from Haiti, to Miami, Florida and then to an undisclosed location, and soon to be in my home town. The pre-adoptive mother is a teacher for a school just down the street from my home. The pre-adoptive father is a lawyer (go figure). They live in a southern suburb of Buffalo.

No indication of where the other 5 children are going when they leave Miami.

One of the Pod-casts below states that there are 254 US families in line to adopt Haitian children. Does this mean these adoptions were already in process? Or are these new families who rushed in immediately after the earthquake?

With all the coverage of adoptions that were in the process before the earthquake, and after, I find this story troubling. Local media sensationalizes and glorifies this couple. Comments of “how wonderful of you to adopt…” and, strangers saying “thank you” to them as if this couple is protecting the larger society’s interests somehow. This just adds more fuel to the fire – to the myths of savior adoptions – that we in the adoption reform community must dispel.

This couple, indeed, had developed a relationship with this three year old boy over the course of several visits and extended time. Links to the pod-casts and newsprint article below tell their story.

It is clear that they had “attached” to each other — not “bonded”as so many people say. Bonding is actually a scientific term. Bonding ONLY happens between a pregnant mother and her child. Bonding is the reciprocal relationship between that mother and her child and NO ONE else. Bonding continues through pregnancy, the birth process, breastfeeding, eye contact, body smells and touch, and continues for about three months. Socialization with the father and other siblings and other family members BEGINS while the infant is in utero as the sense of hearing familiarizes the pre-born infant with voices. Socialization and attachment occur AFTER birth. (Ken Watson, lecture at an American Adoption Congress circa 1989).

So, now, we have a little boy called Geoffrey by his adopting parents. We don’t know anything about his name at birth, the name he went by before his adopting parents came along and spotted him in an orphanage. We don’t know anything about his parents of birth; if he has any siblings nor do we know if he has any extended blood kin family, as in cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents. Nothing is said about his birth certificate in Haiti. Nothing is said about what the adoption process does to his personal identification papers, or his loss of connection with any of his blood kin family, or his loss of his native culture and language. Instead of being a Haitian citizen, he will now be erroneously be identified as an “African-American” by sight-analysis alone.

It is simply assumed that Geoffrey is his American name.

But what happens with his Haitian birth certificate? Is that placed under seal, as any domestic adoptee’s birth certificate is sealed forever from all domestic adoptees? From what I know about foreign-born adoptees, a “new” birth certificate will be made in his new adoptive name, and his parents of birth will be replaced, legally, by the names of the two people who are adopting him.

Something is wrong with that picture.

Should anyone be allowed to alter the material facts of life for a minor child? This is stealing his right to his name, his country and place of birth, his true blood parentage, and his human right to his name at birth and to his parents and family of birth.

We, in America, still hold onto the myth that adopting parents replace the parents of birth. In reality, they do not.

Other countries, such as The Netherlands, recognize the importance of a child’s birth identity. While the child still loses her legal right to her birth name, and takes on the legal right to be given a new adoptive name, such an exchange is legally documented with an Adoption Certificate, not a NEW “Certificate of Live Birth”, as we do in the United States.

One cannot, or should not, tamper with anyone’s facts of life and papers documenting birth, adoption, marriage, death.

The adoptee must cope with the realities of a dual identity in the face of legal documentation that proves she, or he, has only one set of real parents. The legal paperwork contradicts what each and every adoptee must emotionally deal with every day for the rest of her life after being “rescued” by “wonderful” and “generous” adopting parents.

