"The Child Catcherstakes us for a fast and frightening ride down a road to hell that's paved with ‘good intentions,' yes, but also with willful ignorance and worse, outright deception. Joyce's story-that of a new, religiously driven ‘baby scoop' that amounts to a massive redistribution of children from the poor to the affluent-requires no sensationalism. The facts, presented here with care and fair-mindedness, are terrifying enough. And Joyce's analysis, calm and powerfully perceptive, is devastating. May this book stand as a landmark work of investigative journalism."
Jessica Valenti, founder of Feministing.com and author of Purity Myth and Why Have Kids
"Kathryn Joyce's investigation into the rise of the Christian adoption movement is both fascinating and disturbing. In chronicling this mission to ‘save' children from their home countries and perceived hardships, Joyce moves beyond the feel-good headlines to reveal a truth that most American media seems to have missed.-The Child Catchersfills an important gap in the national conversation not just about adoption-but about imperialism and feminism as well."
"Groundbreaking investigative and explanatory reporting"
"Joyce broadens the understanding of adoption's conundrums, not only within the United States, but also internationally, with deep investigations of children from Liberia, Ethiopia, Korea, Rwanda, Haiti and China…Groundbreaking investigative and explanatory reporting."
Anthea Butler, University of Pennsylvania
"Kathryn Joyce's book The Child Catchers-is a compelling,-meticulously-researched, and insightful dissection of Conservative Christians and their participation in the international adoption complex. Joyce unmasks this new fertile ‘mission field' of children, defined by a labyrinth-of adoption agencies, organizations, and activists. By unmasking the truth behind many of these ‘adoptions' of children with loving but impoverished families, Joyce gives voice to the children hurt by this neo-colonial Christian mission.-The Child Catchersis an important must-read in order to understand the business of adoption, and the pain that can befall the child's biological family, the child and, at times, the adoptive family."
Jeff Sharlet, bestselling author of The Family-and C Street
Erin Siegal, author of Finding Fernanda
"The Child Catchers shatters conceptions about how and why Americans adopt, bringing us inside the often-misunderstood Christian adoption movement. Joyce's graceful prose deftly exposes the connections between adoption trade groups, the religious right, and U.S. policy makers, while delicately revealing a horrific series of ongoing crimes and misdeeds perpetrated against children. A timely, important book."
Debbie Nathan, journalist,- co-author of Satan's Silence; author of Women and Other Aliens, Pornography,-and Sybil Exposed
"In this chilling expose that promises to become a muckraker classic, Kathryn Joyce rips the veil off a sacrosanct institution in America and other rich nations: international adoption.- She exposes not just black- and grey-market practices-though she finds plenty of both in evangelical-Christian institutions piously claiming to rescue orphans from poor countries.- More profoundly,-though, Joyce reveals how secular, squeaky-clean adoption can also do harm, not just to individual birth mothers and adoptees, but to the progress of children's and women's rights globally. The Child Catchers is essential reading for adoptive parents, those thinking about adopting, and anyone concerned with democracy-nationally and throughout the world."
Journalist and Religion Dispatches associate editor Joyce (Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement, 2009) broadens the understanding of adoption's conundrums, not only within the United States, but also internationally, with deep investigations of children from Liberia, Ethiopia, Korea, Rwanda, Haiti and China. Perhaps the least publicized development within the adoption realm during the past few decades is the aggressive involvement of evangelical churches. Parishioners, even those with multiple biological children, are adopting orphans from overseas, as well as many children who have been wrenched from biological mothers (and sometimes fathers) as part of for-profit schemes. Some of the church members see adoption as a faith-based mission—as an alternative to abortion but also part of a biblical mandate to care for the oppressed and impoverished while simultaneously saving souls. Joyce explains that although such adoptions might seem like a win-win solution, in fact, birth mothers and families, especially in third-world countries, are torn apart by the international transactions. Joyce studied academic treatises and traveled widely across the U.S. and to locales in other nations rarely visited by tourists. The number of compelling anecdotes and case studies is impressive. Whenever ethically defensible, Joyce uses real names and normally indicates fictitious names when she saw no moral alternative. Although the overall picture is grim despite tsunamis of good intentions, the grimness is occasionally relieved by righteous individuals and institutions trying to do better. One of the relatively upbeat case studies focuses on the megachurch of celebrity pastor Rick Warren. He admits his evangelical members involved in international adoptions have not always proceeded perfectly, but Joyce suggests that he is sincere about learning from mistakes in a drastically shifting landscape. Groundbreaking investigative and explanatory reporting.
This intricate investigation of adoption ethics and religion is an incisive, evenhanded corrective to the view of child adoption as benign and salvific. Journalist Joyce (associate editor, Religion Dispatches; Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement) examines the rise of adoption as a practice and cause among American evangelical communities eager to save souls (by raising them in Christian households), prevent abortions, and care for the poor (thereby reclaiming a biblical mandate frequently dissociated from conservative Christianity). But the more than 150 million so-termed orphans and vulnerable children worldwide frequently have living family members, even grieving mothers, capable of raising them, circumstances seemingly lost in the mix of aggressive agencies, inadequate regulation, vulnerable families lacking understanding of the concept of adoption as permanent, and adoptive families with emotional and financial resources invested. Joyce details cases involving children from Haiti, Ethiopia, Liberia, Rwanda, South Korea, and the United States, shares the voices of a huge array of interviewees, and allows the facts to reveal how removing children from poverty has come to be seen as a virtue. Grim but not downbeat, Joyce's reporting also indicates signs of hope for reform. VERDICT This exemplary study deserves a wide audience among all readers involved with adoption, from policymakers to prospective adoptive families.—Janet Ingraham Dwyer, State Lib. of Ohio, Columbus