How does it feel for a child, who already has a family, to be adopted by strangers never to go back home? Here’s the harrowing reality behind the practices of some international adoption agencies.
Journee Bradshaw was already 13 and came from a large, middle-class Ethiopian family when she arrived in the US. She thought she was going on a trip abroad whilst her adoptive parents had been told she was only 9 and destitute. But it was all a lie. The realization that she was not going home was a terrible trauma: “Her world was ripped away from her and we can’t replace that.” Says her adoptive grandmother. Her case is not an isolated one. Adoption Agencies in the US are reluctant to allow more transparency in what has become a thriving business, which means abuses are easy and commonplace. For Journee and her adoptive family, its been a disaster:
“It’s like selling. I feel like I’ve been sold”.
Adoption: What You Should Know.
The adoptee’s voice is the most important voice in adoption, but it is the only voice that has been totally ignored in the now worldwide industry. Imagine being told that you were orphaned and believing this tale years into adulthood, only to find out years into the future—as an adult—that your biological family is still alive and searching for you. Because of concealed documents, adoption agencies can hide things like this. Most believe that this is no big deal. After adoption fees have been paid, your blood-related family is now stigmatized as your “birth family.” As a consequence, you and all your potential siblings and extended family members have no legal right to reunite—ever—even decades into the future—even when you’re 99 years old. Stories like this are the roots found within the research and history of Adoption: What You Should Know. Who likes to be the bearer of bad news? No One.