It Is Always Rigged

Money drives adoption and the poor are unsupported.  I believe society should fully support mothers until the children reach maturity so that they have the means to raise them.  Too often mothers lose custody of their children for no other reason than poverty.

The adoption laws are skewed to support adoptive parents – because they have the money.  The laws are skewed to support the industry – agencies, social workers and lawyers – because they are profiting from it.  No one seems to truly care about the child or the child’s original mother.  This is just so very wrong and contributes to damaged individuals that become a burden, though not intending to, upon society.

American domestic infant and international adoption has become privatized and entrepreneurial. Only adoption from foster care remains in the hands of the state and unfortunately represents its own set of failures, abuses and funding driven corruption.

The difference between for- and not-for-profit adoption agencies is merely a tax status, though the later gives an illusion of a charitable organization. Coupled with warm, fuzzy, cutesy names that tug at the heartstrings, clients are deluded into a false sense of propriety, oversight and security. The fact is that both types of agencies are commercial businesses that rely on the fees of a completed transaction to pay their overhead and salaries which is less glamorous and far less altruistic than the public perception of adoption. All vetting and home studies are paid for by the clients seeking a child. Basically, anyone who can afford the fees, which average about $40,000, can adopt, including pedophiles and abusers of all kinds. Pay the fee and get the goods. It’s a supply and demand business in a mega-billion dollar a year industry.

In addition to businesses that fill a demand for children to adopt, there is also the Do-It-Yourself type of adoption that is legally permitted in the U.S. Those seeking to find an infant to adopt, as well as anyone seeking to place a child for adoption, can find one another through newspaper advertisements, and online via Craig’s List or social media such as Facebook, and have their attorney handle necessary filings to make the adoption legal. Just like a “For Sale by Owner” house listing, middlemen “finder” fees are avoided by the DIY method. But, so too are any protections and any professional advice said fees may offer.

In either case – on your own or with the assistance of an adoption agency – the process winds up resulting in prospective couples matched with expectant mothers which, opens the door to unhealthy, unequal relationships.

The Influence Of Money

I am enough of a realist to know that the influence of money is not going away anytime soon.  Even so, in adoption, I believe it can be a corrupting factor.

Had it not been for cooking the books and overcharging the prospective adoptive parents, Georgia Tann’s crimes may never have been discovered.  When someone is making a lot of money off of an altruistic effort, it attracts attention.  It also buys protection as in the case of Tann and the Boss Crump political machinery in Memphis Tennessee.

I do believe that my dad’s parents probably paid less for him at The Salvation Army than my mom’s parents paid for her through Georgia Tann.  The Tennessee Children’s Home Society was careful not to document the money that was changing hands or was at least doing so in a very hidden way.  There is no doubt in my mind their eagerness to go looking for yet another baby after my grandparents had already adopted two must be an indication of a monetary motive.

In a novel I finished reading yesterday, there grew an awareness that the Catholic Church was making money selling babies.  I’ve no doubt that it is likely the truth.  Adoption is a kind of human trafficking that has the approval of society in general.  Who can object to people wanting to give unfortunate children a good home ?

But society has no interest to providing enough support for mothers to keep and raise their babies.  Something is terribly rotten in such a system of priorities.  The reason adoption records have remained sealed in most states in the US for so long is for the protection of the people who have the money – the adoptive parents.  Agencies, lawyers and social workers as well as the courts are all making money by taking the product of unfortunate young women and delivering babies to those who can afford to pay.

It was not lost on me in the recent NY Times article that the two men in a stable marriage who adopted out of Foster Care not only had no out of pocket expenses directly related to that but received subsidies for doing so.  This is where money actually helped the situation.

 

What It Costs

A few days ago, the New York Times had an article titled What I Spent To Adopt My Child.  Sharing some statistics, facts and excerpts today.

Each adoption process shares the same ultimate purpose: to unite children who need families with those that want children. Yet, despite this common goal, the price tag of adoption in the United States varies widely.

The cost depends on what path you choose: If adopting through the public foster care system, your total out-of-pocket expenses can be next to nothing. If you hope to adopt a newborn, however, the cost can reach $45,000 or sometimes higher if you’re adopting from outside the country.

There are two main paths to adopt an infant in the United States: through a lawyer, often referred to as an “independent adoption,” or through an agency. An independent adoption can cost $15,000 to $40,000.  My youngest sister chose through a lawyer.  Some of her living and medical expenses were covered by the adoptive parents.  Prospective parents are responsible for finding a birth mother.  My sister received several packets from hopeful adoptive parents and shared them with me for my own impressions about her choice.  Her choice was always her own and she always knew she was going to surrender her baby from early on in her pregnancy.

My other sister’s surrender went through an agency.  When adopting through an agency, costs can vary by state, ranging from $20,000 to $45,000.  The cost covers organizational, legal and medical expenses. And all agencies operate differently.  It is up to the prospective parents to carefully review what is and is not covered in their rate prior to signing with any agency.

One same sex male couple in this article who adopted a 9 year boy out of Foster Care comes the closest to one of the better outcomes.  Older children in Foster Care need loving and stable homes more than most of the infant adoptions (which are primarily due to financially unsupported mothers).  This couple recently celebrated 14 years of marriage.  Seems stable enough to me.  One of the partners in this relationship is an adult adoptee.  When asked to total the out-of-pocket expenses this couple allocated toward their adoption, one said, “At the risk of sounding glib — gas money. Otherwise, nothing. No processing fees, or surprise $1,000 bills here and there, and that’s very typical of the foster care experience.”

You can search the NY Times for this article.  I’ll even give you the link – What I Spent To Adopt My Child.