Tuesday, February 20, 2007

China Adoption - Editorial from Tennessee Writer

Thank you to Karen, Shannon, Jeff, Kris, Jennifer, Lisa, Bob, Claire, Cheri: all from the Yahoo group: “Adoptive Parents China”

Tennessee, Campbell County: The local newspaper printed, LaFollette Press, published an article in its editorial section. It was offensive to anyone involved in any/all functions relating to adoption. Title of article
“BIG BABY GIRL SALE - ONLY $17,000! - Jim Dossett”.

LaFollette Press is owned by Landmark Communications. Publisher: Linn Hudson: lhudson@lafollettep ress.com
News Contacts: Susan Sharp: sharp@lafollettepre ss.com
Jason Davis: jason@lafollettepre ss.com
Jennifer Caldwell: caldwell@lafollette press.com
News Email: stories@lafollettep ress.com

Here are a few of the responses submitted. I like their energy to pursue correcting a wrong and doing it with the facts. I have shortened most of these responses so that the facts will come through about Chinese International adoptions.

Dear Editor
I just read the article about Chinese adoption. To say I'm offended is just the beginning. The facts are incorrect about costs associated with adoption, a large portion of what we pay actually stays in the US; Federal government, state government, social workers, etc
Why don't you spend your precious newsprint on articles about adoption, international and domestic? Did you know that China is one of the only countries that allows special needs adoptions. That the adoption community has created many organizations that return to China with medical teams to correct a variety of birth defects and provide for the needs of those left behind. Maybe you could use the space to tell people about the Adoption Tax credit, that is almost $11,000 per adoption. That would make your so called $17,000 bargain baby only $6,000!!!!!!

How many children are available for adoption in your county? Not in Foster Care, but actually available? The numbers might just surprise you.
I'm signing off now…have to take my slightly used 4 year old to play soccer….

To Whom it May Concern:
I am appalled at the article that was "written" about adopting from China. I was actually informed about this article by another adoptive parent in your area. As I was reading this article, I became aware of one thing.. My daughter Lillian will have to deal with very inaccurate, demeaning remarks because so many "journalists" don't do the research required to educate others about adoption, specifically Chinese adoption.

China is not selling their children, they are placing them with loving, capable, forever families. If, the writer, and I use this term loosely, of this article knew anything about Chinese adoption, he would also know that most of the fees incurred for any prospective parent are incurred here in the United States. The only fees paid in China are about $4450.

So far, my husband and I have paid our government, yep, our government, almost $11000. The only expenses we have left are the $4450 in China, our plane tickets, and hotels while traveling in just a few short weeks.

The Chinese culture is a several thousand year old culture that is steeped in beliefs that we will never understand. People must understand that women in China do not have the same rights that American women have. They are highly pressured to have boy children, because most families are farmers. They desire a boy, so that there is a strong back to work in the field, and to aid in caring for his parents. The Chinese do not have a Social Security System like we do here, so generally, men take care of their families, whereas girls take care of their in-laws.

Also, in 1979, the Communist Party put a one child policy into place. When a family has more than one child, they can be fined a year's salary. This is one reason for abandonment’s. Yes, quite a few of them are girls, however, there are many boys in SWIs as well. There are many books available to the public about Chinese adoption.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son ( Abandonment, Adoption, and Orphanage care in China) by Kay Ann Johnson.
The Waiting Child by Cindy Campanella.
Daughter from Afar (not sure of the author).

There are so many resources available to people if they wish to understand the Chinese culture, as well as adoption, whether domestic or international.

I implore you to further your education about adoption and especially correct adoption language before printing something as vile as " Big Baby Sale in China" or " Chinese children for the low price of $17000" again. Not only is that offensive language, but it brings about a lot of heartache on the part of the child that has been adopted. People read things like that and make cruel comments to the adopted child. I humbly suggest that you rewrite a more comprehensive article about adoption from China. I am sorry that this is so long, but I really felt the need to advocate for my daughter Lillian and all the adopted children and their parents.
Sincerely, Claire

Sir or Madam:
I just read your "editorial" regarding Chinese adoption. I don't think I've ever read anything as ignorant as this is a long time. You obviously have no idea of what people who adopt, domestically or internationally, have to go through to bring a child home.

We adopted our daughter fro China almost 10 years ago. This was after exhausting all the possibilities of domestic adoption here in Orange County, CA. At that time, Orange County did not allow trans-racial or
trans-ethnic adoption. We were told that it would be "three to five years" to adopt a white baby. Private adoption was even more of a crap shoot. One couple we met during our process had just spent $20,000 plus only to have the birth mother change her mind in the delivery room.

