Monthly Archives: August 2011

You have to watch this video…it is so very funny and true

I have no words other than this is so stereotypical of every dismissive statement ever said to an adoptee…



Posted by on August 31, 2011 in Adoption


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So why are they silent when adoption is the subject?

F & F’s Paternity Fraud Bills: 50 Physicians Endorse ‘Reasonable Means’ to Determine Correct Paternity

There are many reasons to support these bills, including fairness for the men targeted by paternity fraud. But there are also compelling medical reasons to combat paternity fraud. In our official support letter for SB 375 and SB 377, Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S., F & F’s Founder and Chairman of the Board, wrote:

Current California law declares that there is a compelling state interest in determining paternity for all children. SB 375 would instead declare that there is a “compelling state interest in determining biological paternity for all children.” Current California law allows minors to sign paternity judgments without parental consent or legal counsel. SB 377 would prohibit this practice, which currently leads to many errors in assigning paternity.

Speaking as a physician and a Harvard-educated public health specialist, I’m writing to you because I believe SB 375 and SB 377 are important steps towards recognizing and promoting the medical importance of correctly identifying a child’s paternity…


Fathers and Families has many supporters within the medical community. Fifty of our physician supporters have agreed to be listed as endorsers of the following statement:

As physicians, we agree with the U.S. Surgeon General and the National Institutes of Health that good patient care includes accurate family histories. For this reason, we endorse the principle of employing reasonable means, including DNA testing, to accurately determine children’s paternity.

(bolding mine)

The actual letter to the Senator goes into great detail on just how important it is to correctly identify the correct father and why it is so very important to know your family health history.  A snippet of the letter to the Senator supported by 50 physicians below – go read the whole thing.

Medical schools and medical journals continuously urge physicians, particularly pediatricians, to investigate their patients’ family histories. The U.S. Surgeon General has launched a major national initiative ( to encourage all American families to learn more about their family health histories.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “Knowing your family history can help your doctor predict your risk of developing diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.” This is not possible when the wrong man is identified as the father of a child.

Worse, in these cases either or both parents mistakenly think that they do know the family history. This situation is worse than in cases of adoption, in which the family all know that the health history of the biological family is unavailable.

The possible repercussions of incorrect father identification are many. Having an accurate family history can be vital to diagnosing and treating many diseases which afflict children. In combating childhood cancers, misidentifying the father can slow progress in finding appropriate first degree relatives for bone marrow or liver transplants, stem cell treatments, etc. When the wrong man is identified as the father, the child loses possible matches from one-half of her family, including half-siblings, uncles and aunts. Meanwhile valuable time to stop the disease is being lost, and potentially crucial donors are not being discovered.

No cure exists for cystic fibrosis, but early detection is so important to treating it that screenings are now often being done prenatally to determine if the parents carry the gene for the disease. The results will be inaccurate if the wrong father is identified.

When the father is not properly identified, the child may grow up not knowing that he or she is at high risk of illnesses with genetic components, and may not grasp the need for special forms of care. For instance, knowing whether a woman’s father carries the BRCA gene can be important in combating breast cancer, as breast cancer screening recommendations differ for those with and without a family history of breast cancer.

What gets me though is that from what I have seen the medical community has been largely silent about this issue for the MILLIONS adoptees in the US.  They don’t push for legislation mandating adoption laws be changed to where DNA testing is required and vague legal postings of notices for unidentified father to come forward are the norm and agencies work around the mother having to name the father.  Agencies actually promote that the mother does not have to name the father – they are experienced in working around his consent.  It’s all crap as far as I am concerned and really cannot even come close to be considered in the best interests of the child…

And neither do I see any concern by the medical community on the MILLIONS of adoptees living in the US not having a comprehensive family health history or even a means to update said history.   

I guess the difference is we are the throw aways and don’t really matter


Posted by on August 30, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


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When will be a good time to talk about corruption?

