What You Need to Know About NCFA Member Agencies

The time has come to expose the foibles of member agencies of National Council For Adoption, the organization that makes the following claim on its website (since removed):

"For 30 years, NCFA has been the authoritative voice for adoption. Our research and education programs have led the way to promoting sound, ethical adoption policies and practices that have enabled children to find nurturing, permanent families through adoption."

Spotlighting a large number of NCFA member agencies on this blog does not imply that all NCFA members conduct themselves in ways that call to question their "sound, ethical adoption policies and practices." However, a whole is always equal to the sum of its parts – all of its parts.

The issues dealt with on this blog stretch far beyond ethical adoption policies and practices. They involve public trust, credibility, authenticity of purpose, and common human decency.

As you read the accounts of NCFA member agencies here, ask yourself how they reflect the "sound, ethical adoption policies and practices" touted by the trade organization that represents them before legislatures throughout the country.

Before we begin, however, I invite you to explore the origins of this organization. We need to begin with how adoption policies and practices relative to adoptee rights morphed from being deemed "sacred" to being deep-sixed to shield private adoption agencies from accountability and liability. In the process, what was "best for the child" became severely tainted by the business of adoption. And a business it is! A multi-billion dollar annual business!

NCFA was formed to protect, enhance and perpetuate that business.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1: Original Social Work Philosophy on Adoption & Identity

Adoption history in the U.S. is generally thought to be divided into two distinct periods of time: before records were sealed and after records were sealed. But that's an over-simplification, and it's inaccurate. Here's why.

The line was actually drawn at the precise point at which the "sacred rights" of the adoptee, as described by New York adoption supervisor Grace Louise Hubbard (See 'A Child's Identity is His Sacred Right' in next post) were desecrated by corruption of the original purpose of adoption records sealing.

You can get a sense of the original intent of adoption "confidentiality" by reading this excellent historical piece describing the early philosophy of the U.S. Children's Bureau, precursor to today's Child Welfare League of America.

A thorough examination of the corruption of original intent has been made by Elizabeth Samuels (Associate Professor, University of Baltimore School of Law; J.D., University of Chicago School of Law, 1980; A.B., Harvard College, 1975). The results of her research are spelled out in an article in the Winter, 2001, issue of Rutgers Law Review. The article, entitled 'The Idea of Adoption: an Inquiry Into the History of Adult Adoptee Access to Birth Records,' is downloadable in pdf file here.

It's helpful to go back to the period before adoptee rights were stripped from them to see the purity in the thinking of the people whose job it was to arrange for the transfer of children from their original families to their adoptive families. Purity lay in the fact that this transfer was made without destroying the children's identities and heritage.

A few years back I discovered a document that elaborates on that thinking.

Presented originally as a speech in 1946, it was published in 'The Child,' a year later. I borrowed the original printed document from inter-library loan - I don't know where it had been archived. It was four pages long, but I have condensed the most significant elements into a one-page document, illustrated with a photo that I felt fit the topic: 'Who Am I? Social agency helping a child to answer this question has a grave responsibility.'

I'm posting my condensed version for now, but may add the full four-page version at a later date.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. The reason 'rico' got this comment and others on this blog deleted is that he is a spammer for his advertising business. One of the sites he advertised was promoting adoption agencies.

  3. How may I contact you privately? I haven't seen an email address on your Adoption Digger blog.

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