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31/05/2009

La récession aux Etats-Unis conduit à une augmentation d'offre de nourrissons.

renee siegfort.jpgStruggling families look at adoption.
Recession adoptions: Economy forces some women to give up babies




MARENGO, Ill. — Renee Siegfort broke the news to her three teenagers on Mother's Day last year: She was pregnant.

She really wanted the baby. Her kids did, too. Her on-again, off-again boyfriend of three years did not.

"I talked to God a lot, asking what does this mean. What am I supposed to do?" she recalls. She was working long hours as an office manager at a chiropractic firm and just making ends meet. She would need to take on a new expense: child care.

"We live simply," says Renee, 36, looking around the living room of her three-bedroom town home. "There wasn't much more we could simplify in our lives." As much as she wanted the baby, she says, "I didn't want to hurt my children."

So after giving birth Dec. 30, she nursed Josephine Olivia Renee for six days. She then did something she would not have imagined nine months earlier: She gave her child to another family.

Renee says placing Joie (pronounced "Joey") for adoption was the most difficult thing she's ever done, but she has no regrets.

"I've never been more at peace in my life," she says. "Joie deserved better."

As parents struggle to raise children in a weak economy, a half-dozen large adoption agencies are reporting that more women with unplanned pregnancies are considering placing their babies for adoption rather than keeping them.

Many of these women are in their 20s and already have at least one child, says Joan Jaeger of The Cradle, the Chicago-area agency that placed Joie. She says 30% more women are inquiring about placing a child for adoption than a year ago.

"The economy has made them take a second look at adoption," says Scott Mars of American Adoptions, a private agency in Overland Park, Kan. In the past year, he's seen a 10% to 12% increase in women inquiring about placing a child for adoption and a 7% to 10% increase in actual placements, as strong demand for healthy infants continues to outstrip the supply.

"We've seen a dramatic increase in girls calling us from the hospital," says Joseph Sica of Adoption By Shepherd Care, an agency in Hollywood, Fla. He says they expect to get help to raise their children, so they wait, but after they give birth and no help arrives, they call. He had 14 such adoptions in 2008, up from 11 in 2007 and four in 2006.

"Finances are one of the major reasons women feel compelled to place their children for adoption," says Adam Pertman of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a research group.

Finances are also prompting more women to question pregnancy and to inquire about abortion. One in 10 married women say they are delaying pregnancy because of the economy, according to a Gallup Organization survey this month.

"Our phones are ringing off the hook," says Vicki Saporta of the National Abortion Federation, which represents abortion providers. She says calls to her group's hotline have nearly tripled in the past year, many from women whose families have lost jobs.

Renee says she's "pro-choice" but didn't choose abortion because she felt better about adoption, especially after finding Meredith and Ryan Sheriff. The first time she met the adoptive parents, they talked for four hours." It just felt right."

Their rapport is obvious as they meet at a Starbucks a week before Mother's Day, hugging and chatting like old friends. Renee brings flowers and cards. She holds Joie with one arm and gently touches Meredith's hand with the other. Their mothers have come along, too.

Sharon Smietanski says she's grateful to Renee for bringing joy back to her daughter Meredith's life. A year ago, she says, Meredith was in despair because she had lost a child, stillborn at 39 weeks of pregnancy. She calls the adoption the "most unselfish act any woman can do."



Renee's busy world

On a Friday evening in Renee's town 70 miles northwest of Chicago, Katelyn, 13, answers the door. Calvin, 18, is playing guitar and hanging out with a friend. Brittany, 17, is chatting at the kitchen table. In the corner are two boxes of diapers for Joie, and on the refrigerator are pictures of Joie and the teens.

"At first the adoption was kind of weird. Why don't we just keep her," says Brittany, a junior who plans on college. She says they talked about what to do. "Now it seems like a normal thing."

"We all wanted her. Everyone loves a baby," says Calvin, a graduating high school senior who is joining the Army Reserve. He says family finances made adoption a "smart choice."

