Here is the latest news on Katie Cramer, an adoptee from China who was in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant.
A 100% match was not found so Katie was given a cord blood cell implant instead. Now is the wait to see if the stem cells engraft which usually happens within 35 days. When this happens, Katie will begin to feel better and will not be at such risk for infection.
Katie has had a bout of pancreatitis (nausea and pain) probably brought on by all the medication she has received. On November 16th she was taken off oxygen (after two weeks) and will be able to have a little liquid food after basically eating nothing for two weeks.
Our guestblogger today is Candace O’Brien who has over 10 years of experience in the field of international adoption and has kindly agreed to let us print this excellent article in full on our website.
One of the main criticisms of the Guatemalan adoption program prior to its closure was that it was in the hands of private attorneys who depended on sometimes unscrupulous middlemen to procure birthmothers wanting to give up their children and perhaps those not wanting to give up their children. Of course this depiction glosses over the nature of how this practice developed in remote villages in Guatemala, far from the lawyers in Guatemala City who could arrange adoptions by foreign nationals. It was a practical way to connect birthmothers, who were seeking adoption as an option to their usually dire circumstances, to attorneys who could then take the children into custody through the use of foster homes and then place the children with families abroad through adoption proceedings. It is interesting to note that neither UNICEF nor the Guatemalan government could see that there could be a middle ground to solving the problem of unscrupulous middlemen who were supposedly forcing these women to give up their children, paying the women as an inducement, or even, as many reports claimed, kidnapping these children for adoption. Many of these reports glossed over the fact that birth mothers had to relinquish their child to an attorney advising her of her rights, undergo an interview with the Family Court, DNA testing of the birth mother and child, review by the Guatemalan Solicitor General’s office, and once again, the birth mother’s consent to the adoption after the Solicitor General’s approval. The Embassies regularly interviewed birth mothers and conducted investigations at random or of cases that appeared questionable. During the last year of adoptions in Guatemala, a 2nd DNA test was required at the end of the process based on accusations of child switching with unimpressive findings to back up these wanton allegations.
It often surprises citizens of the U.S. that Canadians are adopting children from here. After all, we are not a third world country and can certainly provide for every child born here if we so choose.
African American children in foster care are usually always available for domestic adoption in the U.S. But many African American birthmothers placing an infant for adoption feel that their child is better off in Canada where prejudice against African Americans has never reached the proportions it has here in the U.S. That is not to say that there is no prejudice in Canada – au contraire – just ask the First Nations people in Canada for the their opinion on that.
Now to the statistics from our neighbor to the north:
In 2008 and 2009 China sent the most children to Canada for adoption. The U.S. came in third in 2008 and second in 2009. The number of adoptions of children from the U.S. to Canada in 2009 rose to 253 from 182 in 2008 an increase of 71 in one year.
Expedite Visas for the 80 Families in the Adoption Pipeline Sign the Petition: 12,394 Letters and Emails Sent So Far
Recently I posted a blog regarding the adopting parents of Nepali children caught in the most recent intercountry adoption quagmire. I strongly believe that the U.S. Department of State (who has frozen these adoptions in process) should allow these 80 adoptions to be completed – a sadly miniscule number in comparison to the huge number of “family-less” children in Nepal who wait for forever families...forever.
One of the adopting parents caught in this tragic adoption mess has organized a petition. I hope you will join me in signing this petition (click here) and help pressure our lawmakers into allowing these Nepali children to enter the U.S. with their new U.S. families.
Here are some excerpts from the petition:
The change in policy of the United States Department of State, established on August 6, 2010 (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/08/145767.htm), concerning adoptions in Nepal has led to approximately 80 “pipeline families” experiencing long delays in the processing of their investigations and issuing of visas to newly adopted Nepali orphans. Some of these families are stranded in Kathmandu with their children while they await decisions by the Embassy and now USCIS in New Delhi. Other families are waiting in the U.S., many after having adopted their children and left them in their orphanages. The state of limbo in which these families are now living has caused them to suffer emotionally and financially, placed their employment or their businesses at risk, and left several far from home and the support of family and friends in extremely difficult circumstances.
Dear Adoption Maharishi,
My husband and I are looking into intercountry adoption, and we want to adopt two children. We are toying with the idea of adopting two children who are close in age and raising them like virtual twins. The total costs of the two adoptions would be less expensive, and we would only have to travel once instead of twice to adopt. Is this a good idea? What are the pros and cons of virtual twins?