The votes are in! NCFA super agency Bethany Christian Services, is recipient of the 2009 Demons in Adoption Award!
Niels Hoogeveen, keeper of Pound Pup Legacy, connects lots of dots in the adoption industry cobweb in his award announcement. Please read the entire essay for a good explication of the enemy.
Here is what he writes specifically about Bethany:
Bethany Christian Services is also a prominent member of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, a coalition of Christian adoption agencies, foster care agencies, orphan care organizations and churches, supported by Campus Crusade for Christ and Focus on the Family. The Christian Alliance for Orphans and its programs Hope for orphans, Faces of the Forgotten, Cry of the Orphan and Orphan Sundays, aggressively market adoption through churches. Bethany Christian Services plays a major role in this movement, sponsoring training sessions to further spread the adoption gospel, motivating Christians to not only adopt children, but to adopt as many children as possible.
To generate the number of adoptable children for this market expansion, the term “orphan” has undergone serious inflation over the years. Its original meaning related to children whose parents had both died. Under the influence of Christian adoption, the word now relates to every child that either doesn’t live permanently with its family, or has lost at least one parent. This definition creates the illusion there are hundreds of millions of children screaming to be adopted, helping adoption agencies to expand their client base. In reality, the demand for adoptable children has for more than a century exceeded the supply of adoptable children. Therefore, the inflation of the term “orphan” has two effects, it generates more demand in an already overheated market and it puts pressure on policy makers to make adoption practices even more lenient than they already are, enlarging the pool of adoptable children.
Niels neglected one of my favorite Bethany stories. It’s about paps, but I think it’s appropriate here. This is taken from a long blog I started in 2005 and never finished, for reasons I can’t remember:
In July 2005 Big Dawg Bethany got its chimes rung when a Mississippi couple complained that the agency’s Jackson affiliate, run by the non-mainstream Presbyterian Church of America refused their application because the couple are Catholic and according to the Jacksonians, Catholicism conflicts with Bethany’s statement of faith required of all applicants. The national office squeezed Jackson, which suddenly re-evaluated its policy and decided that Catholics are indeed Christians.
For those who enjoy connecting the dots, the late D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Ministries and by default, his political strong arm, (closed in 2007, but resurrected this summer), The Center for Reclaiming America for Christ, and the theocratic grassfire.net are affiliated with the PCA.
There were many worthy Demon candidates this year. Bastardette congratulates Pound Pup Legacy for organizing the vote. The people have spoken!
Dear Bastardette, I’ve just discovered your blog and love it. As a supporter of adoptee rights and adoption reform, I’m sure I’ll be a regular reader. I dream of a world where there is no such thing as adoption because every child is a wanted child – wouldn’t that be nice.
Ah, Bethany is a most deserving recipient of this award. They fit right in with the extremist Christian right wing’s ongoing effort to effect social engineering and gain political clout.
The demand does exceed supply in this flesh trade and I have to look askance on those who create the demand.
I find it absolutely GRRRRRR! How can anyone assume that they have the right, first to claim a child is an orphan because of some over-inflated, sick annd seriously perverted sense of religious ownership of our nation! And adoption for the sake of making someone a christian, or any other religion for that matter, WTF!
I can’t even believe that people are that ignorant and don’t see the fly in the ointment, even though it is the largest thing in the container!
Stupid, lies, and sheep – what a nation!
Their qualifications for this year’s award were never more obvious than in the testimonies shared by Bethany birthmothers in Kathryn Joyce’s exposé, ‘Shotgun Adoption’ in Adoption Nation:
And this agency is the one that has killed our OBC-access legislation attempts here in Michigan.
As a Christian, I’m so ashamed of this organization that I can hardly stand it!
That’s a hell of a net worth at year end ’07 – $36 million, of which roughly two-thirds was cash. I’m devoting my next life to a profitable non-profit existence.
Like Digger, the way these agencies label themselves as “Christian” disgusts me – their actions speak for themselves.
Bethany is heavily supported by the religious-right DeVoss family (founders of the AmWay pyramid scheme) with some 3.5+M in donations for 2008. Christianity is big business in Grand Rapids MI, Bethany’s corporate headquarters. They even have a Senator, elected with much campaign help from NCFA, Bethany and “Christian supporters”, and chair of the committee charged with the current obc access bill. Of course, it hasn’t been considered since they received it in 2008.
Bethany is the perfect example of adoption for profit using any means necessary, including purchasing legislative representation and deceptive references to Christianity.
As a Christian MI adoptee, I resent the way the name of my religion is being used to help deny my rights.
I decry the way the name of established religion has been used to justify taking babies from “sinners” (mostly single moms or those old, lazy poor parents) and selling them to the “right kind” of people (their parishoners or their like). The LDS deserves a runner-up in this category or, at least, a dishonorable mention.
It’s more than money. It’s religious social engineering. They advance the idea that their faithful, married members are entitled to a child and that the (as they say it) sinful, careless mother is not. That way they fill their ranks, not only with converts, but with ready-made little church members.
As long as the right-wing, Christian establishment can use that deadly cocktail of shame, entitlement and God’s Will (according to their interpretation), they will continue in the baby trade and those that buy the product will continue to feel self-righteous about it. JMO and I’m stickin’ to it.
Agreeing with Robin here, especially that LDS deserve dishonorable mention. They have an extra odious doctrine that adopted children are “sealed” in the Temple to their LDS adoptive family for all eternity. Some of the more dimwitted even believe that the child’s DNA changes to that of the adoptive family! Since each patriarchal family gets their own planet in the afterlife, even there the adoptee is cut off from her original family.
Not surprisingly, the LDS agencies bring lots of pressure to surrender on single mothers, since only women married in the Temple to an LDS husband in good standing can reach the highest level of heaven, the celestial kingdom.
All the fundamentalist religious agencies have a religious agenda that has nothing to do with helping children or their mothers, and everything to do with promoting the Patriarchal family as the only “right” way to be. This also ties in with their hatred of gays and their aggressive measures against gay marriage. They should mind their own damn business in their narrow and hate-filled churches! Jesus would weep.