The United Nations Rights of the Child states:

  • Article 7 (Registration, name, nationality, care): All children have the right to a legally registered name, officially recognised by the government. Children have the right to a nationality (to belong to a country). Children also have the right to know and, as far as possible, to be cared for by their parents.
  • Article 8 (Preservation of identity): Children have the right to an identity – an official record of who they are. Governments should respect children’s right to a name, a nationality and family ties.
  • Article 9 (Separation from parents): Children have the right to live with their parent(s), unless it is bad for them. Children whose parents do not live together have the right to stay in contact with both parents, unless this might hurt the child.
  • Article 10 (Family reunification): Families whose members live in different countries should be allowed to move between those countries so that parents and children can stay in contact, or get back together as a family.
  • Article 11 (Kidnapping): Governments should take steps to stop children being taken out of their own country illegally. This article is particularly concerned with parental abductions. The Convention’s Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography has a provision that concerns abduction for financial gain.
  • Article 16 (Right to privacy): Children have a right to privacy. The law should protect them from attacks against their way of life, their good name, their families and their homes.
  • Article 20 (Children deprived of family environment): Children who cannot be looked after by their own family have a right to special care and must be looked after properly, by people who respect their ethnic group, religion, culture and language.
  • Article 21 (Adoption): Children have the right to care and protection if they are adopted or in foster care. The first concern must be what is best for them. The same rules should apply whether they are adopted in the country where they were born, or if they are taken to live in another country.
  • Article 22 (Refugee children): Children have the right to special protection and help if they are refugees (if they have been forced to leave their home and live in another country), as well as all the rights in this Convention.

It is interesting to note that the United States has NOT ratified the international treaty of The United Nations Rights of the Child. Could it be because we Americans profit by the multi-billion dollar adoption business that deals with the trade of human children from one family to another, from one country to another, without giving FULL consideration and respect due to the rights of the very children Americans are so quick to snatch up?

I urge all people who read this post to read the very important statement issued yesterday by Adoptees of Color Roundtable. This is clearly an appeal by adoptees of different races who oppose the rush to adopt Haiti’s children by white, affluent people. There IS racial discrimination in America, and these Haitian children, whether we want to admit it or not, will face the indignation of racial tensions even with the best of intentions of their adopting parents.

Now, here is the information on the couple from Buffalo, New York (USA) who is in the process of adopting a Haitian toddler:

 Series of 3 NPR Pod-casts tell their story:

 A print story appeared 1-27-2010 in The Buffalo News online, Comments needed.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010 

Please distribute freely

For the last week, Bastard Nation, like the rest of the world, has been watching the devastation of Haiti. The images are frightening, sad, and heartrending, especially those of the children.

We have also watched with alarm the rush to rescue Haitian children by adoption. Within three days of the earthquake, Catholic Charities of Miami had set up a scheme modeled on Operation Pedro Pan, a joint State Department-CIA-Miami Diocese project in the early 1960s to separate children from their parents, creating young pawns in the US war against the Castro government. Although “Operation Pierre Pan” in Haiti is on hold, at least for now, numerous evangelical churches and ministries, adoption agencies, secular organizations, unfinalized adoptive parents and other individuals–many with conflicts of interest–have joined the rescue mission call to remove children immediately, no matter what their family status, to the US for the purpose of adoption.

Haiti is still under rubble. Aid is slow to arrive. Survivors are spread out in shelters and camps, or live in the streets. The dead are unnumbered, unknown, and unnamed. Family members continue to search for each for other, and it will take weeks or even months for final conciliation.

The rush to relocate orphans, quasi-orphans, and potential orphans internationally is ripe for coercion and fraud. Adoption agencies, church agencies, and ministries especially–along with fraudulent and predatory “child welfare” agents–have much to gain from fast removal. The trafficking of Haitian children for sex, servitude, and adoption operated in Haiti before the quake. It certainly operates now. The unethical and possibly unlawful mass transfer of traumatized children, many with family status unknown, to foreign shelters, foster care, and adoption agencies, removed from their culture and language, with little hope of family reunification cannot be allowed or tolerated. We urge US State Department and other US authorities in Haiti to (1) remove private special interests and those with conflicts of interest, such as adoption agencies and ministries, from the child welfare decision-making process and (2) halt the evacuation of children and their placement for adoption in the US.