Renee says she's always struggled financially to raise her children. She was pregnant her senior year of high school. She and her ex-husband, who lives in the same town and shares custody of the kids, worked varying shifts at Pizza Hut and Wal-Mart. After they divorced eight years ago, Renee went back to school. She's two classes away from an associate degree in applied science.

Renee says that even after the birth father "stepped aside" and she learned she was carrying twins, she thought she could do it on her own. She then went to the hospital because of complications — tests showed only one fetus was still developing — and the bill made her realize just how costly a baby would be. She didn't have health insurance.

She works more than 50 hours a week and earns nearly $50,000 a year, but she says she was counting on monthly bonuses to cover baby expenses. "I was banking on money that wasn't guaranteed."

So Renee decided she needed a "better plan — plan B." She contacted The Cradle, which handled her aunt's adoption of two babies decades ago.

The agency directed her to a state health program that covers pregnant women. She and her kids combed through profiles of 115 couples until they picked Meredith, 32, a high school guidance counselor, and Ryan, 33, a high school chemistry teacher. They became Facebook friends and e-mailed often.

Renee invited them to Joie's birth. Meredith was nervous about being on a maternity ward again, but she couldn't stay away. When she and Ryan stepped off the hospital elevator, Katelyn and Brittany were waiting to tell them Joie had just been born.

A joyous crowd snapped pictures, Renee recalls. "It was just the way it was meant to happen."



Adoption's new openness

The bond between the two families reflects a trend toward openness in adoption. In up to 90% of domestic infant adoptions, Pertman says, adoptive parents maintain some contact with birth parents.

"It's considered best practice," he says, because most women want to know what happens to the child and the child wants to know family history.

Pertman says he recently flew to Florida with his daughter so she could spend time with her birth family. He says their relationship is similar to that of in-laws or stepfamilies. "Instead of marrying into a family," he says, "you adopt into one."

Adoptive parents are often wary at first of contact with the birth family but later appreciate its benefit for the child, says Jaeger at The Cradle. She says birth mothers may find contact difficult.

"It's not easy to have an open adoption," says Courtney Lewis, who placed a baby boy for adoption 11 years ago when she was in college. She says she was upset when her son was 4 and his adoptive parents divorced. "Maybe if it had been a closed adoption, it wouldn't hurt as bad."

Chuck Johnson recalls "awkward moments" with the biological grandparents of his adoptive son. He says the grandmother wanted to visit on Christmas Eve. He agreed instead to a Dec. 26 visit.

"We knew they loved him," says Johnson, chief operating officer of the National Council For Adoption, an advocacy group. "We shared that love."

He says adoption was far more common decades ago, when single women often were sent away to give birth and never saw their babies again.

Before 1973, when abortion became legal, one in 10 never-married women who gave birth placed the child for adoption, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Among white women, it was one in five. That number has plummeted. In a 2002 survey, the latest available, the center found only 1% of such women relinquished her baby.

Johnson says the percentage of women who place a child for adoption is low because single parenthood is widely accepted and abortion is legal.



Meredith's dream arrives

About 75 miles southeast of Renee's apartment is Meredith and Ryan's four-bedroom home in New Lenox, Ill. Tulips and daffodils are planted in the backyard in memory of Addie, the baby they lost.

When they had trouble getting pregnant after Addie, they turned to adoption. Ryan wanted to adopt domestically, so they would get full medical information about the child. Meredith preferred an international adoption to avoid contact with a birth mom. The international wait was long, though, so they took out a home-equity loan and signed with The Cradle, which charges $29,900.

Within a few months, Renee chose them. Meredith says she feared getting too attached in case Renee changed her mind after the baby was born.

She kept wondering, "How is Renee going to look at that baby and hand her away?" About 20% to 30% of birth moms have a change of heart, Jaeger says.

They agreed to meet at least once a season. So far, they're doing more. Meredith invited Renee and her family to Joie's baptism. She's also driven to Renee's office so Renee could show off Joie to co-workers.

