Saturday, September 17, 2011

China's Adoption Scandals: APs' Reactions

The New York Times reports on adoptive parent reactions to the recent adoption scandals in China:
On Aug. 5, this newspaper published a front-page article from China that contained chilling news for many adoptive parents: government officials in Hunan Province, in southern China, had seized babies from their parents and sold them into what the article called “a lucrative black market in children.”
The news, the latest in a slow trickle of reports describing child abduction and trafficking in China, swept through the tight communities of families — many of them in the New York area — who have adopted children from China. For some, it raised a nightmarish question: What if my child had been taken forcibly from her parents?

And from that question, inevitably, tumble others: What can or should adoptive parents do? Try to find the birth parents? And if they could, what then?

* * *

Adoptive parents and adoption agencies have powerful incentives not to talk about trafficking or to question whether a child was given up voluntarily, especially given how difficult it is to know for certain. Such talk can unsettle the children or anger the Chinese government, which might limit the families’ future access to the country or add restrictions to future adoptions. And the possible answer is one that no parent wants to hear.
Most parents contacted for this article declined to comment or agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity. Several said they never discussed trafficking, even with other adoptive parents. To a query from The New York Times posted on a Web forum for adoptive parents, one parent urged silence, writing, “The more we put China child trafficking out there, the more chances your child has to encounter a schoolmate saying, ‘Oh, were you stolen from your bio family?’ ”

Such reticence infuriates people like Karen Moline, a New York writer and a board member of the nonprofit advocacy group Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform, who adopted a boy from Vietnam 10 years ago. “If the government is utterly corrupt, and you have to take an orphanage a donation in hundred-dollar bills, why would you think the program was ethical?” she said. “Ask a typical Chinese adoptive parent that question, and they’ll say, my agency said so. My agency is ethical. People say, the paperwork says X; the paperwork is legitimate. But you have no idea where your money goes.


Linda said...

"Most parents contacted for this article declined to comment or agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity."

I bet they did.

"The more we put China child trafficking out there, the more chances your child has to encounter a schoolmate saying, ‘Oh, were you stolen from your bio family?"

They are idiots if they think school kids have not been doing this for years. They are more concerned about themselves and what this truth means for them. How many of them would return their illegally adopted children back to their real parents? Not many, Im sure.

Anonymous said...

have you read this? how sad that some people just don't get that IA is the RIGHT thing to do.

Anonymous said...

It's so quick to make a knee jerk reaction but thinking it through counts for something too.

So heaven forbid your child has been trafficked ~ a heavy presumption here and one wonders how that irrefutable case could be made given scant if any existing medical/founding records, then you simply go forward under the presumption that in fact your child might(must??) have been trafficked? Oh, unless of course your kiddo has a glaring special need cuz then you pretty know they were abandoned for cause. :(

Yes, that avenue sounds perfectly healthy for a childs' psychological well being, especially during the challening teen years where most ( but not all) kids adopted OR otherwise wish for any parent(s) other than their own.

Or hey, how about we all just tell our kids that from the beginning so that the fragile bonds of early trust/fledgling trust can be colored by that spector rather than what is most likely the reality of an ethicial adoption.

Proceed then not with the understanding that instances of this are exceedingly rare but rather by clanging the alarm that in fact your child probably WAS stolen by corrupt officials and sold for profit.

Much better.

How bout this instead? Approach it cautiously with due dilligence at an age/maturity appropriate time, carefully stressing the slight incidences of this occuring ( though even one is too many)and not listening to rubbish as spouted by Miss Linda who believes all adoptive families are not "real".

P.S. Who would give their real name for pities sake?? Only a glutten for punishment or someone seeking vitriolic abuse and or one who is target hungry for hate mail! Oh and maybe those parents who care not at all for the privacy of their child(ren) and family.


Anonymous said...

Aonnymous the anger seething through you must be hard to deal with...

I think you need reading comprehension classes. Linda made two very clear points was MY takeway.

As adoptees - we get those type of questions IN SCHOOL and when a country has been tainted by cases of trafficking that is going to be asked and most likely not in a nice way. PREPARE your child - don't let them be blindsided and what are the odds they are going to ask you if you stole them? 50/50at best. Do you want to risk that by not being truthful - to have YOUR child worrying about that possiblity in silence?

Her next statement you miss one very key word and that is ILLEGALLY adopted kids real parents - the word ILLEGALLY is important to the context of the sentence.

Anonymous said...


Anger, perhaps at misconceptions and folks always intent on finger pointing.

And you seem to believe that Linda's assertions are to be taken as fact? As Linda polled or provided stats on adopted children being confronted by the notion they were taken? No, because it just doesn't happen.

I am adopted and an AP and never once was that asked of me or any of the folks ( and I know a whole slew) of other adopted adults or AP's I have had this discussion with. That's fact, at least in this microschasm, NOT simply someone's belief it may happen.

Is it possible that continued sensationalism of this topic could lead to that? Yes. Hence my justifiable anger that it should be seen as the norm, not as an excecption.

Secondly I have seen Linda often refer to AP's as not real or remind them to get of another woman's nursery and so on. Her context is clear as is her bias.

I also point out yet again, how on earth would a family begin to know for absolute certain their child was taken illegally, making this all conjecture for the vast majority of adopted kids and families.

Linda said...

Oh, dear, anon. I don't need stats, lol. I lived it. I, along with many adoptees I know were teased on the playground for years about how we came to be adopted. That's FACT. Be "grateful" you did not go through that. I guess you should also be grateful that no one has come out and asked you if your kids were stolen from their first parents. Because THAT happens, too. You are just so lucky!

