- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Facebook page used by Americans to “rehome” adopted children has been disabled, a United Kingdom news organization said Thursday.

Facebook has “investigated and shut down” a page called “Adoption Through Disruption,” Krishnan Guru-Murthy, a news anchor with Channel 4 News in London said in a Thursday broadcast.

The announcement came after a lengthy UK news report about three Ethiopian children who had been adopted by American families, and then shuttled off to new families found on the Internet.

One young Ethiopian woman said her adopted father told her on the phone he wasn’t ever going to pick her up from her “new” family or be her father anymore. “Dad, will you be my uncle?” she asked, explaining tearfully that she loved him and wanted to stay at least a little bit in his life.

Another young man said he was now a “damaged man” due to being shuffled between several American families. Another Ethiopian youth, who was still living in Virginia with his adoptive family, was waiting to see if he was going to be “rehomed.”

The UK newscast included an interview with a Virginia lawmaker who wants to make sure that adopted children can’t be transferred between families on a whim. Even cars have to undergo a proper procedure before they can resold, said Virginia State Sen. Jeffrey McWaters.

In April, Wisconsin became the first state to criminalize the practice of transferring children outside adoption laws, saying parents who want to change custody of a child to someone other than a relative must get a court order, said a December article in the American Bar Association (ABA) Journal.

Louisiana has also outlawed these irregular transfers of children, and Colorado, Florida and Ohio have considered laws, the ABA Journal article said.

Adoption and child welfare advocates are continuing to send out alarms about the practice, which, in the words of Massachusetts child welfare advocate Maureen Flatley, is more properly called “abandonment.”

The now-disabled Facebook page had 244 members, who presumably were offering or asking for children, Channel 4 News noted.

• Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at cwetzstein@washingtontimes.com.

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