Streams

The Baby Trade

Thursday, January 15, 2009

We investigate the problem of worldwide baby-trading, and its connection with international adoption networks. E.J. Graff is associate director and senior researcher at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, and spent a year investigating baby-trading.

Guests:

E.J. Graff

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Comments [15]

Neva

Prior to starting our adoption process we did our homework in selecting our agency (Hague approved) and the country of origin of our children. We are in the still in the process and know that the Russian government does not even ALLOW agency representatives to be involved in the referral process. Thus it is NOT a BABY-TRADE! Ms. Graff's comments are an over simplification of a a very complex situation. We are making an educated decision to add to our family.

Feb. 03 2009 11:38 AM
Barry

Let's be careful here... Much of the information on corruption in IA must come from our own government, namely USCIS and the Department of State. Let's be honest: neither has a core interest in social work. Their involvement extends only to: ensure only (legally-defined) orphans get orphan visas. If a diplomatic goal conflicts with this little responsibility, which is going to prevail? Surely, corruption exists and our government can report it. But through what lens and how often with what agenda? Zero tolerance has no place in setting social policy.

Feb. 02 2009 01:07 PM
Gisela Fosado from New York City


I see the website got cut off. Here is an abbreviated page where you can see all of our events:

http://www.barnard.edu/bcrw/

Jan. 21 2009 03:06 PM
Gisela Fosado from New York City


We're hosting an event at Barnard College in New York City that will focus on new reproductive technologies and transnational adoption. It should be informative and we welcome all to join the conversation. Here is the website where you can find more information on how to register:

http://www.barnard.edu/bcrw/scholarandfeminist/2009/index.htm

Jan. 21 2009 03:04 PM
K from Connecticut

I am am other of two from overseas. I listened to Ms. Graff's interview and went to the website for the data she had said was there. I was disappointed because the material available has been widely known (in our children's birth country) for awhile. I was further disappointed because the stats that they were using are not what I know currently to be true. I have grave questions about the validity of one of our adoptions and had hoped fro some more data from the Brandeis reports. Ms. Graff spoke so condemningly but with little to back it up referring the listeners to the website. I wish the whole thing had more teeth and less sensational tones. I would love to participate in a hard hitting conversation about this topic. No one, not most adopters, wants to buy a baby or participate in something so awful. Lenny, do a show that has teeth and a path where we can work to make this industry right!!!!

Jan. 16 2009 07:34 PM
Jessica

AS the parent of a Guatemalan adopted daughter, I am very concerned that the impression your guest left was that all/most international adoptions are corrupt. While it is clear that there are unscrupulous, corrupt practices in SOME adoptions, the majority of adoptions are legitimate, humane, and in the best interest of both bioligical mother and child. Being orphaned is not the only legitimate situation where adoption is appropriate. Should not unwed, teen mothers in poor countries have the CHOICE to give their child up for adoption as is the case in this country? Our daughter's biological mother was a 17 year old unwed migrant worker who had no means of caring for an infant. She was deposed in a court of law and given the option to meet us. In fact, in a third of the guatemalan adoptions facilitated by our agency, the adoptive parents meet the biological mother! This hardly seems like "coercion" to me. Are many people "coerced" into giving children up for adoption because of poverty, youth, societal pressures (stigma of beina an unwed mother)? of course... but until these problems are solved, there is an absolute need for adoption.

Jan. 15 2009 01:27 PM
Brett Carneiro from Manhattan

jgarbuz from Queens - clearly has zero understanding of adoption, domestic or international. I am going to refrain from saying anything more on his/her comment, but am furious with what you 'think' adoption is.

Jan. 15 2009 01:01 PM
Ania

We have many adopted kids in our small catholic school. I know its great to adopt a child and to help and love them as your own, but when I see this boy from Peru who is not very smart and will –probably – never go to college. Who knows he could be happier in a Peruvian village... Or this boy from Africa who has ADHD and now is the only child of rich old and working full time parents and in school for 9-10 hours every day. Who knows...

Jan. 15 2009 12:48 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I've always been opposed to adoption in principle, except in the case of true orphans (no living parents) or in the case where children are seriously, criminally abused.
What the US needs is more of its own domestically produced children, not imports or "outsourced" children, and to have that, we need some serious industrial policy that gives businesses and families incentives that would allow mothers to stay out of the work force a year or two without penalty when they seek to get back in. A "motherhood leave of absence" should be considered a national good, just like being in the military reserves, and a national security need. Those "professional women" who feel they have no time for children, and then frantically seek out children from abroad when they start to feel their "biological clock" getting late in the day, should not have any excuses if a "motherhood leave of absence" was national policy. Women are now an integral and necessary part of the work force, and their special needs have to be taken into account, as well as the need to produce our own children right here at home. And the feelings of poor parents abroad who had to "sell" their children just to survive is a factor that should be more widely understood and appreciated.

Jan. 15 2009 12:45 PM
Kim from Morristown NJ

Can you please address corruption as it relates to Kazakhstan adoption? Kaz is rarely mentioned outside of the community except for those who have adopted there as being subject to corruption - but we all know it is. My two boys are adopted from Kaz - like Dan's previous comment, Kaz babies usually reside in baby houses - does the author consider this type of placement objectionable?

Jan. 15 2009 12:32 PM
Mirca from Miami

How about "adoptions" for harvesting organs?

Jan. 15 2009 12:31 PM
Brett Carneiro from Manhattan

What about the "orphanages" or places that call themselves "orphanages" that really do not take care of babies and young children properly, can anything be done about these places? I know that might be a reason why some people choose to go another route when looking for a baby to adopt. I know there are government run "orphanages" (specifically in Latin America)where babies are kept in large wards and really are not played with/cared for or exposed to 'human touch' and as a result when potential parents come to visit them, the children appear - for lack of a better word -disabled. Is there any sort of international adoption organization that can monitor these conditions?

Jan. 15 2009 12:30 PM
emilyahn from brooklyn

this woman seems quite clueless and providing 'no opinions' and all of these silly disclaimers rather than something really interesting and investigative... as a journalist, hasn't she spoken to people about being involved in 'baby-trading' - can she give more examples of things that have happened [in a non scatter brain way]? i think its apparent she's only spent only one year investigating baby-trading...

Jan. 15 2009 12:22 PM
BRIAN

LEONARD'S ASSERTION THAT THE CHINESE VALUE GIRLS LESS THAN BOYS IS FALSE AND A GROSS, DAMAGING, OVERSIMPLIFICATION. I REFER YOU TO KAY ANN JOHNSON'S BOOK, "WANTING A DAUGHTER, NEEDING A SON." IT IS A MUCH MORE COMPLICATED SITUATION THAT HAS MUCH TO DO WITH A CULTURAL TRADITION OF DAUGHTERS GOING OFF TO TAKE CARE OF A HUSBAND'S AGING PARENTS, LEAVING HER OWN PARENTS TO BE SUPPORTED BY A SON; THE LACK OF ANY EQUIVALENT TO A SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM FOR THE ELDERLY, COMBINED WITH THE ONE-CHILD POLICY. INVESTIGATE FURTHER BEFORE ANY MORE GLIB COMMENTS.

Jan. 15 2009 12:21 PM
Dan

Many Russian-born children (including mine) are adopted directly from baby homes (i.e. orphanges) where they have lived for years. I have visited several of these dismal institutions. Does that speaker object to adopting these children too?

Jan. 15 2009 12:20 PM

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