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This is yet another of those many ‘coming in in the middle’ posts, that are so very Baby Love Child. While I’ve been carefully watching the unfolding of this saga, this is the first I’ve blogged it.

The story of Masha Allen is emblematic of so much of the core of what’s wrong with adoption, both international and domestic. I have neither the time, nor the space to write a recap of what she has been through, but fortunately, at this moment, for the purposes of this post, I don’t need to as Bastardette among others has already been explaining Masha’s story and the ramifications of it for quite some time now.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, allow me to simply point you over to her page, not only to get up to speed on her previous work, but also to draw attention to her latest blog entry on Masha; “Masha Update: Child Exploitation Cracks in the Floor.” Readers unfamillar with Masha may want to actually start at the bottom of Bastardette’s post, to look at her previous posts on Masha, particularly “Masha Speaks — The Adoption Industry Bunkers in: “Disney World Girl” and the Shame of Complicity.”

Also be sure to see the blog post Bastardette’s latest post is referring over to, Childlaw’s piece “Child Exploitation Cracks in the Floor.” (Along with the other pieces there focusing on Masha.) It does a good job of focusing on what the aftermath of Masha’s life has been like since being removed from Matthew Mancuso;

“A few weeks later, on June 8, 2005, Buchanan told CNN Insight’s Jonathan Mann that Masha “has been adopted by a very loving family who has changed her name and moved her to another part of the country, where she can make a new start and have a very, very wonderful life ahead of her.” Mann’s response: “That’s astounding!”

Since then Masha’s astounding and very, very wonderful life has included five name changes, six schools, and ten addresses across two states and four counties. To date the system has continually failed Masha repeatedly for a number of years. As Masha once said, “you expect me to trust the system after all they’ve done to me?””


“When Masha was rescued, she was placed with a young single foster parent with her own history of sexual abuse, given an unlicensed Christian therapist and a Medicaid card. When the FBI reportedly “moved her to another part of the country” a few months after her adoption, Masha was taken from the only community she knew and her thin support system was shattered. She began an unstable lifestyle which continues to this day. No therapists, no medical team, no house or meaningful compensation. Just a prayer and a press release and a one way ticket to nowhere. ”

17 Responses to “Masha”

  1. Marley Greiner Says:

    Thanks for covering this, BLC.

    Masha’s story is extremely important. There is much more to tell, but that can be left to those who are closer to her than I, though whenever it’s released I’ll pass it along.

    Anyone who cares about adoption (whether they love it or hate it) should not only care about Masha, but what her circumstances say for US adoption policy and the treatment of children–well all of us involved in adoption– in this country. The US adoption landscape is littered with the bodies of Mashas, Stephanie Bennetts, magical documentless babies, adults with no history, invisible first parents, lied- to adopters, dead and abused children,–all victims (not with a capital V) of a rapacious, industry built on secrets , lies. and exploitation. of the vulnerable, the needy, and the frightened. Adoption need not be like this, but as long as private industry and the state work together to ride roughshod over millions of people touched inappropriately by adoption, nothing will change. There is huge work ahead. Oh, and be prepared to be called “anti-adoption” if you dare to question the “wisdom” and authority of the adoptcrats.

  2. Baby Love Child Says:

    What Masha has gone through indites far more than just adoptionland. There’s a huge blog entry somewhere under all this, but that’s just not where I was tonight. It says everything about the high profile ‘anti-child porn’ raid to get her out, only to then after the glare of the lights go down place her in her next hell, and the next, and the next.

    As for being accused of being “anti-adoption”, I ALWAYS find that hoot, seeing as to how I AM adoption. (No, I’m not universalizing my personal experience, I’m just saying that like it or not, to my very bones, I am adoption.) I am the product of the system, I am also the product in that system.

    I also find that usually those accusing me of being ‘anti-adoption’ are not, themselves adoption, they may be industry, or self appointed ‘advocates’, but the accuser is usually external to adoption, not adoption itself.

  3. Marley Greiner Says:

    But doncha know. We have nothing to do with adoption outside of being the benifeciares of the loving option! The product, so-to-speakl They’re just jealous of us. It takes a lot of work harvesting a good crop and WE didn’t have to do a thing. The poor dears just want some gratitude for all their hard work. I mean, BLC, just look at if from their POV. We’re sorta like the welfare recipient who thinks the government sucks. Adoptees = “welfare queens.” Only I didn’t get a Lexus. Did you?

  4. DaisyDeadhead Says:

    WOW you guys, I had never heard of the Masha story! I am pretty freaked out and saddened by it. 🙁

    All I can manage is… WOW, and WOW again. 🙁

    Thanks for the crash course in what is really happening.

  5. Gershom Says:

    May we all take a moment of silence for Masha and everyone suffering in these situations.

    Now lets go out and stomp some people! I am SICK of reading stuff like this. My heart, my soul, my body can’t take this anymore. When will our people finally stand up, unite and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!

  6. Baby Love Child Says:

    Hi Gershom,

    No offense, but personally, I think I’d rather take a moment of educating LOUDLY for Masha- or more importantly, letting her speak for herself and then doing what little I can to get people to pay the fuck attention/watch her back.

    Silence is about the last thing that makes sense here.

    The reason I blogged about her in the first place is that it’s important that more people, from more communities hear about her, what she’s been through, what she has to say, and how that reflects on the systems that made it all, and CONTINUE TO make it all possible.

  7. Gershom Says:

    Absolutly none taken at all because you are absolutly right!! Silence doesn’t make ANY sense, thats not what was behind my intention of saying that, but I think you know that. Awesome blog btw and I’ve added you to the blog roll at my site! Hope thats okay.

