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Old 09-23-2012, 02:43 AM
 
1,486 posts, read 570,854 times
Reputation: 1030
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Please read all the comments about Reece's Rainbow in the link above, from those better acquainted with it and the laws of the countries in which it operates for a fuller and more accurate picture.

While Reece's Rainbow includes photos of most of the children for whom it advocates, it also does not include the children's countries of origin (with the exception of China - my understanding is that this is legal according to Chinese laws) and uses pseudonyms - assigned, made-up names - for the children to protect their identities. Families who find their children through Reece's Rainbow are urged to keep adoption blogs, but to retain the child's Reece's Rainbow name and not to identify the country in which they are adopting until after the adoption is completed. Of course, if a blog includes recognizable landmarks, countries can be identified by those who are familiar with them, but most families respect these strong suggestions and adhere to them.

As far as transparency and communication are concerned, whenever I've had occasion to email RR staff, I have received a clear reply within one day.

susankate, in regard to the institution documented in "Ukraine's Forgotten Children", the BBC documentary now available in full on YouTube, a Russian NGO HAS donated generously to this place, which is also blessed with a very caring and kindly director. It would be wonderful if children with special needs, such as those seen in this documentary, could receive both the specialized health care and treatment they need within their countries of origin - and it would be wonderful if the biological parents of such children were not urged to give them up at birth. By the way, the very bright little boy with major limb differences IS being adopted by a loving American family, and soon will be home and receiving the care he deserves.

susankate, I also wonder about your views of the young adult men who were also featured in this documentary: living in remote, poor, isolated, and abusive institutions, without hope for the future and lots of fear for what each day might bring. Thankfully, they "escaped" and were legally judged to be capable of self-care, despite their minor disabilities - but there are thousands of such adults, who were once those same abandoned children, given over to the state.

By the way, if anyone reading would like to help three Ukrainian teens who are recent "graduates" of the orphanage system keep their two tiny baby boys (born to a single mother, age sixteen; and to a young married couple not much older, all three of whom grew up in orphanages) rather than be forced into relinquishing their babies to the orphanage system because of poverty and lack of support networks, please see www.bibleorphanministry.blogspot.com for more info. BOM is helping these young families, but the need is great and much can be done by others who care. If you can't locate the info on BOM's blog, please PM me and I'll point you in the right direction - thanks. I think we can all agree that this is a most worthy cause, regardless of our views of international adoption.
Craig, thanks for the link.

I think we have a lot more in common than we think but just are looking at it from different angles.

]I think I am just trying to point out that "special needs" adoption isn't just as straightforward as it seems. I think also that we probably both agree that a true solution involves thinking outside the square.

While adoption is as it is, I think we both seem to want them to be as ethical as possible so I thought you might like this link on how to adopt ethically:

The Checklist

Also, this is a blog by a Korean adoptee who is no longer blogging and one reader did raise the same very thoughtful questions you pose so thought you might enjoy reading it. [SIZE=2]I'm not linking it to prove anything either way, just thought you might like to read it:[/SIZE]

Yoon's Blur: A reader asks me, "Should we adopt?"

 
Old 09-23-2012, 09:28 AM
 
95 posts, read 11,795 times
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Craig, can you tell me what the issue is with Reece's Rainbow and the photos? There must be some issue as there are several posts about allegations of illegal conduct. There was a post about an email that PAPs were linking to photos and information they weren't supposed to have and other organizations pulling funding from RR. I am not saying I am knowledgeable about this organization as I am not. I am merely curious.
 
Old 09-23-2012, 11:17 AM
 
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Marymarym, thank you for inquiring. I suggest you contact Andrea Roberts, Reece's mom and the founder of Reece's Rainbow, at andrea@reecesrainbow.org for answers to your questions. And please, take a look at www.reecesrainbow.org, and learn more about the goals and objectives and methods of this ministry. It has facilitated the adoptions of over 800 children with special needs in the six years of its existence.

There have been a few disruptions of children originally "found' through Reece's Rainbow, but very few, and those children were "rehomed" into families better suited to parent them and are doing well. The two disruptions of which I am aware which have occurred in the last couple of years were for little boys with FAS, attachment issues, plus physical special needs. One of the children had been in an extremely poor orphanage, where he was left in a crib 24/7 for all his life of three or four years. As a result, he developed institutional autism, in addition to his other problems. The other child received better care, but the description given to Reece's Rainbow, and passed along to his family, was quite inaccurate and did not include FAS. He had not been a "orphanage favorite" at all (a description which usually indicates a child may have received more individual attention and better care), and none of his former caregivers seemed to be emotionally involved with him in any way. In addition, there was no mention of his having FAS.

