Dan Rather’s Show: “Unwanted Children–The Shameful Side of International Adoption”

Dan Rather hosted an in-depth show on AXS TV called “Unwanted Children–The Shameful Side of International Adoption.” To view the show, which is available here, you will need this password: danrather.

It’s a tough and important 2 hours to watch and ingest. Much of the focus is on Ethiopian adoptions, and children who have been “re-homed,” moved to new adoptive families with little oversight, assistance, or regulation. Reuters did a series on re-homing; information is available here.

“Unwanted Children” sheds light on some terrible child welfare practices in adoption. The idea that children can be internationally adopted to the United States, and then moved to new adoptive homes with less oversight than occurs with dogs, is deplorable.

Kathryn Joyce wrote powerfully in Slate in November 2013 about some of these adoptees as well. Her detailed, insightful article “Hana’s Story: An Adoptee’s Tragic Fate and How It Could Happen Again” was part of the impetus for the Dan Rather show.

This show, on the heels of E.J. Graff’s incisive report “They Steal Babies, Don’t They?“, is an explicit call to action for change in Ethiopian adoptions. I have spoken out about this; many, many people are deeply concerned around the globe. I hope to see a response soon from organizations such as the Joint Council on International Children’s Services, the National Council for Adoption, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, and Both Ends Burning to demand changes in oversight and regulations, as well as solid improvement in services provided to adoptive and first/birth families.

Because: enough. I am so proud of groups like Ethiopian Adoptees of the Diaspora, and of Ethiopian Adoption Connection, who are speaking out and working hard to give voice to those who are too often left out of adoption policy discussions: the adoptees and the first families.

As an adoptive parent, I hope to see more eyes opened to some of the realities of adoption practices today, so that the rights of all children and parents are safeguarded, and all adoptions are done with transparency and integrity.

Please note also that a “GoFundMe” campaign has been set up to help the 9 Ethiopian adoptees who “are now homeless after being pushed out of their adoptive home,” according to the fundraiser. Information is available here.



11 thoughts on “Dan Rather’s Show: “Unwanted Children–The Shameful Side of International Adoption”

  1. Pingback: What NPR Got Wrong in its Story About Ethiopia’s Adoption Ban | Light of Day Stories

  2. Thank you for making the story available to all the people. I can’t believe all this Ethiopian adopted people go through this. My heart goes to all the children that come from Ethiopia and the deception they face. I am sure they’re poor families loved them and wanted them with in reach if it wasn’t for financial issues.

  3. Pingback: Is Criminalizing Rehoming The Best Solution? | Adoption & Birth Mothers*

  4. Is there a fund for the young boy from India. I can’t remember his name but it was before the Ethiopian kids.

  5. Please have someone call me or email to discuss helping the 23 year old Abbay Hane. I might be willing to discuss flying him to his original home if he has family or a safe place to go back to.

    Marcus Banner

    • Thank you for your comment, Marcus. Please follow up with Pastor Berhanu Seyoum, who is handling these matters. You can connect with him through email at unwantedinamerica@gmail.com, or through phone at 206-371-2938. He is a pastor at Mekane Yesus Evangelical Lutheran Church in Seattle. His assistant is Ermias Hailu, who will be more than willing to answer your questions, I’m sure. They are in the closest contact with all the adoptees.

      • Dear Sir although this incident happen a few years back it still stay fresh in my mind
        how we can treat others harshly and forget each person that is born is significant and important. They also have a purpose in life.we proclaim to be the feet and hands of Jesus but why do we close our eyes to such inhumane treatment of others.I will first of all exam my own heart and intent and motives before I look at anyone else.

        Thank you

  6. No words. No words. At. All.

    This is the most awful, most devastating documentary I’ve ever seen and the horrors detailed in remain unaddressed.

    I also felt that the “good” adoptive family, the one that took in the two “main” Ethiopian kids featured in this film from folks happy to handover their unwanted international adoptees… who have 18 kids (as of filming) are pretty likely to be featured in the next horror of a docent art.

    18 kids isn’t a family. It’s an unlicensed and unlicenseable group home.

    For shame!

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