The Truth About The Adoption Industry
| Home | ILLINOIS_FAMILY_RIGHT_MISSION_STATEMENT | THE ILLINOIS_FAMILY_RIGHTS_GAZETTE FOR SUMMER/AUTUMN OF 2006 | LIFTING THE VEIL : | Interrogations, Repeated Questioning, Vilification | Investigative Techniques of Strip Searching Children | A Critical Look At The Child Welfare System | A Critical Look At The Child Welfare System | A Critical Look At the Child Welfare System: Falsfying Records | Turnover In Child Welfare | Anaylising Children's Drawings | A CRITICAL LOOK AT THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM | Foster Care :How Safe the Service? | A Critical Look At The Foster Care System:How Widespread a Problem? | A Critical Look At The Foster Care SystemFoster Care Financing | Foster Care: Incentive To Foster Care Givers | Foster Care:The Sectarian Agencies | A Critical Look At The Foster Care System: The Group Homes | A Critical Look At The Foster Care System: Medication of Children | A Critical Look At The Foster Care SystemFoster Care Outcomes | The Truth About The Adoption Industry | Help For The Adoptive Child Syndrome | What Parent's Can Do To Protect Your Family and Children? | LEGAL ADVICE FOR ILLINOIS PARENTS FROM THE ILLINOIS LEGAL AID ORGANIZATION | Information For Illinois Parents | My CPS Horror Story: By Karissa Elizabeth Ann Lowell | Are Your Children On The Auction Block By Cheryl Barnes Head of CPS Watch | New Page Title | Links

Enter subhead content here

Adoption Incentive Payments to The States in 2005
Adoption Incentive Payments FY 2005
District of Columbia
New York
North Dakota
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia
Puerto Rico
Adoption is big business especially when it comes to CPS for making sure that a families reunification plan fails so they can move to terminate of the Best Interest of The Child which only requires the lowest degee of evidence used in a civil trial know as "preponderance of the evidence."

Child Protection Terminology
A Must For Every Parent


Adjudicatory Hearings – held by the Juvenile/Family Court to determine whether a child has been maltreated or whether some other legal basis exists for the State to intervene to protect the child. Each State has its own terms and definitions in the jurisdiction provisions of its law. Depending on the State, a child may be subject to the Juvenile Court's authority if he/she is abused, battered and abused, abused or neglected, sexually abused, maltreated, dependent, deprived, abandoned, uncared for, in need of aid, in need of services, or in need of assistance, to name a few.

beyond a reasonable doubt
adj. part of jury instructions in all criminal trials, in which the jurors are told that they can only find the defendant guilty if they are convinced "beyond a reason- able doubt" of his or her guilt. Sometimes referred to as "to a moral certainty," the phrase is fraught with uncertainty as to meaning, but try: "you better be damned sure." By comparison it is meant to be a tougher standard than "preponderance of the evidence," used as a test to give judgment to a plaintiff in a civil (non-criminal) case.



CASA – court-appointed special advocates (usually volunteers) who serve to ensure that the needs and interests of a child in child protection judicial proceedings are fully protected.

Child Protective Services (CPS) – the designated social service agency (in most States) to receive reports, investigate, and provide rehabilitation services to children and families with problems of child maltreatment. Frequently, this agency is located within larger public social services agencies, such as Departments of Social Services or Human Services.

Clear and Convincing Evidence
n. evidence that proves a matter by the "preponderance of evidence" required in civil cases and beyond the "reasonable doubt" needed to convict in a criminal case.


Disposition Hearing – held by the Juvenile/Family Court to determine the disposition of children after cases have been adjudicated, such as whether placement of the child in out-of-home care is necessary and what services the children and family will need to reduce the risk and address the effects of maltreatment.

Emergency Hearings – held by the Juvenile/Family Court to determine the need for emergency out-of-home placement of a child who may have been a victim of alleged maltreatment. If out-of-home placement is found to be unnecessary by the court, other measures may be ordered to protect the child. These might include mandatory participation by a parent in a drug abuse treatment program or a parenting skills class or regular supervision by a caseworker. These hearings must be held between 24 and 72 hours of any emergency placement, depending on State law, once an emergency custody order has been issued.

Family Preservation/Reunification – established in law and policy and the philosophical belief of social services agencies that children and families should be maintained together if the safety of the children can be ensured.

Guardian ad Litem – a lawyer or lay person who represents a child in Juvenile/Family Court. Usually this person considers the best interest of the child and may perform a variety of roles, including those of independent investigator, advocate, advisor, and guardian for the child. A lay person who serves in this role is sometimes known as a court-appointed special advocate or CASA.

