The Adoption Industry in British Columbia
So far, we focus on the "child protection" industry. Let's turn to its sister industry - adoption, which is equally lucrative to the service providers.
On the surface, adoption does not appear to have anything to do with state-sponsored child removal. Most Canadians believe that it is reasonable and necessary for government to adopt children permanently removed from their parents to ease the financial burden on taxpayers. State involvement in the adoption process is imperative to prevent racketeering and exploitation. This page examines the relationship between the "child protection" industry and the adoption industry in British Columbia.
Adoption in British Columbia is governed by the Adoption Act S.B.C. 1995, c. 48 brought into force on 4 November 1996, which incidentally coincided with the enactment of the Child Family and Community Service Act [RSBC 1996] Chapter 46 (CFCSA). Adoptive parents no longer need to be a homeowner, married, childless, under the age of 40, or university educated before they are qualified. Under the Adoption Act, B.C. residents over the age of 19, including disabled, gay and lesbian people, are eligible to apply for adoption despite their marital status, sexual orientation and whether they have any disabilities.
The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) has the exclusive authority to approve adoption agency licenses in British Columbia. All adoptions must be done through these agencies and must meet their approval. Hence, MCFD has power to broker adoption via these agencies. Depending on the availability of children and other relevant factors, adoption could take a year or longer involving the "services" from various service providers such as social workers doing home study, counselors counseling children and adoptive parents, lawyers completing the legal work. According to Adoptive Families Association of B.C., adoption in British Columbia can cost from negligible to $60,000 (although costs can sometimes exceed this) per child. In many cases, costs to adoptive parents are higher, especially in inter-country adoptions. This stimulates our research interests to answer the following issues:
Supply and Demand in the Adoption Industry
Supply of children is required to feed the lucrative adoption market. Children open for adoption primarily come from the following sources:
The number of children naturally available for adoption (ie. without government intervention or more precisely not MCFD orphaned) has declined because of the following reasons:
People adopt children for various reasons. The most common reasons are infertility, affection of children, the noble desire to provide a nurturing home for those in need, engaged in homosexuality that adoption becomes the only alternative to have children, fertile parents choosing to adopt first to sharpen their parenting skills before having their own children.
Federal and provincial governments created the following tax and financial incentives to induce adoption (stimulate demand):
Revenue in the Adoption Industry
Since the costs of different types of adoption vary, the revenue (out of pocket expense from adoptive parents) generated in the adoption industry in British Columbia is established by the following equation:
Lack of reliable data prevents an accurate estimate of the amount of fee income from adoption activities. However, the article titled "Couple Wants to Help Others Adopt " (page A10 of the 14 November 2010 The Province) stated that fees for most adoptions range between $15,000 and $40,000 (the 7th paragraph near bottom left). Using the figures therein, the 1,200 kids whom MCFD had obtained a Continuing Custody Order (CCO) and ready to sell them in the adoption market would generate a fee revenue of $33 million (using $27,500 per adoption, the mid point of the $15,000 and $40,000 fee range).
Be mindful that the revenue on adoption fee from adoptive parents is nominal compared with the subsidies from the federal and provincial governments.
Sophistication of the Set Up
The following in the adoption industry are observed:
MCFD's web site states that adoption costs of removed children are trivial. It appears that this is convincing to falsify the belief that adoption activities are not monetarily driven. Pay attention to the fine print. The costs are minimal only to adopt children with "special placement needs". That means only damaged/defective goods are free.
How about healthy normal children? We cannot find the adoption costs of healthy normal children in MCFD's web site. Unconfirmed sources suggest that they are also free to adopt. However, the web site (under the About Adoption tab, FAQ section) of Adoptive Families Association of B.C. (an authorized adoption agency) gives some information on this. For the ease of reference, the costs are duplicated below:
"Depending on the type of adoption, costs range from negligible to $30,000 (although costs can sometimes exceed this). If you adopt a child with special placement needs through the Ministry, your costs are minimal. You pick up the tab for the criminal record check(s), which would cost approximately $40 – $60, and your medical report(s), which would be no more than $100 per adult.
If you adopt a local infant through an adoption agency, your costs, which include the home study, educational component, and birth family counseling, can run from $10,000 to $15,000."
Furthermore, the MCFD pays qualified adoptive persons under the Post Adoption Assistance Program. On the surface, it leads people to think that if MCFD is paying some people (note some, not all) to adopt, therefore offering adoption service is not financially driven.
When the child protective industry is challenged of using children to earn federal subsidies, service providers vigorously fight back. Mr. Tom Emberton Jr., Social Services Commissioner, Kentucky argued that they have to spend $39 million to earn $1 million of federal subsidies and therefore make no net profit (watch his interview on the right at video marker 5:54).
