Welcome! Feel free to use this blog as a resource for researching international adoption. Courtesy of www.vancetwins.com

An Adoptee on Adoption

"I got really addicted to reading Janine's book.
It was fascinating and worth my time.
It opened up a totally different world to me
and made me think about a lot of things.
--K. Norton
HI FRIENDS! I'm Janine Vance, the author of The Search for Mother Missing: A Peek Inside International Adoption. For almost a decade, I've kept my mouth shut about intercountry adoption while independently researching for my book and, instead, collected newspaper articles from around the world (probably an unconscious effort to try to comprehend the insanity of what I had been reading), which makes this site more of an archive than a blog. However, behind the scenes, I've also written a ton about adoption and just kept everything to myself. I plan to start sharing my thoughts on this blog.

Just a little note: prior to my trip to S. Korea to look for my Korean family, I was a typical advocate of adoption. In fact, I had no idea that anyone contested it at the time—who would have the audacity to question the great people who professed that they were "saving orphans"? Of course, I had only been aware of the one-sided perspective of the practice. I had no idea that profiteers used megapreachers and its members to attract potential adopters under the veneer of doing "God's work." Some even profess and preach that adoption is the "Christian" thing to do and that GOD wants you to adopt. Adoption has become more about targeting children and abandoning the rest of the family.

It's time to offer a perspective that comes from an orphan > adoptee > mother > human rights advocate > activist. Before you think of adopting, watch out for high agency fees! Many adoptive parents have discovered that agencies are really wolves in sheep’s clothing. Even "ethical" adoption facilitators have been known to have potential adoptive parents (PAPS) fill out all sorts of documents in an attempt to prove that PAPS are upstanding citizens capable of raising a child. But also scrutinize the "ethical" adoption facilitator. Do not be afraid to demand that they prove to you that the children they are showcasing are really ORPHANS--without a mother, father, siblings and extended family, such as grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins who could later disrupt the family you are trying to make.

Potential adoptive parents, be sure to police the agency! Make them prove to you that the children are literally orphans--and not what they call "paper" or "social" orphans, which means that they really do have a family that also needs support--who are really kept in the background. Have the agency employees provide you with the DEATH CERTIFICATES of the children's parents or family members before you apply give them your money. Do not be surprised if these agencies continue to ask you for heavy fees--some people have been drained of their savings. You will read that some couples who have hoped and prayed for a child have even paid up to $60,000--money that could have helped to preserve families and help with kinship care, where the children do not lose their identities.

Also, do not be fooled by religous adoption agencies who advertise beautiful brochures exhibiting what they call in adoption rhetoric "languishing" or "withering" children, like in times past. The great majority of the children's families are alive. In fact, because of the worldwide web, we now know that many families (from the other side of the world) are missing children. Some vulnerable families see intercountry adoption as glorified white-collar child trafficking. Adoption lobbyists, lawyers and special interest groups, even some beneficiaries have been able to change laws in the countris they've entered to side with them, and legalized the removal of children from vulnerable families. It is very sad to see this happening in a world that is supposed to be evolved and enlightened enough to know better.

My book, The Search for Mother Missing: A Peek Inside International Adoption is an introduction to the adoptee community based on my trip to Seoul, South Korea for the 2004 Adoptee Gathering where more than 400 Korean-born adoptees (sent to fifteen countries) traveled back to our homelands--some for the first time--to celebrate and contemplate intercountry adoption. That was only the beginning of my quest into the world of adoption. I had no idea at the time that I would discover adoption from the other side. All I had wanted was to hear my own Korean mother's voice. Well, like they say, watch out for what you ask for!

Still looking for our Korean family, born 1972.

Janine Vance
Visit www.vancetwins.com to learn more about me.