Good Faith – the standard used to determine if a reporter has reason to suspect that child abuse or neglect has occurred and to assess the basis for a decision to petition the court. In general, good faith applies if any reasonable person, given the same information, would draw a conclusion that a child may have been abused or neglected.




guardian ad litem
n. a person appointed by the court only to take legal action on behalf of a minor or an adult not able to handle his/her own affairs. Duties may include filing a lawsuit for an injured child, defending a lawsuit or filing a claim against an estate. Usually a parent will file a petition to be appointed the guardian ad litem of a child hurt in an accident at the same time the lawsuit is filed.



Immunity – established in all child abuse laws to protect reporters from civil lawsuits and criminal prosecution resulting from filing a report of child abuse and neglect. Immunity is provided as long as the report is made in good faith. This protection also applies to those who make decisions to petition the court. If the basis for the decision is based on good faith, immunity applies. Depending on each State's law, this immunity may be absolute (complete) or qualified (partial).

Juvenile and Family Courts – established in most States to resolve conflict and to otherwise intervene in the lives of families in a manner that promotes the best interest of children. These courts specialize in areas such as child maltreatment, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, divorce, child custody, and child support.

Multidisciplinary Team – established between agencies and professionals to mutually discuss cases of child abuse and neglect and to aid decisions at various stages of the child protection system case process. These teams may also be designated by different names, including child protection teams, interdisciplinary teams, or case consultation teams.



moral certainty
n. in a criminal trial, the reasonable belief (but falling short of absolute certainty) of the trier of the fact (jury or judge sitting without a jury) that the evidence shows the defendant is guilty. Moral certainty is another way of saying "beyond a reasonable doubt." Since there is no exact measure of certainty it is always somewhat subjective and based on "reasonable" opinions of judge and/or jury.


Out-of-Home Care – child care, foster care, or residential care provided by persons, organizations, and institutions to children who are placed outside of their families, usually under the jurisdiction of Juvenile/Family Court.

Petition – a document filed with the court that is used to initiate a civil child protective proceeding. The petition contains the essential allegations of abuse or neglect that make up the petitioner's complaint about a particular child's situation. It does not include all of the detailed facts available to the petitioner to support these allegations.

Preponderance of Evidence – the burden of proof for civil cases in most States, including child maltreatment proceedings. The attorney for CPS or other petitioner must show by a preponderance of evidence that the abuse or neglect happened. This standard means that the evidence is more credible than the evidence presented by the defendant party.

Protection Order – may be ordered by the judge to restrain or control the conduct of the alleged maltreating adult or any other person who might harm the child or interfere with the disposition.

Reasonable Efforts – as required by State law, the State child welfare agency must make reasonable efforts to keep the family together or, if the child has already been removed, to reunify the family. Before a State may receive Federal financial support for the costs resulting from a child's removal from home into out-of-home care, a judge must determine that reasonable efforts have been made to keep the family together. Similarly, placement may not be continued with Federal support without a finding by the judge that such efforts have been made to reunite the family.

Review Hearing – held by the Juvenile/Family Court to review dispositions (usually every 6 months) and to determine the need to maintain placement in out-of-home care and/or court jurisdiction of a child. Every State requires State courts, agency panels, or citizen review boards to hold periodic reviews to reevaluate the child's circumstances if he/she has been placed in out-of-home care. Federal law requires, as a condition of Federal funding eligibility, that a review hearing be held within at least 18 months from disposition, and continuing at regular intervals to determine the ultimate resolution of the case (i.e., whether the child will be returned home, continued in out-of-home care for a specified period, placed for adoption, or continued in long-term foster care).

Termination of Parental Rights Hearing – a legal proceeding to free a child from a parent's legal custody, so that the child can be adopted by others. The legal basis for termination of rights differs from State to State but most consider the failure of the parent to support or communicate with the child for a specified period (extreme parental disinterest), parental failure to improve home conditions, extreme or repeated neglect or abuse, parental incapacity to care for the child, and/or extreme deterioration of the parent-child relationship. In making this finding, the court is determining that the parents will not be able to provide adequate care for the child in the future by using a standard of clear and convincing evidence. This burden of proof is higher than a preponderance of the evidence which is used in civil abuse or neglect cases where termination is not sought.

The Adoption Industry{secti

WHAT Industry? | BIG BUSINESS: $1.4 Billion | Adoption Affects Millions | CONSUMER DEMAND | The Industry Admits COERCION | Today's "Modus Operandi"

WHAT Industry?

