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.

Monday, January 17, 2011

2: "A Child's Identity is His Sacred Right"


Social agency helping a child to answer this question has a grave responsibility
by Grace Louise Hubbard
Supervisor of Intake, Child Placing, and Adoption,
State Charities Aid Association, New York

Condensed from a paper given May 23, 1946, at the
National Conference of Social Work, Buffalo, N.Y.
Printed in THE CHILD, February, 1947

Who am I? is a question that cannot be answered completely by any birth record, no matter how expertly devised or carefully handled. Every individual has a right to accurate and complete identification of himself, but he has also the right to understand his identity in its broadest meaning.

Webster's dictionary defines identity as "unity and persistence of personality" - a dynamic concept, implying something that comes from within, something made by the person himself.

A right to our identity really means the right to be able to create for ourselves that degree of unity and persistence of personality that gives us a sense of self-direction, of relatedness to people, and to our environment. It includes what we know about ourselves and about our origin, and also what we have been able to take out of our life experience.

A young person who is trying to fuse an unknown past with his present, needs more than to know his ancestry. He wants to know his heritage.

A person who as a child was placed by a social agency in a foster-family home, whether for adoption or for permanent supervised care, is assured of a record of his origin and identity, and of a source of help in finding out not just what the record shows but what human experience lies behind it.

Sometimes........they want to know about themselves, and when this happens their interest may range from a sort of general curiosity about such things as their nationality and the first names of their parents and how they looked, to an active desire to find out all they can, and perhaps even locate and meet their relatives.

My agency has always recognized the right of the child to know about his own family, if he wants to - at a time when he is adequately prepared for the knowledge - and if the foster parents sympathize with his interest and are ready to have him know. The agency knew the mother who had to choose how her child would live - with her or apart from her - and is in a position to give him not only the facts but some interpretation that led to her choice.

When a child asks, "Who am I?" he does need to know his name and lineage, but what he is really seeking is to sustain his awareness of self so that he can achieve a unity and persistence of personality, in spite of the break in the continuity of his life. This is his right, a right that we are under obligation to secure to him to the greatest extent we can.

Careful and accurate recording of one's birth is a basic step, and the right of every person. But a sense of one's heritage is also every person's right, and if a child does not have his own parents to give him a sense of his heritage as well as his birth identification, interpretation should be given by someone with understanding, as well as knowledge, of the facts.

A child's identity is his sacred right.

* * * * * *

Did you read that right? Yes, you did!

"A child's identity is his sacred right."

The above article includes a photograph of a social worker counseling a woman, who, of course, has her back to the camera. The caption reads: "Planning to place her baby for adoption, this mother hopes he need never know about his origin. But the social worker who is helping her with her planning explains that the child has a right to his identity, and that it should be preserved for him."

Another photograph shows a young man sitting at a social worker's desk examining a document from his file. The caption reads: "Ted has learned from his birth certificate that the parents he has always known are not his real parents. A member of the staff of the social agency that helped his mother to plan for his adoption 18 years ago is telling him about his original family."

Can anything possibly be clearer?

There was a time when the "best interests of a child" were considered paramount when, for whatever reason, it was not possible for him to remain with his original family. It was assumed, and carried out in policy and practice, that every child should only gain from being adopted – never lose from it. He should keep everything he had and gain more in the form of a stable home and a loving family.

What transpired in the decades since Ms. Hubbard made that speech is that the needs and rights of the child being transferred from one family to another were not just overlooked – they were deliberately destroyed. In order to be accepted by, and integrated into, another family, the child was required to forfeit, without legal representation to protect his interests, his ancestry, association with living blood relatives, knowledge of the circumstances of his birth and relinquishment, access to vital family health information, and even authentic vital statistics documentation of his own live birth.

So who benefited from this disenfranchisement? One need only study the shameful history of secret adoption to see who has been protected by denying adoptees access to their own personal histories. One thing is clear: the claim of "promised confidentiality" allegedly given to original mothers has been disproven by the failure of its claimants to produce a single relinquishment document in any state that makes such promise. What's more, surrender documents didn't even guarantee mothers that their babies would be adopted - they could end up in long-term foster care - so they couldn't even have been verbally "promised" that sealed adoption records would conceal their identities.

It isn't just horror stories like those of Georgia Tann of the infamous Tennessee Children's Home Society or Miami doctor Katherine Cole that reveal the seamy underside of adoption secrecy. Across the nation, searching adoptees and original parents have uncovered unimaginable deceit perpetrated on them by adoption brokers of every stripe: agencies, attorneys, doctors, and 'facilitators.' Safe in the knowledge that their deeds would not be uncovered, brokers have committed the most egregious of acts, from telling newly-delivered mothers their babies died to concealing children's medical histories to separating twins for double-the-money adoption fees and much more. Another common deceit, falsifying places of birth (including the state) and dates of birth – by as much as a year – on amended birth certificates has interfered with adoptees' eligibility for Medicare and other entitlements.

The down-and-dirty truth is that sealed adoption records and denying adult adoptees access to their own authentic birth certificates have formed a protective shield against responsibility and liability for those who have enjoyed total control over all facts - or fallacies - in adoption files for decades. It's no wonder many of them are engaged in a fierce battle to retain that control!

Not all brokers have enjoyed a permanent mantle of protection, however. As you will see in subsequent posts on this blog, adoption brokers' deeds have been publicly exposed and vigorously litigated in recent years. The chickens are coming home to roost! Examples in future posts.


  1. Adoptors have this famous come back saying that the mothers gave away their babts and now wants them back years layer after they had to do tend to all the babies needs ,then childhood up to high school and college,my come back statement to that stupid statement is, that they agreed with the adoption laws preventing us from ever seeing our baby or child again,the laws enforced by what I read was for a hundred years,so you poor excuse for a person much less calling yourself a mother,(this is for those who haven't ever gave birth) How can you even say that idiot question,you knew when we signed those fake papers for your fake family so you could tell people how happy you are with your fake life,most all adoptive moms have many insecurities and mental problems"My husband won't love me unless I buy a baby to make our lives better,we are so bored we need something to buy we haven't got( a baby) "so many sick desires ,of what is best for adoptors, NOT the child,who's kidding who here,we are way smarter than you" stepford" people with wealth with perfect everything ,have major mental issues they pass on to our children we surrendered then the cycle starts over of a child molded into their aparents sick minds, when a mother gives birth she knows her baby inside and the baby knows her,and the coercion and forcing the mother to sign anything under duress is a crime in our courts,when a lawyer can prove the mother was under duress by a physians diagnoses,she wins the case,all the mothers will soon win over all this ,by opening the sealed record. Adoptions,and the industrys causing this barbaric thing to grow.Stop selling and buying human babys-It's inhumane and ungodly too.

  2. I think the child should have the right to decide about this matter.

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