Category Archives: Kidnapping

Why the Taliban Will Regain Power

Zaeef freed from Guantanamo

We are fed a load of tripe about the Taliban in the western press. They are portrayed as crude, illiterate, opium traffickers and murders. They are quite the opposite. They are, in the first place, a legend, which began in the 1980s when a movement to resist the lawlessness left by the collapse of the secular regime was formed by brave, uncorrupt ‘talibs’ like Abdul Salam Zaeef, one of the founders of the Taliban, coined by the BBC in 1994.

The ‘students’ were the educated branch of the native Afghan mujahideen in the 1980s, though there was never any interest or need for western style formal parties. Good, educated Muslim leaders were respected and consulted by all. Sectarian politics is alien to Muslim society, seen as divisive and even authoritarian, as proven time and again by majority-rule pseudo-democracies, as developed to meet the needs of regulating modern-day imperialism from the 19th century on.

Freedom fighters

Afghan society at a tribal-village level has traditionally operated on sharia law and consensus. When something needed to be done (i.e., a governance issue), people in the village worked out how to accomplish it and got on with it, albeit within limitations of tribal customs.

Technologically-driven capitalism doesn’t recognize this truly ‘democratic’ rule. So, apart from a handful of settler colonies, three centuries of colonialism were a spectacular failure. And the settler colonies? The natives were mostly exterminated, and ‘democracy’ of poor (mostly British) settlers gelled, with generous financial help from the mother country. Culminating in the absurdity, if not outright fascism, of US politics today, a settler colony gone berserk.

As Trump ponders how to extract the last of the troops from (hopefully) the last US colonial adventure, what to do with Reagan’s “freedom fighters” is a dilemma.

Reagan embraced the mujahideen in the heady 1980s, when the Cold War was at its peak, and the Islamic forces briefly were in sync with US imperialist objectives. As Ibrahim Haqqani1 told US journalist Jere Van Dyk, explaining why the once revered Taliban suddenly became the enemy, and have been murdered nonstop for almost two decades, “We haven’t changed, only the US has changed.”

Not strictly true, as Van Dyk points out in The Trade: My Journey into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping (2017). ‘You have suicide bombers and kidnappings as a racket.’ To which Haqqani could argue, ‘Yemenis have kidnapped people for centuries and kamikaze fighters are as old as warfare itself. We adopted them as tactics out of necessity.’ When all you have is your life to give, you give it. And kidnapping is certainly better than murder.

In The Trade, Van Dyk looks at the kidnappings by Islamists (including his own) in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. While kidnappings by Iraqi insurgents from 2004 on, and ISIS from 2014, have resulted in dozens of deaths of hostages, only a few dozen foreign hostages have been taken in Afghanistan, resulting in only a handful of deaths. Van Dyk points out that the Haqqani network, kidnapping-central, has not killed any foreign hostages. Kidnapping is called ‘the Trade’, and is to produce revenue and to get the release of Taliban prisoners. The risk is more of botched rescue missions and the pretense of ‘no negotiations with terrorists’.

The Taliban are more like the North American natives, who were mowed down by racist, greedy settlers. Those Americans like Van Dyk who admire these ‘freedom fighters’, even after his own harrowing two months as a hostage, are also rediscovering the real North American ‘freedom fighters’: not the storybook colonial militiamen fighting the nasty Brits, but the natives who resisted the invaders, those very colonists, and the abolitionist colonials, who fought against slavery.

If we add in the many Muslim immigrants to North America, we have the making of a cultural shift against the whole colonial narrative. No wonder Trump tried to ban all Muslims, and hounds and tortures Muslims at home and abroad. He senses the beginning of the end of the colonial confidence trick, and lashes out blindly.

The real plot line is not ‘we come to Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, wherever, to liberate natives from tyranny,’ but ‘we invade for geopolitical reasons to oppose those who resist US hegemony.’ And the fallout is the hordes of economic refugees trying to get a piece of the pie, now waiting impatiently at the colonial doorway to their stolen wealth.

