“Are you anti-adoption?” This is the typical arrogant question played to discredit activists, and the lived experiences of the victims of adoption trafficking. It’s a loaded question to derail activism, as well as ignorant denial that adoption trafficking is real and currently occurring in the 21st century.
For the record, I’m anti unethical and forced adoptions. According to the Alabama Department of Human Resources, there are 6000 children in foster care now. Why take a loved, wanted, and well cared for baby when there are 6000 children in foster care in the state of Alabama alone? If liberals are the people all for human rights, why are they confusing and conflating ethical and necessary adoptions with unethical adoptions? Because acknowledging that there’s a huge difference between ethical and necessary adoptions via social services in response to abuse/neglect, and the unethical, forced adoptions occurring in the private adoption industry, doesn’t fit their agenda.
There should be another word for unethical adoptions, as the term itself doesn’t just allow for obfuscation but greatly understates this human rights violation. This is why adoption reform advocates and activists fighting human trafficking differentiate between ethical and unethical adoptions with the term adoption trafficking. Adoption trafficking is for-profit, and supports a 15 billion dollar industry in the United States alone. When money is exchanged and profit is made on the selling of a human being, that is the definition of human trafficking. These babies lose their genetic history and family identity. Think about the history of slavery in our country – African Americans lost their identity because of human trafficking – slavery.
Here’s a history lesson via governmental and investigative journalism links:
“Over 74 years, 10,000 women were put to work in de facto detention, mostly in laundries run by nuns. At least 988 of the women who were buried in laundry grounds are thought to have spent most of their lives inside the institutions.”
“The head of the Catholic Church in Britain has finally apologised to more than half a million women forced to give up their babies for adoption because they were unmarried mums. […] Most were overseen by voluntary organisations – the majority of which were religious and used social workers known as moral welfare officers. A law change in 1976 gave councils the main responsibility for handling adoptions.”
Australia’s .gov “Forced Adoptions History Project” remains the best example of a government acknowledging and addressing this human rights violation.
“This page provides an overview of forced adoption practices in Australia. It includes a summary of the findings of the Senate Inquiry Report, Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices, 2012, but is not exhaustive.”
- Daily Mail: ‘Babies were snatched away before their mothers had even held them’: Australian PM finally apologises for brutal adoption policy which forced single mothers to give up newborns to married couples Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2296838/Victims-Australias-forced-adoption-scandal-single-mothers-babies-married-couples-finally-offered-apology.
“The Australian government has finally apologised for the scandal of the forced adoptions that took place between the 1950s and the 1980s when hundreds of single mothers were made to give up their babies to married couples.”
“The head of the Catholic church in England and Wales has apologised for its part in the” hurt” caused to young unmarried women who say they were felt pressured into handing over their babies for adoption in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols acknowledged the “the grief and pain caused by the giving up of a child through adoption”, adding: “Sadly for unmarried mothers, adoption was considered to be in the best interests of the mother and child because of the associated stigma and the lack of support for lone parents.”
A documentary telling the stories of some of the women – who gave up an estimated half a million children during a period when the Catholic church, the Church of England and the Salvation Army ran “mother and baby homes” and adoption agencies in the UK – is to be broadcast on ITV on 9 November.”
- Indian Country Media Network: “Native Americans Expose the Adoption Era and Repair Its Devastation”
- BCC: “Native Americans recall era of forced adoptions”
Native Americans suffered the trafficking of their child from the 1800s into the 1970s. History repeats itself today with the international adoption market – second and third world countries are mined for children, primarily infants, to “adopt” out to wealthy westerners. Nations, such as Ethiopia, have banned foreign adoptions to protect children and their families.
“The Ethiopian parliament – House of People’s Representative (HPR) – has approved a law that bans foreign adoption.
The lawmaking chamber held that the law which previously allowed foreign adoptions – articles 193 and 194 of the amended family proclamation No. 213/2000 – had in part facilitated crimes against children.”
Some European nations are stepping up and taking responsibility for their citizens’ unwitting support of adoption trafficking.
“There have been several raids on supposed Nigerian baby factories since 2011, with more than 100 women discovered during such operations. Investigations by Nigeria’s anti-trafficking agency that year revealed that babies were being sold for up to $6,400 each.
Buyers tend to be couples who are unable to conceive, and boys typically fetch a much higher price than girls.
According to the EU, Nigeria is one of the biggest sources of people trafficked into Europe, where victims are often forced into prostitution.
Human trafficking is widespread in west Africa, where children are sometimes bought to work on plantations and in mines and factories, or as domestic help. Others are sold into sexual slavery or, less commonly, sacrificed in magic rituals.”
In the United States, Catholic Charities and the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints Family Services (Mormon), had their own maternity “homes” and religious “family services” that punished unwed mothers and seized their babies for righteous married couples. The evangelical adoption industry is the current market to procure a baby for conservatives and liberals, even LGBTs. Kathryn Joyce, author of The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption, exposes current international adoption trafficking further in her interview with Salon: “How the Christian Right perverts adoption”.
