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News- a rare profile of 3 Mexican (original) mothers behind sold and stolen American adoptees

I wanted to point readers at an important article from last month profiling the circumstances and desperate need for money three Mexican womyn faced, ultimately leading to their children’s adoption in the U.S..

If adoption can so often be reduced to supply and demand, these are the circumstances from which a ‘supply’ of children come from.

Nothing is done to alleviate the ongoing suffering of these womyn, as that would mean money spent on development or health care, or other basic needs. Instead the pathetic conditions that force womyn to outright sell their children are encouraged to continue, as to do otherwise would cut the ongoing supply of adoptable infants.

It’s rare to find a story like this covering the desperate circumstances of these womyn and the origins of children bought in the adoption market.

Also keep in mind that while some of the children were born in Mexico and brought to the United States, at least one was born in the US and is thus a U.S. citizen. Thus this child, upon adoption, would be considered a “domestic” adoption, not international. This smuggling of pregnant womyn into the U.S., leading to the child being placed for adoption continues to be something to keep an eye on as we may see more of such as the number of international ‘sending countries’ continues to decrease or grow stricter under Hague implementation.

Mothers who allegedly sold babies endured difficult lives

The Brownsville Herald, 6/21/08

Patricia Perez Quiroz:

A 21-year-old product of Rio Bravo’s cramped western colonias, Patricia Perez Quiroz simply left home one day – eight months pregnant – and came back several weeks later without a child.

“She told us the baby died,” Erika said in Spanish. “Then, she said (the baby) was with the father, and then, (that the baby) was sick in the hospital.”

Mexican authorities have since identified Patricia as one of nine Rio Bravo women who admitted to selling their newborns to a man accused of working as an international baby broker.

Investigators believe Amado Torres Vega, 64, of Harlingen, purchased children like hers for $2,500 to $3,000 a piece and then brought them to adoptive couples in the United States for a fee.

Claudia Pantoja Ramirez:

Pantoja has since told state prosecutors Torres smuggled her into the United States to have her child, but upon giving birth she asked him if she could back out of their deal. A day later, she woke up to find her baby gone and $3,000 from Torres, she said.

Alma Yadira Alva Gutierrez:

Across town, Alma Yadira Alva Gutierrez’s smart concrete home in Rio Bravo’s new Hacienda Las Brisas subdivision stands a world away from the poor, cramped neighborhood of Pantoja and the Perezes.

But her situation was no less dire. The mother of an 8-year-old girl with leukemia, Alva, 30, told authorities she sold three children to Torres to finance her sick daughter’s medical care.

What can ‘consent’ possibly mean when womyn feel they are forced into selling their children? In Claudia’s case, it’s apparent, her own feelings in the matter meant nothing.

Torres, of course, falls back on an all too familiar theme in adoption in a sick attempt at justifying his actions:

“These women were irresponsible,” he said. “I did what I could to give their children a better life.”

I.E. ‘these mothers were “bad”, “unworthy of their children”, “they didn’t deserve to keep them”, it’ll be better this way’ the usual crass ‘ends justify the means’. The false assumption underlying such is that poor womyn or those in dire financial need do not deserve to keep their own children, or that only the wealthy make good parents as they alone can provide the so called “better lives” to children. Thus the poor become expendable, for anything other than ‘womb services’; produce the kids for resale, not for keeping.

The promise of the so called ‘better life’ is used constantly to justify whatever it takes to redistribute children from desperate circumstances, often relating to dire poverty, into the hands of those who will pay top dollar for a kid, any kid, so long as they can call it their own.

But even if he’s right, his alleged actions violate Mexican law. Despite his public denials of wrongdoing, police say he has confessed in private to illegally purchasing children.

He remains in a Tamaulipas jail pending trial on child trafficking charges. If convicted, he could face up to 12 years in prison.

A maximum of a mere 12 years for the buying and selling of babies.

The womyn, as if they had not already endured enough, are now also facing charges:

State prosecutors have also filed cases against six mothers including Pantoja and continue to pursue charges against others. It remains unclear how many of the women Torres worked with are in custody, said Licensiado Oralia Mancha Barrera, a Tamaulipas assistant state attorney

Note that this includes Claudia Pantoja Ramirez, the womyn whose baby was taken after she changed her mind and refused to go through with it.

These womyn did what they did in a desperate attempt to survive or to ensure their family’s survival.

It’s a side of adoption rarely openly discussed.

There is no word on where their children are today, assumedly in the hands of adoptive parents here in the U.S., and likely to remain that way. They could have been represented to their adopters as any one of a number of different nationalities.

But that “better life” meme?

But no matter the hardship these children may have endured had they stayed with their birth mothers, Patricia Perez Quiroz’s mother-in-law, Socorro Treviño, can’t fathom a childhood lived any other way.

“A better life?” she said in Spanish while surveying the dilapidated house around her. “If that was the case we would have given everyone here up for adoption.

“What better life is there (for a child) than with the mother?”

If that so called “better life” were the only consideration entire villages across the world, children and adults alike, should go up for “adoption”. As is, the babies are exported to wealthy (by global standards) Americans, and their countries of origin and relatives are left to rot. Or produce more children for export.

No one’s coming along to “adopt” them.

The bottom line continues to be adoption is no answer to global poverty.

“I got mine”-ism of adopters comes at a global and deeply personal cost to those left in the circumstances that produced the child originally.

Global development is an opposite to adoption. It is rooted in genuine empathy with other people the world over. Adoption, on the other hand, is all to often about ‘resource extraction’ plain and simple.

Because at the end of the day, the Americans apparently still have the kids. If anything, they are likely blissfully unaware of the circumstances that led to them gaining ‘their child’. Never mind those pesky little ‘costs’ to those in their countries of origin; the childrens’ mothers for example.

Empathy? Yeah, not so much. There are some things adopters would simply rather not know.

2 Responses to “News- a rare profile of 3 Mexican (original) mothers behind sold and stolen American adoptees”

  1. Baby Love Child Says:

    Also, be sure to explore the comments section at the bottom of the article.

    As I said, empathy is clearly not certain people’s strong point.

    The underlying contempt for these womyn oozes from every word.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I know one of these children. I know a couple who adopted a Mexican child at 3-days old from Torres in Harlingen TX. I’m trying to find out the legality of this adoption. I was told this child also has a sibling adopted in Chicago. This child currently lives in Michigan. This whole adoption just smells rotten, I can’t believe these children were bought. Any information is greatly appreciated.

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