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.”
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.