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Is it right, wrong, or a grey area?

06 Jun

By TAO

This past week someone who is the CEO of one of the largest adoption agencies in the US penned a letter to the editor of the Detroit News.  A letter in response to an article on the number of abortions happening…and how adoption is an option…

He is free to pen as many letters as he wants on subjects dear to his heart, I do it here, everyone can do the same.  But did he cross the line by what he didn’t say, is the question I am asking.  Go read the letter-to-the-editor he signed as “Bill Blacquiere, president and CEO, Bethany Christian Services, a nonprofit family preservation and child welfare agency”.  Bethany may choose to describe themselves as such, but in a letter to the editor about choosing adoption, I think he has a duty to disclose that that a good part of the business he runs is based on expectant mothers choosing adoption.  Bethany is not small by any means with 100 offices in more than 35 states.  So why isn’t he being upfront and disclosing that the company he works for, and heads, is an adoption agency as well, when penning a letter to the editor about adoption being an option.

As recently as 2011, they described themselves as:

Who we are: Bethany Christian Services is a global nonprofit organization caring for orphans and vulnerable children on five continents. Bethanyis recognized as a prominent leader in social services worldwide, and we are the largest adoption agency in the U.S. Founded in 1944, our mission calls us to demonstrate the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting and enhancing the lives of children and families around the world. Bethany envisions a world where every child has a loving family.”

(emphasis added)

Now in 2014, they have deleted the bolded sentence above in their who we are statement, but the annual report on the page says it still is a large part of what they do:

Who we are: Bethany Christian Services is a global nonprofit family preservation and child welfare organization caring for orphans and vulnerable children on five continents. Bethany is recognized as a prominent leader in social services worldwide. Founded in 1944, our mission calls us to demonstrate the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting and enhancing the lives of children and families around the world. Bethany Christian Service is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.”

It would be a different kettle of fish if it was clearly identified up-front in bold as an “Advertorial” that can be part of an advertising agreement.  It’s different when the CEO of a business that is in the adoption business, pens a letter to the editor in response to an article about the statistics of abortion about the choice of adoption, and doesn’t mention that his business is adoption.  It just is.

 

 

 

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17 Comments

Posted by on June 6, 2014 in Adoption

 

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17 responses to “Is it right, wrong, or a grey area?

  1. Tiffany

    June 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    I found that letter appallingly insensitive, and the fact that is from a man just really takes the cake for me. I would love to be able to write him back directly to tell him precisely where to shove his misogynistic, holier-than-thou pronouncements.

    “…and notes that because of recent funding cuts to family planning care and contraception, many women facing an unplanned pregnancy feel that abortion is their only choice.” How incredibly heartbreaking is this statement? Immediately, I see that we have a massive problem driven not by women actively wanting an abortion, but financial circumstances driving them into a corner where they have no other options. As someone of faith (I stuggle with defining myself as Christian when I see people such as this defining themselves as such), I see an opportunity here to reach out to women with no support and provide them with support for a real and true choice not made out of fear or lack of help, but out of education, financial standing, and love.

    This gem of a man and I apparently do not get anywhere near the same impression. Bill B says, “However, the article never mentions the choice of adoption.”

    Here is where I internally slapped him.

    No, it doesn’t mention adoption. Because that IS NOT THE POINT. Good God, man, did you fail reading comprehension in fifth grade??? Per the Detroit News article, “But problems that often underlie abortion, such as poverty and poor access to health care, are public health issues that need to be addressed if the rate is to be reduced, experts said.” The women are POOR. They lack SUPPORT. They have no OPTIONS. THAT is the problem. Not the lack of information provided on adoption being another choice.

    Here’s the thing, Bill. Women who choose abortion don’t fit into some little box. They are not all callous, uncaring women who have no interest in being a mother and just want to be rid of the problem. Without seeing stats, I would venture that a portion of the women in Detroit are already mothers and cannot fathom trying to provide for another child. Some cannot afford the healthcare. Some cannot afford the time off work or potential job loss (something I am sure Bill doesn’t get- even in professional circles, women still lose jobs as a result of pregnancy and time spent caring for children). Facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles, abortion feels like the only road open to them.

    But sure, why not instead of a Christian organization addressing the real problem of caring for those in need, let’s just encourage the moms to give their children away to more deserving people (i.e., middle class to well-off, married, professionally employed couples). Sure, Bill, that’s one fantastic idea.

    I could rant on more, but I’ll stop. I just cannot fathom this level of ignorance and such an incredibly horrid lack of compassion. Bethany has always made me ill, even setting aside the adoption issues, they have an appalling track record (from my personal viewpoint) in many other areas.

