Bethany Christian Services President Calls for Action against Re-homing

Stronger Partnership with Federal and State Governments Needed to Protect Vulnerable Children

Oct 31, 2013, 08:30 ET from Bethany Christian Services

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The President and CEO of Bethany Christian Services, Bill Blacquiere, is calling for greater support from federal and state governments to protect adopted children from the potential atrocities of "re-homing." Re-homing is the practice of unregulated placement of children, often done over the Internet, when an adopted child is placed by their adoptive family into another family without proper oversight.

"Recently, the issue of re-homing was brought to light in a comprehensive report on Americans using the Internet to abandon children adopted internationally and domestically," Blacquiere said. "This report demonstrated that there are little to no regulations preventing adopted children from being moved from one family to another, even across state lines. Along with all of my colleagues at Bethany Christian Services, I am calling for federal and state agencies to step up and provide stricter regulations against such activities in order to ensure the safety and well-being of these vulnerable children."

This call to action by the head of a leading global family preservation and child welfare agency is being made in concurrence with the start of National Adoption Month (November) to raise greater awareness for this serious problem. Joining Bethany in the call for stronger partnerships to manage re-homing is U.S. Congressman Tim Walberg of Michigan.   

"Adoption is a wonderful way to promote families and provide a loving, safe and permanent home for children in need," Congressman Walberg stated. "As a former board member of a Michigan adoption agency, I understand what a delicate process adoption can be and believe it needs to be conducted in a safe, responsible way for the benefit of children. We need to shine a spotlight on the practice of re-homing adopted children so this complex issue is better understood and the safety of children remains a top priority."

Adopting a child is a life-altering decision. Even with the most thorough preparation it is possible to have a disruption or dissolution of an adoption occur. However, to minimize such instances, agencies specializing in adoption, such as Bethany, require that adoptive families participate in an intense pre-placement training program – Bethany requires that prospective adoptive families have at least 30 hours of such training.

"Adoptive families often need support long after adoption is finalized and it is crucial that they have access to support so that they never feel as if relinquishing their child to a strange and potentially dangerous couple is an alternative," Blacquiere stated. "Additionally, it is up to our public officials in each state and in Washington, D.C. to make sure safeguards are in place so that adoptive couples having difficulty with their child can't simply give that child away without a thorough review of the new couple the child is being placed with. Adoption is a delicate experience, especially for the child, so we cannot turn our heads and allow potential predators to troll the Internet in hopes of finding an adoptive couple who is willing to release custody of their child."

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SOURCE Bethany Christian Services