(continued from yesterday’s post “Cincinnati – December 1982” )
I referenced the Independent adoptions yesterday and that there was an insert in the linked article on How to Adopt A Baby about Black and Gray Market Adoptions…in that insert titled “Baby for Sale” it explains the definitions of each, quoted below in italics with “…” indicating parts left out.
“A “Black Market Baby” is a baby who is “sold” illegally to someone not his biological parent, as opposed to a child who is legally adopted through the proper channels. “Black Market Baby” connotes evil and crime and someone getting hurt.”
“And it happens in Cincinnati, even though the courts will tell you no. Amy Hansee, a social worker, affirms that periodically the Children’s Home is approached by a pregnant woman who says “They’re (and of course, the “They” is never identified) willing to pay me extra money,” or “They’re willing to provide me with special accommodations. What can you do for me?” When the case worker replies that the Children’s Home can do only what is legal – that is, pay state standard medical expenses and no more – the pregnant women leaves, often to never be heard from again.” …
“If, in fact, additional monies are exchanged “under the table” and the courts are unaware of this charge a “legal” adoption with all correct papers, can easily take place. This is referred to as a “Gray Market Adoption”…. and the courts are powerless to prosecute.”…
“Gray Market Adoption” may seem a viable solution to a couple tired of waiting and willing to pay extra money to someone they’re heard has an “available baby” about to be born. More often than not, however, such a process ends in disaster. The biological mother, bereft of counseling agencies provide, makes a swift decision which is often reversed after its birth. In one such case, for example, a prospective adoptive couple made arrangements with a “friend of a friend” to adopt her unborn child. The biological mother was adamant about giving up her child. She had to finish school and hadn’t seen the biological father since she’d informed him of her pregnancy. Generous financial arrangements were made (of which the court and attorney were unaware). After the birth of the child, the prospective adoptive parents came to the maternity ward of the Cincinnati Hospital for three days to feed and cuddle “their” baby daughter, stopping on the way home to buy little undershirts and diapers and Polly Flinders dresses. To their horror, on the third day after the birth, the biological mother changed her mind about giving up the child – which she had every legal right to do – deciding to take the baby home with her after all.”
The Gray Market definition surprised me to an extent, but reading it made me realize that it actually describes many current day practices that are now legal and common place. I cannot count the number of “failed adoption” stories to be read about on the internet. I have always had an ick feeling about “birth mother” expenses even though I can agree in theory that providing money for healthy food, a roof over her head, etc. is in reality not a bad thing, but that it has the potential to create a “feeling of entitlement to the baby” on the adoptive parents side, and a “feeling of I have to give up my baby” on the mother’s part, is what gets my hackles up.
I got to wondering what current adoption law was in Ohio, and if it was different from in 1982 when and why it was changed. I found it was changed and went into effect in April 2009 and allows for $3,000 to be paid via an attorney or agency in “birth mother” expenses until sixty days after birth. I have to say I was surprised that it took that long to change based on how many other states allow expenses. I was also interested to know “who” had a hand in it, below is the blurb provided with link to the law.
HB 7 Adoption (Brinkman, T)
HB 7 is an indication of the importance the House placed on reducing barriers to adoptions in our state. Representative Brinkman has met with stakeholders including PCSAO, Adopt Cuyahoga’s Kids, the Dave Thomas Foundation, the National Center for Adoption Law and Policy, One Church One Child and ODJFS and other Republican and Democratic Legislators. PCSAO welcomes this opportunity to work with the sponsor, our members and stakeholders to address issues like: