It does not take an English major, computer genius–or a “WARNING: SATIRE AHEAD” banner to figure out that Medical Adoptions is satire.

The alarmed didn’t even need to go to Snopes to assuage their greatest fears. All that was necessary before hitting the hissy switch was to go to the very bottom of the Medical Adoption web page and read the following:

please visit our sponsors: Conjugal Marriage | Celebrity Adoptions | Really Useful Sites Directory

Of course, there will always be those who believe there really are companies that set up conjugal dates for convicts, that the Catholic Church has established a “Victims of Children Fund” or that corpse compacting is the new environment-friendly funeral option. If people will believe ManBeef, they’ll believe anything. Just because something could be true doesn’t make it true. Just ask Jonathan Swift.

Obviously, everyone has a right to be disgusted and to voice that disgust. But when you ratchet up that disgust to demand that a webpage be shut down or a person or organization be shut up by government force because you don’t like what they say or do it’s another story.

If anyone should understand the consequences of censorship it should be adoptees whose very identities, families, and histories are censored and fictionalized by the state. Yet, some adoptees (whose work I generally admire) and their reform friends on lists and blogs demand government censorship of a perfectly legal website that sends up some of the same things these complainers complain about daily: exploitation and unethical adoption practices.

For some reason, satire, if it flicks their trigger, is neither funny nor useful to them, even when it is to their benefit to be in on the joke. If schools spent more time on literature, history, and the Constitution and less on abstinence, creationism, and self-esteem building people might understand this. Or maybe they just need stir up a pitcher of martinis and turn on a Les Baxter LP.

My good friend BB Church summarizes the Medical Adoptions furor quite well. In a personal email to me he wrote (quoted with permission):

Perception is adoption reality. If a site satirizes child exploitation then it is child exploitation; if a site actually exploits children but purports to be saving them, then it’s not…

Medical Adoptions is the perfect mirror of adoption agency websites with their profiles. promises, and pimps, something that makes the alleged snitching by JCICS agencies to the FBI and other authorities particularly hypocritical and worthy of satire itself. Neither JCICS or its agencies to the best of my knowledge has ever demanded that the FBI or any other “authority” track down and remove the thousands of images still on the ‘net of the rape and sexual torture of 9-year old adoptee Masha Allen by forever dad Matthew Mancuso. Nor is JCICS on record for even smacking the snout of their agencies involved in the placement of Russian adoptees murdered by their forever families. Across the board, adoption promoters, no matter what their ideology. routinely sweep away unpleasant adoption realities. For “our” own good.

This week while the Medical Adoption brouhaha raged through AdoptionLand NBC Dateline ran a segment on a Guatemalan adoption broker coaching a suspected molester on child procurement, the spokesperson for the Florida Department of Children and Families was charged with 8 counts of procuring teenage boys (one in DFC custody) for “purposes of sexual performance,” and John Stossel grumbled that the Guatemalan government and US State Department initiatives on ethical child welfare policy and placement harms adoption.

Even the folks at Medical Adoptions couldn’t come up with this.


  1. I just looked at the rest of their satirical sites, all hilarious and all OBVIOUSLY a joke. I fail to see how anyone could take Medical Adoption seriously if they actually read the site.

    As to people who realize it is satire and want it taken down because adoption is sacred, they need to get over it. I fully agree with the comment that appearance matters more than reality in Adoptionland.

    Thanks for writing about this Marley. I hope the site stays forever, as it is extremely funny and points to some uncomfortable truths about international adoption.

  2. Hell, I wasn’t even aware we have freedom of speech. Shows what I know. At least we have a sense of humor, though, huh? Then again, I probably wouldn’t think it was funny if I was the one earning my living off the sale of children or the one who so desperately needs to believe the myth of the well-adjusted adopted child. Why don’t they just ignore what we say the way they usually do or, better yet, tell us one more time to quit whining about the injustices we’ve suffered. I know I never get tired of hearing that one.

    Wait a minute, I forgot…we haven’t suffered any injustices.

  3. Do you mean to tell me all the blather about abstinence and creationism is NOT satire?

    And all this time I’ve been thinking …

    Shit! Your part of the world is in serious trouble, Marley.

    Has no one read “A Modest Proposal”?

    Does anyone read anything but “Harry Potter” these days? Can people still read?

  4. There are several books from the 1970s of the, “Why can’t Johnnie read, write, do arithmetic?” variety. As a former teacher and college professor I am sorry to relate that Jane didn’t have these basic academic skills either.

    However, what was and still is not written about is that neither the Johnnies and Janes of the 1970s or those of today are taught critical thinking skills. Why?

    The reason is that beginning in the early 1970s American education took a sharp right hand turn away from curricula that were steeped in the liberal arts e.g., literature, history, classics, and languages to curricula that are top heavy with teaching technological skills and “relevance” pursuant to the values clarification model.

    At the same time America embarked on the road of political correctness that mirrored the “I’m OK; Your OK” self-help mantra disguised as therapy. The terminus of the PC movement, which at its core is the imposition of the pre-determined values of the values clarification gurus, is that critical thinking to say nothing of critical words directed toward either individuals or groups is now anathema.

    Consequently, satire as social commentary is now understood as not only UN-PC but subversive by the opium-like induced catatonic state of the religious right hand waiving lemmings of Prosperity Gospel Televangelists and their political counterpart necon clones.

    When all cows are sacred and PC rules, when satire and dissent are heresy, we do not need Aldous Huxley to show us a Brave New World or George Orwell to describe 1984 because we are already living them.

  5. All true, Jack, except it was the Left, not the Right who brought us political correctness , “I’m OK-You’re OK” and “relevance”. There are ideologues and asswipes on both ends of the political spectruum. I’ve always been pretty left-leaning but call bullshit as I see it, even in my own camp.In this case, it was the Right who wanted to keep the Classics, the Left who wanted relevance.

  6. I teach English comp–i.e., critical thinking. I’m all that’s left. The Left may be responsible for political correctness, but it’s not responsible for killing liberal arts education or for making universities into trade schools. It’s the right wing that’s brought us the current uni in which you will never be exposed to culture unless you major in the humanities (your poor, deluded fool), because that’s a waste of your time. It’s all shut up, keep your head down, do your job, never think, and one day you may be able to afford dental insurance. If not–well, it’s your fault you’re poor, because you must be lazy.

    Students know this. They resent like hell being asked to think.

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