Return Policy: adoption gone wrong | Teeny Manolo

Return Policy: adoption gone wrong

By raincoaster

Jade PoeterayOne has a limited tolerance, one does, for spoiled Hollywood stars who insist on collecting their own United Nations of Benetton and then changing the children’s names, particularly when the child is old enough to come when she’s called.

One has, however, no tolerance whatsoever for fools who adopt children, then send them back after seven years, once the parents have their own biological children. What is this, re-gifting?

He’s a professional diplomat? This doesn’t sound very diplomatic to me! He should go to back to school for a social work degree. From the Guardian:

A Dutch couple living in Hong Kong yesterday found themselves at the centre of an international controversy after they gave up their daughter for adoption seven years after they adopted her themselves.

Raymond Poeteray, 55, who has worked as a Dutch diplomat for more than 20 years, and his wife, Meta, adopted Jade, an ethnic Korean girl, when she was four months old…

A spokesman for the South Korean consulate in Hong Kong said the couple had found it difficult to raise the little girl because of “culture shock”.

“[The Poeterays] now have their own children,” the spokesman said. “They decided it was difficult to raise [Jade] because of cultural shock. They said she’s not willing to eat their food. That’s one of the reasons. It’s a strange reason. She was raised from a very early age. It’s a very uncommon case. It’s a difficult situation for us to understand.”

Why, yes, it would be. Given that she’s been with the couple since she was four months old, it’s difficult to understand why she or they or, indeed, anyone at all would be undergoing culture shock at this late date. As for fussy eaters, if they think it’s a problem confined to Korean adoptees, they’ve got a rude awakening ahead, no?

24 Responses to “Return Policy: adoption gone wrong”

  1. Bethany Says:

    That is the most horribly mean thing I have ever heard! Anyone who knows an adopted child (that knows they are adopted) would know that being adopted in the first place gives the child plenty of issues to deal with. I have 2 brothers and a sister who were adopted at young ages. They were loved and accepted just as much as my blood sister and I were in our mish mash family. Still, they have questions that I will never have to ask. To adopt this little girl and then decide you want to send her back at the age of 7???? I don’t care what the reason, is it not enough that for some reason her birth parents gave her up? You have to add to that??? If you didn’t plan on raising this child _AS IF THEY WERE FROM YOUR OWN BODY!!!_ then you should not have _ADOPTED_ them, you should have taken them as a foster child. Yeah cuz, just in case we actually have some of our own.
    My parents wouldn’t have treated my sister or brothers any differently than they would treat me, had they committed some heinous crime. You can’t control how your children turn out. All you can do is love them. And if you can’t do that, you don’t deserve any children.

  2. Awesome Mom Says:

    That is just wrong on so many levels.

  3. Kirsten Says:

    Oh this breaks my heart. I’m an adoptive mom to two boys (5 yrs. old and 7 mo. old baby). I can’t imagine in a MILLION years ever parting from them. They are my boys, my sons. This selfish couple says they have children of their own now. Do they mean “biological children?” Adopted children ARE children of your own.

    Culture shock? No, she’s just a picky eater. She was four months old when they adopted her. When I offer my five year old brussle sprouts and he pushes them to the side, I don’t say, “Oh, well, he’s half Hispanic so that’s why he hates them.”

    What an idiotic argument.

  4. gemdiva Says:

    This is topping the list of the most reprehensible things I have ever heard. I’m quite certain this couple just figure it will be one less mouth to feed and leave that much more of their income to provide a life of comparative luxury for their other offspring. What are the odds that, at the age of 7 this child will find another family and, even if she does, will she ever be able to relax and trust that she won’t have the rug pulled out from under her again? Is this even legal? This is one of the cruelest things I’ve ever heard!!

  5. raincoaster Says:

    Not only all of the above, but because she was adopted by a diplomatic family who lived in Hong Kong, she doesn’t even speak Korean, nor does she have Korean citizenship.

    From the newswires, it is becoming increasingly apparent that this may be the end of Poeteray’s career. He may end up sharing a bed-sitter with OJ Simpson if the global public has anything to say about it.

  6. Seana Says:

    I am horrified by the ignorance and selfishness of this couple. Not only should Jade be relocated to a family that loves her, but this couple’s biolgical children should be taken away because they are clearly not fit to parent.

