Adoption in a new administration

I wonder what kind of changes we can expect to the adoption landscape under a new administration?

My personal opinion: Adoption reform issues align better with the Democratic party's philosophy. Adoption as charity aligns better with that of the Republican party. A Democratic administration therefore gives adoption reform a fighting chance.

That's a really simplistic view, though. The real problem is that few legislators, Democratic, Republican or Independent, even get that adoption is broken. To achieve adoption reform and justice, legislators have to get beyond the notion of "adoption as charity" and open their minds to adoption's complexities and injustices. With a conservative adoption lobby encamped on the Hill, and a Congressional Coalition on Adoption that's more interested in recognizing their constituents than facing adoption's injustices, that's easier said than done.

I haven't heard anything come from the Obama campaign that leads me to believe they would set adoption reform back. But the following highlights just one of my many concerns with the Republican party's approach to adoption. Adoption reform, I fear, will only go backward if the Republican party wins this election.

Many thanks for Gang-Shik of KADNexus for posting the Huffington Post article that included the link to this one.
The story about Mother Teresa “convincing” Mrs. McCain to bring home two children from an orphanage in Bangladesh has been retold many times. Initially, the “About Cindy McCain” page on the McCain campaign website read: “Mother Teresa convinced Cindy to take two babies in need of medical attention to the United States. One of those babies is now their adopted daughter, 16-year-old Bridget McCain.”

The media picked up the theme. A story earlier this year on ABC’s “Good Morning America” stated, “With Mother Teresa’s encouragement she brought her fourth child, Bridget, home.” An April 2008 Wall Street Journal profile states that Mother Teresa “implored” Cindy to bring the girls to the United States. Other articles say Cindy did it “at the behest” of Mother Teresa.

But a source who was with McCain on that 1991 trip, and who asked that his name not be used because of prior legal dealings with the McCain family, says that Mother Teresa was not at the orphanage when Cindy decided to bring the two girls home.

A 1991 article in the Arizona Star at the time of the adoption only mentions that the children were from an orphanage that was started by Mother Teresa. It does not mention a meeting with Mother Teresa or her asking McCain to bring the girls to the US.

According to biographies of Mother Teresa, in 1991 she was in Mexico where she developed medical problems. From there, she went to a hospital in La Jolla, Calif.

A McCain source acknowledged that Cindy McCain did not meet Mother Teresa during the 1991 trip to Bangladesh but said McCain did meet her later on, although the source could not say when or where. The campaign has since reworded the reference to the adoption on its website.

The entire article can be found here at the Christian Science Monitor.

My kids - ALL adoptees - deserve better.


Erin said…
I was just thinking about this. I think that Adoption reform issues line up better with a democratic platform for sure, and you are right, adoption as charity is better under a Republican platform.

For me, even thinking that adoption reform is HUGE and really important, I've got bigger issues, and I don't trust either party to address this issue. There are bigger things on our plate as a nation right now
Elly said…
The Cindy McCain story drives me crazy, but I wish more people were asking how they managed to adopt Bridget in the first place - I mean the babies came in on medical visas, no? Isn't that the type of sketchy international adoption we are all warned away from?
jerseygirl_chris said…
You know, the entire McCain adoption story seems so shady to me. I've always thought so and these stories about Mother Teresa "convincing" them to adopt Bridget or maybe not even being there make it an even worse picture.

Like Eli, I wonder how they managed it in the first place. Bangladesh does not even have any kind of official adoption program. According to the state department's website, which lists rules for inter-country adoption, it can only currently be done by citizens of Bangladesh (which the McCains are not to my knowledge) and then, they can only become guardians, not full adoptive parents. But, I wonder did they go through any proper channels? I read something somewhere about them describing their home-study, but it almost seemed like it had been after the fact (not ethical). How could Cindy possibly just waltz into an orphanage and come home with a child? Was there an orphan investigation? What about the baby's immigration visa and legal paperwork? Tsk, tsk, McCain's.
malinda said…
And even putting aside the lies about Mother Teresa (isn't lying about a saint a straight shot to hell?!), it drove me crazy to hear Cindy McCain talk about her adoption at the RNC -- it was pure and simple rescue-speak. Arghhh!

And why has everyone forgotten John McCain's g**k comments from 2000?
There are lots of things that weren't on people's radar but now are. Child abuse being one, elder abuse another. Spousal abuse even at one time.

Adoption's day will come. I'm sure of it.
Paragraphein said…
John didn't even know Cindy was bringing a child home until she stepped off the plane with a baby. Now how on earth could that happen under a legal, ethical adoption process? I realize it was a number of years ago, but frankly that astonishes me.
Judy said…
The whole McCain adoption thing gives me the heebie jeebies, to be quite honest. There's way too much we don't know about it, and the 'rescue' factor really makes the Creep Factor of it go way up.
Anonymous said…
It wasn't THAT long ago. What is Brigdet now, 17? Surely even then there were laws in place to prevent people from just lifting children from orphanages and flying them to America.

Also, to hear Cindy tell it (see current Parents magazine), Bridget didn't even realize she was "different" until the press started asking them questions. Right. She never noticed. And does that mean they never told her about her own life's beginnings??? Don't get me started.
Mirjam said…
Darn, so sorry I can't vote in the States...


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