Westerners who can join the dots will look for ways to help the underdog, the ‘good guys’. Some of these efforts are misguided (joining ISIS), but some, like Van Dyk’s, struggle to make sense of the new narrative, and even accept what the media depicts as ‘terrorism’ as legitimate forms of struggle, given the way the cards are stacked to favour the ‘bad guys’.

So we have John Lindh, who joined up with the Taliban in 2000 and was caught in the invaders’ crosshairs in 2001. His crime? Liking the Taliban, trying to help them build an Islamic society in the face of US hostility. Finally out of prison after 17 years, as pro-Taliban as ever.

Then there’s Bowe Bergdahl, who seems to have joined the army with the unconscious motive of defecting to the Taliban, bringing the invaders’ killing to a halt, and risking his life as a hostage to help give them a helping hand. It worked. He liberated 5 Taliban leaders from Guantanamo, and exposed the madness of the occupation, as documented in his biography, which is a litany of military cruelty, cynicism, infighting between the Pentagon, the CIA and FBI, and incredible waste. His 4 years of captivity kept the army et al busy looking for him, arguably making life under occupation more bearable for Afghans and even for US soldiers, who didn’t have to press the agenda of terror so forcefully.

There are other unsung western heroes of resistance to the US wars in the Muslim world, some of whom convert to Islam, just as some of the colonists in North America ‘went native’, embracing the native way of life, rejecting their appointed role as invader-colonizer.

The fact that the Afghans have continued to resist the invaders, despite the overwhelming military force opposing them, is an inspiration, not only to the other resistance forces in the West and the Muslim world, but to wealthy Gulf Arabs, who continue to finance the Taliban (and who despise their own Saudi overlords). A Taliban official told Van Dyk: Arabs respect us because we gave up everything to protect bin Laden and fight for our country. We have never given in and we are an inspiration to them.

Even as Obama hurriedly spirited the five Taliban officials out of Guantanamo to ensure the safe return of Bergdahl in 2016, he boasted of assassinating (by drone) Mullah Akhtar Mansour, leader of Taliban. Hold on. By initiating direct negotiations with the Taliban and making the prisoner exchange, doesn’t that mean you’re officially recognizing the Taliban and the Afghan Emirate? Is assassinating their leader a good way to instill confidence?

Founding an Islamic state

Abdul Salam Zaeef, who last served as ambassador to Pakistan (i.e., Afghanistan’s public face), lived through the Soviet and US invasions, capture by his Pakistani ‘brothers’, and Guantanamo hell. He came back to Afghanistan in 2006, but chose to live in Kabul in obscurity, insisting he was no longer interested in politics, and politely declining giving any advice to US occupiers or Afghan officials. They wouldn’t leave him in peace, and, fearing for his life, he fled to to the United Arab Emirates in 2012.

But if things move quickly, he and others like him will be able to step in and finally allow Afghanistan to heal. In any case, we can thank Zaeef for his courage both as a ‘good’ Taliban and as a chronicler. We are allowed inside the Taliban experience and can appreciate it for its basic sense of justice, divine justice.

In My Life with the Taliban (2010), Zaeef recounts his adventures as a mujahid. So many seemingly miraculous close-calls with bombs, snipers, ambushes, runaway tractors, duplicitous Pakistani officials … He is a methodical thinker and his story rings true. Taliban history is colourful enough without resorting to exaggeration.

They are the stuff of legend, like the Vietnamese a half century ago. They are the only uncorrupt force Afghanistan has left after 40 years of US meddling. Why don’t we know this? Because the Taliban are not following (and never have) the American agenda. Iran gets the same treatment. You can call yourself an Islamic state — as long as you follow US instructions (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan). In any case, our cynical culture would laugh at the simple ‘straight path’ narrative and worldview of Zaeef.

The last real Afghan leader before the Taliban’s Mullah Omar was Mohammad Najibullah, a sincere communist. He was educated as a doctor in Moscow and knew and respected Soviet (and progressive western) culture. And his lurking mujahideen enemy, waiting to pounce, knew and respected that, grudgingly. He could easily have left along with the Soviet troops in 1989, or later in 1992 when it was clear that without the Soviet Union, he was doomed. But he chose to stay, to die with honour. He was no wallflower.