  7. Eilish Says:

    I find this extremely hard to wrap my brain around. I have the same question as gemdiva, can they even do this? Who is looking out for this poor child? I hope that this is the end of his carreer, this thing they are trying to do should make them social and diplomatic pariahs. There is a place for shame and this is it.

  8. Glinda Says:

    That is so horrible. You can’t just say, “Ooops, changed my mind, can we give her back?”

    They should be ashamed of themselves.

  9. Krista Says:

    I work with emotionally troubled teens professionally, and two of the most haunting cases I ever had were ‘failed’ adoptions. Now, I have no clue why we even allow such a thing. If I fail as a parent of my biological child, there are serious consequences to deal with. That is not the case for adoption.

    So, in conclusion- Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

  10. La Petite Acadienne Says:

    That poor little girl. The only bright lining in all of this is that there will probably be a lot of love poured out to her, and a lot of people wanting to adopt her and give her lots of love to make up for the crap she had to go through.

    Those horrible people though — they make me think that we should bring back the stocks as a form of public punishment.

    And culture shock? They have got to be effing kidding me.

  11. raincoaster Says:

    More updates here:

  12. thepinkeminence Says:

    Dutch bastards should be repeatedly slapped. I rejoice that his career is in the toilet, but I hope a new family can be found for that little girl now…it would be hellish if she had to stay with them after this.

  13. Badness Jones Says:

    THat’s disgusting. There is just no excuse for that…..poor Jade is probably better off without the kind of people who could even consider that, but….

    Parenting is hard. Issues arise. There is help available, you work on your problems, you muddle through. That’s what families do! You don’t give up on your children! I think I’m going to be sick.

  14. Andrea Says:

    That is just wrong!!! I think this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! Shame, shame, shame on them!

  15. raincoaster Says:

    Excellent article in the Times here:

    Mr Poeteray, 55, said that when the family moved from Indonesia to Hong Kong three years ago, “medical specialists” said that Jade had “serious bonding problems”.

    They had embarked on family therapy, but without success. “To our great disappointment, things didn’t get better, they got worse, and the rest of the family began to suffer hugely from that,” he said. The couple have an older son, and a younger child born after Jade’s adoption.

    By the middle of last year they were being urged by doctors, social workers and the adoption agency, Mothers Choice, to place the child in temporary care, the diplomat said in an open letter to De Telegraaf.

    “Although the specialists now think it is not possible that Jade can be brought home, we continue to hope. We will do our best to find a solution allowing her to find happiness in her life,” he wrote. “This is a private matter, for which we as parents bear the responsibility . . . the publicity itself is already painful enough, but what’s worse is it doesn’t help us find a solution for our problems.”

    The Poeterays never applied for Dutch citizenship for Jade, but claim that this was an administrative oversight…
    The Dutch Foreign Ministry, embarrassed by the international fuss, has recalled the diplomat for consultations but is standing by him. Many Dutch bloggers, however, argue that he has committed an offence against natural justice and that he should resign from the diplomatic service.

    One blogger found a reference to a party that the Poeterays held in January 2005 in which one grateful guest thanked the diplomat, “his lovely wife Meta and young son Jamie”. There was no mention of Jade, suggesting that she was not fully accepted as a member of the family…
    Dutch newspapers tracked down a former babysitter yesterday who took care of Jade when she was a baby in Indonesia. She too was bemused by the fate of the little girl whom she remembers as a quiet but normal child. “I took care of her in the evenings, while an Indonesian woman was with her in the daytime,” she told De Telegraaf. “But Meta did not treat as her real daughter.”

  16. E Says:

    You people are way too quick to judge! I have met children, adopted and not adopted, who never got along with their family, sometimes to the point of needing to be separated from that family. It happens. You don’t pick your children, they don’t pick you. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work. It can happen with very young children too, not just teens. Do you really think these parents did not try as best as they could? They tried, as best as everbody’d probably do, even you people. There are some times when its futile, when there’s no more ressources. They were adviced seriously py professionals, doctors and social workers, to give her up and everybody is heartbroken, so it’s a sound decision. Who are you people to judge them and condemn them, saying they should give up all their children, with whom they are happy, and even their jobs? For crying out loud!

  17. raincoaster Says:

    But the fact is, they DID pick her. And, whether or not it “works out” they had and have a responsibility to parent her, whether they like her or not. You don’t just get to keep the ones you prefer when you’re a parent.