On the surface, Mr. Emberton's explanation appears plausible. But do not lose sight that they are always spending tax dollars. The primary objective of service providers in the industry is to raise such spending to the maximum that taxpayers could bear so that they could keep their jobs and their lucrative businesses. The name of the game is to legally transfer wealth from taxpayers to service providers.
It serves service providers in B.C. best by paying some adoptive parents. Not only will this generate an illusion that adoption is not for profit but will induce more people to consider adopting because of incentives. Killing two birds in one stone. How smart.
We are not suggesting that the MCFD is making large sums of money by removing children and placing them for adoption. To give the benefit of a doubt, we assume that there is no fee charged by adoption agencies to adopt even healthy, normal children in waiting. MCFD is a public body. It is not supposed to make a profit. Unlike in private corporations, there is no dividend or bonus to pay to their employees and directors. Special interests do not care whether MCFD is making or losing money. They don't benefit one way or the other. All they care is to maximize their own best interests, ie. their pay cheques, fat pension, job security, continuous business at their top hourly rate on taxpayer's wagon. To do so, they must urge MCFD to engage in activities which needs their "services", hence legalizing transfer of wealth from taxpayers brokered by bureaucrats. It is tax dollars they are after. Fees from adoptive parents are trivial, a bonus at best. With the ability to tax the entire population, government spending is a lucrative business.
CFCSA allows social workers to define child abuse and shovel their "services" down the throat of parents by way of court order, hence they control the demand of their pathetic service. One by-product of state-sponsored child removal is ministry orphaned children. The best way to dispose them is to sell them in the lucrative adoption market. Despite adoption agencies in B.C. are independent legal entities, they are strongly influenced by MCFD (through licensing requirements) and run by people with similar mind set and belief.
In microeconomics, this is known as vertical integration. By controlling both the child removal (or "child protection" as MCFD would like people to believe) and the adoption industry, inventory hold-up problem is mitigated. Through vertical integration, MCFD and its authorized agencies achieved a monopoly in the "child welfare" business called a vertical monopoly. It might be more appropriate to speak of this as some form of cartel (a coalition of political or special interest groups having a common cause, as to encourage the passage of a certain law). Despite adoption agencies are non profit organizations, there is no restriction on cost recovery of rendering their "services". There is no limit how high their CEO could set their salary. That's how money is being siphoned and to evade public attention.
Moreover, adoption is an effective cause to raise donation. In the article titled "Couple Wants to Help Others Adopt " on page A10 of the 14 November 2010 The Province, quote:
Children are often used as a tool, a reason or an excuse to raise donation. Booth like the one on the left seeking donation to support children is a common scene in shopping malls across Canada.
Aftermath of Adoption
The short documentary (in both English and Cantonese) on the right discussed the involvement of Children Aid Society (CAS) in adoption. Testimonies from natural parents and adopted children suggest that parental tie is not severable in many cases. There are real cases of parents who were forced by CAS social workers to give up their children and the desire of adopted children to find their natural parents. They are evidence to suggest that both parents and adopted children want to reverse what adoption had done to them.
Parents formed an organization called Adoption Support Kinship to help re-uniting adopted children. Efforts are now being made to lobby the Ontario government to declassify adoption information on parents and their adopted children to facilitate reunion. From 1979 to 2010, there are 75,000 people applying to the Ontario government to seek their kin lost as a result of adoption.
Like state-sponsored child removal, adoption results in involuntary separation between parents and children in many cases. Heavy-handed tactics from social workers and pressure from financial distress compels young mothers to give up their children, usually shortly after birth, for adoption. Social workers often tell parents that the bond with their children will soon disappear if there is no contact and their life will resume normal thereafter. Most parents, who lack the resources to raise their children, do not even have the chance to hold their babies before adopting them out. Most common myths to induce adoption are discussed in the video on the left.
According to the documentary above, over 250,000 children have been adopted since the 1920's in Canada. Tax dollars and adoption fee income paid to service providers in the adoption industry are incalculable. These monies had supported their lifestyle at the expense of creating other social problems resulting from the separation between parents and their beloved children.
Fantasy of Adoption: A Propaganda Warfare
To further their success, propaganda is geared up to create beliefs in favor of adoption activities. Professionally produced TV programs, like the video of a 2009 program called "Full Circle" on the right, are used to lead the public to believe what service providers would like people to believe. Be mindful that Ronnie Littlewood is an Intake, Assessment and Crisis Intervention CAS Social Worker at Brant, Ontario who is the front line "child protection" social worker responsible for removing children from their parents.
