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The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption Paperback – 8 May 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs,U.S. (8 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610393767
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610393768
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,227,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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."

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Format: Hardcover
The release of Kathryn Joyce's excellent book couldn't be better timed. Using James 1:27, "Visit Widows and Orphans", as a spiritual mandate the US adoption movement seems to have a one-way ticket to `orphan saviour heaven' but routinely ignore the real issues and unethical, even criminal, practices of the orphan care movement. Kathryn, through excellent investigative journalism and eyewitness accounts, has managed to capture perfectly what is really going on and exposes where the whole `orphan care' movement is going wrong.

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...

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well, a book to put you off fundamental extreme Christianity. Thinking that "saving the souls" gives them a right to steal children from poor mothers......
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars 55 reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, fascinating 5 Oct. 2013
By Anna Karenina - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an incredibly eye-opening book about all that's wrong with international adoption. The main argument of the book is that western demand for children, and/or for a heroic Christian adoption experience, has a distorting effect on the number of "orphans" available for adoption in developing countries. If you build it, they will come--that is, orphanages attract desperately poor parents to drop off their kids. Highly paid adoption workers get parents to relinquish kids, without their fully understanding that adoption is permanent. What is needed is often not adoption but assistance to whole families. In other places, the problem is not so much poverty but the stigma attached to single motherhood. That's it in a tiny nutshell--there is a massive amount of information in this book, and it's not easily summarized.

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.
184 of 214 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much Needed 23 April 2013
By Mom20 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am one of those right-wing, Evangelical Christians that the author seems to not care for.........so this may be interesting! I am mom to biological sons and often thought about adopting a daughter from China. I started to research and found out a lot of information about children being kidnapped from their parents in China and was SO disturbed because I had NO idea that this was going on. I don't think most Americans understand that when you pay to adopt of a child in a 3rd world country that you are inadvertently, supporting child trafficking. Whenever a lot of money is involved and there is a demand, regardless of what the demand is for...corruption always comes....and the end does not justify the means. As a Compassion International sponsor to children in Ethiopia, I started to research adoption in Ethiopia, as well as, the orphan crisis and street children there. I went with Compassion Int to Ethiopia to meet my sponsor kids and also met boys at an orphanage. I became a mom to 4 boys at an orphanage. I have been back several times to visit them. I am their mother in every sense except that I am not physically with them all of the time. As I learned more about adoption and met more and more people that had adopted.........I was SHOCKED...the first time...an adoptive parent sitting on my couch in my house said.........."when, I met her mother." When you met her mother?? She has a mother?? YES, but she is very poor and cannot take care of her. SO........you spent 30,000 to take her away from her mother instead of helping the mother keep her own child? I thought it was an isolated incident but I heard it OVER and OVER again! As a Christian, I cannot believe that my fellow Christians do not have a HUGE problem with this. If I were poor and someone from.....let's say Spain....showed up and said they would take my children, give them a great education, and a nice home.....would that be okay? Would Americans be okay with that? NO.....it wouldn't be OK! It would be CRUEL. As I have gotten more involved with orphan ministry, I have met many self-righteous Christians on a mission and they do NOT want to be bothered with the facts. I have also met many who have been lied to about their children ages, parents being alive etc. Have met many that were not warned that older boys may come into the home and molest younger children even though it has happened OVER and OVER or that older children may not cope well with the cultural changes. How can we as Americans be SO arrogant...to think that we can just a pluck a kid out of his homeland, culture, smells, sights, sounds...and they NOT have major issues? I have had many that say...GASP......you aren't going to adopt your Ethiopian boys? I say NO...they say WHY and I say because Ethiopia is a beautiful country with a beautiful culture and people. I am already seeing amazing things happen with the older boys who have had American sponsors. Some are in medical school, some had tutors and sponsors that paid for private school and are now studying to be Engineers, nurses etc...I can help my boys break the cycle of poverty and grow up to change their own country. Compassion Int has really done an amazing job of this, as well. Uganda has its first female in Parliament...a former Compassion child!! But having said that I know older children that are true orphans that have been adopted into the US and are doing great. They have had the opportunity to go back and visit their homeland. I come to this opinion also as having a sister that my mom gave up for adoption in 1962. I believe that my mom did the right thing in giving her up for adoption. My mom was 15 and her parents were not mentally stable. BUT...my sister never felt that she belonged with her biological family. She looks like my mom, they have the same mannerisms. My sister has such a sense of loss. I am THANKFUL that abortion was illegal then or my sister would not have been born. BUT, I see how hard it was for her living with an adopted family that she was nothing like....and that was with people in the same country! It is hard for me to believe that my fellow Christians can look at UNICEF's view that international adoption should be the last resort and think that is wrong. It should be the last resort. Keeping families together should be the FIRST priority. The Jesus that I know and LOVE would never tell me to take a child from a poor mother. He would tell me to help her raise her own children. HOWEVER, I have met TONS of Christians in this process who do get it and they want to help families keep their children. I have met amazing adoptive families and I do believe sometimes international adoption is best when ALL OTHER avenues have been exhausted. Your book seems to paint us as religious zealots who are trying to save little souls from burning in hell! Ethiopians could teach American Christians about faith, justice, mercy, goodness......they don't need me trying to save them from hell. They just need me.....who has been blessed financially and...YES..I do believe it is God's money....to come in along side them and invest in education, health etc....so they can break the cycle of poverty and keep their own children! I believe in partnering with the local church and helping them to help their own people. I don't help them to "save" their souls. I help them because NO child should have to live in poverty without HOPE....especially with the ENORMOUS wealth held in some countries. I help them because as a Christian I believe that is what God tells us to do. I don't do it for recognition or needing to do "good works" but out of abundance of what God has done for me and I believe that is why MOST Christians do it! It is a complicated problem and like Rick Warren, I am learning as I go.........but God says....GO!
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, troubling and thorough 10 Oct. 2013
By Alex King - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
f you have thought about adopting a child, you owe it to yourself to read this book. If you have adopted a child, particularly in an international adoption, all the more so. Please note that I'm not suggesting you will enjoy the ride, as the author deftly sucks you into a whirlwind of corruption committed in the name of rescuing orphans.

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
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An important book for anyone interested in The Orphan Crisis 22 April 2014
By Otherside Oftheplanet - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is a must read for anyone interested in working with children in a developing country. Yes, it will challenge you, and it will make you think. As an evangelical Christian who has lived and worked in Cambodia for more than 20 years, I have little to find fault with in the book. I have personally experienced and witnessed much of the same. There is NO "orphan crisis" in Cambodia, and yet, when my colleagues and I met with Senator Landrieu (much quoted in the book), and told her of the reduction of orphans, new laws and systems for child welfare put into place, and the reduction of orphanages, she was very upset that we "are not telling me what I want to hear". Imagine, not being happy about the excellent progress being made to benefit ALL Cambodian children and their families. I also have met several directors of international adoption agencies, all jockeying for position in the hopes that "business" will re-open. They also were uninterested in the truth that the majority of children in orphanages here have 1 or both living parents.

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.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening and Scary 10 Dec. 2013
By Amazon9900 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As the oldest child in the family, I observed and participated in the adoption process of my sister, 100% motivated by the evangelical movement in my church. Even at 10, I could see adopting from Cambodia and Vietnam becoming a "trend" among so many families in the church. It mystified and perplexed me. I started seeing and hearing mothers hinting at feeling left out, and who jumped on the adoption train regardless of their life situation. I heard the pastor preach about adding to the family troops even if you were past your child-bearing years, divorced, or barren. This book brought together a fuller picture of those pieces from my memory. This book is a must read.
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