We also urge the State Department to suspend pending adoptions. Haitian paperwork is lost or destroyed. Rock Cadet, the judge most responsible and knowledgeable about pipeline cases, died in the quake. Though the US Embassy survived, US paperwork is probably unavailable for some time, if it still exists. Without proof of Haitian court or Embassy status, any adoption removal from the country, without thorough background investigation and due process, is illegal and not in the best interest of the child

Needless to say, no new adoptions should be processed.

In the post-quake chaos, children need protection from predatory snatchers. Bastard Nation, therefore, supports the expedited removal of Haitian children, orphans or otherwise, to credible and documented parents or family members in the US for temporary or permanent placement depending on the circumstances. These children must not be assumed adoptable and scooped up for fast-track adoption. They should be a top priority. We urge the State Department or other government or credible private and disinterested agencies to assist Haitians in the US to locate child kin and bring them to the US.

We understand why people want to open their arms and hearts to the children of the Haitian earthquake, but adoption is not emergency or humanitarian aid or a solution to Haiti’s ongoing problems. The immediate rescue effort in Haiti should focus on emergency services, individual and family care and family reunification, not family, community, and cultural destruction and the strip-mining of children.

This statement has been faxed to the US State Department.


by Lori Carangelo of AmFOR – Americans For Open Records.

     Haitian born adoptees currently being adopted in the U.S., Canada and France will have a difficult time when they begin searching for answers to “Who am I?” and “Are my parents looking for me?”  On 1-7-10, a 7.0 earthquake destroyed Port-au-Prince, Haiti, killing an estimated 200,000 inhabitants and leaving [at least] tens of thousands of children assumed orphaned, in addition to about 380,000 pre-earthquake orphans (estimates are by UNICEF).  American would-be adopters, the Catholic Church, international adoption agencies and independent adoption facilitators applied pressure on the Haitian government in order to airlift the alleged orphans before anyone could confirm whether their parents or relatives are still alive — At this writing, the first 500 or so alleged orphans were airlifted to the U.S. (according to the U.S. State Department)and 900 children were in process of being adopted from Haiti and placed in U.S. homes.
     According to The Toronto Star (in “First Haitian Orphans To Arrive Today” by Allan Woods, 1-24-10), “In all, 154 Haitian children were approved in a fast-track adoption process, agreed to by the Canadian and Haitian governments…  Officials suspect many orphans, either given up for adoption at birth, or those who lost parents in the earthquake, are being illegally spirited out of their homeland by childless families or organized traffickers [or sexual predators] hoping to profit from Haiti’s administrative chaos… making it difficult to say how many children may have been snatched from hospitals, streets or orphanages in this battered city, or where they are going… The earthquake brought down the government building that housed all those records; it also killed the judge responsible for giving final approval to adoptions.”
    It is known that 53 children were airlifted to Pittsburgh (ABC World News, 1-19-10) and Catholic leaders pushed both Haitian and U.S. governments to airlift [an unknown number of]children to South MiamiHaitians have long been frustrated by what some call a “double standard” that allows Cubans who touch dry land [Miami] to stay in the U.S. while Haitians who came illegally must hide in the shadows or face deportation. “Haitian parents with American-born children have been deported, even if there is no other parent in the country to care for them,” said the Rev. Roland Desormeaux of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a Delray Beach church with a large Haitian membership. Children born [or adopted] in the United States are automatically U.S. citizens, so they get to stay.  [AmFOR Note:  At this wriing, Haiti has halted the “free for all” airlifting of children for U.S. adoptions but given the high numbers of unattended children, they will continue to be taken whether Haiti approves or not.  

The U.S. is the largest market for stolen children in the world [as reported by the United Nations Rights of the Child Project].  One wonders whether the same number of Haitian children would be stolen for “legal guardianships” that would allow future changes and are not as profitable or as politically correct as the “done deal” of permanent, sealed adoption.]

Links to Other Blogs Cautioning Against Adopting Haiti’s Earthquake-Traumatized Children

As the author of this blog, Forbidden Family, I don’t have words these days. I can only pass on to you some links to words of other bloggers, and the previous week’s Press Releases from UAI – United Adoptees International.