This video sheds the following insights:
Despite Ms. Littlewood discussed adoption in Ontario, information in this video confirms our beliefs that:
Because federal tax incentives and subsidies apply to all provinces and territories in Canada, our beliefs hold in B.C.
Sweet sensational talk to paint a fantasy in adoption is very effective to convince people, especially those who have a desire to adopt children, that adoption is so wonderful for children. Their trauma, pain and tears when being seized from their parents are conveniently omitted. The heartache of parents who lost their children due to removal under the pretext of "child protection" is out of the picture. Many cases of reluctant, if not forced, adoption are never mentioned. Tragedies of vulnerable children in adoptive homes are left out.
If you think that children are happy to leave their own families and be adopted, please watch the video on the left and hear the testimony of these children from Port Alberni, B.C. after they were removed from their parents in 2006. Even a 14-year old child could figure out that this "child welfare" racket is all about money, not child protection. Nobody knows life in foster care better than foster children. Only those who have experienced "services" from MCFD know how corrupt and not trustworthy service providers are.
To substantiate our aforesaid beliefs, let's look at the murder of Jasmine and Minnet Bowman (9 and 11 at the time of their death). These young children were murdered by their adoptive mother Renee Bowman (age 44 as of March 22, 2010) in Rockville, Maryland. Renee was also a former foster parent. She adopted several children in her care and murdered two of them. Investigation began in September 2008 after a third 9-year old adopted daughter of Bowman's escaped their house by jumping out a window from the second storey. While investigating allegations of child abuse (be mindful that this adoptive mother used to be a foster parent), the Calvert County Sheriff's Department discovered the two bodies were wrapped up in duct tape and ice encased in a basement freezer. The police believed that the young victims were killed a year ago when the Bowmans lived in another county.
Renee Bowman used foster and adopted children as a source of income collecting more than US$150,000 from social services, some of it received after the girls were dead. Note that many foster/adoptive parents do not have job skills that enable them to earn this level of income. Adoption and fostering are their easy way to get rich.
Though acknowledging guilt of abusing them, Bowman's lawyers maintain that the adoptive mother did not kill the girls. Deputy State's Attorney John Maloney said the evidence shows the children were smothered to death and that Bowman acted deliberately. On March 22, 2010, the former foster mother was sentenced to double life sentences without parole, plus an extra 75 years. This ensures that she will spend the rest of life prison.
Judge Michael J. Algeo said in his judgment, "You sentenced these two young innocent children in the dawn of their lives to a death chamber, and for you that option is not available ...". "... I see no remorse, empathy, caring, I see nothing, just emptiness, no guilt, no accountability."
How appropriate are these remarks on "child protection" social workers as well. They have no compunction about taking what they want. They ruthlessly separate parents and children ("clients" as they are often referred to) against their will and adopt them as they see fit. Who turn children into children "in waiting"? “Child protection” social workers. To most parents, God gives them children so that they can have roses in December. To service providers in the child welfare industry, God gives people children so that they can have a job and a business. This amounts to abduction and human trafficking. Of course, "child protection" law (CFCSA in B.C.) rendered such infamous activities completely legal.
A Word of Caution To Those Who Want to Adopt
If you are contemplating adoption, especially inter-country adoption, please watch the video on the left. It is a news report by Jim Avila of ABC News in 2009 featured on Good Morning America and Nightline news airing an adoption scheme that involved Samoan children stolen from their families by over zealous adoption agencies. Samoan parents were talked into giving up their children for adoption with promises of visits and communication. Adoption agencies told the American adoptive parents that the children were abandoned, had no family and are badly in need of a loving family. There are at least 37 cases involving Samoan children.
There is adoption fraud and you may end up losing your adopted children in due course, causing heartache and financial losses. Going through a government licensed adoption agency provides no protection against such fraud. Near the end of the news, an adoptive parent remarked: "Can these people imagine what it's like to have a child torn from your arms and to be told that this child is no longer yours?" Parents with child removed by "child protection" agencies could certainly share the pain.
Child protection is a noble cause. Politically, it is appealing because no one would oppose protection and child safety. Politicians can build political assets by supporting child welfare related agenda, usually by way of allocating tax dollars and making "child protection" laws. Special interests have been very successful in exploring every opportunity to maximize their own benefits under the pretext of "child protection". Parents who have received "service" from MCFD have no representation in child related policy making and legislation. Those who tell the truth of how harmful state-sponsored child removal is to families and society and speak against the cartel are at risk of further persecution. All negative comments on the "child protection" industry are suppressed by omission or further oppression. As long as the public remains ignorant or apathetic, this situation will continue for a long time.