Like any other industry, adoption is fueled by consumer demand. In this case, the demand of infertile couples to obtain other women's children, and who are often willing to pay from $25,000 to $50,000 for that child.

Adoption Services Valued At $1.4 Billion

Report by Nancy Ashe Copyright  2001, Inc.

"An industry analysis of Fertility Clinics and Adoption Services by Marketdata Enterprises of Tampa, FL, has placed a $1.4 billion value on adoption services in the US, with a projected annual growth rate of 11.5% to 2004. According to a report from PR Newswire, this is the only analysis of this business sector ever undertaken.

Some details:

  • In 1999, there were 138,000 US adoptions; 
  • There are 4,500 adoption services providers in the US, which include 2,000 public agencies, 2,000 private agencies, and 500 adoption attorneys; 
  • The number of attorneys involved in adoption has doubled over the past 10 years; 
  • Gross income for small agencies can come to $400,000 per year, and $10+ million for large agencies. 
  • Much of the present and future growth is attributable to the rise in international adoptions. 
Marketdata's analysis places adoption costs between $15,000 - $30,000, and describes adoption as 'complex, and stories of unscrupulous operators abound in this loosely regulated field.' " 
From "About.Com:  About Adoption"
Reprinted with Permission of Author


Adoption Affects Millions

There are approximately 6 million adoptees in the United States. We can extrapolate that there are usually 4 of parents involved in each adoption (two natural parents and two dopters). This increases the number to 24 million people involved in Adoption. Add siblings, stepparents, facilitators, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and it is not illogical to conclude that there are over 100 million people in the United States involved in Adoption.

There are costs involved in the original adoption - usually fees paid by adopters to a "third party" who acts as a broker. Examples of some fees are:

  • Religious Agencies: A few hundred dollars to $10,000.00 or more 
  • Non-denominational Private Agencies: $10,000 to $20,000 
  • Independent [Private] Adoption: A few thousand dollars to $50,000 but may be higher if there are extremely high medical bills.
  • Public Agencies: None to minimal. There may be attorney fees to finalize the adoption
  • International Adoption: $5,000 -$20,000 to the agency plus transportation and lodging fees.

This is why there are entrepreneurs who make their livelihood convincing young parents to relinquish their babies - it is a profitable business. These "baby brokers" include: adoption lawyers maternity homes (often operated by charities and churches) "facilitators" government social workers commercial and "non-profit" agencies

Consumer Demand

Like all industries, the adoption industry is driven by consumer demand. This demand was recognized as far back as 1953:

"... the tendency growing out of the demand for babies is to regard unmarried mothers as breeding machines...(by people intent) upon securing babies for quick adoptions." - Leontine Young, "Is Money Our Trouble?" (paper presented at the National Conference of Social Workers, Cleveland, 1953) {quote courtesy of Karen WB}

". . . babies born out of wedlock [are] no longer considered a social problem . . . white, physically healthy babies are considered by many to be a social boon . . . " (i.e. a valuable commodity..). - Social Work and Social Problems (1964), National Association of Social Workers. {quote courtesy of Karen WB}

" Because there are many more married couples wanting to adopt newborn white babies than there are babies, it may almost be said that they, rather than out of wedlock babies, are a social problem. (Sometimes social workers in adoption agencies have facetiously suggested setting up social provisions for more 'baby breeding.')" - Social Work and Social Problems (1964), National Association of Social Workers. {quote courtesy of Karen WB}


The Industry Admits Coercion:

When unmarried motherhood was considered shameful to the family, it was easy to convince parents to ship their unwed daughter to maternity homes (assuming that marriage had been ruled out) and adoption lawyers:

"Parents embraced the idea of maternity homes partly because in the postwar decades, parents themselves needed protection as much as their erring daughters... If the girl disappeared, the problem disappeared with her." - Rickie Solinger, "Wake Up Little Suzie."

Pressure from society, churches, parents, maternity homes, hospitals etc. - plus the virtual non-existance of welfare for young single mothers - virtually guaranteed that a young woman raised to respect authority would surrender her baby. As well, social workers were convinced that unwed equalled unfit, that that they were doing their moral duty in convincing (forcing/coercing) young women to surrender:

" Unwed mothers should be punished and they should be punished by taking their children away." - Dr. Marion Hilliard of Women's College Hospital, Toronto. Daily Telegraph (November 1956) {quote courtesy of Karen WB}

" The fact that social work professional attitudes tend to favor the relinquishment of the baby, as the literature shows, should be faced more clearly. Perhaps if it were recognized, workers would be in less conflict and would therefore feel less guilty about their "failures" (the kept cases)." - Social worker Barbara Hansen Costigan, in her dissertation, "The Unmarried Mother--Her Decision Regarding Adoption" (1964) {quote courtesy of Karen WB}

