Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Group wants laws to protect against growing trend of child trade

Adoption can be the greatest gift for a child and the family that accepts them into their home. While the fairytale ending is what everyone hopes for the reality is far less wonderful. Sometimes children are placed with families that use and abuse them in every possible way and other times families aren't able to deal or work with troubled children. The lack of blood relation and sense of actual family has led some adoptive parents down an unfortunate road.

Recent reports by Reuters and the Donaldson Adoption Institute have put the spotlight on the very disturbing practice of re-homing. Re-homing is the term coined to describe the practice of adoptive parents turning to the internet to find new homes for their adoptive children. This is often done when the adoptive parent determines they cannot handle their adoptive child. This practice may have developed as a reaction to the increase in international adoption of older children who have unreported special needs. The ill-equipped adoptive parents turn to the internet to find alternative homes for the children they are unwilling to care for.

The Donaldson report has asked for laws to be enacted that will stop the re-homing practice. While the practice may be morally reprehensible, in many instances it is not illegal. Although there are federal laws regulating the moving of adoptive children into homes across state lines the laws are rarely enforced. Congress and several states are in the process of finding viable options for doing away with the practice.

Those who make the decision to adopt should also make the commitment to treat the child as if they were biologically theirs. Few parents would send their biological child to live with strangers because of special needs.

Source: Christian Science Monitor, "Adoption group calls for laws to curb online child trade," Meghan Twohey, Nov. 4, 2013

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