I don’t know why I have become so invested in what is happening in the international arena except that what I have seen building up scares me and makes me mad.  I have followed the course of how one country closes and another opens, and it bothers me greatly on behalf of the adoptees who will have that in their history – regardless if their adoption was completely above-board.  And I cry for those who were adopted solely due to corruption.  International adoptees in addition to losing their entire family, lose their home country, native language, culture, and quite often any way to find their family when they are grown.  IA should only happen as the extreme last resort, always.

Adoptees are the victims in this game of finding the next “go-to” fertile country.  Countries which have some very real major challenges that I an unable to comprehend fully or even imagine living in.  Countries that need richer countries help, not take.  Yes, there are far too many older children living in orphanages that will never go back to their families even with help. That have little prospects or hope for a prosperous future.  Yet I do not see families bringing home these older kids.  I see the demand for as young as possible – 0-12 months females as the largest target, males next, 12-24 months next and the story goes. 

I do see a small number of older children adopted and some siblings groups but what I have seen they are not even close to the majority – feel free to correct me with actual statistics if you have any.  Unless getting the oldest kids out first who have no chance of returning home or prospects, can you really honestly state that what is happening is really doing what is needed most?  I ask that question because that is what international adoption is promoted as existing for – isn’t it?  Leaving the oldest and least desirable there and taking the best of the youngest just sets up the continual cycle of poverty that reproduces into a new wave of babies to be surrendered, that is, if the country hasn’t closed to adoption due to corruption already.  If IA has to exist then it has to actually work to solve a problem at the outset, not set up to continue the supply of adoptable infants.  That is wrong.

Having said all of that, I believe there are at least three different mindsets that IA parents may have. Of course this is a generalization which comes with obvious flaws inherent in every generalization – I completely get that…having said that this is a blunt post so feel free to click the close button and don’t bother reading further…you have been warned and yes, I am going to talk about the AP’s in general and feel free to flame away if you feel insulted.

Following are the three different mindsets I see that IA parents may fall into.

The ones who were naive when they entered the process but then found the reality was different from what was shown after the fact.  They are the ones who have lived through the discovery of the lies and dealt with the guilt and found ways to fix things the best they can.  These are the ones who speak up again and again to reform the way IA is practiced.  These are the same ones who are attacked by the pro-everything-adoption groups. PAPs, and APs.  Yet they persist simply because they lived through the hell of finding out their child’s adoption, or those close to them, or friends dealt with varying levels unethical conduct to downright corrupt in their children’s adoptions. They want something done and want to make a difference for the future. They are not willing to bury their head in the sand.

Then I see parents of young (and older) international adoptees concerned that if reports like the recent Guatemalan story hit the media, their children will be hurt by it. Hurt by stupid people making stupid comments. Hurt by the fact that their adoption automatically carries a stigma because the country they adopted from was closed due to corruption. They do recognise that there are serious problems happening, but perhaps do not agree to the overall scope of the problem, they want it fixed but choose to pretend that the industry will self-regulate without any external pressure…my question to them is how has the worked so far?

They don’t want the adoption community to bring attention to the corruption by blogging about it or naming names.  They may also have stupidly signed a gag order clause in their contract and fear retribution from the agency.  So instead their excuse – think of the adoptees who will be hurt by it. Really? and you don’t think the well-known fact that the entire country of Guatemala was closed to international adoption because of corruption, and several years later the US refusing to be part of the new system because it is still massively flawed, will not make them recognise that all adoptions from that country are now tainted for life – whether or not their own adoption was clean? And that Guatemala was not the first country this happened too and won’t be the last?