She and Ryan chose Joie's first name and wanted "Renee" as the middle name. They kept it but made "Olivia" the second name, because Brittany and Katelyn called her that during the pregnancy. "It's never been awkward," Meredith says about their relationship. She says co-workers find it "weird" and ask, "Why do you talk to her (Renee) so much? … People don't get that it's not threatening."

She says she knows what it's like to lose a child. "I don't ever want Renee to wonder how Joie is doing." She's kept Renee's e-mails, including the one wishing her well on her first day back to work after maternity leave. She's put together a scrapbook of their correspondence and pictures.

"I can't wait for Joie to get old enough to understand all of this," Meredith says. "I'm so excited to tell her her story."



Source: USA TODAY | 19.05. 2009

 

Repères


Children of the Recession: Economy Sending Children Into Foster Care
We all know the economy is bad, but for some, its effects have gotten so bad they've been forced to give up their children--people who have lost jobs and aren't taking care of kids.
NewsChannel 7 learned, Upstate counties are dealing with a flood of foster kids, as the sour economy hits communities hard. One local area--seeing more than double the amount of children needing a good home--than one year ago.


- 129.000 enfants américains sont actuellement en attente d'adoption.

- Le nombre d'enfants étrangers adoptés par les Américains chute fortement.

11:02 Écrit par collectif a & a dans Récession | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : usa, adoption | |  del.icio.us

15/05/2009

Le commerce d'orphelins. Un regard sur les familles touchées par la corruption des adoptions internationales.

Orphan Trade.jpgThe Orphan Trade. A look at families affected by corrupt international adoptions.

By E.J. Graff


[Via Pound Pup Legacy - Kerry ]



Who wants to buy a baby? Certainly not most people who are trying to adopt internationally. And yet too often—without their knowledge—that's what happens with their dollars and euros.



Westerners have been sold a myth that poor countries have millions of healthy abandoned infants and toddlers who need homes. But it's not so. In poor countries, as in rich ones, healthy babies are rarely orphaned or given up—except in China, where girls have been abandoned as a result of its draconian one-child policy.



Yes, tens of thousands of needy children around the world—many languishing in horrible institutions—do need families. But most children who need new homes are older than 5, sick, disabled, or somehow traumatized. Quite reasonably, most prospective Western parents don't feel prepared to take on those more challenging kids, preferring to wait in line for healthy infants or toddlers.



The result is a gap between supply and demand—a gap that's closed by Western money. Adoption agencies spend sums in-country that are enormous compared with local per-capita incomes. In poor countries without effective regulation or protections for the poor, that can induce locals to buy, coerce, defraud, and kidnap healthy children away from their birth families for sale into international adoption.



To use the language of globalization, orphans are sometimes "manufactured": Children with families are stripped of their identities so that Westerners can fill their homes. No one knows how many or how few are "manufactured." Whatever the proportion, the Western adoption agencies can plausibly deny knowing what their local contractors are doing wrong—and yet continue to send tens of thousands of U.S. dollars in per-child commissions to local "facilitators" who supply children. Once an illicit orphan-manufacturing chain gets going, "facilitators" may even solicit older and unhealthy children to order. When one country's adoptions are closed down to regulate or stop the trafficking, the adoption industry moves to the next "hot" and under-regulated country. (For Americans, these are currently Ethiopia and, to a lesser degree, Nepal.)



Sometimes these people don't seem real; their names are strange, and they live far away, in unimaginably different circumstances. To help imagine their lives, we present some pictures of families affected by corrupt adoptions.



Click here to read a slide-show essay about international adoption.

17:35 Écrit par collectif a & a dans Trafic d'enfants | Lien permanent | Commentaires (1) | |  del.icio.us

14/05/2009

Enfants adoptés en provenance de l'Inde souvent volés

Adoptiekinderen uit India vaak gestolen.jpgDes centaines d'enfants adoptés de l'Inde n'ont jamais été volontairement abandonnés par leurs parents, mais ont été volés ou vendus par des trafiquants, souvent avec l'aide de l'orphelinat.
Dans l'émission néerlandaise "Een Vandaag", le récit d'une mère australienne qui découvre que son enfant a été adopté contre le souhait de la mère biologique indienne et qu'il a été vendu.


