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September 15, 2013 permalink
In a five-part series Reuters exposes a previously hidden side of adoption — a practice known as re-homing. Families exasperated by adoptive children find new parents through internet boards, then hand over with private custody documents or powers of attorney. No social services agencies are involved in the transfer.
The articles focus on one re-homing mother, Nicole Eason, also known by her screen name Big Momma. Together with her husband Calvin Eason or her temporary partner Randy Winslow she was the recipient of all but one of the re-homed children in the series. The children were placed in decrepit accommodation and used as sex-toys. There is no statistical information in the series, so we don't learn whether Eason is a one-of-a-kind rogue parent, or whether child abuse is widespread after re-homing. One story gives a reason why parents resort to the internet to find a new family: a previous bad experience with social services.
Sad to say, the series looks like the start of a new power-grab by social services. In many places it suggests strengthening laws and more oversight by social services. One suggestion never made is to leave more children with their real families. None of the families placing children for re-homing were the natural parents or relatives.
Addendum: Russia sticks up for its children adopted in the US.
Russia Slams US For Poor Protection of Children’s Rights
MOSCOW, September 14 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Foreign Ministry has sharply criticized the US authorities for lacking efforts to protect the rights of foreign-born children adopted by US foster parents, including at least 26 adoptees from Russia.
Reuters reported earlier this week that some US foster parents, who regretted adopting children from abroad, were using social networks to find new homes for their adoptees in a practice known as “private re-homing.”
The practice involves informal custody transfers to bypass the monitoring by child welfare officials and exposes enormous potential for abuse and exploitation of the adopted children, an 18-month investigation by Reuters reporters concluded.
“We are calling on the US authorities to pay close attention to this information and conduct an appropriate investigation into the facts of gross violation of children's rights that have been uncovered,” the ministry’s point man for human rights, Konstantin Dolgov, said in a statement Friday.
“We believe that the matter is not about individual cases but a serious systemic problem showing that children's rights in the US are not protected properly,” Dolgov said.
The Russian official also urged authorized US official bodies to clarify the fate of 26 Russian children “who have fallen victim to the US Internet-exchange of adoptees.”
The instances of American families allegedly abusing their adopted Russian children have strained relations between the two countries and, in part, prompted Russia to adopt the so-called Dima Yakovlev Law – a broad legislative act targeting US officials suspected of human rights violations but also banning all adoptions of Russian children by US citizens.
Source: RIA Novosti
... as does China.
China adoption agency furious over 'child exchange' report
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's adoption agency said it was "very shocked and furious" about the findings in a Reuters report that exposed how U.S. parents use the Internet to abandon unwanted children they have adopted from abroad, including China.
A five-part Reuters investigation published this month found
parents used message boards and forums on Yahoo and Facebook to send their unwanted children to virtual strangers with little or no government scrutiny, sometimes illegally.
"As to the report that refers to American families who are using the Internet to relocate children they have adopted and aren't willing to continue raising, we are very shocked and furious," the state-backed China Centre for Children's Welfare and Adoption said in a faxed statement to Reuters late on Tuesday. The center was responding to a query from Reuters.
"This is an irresponsible act."
The Chinese adoption center, commissioned by the government to govern overseas adoptions, said it "attaches great importance" to the Reuters report.
The adoption agency said it is concerned about the lack of U.S. government regulation that was revealed in the series and will arrange to hold discussions with "relevant agencies" in the United States.
The adoption agency said it requires families who have adopted Chinese children to provide feedback six times a year in the first five years of adoption. It now plans to demand feedback until the child turns 18.
In the series called "The Child Exchange" Reuters analyzed 5,029 posts from a five-year period on a Yahoo message board. On average, a child was advertised on the site once a week in a practice called "re-homing". Most of the children ranged in age from 6 to 14 and had been adopted from countries such as Russia and China, Ethiopia and Ukraine.