We brought our daughter home in October 1997. She is truly a blessing.
As for the money, it can cost more to go through a lawyer and adopt domestically than we spent to go to China. And what does it cost to have a baby in a hospital? Most couples never know, because insurance covers most, if not all, of the costs.

China is a sovereign nation. Just as domestic adoption agencies have rules and requirements, so does the Chinese government. If they want to changes these from time to time, they have every right to do so. One reason might be that they are just now realizing that there will be a tremendous imbalance in the male to female ratio if adoption continues unabated. Also, the PRC is now allowing Chinese citizens to adopt these children.
Jeff King

Dear Editor,
I am writing in response to your article entitled: "Big Baby Girl Sale-Only $17,000!" I cannot begin to tell you how ignorant this article was, not to mention how incredibly offensive it was. I am not in the process of purchasing a "certified pre-owned girl child" with some "scratches and dents" as suggested by your writer. That statement is hateful and destructive. Imagine how an adoptive child would feel to read this. As a hopeful adoptive parent I am beside myself.

There are so many totally ignorant comments I am at a loss as to whether I should mention all of them. The term "baby brokers" for instance is ridiculous. The men and women who devote themselves to adoption work help these children to get out of orphanages world wide and into loving homes. Why is it necessary to label them in such hurtful terms?

The writer suggests that we have no idea where the money ends up, when in all actuality we are all given very clear accounting of what we are being charged and what the money is for. By the way, most of it covers costs within THIS country (USA) and not China. This is yet another very easy to discover fact that your writer didn't bother to look into. I guess it's more exciting to suggest that something sleazy is going on.

As for the little ones that aren't healthy, we don't have to wonder what happens to them, as suggested by your writer, China has a very active "special needs" program that helps these children to have necessary surgical procedures, they are well attended to by medical workers, their situations are followed closely and well documents and China works with agencies world wide to find loving homes for these children, where their need will be met.

Your writer has also mentioned some of the new restrictions relating to who will be allowed to adopt from China. If he had done his research he would realize that ALL countries have restrictions. China has changed their requirements to try to control the number of applications that come in. Some countries choose not to do this and maintain lists of waiting families that span three years or longer in terms of wait time. The truth is many people feel hurt by these changes as they are no longer eligible, but most admit that they understand the intention behind the changes.
Suffice it to say, you will likely be hearing from many of us. The next time you choose to print an article perhaps it would behoove you to do what an editor does and insure it is print-worthy.
Good Luck making good on this one. Cheri


Wendy said...

It looks like a disgusting article! I can't believe the nerve of some people. I am glad to read that so many people sent in their thoughts. Hopefully he will change his line of thinking!!

On another note...Happy Chinese New Year!

Johnny said...

Sigh. I'd like to know if they ate any crow. But, I'm sure they got attention, which I think most newspapers need to say in biz.

Thanks for letting us know.

(I knew when you were listing paper ownership at the beginning of the blog that you must be steamed!)

The Piller's said...

Hey guys! I'm in Knoxville, not very far from Campbell County. So sad and embarrassing! It's such a shame that people continue to perpetuate such crazy stereotypes and miss out on an opportunity to educate people properly--they end up miseducating!!
I know that this whirlwind began when a couple from Campbell County first posted the article on our FCC group. It sure has spread like wildfire and rightly so! I bet they didn't know and probably still don't know what hit them--the China adoption community sure can make some noise! Thanks for posting this on your site to properly educate people who might want to know more about China adoption!!

rubyiscoming said...

OUTRAGEOUS!! Thanks for posting this - I had no idea this was going on in the APC world.

What a moron!! Thanks for posting :)

sarah said...

I also live in Knoxville (we own property and have relatives that live in Campbell County though). I was absolutely infuriated that the LaFollette Press would publish such complete rubbish!! I contacted all involved by e-mail as well. I make no excuses for them publishing such an offensive 'opinion' piece and I feel quite sure they were surprised at the size and speed of the reaction to it - and rightly so!

Not to mention it's exasperating to think you live around such fools (people with such offensive and ignorant 'opinions' ).

Journey to Mia Lin said...

Oh good grief. The nerve of some people!

Tom, Wendy and Andrew said...

Some people will say that the "OP/ED" pages are what sell a newspaper. This guy sure knows how to fire up the masses. I wonder if we can get his email address and send him some FACTS for his next piece. some of his comments are bordering on racism in my opinion.

Lee-Anne said...

I saw this on another blog, read the first paragraph, and that was enough for me. Yes, reacial/adoption ignorance is rife...everywhere. I hate it. I refuse to read their hateful words. I understand that articles like this are spread around, so that people such as ourselves can challenge the writers. I'm not a challenger. But more power to those who have the guts to challenge!
Its shocking and disgusting, such views. I truly hope, our children don't have to encounter such ill-advised crap.