That the current “go to” country looks like they too have exactly the same issues as Guatemala, or Vietnam, or Cambodia, or Nepal? But you don’t want to speak up for what reason was it? – that adoptees will be hurt by it? Okay so how many more countries and how many more adoptees being hurt by corruption (which includes not needing to be adopted) is okay with you then? To protect “your” child from having the public know the country they were adopted from had some major issues with corruption in adoption – that makes it okay for all the future adoptees from all the future countries to have the same thing happen to them…okay fine…good to know you “care“…but only for protecting “your” adoptee…

Guess what? Your kids are already going to be hurt from the fact that “corruption happened“, “happens today“, and will continue to “happen in the future” regardless of what country it is, if you all do nothing.  Did you not watch the recent show on Utah and fathers rights being ground into the dust?  Do you honestly not question the ethics in any adoption from Utah now?  That is the reality – lack of ethics and corruption taints everyone.  For the rest of their lives they will be impacted by the choices made by AP’s, the industry, and by those who have the ability to make a difference TODAY. Haven’t you heard about the internet and how easy it is to search?  Adoptees can and will search out their own reality sooner or later.  People will ask what country they were adopted from and based on that answer will make comments like “didn’t that country have problems with corruption with adoption” – people remember things for a long, long time.  Especially salacious headlines of kids being trafficked into adoption.

How about taking one giant step forward and remove the “will continue to happen” instead of clinging to the hope that the industry will self-regulate and stop repeating the same mistakes?

And finally there is another group of PAPs and AP’s who still believe there is no corruption or at the most it is a one in a million chance of corruption, and that everything in the current “go to” country of Ethiopia is clean as a whistle and there is no way anything unethical could happen because God has called them to adopt from there. That the current slow-down is because of those “adoption critics” and “adoption reform advocates” are just making Ethiopia look bad for sending their children to North America and Europe.   

If only I could put on the rose-colored glasses the 3rd group wears then I could happily believe that a country with little resources or processes that had a wave of international adoption agencies descend on them causing a huge demand for those young as possible preferably under 12 months babies (not the older kids living in the state run orphanages), would bring nothing but perfect ethical transparent processes to the table.

With those rose-colored glasses on I would be positive they would have learned the hard lessons from Guatemala (and other countries) and implemented DNA testing in the pilot program stage – why I would be sure they did, or at least took and stored DNA samples from every child sent abroad?  You know just in case one of the strict processes failed and a family who was supposedly dead making them orphans came forward… 

Without those rose-colored glasses I would be tempted to consider how strange it was that I have not heard that DNA testing (or storage) is part of the every-day adoption process in Ethiopia. I hear they have planes going to and from Ethiopia regularly, so if there was no facility in Ethiopia to test DNA, for sure they are doing at least the storage protocol to protect the children seeing as they are so experienced in adoptions and all…are they? 

Sadly those rose-colored glasses came off a long time ago. I can’t go back to being naive and unaware and fall for the “it’s all just an International PR crisis” by those “adoption reform advocates” or “adoption critics“. Nor will I choose to believe that those parents were “mistaken” who have spoken out that the “supposedly dead” parents of their kids – are actually alive and the stories about abandonment was all lies. Neither can I believe that all those orphanages that supply the children for IA that were closed, must have been simply an “International PR stunt” to silence the critics.

If I could believe that – then perhaps the Baby Scoop Era in the US, Canada, NZ, and Australia and elsewhere didn’t happen either – it must have just been a bad movie I watched…

And Georgia Tann and all the rest of her ilk all must have just been LifeTime Movies…

Adoptees from the Baby Scoop Era…will always carry the stigma to a greater or lesser degree of the era, regardless if our story is different – we are all part of the larger story. Kids from Guatemala will have their own stigma to carry. Each failed adoption will taint the adoptees from that country.

Why do you think so many adult adoptees speak out about ethics and the need to work towards family preservation first and foremost and if an adoption really has to happen – that it must be done right?

At a certain point in time the madness needs to end…your choice of whether it will be now, or sometime far into the future…

I found these two video from back in 2007…think about what Tom says and then what has actually gone on in Ethiopia…

edited – the video below should be part 2


Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child, Ethics


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Donor story in the news…when will they learn?

Sperm Donor’s 24 Kids Never Told About Fatal Illness

Rebecca Blackwell and her 15-year-old son Tyler were curious about his sperm donor father, whose identity had been anonymous since the moment of conception. Through good detective work, they were eventually able to find “John” three years ago.

