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You’ve got the kids, I’ve got the cash, let’s make some adoptions.

So today provides yet another profile of yet another Baptist evangelical scavenger, Mike Roberts, the North Texas CEO of “Source Direct.”

The Dallas Morning News has done an article on yet another scavenger on a “mission from god”  to do the kind of work in Haiti that can decide who lives and who dies, and to set up an adoption pipeline cash and supplies-for-kids scheme. Naturally, the piece is more of a glowing profile than an expose on Roberts attempt at child tafficking.

Yup, yet another attempt to build a system of  Haitian “orphans” sourced directly to a congregation.

See In Haiti, North Texas CEO tries to make order out of chaos. The full article is quite the read. But the adoption pipelining stands out.

He and his wife plan to return in about four weeks to begin the process of adopting a Haitian orphan – a touchy subject after 10 Americans were charged with kidnapping for trying to take 33 children out of the country without documentation.

Roberts visited three orphanages while in Haiti and used his jet to fly in supplies – soap, shampoo and diapers.

As stated earlier in the article that would be his $7 million private jet.

The day he left, he also stopped by to give money to the directors. “We want to develop a relationship so we can adopt your children as well as support you,” Roberts told Osvaldo P. Fernandez, director of the Rose-Mina De Diegue Orphanage. “We also want to give you some cash.”

Roberts unzipped a money belt and fished out a handful of money.

With apologies to the Pet Shop Boys, this is nothing more than You’ve got the kids, I’ve got the cash, let’s make some adoptions.

There’s no veneer on it, no finesse, just outright “let’s build a relationship here, you provide the kids, I’ll put cash and goods in your hands.”

Nor is Roberts merely sealing the deal for one of his own, he’s looking to build an adoption pipeline between these Haitian “orphanages” and his congregation, Park Cities Baptist Church back in Texas.

At first this commodities trading apparently didn’t go over so well (at least with a reporter there to cover such).

Fernandez’s eyes flashed in anger. In Spanish, his words tumbled one over another.

“You can’t pay me off for one of my children,” he said. “I’m not selling babies here. My kids don’t want money, they want affection.”

But soon enough, the “orphanage” director came around:

Over the next few minutes, translators smoothed over the misunderstanding. Fernandez accepted the money and his eyes softened as he watched Roberts play with a group of orphans.

“I can see he has affection for the children,” he said. “I can see he needs the love of a child.”

Which is, as seems to be so often in these cases,  putting the desires of the wealthy American would-be-adopters in front of the genuine survival needs of of the kids themselves.

The adopter is portrayed as needing “the love of a child.”

As opposed to the child, who needs clean drinkable water,  food, shelter, clothing, to be protected from child trafficking, have their human rights protected, and not be exported out of their own country at the whim of a wealthy purchaser.

Once the director took the cash, the details of the pipeline were hammered out quickly enough (emphasis added is my own).

Roberts said he hopes his congregation at Park Cities Baptist Church will connect with Haitian orphanages, send supplies and set up a system where members can adopt children.

Naturally, he can’t pass up the opportunity to kick in a catty remark about his competition for children in Haiti, NGOs such as Unicef that advocate the kids remain in their own country and are being brought to places of safety out of the reach of scavenging disaster opportunists like Roberts:

“You look at the lives of these children and their surroundings, and you just know we can do better,” Roberts said. “I’m not talking materialism. We can bring these kids up in a family unit rather than allowing them to be brought up in a platoon.”

Roberts views any policy or moratorium standing between him and his quest for “product” i.e. kids as “absurd” dismissing any previous history Haiti has had with child trafficking.

Haiti recently placed a moratorium on adoptions out of fear that some children and parents may have been separated during the chaotic aftermath of the quake. Roberts dismissed the policy as “absurd.”

“Are we going to sit back and allow thousands of babies to go without milk while all of our governments decide what is the best way to handle this situation?” he wrote his wife. “Try telling that to a starving baby.

Obviously, he’s merely yet another Texan evangelical fly-in who wants what he wants. Any pre-existing context or history Haiti has had with children being bought and sold means nothing to him. Such is simply dismissed, as he pulls out the usual “but think of the children” routine.

Maybe before opening his mouth and his wallet, he could take a moment to learn even the basics about what words like “Haitian Orphanage” have meant and continue to mean.

The New York Times published sort of a Reader’s Digest version of what many of us have been saying for years yesterday, Bleak Portrait of Haiti Orphanages Raises Fears.

His answer then, to  get questions of whether or not the kids are exportable settled quickly is to set up a photo catalog of ‘inventory’ i.e. kids not already (so often falsely) labeled “orphans.” Once again, emphasis is mine:

Why can’t we just publish a list with names and photos for any child that has not been documented as an orphan?

“This would allow any surviving family members to locate their missing child and we could return them once they are in a position to care for the child.

Sooooo, export the kids first, place them with American Christian would-be-adopter families, and them offer promises to return the kid should their parents or other relatives be able to provably identify them AND meet conditions deemed able “to care for the child.”

As I said at the beginning of all this, just after the quake, possession is 9/10 of what passes for law in these cases. Once the kids are here does anyone for one minute think they’ll be returned? Again, just ask the mothers of Guatemalan children who were brought to the United States how that getting their kids back has worked for them.