The original two adoptive families tried their best but were overwhelmed by the difficulty of "connecting" with these little boys, whom they loved. Both families were extremely frustrated and felt guilt and self-blame for their difficulties. No abuse of any kind ever took place, thankfully - just a lot of frustration and sadness. In cases like these, disruption, or "re-homing" can offer everyone involved a better chance, and that's just what happened in both these cases. The original families are in regular contact with the families in which the little boys are now members, and things are going much, much better for everyone.

Both families blogged about their experiences, and I can try to locate those blogs and PM them to you. The little boys are now with other families - one is now the youngest child rather than the eldest - and both are doing quite well and are attaching satisfactorily.

Someone leaving a comment on one of your linked articles referred to to two tragic cases of child abuse resulting in deaths of internationally adopted children - I looked both up, and the first case, which occurred in California, seems to have had no association or connection whatsoever with Reece's Rainbow, as nearly as I could tell. The commenter's implication that RR was associated with this terrible case is nothing more than an effort to create guilt by (false) association, it seems to me.

The second case did involve a child adopted with the help of Reece's Rainbow, and it is tragic. I would emphasize that RR is a special needs international adoption ministry, not an adoption agency. It advocates for children, and does not conduct home studies, psychological exams, or involve itself in checking parental backgrounds - those are left to other agencies and it appears that much was left wanting in both these tragic cases.

There were brilliant red flags in the first case, of the death by neglect and abuse of a baby girl adopted from China by a woman in California. As for the second case, I could not find much background info online about the adoptive parents of a little boy with Down syndrome who was from (I think) Russia. except that he was a baby and the parents bore a Russian surname and lived in New York (city??). This child is the only case of child abuse and death I am aware of with any association whatsoever with Reece's Rainbow. Obviously, the people who took his life had no business parenting children of any origin whatsoever, and it's clear that background checks, homestudies, etc. were inadequate.

But again, Reece's Rainbow does not conduct such checks and studies - they advocate for orphaned (usually given over to the state at birth) children with special needs ranging from severe to what would be considered minor in the western world; children who are extremely unlikely to ever be reunited with their birth families or to find adoptive families in their home countries, encourage others to donate to a fund connected with each child, to help offset adoption costs (which include travel, accommodations, stacks and stacks of paperwork both here and abroad, home studies, medical checkups, passports, sometimes visas, and more). These funds do not go to the parents until they are literally about to head for the airport.

Reece's Rainbow also assists adoptive parents by recommending facilitators abroad, who can meet parents at the airport, translate, make hotel and/or apartment reservations, help with finding groceries in-country, provide transportation to and from the orphanage and around the country to collect the child's original birth certificate (I'm not going to get into the problems of original birth certificates vs. altered ones here), complete paperwork, and so on. Parents who adopt with the assistance of RR do NOT have to accept a RR-sanctioned facilitator, btw, and I know of some families who've done everything on their own, but they are rare, and generally include a parent who can speak the local language and who has spent time in-country previously.

Facilitators charge fees, but most families consider it money very well spent. Most facilitators of whom I am aware have a heart for children and many families keep in touch with their facilitators after they're home, just as many families send photos of their children back to the orphanages and in some cases, to birth families who loved their children but gave them up because tragically, they were unable to provide the specialized care required (often such specialized care does not exist in the developing world, and can require travel in this country, as in the treatment of children with arthrogryposis - the hospital of choice is the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, to which families from all around the country travel).

Parents are also given all the information which is available to Reece's Rainbow about the child when they inquire about that child, but are also cautioned that the information may be out-of-date or inaccurate. Again, this is not the fault of Reece's Rainbow, which makes a strong effort to include as much accurate and up-to-date info as possible. In many cases, people adopting from a listed child's orphanage can meet that child and pass along updated pictures or other informal information about the child to Reece's Rainbow.

For the record, the "official" photographs of my young relatives who were adopted (not through RR) from an eastern European country were three years out of date - newer pictures existed, but were not in their files in the Capitol City. So my adopting relatives who became the parents of these siblings first saw pictures of a three year old and a six year old, rather than an almost-seven year old and a nine year old. Big difference; huge changes.

