When adoption doesn’t work

Letters

When an Adoption Doesn’t Work Out

November 28, 2013 (new York Times)

To the Editor:

Kim Ryu

Re “When Children Are Traded,” by Nicholas D. Kristof (column, Nov. 21):

The phenomenon of “private re-homing” of adopted children is recognized by adoption professionals as abusive, illegal and antithetical to the safety and well-being of adopted children.

Adoption agencies strive to increase supports available to struggling families who cannot manage their children’s needs. Mr. Kristof asserts that there are more extensive regulations for the disposal of plastic bottles than the safety of children, but one of the key adoption services that agencies accredited under the Hague Adoption Convention must provide is care for a child in the event of an adoption disruption.

These internationally adopted children are now Americans or are legal permanent residents. Adoption agencies can do more to protect children — and are continuously striving to ensure that all children have a safe, loving, permanent home.

MIA DIAMOND PADWA
Port Chester, N.Y., Nov. 21, 2013

The writer is director of Adoption and Children’s Services for Family Services of Westchester.

To the Editor:

Our office has been looking at how to effectively represent young people in “broken adoptions.” Adoptions “break” for a variety of reasons: because the adoptive parent has died, because another adult has filed for guardianship, because of abuse or neglect by an adoptive parent or because the adoptive parent has placed the child back in foster care.

We are troubled by Nicholas D. Kristof’s casual statement that domestically adopted children can simply “go into the foster care system.” Adoption is supposed to be a “permanent” and “forever” home; a child adopted out of foster care is never supposed to return to the system.

No one tracks the number of children who, five or 10 years after an adoption, are back in family court, back in their birth parents’ home or even back in foster care. All of these situations are extremely common, as experienced family court attorneys can attest.

Reuters’s “re-homing” series and Mr. Kristof’s article both bring important attention to the desperate need for post-adoption services. Yet these articles give the impression that the problem primarily involves international adoptees and underprepared parents. The problem runs deeper.

All stakeholders need to acknowledge the troubling frequency of broken adoptions and discuss the policy changes that might provide more children with a true “forever home.”

DAWN J. POST
SARAH McCARTHY
Brooklyn, Nov. 22, 2013

The writers are attorneys with the Children’s Law Center.

To the Editor:

We salute Nicholas D. Kristof’s understanding that a basic American failing is “inadequate child services.” Families with desperately troubled children have nowhere to go. Families formed through international adoption make up a tiny subset of this tragic population.

And the number of troubled internationally adopted children is far lower than his column suggests. The Reuters extrapolation of 24,000 foreign-born children no longer residing with their original adopting family applies rates of domestic adoption disruption to an international adoptee population that has historically displayed a dramatically different profile.

Failed adoptions are directly correlated with adoptee age and medical-psychosocial condition. Until recently the population of international adoptees consisted mostly of very young children. For example, before 2007 few adoptees from China were older than 2 at adoption or had identified special needs.

Whatever the numbers, today’s internationally adopted child, who more frequently is older and has medical and other special needs, deserves adequate support services, as do all children.

DIANE B. KUNZ
ANN N. REESE
Rye, N.Y., Nov. 21, 2013

The writers are executive directors of the Center for Adoption Policy.

My thoughts: These writers are in the billion dollar adoption cartel – do they know how many adoptees have been dumped somewhere or killed? They don’t. No one could track a child that has been “rehomed” or given to new adopters (strangers)- it is illegal – they would not tell anyone in authority. The idea this happens is revolting enough, but to think of the pedophiles who are doing this adopting – that sickens me. End adoption – period!

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