" The caseworker must then be decisive, firm and unswerving in her pursuit of a healthy solution for the girl's problem. The "I'm going to help you by standing by while you work it through" approach will not do. What is expected from the worker is precisely what the child expected but did not get from her parents--a decisive "No!" .... An ambivalent mother, interfering with her daughter's ability ... to surrender her child, must be dealt with as though she (the girl's mother) were a child herself." - Marcel Heiman, M.D. in "Out-Of-Wedlock Pregnancy In Adolescence," Casework Papers 1960. {quote courtesy of Karen WB}

Governments had (and still do have) their own incentive for encouraging the adoption industry. Every baby surrendered by an unemployed unsupported single mother means one less welfare recipient. An example: if a single parent is eligible for welfare until their child was 7 years old, a government saves $35,000 (7 x $5,000 annually) in welfare payments each time its social workers obtain a surrender. Federal governments also encourage adoption by providing cash bonuses to states for every adoption completed.

"To the Province generally the great advantage and economy of the Adoption Act can be realized when it is stated that many of the children before their adoption were costing five and six dollars a week for maintenance." - 35th Report of the Superintendent of Neglected and Dependent Children (Ontario, 1928)

Today's Modus Operandi

As divorce rates rose in the 70's and 80's, single parenthood lost its stigma, women no longer experienced the same societal/family pressure to surrender, and the number of babies surrendered in the U.S. and Canada began falling. Consumer demand has, if anything, risen dramatically, as women who have postponed children for careers are now finding themselves infertile (see the April 15, 2002 Time magazine article "Making Time for a Baby"). According to Adoptive Families magazine, "For every healthy newborn available, there are now almost forty potential parents searching." ("Love for Sale," Adoptive Families).

With money to be made from desperate "Family Builders," the industry has had to come up with new ways of obtaining its commodities. They have done this through modern marketing and advertising tactics.

  • Adopters have now formed "consumer groups." Pressure from these consumer groups on government has led to laws changing to vastly decrease the time period in which a woman can revoke her surrender or consent to adoption.
  • Adoption lawyers are promoting the legal idea that, if a child is placed in an adoptive home even before the adoption in consented to, the adopters have the right to retain that child against any challenge from the natural parents (see the "Children's Rights" page by the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys).
  • The Internet has increasing numbers of websites set up to encourage women to "place" their children. Agencies and lawyers fund these websites by purchasing advertising space on them.
"Adoption was created to provide homes for orphans. These by definition are children without parents. Car crashes, war, natural disasters.  It was never created to provide children to 'poor infertile couples'. When did the wires get crossed? I guess when someone started making money. Children are not a commodity!!!! Get a puppy." 
- An adoptee

 "Follow the money"  - Deep Throat

Are you young, pregnant, and single?
Do people put you down for being unmarried or young?
Are people calling you a
birthparent” or telling you that your baby “deserves a two-parent family”? Do you feel pressured to "place" your baby for adoption?

You are a natural mother. And you and your baby
together are already a family. A NATURAL FAMILY.

A family created by God and Nature (not by

the adoption industry and State adoption laws)

The purpose of this site is to celebrate NATURAL FAMILIES in all shapes and sizes! But especially to help those natural families where young parents are under pressure to "place" their babies for adoption.

As a young expectant parent today in the U.S. or Canada, you'll see a lot of "choose adoption" advertising by adoption agencies, facilitators, or lawyers. They have customers waiting for babies - for YOUR baby. Demand for babies for adoption outstrips "supply" by 40 to 1. This means there could be up to 40 infertile couples who want your baby. You got pregnant. They couldn't.

In the face of overwhelming pressure by adopters, baby-brokers, and often their own parents, many young parents are still keeping and raising their babies!

Many mothers who surrendered ("placed") their babies for adoption have discovered the unending pain and grief that adoption professionals never told them about. Many reunited "birth-"mothers (including the 22 reunited mothers who created this site) have discovered upon reunion that adoption did incredible amounts of emotional damage to their children. That adoption is NOT "a loving option" and was NOT "in the best interest of the child.


No one state has the same definition of "The Best Interest of The  Child" Standard. One state says it means this and another says it means that.

The Best Interest of the child is the best interest of the family.


Come To My Garden is the background for The Illinois_Family_Rights_Association. The music is written by Lucy Simon and Marsha Mason for the 1999 Broadway Music "The Secret Garden."
I hope you enjoy it.