Like in the "child protection" industry, problems from forced adoption also pertain to English-speaking nations worldwide where governments have the power to remove children from their families. The video on the right is a real story of Yvonne Coulter a mother in England who lost the permanent custody of her daughter Tammy due to an accidental injury. At age 17 in 2006, Tammy found her mother through the internet and reunited with her after 17 years of state-imposed adoption. They are now campaigning to make family court in the U.K. more transparent.
The second part of the video is a British news footage on several child removals including John Fowler's daughter who had been advertised on local newspaper for adoption after removal based on faulty information. It took Mr. Fowler of Birmingham, England five years of legal action to get his daughter back. His torn apart family is still under surveillance of social services after the return of his daughter.
There 60,000 British children in government care, about 0.5% of the child population. Journalist Christopher Booker of Somerset, England stated that there are thousands of children wrongfully removed from their parents. Adoptive or foster parents can make 400 British pounds a week and the whole child welfare system is a nasty racket. The statistics in the last part of the video suggest that this is all money driven.
Testimonies in this British news video refute the beautiful fantasy painted in the 2009 Ontario Full Circle talk show with information solely provided by a major special interest: a CAS social worker.
When challenged, "child protection" agencies always refuse to comment on individual case and defend themselves by alleging: "Removal decisions are made by the courts based on assessments from psychologists for the best interests of children. We are confident that our assessment was an accurate reflection of the facts." This is not quite a precise description in many cases. In our opinion, removal decisions are made by "child protection" social workers later condoned by the courts based on assessments purchased from their shrinks allegedly for the best interests of children, often unstated or subjectively defined by them. They always claim that removal decision is not made lightly, is the last resort used to "protect" children and they are working hard to reunite families. Empirical data and testimonies from many parents and children who have received "service" speak the contrary.
It is also noteworthy to mention that "child protection" law, legal proceedings and inquiry procedures are very similar in all English-speaking nations. A web site called Unity-Injustice (U.K.) discussed a number of "child protection" advice. The guidelines and procedures therein bear remarkable resemblance to those in B.C. They all seem to come from the same model. Spoke persons from "child protection" agencies and politicians all seem to be reciting the same scripts when being asked questions on the absurdity of this racket using children as pawns to rip off taxpayers.
To support an excessively large, non-productive bureaucracy and service providers who prey on tax dollars, government is shrewd, aggressive and devious in raising revenue. Generating income through taxation requires legislative approval, which will inevitably attract scrutiny. If not done properly, it may carry political consequences (the stepping down of Gordon Campbell because of instituting the unpopular HST is a good example). To circumvent check and balance and the attention of watchdogs, crown corporations with power to levy are created. CEO of these corporations (usually those in good relationship with elected officials) are appointed (not elected) and therefore have the free hand to rip off taxpayers at will. Transit Link and the GVRD are products of this nature. If you don’t believe this is happening in the best place to live on earth, check you hydro bill. There is an item called regional transit levy. It is a tax, isn’t it?
Similarly, the hideous activity of selling removed children orphaned by the “child protection” industry in the adoption market must be well concealed. To avoid public outcry and opposition, all financial benefits must be untraceable or legalized by way of rendering services. Adoption agencies, licensed by MCFD, are hence created. Even if an audit is conducted on MCFD’s books, no adoption fee income can be found because they are not paid to MCFD. How are the directors of these adoption agencies related to MCFD bureaucrats, appointed government officials, politicians and political parties? God knows. This qualifies the remark that corruption in the “child protection” industry is not only structural but well concealed, advanced and prosecution proof.
We are not against adoption per se nor are we undermining the kindness of some adoptive parents who genuinely want to provide a caring home to less fortunate children. We recognize the need of some people to adopt and there are parents voluntarily giving up their children for adoption. Because of the legal and operational structures in child-related industries, racketeering and exploitation under the pretext of child welfare could easily occur. Corruption and abuse of authority are what we oppose. In western nations, corruption is often so sophisticated that there is no head to cut off. Their operations are so shrewdly structured that it is almost impossible to convict perpetrators and profiteers in a court of law. Politically, they have strong influence, if not direct control, of child related policies and legislation. Whoever betrays the principle of accrual of power and money, others betray him. Like fighting drugs, the only way to stop this corruption is by cutting off the involuntary supply of human inventory. Revoke child removal authority and kill CFCSA. Such oppressive power and harmful law have no place in a civilized society.
[This page was conceptualized on 31 May 2009, added on 2 December 2010 and last revised on 25 March 2015.]