As far as "real" goes, I have never said adoptive parents are not real. My adoptive parents are just as real as my biological parents. Of course, if an adoption is illegal, then the real parent thing goes out the door. Caregivers? Temporary parents? Purchaser? What name SHOULD they have? Touched a nerve, I suppose. Get over it.

And yes, paps SHOULD stay out of another woman's nursery. Pre-birth matching schemes are coercive.

This story is not sensationalized. It is FACT. Touched another nerve? It should. That's what it is supposed to do. Corruption and fraud in adoption, whether domestic or international is nothing new. It's becoming more widespread and it is being exposed by mainstream media. It should make ap's and paps uncomfortable. It should make EVERYONE uncomfortable.

Of course, "most" ap's did not know about fraud, coercion, corruption or kidnapping when they adopted, including my own parents. But the truth is coming out now. So what do you do? Do you stick your head in the sand and say "not my child"? Do you continue to promote international adoption, or worse, adopt again? Or do you do the responsible thing and say "No more" and show the side of adoption no one likes to talk about?

I know how responsible & logical people will answer, and they are the only people I care to hear from- not people who hide behind an "anon" name and spew insults every chance they get.

Anonymous said...

I think all of the posters have valid points. As an adoptive mother, I have no idea of the true story of why my daughter's Chinese parents could not raise her and that is the honest truth and that is what I tell her. But I do feel it is important to try and research (and it is possible in "Communist" China although very difficult) what was going on in my daughter's town, at the time my daughter was born and try to learn as much as possible. I also believe it is important to try and attempt to find the birth parents, (again VERY difficult to do in China), as they are the only ones who know the truth. Until I can speak with her first parents and know their story, it is really useless and a waste of energy to worry about and assume horrible things. Likewise, I don't assume her parents' actions were completely voluntary.

Dawn said...

There are fairly credible allegations of corruption at my daughter’s orphanage. I have spoken to some APs about this and a couple have been receptive and others, not at all. I would like to see an investigation done to see concrete evidence of what happened and if my child was impacted or not. I doubt this is possible so our only hope to find "real" answers would be to find her finder or birth parents, but even with that they may have been involved in the incentive program. My daughter’s orphanage has now said all information including police reports and the names of finders, have been sent to the provincial offices and can be accessed by our children when they are 18. I would love to know what to do next, but I feel like I have hit a brick wall. As far as what to tell my daughter I don't know, she is too young still so I have some time but I would love some advice about how to talk to her about this when it is age appropriate. When we adopted we thought China had a very ethical program. Now we know, we did adopt again from China through the special needs program. I am sure my son's adoption was ethical because his foster mother keeps an online journal which talks extensively about the process of admitting children into the system in her city.

Anonymous said...


And you seem to believe that Linda's assertions are to be taken as fact? As Linda polled or provided stats on adopted children being confronted by the notion they were taken? No, because it just doesn't happen."

What a "lucky" adoptee that you were never taunted on the playground about being given away, unwanted, a little bastard, illegitimate.

Bullies in school will find whatever works to target a kid.

Corruption and trafficking - it will be a bonaza they won't be able to resist.

Face the reality and fight to get corruption OUT of adoption. Cover up the problem and it will still stink.


Anonymous 5:25...I didn't have to deal with this but I did have to be told/taught about how society required us to be surrendered from those immoral loose women and how it was wrong for society to be that hypocritical.

When the flip side was dad saw the very same society matrons show up with their unwed daughters in tow for pregnancy tests asking where their daughter could get an illegal abortion and if they could not find that option elsewhere, they sent them away to sweep the issue under the carpet while at the same time talking trash about "those other girls and how slutty they were".

Perhaps why I separate "how adoption works and all the attitudes that lead to it" and how I view my family. Truth and bare bones honesty is always the best policy.

Anonymous said...

Wrong again Linda and the adoptedones:

Please reread what I wrote as I in no way said I was never asked innapropriate questions or teased....but rather that I was never asked if I was stolen.

Told I must not have been wanted or that my birth family must have been trash, etc?....yes.

Asked personal questions that have no place in school? Sure.

But asked if I was taken or spirited away in the night? NEVER, NOT ONCE.

Nor was a single other adopted person I know asked that specific question....other than Linda I suppose whom I don't know IRL. But I'm sure due to media and exposure based on scant facts, that too will change.

Nor did I claim we would be hiding our heads in the sand. On the contrary, we will discuss these issues as they become relevent and age/maturity appropriate. That's what a good parent does.

My points are valid. We simply do not know and its virtually impossible to find out with accuracy and instances of this happening are rare; exceedingly rare.

Sensationalism helps no one. Real dialogue does. Finger pointing helps no one. Honest responses from those who have walked both sides does.

Just my 2 cents. Over & out.

Anonymous said...

"We simply do not know and its virtually impossible to find out with accuracy and instances of this happening are rare; exceedingly rare."

This is true except the rare part, it has been reported in virtually every country where babies are adopted, Ethiopia, China, Russia, Baby-farms in Gautemala and on and on. Underground economies flourish and foreigners have know real way of knowing if their adoptions are ethical.

They do it anyway.


Guillermo said...

Linda: you appear proud of your ability to "touch nerves". you also seem rather confident of your command of FACTS. you only want to hear from "logical and responsible" people? sort of narrows the field. I'm pretty responsible but struggle with logic...

Brooke Randolph, LMHC said...

Agencies should absolutely be talking about corruption and trafficking. There is a lot of corruption in the world, including the world of adoption, but there are also children that genuinely need families. Unfortunately, they get bipassed when corruption is allowed. We are particular about our staff and with whom we will work. It is hard to understand how agencies get caught up in finding children for families rathe than finding families fo children.