Letter to NBC Dateline re: Web of Deceit

To: NBC Dateline
Attn: Victoria Corderi and Stone Phillips

I watched your program "A Web of Deceit" with great interest this evening. Like the couples who were scammed by Amy, my husband and I, too, are infertile. We are now the parents of two children, both Korean and now teens.

Although I recognize that your program intended to expose what can only be described as a sick fraud, I fear it also perpetuated the idea that prospective adoptive parents have any right to the child of a pregnant woman who is considering her options. Although my heart went out to these couples, who were clearly taken advantage of by an individual who aimed to do just that, it also disturbed me to see how readily each claimed Amy's child as their own just on the basis of Amy's promise to place her child with them.

Given the many organizations and initiatives in our country that seek to destigmatize adoption and adopted people, this attitude may be understandable. But step back from Amy's callous dishonesty and think about this situation from the perspective of a young, unmarried woman who is receiving no support from family or community to parent her child. I can think of no other situation in which society would tolerate one woman's claim to another's child - yet we allow this every day when the other woman is unmarried, justifying it with our counsel to "do what's best for your baby," "be courageous," and "give your baby a future."

It is, of course, hypocritical that I raise these concerns, given that my family exists through adoption. I can only say that over the years, as I have heard the stories of adopted people and mothers lost to each other through adoption, often suffering through their entire lives from the loss, I have come to understand that the "adoption plan" (as it is called in politically-correct language) is often made under pressure, coercion and worse.

Amy's scam is without a doubt a horrible injustice, and it and other similar adoption scams should be stopped and prosecuted. But I believe that every adoption that takes place when a mother is pressured in any way to surrender her child without being given every possible support to keep him or her is an even greater injustice. In these cases, the injustice is not the emotional pain caused to a couple yearning for a child - it is the actual loss of a living, breathing child to a mother, and of the mother to the child.

I encourage you to reach out to the mothers of adoption and give them an opportunity to tell their stories. Their voices have been silenced by secrecy and shame for far too long.

Sent to NBC Dateline July 9, 2006


sheri said…
Amen! Just because you have a family that was built through adoption does not mean you are "hypocritical" when you see what has happened to so many women who were coerced, or pressured into putting their children up for adoption. You see what has happened and is happening and you know it is wrong and you speak out against it. That is not hypocritical, that is right.
Mama Nabi said…
Agh - I didn't see the show - but I'm familiar with similar stories... and feel so heartbroken for everyone involved. And then when there's fraud, I feel heartbroken for the innocent baby caught in the middle. Not that I condone any kind of fraud, I can only hope that the fraud was out of desperation to keep her baby, not so that she can buy herself trinkets and such... and then I also feel so bad for the mom-hopeful who may already have fallen in love with the unborn baby... what a hearache for everyone... ugh.
FauxClaud said…
Oh once again, I just love you more than I thought I could. Thank you, thank you!!!

Did you se what I said to them?
dbannie said…
(That was me who deleted.)

I think that your letter is wonderful and that it strengthens and validates what mothers of adoption are saying. Thank you for writing and sending your letter.
Third mom, Thank you for the great letter, I love reading your stuff.

I hesitate to say this because its not on my blog, and though.... I feel its very important to speak out when something is said to fuel the adoption myths.
This comment......

and then I also feel so bad for the mom-hopeful who may already have fallen in love with the unborn baby... what a hearache for everyone... ugh.

I dont believe that women fall in love with an unborn baby of another woman, I believe they fall in love with the idea of "getting that baby" If someone would have offered her a baby that was coming at an earlier date, chances are she would have switched.

I do think the situation is sad and though, I think that the desperation on women who want babies helps to fuel it, no one is free and clear in this case.

My opionion, MSP
Margie said…
I think that's possible, because I do know that early in the adoption process most adoptive parents are really focused on reaching parenthood as fast as possible. I think when the child becomes real, though, that changes. Once you have some information or a photo, a bond develops, not the same as that between mothers and their children in the womb, but a bond nonetheless.

Thanks for stopping by!
Anonymous said…
You rock!!! Thank you for speaking up for those of us whose voices remain censored!

mama nabi said…
(Third Mom, I hope you don't mind that I respond to the comment to my comment - but if you do, please feel free to delete this) MSP, I guess I spoke out of my own tendencies - I've always loved babies (don't know why) and have fallen in love with unborn babies of friends and even co-workers, especially if I followed their pregnancies closely. But that may just be me - and I do acknowledge that I may be a bit nutty (:-D) when it comes to babies! I sincerely did not intend to fuel any adoption myths and apologize for my perhaps thoughtless comment.
KOV said…
Nicely done! -- KOV
M. said…
Wow! Very insightful letter! I've only recently found your blog and I'm loving it. Thanks
Amyadoptee said…
Totally awesome!!!!
Margie said…
Thanks so much - but one thing bugs me: No response from Dateline. I guess it's too soon, but I doubt I'll hear anything. If I do I'll definitely post it!

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