  8. Baby Love Child Says:

    Yup, I knew, clearly your second paragraph above indicated you understood, there are just times when I pull apart language and behaviours and constantly find myself saying but that’s not what even you were REALLY trying to convey here. Anyhow, no prob- obviously were on the same page here.

    Thanks for the very kind words on here, AND adding me to your blogroll, AND the plug over on! (Shaking head in stunned disbelief.)

    All I can say is WOW- serious thanks! I’m ALWAYS in awe when someone else plugs my work somewhere else. I never fully understand why, but I guess there are a few fans out there. Pleasure to meet cha!

    (And yup, Daisy, if you’re reading, I saw you doing the same over on Alas on the post “Did I Steal My Daughter?” Interesting Article On Transnational Adoption Thanx to you as well!)

    Thanks to you both!

    Now, in light of ohmygosh having ‘fans’ I suppose that means I should update the damn page, eh?

    No worries. I’ve got several ‘baking’ and one on the verge of getting at least partially posted- any day now, really. Please forgive the suspense, it’s not an on purpose thing really, it’s a I don’t do blog time, thing.

  9. Gershom Says:

    I do the same thing like HOLY MOLY shes advertising the protest! or MY BLOG!! IT TRIPS ME OUT!!

    You deserve it though your blog rocks! happy to spread the word!

  10. Baby Love Child Says:

    Seriously, thanks!

    Yeah, I’ve got a post on the protest coming too.

    In the meantime running your cursor across the protest links in the right hand side column and reading the ‘descriptions’ that come up should give you a smile.

    And everyone else reading along- go look at the links for “Adoptee Rights Demonstration – JULY 22, 2008”! Do it, do it now! (what are you still doing staring at my humble little blog for- get! Go look! Now!)

    Consider it my own little moment of educating LOUDLY!

  11. Andie D. Says:

    I’m still in shock and pissed as hell about Masha. Everyone who thinks adoption is a win – win always, should know every side to this crap. Thanks for posting this.

    P.S. I’ve been going through your site trying to get the “back story”. Not done yet. You write really well; thank you for that.

  12. Baby Love Child Says:

    Thanks for the kind words Andie, much appreciated.

    Eventually, as more details spill out, I hope to do a real, much more in depth Masha related post.

  13. James R Marsh Says:

    BLC – love you and love your blog. You have it right on Masha. The truth is so much worse than the fictional happy ending. More to come . . .

  14. Baby Love Child Says:


    It is somewhat of a genuine honour to see your comment here, something I never expected, but thanks. I find your blog useful as well. “Adoption Real Estate” as a particular example.

    But Masha, as I said in the post itself, I’ve been watching what I can of this pretty closely.

    Some people care about Masha as a symbol or her ‘story’ as some kind of ‘parable’ they might be able to use for various ends.

    Me, I care about her, herself.

    How she’s doing, now. And how she goes forward with her own life from here.

    Additionally, I care about the series of events that led to this, and that still continue on. I care about ensuring that her incredible bravery in coming forward is more than just some ‘story’, but that it actually sparks change. Change such that others not have to bear any portion of what she’s been through.

    And I care deeply about the systems that not only made such possible, but to this very day continues to make such possible.

    As someone who to whatever (miniscule) extent has blogged this, (so much more to say, haven’t really found the real words yet) I feel it’s important to say, I’m not pushing for anything further.

    More details will either come or they won’t, but in many ways, it’s her life and the last thing she needs is people being nosy purely for their own interests, not in any genuine effort in bettering her circumstances or changing the structures making these things possible.

    *IF* and when other parts of her truth are brought forward, naturally, I’ll try to help more people understand what happened, even as I myself struggle to comprehend what it is she has endured- but more importantly, encourage that educational process not as an end unto itself, but as a call for bringing an end to the aspects that created her situation(s) in the first place.

    But for me, the bottom line for me is, to the extent I can even begin to comprehend what she has been through and is still going through, I feel for her. And worry about her, as I do so many minors who are or have been in various parts of the adoption system wherein things are done to them, or in the name of ‘for’ them, but aren’t in their genuine interest.

    Minors in particular have little to no voice in so much of it, and while much is done in their name, sometimes little actually seems to be done genuinely for them or in their genuine interest.

  15. James R. Marsh Says:

    You have hit on some very cogent points BLC. The one thing that people have not cared about is Masha herself. The various agendas surrounding her started way before I became involved and continued long after I was prevented from helping her.

    Those agendas continue to this day and go way beyond little old me or you or any other well-meaning honest people, to some very powerful people in high places who have a lot of explaining to do (and a lot to loose from the truth).

    And I’m not talking about Masha’s international adoption. In so many ways her domestic adoption was much much worse and implicates vastly more people who should and do know better.

    Much of her life past, present and future is a myth. She knows it. It took me over a year to piece all the disparate facts together and quite honestly it is much more shocking than anything you can imagine.

    Her story goes way beyond adoption to power, corruption, lies and cover-ups. Or better yet, take a pile of shit, wrap it in a warm and fuzzy adoption bow and virtually anyone will buy it, sell it and market it to the world.

    I guess it is about adoption after all.

    The one thing it’s not about is Masha.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Wow. Check out the latest on Masha at

    One Child’s Unending Abuse – From Disney World Girl to Drifter

  17. James R. Marsh Says:

    More on the Masha tragedy – in their own words – taken unedited from the primary source material. Read it and decide for yourself.

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