Posts Tagged ‘adoption statistics’


Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Today I’m going to post links to several articles about adoption you may have missed–or not, depending on your level of engagement with the subject. First, from Good Housekeeping about a disrupted adoption. Here’s how I introduced the article when I posted the link on Facebook:

An article at Good Housekeeping about a former attorney, Stacey Conner, and her husband, who adopted a 5-year-old boy, J, from Haiti in 2006 and disrupted the adoption 8 months later. As expected, the story is complicated, and elicited more than 6,000 comments on the GH site. As I read the piece, I remember the words of the adoptive dad in the PBS documentary, “Girl, Adopted,” who said, “I used to think love was enough. Now I know better. Adoption is not for everyone.” Or words to that effect. No judgment from me on Stacey Conner and her situation, just hope and prayers that seven years later, the little boy J and his families, permanent and temporary, have found peace.

Also, the Joplin (Missouri) Globe reports that Encarnacion Bail Romero will appeal her adoption case to the Supreme Court:

The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to hear an appeal on behalf of a Guatemalan woman seeking to overturn the adoption of her biological child by a Carthage couple.

Attorneys for Encarnacion Romero filed the request on Monday. The action represents the court of last resort, after the Missouri Supreme Court late last year refused to hear the woman’s appeal. That action unsuccessfully challenged a Missouri Court of Appeals ruling that terminated her parental rights.

“We’ve asked, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll take it,” said Joplin lawyer Bill Fleischaker, one of several volunteer attorneys representing the biological mother. “They hear very few of the cases filed,” he said.

According to information on the Supreme Court’s website, about 10,000 cases are filed annually, and fewer than 80 — less than 1 percent — are accepted for hearings by the court.

Joe Hensley, attorney for adoptive parents Seth and Melinda Moser, said he was notified Monday of the filing. The Mosers have been caring for the child — now 7 — since he was about a year old. Hensley said he has not yet met with the Mosers to discuss a response, noting that he, until Monday, was uncertain if an appeal would be filed. “But nothing surprises me about this case anymore,” he said.


Romero was arrested in May 2007 in an immigration raid while she was working at a Barry County poultry processing plant. She left the child with her brother, who turned him over to a sister. She then left the baby with a Carthage couple who agreed to the adoption by the Mosers.

The mother’s parental rights were terminated based on arguments that the child had been abandoned because the mother made no attempt to provide for the boy during the two years when she was in jail, even though she had the means to do so. The court also found that the mother left the child in the hospital after giving birth, that she failed to keep doctor appointments or obtain baby formula or other help available for the child, and that she made no arrangements to ensure that the infant would be cared for in case she was arrested.

IMMIGRANTS WHO ARE IN THE U.S. without proper documentation and are jailed in violation of immigration law normally are deported, but Encarnacion Romero has been allowed to stay in the country while her case is being appealed.

In Foreign Adoptions by Americans Decline Sharply, David Crary of the Associated Press reports that calendar year 2013 reported the lowest number of international adoptions to the US since 1992, for a total of 7,074. Everyone agrees that reform was needed, no question. But instead of repairing systems, the implementation of the Hague seems simply to have shut them down.

Finally, a program at UCLA to help families with children adopted internationally, called the International Adoption and Travel Clinic. With adoptions sharply declining, I wonder about the clinic’s timing, but better late than never, I suppose. Friends report other clinics in Philadelphia, the Children’s Hospital International Adoption Clinic in Oakland, California (Dr. Nancy Curtis), and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (Dr. Mary Staat).

That’s it for now.


Article on the idea of adoption, from a Latina point of view

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

 I rarely read articles about adoption that are written from the point of view of Latina women–not that they’re not out there, perhaps, but I rarely see them–which is why this essay in Being Latino Online Magazine by Nancy Sepulveda, Adoption or abandonment, caught my eye. Below is an excerpt, with interesting and informative links.

The Latino community often still frowns upon adoption, and fewer domestic Latinos are adopted annually. This disapproval seems less rooted in concern for the mother’s experience and more in the perception that it is evidence of a sinvergüenza: “what kind of woman could give up her own flesh and blood? No tiene corazon!” 

Moreover, the focus on familia and the belief that nobody could care for a baby (or a grown man) more than his madrecita is a cornerstone of Latino culture. Latinas are seen as nurturers, providers, makers of the home (even if she is not a homemaker). The reverence for the ultimate mother figure (the Virgen de Guadalupe) alone is testament to the value of maternity in Latinidad. So it’s not surprising that many Latinos might equate adoption with abandonment, and write off a birth mother as a woman who does not cherish the paramount values of family and sacrifice. 

But I would counter, that to give a child up for adoption is the ultimate unselfish sacrifice. It is more inconvenient, more indiscreet, and more painful than simply aborting an unwanted pregnancy (calm down, fellow Pro-Choicers; just making a comparison). 

A birth mother has recognized that she is not ready or able to provide the resources a baby requires, yet is not denying that baby its own future choices. She has committed to dealing with morning sickness, mood swings, back aches, exhaustion, frequent urination, swelling, stretch marks, and all the other joys pregnancy brings (not to mention the pain of childbirth). She’s done so, perhaps in the face of disapproval from relatives and friends, while navigating the awkwardness of well-meaning people peppering her with questions on name choices and nurseries, all without the eventual promise of a new miracle in her life to “make it all worth it.” 

She’s also not the woman with seven kids who neglects or abuses them all – or allows her novio to do so… 

No, adoption is not for everyone. Obviously it’s a big decision that requires careful consideration of many factors, and ultimately not everybody should choose it. But it’s time to stop the judgment and denigration, and re-examine the assumptions we make about those who do.

I appreciate Sepulveda’s point of view, and her call to stop judgment and denigration of women who choose adoption as a personal decision right for them.


Talking About Adoption

Friday, May 14th, 2010

As an adoptive parent, I’ve heard a statistic that for every one time my child mentions the subject of adoption, he or she is thinking about it ten times more. I view “adoption talk” as an iceberg: a huge mass under water that is unseen; the actual discussion is merely the tip. 

My children seem to think about adoption in waves. Days will go by with no questions or comments, and then suddenly, adoption will be all they want to discuss. That’s been the case this week. On Monday, Olivia announced: “I need extra copies of my First Holy Communion photos so I can give them to people in Guatemala.” I assured her that would not be a problem. On Wednesday, Mateo said, “When I lived with my old mother, I had a hamster.” He usually calls his birth mother by name, so I was surprised to hear him say “old mother.” Finally, last night as she was brushing her teeth, Olivia said, “I’m really supposed to speak Spanish. Everyone who lives in Guatemala speaks Spanish and that’s where I’m from.”  (more…)