After the family is home with the newly-adopted child, Reece's Rainbow has a private online support group entitled "After The Rainbow", in which parents can share experiences and offer one another support and suggestions. In addition, Reece's Rainbow has begun a support group IRL in Ukraine for parents of children with Down syndrome who have made the rare-for-that-country choice to keep their children. My understanding is that a few caregivers from orphanages housing children with DS are also somewhat involved with this group, which offers information, education, training in various simple therapeutic activities which can be done by the parents, and encouragement.

According to my own understanding, RR is extremely careful to abide by the laws of the countries in which the children for whom they advocate live. Obviously, they urge adoptive parents to do the same, and obviously, they have no control over those parents. Most of the parents are very careful to identify the countries as "Ivan's home country" and use terms such as "the capitol city", and many don't even use the name of the orphanage. Obviously photos of well-known sites (such as churches, monuments, etc) can be recognized by knowledgeable others. Once the child is home, the need for secrecy about their home country does not apply, of course.

I am sure Andrea Roberts can answer your questions more thoroughly than I can, but I hope this is a start at addressing some of your concerns. Thanks again for asking.

Last edited by CraigCreek; 09-23-2012 at 11:30 AM..
 
Old 09-23-2012, 10:37 PM
 
10,489 posts, read 8,136,204 times
Reputation: 14193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marymarym View Post
Craig, can you tell me what the issue is with Reece's Rainbow and the photos? There must be some issue as there are several posts about allegations of illegal conduct. There was a post about an email that PAPs were linking to photos and information they weren't supposed to have and other organizations pulling funding from RR. I am not saying I am knowledgeable about this organization as I am not. I am merely curious.
Ukraine does not permit, to their credit, the advertising of their kids.

Doing what you describe has caused adoption agencies to lose US accreditation.

IMPORTANT BIT OF INFORMATION - NO US AGENCY IS ACCREDITED IN UKRAINE> NOT ONE.

It is possible to adopt in Ukraine without the use of an agency.

Hosting is a way many parents and children can get together before hand.

Referrals from parents who have adopted is another.


 
Old 09-24-2012, 01:59 PM
 
3,182 posts, read 2,059,631 times
Reputation: 5002
It's also possible for a child's anonymous photo to appear on a blog or website of a charity which has visited an orphanage in Ukraine. Since the child's full name is never used, and often a pseudonym is used for the first name, this adheres to the letter of the law (Reece's Rainbow does not use last names at all, uses pseudonyms for first names, and their staff do not visit orphanages except on very rare occasions).

Other charities, whose function is to visit orphanages and provide assistance of various kinds, may or may not use the child's first name, the name of the country and the orphanage, and may also include photos which clearly show some recognizable special needs. But these charities do not address adoption. However, a prospective adoptive parent, seeing such pictures, can contact the charity and ask for more information about a child, then inquire further from the Ukrainian governmental department which handles adoptions about the child: if they are available for adoption, and so on. As previously noted, children are not held for specific parents in Ukraine, and all children who are listed as available for adoption may be adopted prior to the arrival of another interested family.
 
Old 09-24-2012, 03:16 PM
 
1,024 posts, read 402,401 times
Reputation: 808
So they found a loop hole around the law so they could continue to post photos?
 
Old 09-24-2012, 07:36 PM
 
3,182 posts, read 2,059,631 times
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No. Everything I described is perfectly legal, as the children are not identified. How can I clarify this any more than I already have? Let me try again.

Reece's Rainbow is an special needs international adoption ministry and a non-profit, not an adoption agency. The other charities which I had in mind but did not name in my previous post include His Kids, Too, Life to Orphans, and Bible Orphan Ministry. The first two are effective American non-profits which provide material assistance of various kinds to children living in orphanages and institutions in Ukraine, and the latter is a small but dedicated Ukraine-based Christian charity which performs similar work, along with assisting teens who have aged out of the orphanages and those who reside in bleak mental institutions.

All of these charities include photos of children living in orphanages and institutions in Ukraine on their websites; none of them identify the children by their real or full names. In many cases, only photos can be seen and the children are not referred to by any name whatsoever, nor is their available/not available for adoption status included. Obviously, the children pictured on Reece's Rainbow's site ARE available for international adoption, which clearly isn't a problem for Ukraine, since the Ukrainian adoption ministry's office has two large Reece's Rainbow posters prominently displayed where those applying to adopt will see them.

It's legal. Groups such as these are saving lives under circumstances which we all may deplore, but in which very vulnerable children and adults exist. I do not see a problem with this; the Ukrainian government doesn't see a problem with this - to what do you object?