Atlasien’s Upside-Down Adoption: The Dangerous Desire to Adopt Haitian Babies. And Pound Pup Legacy’s Comments on this blog.

Family Preservation Advocate has these, and other posts, on the earthquake crisis and Haiti’s children: International Adoption: A Last Resort

                Child Trafficking Feared in Haiti

                Getting the Word Out re Haiti

                Tragedy Exploited: A Sad History Repeating Itself In Haiti

 73Adoptee: More Concern About Haiti Adoptions. Includes Links to more adoption reformer blogs on Haitian earthquake “orphans”.

The Daily BastardetteIt’s Not About Haiti, Damn It! Its About Adoption. Its About Us. Also includes Links to other adoption reform bloggers on this crisis. Be sure to read the Comments, too!

Baby Love Child: Haiti Series: “It is Madness, It is Insane…” Bribes, Bullies and Traffickers Extract Kids, parts 1-3. Additional Parts to Follow. Be sure to read her other posts on this crisis.

These are but a few of the voices out there from Adoption Reformers who want to prevent the exploitation of Haiti’s traumatized children.

Press Release From United Adoptees International: Dutch Government accept bribes to get Haitian Children

Euphemistic word use to cover Payments

Already in an earlier report, the so-called ‘Kalsbeek Rapport‘ reported that ‘unregular’payments would be acceptable to proceed the adoption procedure. They used the OESD guidelines for multinational enterprise (page 56). which has nothing to do with Adoption or otherwise Childprotection issues. The Kalsbeek committee with i.e. adoptive mother and renowned adoption researcher prof. dr. Femmie Juffer, accepted bribery and calls it ‘Facilitation Payments’ (see page 50).

The argument to accept these minor payments as they call it, is because it is the custom of the country to act in this way. But what is meant with small or minor payments runs between 1000-1.500 euro per child to Haitian authorities* and in the cases of China (so called Orphanage Humanitarian Aid Fee) 3.500 euro’s per child in bare cash to the local board of the orphanage, can be a huge amount for the receiver in these countries. And in comparison you cannot keep saying that these amounts are minor payments. Not even for Western standards as we call 100.000 Chinese Adoptees x 3.500 euro’s is 350.000.000,- euro and for the Haitian Children adopted in the Netherlands, 1.000×1.000 = 1.000.000,- in cash. And this is only the additional ‘fee’. Not the general adoption fee or expenses for the adoption procedure of a Haitian or Chinese child. And no one knows where this money ‘officially’ is meant for.

The recent report (Interlandelijke Adoptie, knelpunten in het stelsel) from the Youth Inspectorate in the Netherlands says in the part of the investigation about adoption agency Wereldkinderen (page 14) that in the case of Haiti ,Wereldkinderen decided to stop with adoptions from Haiti due to raising fees to Haitian Authorities to get the children for adoption. They said, that the corruption was growing and decided to stop adoptions from Haiti. This example in the report confirms the stories the UAI received from anonymous adoptive parents who adopted from Haiti a few years ago.

It is very strange that NAS (and former agency Flash) the other Adoption Agency who was quite in a hurry to get children from Haiti this week, does not report anything about these issues. While they work with the same authorities.

Its more as shameful that the Dutch government and the adoptionlobby is enforcing adoptions in a situation like in Haiti right now. But it is unforgivable for many adoptees, that they have been sold and bought by and trough the related governments without a blink of an eye.

Adoption was and is a baby and child-market where everyone provides from except the parents of origin and many Adoptees who get at the longterm brainwashed by programmes as ‘Spoorloos’ to create persons or group of mythical proportions from an independent human being with a genealogy in the country from origin, into a victim who is rescued by adoption and therefore, has to act as a mascot for the adoption society to keep the adoptionindustry rolling.

