General Question

Pandora's avatar

Should people wanting to adopt children from another country get approval from social service?

Asked by Pandora (30211points) August 17th, 2011

I recently heard about the case of two christian fundamentalist who adopted 3 small children from Africa and beat two of the siblings. They killed the 7 year old and the 11 year old was injured pretty bad.
I don’t want this to turn into a conversation about religion. Obviously these people were mental. According to stories, they beat the adoptive children more than their own flesh and blood.
People often adopt somewhere else because they cannot pass the scrutiny that comes with adoption here.
1. So should we screen parents who wish to adopt abroad?
2. Should all adoptive parents be required to get their children a primary physician that will do physicals twice a year on set dates to determine if any abuse is going on? Afterwards social services can contact the physician to determine if any physical abuse is going on.
Do you think this will lessen the chances of physical abuse?

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23 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I have never heard that people adopt abroad because they cannot pass the scrutiny here. People I know who adopt abroad either have a connection to that country, want a closed adoption, or many times have been burned by an American bio mom changing her mind and keeping or taking back the baby.

I can’t see having special precautions for adopted kids, not more than is done already. The parents already go through some sort of interview process I would think.

Your_Majesty's avatar

I wish that could happen in my country. It’s such a good idea but do you think you can also trust those social services? I believe people who work in those services are payed, or expected to be payed so richer parents can easily persuade these people and ‘regulate’ their adopting rules as they like.

I don’t want parents to make some simple responsibility agreements with social organization, parents must sign a fundamental agreement that put them into jail for neglecting their adopted kids regardless for their reasons.

Pandora's avatar

@JLeslie There are many reasons to adobt overseas but in cases where they adopt pretty grown children, they often can find children here who need homes. Its a lot easier to adopt from poor countries overseas. All you have to do is bribe officials. And it doesn’t have to be a lot. It really depends on what country. But there isn’t much they can do once you have take the child away to another country. So shouldn’t our country oversee the care of that child once the child becomes a citizen to make sure he/she was adopted with honorable intentions?

Pandora's avatar

@Your_Majesty Easiest way to do that is to rotate social workers so they know whether or not the worker before them have been neglecting their duties. The parents would worry every time they had a new social worker. They have no way of knowing if the new social worker can be bribed. (not everyone can be bought)
I know if someone told me to look the other way this would raise and alarm with me. I would do all I can to make sure the child is safe. (I’m not a social worker but if I was, I wouldn’t look the other way.)
Also doctors can face serious penalties for not reporting abuse. By mandating physicals, the doctors has to swear that he or she saw no signs of abuse. Even if bribed, I would think the doctor would prefer to stay out of jail if something happened to this child down the road and its discovered that the abuse was going on a long time and they should’ve been aware during the physicals.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@Pandora I agree but most kids for adoption are from poorer countries and usually, they have ‘poorer’ social organization, for adopting kids from other countries you need to sign an agreement with both foreign country’s and your own country’s agreement in term for adoption. I believe USA have more qualified social organization so that isn’t much of an issue since adopted kids can be monitored periodically by your government’s organization.

Think about it if someone from poor country adopt kids from other poor countries, when social organizations for adoption from both countries can be manipulated simply because they lack of human resources or fund many parents could do as they wish with their adopted children.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora I just have a hard time believing many people are thinking, I really want to abuse some kids, lets adopt some from another country. maybe it happens more than I think? When a baby is born social services does not check on the baby unless there is reason. Why should the government have more of an interest in adopted children than naturally born ones?

JLeslie's avatar

@Your_Majesty if social service becomes aware of abuse a child is removed from the home, adopted, natural born, or otherwise.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@JLeslie Not if they can be ‘persuaded’ by powerful/richer parents. I was referring to ‘poorer’ social organizations that lack dedication and good human resources.

JLeslie's avatar

@Your_Majesty But, no matter what if there is corruption there is. If youare saying people get paid off, then more reason not to even bother with involving the government with some sort of routine follow up on adoption. Are you saying America should do it because we have a more reliable system? We have some corruption and incompetence too. I like to think the majority of the people working in social service care and do a good job, but there are the exceptions.

@Pandora When is all the paperwork done? Are the children fully adopted, all paperwork and court orders, and American when they are first oicked up in the other country? If not, going through that process after returning home means they are still being checked and observed in some sort of way I would think. Does the whole family come to court for the final orders?

Your_Majesty's avatar

@JLeslie I thought USA adoption department is good enough to handle this particular situation. I believe USA requires parents to earn approval from social organizations and the only issue may lies within social organizations of foreign countries. Whether or not it’s required parents must be sign mandatory agreement that forces them to tend their kids in responsible manner.

plethora's avatar

Personally knowing a horror story the other way around, the kids threatening the lives of the parents, and worse, I recommend against ever adopting from another country.