“The adoption picture in the U.S. is likely to change further in future years. Countries that have served as major sources of adoptable infants are undergoing changes in their natal and adoption policies. For example, China has loosened its “one-child” policy and Russia has banned foreign adoptions to parents from the U.S. International agreements aimed at reducing corruption and exploitation of impoverished families are having unintended consequences, such as cutting off adoptions from some countries and expanding the paperwork, delays, and bureaucratic hurdles that prospective parents must overcome.” The Institute for Family Studies
Adoption agencies – private agencies, not public services – front as pregnancy crisis centers today. These centers shame single mothers, colluding with willing families, and use coercive psychological warfare to break a mother into relinquishing her newborn to a more “worthy” couple, or even wealthy single adopter. Why would liberals deny, ignore, and even support this abuse of mother and child? Because it fits into their agenda.
In fact, in some ways, things haven’t changed at all. Young, single, and poor, mothers who were pressured into adoption during the Baby Scoop Era say that social workers asked them what they had to offer in comparison to the wealthy, married couples who wanted to adopt their children. If you look at the “Dear Birthmother” letters that agencies like Bethany Christian Services currently promote on their websites, you’ll see that the unfair competition continues to this day. Each letter is a collection of statements that make the prospective adopters sound like ideal candidates for parenthood, what with their stable incomes, expansive back yards, extended families, and empty nurseries. In the fifties, social workers made that comparison and said, “If you love your baby, you will let him go.” Today, adoption workers and crisis pregnancy counselors tell young women that adoption is “the loving option.” Despite Progress, Forced-Adoption Practices Persist Throughout the United States
Where do these pregnancy crisis centers and/or adoption agencies derive their modus operandi? Their methods of force, manipulation, and out-right baby snatching follow the guide lines, of Georgia Tann. And if you don’t know about Georgia Tann, you’ve missed a crucial piece of American history. She took babies from the poor and sold them to the wealthy, creating the myth that babies are “blank slates,” which is still used in adoption language today. Georgia Tann terrorized Tennessee. Her agents would steal older children off the streets and falsify records. Entire maternity wards would be emptied of newborns. From a background of privilege, she seized the babies of the poor and disenfranchised because she knew the poor had no recourse.*
Ironically, moderate conservatives and Christians acknowledge the wrongs committed in the past, as well as the present “Scarlet Letter” mentality used to shame and humiliate single mothers into believing they don’t deserve their own babies. Liberals, however, have much to gain from adoption trafficking. It fits the liberal narrative of “it takes a village,” as well as the notion members of the LGBTQ community are entitled to a family at any costs – even at the expense of the inherent human rights of mother and child. But mostly significantly, the majority of these mothers are pro-life women who want their babies. Here’s where I reiterate again that these are not Department of Human Resources or Child Protective Services cases. Adoption trafficking is a different issue entirely from Department of Human Resources or Child Protective Services cases. These women are not “druggies” or delinquents. They are pregnant women who walk into pregnancy crisis centers with the intent to seek health services, such as WIC and prenatal care.
Liberals are just as guilty of committing the false dichotomy between adoption and abortion. These are two very different issues. But liberals have newborns to gain in supporting the narrative that adoption is the “choice” pro-life women have made. They ignore the fact that it’s not a choice if it’s the only option. And that motherhood is the alternative to abortion – not adoption. These women are used because of their convictions, shamed and manipulated throughout their pregnancies to relinquish their babies. Often, they’re denied public services available, which is illegal. And they’re kept in financial dependency via private agencies, charities, maternity homes, even prospective adopters. The liberal sentiment eerily echoes that of the extreme evangelical – it’s a type of punishment for “choosing life.” Liberals have a “that’s what she gets” mentality when it comes to pro-life women and coercive, forced adoptions.
Liberal arguments are population control as well as poverty control. Echoing the modus operandi of Georgia Tann, the limousine liberal belief is that poverty is a reason to seize a baby from a single mother and/or an impoverished family. The liberal agenda of adoption trafficking also echoes the historical trafficking of American Indian children. Domestic adoption trafficking is easily hidden because it largely affects white communities, often rural and poor. And these are the very same people, lower middle class to dirt-poor white Americans, either trivialized or demonized by current liberals and liberalism at large.
Adoption has always been popular among the Hollywood elite, the supposed and self-proclaimed paragons of liberal values. Society applauded the kooky Angelina Jolie child collecting various children from different continents, yet condemns the single mother on Medicare and WIC. American “family values” okays single motherhood if it’s a wealthy woman of privilege and via adoption. Again, the methods of Georgia Tann’s rhetoric echoes from the mouths of celebrities who gush about their “saving” of a child from the lower classes. Tann’s clientele consisted of Hollywood celebrities buying children taken out of the American South. Not much has changed today, as “Adoption Rocks” – the infamous self-dealing agency at the center of America’s current adoption scandal – uses the same modus operandi: take babies of the poor and sell them to the rich.
