Okay, this is vile: two self-absorbed dipshits adopted a nine-year-old Romanian girl, brought her to Canada, and then five months later, sent her back to adopt a baby girl instead. (They had four sons already, and wanted a daughter.)
This girl ends up stateless: Romanian law doesn’t consider her a citizen, and she never got Canadian citizenship. She could not go to school or get health care in Romania. She was left with only a third grade education since she spent fourteen years of her life in limbo. Now she’s suing her adoptive “father”, as well as the Ontario and Canadian governments for allowing the adoption in the first place.
I really hope there’s another side to this story, because right now I don’t see how there could be one.
Alexandra didn’t call a lawyer right away. This lawsuit is actually a last-ditch attmpt at reparation: In the fabulous (and heartwrenching) documentary Return To Sender, you see Alexandra leave her daughter and family to go to Canada and tour the house where she lived for a while. She also met with her old third-grade teacher and her brother, adopted at the same time as she was by a different family. He is well-adjusted and his family is very supportive of him (and also of Alexandra, now that they know where she is). She also flew to the US to meet with the man who “adopted” her, and he completely brushed her off. At first he pretended not to know who she was.
She stood at his doorstep, showing him a picture of her daughter, telling him he was a grandfather, and he said; “I’m not your father.”
He gave her his cellphone number, told her to call him the next morning, and never picked up when she called at the agreed-upon time. After she had spent the whole afternoon calling, he disconnected that cellphone - either canceled his service or changed his number, who knows.
What a complete prick. He took her on a whim, sent her off (in her words) “like a packet”, did not care at all for the red tape he was binding her in at the age of nine. But I could have told you that he was not going to show any accountability. He didn’t then, why would he now? People like him are teflon: nothing sticks.
I hope this lawsuit makes something stick.
Here is a pre-lawsuit article about the whole sordid affair.
Yeah, it was really quite stupid for him and his wife to pull this, and I wonder if he gave any thought at all to how this was going to look a few years down the road. Just by the info given in the doc alone: Surgeon, lived in Ancaster, ON, named Joe, wife Silvana… it would have been easy to track him down.
He was found by the Irish journalist mentioned in my link. She played a web-message that Joe had up, plugging his practice, and asked Alexandra if that was him. Alexandra cried and cried and couldn’t look at it.
That fucking asshole. She can’t even hear his voice without freaking out. She is completely traumatized. It must have taken so much courage for her to stand on his doorstep, and he pretends he doesn’t even remember who she is.
After reflecting for just a moment, I think my post above is pretty irresponsible. I googled his name, “heart surgeon”, and “Washington state” to find that listing at Overlake Hospital, but I have no way of knowing for sure if that’s the surgeon in question. Further, I only have one piece of the story (Matt’s link), and further still, I’m not advocating emailing, harrassing, or contacting the surgeon or his employer, whether or not he is the adoptive former father in question.
If a mod sees fit to delete my post, that’s fine with me. I apologize for posting that information.
I often daydream about having super powers. I really do. And it’s never about saving the world or anything; it’s always about flying in and kidnapping scum like this, and then dumping them in the Sahara to die. Given the opportunity, I really would torture him to death.
Hey, they thought they were getting a Nadia Comenichi. After playing the Young and the Restless theme for several months she still was crap on the balance beam. No fluidity of movement and her dismounts were just shocking.
OH and the parents have no soul.
ivylass, I don’t know exactly precisely what you mean by “she had a mother”, but if you’re outraged that she and her brother weren’t actually orphans when they are adopted, your rage may be misplaced.
Many of the children in Romanian orphanages in the early '90s had parents, it was just that their parents could not feed them. Ceaucescu taxed women who were not pregnant, and birth control and abortion were outlawed, so parents were forced to concieve children they could not afford. I can’t imagine that Romania is a very wealthy country, either, or that the standard of living is higher than here, so the combination of a population boom with crushing poverty was disastrous. Mike Desrochers, the man who adopted Alexandra’s brother, Cristian, says that he intended on adopting an actual orphan. Mike’s interpreter brought him to his apartment “for dinner”, but when Mike saw the filth and the multitude of bedraggled children, he realized that his interpreter was seizing his chance to get one of his siblings out of Romania. Mike said that Cristian’s mother practically shoved the baby into his arms.
Alexandra is rather bitter about international adoptions and was angry with the Desrochers when she met them. She was sad that Cristian had forgotten his mother tongue, and she felt that taking him from his family who loved him was unjust.
My opinion is that if Alexandra’s adoption had gone better, she might not feel so strongly on the issue. Yes, the international community needs to try harder to make sure that children are well cared for in their own cultures first, but, love does not fill your belly. Mike said that Cristian and Alexandra’s apartment was so filthy he could smell it from outside. Also, since his intention was to adopt an honest-to-goodness orphan, I don’t think that he would have turned away from that intention to adopt Cristian if things hadn’t really happened the way he said they did between him and Cristian’s mother.
It’s easy for Alexandra and her (late) mother to feed their bitterness towards Joe Austin by demonizing all people who adopted Romanian children, so I think we should take Alexandra’s claim that they would have been better off together, with a grain of salt.
It doesn’t sound like Alexandra’s mother was “practically shoving her” into their arms. I don’t doubt that the conditions in Romania were horrific. However, that in no way absolves the Austins’ responsibility in returning a child they adopted five months earlier. That is cold and heartless, and may even make their callousness worse, since they knew they were returning her to what was basically a third world country.