couples

The parents giving away their adopted kids on Facebook

Thousands of Australian families who would give anything to adopt a child, but our tough regulations often mean it's an unachievable dream.

So it's heartbreaking to hear that some American families are giving away their adopted children by posting ads on the internet. Their reasons range from the kids having mental and physical challenges to alleged behavioural issues.

The New York Daily News reports that Wisconsin couple Todd and Melissa Puchalla, for example, struggled for over two years to raise Quita, the teenager they adopted from Liberia. They posted an ad on the internet - using the photo above - and just two days later they were contacted by Nicole and Calvin Eason from Illinois. The couple said they thought the 16-year-old looked "wonderful" and were eager to take over her care.

The Puchalla's ad warned prospective parents that Quita had been diagnosed with severe health and behvioural problems, but Nicole Eason said she was confident she could handle her as she'd been told several times she was 'awesome with kids'.

The couple provided a document confirming they were fit parents, allegedly written by a social worker. But it was fake.

It was later discovered that Nicole and Calvin Eason had lost custody of their biological children years earlier because they had severe psychiatric problems as well as violent tendencies. On her first night with her new family, the couple told her to join them in bed. Within days the Easons stopped talking to the Puchalla's who wanted to check on Quita. They never enrolled her in the school she was meant to attend and couldn't be found at the home address provided.

Sadly this story is just one of many.

Among ads to be found online are "Born in October of 2000 – this handsome boy, 'Rick' was placed from India a year ago and is obedient and eager to please", "I am totally ashamed to say it but we do truly hate this boy!" and "We adopted an 8-year-old girl from China… Unfortunately, We are now struggling having been home for 5 days."

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In one internet message board analysed by the news agency Reuters, a child was advertised for "re-homing there once a week". The children ranged in age from six to 14 and had been adopted from countries such as Russia and China, Ethiopia and Ukraine. The youngest was just 10 months old.

It's terrifyingly easy to give away a child in the United States. All that is needed is a 'power of attorney' document stating the child is to be in the care of another adult. This law was introduced to make it easier for struggling parents to get help raising their children from family members.

Since the Reuters investigation, companies such as Yahoo have started shutting down sites that advertise adopted children, however iVillage easily found a Facebook page called Adopt a Child with parents either trying to give their adopted children up or trying to find a child to adopt. The photos of happy children jumping for joy hide the danger these kids can face. It's unbelievable. Check this out:

Thankfully Quita survived her experience. She is now 21 and living on her own. But she remains devastated by the actions of the Puchellas.

"How could you give me up when you brought me to be yours?" she asks.

Melissa Puchalla can only say: ""They were warm, and they were caring. They seemed kind. Maybe a red light should've went off – too good to be true. But at that point, I was walking in such a fog."

 

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