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The Stork Market: America's Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry Perfect Paperback – March 1, 2007

3.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This book a wonderful and well-integrated mix of approaches part analysis, part case studies from the front lines, part hand-book, part up-to-date law and policy review is a testament to Riben's powerful and enduring commitment to the rights and needs of vulnerable women and their children. Riben's book is a clear, bright blueprint for change. Rickie Solinger, historian and author, Wake up Little Susie; Beggars and Choosers --Direct to author

Combines the historical and legal perspective with really hard hitting journalism. Maureen Flatley, political consultant and media advisor specializing in child welfare and adoption --Direct to author

Once again, as in Dark Side, Riben has pulled back the covers and exposed the unpleasant truths and problems that need to be addressed in American adoption practices....the conclusions that Riben comes to are inarguable. Most impressive on every count ....well researched and thought out. Annette Baran, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., co-author The Adoption Triangle --Direct to author

About the Author

Mirah (aka Marsha) Riben has been researching, writing and speaking about the need to reform, humanize, and de-commercialize American adoption practices since 1971. Excerpts of The Dark Side of Adoption have appeared in Utne Reader; Social Issue Resources Series, Inc.; and Macrocosm USA. Additionally, her articles have appeared in The Women's Newspaper of Princeton, Suburban Parent, Jersey Woman, the New York Times Op Ed, The Jewish Press, The Adoption Therapist, Mothering, Nurturing, and Family Journal. Riben, a former Director-at-Large of the American Adoption Congress, is co-founder of Origins, a New Jersey-based national organization for women who have lost children to adoption. Speaking publicly since 1979, Riben has appeared on several national television programs, including Joan Rivers to discuss the Steinberg/Nussbaum murder of their illegally adopted child. She has been keynote speaker for the American Adoption Congress; and has spoken at countless other conferences including Parents of Tomorrow, Adoption Forum, Council on Equal Rights in Adoption, Origins, and Concerned United Birthparents. Riben was an invited speaker at the 7th Annual NJ Research Conference on Women, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ. She has substitute taught at Staten Island College and guest lectured at Rutgers University. Riben is the mother of four, one of whom was lost to adoption shortly after birth and is now deceased.
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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: AdvocatePublications.com; 1st edition (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427608954
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427608956
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #656,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Kirschner on June 6, 2007
Format: Perfect Paperback
The Stork Market by Mirah Riben, is a must read, for anyone touched by adoption. It is an informative, well-documented and fascinating expose of the many abuses - permeating a muti-billion dollar, unregulated adoption industry. Written in a crusading, investigative reporting style, the Stork Market is a courageous book. It will please many in the adoption world, but is sure to threaten others - especially those who profit from the lucrative business of adoption.

As a pediatric/child psychologist, I have worked in the trenches and treated hundreds of the worst-case casualties, of our closed adoption system; so I can attest to the truth in this important book, and offer first person witness, to the validity of much that Ms Riben documents and is concerned about. Surely, a family system based on secrecy, lies, and a denial of human/civil rights can not ultimately be "in the best interest of the child;" and a passionate caring that the needs of the children be primary, "not secondary, or even worse, irrelevant to an adult's agenda," is evident throughout the book.

The Stork Market was especially touching, in my understanding of birth mothers and their feelings about the children they gave up for adoption. Treating troubled adopted children/teens and their adoptive parents, I have mainly known birth parents, only through their children's fantasies about them - or sketchy information (very often based on outright lies) told to the adoptive parents by agencies, lawyers or "facilitators." The book deepens insight into a piece of the adoption triangle, the "ghost mother," seldom seen by child or family therapists - even those specializing in adoption issues.
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Format: Perfect Paperback
Adoption surrounds us. We all know someone who has considered adoption, is adopted, or has given up a child for adoption. Law and society have evolved, so that adoption is celebrated, no longer a shameful secret. Few, however, are aware of the less-savory side of adoption, nor its ongoing impact on our country. In her new book, "The Stork Market: America's Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry," author Mirah Riben tackles the truth behind the myths.

"Infant adoption is a multi-billion dollar unregulated industry... run by those with little or no training or education in the field of child welfare or social services. It has become a total distortion of the intended purpose of finding homes for orphaned children, and instead exploits mothers and commodifies their children," Riben says.

According to the author's research, adoption hasn't progressed much since the orphan trains of the nineteenth century. Anyone can be an "adoption professional," for there are no requirements or standards. Today's baby brokers use the Internet to ply their trade, while state agencies push children into unmonitored homes to claim federal subsidies. Celebrity adoptions demonstrate the widespread disregard for the rules.

Prospective adoptive parents are among the victims of this horrific trade. Vulnerable in the face of infertility, they are presented with an idealized picture that neglects detail. "The fact is that adoption is a business; babies are priced based on age, race, ethnicity, health, and physical ability." Corruption is rampant, and a failed outcome can be devastating. Riben offers guidelines to avoid being victimized, and recommends a thorough background check of any adoption agent.
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Format: Perfect Paperback
When I read Mirah Riben's brisk polemic against adoption as we know it in America I found myself internally screaming: How can we make this book required reading for every person considering adoption--both the women who give birth and the people who adopt? For good measure, let's get it to every legislator in this country who doesn't yet understand that the commerce of adoption has not served those for whom it was ostensibly designed: the children.

Perhaps I'm jaded: I'm one of the women still caught in the trap of a closed adoption of the mid-Sixties, when I surrendured a daughter to adoption. Do I feel abused by the system Riben so systematically takes apart? Yes. But our voices are lost in the din of would-be adopters who have delayed conception until their plan to build a family is through the taking of someone else's child--and severing as many ties as possible with the child's natural family and heritage.

Thankfully, Riben exposes this calculating and cruel mind-set--and what it has done to the children--with copious and well-documented research and a clear, engaging writing style. Given today's shortage of American babies available for adoption, Riben's chapters on the international adoption trade are especially revealing and moving. Case studies, statistics, analysis--Riben uses all the tools to make her point and delivers it with the crushing blow of a hammer.

No one who reads this book will come away without thinking that the adoption policies of America need to be re-thought and re-done. Riben, a longtime adoption-reform activist, deserves more attention and credit than I fear she will receive.
Kudoos, Mirah, don't put down your pen!
--Lorraine Dusky, author of "Birthmark" (1979), the first memoir from a birth mother.
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