Roberts resorts to that time tested and well worn means by which to shut down any opposition or blow past any objections or rational arguments against his course of action: “You have to do what I want, what you’re doing now is KILLING CHILDREN.”

I know that they are attempting to protect these children by playing it safe but in reality they are killing them.

This is child buying, nothing more.

Despicable, yet also perfectly ordinary.

What with no less than former President Clinton (himself a Southern Baptist) working to cut a deal for as many of the set of  Baptist missionary scavengers sitting in jail at the moment as possible, clearly, missionary child exports are high priority in American foreign policy.

After all, who is going to make the consequences of such child trafficking actually come to fall on Mike Roberts, his family, his church, and the other American families in the congregation who stand to purchase children by way of this deal?

Return to the Table of Contents of my Haiti series.

4 Responses to “You’ve got the kids, I’ve got the cash, let’s make some adoptions.”

  1. TriniWarao Says:

    Thanks for this post and the work you are doing.

    For me, all this is nightmarish and it is happening all around the world even as we focus on the situation in Haiti. When I first heard the Haitian PM’s comment that the arrest of the American Baptists was a distraction, I did not agree with him as regards the situation in Haiti. I was thinking about all the other babies all around the world being extracted to satisfy a demand which is seldom questioned. And while we focus on the murkiness of international adoption we are distracted from sustained thought about the fact that the very countries from which these “rescuers” arrive are the same countries which are helping to create broken societies all over the world by starting and supporting wars, by international profiteering – by using according to Faithless [], the weapons of mass destruction of wicked minds, greed, racism, fear, misinformation and tolerating only inaction by quashing societies’ rights to self-determination.

    Mike Roberts, there, is a “Christian” and having been raised as one myself I have personal experience of the delirium that can blind us to the obvious. First of all I am having great difficulty with these grand, much publicized gestures that go against the admonitions outlined for Christians in Matthew, Chap. 6, verses 1-6. [] I once asked another Christian couple why they had made the decision to adopt a child from another hot supplier of bodies at the moment. The answer was a stunning, “Why not?” couched in triumphalist religious/messianic hogwash and concluding with the usual attempt to deflect – By the way, what’s in YOUR spiritual wallet? I am not fooled by any of it. I can spot shoppers from three miles off.

    But back to the Texan who wants to outsource child procurement over the backs of the local sources. Here is what the Texas Child and Family Service Review has to say about the profile by Race/Ethnicity of the children in need of rescue right there in Texas:

    Source: 1/24/08 – CFSR Statewide Assessment Adobe pdf
    p. 18

    Data Profile by Race/Ethnicity
    Disproportionality is the over representation of a particular race or ethnicity in a particular program or system. In Texas, a higher percentage of African-American children are removed from their homes, although data indicates African-American parents do not abuse their children any more that any other race or culture. A lower percentage of African-American children are successfully reunited with their families, and a higher percentage age out of foster care without an adoptive family or other permanent placement.

    Disproportionality also exists for Native American children, although they represent a much smaller population than African-American children. The causes of disproportionality are complex and cross many social systems. The child welfare system plays a pivotal role in the solution, because it addresses the family as a whole and has the potential to prevent future disparate outcomes for African-Americans. By working in tandem with local, regional, state, and national agencies in education, juvenile justice, and health, the child welfare community seeks to identify common issues and barriers to equal access to community services for all Texans.

    Data from 2007 shows African-American children in Texas were almost twice as likely as Anglo or Hispanic children to be reported as victims of child abuse or neglect. Even after adjusting for the higher number of African-American children reported as victims, the number of African-American children that were the subject of substantiated reports of abuse and neglect was also disproportionately high, as was the number of children removed from their families. In Texas, even when other factors (such as poverty or family structure) are taken into account, African American children spend significantly more time in foster care or other substitute care, are less likely to be reunified with their families, and wait longer for adoption than Anglo or Hispanic children.

    And according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

    The 2006 figure for Children in Public Foster Care in Texas Waiting to be Adopted: FY 1999 thru FY 2006 rev. March 2008
    was 12,191.

    12,191 children are on your doorstep.

    I have no reason to believe that they have all found homes or that many more have not since joined the “platoons”.

    Finally, to put faces to some of the statistics, I direct readers to search the database of the TEXAS Adoption Resource Exchange without specifying any parameters in order to retrieve the largest return. Just click search. These are some of the very real human beings in Texas still awaiting adoption.



  2. OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin Says:

    Roberts said he hopes his congregation at Park Cities Baptist Church will connect with Haitian orphanages, send supplies and set up a system where members can adopt children.

    PCBC, more Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) vultures, like their criminal counterparts in Idaho.

    A search for them on the website also brings up “Park Cities Ethiopian”, which is just a mailing address.

    Wonder why.

  3. Baby Love Child » The 73 Haitian kids deserve genuine justice, not a premature release of the scavengers Says:

    […] You’ve got the kids, I’ve got the cash, let’s make some adoptions. […]

  4. Baby Love Child » Haiti fails its children, releases 8 Child Scavengers on nothing more than their (worthless) word Says:

    […] Simultaneously, it sent the message that it is in many ways, simply too overwhelmed to even attempt to ensure there will be consequences to many involved in such acts, opening the doors to other forms of cash for kids trafficking already in the preliminary stages. […]

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