Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Scams and the elderly
You hear of the warnings to beware of scams and fraud. They come in all flavors (only bad flavors, though). Frequently elderly folks are the victims. My neighbor is a sweet little old lady. She is very prim and proper. She doesn’t go anywhere unless she is dressed up in a dress suit, nylons, and pumps. Her yard is manicured and she even edges the grass creep along her sidewalk every year. She is just a little lady, shrunken with age. Don’t get me wrong though, she still gets around and is a feisty one. I worry about her when I see her outside working. I’m not going to try to stop her, but I’ll either offer a hand, or just keep peeking at her out of the corner of my eye – just ‘in case’ something would happen. Maybe you have a sweet little old lady or gentleman in your neighborhood. You might have a few stories or memories of your own you could share. How do you feel when you hear that one of these people is taken advantage of by a scam or by fraud? Seriously, think about how it makes you feel.
What is your knee-jerk reaction? Do you think to yourself that they deserve it? - Do you have thoughts wondering if they weren’t smart enough to not leave a stone unturned while researching before making their decision? - If they didn't do "enough" research, then do you feel it’s their own fault and they should just suck it up? - Do you contemplate that after all those years they should just know better, and if they didn’t they’re just stupid and not worth any respect at all? Or -- would you consider them a victim? Would you have empathy and realize that they are at a very vulnerable place in their life? - Do you also realize there are people who prey on such vunerability? - Do you think about how dependants they are on others helping them make difficult decisions? - Do you feel sad at how betrayed, and maybe ashamed he or she must feel? - Do you see the pain in their eyes as they describe the situation to you, and realize how much regret they have? Scams and Fraud – it breaks my heart when I hear or read about another victim. Hmmmm, victim. The word ‘victim’ came up this week in regards to adoption. The children who are adopted and separated from their family unnecessarily- they are a victim, hands down. No question about it. They are a victim, and they had no say in it at all. They are separated from their natural family and go throug life without that genetic mirroring. They feel isolated as they try to grapple through many emotions, expecially feelings of being abandoned. They go through a life of constant inner turmoil. They are indeed victims.
What about the mother who has lost her child to adoption? She can’t be considered a victim, especially when she signed away her rights. Or, can she? If she is not a victim, then neither are the elderly in cases of fraud or scams. Just like your sweet little old neighbor, that expectant mom is at a very vulnerable place in her life. She has to try to figure out whom she can trust and whom she can’t trust, especially since adoption professionals target her and her baby as their prey. Who to trust? There is the key.
Scammers are professional ‘con artists’.
They appear to care about their ‘victim’. They can tell outright lies while looking you in the eye, AND have a smile on their face. They use specific words to manipulate how their message is received. They can read their victim’s body language to know which part of their sales pitch is reeling in the deal. They know the key phrases to send subtly implied messages. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They will tell the ‘victim’ whatever they need to – no matter how hollow the promises are. They will avoid talking about facts that might cause them to lose the sale. They are initimdating, sometimes outright othertimes it's subliminal. This is what adoption professionals do. NO adoption agency should be allowed to claim they are giving ‘non – biased’ counseling. Talk about conflict of interest! That’s like handing your fish to the bear.
The reality is that if adoption agencies do not get babies for their clients to adopt/buy, then the agency won’t stay in business. It is their business to get babies, period. It is not a ‘ministry’ as many ‘christian agencies’ claim. Their purpose is to get babies, not "minister" to the TRUE needs of the expectant mom so she can parent her baby.
And yes, I intentionally use the expression "stay in business," because that is what adoption agencies are, profit seeking businesses. I don't care what color the ink is from their "non-profit" rubber stamp! This too is deceiving. "Non-profit" does NOT mean there is NO profit, what it means is that their expenses must equal their income. So if they make a whole lot of money this year - they need to spend it, like bonuses or salary increases.
The scammer's intent is to get as much dough as possible. They pretend they wil take care of that sweet little widow's needs. They don't take care of her, they only trick her. But that's what con-artists do. That's what adoption agencies do.