Just like Calvinistic belief systems and out-dated conservative notions of the poor as being somehow morally deficit and deserving of their plight, current liberalism echoes similar jargon in regards to forced adoptions of the American poor, particularly in the American South and Midwest. Rich women don’t relinquish their babies. Poor women do: Michigan Family Review: “The Culture of Poverty and Adoption: Adoptive Parent Views of Birth Families”
“This study used data from 15 in-depth interviews to better understand how perceptions of birth families by White adoptive parents rely on and challenge cultural perspectives of poverty. Findings show the complexity of their views: even when adoptive parents recognize structural causes of poverty, they tend to rely on the idea that birth parent poverty results from inadequate choices made by individuals. Findings have implications for agency practice, relationships with birth families and adoptee identity.”
Women today are putting off child-bearing for many reasons. Economics, pursuit of higher education, and lack of maternity leave are the driving reasons women wait longer to have children, or remain childless. Ironically, these are the same reasons poor women suffer coercive adoptions. However, successful business women and/or wealthy women often choose, without any pressure, to put off childbearing until their 30s and 40s. When infertility is an issue, these women adopt. They may be single or married. But they have the economic means and social standing to afford adoption.
Why don’t infertile couples, the LGTBQ community, and wealthy women pursue ethical adoptions? Because they want a newborn. They want a perfect baby with no baggage to be molded into their ideal child. They’ve bought into Tann’s “blank slate” lie. However, genetics, DNA, biology, and nature show that babies are not blank slates to be programmed by the highest bigger. Infants are human beings who have an innate, in utero bond with their mothers. Epigenetics connects them to their families and ancestors. But everyone what’s a puppy. Everyone wants a kitten. And everyone wants a baby. Older foster care children in need of permanent, loving homes are forgotten by society for loved and wanted babies are taken from loving, caring mothers.
The Institute for Family Studies says it in an accessible tone for the easily offended liberal: “But there are still many children right here in the U.S., such as those in the foster-care system, who might benefit from adoption and are currently being left out of the process. And there are certainly ways in which adoption practices could be improved to better inform and prepare prospective parents to make a lifelong commitment to a child in need of a loving and stable family.”
*Sources on Georgia Tann:
“Tann was a pied piper without scruple; she was the mastermind behind a black market for white babies (especially blond, blue-eyed ones) that terrorized poor Southern families for almost three decades. It’s estimated that over 5,000 children were stolen by Tann and the society between 1924 and 1950 and that some 500 died at the society’s hands as a result of poor care, disease and, it is suspected, abuse.
Particularly vulnerable were newborns. In 1945 alone, as many as 50 children perished in a dysentery outbreak. The precise figure, like so many terrible details about the society, is not known.
Tann had various means of procuring babies and children for her wealthy customers. She bribed nurses and doctors in birthing wards, who would then tell new parents that their babies had been stillborn.
Working as a field agent for the Mississippi Children’s Home-Finding Society in Jackson, she may have gotten a taste for the power that she would later wield over so many families. She began placing poor children in adoptive homes, without the consent of both birth parents.
Child welfare laws weren’t as strict as they are today, allowing Tann to wheel and deal in her role. But Tann was not careful with her work, nor with covering up her trail, and at least one birth parent sued for return of her children.
It seemed Mississippi was not the right market for a baby-resale business. Judge Tann had connections in Memphis, and after a brief foray in Texas, his daughter moved there to work for the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in 1924.
Soon after, she launched her adoption racket. To drum up business, Tann placed advertisements aimed at potential adoptive parents in newspapers.
One featured a photo of smiling, towheaded infants with the caption, “Want a Real, Live Christmas Present?” As if children were dolls or puppies.
Tann’s most useful co-conspirator was Camille Kelley, a juvenile court judge in the city. Like Tann, Kelley pretended to act in the best interests of children. With the stroke of a pen, Kelley would remove parental rights and transfer them to Tann, clearing a path for adoption.
Tann was essentially waging class war. She held to the belief that there were two kinds of people: the poor, whom she viewed as incompetent parents, and the wealthy. She fattened her own coffers in the process.
The big money came from interstate adoptions, especially to New York and LA, for which the agency would charge as much as $5,000. Most of that fee was pocketed by Tann, who was given to traveling in chauffeured Packards.
Among the Tennessee Children’s Home Society’s clientele was that paragon of maternal love Joan Crawford, who adopted her twin daughters, Cathy and Cynthia, through the organization in 1947. Mid-century Hollywood power couple June Allyson and Dick Powell used the agency to adopt their daughter, Pamela. Lana Turner, Pearl S. Buck and New York Gov. Herbert Lehman were also clients. And future pro wrestler Ric Flair was among Tann’s abductees.”
“You could never sell the story of Georgia Tann as fiction. Imagine trying to peddle a novel about a butch lesbian—in Depression-era Memphis, of all places—with a taste for fine cars and fancy houses, who makes a fortune stealing children from poor folks and selling them to anyone anywhere with sufficient cash. This she-devil is assisted by dozens of accomplices, including a crooked judge and the most powerful politician in the state. She’s also a pedophile, molesting the little ones before putting them up for sale. She operates virtually unhindered from 1924-1950, then conveniently dies just as she’s about to be exposed.”