What they didn’t expect to learn was that Tyler had inherited his father’s medical condition — a rare aortic heart defect that could have killed him at any moment.

Tyler’s father never responded to their letter to make contact, but just last year, John’s sister found the Blackwells online building on family tree and immediately told them that John had nearly died when his aorta ruptured at the age of 43, and two brothers and Tyler’s grandmother had the genetic disorder.

John, who has a family history of the connective tissue disorder Marfan’s syndrome as well as the genetic heart defect, had never notified any of the three sperm banks where he had fathered at least 24 children — 50 percent of whom could be affected.

“Tyler had a time bomb ticking in his chest,” said Blackwell, a 59-year-old special education teacher and single mother from Frederick, Md. “It didn’t occur to anyone to tell us.” (taken from Page 1)…

(taken from Page 3) But in 2010, John’s sister found Blackwell on and asked why the mother and son had been searching for her brother. She had known John was a sperm donor but thought it was his responsibility to notify the Blackwells. When he didn’t, she sent an e-mail explaining the medical history.

“She told me right away she told me about the possibility of Marfan’s syndrome,” said Blackwell. “John’s brother Joe had been diagnosed, without the aortic defect, and his grandmother and brother Bob also had the heart defect.”When a sperm or egg donor develops a genetic disease after donation, the medical history is almost never reported to donor families, according Kramer, who has helped thousands of families share medical information.

One California donor passed on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy to nine of his 22 known offspring and one died, she said. A 3-year-old developed Rasmussen’s encephalitis, resulting in seizures and brain damage.

“[John] should never have been a sperm donor,” said Kramer. “How could such a thing happen in this era of medical advances and an explosion of genomic information about the causes and inheritance of disease, especially in the most medical advanced country in the world?”

Please take the time to read the entire article…the bits posted here are just part of the story and well worth reading.

This does not suprise me in the slightest.  Fortunately Tyler does not have Marfan Syndrome but what about his half-siblings from the same donor – the other 23 kids – do they have MFS or the aortic heart defect or both?  Tyler inherited the genetic aortic heart defect from the donor that could have killed him, if his mom had not been proactive and taken him for screenings before he had symptoms.  They started asking questions but how many don’t even think of it? 

It makes me screaming mad, but does not surprise me simply because it does not seem like anyone in the donor conception industry really gives a damn about the end product – nor does it seem like the want to be parents take the time to understand how genetics work.  They all just “assume” all will be well.  That hasn’t turned out so well in adoption so why they would think it would turn out well in donor conception leaves me shaking my head in wonder.  Does no one ever think to question things anymore?  Marfan syndrome is not a nice disease – nor is the aortic heart defect – both cause death.

Marfan syndrome (MFS) is a spectrum disorder caused by a heritable genetic defect of connective tissue that has an autosomal dominant mode of transmission.  ***

Bernard Marfan was born in Castelnaudary, Aude, France on June 23, 1858. In 1892, he was appointed assistant professor of pediatrics in the Paris faculty. Marfan described the disease that still bears his name at a meeting of the Medical Society of Paris in 1896. He presented the case of a 5-year-old girl named Gabrielle, who had disproportionately long limbs.

In later studies, further anomalies were documented, including arachnodactyly (long digits), cardiovascular abnormalities, and dislocation of the ocular lens. A common and often lethal complication of MFS is dissection of the aorta, and the genetic inheritance is now known to be autosomal. Marfan gained an international reputation and was widely recognized as a pioneer of pediatric medicine in France. This was very much the case in Britain, too, where he received an honorary fellowship of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1934. ***

The estimated incidence of MFS ranges from 1 in 5,000 to 2-3 in 10,000 persons.

