Thirty National Disability Organizations Blast “Deadly Consequences” Segment of the Dr. Phil Show

Rochester, NY (PRWEB)
May 30, 2012
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On May 29, thirty national disability organizations lead by Not Dead Yet issued a letter to the Dr. Phil Show, criticizing its April 13th segment entitled “Deadly Consequences.”

According to the letter, the segment “presented the idea that parents should be able to euthanize their children who have intellectual disabilities” and did so in “such an extremely unbalanced manner as to amount to a promotion of such a deadly proposition.”

National organizations signing onto the letter include ADAPT, the American Association of People with Disabilities, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, Easter Seals, National Association of the Deaf, National Disability Rights Network, Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE), The Arc of the United States United Spinal. Over sixty state and local disability organizations also joined in the letter.

The organizations call upon Phil McGraw and the Dr. Phil Show “to publicly apologize for the ‘Deadly Consequences’ segment and to give equal time to individuals with intellectual disabilities and organizations advocating their equal rights.”

“This segment was such a horrific assault on people with intellectual disabilities that ignoring it would be a dangerous mistake,” said Stephen Drake, Not Dead Yet’s research analyst. “Dr. Phil even brought in Kevorkian’s former attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, to explain why parents should be allowed to order a lethal injection for their disabled children.”

Not Dead Yet copied the letter to some of the larger advertising sponsors of the Dr. Phil Show, including XXX.

On May 18, the The Arc of the United States, which is described as “the nation’s largest organization serving and advocating on behalf of people with I/DD, with a network of over 700 chapters across the country,” issued an open letter criticizing the “Deadly Consequences” segment as well. The Arc letter asked that Dr. Phil “plan another show that would demonstrate this history, illustrating how people with severe disabilities who were previously relegated to institutions have defied all expectations.”

Stephen Drake
Not Dead Yet
585-353-7438
Email Information

SPAFA’s Adoption Expo 2012

An Unnerving Reality: We’re Deporting Adoptees

By Adam Pertman
Blog  |  Story Link

Imagine that your daughter, whom you raised from infancy, was convicted of forgery. You certainly wouldn’t be surprised if she were prosecuted for that felony and, while it would be heartbreaking, you’d expect her to be punished, probably even imprisoned. Now let’s add one more element to this real-life scenario: How would you feel if the penalty imposed on your 30-year-old child – who suffers from multiple sclerosis – was deportation to another country where she knows no one and doesn’t speak the native language?

I am not making this up. It is happening today. It is obviously devastating to the woman facing a jarringly disproportionate punishment for the crime she committed, but it is also much more than that. It is a vivid example of the unfairness and inequality that sometimes exist in the world of adoption.

What may be most unnerving is the fact that this is not an aberration; while it is hardly commonplace, it has happened again and again. And there has been virtually no media attention, or public outrage, or embarrassment on the part of immigration officials, or concerted effort to reform law and policy so that people who were adopted into their families are placed on a level playing field with their biological counterparts.

Here’s the core of the case: Kairi Abha Shepherd was adopted from India into the United States in 1982, when she was three months old. Her mother, a single woman in Utah, died of cancer eight years later, so Shepherd went on to live with guardians for the remainder of her childhood. More details are in this news story from last week: http://bit.ly/KzkIP5.

In short, Shepherd’s adoption took place before 2000, when a new federal statute conferred automatic U.S. citizenship on most children adopted internationally into this country; the law included a retroactive provision, but she was adopted a few months before it kicked in. So the adults in her life were supposed to fill out paperwork for her to become a citizen – but, like many others, they either didn’t know or, for whatever reasons, never got around to doing it.

As a consequence, when Shepherd was convicted in 2004 of forgery to feed a drug habit, U.S. authorities did what they do to many felons who don’t have documents showing they are Americans: They started deportation proceedings, which are now coming to a head. It doesn’t seem to matter that Shepherd has lived as an American for all but a few months of her life, and it is an extraordinary price to pay for a bureaucratic oversight made by the adults who raised her.

Again, this is not an aberration. Last year, a 31-year-old mother of three, who was adopted from Korea when she was eight months old, was held at a federal detention center in Arizona and faced deportation after a second theft conviction. It’s unclear what happened to the woman, who was not named (http://bit.ly/KiQ65Q) but the bottom line was the same: Her adoption took place before the period covered by the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, and neither she nor her parents ever applied for citizenship for her. So, even though she had lived in the U.S. nearly all her life, had given birth to three children on our nation’s soil, had never as much as visited Korea and didn’t speak the language, federal authorities wanted to send her “back.”

There are more examples, too, dating back at least 15 years; indeed, in my book Adoption Nation, I write about a young man who was adopted into the U.S. as a child, convicted of car theft and credit card fraud, and deported at age 25 to Thailand, where (same story) he knew no one and didn’t speak the native tongue. Can you imagine anything comparable happening to someone born into his or her family, whatever the offense? Of course not.

People who break the law should unequivocally pay an appropriate price for their offenses. But I think it can fairly be argued that the reason some are being ejected from the only country they’ve ever known is not because of the crime they’ve committed – but because they were adopted.

This feels grievously wrong. We should be shocked, we should be outraged, and we should do whatever is necessary to halt the cases already in progress and to prevent this from ever happening again.

Our NEW Open Adoption Course will be Available Later this Summer…

From Heart of the Matter Seminars…

“Creating our next course on open adoption is taking longer than expected, but I received a good reminder to be patient! We here at Heart of the Matter truly do believe in putting out quality courses that are worth taking!”

-Katie Sharp, Co-owner/Presenter

It will be worth the wait!

Join us on FACEBOOK for 1st availability!

Heart of the Matter Seminars
1508 SW White Ridge Drive
Lee’s Summit, Missouri 64081
816-246-1100

News From Morocco

Congratulations to our Hopscotch family on a flight home today with their adorable baby girl!!! Congratulations to our other two families, one granted a visa and will be flying home tomorrow with a handsome baby boy and another granted Execution for their VERY sweet little baby boy. We are thrilled for all of you!

SPAFA’s Adoption Expo 2012

 

Welcome Home!!

Is there a sweeter Mother’s Day gift?? Congrats to our Hopscotch family on welcoming their beautiful daughter home.

5 GOLD MEDALS!!!!

Congratulations on your spectacular performances. We’ll be cheering for your upcoming competitions. “The Hopscotch Cheering Section”

Hopscotch Adoptions Announces our Hague Accreditation Renewal by the Council on Accreditation

I am extremely pleased to share, the Council on Accreditation (COA) has granted Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc.’s renewal application for Hague Accreditation. Hopscotch is licensed in North Carolina and authorized in the state of New York.  If you are in need of home study or post adoption service in either state, we would welcome the opportunity to provide these services.

Download the COA Letter (PDF)

IAC 217 Results

The following referrals were issued in IAC Session 217 held on May 15, 2012.  Download the PDF here.

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