Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dear Reuters

Dear Reuters,

Thank you. On behalf of the the adoption community, I want to sincerely thank you for what you did in uncovering so much ugly in your piece The Child Exchange. It was legitimately good journalism. In 2013, we’re not accustomed to news agencies “breaking” stories anymore. Boy, did you surprise us with that piece! Seriously. I am an adoption social worker and I had no idea these things happened. I’ve assisted in some agency involved disillusioned adoptions, as well as disruptions, and I just ignorantly thought everyone handled it the right way (through an agency and using attorneys). I didn’t know there was another way. You have opened my eyes to something so horrific, so ugly, and somewhat widespread, and I want to sincerely thank you for that. That was quality information and we are so incredibly grateful for bringing something so horrible to the forefront. I’m just going to ignore some of the not-so-adoption-friendly language in the article, so you’re good.

And now a section I like to call “REALLY, Reuters?” with Nikki.

Really Reuters…

Did you think through this before printing it? Did you stop and think about the possible repercussions that may arise from that? Did you really think that the government officials of every adoption sending country would just overlook something like that? Really? You’re Reuters. People respect and admire you and don’t just overlook those things.  

Reuters, is your aim to shut down international adoption? Really? I don’t want to this is true, but perhaps it is. Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I really don’t think so. You seem like good people. Really. I’m sure you are moms and dads just like everyone else out there. I’m sure you love your babies and love getting home to fix them dinner and tuck them into bed at night. I’m sure some of you have adopted your own children, yourself been adopted, placed a baby for adoption, or know someone close to you who has been involved with an adoption. I’m sure you are not anti-adoption in general, or probably you wouldn’t have picked up this piece. Really.  

But really Reuters, you put out this story and within days we have yet one more country to add to our list of countries closed to adoption. And then we’ve got another country, giving us two hours to prepare for a conference call that occurred a week and a half ago, telling us this story opened their eyes to some new things and about how we might have to spend longer time in country and possibly do post-adoption reports until the child is 18 years old. It was nearly two hours of call and an 11 point plan outlined within just a few days as response to the horrors of your article that, let’s face it, is going to affect everyone. I’m happy to spend more time in country but Reuters, were you were planning pay for my extra travel fees and time off work?       

I understand this is part of a series of pieces about adoption. I hope the next segment is good, because Reuters, really, there is a lot of good information out there about adoption. Hey, maybe you could interview me! I can tell you stories until the cows come home. If you sat and talked with me, I could tell you about kids on my caseload from all around the world. I could tell you about Claire*, a child with a heart condition adopted from China at age 13, who just six months after being adopted was her school’s freshman homecoming princess. Or I could tell you about the Jackson* family who adopted a perfectly healthy girl from China, only for her to have a near death seizure five months after arriving home and never to walk again. Oh, but they love that child to the ends of the earth and back! The truth is, she probably wouldn’t be alive today if that seizure occurred when she was still in the orphanage.  Or I could tell you about Justin* and Meredith*, the sweet parents who adopted Elizabeth* from Ethiopia, a child with medical needs so profound, upon arrival in the United States, they drove straight to the hospital, no stopping at home, to spend their next two full weeks there just keeping her alive. Elizabeth just enjoyed a European vacay, catching the eye of tourists all around Europe with her cuteness! Or I could tell you about Matthew Jones*, who, adopted at age 14 from China, is living out two of his dreams that involve playing baseball and playing the piano. And might I say, he’s quite gifted at both even though he didn’t start either until age 15.  

Do you need me to keep going? I really can you know. 9 full years of these stories and I can have them at the ready in a mere moments notice for you. And I would be happy to do that for you, cause you know, you’re Reuters and I would be honored to help.

Just really think about what you’re doing next time before you uncover something this outrageous. And perhaps, you can print the good bit or bits next. We might need a little pick-me-up from you right about now.

Thanks bunches,


*names changed for confidentiality. But if you were one of the stories and you know who you are, thanks for having an awesome story that I can share!      

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