They now know the gene for Marfan Syndrome so it can be screened.  They know the outcome of this connective tissue disease can be fatal and that it is transmitted as a autosomal-dominant inheritance, 

The article “Sperm Donor’s 24 Kids Never Told About Fatal Illness” (link above) states genetic screening is nice but not required, and one of those oh well you can’t screen for everything– true but you can screen for diseases where the gene is known…and the disease has been known for well over a hundred years and can be fatal – it involves the aorta….

(taken from Page 1) The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has 15 pages of guidelines for gamete donation.
“Donors should be healthy and give no history to suggest hereditary diseases,” the guidelines say. “Some institutions offer chromosomal analysis on all donors, but it is not required.”

Although the FDA only mandates that clinics keep records for 10 years, ASRM recommends that record-keeping be permanent. Those that don’t are “removed from our membership,” said ASRM spokesman Sean Tipton.

But Tipton said that the state shouldn’t “change the rules in the middle of the game.”

“We think that it’s important that parents be allowed to make decisions on how to build their families,” he said. “I don’t think there’s a way to make human reproduction perfect.”

“It’s unfortunate that anyone who has ever developed a disease or disorder, but they will and all you can do is use the best and most practical screening available at the time of donation,” he said. “You can’t screen for everything.”

I clearly do not understand why you cannot update the rules regulating screening of donors – or making all donors known.  It makes sense to do that – up to and including life-saving knowledge.  Medicine certainly updates their protocols as knowledge becomes available in diseases and how to screen, how often, when to update your family health history, who should be vaccinated, who should get what, when…so why not the ART industry?  The UK updated their requirements in 2009.  New guidelines for screening of sperm, egg and embryo donors in the UK.
I am also not a fan of the “it’s important that families be allowed to make decisions on how they build their families” as the first concern.  The first concern should be the rights of the donor conceived to a comprehensive family medical history with access to update it AND the right to know who the donors are. 
That is what bothers me the most – at least in adoption they pretend that the first consideration is “in the best interests of the child” – in ART I seldom find a mention of that at all.   
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Posted by on August 22, 2011 in Ethics


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Link to excellent post

Von has linked to a very, very telling article that just confirms what has been brewing in my gut for quite a while. 

If you only read one post this week this is it.  YOU have to read Von’s Post and then GO READ THE ARTICLEESPECIALLY the sixth paragraph of the article…your eyes and ears will bleed once the reality sets in and then try telling me I was wrong…

Oh Yeah!


Posted by on August 22, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


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Step Forward for Orphans March: American families to protest U.S. policies

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 15, 2011 –- American parents of children stranded in orphanages around the world will take to the National Mall to march to the U.S Capitol on August 26. Dubbed the Step Forward for Orphans, the march is designed to bring attention to the dire situation that’s affecting orphans around the world.

So from reading the first paragraph the reader would jump to the conclusion that the adoption was finalized, done deal, the process complete which includes in international adoption authorization from the receiving country for the child to immigrate.  Feel free to correct me but unless the parents plan to relocate their country has to approve the immigration and the sending country has to approve the adoption? 

These families, many of whom have been waiting three years to bring their children home, have been caught in disheartening and mind-boggling limbo. These Americans are known as “pipeline” families. They were approved to adopt from foreign countries like Guatemala, Nepal and Vietnam and even paired with specific children, but they have been prevented from bringing their children home due to bureaucratic wrangling here and abroad. In many cases, these families have been blocked from all contact with their children, prevented from visiting, calling or writing, leaving these children alone with only photos of their families and the promises they made.

But this paragraph only states they were approved to adopt from foreign countries like Guatemala, Nepal and Vietnam and even paired with specific children.  So which is it?  The adoptions were complete? or they were approved to adopt and some matched?

To me there is a huge difference.  Crude comparison but to me the difference is kind of like being pre-approved to get a mortgage contingent on the home you pick, acceptance of your offer by the seller, completion of the paperwork vs. having completed the purchase of your home.

The fate of the children of these American parents remains unknown as new adoption procedures are drafted, treaties brokered and high-level discussions continue. This hasn’t been going on weeks, or even months. A lack of urgency on the government’s part has stretched this separation of families into years.