Once adoption was meant as a last resort but who dare to dig deeper into the reality of adoption finds a world of facilitations to serve prospective adoptionparents and their governments. Because it became clear, once you are adopted, the government and their assets don’t care about Adoptees at all. The proof of this, is that no receiving government ever changed a law voluntarily to meet the needs of Adoptees and their interests. Suddenly what once was used to get the child stays with the child. Adult adoptees who are critical are assessed as outlaws in the (intercountry) adoption system. This is not just a meaning, but mechanism which you can see every day, every month and every year. Decade by decades. With no interest in Adoptees and the urgent need for national and international debates regarding this problematic issue.

At the end, the Adoptees who do not want to become a stranger to him/herself, will finally stands alone in a bewildered landscape where he or she does not really fit. Except, when it becomes an anonymous or silent assimilated creature or as a symbol and a mascot for the success of adoption ‘sponsored’ by faciltation payments**.

* Not only the Netherlands paid extra, it is expected that all countries who adopted from Haiti paid ‘additional’ fees to get the children ‘freed’ for intercountry adoption.

** The so called ‘facilitation payments’ are not defined as bribes because the Dutch government accept the so called none defined additional payments in cash to get children for adoption by using ‘facilitation payments’ which is according to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprise not a bribe (page 56). But the fact, that the adoption community and its governments use economical guidelines for multinational enterprise to clarify the financial procedure should somhow at least create suspicion. The UAI cannot imagine that the use of euphemistic words like ‘facilitation payments’ will take the reality away that children are sold and bought due to international treaties like the OECD guideline.

 … … … …

 Pound Pup Legacy has tremendous reactions from intercountry adoptees (people of color adopted by whites) at their website. See especially readers’ comments on “reasonable fees”, forced assimilation, economic bias of adoption, adoptees’ reactions on the assumptions made by whites who adopt children of color, and how adoptees feel about being status symbols.


Sent from United Adoptees International:

International Reference Centre for the Rights of Children Deprived of their Family (ISS/IRC)


As in every dramatic event that affects a country, the question about the intercountry adoption of children arises again in the Haitian context.

In this regard, ISS / IRC first recalls that, in general, international adoption should not take place in a situation of war or natural disaster, given that these events make it impossible to verify the personal and family situation of children. Any operation to adopt or to evacuate children that are victims of the earthquake to another country must be absolutely avoided, as was the case during the 2004 tsunami.

However, the intercountry adoption situation in Haiti highlights a new problem: what response
should be given to the multiple adoption dossiers which were in the process of being finalised
before the earthquake? As of today, some receiving countries have announced their intention to
‘freeze’ all pending adoptions due to the present incapacity of the Haitian authorities to follow the
required procedures. Yet other receiving countries have already planned to launch evacuation
missions for children as quick as possible and in this situation, ISS/IRC would like to reiterate the following points.

Given the actual state of the country, the transportation of relief supplies of basic necessities is
extremely difficult due to the congestion of different channels of communication and transportation (in particular, the airport at Port au Prince). Mobilising forces in this emergency context should focus on meeting the needs of the greater majority. All initiatives that involve an additional burden to the existing relief efforts should take place later, to give priority to current operations focusing on basic needs.

Regarding the adoption of children, a difference must obviously be made between those who have been declared adoptable and those for whom an adoption order (judgment) has been delivered. For children where matching has occurred and there is an adoption order (judgment), the transfer of these children to their adoptive families could be considered under the following conditions:

  • 1) identification of the child and his/her location is secured by the necessary safeguards,particularly through copies of his/her dossier lodged in the receiving country, personal data is stored appropriately;
  • 2) the psycho-social adoptability of the child (ie ability to be adopted) is re-evaluated,considering the trauma s/he might have suffered (emotional shock, physical injuries, etc.).
  • 3) it is established that the child’s dossier is complete and that the adoption order (judgment) has been delivered;
  • 4) the diplomatic representatives of the concerned receiving countries are able to verify the actual identities, adoption dossiers and alternative care conditions of the children; 5) the Haitian authorities are duly informed and involved in the finalisation of the adoptions in question.

For children who do not meet these conditions, no action should be undertaken at this point to accelerate the adoption procedure. It is important to remember that for sometime, intercountry adoption in Haiti has been subject to numerous serious concerns owing to the lack of guarantees and transparency.

Where the necessary safeguards are not available, intercountry adoption should be suspended until the reinstallation of the administrative and judicial systems in Haiti.

The ISS / IRC, stresses that the abovementioned conditions require time to be fulfilled and they
can not be undertaken in an urgent manner. Moreover, these children are currently experiencing extreme stress so that a sudden shift to a new country and a new family can have a psychological impact that is impossible to measure. According to the Guidelines developed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the evacuation of such children or their temporary placement in families abroad is also traumatic. It is considered as an added disruption to the injury already suffered by the child. In the emergency phase, the efforts of the authorities of affected countries, international organisations and NGOs should focus on providing basic protection to the child (eg: accommodation, food, medical, emotional and psychological attention, education) that is as close as possible to the daily living conditions and any regrouping should be with other familiar children or adults.

Finally, ISS / IRC reminds receiving countries in charge of intercountry adoptions to consult each other as well as UN agencies and NGOs in order to develop a unified approach to this problem in order to avoid conflicting decisions and poor initiatives.

Well aware of the difficulties and suffering that the earthquake has caused, ISS / IRC presents its deepest sympathy to the Haitian community and acknowledges, the difficult situation of parents involved in an ongoing adoption. Nevertheless, we invite various actors involved in intercountry adoption to exercise restraint and reflection in managing the current crisis and avoid giving emotional responses to a sensitive issue such as the adoption of these children.

ISS / IRC January 18, 2009

Quai du Seujet, 32 ▪ 1201 Geneva ▪ Switzerland

Tel : +41 (0)22 906 77 00
▪ Fax: +41 (0)22 906 77 01
▪ E-mail :     


United Adoptees International Says Adoption is a Last Resort Not First Aid

UAI-United Adoptees International Responds to Expedited Dutch Adoptions as Not “Humanitarian Aid”. This is an example of what Not to do “for” Haiti’s children:

THE NETHERLANDS, Amsterdam, January 18, 2010 – Following the humanitarian disaster in Haiti, humanitarian aid is on its way, but also; expedited adoptions, possible abduction of children and forced relinquishment for intercountry adoptions to the West. The removal of children in times of disasters and wars under the guise of adoption, according to the vision of United Adoptees International (UAI), is not the right form of humanitarian aid. Concerning Haiti, the reaction of the Dutch government is an irresponsible response to the situation in Haiti where currently monitoring and surveillance cannot even be maintained. However, the Dutch government has decided that adoption will be the first priority and already agreed to 110 adoptions from Haiti. Of these, 56 adoptions were approved by the Ministry of Justice in an accelerated manner, arguing that these were already in the ‘pipeline’. Due to this, the Nederlandse Adoptie Stichting (NAS) and the largest Dutch agency Wereldkinderen, under pressure from prospective adoptive parents, took their chance to put pressure to get even more (risky) adoptions from Haiti.The facts and history teach us that adoptions from Haiti are risky and generally carelessly made. In 2003 the Dutch Youth Inspection called then for a strict control, after several reports of careless adoptions from a Dutch Adoption Agency. In 2005 a Unicef report warned for high risks regarding adoption from Haiti also.
At that time the Dutch agency had to close their dubious adoptions from Haiti.

Subsequently, the UAI reported on May 13, 2008 in the media about about a dramatic adoption from the same agency who opened another channel in Haiti, that was illustrative for multiple adoptions from Haiti. An adoptive couple told their story during a national TV broadcast of EénVandaag. They showed an Adoptee from Haiti who will probably stay the rest of her life in a mental hospital in the Netherlands.