  18. E Says:

    Raincoaster, I wouldn’t say they really picked her, her being 4 month old at that time, they probably just asked to get a healthy baby. Well, so they didn’t pick her much more than their biological children, now, wouldn’t you agree?

    I’m objecting to the number of persons who are judging them based on probably biased, uncomplete data and feeling. Yes, it’s sad, it’s extremely sad, for the little kid and for the family. But the fact is, people who knew the situation well, professionals, not just random people reacting on feeling, have examined her case and judged that it was for the best if the family was to be broken apart.

  19. raincoaster Says:

    And their responsibilities to her are the same as their biological children, including not abandoning her. The rights of the child to security outrank pretty much any other consideration, wouldn’t you say?

    The two caregivers responsible for her both said she was a normal little girl, but one went out of her way to say that she wasn’t treated as a full member of the family. As for the expert opinions, I reserve judgment: I have seen no quotes directly from them, only the statements of the family that experts told them to do this. This is hearsay.

    People are judged by their actions; this is how the world works. I have no problem judging them based on what I have heard here.

  20. E Says:

    We should try to give these folks, which we don’t know, some good faith. Yes, parents have to take care of their children, but there are times when it is impossible, when even the best parents have to give up. That the child is adopted matters absolutely not. It can happen for a variety of reasons. We do not know exactly what motivated the parents, beside “integration problems”. That could be anything, good or bad. Nobody’d give up a child because of her being a fussy eater, that’s ridiculous. There must be deeper reasons, much deeper, but the family’s wishes to keep silent about them are to be respected and understood. These problems have certainly spanned over a long period of time and the doctors thought that they were very severe too. It’s not the family that says that doctors were consulted, but the spokeman for the Dutch ambassy! If that’s hearsay, then everything in this story is hearsay (which is, incidently, my point). As for the nannys, yes they saw her, but that was years ago. I have worked and lived with troubled children long enough to know that it’s much different to be with them for short spans of time and actually living with them. I’m not saying that that young girl has issues, but there’s no way to know what’s going on, beside stating the obvious: the parents had deeper reasons, albeit unkown, for giving her up. I’m saddened for this poor girl and hope her life will get better, but I will not participate in parent-bashing.

  21. raincoaster Says:

    I respect your kindness and your generosity towards these people. I hope that you understand that, until an independent source comes forward to corroborate the parents’ version, I will continue to have my doubts about them. The spokesman for the Dutch embassy in fact reports to the father of the family in question, so I do not count that as independent; not at all. I want to hear from the adoption agency. The nannies were not some fly-by-nights, but the day-to-day caregivers in the child’s home, where they, also, lived. Their claims cannot be dismissed out of hand.

    Whatever the case, it is clear to all involved and all watching internationally that it is a terribly emotional issue, and that Jade herself has a lot of support around the world, should it happen that she’s adopted by another family.

  22. troy Says:

    everyone is aware of the type of people that the couple is. my question is what happened to jade?

  23. Shana Says:

    All I can say is that it may have been a blessing for all parties involved. We adopted one of our foster children and gave her everything. We paid for the best education have loving family. Too make a long story short, she got involved in abusive relationship and is not allowed any contact with us. She has 3 kids and a lazy, control freak boyfriend. The boyfriend comes from a real low life family that even his mother had the nerve to call us and ask for items and money. Its been almost 5 years that she has been involved with this idiot and we have all given up on her. When she finally waked up or he leaves her for someone else then she will have no one. She has truly disappointed everyone and hurt everyone who ever loved her.

  24. hkgirl Says:

    Update from Hong Kong: The city sorted all the messy immigration problems. Jade is now a legal Hong Kong resident, adopted by an ex-pat family here last year, and attending school. By all accounts — in total opposite to what the Dutch family said — she is a happy, healthy girl, and must be pretty smart, as she speaks several languages.
    By the way, the “experts” the couple quoted in saying they were “advised” to give her up have denied that they said those things.
    Mother’s Choice — a really good service that helps pregnant teams, and organizes foster parents and adoptions — works to keep kids together. I can’t imagine them ever advising parents to abandon an adopted child.
    The Dutch couple just were looking for a scapegoat.
    I can’t tell you how much still story distressed Hong Kongers. I’m proud of the way we handled it.

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