And yet the third paragraph again makes the reader jump to the conclusion that the adoptions were completed by calling them parents…

So I am going to go out on a limb and if the Americans were only approved to adopt from one of those countries and lets say they were matched, or even that the sending country finalized the adoption – why have they not found other homes within the country to step up and adopt those kids?  Surely that would have been the first solution that came to mind when those countries closed international adoptions due to corruption – get the kids out of the orphanages and into good homes – you know “in the best interests of the children“.  With all the many different religions doing missionary work in those countries for decades, surely they could have worked within the community of their church or another church to find “good Christian families” willing to take in these children and allow their Christian counterparts in America to be Godparents to them – no?  Would that not have been the obvious solution for those children?

What am I missing here? 

And besides the above reading the rest of the article just made me mad. Why aren’t they marching to get the corruption out of the adoption industry – that seems to be the place to start doesn’t it?  It would certainly give them more credibility if they marching to end the corruption that caused the closure of those countries to IA in the first place.  To force tough laws in the US that included redefining the US trafficking definition to include illegal adoption cases, so there could be real punishments for the bad guys – so no one dared to do it wrong – in either country…

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Posted by on August 21, 2011 in Adoption, adoptive parents, Ethics


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D.ateline – J.ohn W.yatt – Tonight

Malinda at Adoption Talk has posted the interview of J.ohn Wyatt and Adam Pertman on this mornings Today Show.  It is worth the time to go see the interview. 

Father “never going to give up” seeking custody of adopted-out daughter

Adam is asked the question whether the law in Utah is antiquated and he affirms that it is.  But what is significant to this is that the harshest parts of the adoption law in Utah is that they were revised in 2008 and 2010 if I remember correctly.  I will try to update this post later today with some of the wrong-headed points to this law that makes it impossible to comply with especially if you are an out-of-state father. 

In the mean time I recommend that you record tonight’s D.ateline as this story is one of the two segments on the show.


Posted by on August 19, 2011 in Uncategorized


Is anyone listening to the Adult Donor Conceived Community?

Family Scholar posted about this article from the Australian post “The Age” here and highlights the pertinent points in the article, and then has a selection of the comments which highlight the reality well.  I went and read the full article in “The Age” and then found the referenced article posted a couple of weeks earlier, and thought both were well worth posting about. 

It is worth noting that once again Australia is far ahead of the US or Canada in recognising this is an issue and working towards solutions and that Australia has been working on it for quite a while.  They are not fully there yet, but have no doubt they will get there a hell of a lot faster than over here.

The full article in “The Age” is Our Selfish Creation of Human Life

This article pulls no punches and I have to say I agree whole-heartedly with their points. No one thinks about the end product (the child) and how they will feel about how they were created, and what was taken from them to fulfill the desires of others.

People only think about their desires and their wants and now that there are Donor Conceived Adults speaking out all over the world NO ONE has any excuse for not listening.  When donor conception first started Adult Adoptees had already started to speak out against closed records and the more aware Social Workers like Baran and Panner were speaking out too.  But yet no one in the donor conception industry listened, or if they did they dismissed it as “different” because our mothers surrendered us and these children would think differently than those adoptees who were obviously mal-adjusted

Yet 30 years later there still is no one looking out for the best interests of the donor conceived child, they are only concerned with people wishing to be parents who are willing to pay the people who can make their dreams come true.  It is beyond selfish to only think about yourself in this matter. 

If people who want to be parents either by donation or adoption really truly cared about the rights of their children they would be actively working towards changing the laws that deny both groups the right to know who they came from. To me it is very telling when such a large portion of either group of parents deny the major life-long impact it has on the individual who has no history, much less fight for those rights. If you cannot even be bothered to fight for the rights of your kids, then what can you be bothered to do?

Excerpts from the article below but suggest you go read the entire article because it is so good, refreshingly honest, and not sugar-coated like articles of this nature in the US press.  Australian media doesn’t care too much about stepping on toes like the US media does.

