ADOPTION AGENCIES – NO REGULATION

Yep there is no real regulation in the adoption industry. If anything they regulate themselves. I have written about it several times. I received an email from a prospective adoptive parent who was screwed by the industry. She is now an activist in changing adoption. Over the next several days, I will present the key players and organizations. I want you to see the money and individuals connected. Three main organizations present themselves as regulating bodies of the adoption industry. They are not however. They are all non profit organizations. Every single one of their members on their Boards of Directors are adoption agencies and attorneys. There is not an adoptee, adoptive parent or natural parent with any real power. I mean an adoptive parent not connected to an adoption agency. There are no adoptees nor natural parents from organizations representing the interests of those individuals. So how can they really regulated themselves?

It is real easy to track the money for these organizations. I have used GuideStar to help me. I have also gone to the websites themselves. You can google the names of the players themselves. I will provide links to all of them. So you can see for yourself what I am talking about. Adoption affects the adoptee, the natural parents and the adoptive parents on many deep levels. We are all mere pawns in a huge industry. None of us have any power to reign these folks in and hold them accountable. Our government listens to these folks before they listen to us.

COUNCIL ON ACCREDITATION

According to their own website, the Council on Accreditation (COA) partners with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards. To make wording sound better, they use human service organizations.

Lets look at who is on the Board of Directors and their Trustees. According to their GuideStar report, they call themselves a professional society/association. Their name alone gives the appearance of knowledge and possible government connections. This organization is a non profit organization that is put together by the adoption industry professionals.

The Council on Accreditation’s president and CEO is Richard Klarberg. He earned $270,544 in 2006 from this organization. He was a trustee for them for five years and he was treasurer for two years. He is also a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He also worked for Javits & Javits, a legal firm in New York. So he is an attorney.

There is this little memorandum between the U.S. State Department and the COA. Instead of the Federal government agency doing the oversight of adoption agencies and international adoption, the government has delegated that responsibility to the COA. Can we smell money yet?

Here is the summary of the memorandum:

“The Department of State (the Department) is the lead Federal agency for implementation of the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Convention) and the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA). Among other things, the IAA gives the Secretary of State responsibility for the accreditation of agencies and approval of persons to provide adoption services under the Convention. The IAA requires the Department to enter into agreements with one or more qualified entities under which such entities will perform the tasks of accrediting agencies and approving persons, monitoring compliance of such agencies and persons with applicable requirements, and other related duties set forth in section 202(b) of the IAA. This notice is to inform the public that on July 12, 2006, the Department exercised its authority under the IAA and entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Council on Accreditation under which the Department designated the Council on Accreditation as an accrediting entity. In its role as an accrediting entity, the Council on Accreditation will be accrediting or approving qualified agencies and persons throughout the United States in accordance with the procedures and standards set forth in 22 CFR Part 96 to enable them to provide adoption services in cases subject to the Convention once the Convention enters into force for the United States. The Department will monitor the performance of the Council on
Accreditation and approve fees charged by it as an accrediting entity. The text of the MOA, signed on July 12, 2006 by Maura Harty, Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State and signed on July 6, 2006 by Richard Klarberg, President and Chief Executive Officer, Council on Accreditation, is included at the end of this Notice. “

TRUSTEES

Lawrence Abramson (Treasurer) is an attorney for Harbottle and Lewis out of Florida. He usually represents charities. He is currently the treasurer for COA.

Thomas Atwood is the CEO of the National Council for Adoption (I will go into this organization on another post). He is one of the trustees for the Council on Accreditation. For those that don’t know, the National Council for Adoption is an organization representing adoption agencies. He is a voting entity on an organization that does accreditation for adoption agencies and international adoption.

Sister Ann Patrick Conrad (Chair) is an associate professor for the National Catholic School of Social Services. Can we all say Catholic Charities really loud here? Good. She has testified in front of Congress on a few occasions for foster care needs.

Samuel W. Croll (First Vice Chair) is the CEO of Croll Reynolds. I imagine he gets the contracts to help with the orphanages overseas. After looking over their website, yep he has connections in China.

Bert Goldberg is the president and CEO of the Jewish Family & Children’s agencies. His organization is funded by both the government and the United Way. I refuse to donate to the United Way because it funds adoption agencies.

Beverly F. Grant is the Director of Operations – South Region, Bethany Christian Services. Bethany Christian Services is a member of the National Council for Adoption. This again will be gone into further on the National Council for Adoption post.

