In the past few days both NBC News and Reuters have run stories on the issue of online chat rooms involved in the secretive "rehoming" of adopted children.
Today FRUA has issued the following position statement regarding the practice:
STATEMENT BY FAMILES FOR RUSSIAN AND UKRAINIAN ADOPTION (fFRUA INC) REGARDING THE ISSUE OF “RE-HOMING”.
If you would like to arrange an interview or if you have questions, please contact FRUA Acting National Chair Jan Wondra at 303-506-5269 or firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON D.C. September 10, 2013...Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption (FRUA) releases the following statement regarding the topic of “re-homing” recently raised in the recent Reuters and NBC News reports regarding adopted children:
“Acting National Chair, Jan Wondra, with the National Board of Directors of FRUA, its regional chapters and membership world-wide, call upon law enforcement, policymakers and adoption professionals nation-wide to investigate the shadow world of re-homing” as practiced through secretive online chat rooms. This practice may never involve adoption professionals, attorneys, social workers, peer support groups, or professional counselors, all of which might guide families through rocky times toward family success, or at least ethical disruption. Alarmingly, it may place already traumatized children in unapproved environments and into the path of possible predators,” says Wondra. “This shadow practice may also remove inter-country adopted children from the post placement report processes required by birth countries, which help keep the doors of inter-country adoption open.”
Re-homing exists, as do children with significant behavioral issues. In condemning this below-ground, online activity, FRUA, its leadership and families, make a special point of recognizing that there are rare circumstances in which the placement of an adopted child is not a good fit; either because of situations where the child may endanger other children in the home, or when parents realize they may not be the best placement to handle a child's challenges. At such times, a fresh start, carefully planned and supported by professionals, can ensure the best outcome for the child. Such drastic steps are heartbreakingly painful for all involved, and should not be undertaken without peer and professional support.
“FRUA stands absolutely for children's basic human right to grow up in families that love and protect them and get them the help they need to reach their potential, whatever that may be,” says Wondra. “FRUA calls for a policy review of online re-homing practices and recommends that legal and regulatory oversight be developed, including better preparation of prospective adoptive familes and encouragement to join peer support groups, helpubg struggling familes and protecting already traumatized adopted children from the additional trauma which might occur in unregulated re-homing environments.”
Founded in 1994, FRUA is a national, all-volunteer parent-to-parent support organization, offering hope, help and community to adoptive families. The children of FRUA families are among a quarter million children, adopted through inter-country adoption since the early 1990s, growing up in loving families in the Unites Sates. While FRUA does not provide respite, counseling, or medical advice, our peer and professional network of resources is in the process of change so that we can better meet the needs of our adoptive families. We maintain close ties with our fellow adoption policy groups on all issues related to inter-country adoption.
For more information go to www.frua.org. For questions about the FRUA mission, our organization or the FRUA National Board, contact Acting National Chair, Jan Wondra, at 303-506-5269 or ViceChair@frua.org.