Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Worst case scenario = our kids were stolen"

At MomLogic, a piece about the corruption worries of adoptive parents with children from China, featuring some familiar names, including Jane Leidtke, Brian Stuy and this character (BTW, for all the suspicious ChAT folks, the reporter found me by reading my blog -- she did not get my name from Stuy):

From the start, Malinda Seymore suspected something was amiss about her adoptive daughter's birth story. The Chinese orphanage told her that Zoe was a foundling, left on a bridge on the day of her birth with a note written on red paper by her birth parents. But three other adoptive families received similar notes, written on the same red paper, when they adopted their daughters from the same orphanage. Seymore suspected she wasn't getting the whole story. But with only the orphanage's word to go on, there was little she could do but wonder.

Eight years later, she is still wondering. And with good reason. This summer, the Los Angeles Times reported that corrupt officials in the Chinese government kidnapped babies from their homes and sold them to orphanages for upwards of $3,000 a piece. This is not the first time that reports of trafficking have trickled out of China, but it is by far the most shocking incident to date.

The latest news unleashed a torrent of conflicting emotions within the adoptive community ranging from worry to anger to outright denial. Some see the news as further proof that their lingering suspicions are well founded.

* * *

"Obviously the worst-case scenario is that our kids were stolen," said Seymore. "But if we know, we can deal with it. It is that absence of information that makes you wonder and makes you worry."
I've blogged before about Zoe's note, and about some of the frustrations of not knowing whether we have the real story.


SustainableFamilies said...

If you found out that your children had been stolen (I don't know your story and this may be known to be false already but if you can go hypothetically with me)

If you were in the shoes of someone who found out their child had been stolen, to put it better... would you work to integrate the two families? I.e share some element of the parenting with the family in China? I know it being a continent and bodies of water away would make it impossible to split custody in half (and would scary for the kids who would suddenly spend 6 months in a foreign place without you) but I mean would you consider trying to make a month long trip up there every summer/ allowing the child/ren to spend a few weeks here and there with their chinese family if desired and possibly work up to months at a time if the child desired it?

There is really no "best case" solution to discovering the children have been stolen. But I'm just thinking, what do you think the best thing to do would be? Have I missed a bllog post you already wrote on this?

malinda said...

It's hard to know what you'd actually do if faced with the situation, but I definitely would want to integrate the families. Yes, summers in China with birth family would be part of it. But even if my kids weren't stolen, and if we could find their birth families, I'd want to do the same thing . . . .

Research-China.Org said...

I know of several families that have faced this reality, and it is heart-wrenching. The best response from the adoption community is to unitedly work to make sure such activities stop, so that future families don't need to face it. Sadly, many in the adoption community work in the opposite direction -- minimizing and rationalizing the problems found. This only makes change harder, since governments generally listen to the loudest voices, and the voices of reform area mere whisper when compared to the roar of waiting families.


Dawn said...

I am glad to see international adoptive parents discussing this. I know there must be discussion on lists but there hasn't been much from a-parents on the blogs and I've been looking for it.