Joel Johnson is the Chief Operating Officer for the SOS Children’s Villages in Illinois. This is a foster care organization in Illinois. According to their newsletter, 79% of their funding comes from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

James M. Karet is thepresident/senior sales & marketing Executive for Three Dimensional Marketing. He is also on the board of Child Welfare League of America.

Christopher Lueng (Second Vice Chair) is the CEO of Catholic Social Services in Canada.

Patti J. Lyons if the former President/CEO of the Consuelo Foundation

Jean Mirabella is the Director of Quality Improvement & Data Analysis for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago. She also works for Oak Lawn Village. She has a Ph.D. in Social Work

Neil P. Newstein (Immediate Past Chair) is the Executive Director for the Jewish Family and Children’s Services in Florida. He is probably on the Florida Adoption Council.

Timothy F. Noelker is an attorney that is a partner in Thompson Coburn, LLP. He is a former U.S. Department of Justice attorney. He specializes in governmental contracts. Hmmm, they use him and his contacts to get the foster care contracts for the various states.

Michael J. Reider is the Executive Director of Haven House Services. They are out of North Carolina. They are fund by government funds and the United Way.

Jill A. Schumann is the CEO and president of Lutheran Services in America.

Hilda A. Shirk is a consultant for the Council for Accreditation. She formerly worked with Family & Children Services of Central Pennsylvania. She has a Ph.D. in Social Work. This organization has now merged and become PresslyRidge. This is the privatization of foster care.

Samuel M. Sipes (Secretary) is the president and CEO of Lutheran Social Services in Florida

Alvin Snyder is the former Executive Director of Children and Families First. Children and Families First is another privatized entity that helps oversea foster care in Delaware. Here is a letter from the Governor’s office. The Mother’s Resource is another program that he was a part of.

Dru Whitaker is the CEO of Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth. This organization is again working with the foster care system. They operate out of eight states.

Boy oh boy are adoption agencies really represented in this organization. Lets look at the funds that they have earned in 2006. Their IRS form 990 for 2007 is not yet out on GuideStar.com

Program services (includes government contracts) $6,972,116.00
Accreditation fees $4,291,644.00
Application fees $283,075.00
Membership Dues $284,075

When you read their IRS form 990, they have this little ditty about conflict of interest:

“CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Trustees shall serve in their individual capacities and shall demonstrate unconflicted loyalty to COA during their terms of service. Trustees and Officers shall avoid any conflict of interst between themselves and COA, including without limitation , the conduct of private business or personal services between themselves or any persons related to them or any entities controlled by them or in which they hold a beneficial ownership interest. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a conflict of interest shall not be deemed to exist if (a) all material facts regarding such conflict of interest are fully disclosed to the board prior to the approval of such transaction, and (b) the transaction is approved by the affirmative vote of a majority of the trustees, excluding the trustee(s) subject to the conflict of interest.

A Trustee who is subject to a conflict of interest may be counted in determining the existence of a quorum at any meeting of the Board for authorizing the interested transaction but may not participate in any vote related to the same. Trustees who have an interest in a transaction are prohibited from participating in any Board discussions related to the transaction.”

Lets look at the sponsors and supporters. You will see lots of interesting names.

Sponsors:

Catholic Charities USA
Child Welfare League of America
Joint Council on International Children’s Services
National Council for Adoption
National Foundation for Credit Counseling
Children’s Home Society
Association of Jewish Family and Children’s agencies
Alliance for Children & Families
Volunteers of America
Prevent Child Abuse America
National Organization of State Associations for Children
Foster Family Based Treatment Association
Lutheran Services in America
National Network for Youth

Supporters:

American Association of Children’s Residential Centers
American Network of Community Options and Resources
United Methodist Association
Employee Assistance Society of North America
Mental Health Corporations of America
National Association of Social Workers
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
National Association of State Alcohol & Drug Abuse Directors, Inc.
National Association of Therapeutic Wilderness Camps
National Council for Community Behavorial Healthcare

In my opinion, every single one of these individuals represents a conflict of interest. I can see a couple of them being on the board. Adoptive parents, natural parents and adoptees are not represented. There are no members from Bastard Nation, American Adoption Congress, PEAR, Concerned United Birthparents, or OriginsUSA. There is no one on the board that truly represents those living adoption. It is only those that have profited off adoption. Just food for thought.

Next Joint Council on International Children Services

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One Response to “ADOPTION AGENCIES – NO REGULATION”

  1. Dawn & Joe DeLorenzo Says:

    Great post Amy! :)Dawn

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