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    • TAO

      June 6, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      Tiffany – you aptly describe many of the problems in the letter – first and foremost – it’s written by a man who physically is unable to carry a child because he does not have a womb…

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    • dmdezigns

      June 7, 2014 at 11:38 am

      I’m still looking for the like button for Tiffany’s post!

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  2. Barbaloot

    June 6, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    There is more eeeeew there than you could shake a stick at. He’s so creepy he has broken the creep-o-meter. Amen, Tiffany, well said. I think this tells us everything we need to know about Bethany’s ethics and transparency.

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    • TAO

      June 7, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Transparency – we need it…

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  3. cb

    June 6, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    “Bill Blacquiere, president and CEO, Bethany Christian Services, a nonprofit family preservation and child welfare agency”.

    How dishonest.

    One notes that “family preservation” is apparently only available for international families:

    http://www.bethany.org/main/our-services

    There is not much more I can say that Tiffany hasn’t already said except that I really dislike when agencies use bible verses to promote adoption.

    I mean, what does Matthew 19.14 have to do with adoption? One suspects that in Bethany’s mind it should read:

    “Bethany said to emoms -‘Let the little children go to adoptive parents, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ “

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    • TAO

      June 7, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      I just keep going back to the old news archives with religions doing fundraising to care for people in need and perhaps that mindset, way people thought of being socially responsible has gone away and we are stuck with this new mindset…rambling I know.

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  4. eagoodlife

    June 7, 2014 at 6:51 am

    To my mind adoption and religion have always been uneasy bedfellows. Because adoption is really about greed, money and politics.

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    • TAO

      June 7, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Von, when religious institutions switched gears some time the 40’s? and went from sheltering to adoption it all changed…

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  5. Valentine Logar

    June 7, 2014 at 11:54 am

    I have nothing to say that would not include unladylike pronouncements. The letter crosses the line, there is no grey area.

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    • TAO

      June 7, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      I thought so to – but sometimes I am too quick to judge. I worry about the continual pushing of the boundaries in adoption just like everything else – if something is okay then we can push it just that much farther and soon that’s okay too.

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  6. Beth

    June 7, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    “But problems that often underlie abortion, such as poverty and poor access to health care, are public health issues that need to be addressed if the rate is to be reduced, experts said.”

    I bet he was giddy when he read this, and head over heels happy hearing about cuts in family support spending. So excited he forgot to mention in his letter how much money he is likely to make. What wonderful news it must have been to him!

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    • TAO

      June 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Beth, Your comment reminded me of a story in the news I wrote about in 2011, the news link is still active so here is the comment/link.

      “Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Gary, one of the largest child placing agencies in Northwest Indiana, is seeing a notable increase in couples wanting to adopt, but a corresponding decrease in the number of birth moms. Usually, the not-for-profit has placed 10 babies by now, and averages between 10 to 15 placements a year, Kavanaugh said. This year, they’ve had one as of mid-July.

      “There’s no reason why the numbers should be down,” Kavanaugh said. “No idea; we are trying to figure that out ourselves.”

      Catholic Charities had hoped the Indiana General Assembly’s attempt to defund Planned Parenthood would mean more placements.

      However, shortly after the state Legislature adjourned, Planned Parenthood of Indiana successfully sought a preliminary injunction barring much of the law from being enforced. The state is appealing.

      “We have not seen an increase with that yet,” Kavanaugh said. “Hopefully in the near future we will.””

      http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/lake/6653144-418/adoption-process-changing-with-the-internet.html#.U5MaQnlOWUl

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      • Beth

        June 8, 2014 at 3:39 pm

        All I can say is – WTH is wrong with people.? It blows my mind that so many Christians seek to separate mothers and children. As-If it’s a good thing, a godly thing to do. Especially those that hold the Madonna so dear.
        And it’s not even about ” caring for orphans and widows”, it’s about money and entitlement. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
        It’s madness, and coveting! and lying! and stealing!

        I think I’ll stick with ‘Do No Harm’

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        • eagoodlife

          June 9, 2014 at 12:09 am

          It seems that saving one’s own soul became more important than compassion.

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  7. Paigeturner

    June 9, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    According to his form 990 Mr. Blacquiere made $197,685 in 2009 as a baby broker. I have been able to find more recent data (admittedly I only spent a few minutes looking) but presumably he hasn’t taken a pay cut in the past 5 years. While he isn’t the highest paid CEO in the baby selling business, he still make a lovely salary on the backs of separated families.

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  8. Beth

    June 14, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I can’t quit thinking about this brokers paycheck…
    There are a few real estate brokers in my family that would love to make that+ annually. Most haven’t come close to that amount, and they have matched dozenS of families with new homes. He has to be charging a much higher sales commission. There should be a limit set on that commission, just like in most other industries.

    Like

     

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