The rights of donor-conceived children are ignored in the misplaced euphoria over reproductive technology.

Recent talk about the rights of gay and infertile couples, and some single women, to ”donor” conception and adoption emphasises adult entitlements at the expense of infants. There are some things that anyone who believes they have a right to a child needs to hear.

Someone else’s child is not a ”cure” for infertility, and no one, whether gay, straight, single, married, young or old, should be entitled to such a child – despite current thinking to the contrary – especially when that child’s own human rights are ignored. The only circumstance in which this ought to happen is when the child has continuing contact with their donor parent.

There are now more than enough examples worldwide of donor-conceived persons, whose rights were never considered, being very angry indeed at such cavalier and inhumane treatment, especially when they are unable to trace their fathers or mothers.


To force any human being to forfeit their own reality without their knowledge or consent in order that someone else can live out their dream of parenthood is highly questionable. This is real identity theft. And if these donor-conceived persons who have been told the truth do want to meet with their own fathers or mothers, as is perfectly natural and understandable, they are told they are ungrateful and that, for those conceived before 1988, it is not possible. This is inhuman.

I think the above article is a follow-up for this article Secrets of the Father Become the Mysteries of the Child.  Again the full article is worth reading and I hope the US and Canada come to their senses sooner rather than later and that people stop and think before they make a choice “their” child will have to live with their entire life.

Ms Grech, now 28, became even more determined to find her donor a few months ago, when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer and needed to learn more about her genetic and medical history. But despite multiple attempts get information through the doctor who helped her parents conceive her, she’s had no luck.


The question of whether donor-conceived children should have the right to access their donor’s information (or vice versa) has always been a vexed issue; a balancing act between the right to privacy versus the right to know.

State Parliament has now re-opened the debate, as part of a broad-ranging inquiry by the law reform committee. The committee chairman, Liberal MP Clem Newton-Brown, said the inquiry would consider the legal and practical issues that arose if all donor-conceived Victorians were given access to information about their donors, and their donor-conceived siblings.

At present, the law varies depending on when the donation was made, resulting in a ”three tiered” system. Victorians conceived using sperm donated after January 1, 1998, have unconditional access to information about their donors. Those conceived using sperm donated between July 1, 1988, and December 31, 1997, can access information about their donors if their donor consents. But those conceived before 1988 don’t have the right to access, because donors have been granted anonymity.

Why is it okay to keep doing this?  When will society learn from the past and stop making the same mistakes over and over again.  It really has to stop.  Be part of the solution not the continuation of the problem.  Stand up and make a difference – you will be glad you did.


Posted by on August 15, 2011 in Ethics


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The Denial of Abuse

When I was growing up anything bad was not shared outside of the immediate family.  Skelton’s were closely guarded and locked away in the closet.  Bad marriages – people stayed together.  Domestic violence – women wore thick pancake makeup to hide the bruises.  Sexual, physical, or emotional abuse by parent to child was never mentioned.  Any other sexual or physical abuse by family members to the child covered up.  Mental illness was hidden.  Families had to be perfect.  All of that was the reality during the era I grew up in – good families did not tell secrets out of school.

But all that has changed.  The stigma has lessened if you are a victim (at least for now).  Rape victims are not picked apart in court for what they wore or how many men they dated prior to the rape.  Victims are much less victimized when they report the abuse than they were even half a century ago.  Progress.  Women are believed and taken seriously and the abuser taken away to jail.  Times have changed and will continue to change for the better hopefully.

But – and you knew there would be a but, in adoption any peep that all was not perfect creates an unwillingness to believe the victim, if the victim is the adoptee.  In adoption the suspicion is placed on the adoptee for causing the abuse to happen.  The adoptee just didn’t adapt.  The adoptee is just angry or has issues or is mal-adjusted.  It is the adoptees fault.  No one wants to believe the adoptee who was the victim of abuse – be it parent to child sexual abuse, physical, or emotional abuse, or any combination of the three.  No one wants to believe that a sibling would sexually abuse a sibling, or that a cousin or other relative would because you know we aren’t really related. 

