Thanks to all the parents who have been actively engaged in talking about ethics in adoption this past week after they saw something that crossed the line in the sand. They have started a dialogue and discussions on ethics in adoption are happening on many different blogs. I hope it is a discussion that is never stopped.
These are the same moms who have spoken up in the past and have withstood the attacks of other misguided AP’s and PAP’s, because they aren’t willing to be silent when silence equals acceptance of extremely poor ethical conduct. Unfortunately, some AP’s and PAP’s still do not hear and would rather use God phrases to justify bad human behavior, but take heart that some will heed your words. Please always be ready to speak out when you see things done wrong.
If you want to make enemies, try to change something.
~ Woodrow Wilson
Every single prospective adoptive parent and those adoptive parents who have not yet done so, should read this book. Every. Single. One. A book that describes horrific lack of ethics and actions when power and bad intentions take center stage. A book that will make your stomach turn, and one you won’t want to read but cannot stop reading. After you have read this book you will realize that in various different guises, it is still happening today and you will wonder why no one ever learns from history.
The Baby Thief The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption by Barbara Bisantz Raymond
Finding adoptive homes for institutionalized orphans could have kept Georgia busy for decades. Unfortunately, she wouldn’t be satisfied with merely finding homes for homeless children–she’d become obsessed with finding adoptive homes for children who already had homes. She would acquire these children through kidnapping or deceit, and if she saved them from anything it was poverty.
Georgia considered poverty the worst possible condition. “It was her upbringing, she was from a very snobbish family that looked down on people in those shanty houses who got their hands dirty for a living.” Andre Bond of Biloxi, Mississippi, told me.
Georgia felt she was taking children from “trashy people and elevating the children,” Christine Nilan of Nashville said. Christine had been adopted through Georgia by a cultured, educated family whom Georgia frequently visited. “It was as if she thought, “There’s something that doesn’t belong over here; I’ll put it over there,” Christine told me.
Georgia often boasted about having placed children with “high type” adoptive parents, and she expected grieving birth parents to be comforted by this fact.
The back cover states in part:
This is the harrowing story of Georgia Tann, who from 1924 to 1950 stole or otherwise separated more than 5,000 children from their families. Whether abducting children outright or tricking new mothers still groggy from anesthesia into relinquishing their babies, Tann covered her tracks by replacing the names of birth parents on “amended” birth certificates. Her ploy was legitimized by officials who legalized closed adoption, claiming this would spare adoptees the taint of illegitimacy.
Scores of children in the custody of Tann’s Tennessee Children’s Home Society died, making Memphis’s infant mortality rate the highest in the country. Yet Tann was publicly lauded for her work. She also amassed a personal fortune selling children to the wealthy…
Barbara Bisantz Raymond is an adoptive parent who researched Georgia for 15 years and also found many adult survivors of these adoptions..
Ethics matter and I do not believe the adoption industry wants to talk about ethics unless it is simply a pat phrase such as we are the most ethical agency in the industry or some other marketing ploy. They don’t want to talk about it or have adoptive parents talk about it, because frankly it is bad for business. They would rather down play or dismiss concerns when a business that deals with children should strive for the top echelon of ethical conduct and blacklist any person (AP, PAP, or employee) or agency who does not meet only the highest of standards.
He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator.
~ Francis Bacon, “On Innovation,” Essays, 1597
Most, if not all of these parents talking are on my blog roll if you want to get involved in the conversation.