What’s Wrong With Holt Childrens Services?

In the comments from my last post other than being told that I needed therapy, which happens a lot, and inspiring a rather scary Halloween costume, I was asked what’s wrong with Holt.

I’m not quite sure how to answer that question.  Was I being asked what is wrong with what Holt does?  Was I being asked what is wrong with adoption, or international adoption in general?  Was I being asked why Lillie and I approached Holt in particular?

Some of these questions are much easier to address than others.  If my commenter was wondering what is wrong with what Holt does, I have to think they are wondering what my concerns are with adoption and international adoption in particular.  If this is what they want to know all I can do is ask that they read the enteries here, then read the links to the left, and all the things that those that I link suggest they read.  This hould give them a good idea about the problems with adoption as well as quite a reading list.

As to why Holt was approached, that’s simple.  I wanted to meet my friend Lille.  The Iowa State Fair worked out well.  Approaching Holt came from wanting to do something for adoptee rights since that was the way that we found each other in te first place.  When the trip was planned we didn’t even know that Holt was going to have a booth there.  I saw an advertisement for the Holt booth when researching what was going on at the fair.

We did not have anything prepared, or any kind of grand evil plan, we just thought we would stop by and ask some questions.  We had no idea that things would go as they did.

We did not expect the kind of presentation that we received.  I think both of us expected to be asked to leave the booth as soon as we opened our mouths.  I think both of us came a way much more shaken and disgusted than we ever considered.

I can’t speak for Lillie, but I know the things I heard and the feeling I got from this experience was much more disturbing than I could have imagined.  the only thing that I could compare it to is a sales presentation.   If I had not been as informed and aware of the problems inherit in adoption, I can see how I could have been taken in.  If nothing else this surely opened my eyes to how easily people are drawn in to adopting.

If I had just been a lady at the fair with a friend who saw the booth and was drawn to the pictures of the children, if I had ever thought that adopting might be a nice thing to do, I might be working on filing papers with an embassy right now.  That scares the hell out of me.  I can’t help but think that someone with only a slightly different experience in life is doing just that.

This woman won’t know the things that she needs to know.  She’ll only hear the they want her to hear.  I know plenty of people who have been down this path.  You’ll find a couple of them listed on my blogroll.  They are good people, they are smart people, their hearts are in the right place. They are doing the best thing that they can.  They aren’t much different than me.

I fear for the child that will be in the middle of all this.  The child is thrown into a situation that they have no control over.  Their fate is in the hands of those that are unprepared to meet the needs that they will have.  They will grow up, you can see many of them listed in my blogroll.  They are good people, they are smart people, their hearts are in the right place.  They are doing the best they can.  They aren’t much different than me.


7 thoughts on “What’s Wrong With Holt Childrens Services?

  1. Addie, It sounds like you had a very disturbing experience. I must admit that I
    was very surprised when I saw your blogroll. I was the first student volunteer to go to Ilsan back in 1968. The experience shaped my life in many positive ways, particularly with the little baby I helped to get well enough to be adopted into England and who now lives in New Zealand. She is a very important person in my life now, all these years later. Also Molly Holt, with whom I lived and worked that summer and a woman named Joan in England, are wonderful folks.
    I nearly went to Russia in 1992 to help establish a new Holt work there, but a last minute event in the Ukraine prevented my going. In all of my experiences with Holt– the family, employees, supporters and adoptive families have been wonderfully loving, committed, honest, self-sacrificing and creative caregivers. Therefore I am very curious as to why you see Holt in this way. I hope to hear from you.

  2. Judy,

    What do want a medal?

    Um, have you read the previous entires concerning Holt? If you have reading comprehension problems I suggest adult education courses.

    You might also want to read that blogroll that so surprised you, along with news reports of the last couple of years concerning the fate of some adoptees from that area.

  3. Addie – I see. So it’s ok for you to disrespect anyone who would confront your views and dispense with them with clever and angry quips. The unfortunate reality is that noone can place adoption in an extreme ‘all good’ or ‘all bad’ perspective.

    One reality is that there are bad people who seek to capitalize on the human desire to parent children. There are children who live in streets, under bridges, without parents or family because of death of their parents, abandonment, severe poverty, mental illness, the list goes on and it is real. In my city alone at least 10 infants are taken in to foster care per week because of drugs in the birth mother’s system at the time of birth. What is your answer to these very real problems?

    I agree there is room for reform, and I also see many changes being made throughout international adoption programs and within the countries who have been adopting children out to other countries. Are you aware that a significant number of african american baby boys in the US system are adopted to other countries? Sickening, isn’t it?

    Here is my question for you: In an imperfect world where it would be impossible to ensure a perfect method, how do you recommend that we try to help these children? At the same time, how do we prevent abuses of the system of helping children who are really in need, and preventing the dark side of this topic from thriving?

    I understand your anger – and reading your thoughts may help me to prepare for potential responses of my daughter toward her adoption. But I still believe it was right to adopt her – and she will have to decide one day whether she agrees that it was right.


  4. Ok, so I basically ‘Googled’ “What’s so bad about Holt International?” Because I’ve been thinking about doing volunteer work and while I know many adoptees, I don’t quite understand the process.

    For some logical reason, I expected your post to contain discreet examples of “What’s Wrong With Holt Childrens Services?” instead of the sea of nebulae that lurk about this site. My frustration in reading your posts is quite simple. I ASSUMED that your concerns about the place might inspire you to provide insight on the agency’s practices to foster constructive dialogue.

    Just wanted you to know that, with all due respect, one should not I’m not need to read your ENTIRE blog to get an idea of what the issues are. My interest is not for a class project or anything of that nature. I’m just conscientious neighbor wanting to research causes before donating time and money.

    Thanks for not so much,


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