To: NBC Dateline
Attn: Victoria Corderi and Stone Phillips
I watched your program "A Web of Deceit" with great interest this evening. Like the couples who were scammed by Amy, my husband and I, too, are infertile. We are now the parents of two children, both Korean and now teens.
Although I recognize that your program intended to expose what can only be described as a sick fraud, I fear it also perpetuated the idea that prospective adoptive parents have any right to the child of a pregnant woman who is considering her options. Although my heart went out to these couples, who were clearly taken advantage of by an individual who aimed to do just that, it also disturbed me to see how readily each claimed Amy's child as their own just on the basis of Amy's promise to place her child with them.
Given the many organizations and initiatives in our country that seek to destigmatize adoption and adopted people, this attitude may be understandable. But step back from Amy's callous dishonesty and think about this situation from the perspective of a young, unmarried woman who is receiving no support from family or community to parent her child. I can think of no other situation in which society would tolerate one woman's claim to another's child - yet we allow this every day when the other woman is unmarried, justifying it with our counsel to "do what's best for your baby," "be courageous," and "give your baby a future."
It is, of course, hypocritical that I raise these concerns, given that my family exists through adoption. I can only say that over the years, as I have heard the stories of adopted people and mothers lost to each other through adoption, often suffering through their entire lives from the loss, I have come to understand that the "adoption plan" (as it is called in politically-correct language) is often made under pressure, coercion and worse.
Amy's scam is without a doubt a horrible injustice, and it and other similar adoption scams should be stopped and prosecuted. But I believe that every adoption that takes place when a mother is pressured in any way to surrender her child without being given every possible support to keep him or her is an even greater injustice. In these cases, the injustice is not the emotional pain caused to a couple yearning for a child - it is the actual loss of a living, breathing child to a mother, and of the mother to the child.
I encourage you to reach out to the mothers of adoption and give them an opportunity to tell their stories. Their voices have been silenced by secrecy and shame for far too long.
Sent to NBC Dateline July 9, 2006