I want to comment on this story. I want to comment on it not only because it involves adoption in the State of Illinois. I want to comment on it because I lived it.
The article states that Illinois has filed suit against ANLC for internet advertising. The article cites Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan:
“They’re very specific in directing their advertising and marketing to people in Illinois,” says Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, even though they’re not licensed in the state. Illinois prohibits for-profit adoption agencies.”
Yes. True. I lived it.
The article also says:
“Adam Pertman of the Donaldson Adoption Institute worries about a coercive approach to pregnant women who may be in crisis, unsure what to do.”
To all this I say YES and YES. I also say HELL EFFIN YES to this last sentence:
“Of course, banning targeted ads in one state won’t keep such online agencies from operating, which is why â€” if Illinois’ lawsuit succeeds â€” Pertman hopes other states will follow its lead.”
Let me share, again, in case anyone doubts this can or does happen. I found Easter House in the New Haven, CT yellow pages in 1985. They had an advertisement there, a very misleading advertisement. It suggested they were in CT as they had a CT area code. When my mother and I contacted them we did so with the expectation that they were in CT and that I could stay in CT. We were quite surprised to learn that in fact their CT phone # rolled over to Illinois office. Even when we learned that we were still lead to believe they could assist me in CT. It was not until they flew someone out from Illinois to meet with my mother and me in an abandoned office building we learned otherwise. Even then, what we learned was not true, it was in fact a complete lie constructed to deceive us and get me out of the State of CT. Easter House had an ongoing legal battle with my home state and to get my child out of my body and into the hands of a “forever family” they had to get me out of state. They succeeded. They succeeded by terrorizing my mother and I (well, me really) into believing that if I had my daughter in CT she would be required, by law, to be left in foster care for a year, away from me and not with an adoptive family. I have written about this before. This was a very effective ploy on their part. I clearly remember looking up in terror at my mother, hand on pregnant belly, after having visualized a horrible foster care situation, agreeing that I would go away. In doing so, they isolated me, 1000 miles away from anyone known to me. It was “better for my child” they said.
These predatory practices must stop.