Why is it easier to adopt a child from overseas than from another state? the long-awaited op-ed by Jeff Katz was published in today’s Washington Post. It’s on the wire, so it will buzz all over the country.
Katz, the director of Listening to Parents and a long time adoption advocate, eviscerates the Children in Families First (CHIFF) bill. He questions CHIFFterss, who consist mainly of adoption industry high rollers and well-funded evangelical ministries, demanding that the federal government create new adoption programs and incentives (aka taxpayer funding, international arm-twisting, and family breaking) to create families for Americans. In 2012, for example, he says that more than 100,000 available-for-adoption children sat in the US fostercare system waiting and ignored. while nearly 9000 international adoptees were imported into the country via privately operated adoption agencies at a median cost of $28,000 per head.. He rightly calls this situation “our great shame as a nation.”
What’s going on?
Katz notes that (1) there is no federal strategy to easily implement and encourage enforcement of already-on-the books federal law that permits cross-state placement of children in state care eligible for adoption; (2) adoptable children are kept in the fostercare system in their individual states to bulk up state dollars; (3) tax credits incentivize private agency/ international adoptions while fostercare adoptions don’t, and (4) pap preference for younger children found internationally keep older children in the fostercare system.
In other words, waiting American children of a certain age and brand no matter how sad their stories, are not desirable, marketable or profitable for the private adoption industry to handle. Third World “orphans” are.
Katz closes with:
Children in foster care are powerless. If they are to be heard, adults must speak for them. Americans must tell Congress: If you want children in families first, then focus on the 100,000 Americans waiting in foster care for a permanent family. If you want children in families first, then remove the financial deterrents that encourage states to keep “their” families from adopting in other states. Enforce the interstate barrier provision of the Adoption and Safe Families Act. Enact legislation that would standardize home studies so they are valid across state lines, as driver’s licenses are. Make it easier to adopt a child across the Potomac River than across the Pacific Ocean.
CHIFF and its propagandists have refused to come up with an explanation (even a bad one) that would explain how international adoption, which they constantly claim are humanitarian missions to rescue warehoused kids, cleans up the fostercare-adoption mess stateside that warehouses kids. In fact, CHIFFsters scrupulously avoid the issue outside of a vague, “every child deserves a family;” thus, unabashedly tossing American foster children into the dumpster while simultaneously scheming to scoop up allegedly unattached Third World “orphans” to drop behind our white picket fence.
CORRECTION: One CHIFFster, John Simmons, thinks any child in a far away place with a strange sounding name is up for grabs. The other day he tweeted:
Most “orphans” have at least one parent that is alive. That doesn’t mean they don’t need new parents.”
Still waiting for an explanation of that doozy.
We have a similar debate in Ohio right now with Ohio Right to Life’s HB307. The measure is promoted publicly as a way to open up the newborn adoption market to lower income families by making the process “cheap and easy,” but fails to include the hundreds of available children already in the state’s decrepit fostercare system. When asked repeatedly why foster children are ignored, the bill’s sponsor Jim Buchy replies repeatedly, “that’s obviously a different issue.”
Only if you’re interested in generating a certain product for a certain market for a certain margin for a certain agenda.
In the Ohio case, the agenda, in the guise of saving babies from the “abortion mill,” is about using taxpayer dollars to pay for private industry acquisition of newborns for profit and evangelization..
In the CHIFF case, the agenda, in the guise of “saving orphans” from “poverty,” is about using taxpayer dollars to pay for private industry acquisition of Third World orphans for profit and evangelization.
Not surprisingly, these harbingers of American humanitarian imperialism, haven’t bothered to ask domestic, transnational, and transracial adult adoptees in the US, their first parents, their adoptive parents, or adoptee rights advocates and adoption reformers–real stake holders, not checkbooks– what they think of this criminal scheme. When we do speak up, they attempt to shout us down with accusations of racism, anti-semitism, and homophobia. Seriously! Patriotism used to be the last refuge of the coundrel. Now it’s social isms.
CHIFFsters should back out gracefully before they are kicked out. unceremoniously. The US needs to create its own national adoption policy and priorities that puts the welfare of American children ahead of the fulfillment of pap child desire and adoption industry fat cats and bulging wallets, before it tells other countries what to do. It needs to clean out its own dog box before it sweeps out somebody elses. It needs to cut its do-as-I say-not-as-I-do dictate.
Jeff Katz has written an important piece, Add this to your library and use it! Send it to your Congress members and Senators. If they have not jumped on the CHIFF bandwagon thank the If they have, why CHIFF is bad policy. And post a comment on WaPo.
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