Ohio adoptees and their families got a double kick in the teeth this week. On Wednesday Sub HB 7 was voted out of the Health Committee and on to the House floor without the restoration of access language from the original bill. The ringleaders of this abomination got a real cheap thrill out of pulling the carrot away and then beating the bastards with the stick. Committee members received hundreds of emails and phone calls asking them to restore the language. What does it take to be worthy in Ohio? While this was going on down in the tunnels, the Senate Health, Human Services, and Aging Commitee was sharpening its claws on us by approving SB 304–a safe haven expansion bill that will permit “desperate parents” to dump their up-to-30-day-old problem child on the state. Up from the current 3 day limit. Erik Smith and I testified against the bill. Later tonight I’ll be posting some of my testimony and some comments. If it saves just one…. Don’t mourn! Organize! Throw the bums out!
I’m really down with a horrible cold. Worse than the notorious Tampa cold at ASAIK 2 1/2 years ago to which some of you were witness. As a result, I’m behind worse than ever. That said, I’ve put up a collection of HB7 testimony on the BEA MySpace page: going from the bottom up–mine, Chris Ryan, Betsie Norris (2) and Dawn Friedman. I hope to get some more this week. I also plan to put up some anti-adoptee testimony quotes from past attempts to pass records access bills in Ohio. If you think it’s bad now….
A couple new developments in the Stephanie Bennett case were reported over the weekend: Rick Armon from the Akron Beacon Journal* reports A Child’s Waiting license will be reviewed by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. Last year ODJFS found the agency out of compliance for several paperwork and procedural violations in the case (I have a copy in my possession) and ordered it to submit a corrective plan to assure than such errors won’t happen again. Armon says the agency has failed to submit an acceptable plan. More important, A Child’s Waiting, according to records obtained by the Beacon Journal, has been the subject of numerous investigations in the past. In its seven years of operation, it has received an incredible seven citations by the state and has twice had its license reduced to “temporary.” So far, I have been unable to find details on those citations. Despite its problems, according to its homepage, A Child’s Waiting has placed over 1200 children in permanent homes since it’s inception in 2000–a whopping 255 last year. Many of them are listed there by first name, race, and age. How do they generate these kids? HUSTLE: THE NAME OF ACW’S Continue Reading →
I will continue coverage of the Stephanie Bennett case. For previous posts, please scroll directly below this one. I’ll be away for a few days working on a research project, but I wanted to say a couple things about the Blogging Blitz for Evelyn. It’s been an honor to be part of this historic endeavour. No adoption ideology was required. Bloggers could believe adoption is the best thing since Jif or the worse thing since the Battle of the Marne. One’s position in adoption didn’t matter: adoptee, first parent, adoptive parent, activist, bystander…just as long as you cared what happens to a family torn asunder by an uncontrolled “child placing” industry. Some blogs were eloquent, some clumsy, some angry, some thoughtful. Some focused on Stephanie and Evelyn Bennett, some on the rot that defines Adoption USA. Some bloggers only posted the timeline; others surfed the ‘net in search of new information about A Child’ Waiting. The common denominator: outrage and care. About 135 bloggers participated in the blitz. Origins USA and Third Mom list and link many of them. I haven’t read all of the blogs, but I thought I’d share some that resonated with me. In no particular order: Continue Reading →
I will continue coverage of the Stephanie Bennett case. For previous posts, please scroll directly below this one. ********** One thing you can count on in adoption–hypocrisy is never far from mendacity. Last month Working Mother Magazine named Stephanie Bennett’s adoption agency A Child’s Waiting one of the 25 Best Small Companies of 2007. The magazine offers a snapshot of the “family friendly” workplace. You need to check out Akron Beacon Journal business reporter Kerry Clawson’s follow-up for the full studio portrait. The place employs 17 women exploiting women, 4 of whom are “single moms”–adoption status unknown. Free on-site nanny care, a toy-filled playroom, baby swings, and a crib room for napping babies. And get this: a private nursing room! Did I mention flex-time, no set hours, and 1-month paid maternity leave? Employees who adopt (who woulda thought?) receive up to $1000 to cover expenses. It is especially edifying to know that ACW’s professional child recruiter Ronda Berger can stick her youngest in the toy room with the nanny while she’s on the road bringing home the bacon. How can the Desperate and Pregnant resist the sales pitch? Anyway, just when you think you can’t take another ACW happy working Continue Reading →
Today is the Blog Blitz for Evelyn and Stephanie Bennett (see previous blog). After reading the background of the case, and listening to yesterday’s radio broadcast, troubling questions on all sides remain and are too complicated to comment on without more information and clarification. Adoption law can be very complex. What is legal is not always ethical. What is ethical is not always legal. What is right gets lost in the shuffle. Family dynamics are even more tangled. That said, since the story broke at the end of 2006 that “Baby Evelyn” had been spirited away to the ethically impaired A Child’s Waiting adoption mill, I’ve been very concerned about Stephanie Bennett. Since the Bennetts live in my hometown, Canton, Ohio, I’ve taken a personal interest in the case, though I never got around to writing about it. Certainly mistakes were made all around, and as the facts of the case emerge, these mistakes loom large in ways I never expected. Nonetheless, nobody deserves to lose their child or grandchild over those mistakes. Horrible things have been done to Stephanie Bennett and her family in the name of adoption. These wrongs need exposed and righted. Evelyn needs to come home. Continue Reading →