Given the terrible disaster and the appalling situation in Haiti, the current “baby lift” operation is inspired only by emotion and a neo-colonialist way of thinking: “Our children are better off in the West ” as one of the Adoption Agencies involved in the ‘Babylift’ claimed. Just in these situations ,the UAI considers it no more than wise and logic to go through the required procedures, especially in the situation of chaos.

In times of disasters and wars, every time again it appears that children are moved prematurely to the West, before governments know how to deal with the disaster itself. The term ‘baby lift’ operations was originated during the Vietnam war in the seventies, where children were flown per aircraft to the United States. Without checking whether the children were actually orphans or relinquished by their parents. Many Vietnamese parents have searched for years unsuccessfully for their stolen children. But that is not where it stopped, still these kind of activities are still taking place and a recent example is Zoe’s Ark. A French ‘relie’f organisation which attempted to smuggle one hundred children from Chad for intercountry adoption under the guise of humanitarian aid.

NGO’s like the Red Cross, Unicef and World Vision, continuously calls at times for a temporary stop of adoption or a careful approach in times of crisis. These institutes simply need more time to get children back to their parents or to reunite with their family. The UAI in the mean time, made contact with several aid agencies including Plan Netherlands and asked them for their point of view on the disaster in Haiti. They are highly concerned about the situation in Haiti and in particular the high risk of child abduction. Since 1973, Plan Netherlands has worked in Haiti and has 143 employees on the spot. It is one of the largest development organisations. During disaster like these Plan has, in addition to providing medical and other resources, as first priority the protection of children to prevent the exploitation, abduction and abuse. From personal experience Plan knows that in times of crisis, the risk of abduction of children can be very high.

The UAI, therefore, considers the response of the Dutch government premature and not very considerate but too much motivated by emotions instead of properly thinking through the long term consequences for the Adoptees and their Haitian families. And after all the adoption scandals of recent years, one would have expected that the Netherlands now would had learned their lesson in this area. But the reality now shows an opposite picture. And the question is, whether that is really in the interests of children and parents in Haiti.

Adoption is a last resort, not first aid


SOS Cautions Against Premature Adoption of Haitian Children

Email received today: Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 5:22 PM

SOS believes that brothers and sisters should always stay together.

Dear Joan, 


Nature was cruel enough to turn children into orphans in a matter of minutes. But mere minutes cannot determine the future of these orphaned children. The global community must now be responsible enough to take the time to determine these children’s fates.

You may have seen in the last several days a planeload of orphans from Haiti making their way to Pennsylvania, undoubtedly to be adopted by parents in the U.S. This is a wonderful story of survival, rescue and adoption. But it’s not the whole story…

These particular children already had adoptive parents waiting to raise them with love and security. They presumably had been through the process that determined that no close relatives existed to take them in. Haitian children who have just lost their parents in the earthquake have not been through any such process.

In the weeks ahead you will see many stories about what should happen to these children. This is our position.

Our Position on this Sensitive Issue:

*    SOS Children’s Villages believes in the rights of every child, including orphaned children.

*    We believe that a coordinated approach needs to be taken by relief agencies in Haiti to identify, register and document unaccompanied children as quickly as possible.

*    We believe in the earliest possible reunification between children and their families.

*    We caution ALL ORGANIZATIONS working in Haiti against making premature decisions on permanent care (adoption) of orphaned children.

*    We believe that siblings should always stay together.

*   We believe that a parental figure should always be present.

*    This is absolutely a sensitive and complex issue … but decisions made now will impact these children for the rest of their lives. Shouldn’t the first consideration be family ties — brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles? If there is a chance at reunification with parents or close relatives, isn’t that the best option?

If there is a chance that siblings could stay together and grow up together, isn’t that better than being split apart?

SOS Children’s Villages will remain in Haiti for the long-term. We will provide secure, stable homes for orphans as they mature. We will prepare them for lives as independent adults. Please support SOS as we pave the way for a brighter future for these orphans. Sponsor a Disaster Orphan now.

Heather Paul
Executive Director

SOS Children’s Villages – USA
1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 1250
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 1 888-SOS-4KIDS or 202-347-7920