we've been discussing the evangelical mission for trans national
which has become a movement among some did he voit christian families. a movement of hundreds of individual families, parents and children in this country each with their own individual and particular stories. joining my table are two people who have been involved in the trans national
process. karen moline is a mother who adopted her son from vietnam in
and is a
for the parents for ethical
reform and tyreke was adopted at
from theethiopia. the struggle with two failed adoptions.
university of connecticut
historian jelani could be. when i say failed
, what does that mean? what is your story?
when i was 13, my two
and i came to america to
. they told us that we were
going to america
and once we got to america, we found out that we were adopted. we didn't know what that meant. so our family told us that
told us that they are our forever family and i reacted with a lot of grief and anger because i didn't want a new family. i have family in ethiopia.
how do they respond to your reasonable grief and anger?
i think they didn't really react that well because they wanted to adopt a child who was an orphan and that
agency told them false information. and it was kind of my word against the
agency and plus they just spent all this money. they're like we can't take you back because like you're our kid by law. so my sister and i just lived there for a while and later on i found out that they changed our names too, that's one of the reasons why the
fell i think. i was angry and i grieve over my name changed because i didn't want a new name. we already have ethiopian given name. they stopped us from speaking our
and you at this point were 13. you weren't an infant who someone changed their name. you were a
your story is the kind of story you tell in the book that is so hard for me to even comprehend how such a thing happens. how the set of public policies or individual decisions allow a child who has a family, a community, even a name to be ripped out of that around a sort of missionary notion of it being better in the
absolutely. i think what happens in a lot of cases, as in her case, there is so much emphasis and there is so much enthusiasm for
adoption in the united states
and especially in the description of the
movement, a lot of people are deeply moved by the idea that there are hundreds of millions of orphans in need and so if agencies are going out there and saying, sometimes they're taking videos of children and presenting these children sometimes in your case, giving false fact stories saying these children are destitute, these children are about to be completely orphaned, they might end up in a terrible circumstance and prostitution or something like that, this sort of misinformation can start at the very local level. then it comes across the ocean and parents here, prospective parents here are seeing that and are deeply moved. they move forward with an
and there have been lies and misinformation kind of seeded in from the very beginning.
then what is a parent, someone who does feel moved, maybe even has a sense of purpose as is part of the language often around the evangelical part of the movement, how do you find an ethical way to be engaged in
i think what you have to do first is examine your motives of going internationally. you know, what i say often if you're dealing with a corrupt country with
in every aspect of its business, why would you assume that the
business is exempt from the same sort of practices that taint other industries? and when you have a very emotional process, which is the need and the want to be a parent, coupled with a
that doesn't work, you have in clash of not knowing what to do. i think because the stories that like we've just heard are not the -- isolated examples. if anything, i've learned over my years since i adopted in
, corrupt stories are more commonplace than the noncorrupt ones. it's very, very difficult for honest, ethical well-meaning people to believe the depth of depravity that take place in this business bringing these children to this country. so the root of it, as it says in the bible, of all evil is money. there are staggering sums of money paid to these countries, and it's not that the money shouldn't -- some form of sum shouldn't be paid for
, for bureaucratic processing. but there is absolutely no transparency where the funds are going. if you're paying tens of thousands of dollars to a country, you should see something for your money. you should see orphanages with decent care and schooling and nannies, you should see just people taking care of these children and you don't. you have starving babies and starving children. so getting back to your question, i personally would not recommend adopting internationally now because you have no control over the process. i would recommend foster to adopt in this country. the problem is there aren't babies. there are very few young children as katherine said. there aren't -- most children in the
system in this country are older children, four and older. i'm not sure what the actual statistic of the
is. so when you also have a religious fervor driving your intentions and some of the worst abuses unfortunately, have come from faith-based agencies, i think in part because the parishioners, are not morally capable of believing that somebody who was a godly person, a prayerful good person is not just lying, but is stealing children, is harming innocent victims like the one sitting right here. they cannot believe it so they won't believe it.
stay right here. i want to talk a bit more about how it does happen in our own country across a different kind of international line. that's the international line of the
and other questions. when we come back. i'm sorry. it's a