Adoptiekinderen uit India vaak gestolen

Honderden adoptie-kinderen uit India zijn nooit vrijwillig door hun ouders afgestaan, maar blijken te zijn gestolen of verkocht door mensenhandelaren, vaak met medewerking van weeshuizen. In EénVandaag het verhaal van een Australische moeder die ontdekt dat haar geadopteerde kinderen tegen de zin van hun biologische Indiase moeder zijn verkocht.

 

Source : Eén Vandaag.

 

"Enfants adoptés en provenance de l'Inde souvent volés" est la traduction du titre de l'émission néerlandaise : "Adoptiekinderen uit India vaak gestolen".


Certes, il ne faut pas généraliser. Mais quand même ..., il y a de sérieuses dérives dans l'adoption internationale!
Et pas uniquement en Inde bien sûr.

13/05/2009

Adoption internationale et vérification des rapports d'immunisation des enfants adoptés.

[Via Pound Pup Legacy | 12.05.2009 | Niels]


Verify Internationally Adopted Children's Immunization Records



A study by the division of global child health at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine cautions adoptive parents not to rely solely on vaccination records when gauging their internationally adopted children's immunizations. In the study, "Predictive Value of Immunization Records and Risk Factors for Immunization Failure in Internationally Adopted Children," published in the current version of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, division chief, Anna Maria Mandalakas, M.D., M.S., and her colleagues examined immunization records in international adoptees and found that the records may not accurately predict if a child is protected from disease even with what appears to be a valid written immunization record, a child may lack immunization.



In the study of 465 children with valid records, the researchers looked at the predictive value of immunization records in children from China, Russia, and Guatemala and identified those whose records might fail, that is, those records which would not accurately reflect the immunities present in the children's body. Multiple factors may lead to the inaccuracies: falsification of vaccine certificates, inaccurate entries, lack of vaccine potency, and impaired immune response, which could be linked to stress or malnutrition. They also examined whether a child's birth country had an impact on the records' accuracy. This was found to not be an effective measure of protection.



Serologic testing, a type of blood test that identifies antibodies, was conducted on the children in the study and the results found that the immunization levels did not consistently match those of their written records. The tests for diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, polio, measles, and hepatitis B immunity rates ranged from 58.3 percent to 94.6 percent. The results indicated written records overestimate a child's protective immunity.



"Based on our findings, I recommend prospective parents try to obtain a vaccination record prior to the child's arrival in the U.S. to help guide US based evaluation of their child's immunization status," says Dr. Mandalakas, associate professor of pediatrics, epidemiology and biostatics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Underimmunization is a major topic of concern for the parents of the more than 247,000 children adopted into the United States in the last 15 years. Currently, some guidelines suggest that if a record appears to be valid, the pediatrician can assume it is valid. This study found that this assumption is often incorrect.



The study concludes the responsibility of ensuring a child's immunization status falls on the shoulders of the adoptive parents to take their child to a pediatrician or an adoption health specialist to determine an appropriate plan for that child. Testing provides a clear understanding of which vaccines were given and those a child is lacking.



"International vaccination records for adoptive children should not be accepted as evidence of a child's immunity," say Dr. Mandalakas. "I recommend parents work closely with their physicians to chart a revaccination plan for their child based on the findings of antibody testing. Failure to properly immunize children puts them at risk when these diseases are reintroduced into the community."



About Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine



Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and is among the nation's top medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching. The School's innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes--research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism--to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century. Eleven Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the school.



Annually, the School of Medicine trains more than 770 M.D. and M.D./Ph.D. students and ranks in the top 25 among U.S. research-oriented medical schools as designated by U.S. News & World Report "Guide to Graduate Education."



The School of Medicine's primary clinical affiliate is University Hospitals Case Medical Center and is additionally affiliated with MetroHealth Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Cleveland Clinic, with which it established the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2002.



Source: Case Western Reserve University

16:01 Écrit par collectif a & a dans Etude - Recherche | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : immunisation, enfant adopté | |  del.icio.us