Today, Gov. Scott Walker signed quite a few bills, more than 50 in total. The one that I give him and the Wisconsin Legislature credit for tackling involves “re-homing”. Re-homing involved people putting kids up for adoption online to anybody willing to take them. There was no type of regulation involved, and government agencies appeared to not have a clue this existed before Reuters did an investigative piece on it.
Through Yahoo and Facebook groups, parents and others advertise the unwanted children and then pass them to strangers with little or no government scrutiny, sometimes illegally, a Reuters investigation has found. It is a largely lawless marketplace. Often, the children are treated as chattel, and the needs of parents are put ahead of the welfare of the orphans they brought to America.
The 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…
Reuters analyzed 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.
Thank you Gov. Walker for signing this legislation. Thanks also to Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R) for authoring the legislation. Hopefully, the example that you’ve laid out in Wisconsin can be copied in the other 49 states to offer children much-needed protection.
Assembly Bill 581 requires parents seeking to delegate their parental powers for more than one year, to file a petition with juvenile court so that the court can determine that the delegation is in the best interest of the child and that the new parents will be able to care for the child appropriately. The bill also closes a gaping loophole in our states advertising laws, making it clear that it is illegal to advertise children for adoption over the internet.
It’s great to see people looking out for children who really need protection. When I first read that Reuters investigation, I felt sick to my stomach. I feel a bit better knowing that someone else paid attention to this and decided to try to put an end to this. So, when will the rest of the states make their move?