No one wants to talk about it because that means adoption is not all sunshine and roses and the best thing since sliced ham.  It means the process of weeding out those who are not good enough failed.  Not only did the process fail but the education precluded information relating to sexual abuse by family who are not related and how that can create an excuse all on its own.  The system let the adoptee down and the adoption community compounds the victimization of the adoptee by not believing or worse yet, dismissing it as if it couldn’t really be that bad.  The adoption community is not willing to talk about it and make it okay to talk about it.  Because if they did talk about it, it would mean that just like in biological families there are good families, mediocre families, bad families, and families that should never have been granted the right to own a dog.  It would take adoption off the pedestal that the community wants to pretend it has a right to.

But isn’t it time to recognise the system set up can and does fail?  That we as an adoption community can also fail to support the victims?  How many headlines do we need to read before we stop blaming the adoptee for what went wrong and start believing that it can and does happen? 

How long before it is okay to talk about all the different types of child abuse that happens in adoption to the adoptee?

How about we start believing and listening to the victim and not look for excuses?

Note I am primarily speaking about domestic infant adoption but of course there are overlaps between all types of adoption. 


Posted by on August 14, 2011 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child, Ethics


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Link to excellent post…

I have to say as a long-time lurker on her blog, I was sorry when Paula from Heart Mind and Seoul stopped blogging and ever so happy that she is back. Paula manages to speak so clearly on really tough subjects and gives the reader some really hard questions to consider themselves.  If only I had her gift.  I am linking on the odd chance some readers here do not know about her blog.  Go read her most recent post.

So If Your Child Went Missing, What Would You Do?


Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


The Makeni Children by EJ Graff

Corruption in international adoption is a fact of life.  How much corruption there is in any specific country is where there is room for debate.  The reaction of the adoption community to statements about corruption tend to be “shoot the messenger” which doesn’t make sense.  Yet I have seen it happen time after time.  I recognise that it is the message no adoptive parent wants to hear that could taint “their” adoption.  I cannot imagine the impact it would have on them, and the questions and concerns that would be swimming in their head and heavy in their heart, hoping against hope that their adoption was without corruption.  That they don’t have to tell their child that the story was false and the real story is so much worse

But why continue to “shoot the messenger” each time, and instead say “no more” and together stand up with other well-respected organizations and individuals like Ethica, PEAR, David Smolin, EJ Graff, and many others calling for changes across the board? 

Surely there are clear obvious solutions to be had that would drastically cut down on the corruption in adoption.  Guaranteed there will be adjustments to any major change.  But not doing anything – is not any child’s best interests. 

Doing nothing guarantees corruption will continue. 

Doing nothing guarantees more families on both side of the adoptee will be hurt. 

Doing nothing guarantees the adoptee will have to live forever knowing their adoption was or could have been tainted. 

Taking a stand puts you with those who actually give a damn about ensuring only children who have no other good option but international adoption, are adopted internationally.   

Where are the petitions to your members of the house and senate demanding they stop pretending and put harsh penalties in place for those who turn a blind eye?

What is the adoption industry doing to combat the potential for corruption when they go into another marginalized country?

Until reform happens stories like the one below will continue to haunt and blacken international adoption and everyone associated with it.  Why not expect better?  Why not demand better?

The Makeni Children

By EJ Graff

Published in Slate August 9, 2011

1 Comment

Posted by on August 10, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


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Letter from the President of Ethica


Letter from the President: Not a time to rejoice.

Dear friends,

A few days ago, in an unprecedented ruling, a judge in Guatemala ordered an adoption rescinded and a child returned from her American adoptive family to her biological family in Guatemala because her adoption was found to be fraudulent. 


That’s just a snippet – GO READ THE WHOLE POST at the link above…


Posted by on August 7, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


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