The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption Paperback – 8 May 2014
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"Erin Siegal, author of Finding Fernanda"""The Child Catchers" shatters conceptions about how and why Americans adopt, bringing us inside the often-misunderstood Christian adoption movement. Joyce's graceful prose deftly exposes the connections between adoption trade groups, the religious right, and U.S. policy makers, while delicately revealing a horrific series of ongoing crimes and misdeeds perpetrated against children. A timely, important book.""
Debbie Nathan, journalist, co-author of Satan's Silence; author of Women and Other Aliens, Pornography, and Sybil Exposed""In this chilling expose that promises to become a muckraker classic, Kathryn Joyce rips the veil off a sacrosanct institution in America and other rich nations: international adoption. She exposes not just black- and grey-market practices--though she finds plenty of both in evangelical-Christian institutions piously claiming to rescue orphans from poor countries. More profoundly, though, Joyce reveals how secular, squeaky-clean adoption can also do harm, not just to individual birth mothers and adoptees, but to the progress of children's and women's rights globally. "The Child Catchers "is essential reading for adoptive parents, those thinking about adopting, and anyone concerned with democracy--nationally and throughout the world."
"Kirkus Reviews""Joyce broadens the understanding of adoption's conundrums, not only within the United States, but also internationally, with deep investigations of children from Liberia, Ethiopia, Korea, Rwanda, Haiti and China...Groundbreaking investigative and explanatory reporting.""
Anthea Butler, University of Pennsylvania""Kathryn Joyce's book T"he Child Catchers "is a compelling, meticulously researched, and insightful dissection of Conservative Christians and their participation in the international adoption complex. Joyce unmasks this new fertile 'mission field' of children, defined by a labyrinth of adoption agencies, organizations, and activists. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Kathryn Joyce is a journalist based in New York City whose work has appeared in the "Nation," "Mother Jones," "Slate," the "Atlantic," and other publications. A 2011 recipient of the Knight Luce Fellowship for Reporting on Global Religion, she has also been awarded residencies and fellowship support by the Nation Institute Investigative Fund, the MacDowell Colony, the Bellagio Center, and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. She is the author of "Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement" and as associate editor at "Religion Dispatches."
Top Customer Reviews
Countries like Uganda, with developing child protection systems, are purposely being targeted by unethical agencies and adoption `middlemen' in order to ensure there is a ready supply of children to meet the demand being generated from Pulpits across the US. I see it everyday. US adoption agencies are establishing and funding orphanages in order to control the demand. This is completely contrary to the Children's Act of Uganda and is making domestic welfare reforms for children without parental care eminently more difficult than they need to be.
The great irony is that adoption agencies promote orphanages as 'bad places' for children (which we agree they are) and yet they have a co-dependency relationship with orphanages which results in more children ending up in orphanages. In Uganda we have many orphanages funded and being established by adoption agencies which are now recruiting children - many of whom won't be adopted thus leaving, between them, 1000's of children in institutional care. Adoption agencies *need* orphanages in order to peddle their own message and promotion of International Adoption. Interestingly when International Adoption programmes close the number of orphanages being established decreases. Kathryn manages to communicate these paradoxes eloquently with sound research and facts.
Full review and interview with the author here...
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is all extremely compelling. The book is very thoroughly researched and clearly written. The one thing I can't say for it is that it is balanced. We don't get stories of needed and successful adoption to balance the stories of unneeded and corrupt adoption. So basically the reader is forced to read another book. Perhaps that's OK, though. By writing a polemic, Joyce forces us to completely rethink the ethics of adoption, instead of reaching a bland "sometimes good, sometimes bad" conclusion.
As for all the negative reviews--Joyce steps on a lot of toes in this book. Read it for yourself and ignore the outrage. It will change your whole outlook on international adoption if you started out (like me) thinking it must be mostly humanitarian and necessary.
You may find yourself trying to argue with the book's conclusions, with the excuse that these are only the horror stories, that most adoptions turn out well, and that the adoptive parents intended to do something good. Most of the time that's true, but ends don't justify means. By describing the worst cases of children caught in a system that disregards their rights, 'The Child Catchers' devastates the rationalization that adoption saves orphans. Taking children from families in developing countries is tragically common; it's at best an inefficient method to make them better off, and at worst child trafficking driven by the profit motive.
This book will not be prescribed as a sleep aid to adoptive parents. It may cause nagging thoughts about whether what you were told about your child's origin is true enough. After reading, you may ask yourself how to live with the ambiguity of never knowing for certain. Perhaps you'll do what I did: initiate an(other) inquiry to find out what happened to the child you love so much, before the adoption.
Knowing the scale and scope of deceptions practiced against first families in developing countries, as well as adoptive families with the best intentions, may trouble the reader. As it should. There are troubling patterns repeated in the business of international adoptions, and Kathryn Joyce has documented them thoroughly. This book bothered me. Strongly recommended
International adoptions were shut down in Cambodia because children and babies were being trafficked for adoption purposes. It became big business. It still is happening now with the Italian government, and children asking for their moms as soon as they learn to speak Italian. How much proof do we need before we take an honest look at the "leap frogging" from one poor country to the next?
If you want to solve an orphan crisis, you must work with families. Evangelical Christians and the US government should be putting money into initiatives that work to strengthen families and communities, that work to keep children within their own families, their own communities and their own countries in a safe, healthy and legal manner.