By the way, in regard to Bible Orphan Ministry, one of my previous posts included a reference to three young Ukrainians, young teenage orphanage graduates who are now parents of tiny babies but who were facing living on the street. Despite being urged to give their newborns to the "baby houses", both young mothers and the young father f one of the little boys refused and plan to raise their babies themselves, despite their lack of resources and inexperience. Perhaps those readers who have expressed concern about assisting birth parents to keep their babies might like to take a look at Bible Orphan Ministry's site to learn more about what BOM is doing to help these teens. You might even be moved to help personally, especially since many of you have voiced great concern here - a concern I share, and have acted upon.

Last edited by CraigCreek; 09-24-2012 at 08:02 PM..
 
Old 09-24-2012, 10:02 PM
 
95 posts, read 11,795 times
Reputation: 55
Well there is obviously some objection to what they are doing as there are multiple posts on the internet about it. What they are doing may follow the "letter of the law", but maybe not the spirit. I guess I don't know why there would be a reason to post pictures of children whether or not they are identified. Seems to me just an incendiary way to tug at people's heart strings.
 
Old 09-24-2012, 11:02 PM
 
116 posts, read 12,868 times
Reputation: 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
No. Everything I described is perfectly legal, as the children are not identified. How can I clarify this any more than I already have? Let me try again.

Reece's Rainbow is an special needs international adoption ministry and a non-profit, not an adoption agency. The other charities which I had in mind but did not name in my previous post include His Kids, Too, Life to Orphans, and Bible Orphan Ministry. The first two are effective American non-profits which provide material assistance of various kinds to children living in orphanages and institutions in Ukraine, and the latter is a small but dedicated Ukraine-based Christian charity which performs similar work, along with assisting teens who have aged out of the orphanages and those who reside in bleak mental institutions.

All of these charities include photos of children living in orphanages and institutions in Ukraine on their websites; none of them identify the children by their real or full names. In many cases, only photos can be seen and the children are not referred to by any name whatsoever, nor is their available/not available for adoption status included. Obviously, the children pictured on Reece's Rainbow's site ARE available for international adoption, which clearly isn't a problem for Ukraine, since the Ukrainian adoption ministry's office has two large Reece's Rainbow posters prominently displayed where those applying to adopt will see them.

It's legal. Groups such as these are saving lives under circumstances which we all may deplore, but in which very vulnerable children and adults exist. I do not see a problem with this; the Ukrainian government doesn't see a problem with this - to what do you object?

By the way, in regard to Bible Orphan Ministry, one of my previous posts included a reference to three young Ukrainians, young teenage orphanage graduates who are now parents of tiny babies but who were facing living on the street. Despite being urged to give their newborns to the "baby houses", both young mothers and the young father f one of the little boys refused and plan to raise their babies themselves, despite their lack of resources and inexperience. Perhaps those readers who have expressed concern about assisting birth parents to keep their babies might like to take a look at Bible Orphan Ministry's site to learn more about what BOM is doing to help these teens. You might even be moved to help personally, especially since many of you have voiced great concern here - a concern I share, and have acted upon.
One way you can help, CraigCreek, is to use the correct terms. They are not "birthparents" they are PARENTS. Parents become "birthparents" (a derogatory term) only when they are convinced they cannot raise their natural born child themselves and then relinquish their own child so that someone else with more money can do so.

By the way, my mother died and my father was given no support to keep me. They are not my "birthparents" --- they are my parents. The ones with the prefix are the ones who came later: adoptive parents.

As I have said before, both sets are real parents. Both are loved, too. And both sets loved me. But that is not the case for all adoptees as many were abused or killed by their adoptive parents. And many adoptees are in a love-hate-fear relationship with dysfunctional adoptive parents in Stokholm Syndrome.

As far as the Bible OrphanMinistry is concerned, I have no use to send money to save an orphan in another country. I live in New York State, born and bred and raised here, adopted here, right in my own city of birth. Yep. An orphan right here in America. No one bothered to save this orphan or her four older half orphan siblings after our mother died. No, just shove adoption at the remaining parent, don't bother to help him keep his family together. No. There is another, more deserving, more capable, more wealthy husband and wife who have been childless for so long who so desperately need a child to love. They believe in the Bible, too, so it's all good.
 
Old 09-25-2012, 01:11 AM
 
10,489 posts, read 8,136,204 times
Reputation: 14193
Photo listings work. I wish more countries permitted them.
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