Have you ever considered how ridiculous it is to allow any adoption professional to provide "counseling”? They "claim" it is non-bias counseling, but it really a tool for finding out how to manipulate the expectant mom. They do not discuss ALL her options. In the few situations that they do discuss 'other' options, being professional con-artists, they still tip the scales to make those “other options” sound bad, and mysteriously only the adoption option is made to sound “best” and “right.” They refer to her as a birthmother – planting in her mind the seed to fulfill this new title they’ve assigned to her. This is no accident; it is very deliberate and intentional. They say adoption is a loving choice – which plants the idea that if she does not choose adoption, she is unloving. This is no accident; it is very deliberate and intentional. They say that adoption is brave – subtle terminology to say that if she does not choose adoption, she is a coward. This is no accident; it is very deliberate and intentional. They say that adoption is selfless (excuse me while I hack up a hairball at the hypocrisy on THIS!!)- which implies that parenting is selfish. This is no accident; it is very deliberate and intentional.
If the e-mom (expectant mom) talks about her dreams and aspirations, will she get support and encouragement? Will they give her a list of resources? No. The responses she will hear are like these “It isn’t fair for a baby to hold you back from reaching your dreams.” Instead of reminding her that she can still reach her goals – even if it takes her longer, and it will be hard, but she can do it.
Here’s another one, “How will you be able to go to college and take care of a baby?” Instead of providing her with ideas of getting student loans or reminding her that the child won’t need daycare their entire life! This is no accident; it is very deliberate and intentional. Here are other key phrases, “children deserve a two parent home.” They won't mention the reality that aparents are human too. They go through divorce like every other group of people in society. This is no accident; it is very deliberate and intentional. And how is it that a ‘christian agency’ would say to an expectant mom, who is sitting there with the father of the baby - to "not get married, it won't work out?" Wait, it’s okay to rip apart flesh and blood? to sever the SACRED God Designed mother/child bond? Which is not suggested in the Bibleny awhere. But they'll advise against marriage, which is mentioned repeatedly in the Bible? So, instead of using their own Bible as a guide to encourage marriage, they’ll promote their own man-made adoption ideology to separate the family. This is no accident; it is very deliberate and intentional. More counseling phrases are “Don’t you want your child to have the best? A loving couple that is financial secure can provide what your child needs.” This is more of the subtle message, accusing her of not careing about her child's needs, negative doubts that she could provide and care for her child. More of the 'loving couple' implies that she is unloving to keep her baby. It is no accident; it is very deliberate and intentional. These subtle messages are repeated over and over with each discussion and each visit by the adoption professional. This is no accident; it is very deliberate and intentional. I could go on with phrases that adoption professionals use to undermine the expectant mom’s self worth and ability. But this post is not about that. This post is to point out how someone can be decived and becomes a victim.
Yes, most unfortunately I am a first mom. I’ve lost my only child to adoption. I do acknowledge that I made the decision. But, you know what? The the elderly man also made a decision when he wrote out the check to the scammer. He made a choice and played a part in his ow misery, yet we recognize he was a victim. He was a targeted by a con-artist and became their victim.He made a choice, I made a choice. Both bad choices. We are both a victim. And yet people will show compassion to him, but not toward a first mom. Why is that? Why be condemning and judgmental of any victim at all? Is it to make oneself feel better by maybe feeling superior to, or better than, or smarter than the victim?
There is no need to be harsh or judgmental. Nor is there a need to separate 'responsibility' and 'victim' into an either/or issue. I can be both at the same time. Just because I describe myself as a victim of the adoption con-artists, does not mean I am denying I had any part in it. And when I acknowledge my part in it, that does not make me any less of a victim.Come back next Monday or Tuesday. There is another angle to discuss on the whole victim, scam,fraud, adoption topic.
Victim of adoption fraud. Similar to Scams and the elderly.