Pandora's avatar

@JLeslie There are child abusers everywhere. Good people are not the only onces who want to adopt. You also have pedophiles. Adoption abroad isn’t always legal either. Children are being sold everyday. Who do you think buys them sometimes? Some of these children are sometimes even stolen from the mothers.
The article I spoke of isn’t the only time parents have killed adoptive children. There have been a few cases. And that is only the ones we hear about. I’m sure there are more but no one is checking in on them so no one knows.
It would be impossible to keep a check on every child born to parents but I think with a little effort, there can be checks on adopted children. Besides, even when adopting people have to go through scrutiny here in the states. You don’t really have too for your own child born to you, but as already pointed out. If abuse is found to be the case, your child can be taken away from you.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora I still don’t understand why it is the government’s responsibilty to be more protective of adoptive children than naturally born ones? People abuse and kill their own naturally born children. I think there should be a reasonable process beforehand by the organization doing the adoption in screening the parents of course. Isn’t an international adoption usually done in coordination with an American organization of some sort? Probably these people would have slipped through even with an American adoption. Or, did the article say they had been denied a child by our system?

Of course not only good people adopt children. If you have seen some of my answers regarding adoption you will see I would never give up a baby except in dire consequence. I would never sleep again wondering if they were well cared for.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@plethora That is the risk. As I know there are more parents abusing their adopted foreign kids than adopted foreign kids abusing their parents. Kids for adoption are supervised while they’re rehabilitated by adoption department.

marinelife's avatar

Should we do all that you suggest to all parents in the US? If not, why should adoptive parents have more of a bureaucratic burden that natural parents?

Pandora's avatar

@JLeslie They do but I think they are usually runned by privately owned adoption agencies who get paid well for their services. I think some care more about the bottom line than making sure everything is above board and the childs best interest is met.. I’m not sure if there is a government agency that makes sure everything is above board. If there is, they probably just shuffle paper work from people who are making money off of the baby selling business.
Its like asking the fox to watch the hen house.
But getting off track. What I really wanted to know was would setting some more rules make it more difficult for adoptive children to end up in the wrong hands?

Pandora's avatar

@marinelife Last time I checked. If you go to adopt here in the states you still have to prove you are a fit parent. I’m just saying it should extend to any child that is adopted. Whether it is here or abroad.
Parents giving their children up for adoption are trusting that all is checked out and their child is placed in a good home. If they could afford to do this themselves than I’m sure they would often prefer to keep the child. If a person is wanting to raise a child not born to them, then they should be willing to show they are a fit parent.

Seaofclouds's avatar

As far as I know, when adopting from another country, there are things that have to be done. I remember the story a while back about the mother abusing the child she adopted from Russia (the hot sauce video) and it had stated that they were cleared by social services when they first brought the child over from Russia.

If someone is getting a child illegally, then it’s not really a legal adoption, so how would the social service programs even know about it to check in?

Pandora's avatar

@Seaofclouds True about the illegal adoptions. But on the ones that get cleared by social services; do they go through the same process before and after like any other adoption? Or do they just do a quick check, like finances, prison records and then wash their hands after that because the child doesn’t really fall under their jurisdiction and figures that the adoption agencies and the country involve would handle the rest.

wundayatta's avatar

Is beating your kids illegal? I mean, I know spanking is legal and I know that there is a lot of latitude for parents.

I guess my point is that even if you somehow could screen adoptive parents who go overseas more than they are currently screened, could you even prevent them from adopting? What if they come back from overseas with a child? Would you take the child away? Send it back? Seems to me there is little that can be done unless spanking is grounds for refusing to allow someone to parent.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Pandora I don’t know much about the overseas adoptions, but from my understanding, there are agreements in place between the countries (otherwise the adoptions are not allowed to begin with). From what I remember reading a while ago, the social services here in the US are involved when the child first gets to the country. I’m not exactly sure how much they do when the child arrives, and how often they follow up though. According to this site there are two different processes that people can go through. So I think it all depends on the circumstance surrounding the adoption and which country the child is being adopted from. That site also says that the adoptions are governed by the laws is both countries. So, for legal adoptions, I’d say they are probably pretty well balanced and checked out.

Once a child is adopted, they have the same protections available to all children in the US as well as any additional follow up with social services (if there is any).

SpatzieLover's avatar

I thought you had to undergo a home-study in either foreign or US adoption. Yes, I realize a home-study isn’t done by the government, but it does let the country of origin know what type of home/lifestyle the adopting parents have.

Seriously, I don’t think we need more regulations in an area where people have to jump through hoops already.

cookieman's avatar

I can’t speak to Africa’s adoption policies, but we adopted from China and underwent quite a bit of scrutiny.

We had two home inspections where they measured all our rooms, checked for lead paint and tested my heating and hot water system. We had to submit separate autobiographies and letters of recommendation from three unrelated people. They took copies of our bank records, recent tax returns and birth and marriage certificates. They ran criminal background checks on us and checked our credit score. We also had to attend parenting classes. Whole process took over a year.

We also looked into other countries (Korea, Argentina) and they were also pretty strict.

Seems to me you’re making some broad assumptions based on limited data.

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