rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » EXPOSED: America's murky underground market for kids

EXPOSED: America's murky underground market for kids

September 13, 2013 09:02 IST

EXPOSED: America's murky underground market for kids

     Next

Next

Reuters recently uncovered the disturbing process of ‘re-homing’ of adopted children rampant in the United States of America, putting to immense risk the lives and future of countless children brought to the US from several countries around the globe. Rediff.com brings forth defining photographs of these defenseless children.

Thousands of desperate parents in the US have turned to online networks like Yahoo and Facebook to seek new homes for kids they regret adopting.

“Through Yahoo and Facebook groups, parents and others advertise unwanted children and then pass them to strangers with little or no government scrutiny, sometimes illegally,” the Reuters investigation found.

“It is a largely lawless marketplace where the needs of parents are often put ahead of the welfare of the orphans they brought to America. One government official alerted child protection workers across the United States that the practice is ‘placing children in grave danger.’ Even so, no laws specifically address it, and no government agency monitors the bulletin boards,” the report stated.

When Todd and Melissa Puchalla decided they no longer wanted to raise Quita, the teenager they adopted from Liberia, they went about getting rid of her and advertised her online.

Please click NEXT to read further..


Image: Former adopted child Quita Puchalla fixes her hair in her apartment in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Puchalla, now 21, was moved from home to home as an adopted child from Liberia and now lives on her own and is going to school.
Photographs: Jeffrey Phelps/Reuters

     Next

EXPOSED: America's murky underground market for kids

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Nicole and Calvin Eason of Westville, Illinois wrote an email to the Puchalla's expressing their interest in adopting Quita, reports added

From their email exchanges, Mrs Puchalla felt that the Easons 'seemed wonderful' and were qualified enough to take in Quita, Reuters added.

Please click NEXT to read further..


Image: Nicole Eason sits in side her Tucson, Arizona home. Eason has taken in more than a half-dozen children, many from failed international adoptions, during the past decade.
Photographs: Samantha Sais/Reuters

Prev     Next

EXPOSED: America's murky underground market for kids

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

A few weeks later in October 2008, they drove from their home in Wisconsin to the Eason's in Illinois and dropped Quita off at the mobile home park the teenager would now be calling home.

It was later revealed that child welfare authorities had taken away Nicole Eason's two biological children and a sheriff's deputy wrote that she and her husband had 'severe psychiatric problems' and 'violent tendencies', reports added.

Please click NEXT to read further…


Image: Quita Puchalla, 21, poses outside her apartment in Milwaukee.
Photographs: Jeffrey Phelps/Reuters

Prev     Next

EXPOSED: America's murky underground market for kids

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

“It seems the Easons had adopted children this way before on at least six occasions. In 2006, Nicole Eason and another man, Randy Winslow, adopted a 10-year-old boy online.

“Later, Winslow was arrested for sending and receiving child pornography and is currently serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison,” a Daily Mail report stated.

“On Quita's first night with the Easons, they told her to sleep in their bed, and Quita remembers that her adoptive mother was not wearing any clothing,” the report added.

When asked by Reuters what her personal parenting style is, Nicole Eason responded: 'Dude, just be a little mean, OK? …  I’ll threaten to throw a knife at your a**, I will. I’ll chase you with a hose, the report stated.

Please click NEXT to read further..

 


Image: Adopted child Anna Barnes poses in Granbury, Texas. Barnes was 13 when her parents gave her up for adoption to the Easons. "Please don't send me," she recalls saying. Now 18, she says she was made to share a bed with Calvin and Nicole Eason.
Photographs: Richard Rodriguez/Reuters

Prev     Next

EXPOSED: America's murky underground market for kids

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

“When Melissa Puchalla couldn't get in contact with the Easons within days of dropping Quita off, she alerted the authorities and they tracked the girl down two weeks later and sent her back to Wisconsin alone on a bus. Now 21, Quita lives by herself and is going to school,” the Daily Mail report based on Reuters investigation noted.

When she arrived in the United States, Quita thought she was "coming to a nicer place, a safer place. It didn't turn out that way," she says today. "It turned into a nightmare”, she later told Reuters.

Please click NEXT to read further..


Image: Melissa Puchalla gets emotional during an interview about Quita, her adopted daughter from Liberia, at her home in Kiel, Wisconsin.
Photographs: Sara Stathas/Reuters

Prev     Next

EXPOSED: America's murky underground market for kids

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The heinous practice is called "private re-homing," a term typically used by owners seeking new homes for their pets. Based on solicitations posted on one of eight similar online bulletin boards, the parallels are striking.

"Born in October of 2000 - this handsome boy, 'Rick' was placed from India a year ago and is obedient and eager to please," one ad for a child read, Reuters reported.

Please click NEXT to read further..


Image: Inga Whatcott, adopted from Russia, holds two stuffed dolls she saved from her orphanage in Russia, seen outside her apartment in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Photographs: Rebecca Cook/Reuters

Prev     Next

EXPOSED: America's murky underground market for kids

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Reuters analysed 5,029 posts from a five-year period on one internet message board, a Yahoo group. On average, a child was advertised for re-homing there once a week.

Most of the children ranged in age from 6 to 14 and had been adopted from abroad - from countries such as Russia and China, Ethiopia and Ukraine.

The youngest was 10 months old. One participant referred to the re-homing forums as "'farms' in which to select children.

Please click NEXT to read further..


Image: Decorative sayings are pictured on a wall inside the home of Nicole Eason in Tucson, Arizona
Photographs: Samantha Sais/Reuters

Prev     Next

EXPOSED: America's murky underground market for kids

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

"I would have given her away to a serial killer, I was so desperate," one mother wrote in a March 2012 post about her 12-year-old daughter, Reuters reported.

“After the reports surfaced, Yahoo took down Adopting-from-Disruption, the six-year-old bulletin board. A spokeswoman said the activity in the group violated the company's terms-of-service agreement. The company subsequently took down five other similar groups,” the report stated.

“Some re-homed children have endured severe abuse. One girl adopted from China and later sent to a second home said she was made to dig her own grave. Another re-homed child, a Russian girl, recounted how a boy in one house urinated on her after the two had sex; she was 13 at the time and was re-homed three times in six months,” Reuters reported.

Please click NEXT to read further..


Image: Glenna Mueller gave up her adopted son, Jaden, to Nicole and Calvin Eason when he was nine years old.
Photographs: Stara Stathus/Reuters

Prev     Next

EXPOSED: America's murky underground market for kids

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

“Because private re-homings often bypass the government, the only vetting of prospective families is done by parents who want to get rid of children. That increases the risk that kids could fall into the hands of dangerous people. In the group Reuters analysed, more than half of the children were described as having some sort of special need. About 18 percent were said to have a history that included sexual or physical abuse,” the report noted.

“International adoptees are especially susceptible to being re-homed. Investigations found that at least 70 percent of children offered on the Yahoo bulletin board were advertised as foreign-born. Americans have adopted about 243,000 children from abroad since the late 1990s, but no authorities systematically track what happens to those children after they arrive in the United States,” Reuters reported.


Image: Quita Puchalla looks out the window of her apartment in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Photographs: Jeffery Phelps/Reuters

Prev     Next

TOP photo features you missed last week

Prev     More

Click on MORE to see another PHOTO features...


Photographs: Jeffery Phelps/Reuters
Tags: 1

Prev     More