[personal profile] 7rin
@ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7889302.stm

A child is removed after its parents are accused of abuse. The child is adopted and settles with a new family. If the parents are then cleared, should the child be returned, ask ethicists Rebecca Roache and Barbro Bjorkman.

Mark and Nicky Webster have lost a bid to overturn adoption orders on three of their children.

The children were removed in 2005, following concerns over injuries incurred to one of the children.

Subsequent investigations revealed that the injuries may have resulted from a medical condition, and that the Websters may not have harmed the child after all.

However, with the children now settled with their adoptive families, senior appeal court judges have ruled that while the Websters may have suffered a miscarriage of justice, it is not in the children's interests to overturn the adoption orders.

Assuming that the Websters are indeed innocent of harming their child, has the court made the right decision?

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[personal profile] 7rin
Uploaded by CooDocu on Oct 28, 2011

Biology stands on the brink of a shift in the understanding of inheritance. The discovery of epigenetics -- hidden influences upon the genes -- could affect every aspect of our lives.

At the heart of this new field is a simple but contentious idea -- that genes have a 'memory'. That the lives of your grandparents -- the air they breathed, the food they ate, even the things they saw -- can directly affect you, decades later, despite your never experiencing these things yourself. And that what you do in your lifetime could in turn affect your grandchildren.

The conventional view is that DNA carries all our heritable information and that nothing an individual does in their lifetime will be biologically passed to their children. To many scientists, epigenetics amounts to a heresy, calling into question the accepted view of the DNA sequence -- a cornerstone on which modern biology sits.

Epigenetics adds a whole new layer to genes beyond the DNA. It proposes a control system of 'switches' that turn genes on or off -- and suggests that things people experience, like nutrition and stress, can control these switches and cause heritable effects in humans.

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[personal profile] 7rin
(All bolding = my emphasis; all italics = my comment)

From: http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2012/09/13/parents-to-sue-mich-dhs-for-adoption-fraud/
September 13, 2012 6:39 AM

DETROIT (WWJ) - Some Michigan parents are planning to file a federal lawsuit in Detroit Thursday, claiming that the state and adoption agency officials withheld crucial details about the physical and mental disabilities in the children they adopted.

WWJ Legal Analyst and Talkradio 1270 morning show host Charlie Langton said the parents claim their civil rights have been violated.

“There’s a claim that the civil rights of the parents are being trampled upon by the state because of the state’s failure to disclose information. Who is in the best position to gather information about a child when the child is put up for adoption? It is the state. And if the state is not taking on the responsibility of gathering that information and disclosing that information, that becomes a civil rights violation, that’s a federal issue,” said Langton.

Lansing-area attorneys David and Stephen Kallman told the Detroit Free Press officials from the Department of Human Services and adoption agencies routinely withheld medical records and information about financial subsidies for special-needs children, misled prospective adoptive parents about their rights and stonewalled their attempts to seek assistance.

At the time of adoption, they were presented to parents as healthy babies. But in reality, the lawsuit claims many of the children had significant mental and physical health issues after being born to mothers who were addicted to drugs and alcohol — something the parents claim they were never informed of. Other children were handicapped or had diseases – something the parents claim the state also failed to mention.

Some parents claim their adopted children, most of whom were removed from homes of their biological parent or parents by court order, tortured pets, attacked family members and set fires.

The lawsuit also claims that several light-skinned ethnic minority children were “passed” as Caucasian for the sole purpose of depriving them [is that "them" the kids or their buyers?] of federal and state assistance to which they were entitled.

“It would be in the best interest of everybody if the state would disclose whatever information the state knew about these children before they adopted. I mean, disclosure is the name of the game in so many things. We have disclosure laws when you buy a car or a house, so why shouldn’t we have disclosure laws when you adopt a child,” said Langton. [Absolutely, which is why ALL records should be OPEN to ALL adoptees!]

If disclosure laws were in place, Langton said he thinks the number of adoptions would actually increase.

You have to know what you’re buying, what you’re getting. I don’t want to make it on so impersonal terms here, but we’re talking about the life of a child, that if the parents are doing something good for the children, they should know what they’re getting so they can plan ahead accordingly… I think the state has a duty to go out there and investigate the background of this particular child and the family as well. It would help not only people in Michigan, but across the whole country,” said Langton.

Families included in the lawsuit are seeking as much as $13 million.

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