On the contrary, he took the initiative and negotiated “cash-for-compliance”, self-government to local tribal leaders, financing them to work not against him, but with him. In western political jargon, a coalition government. Essentially, an alliance between the urban intelligentsia and the rural farmers.

No talk of land reforms or anti-niqab/birqa stuff. Just basic, uncorrupt law and order. For a while, it was a success. (Ask almost any Afghan who is old enough what the least-bad time was, and they will say ‘after the Russian troops left when Najibullah was the leader.’) A truce with the insurgent mujahideen remnants. Many fighters were tired of endless war and were happy to get on with life.

The pressure from the US-Pakistan-backed anti-communist crusade finally forced Najibullah to cede power in 1992, and he was eventually assassinated in 1996. Communism was dead, but the collapse of order meant a collapse not only of the economy but of morality, as looting, extortion, sexual license and rape took over. Having successfully destroyed Afghanistan, the American ‘allies’ lost interest.

What happened next reads like a modern day hijrah. Zaeef and friends  Abdul Qudus and Neda Mohammad decided to form a kind of citizens militia to resist the protection racket in their village. They appealed to others, distancing themselves from the decadent, chaotic post-communist nightmare.

Soon they had their own checkpoint and scared the village’s bandits away. Volunteers joined and began to unite with others as Muslims. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) brought about their peaceful return to Mecca (629–630), involving no plunder, and granting amnesty to their enemies.

What happened in 1994-6 was a repeat of that 7th century religious-political moment, redeeming a society out of violence and chaos, no less astounding in its speed of transformation, and resulting — in an instant — in the rule of peace (sharia).

The Taliban had given beauty to the region just as a flower can brighten even the most barren desert. Soon dozens of volunteers came to join us, and only a few days after the movement started it had over four hundred members. Many businessmen and traders began to donate money.

Suddenly thrust into western-style political power, the Taliban had neither the experience nor even the interest in state-building. They forged on, declared Afghanistan to be an emirate and used a literal application of sharia according to the Hanafi school.

After close to two decades of war, millions of lives lost, their public executions, stonings, etc shocked the West. But their successes in bringing peace, disarming the population, ending opium production were ignored. They faced sanctions from outside and opposition from the Dari ethnicity in the north and the Hazara. They struggled to suppress these rebellions. They were never implicated in bin Laden’s terrorism, but their efforts to reach an accommodation with the US were ignored, and the US used 9/11 as a pretext to invade.

Lessons

So the most obvious lesson is that Afghans will continue to look to the Taliban as the only honest force in Afghanistan, promising peace and sharia law. Mirwais Yasini, head of Hezb-i-Islami Khalis, now parliament’s first deputy speaker, told Van Dyk: I am positive they will return. I know the blood of our people. We need to bring civilizations closer together.

Zaeef hints at past mistakes and the actual program of the Taliban today. While the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhist cliff statues was “within the letter of the Islamic law,” he says it was “unnecessary”. As a loyal Taliban, he will not denounce his then-leader and friend, Mullah Omar, but he had no part of this decision.

Zaeef admires Ismail Khan, the Hazara warlord and sworn enemy of the Taliban, as the only warlord who used revenues to help his people. But he insists

In Afghanistan each ethnic group may only prosper if there is unity. No one can protect their national honour with selfishness … Afghans need to unite. Not let themselves and their children serve the Americans, killing other Afghans and being killed themselves.

Lesson two: Pakistan is the ‘gray eminence’ at work in Afghanistan. The Taliban are walking a minefield between Pakistan and the US with its puppet government in Kabul.

Pakistan is obsessed with India. During the 1980s, Pakistan used the jihad groups to wipe out Indian influence in Afghanistan. They were happy with the Taliban and with bin Laden. The stars of the Twin Towers bombings in 1993 and 2001 were  Pakistanis Ramzi Yusef and Ahmed Omar Sheikh, and there are lots of fingerprints, including harbouring bin Laden for a decade after 9/11.

So while Pakistan publicly announced that it was siding with the US-led coalition in Afghanistan, in reality it is keeping the Taliban alive, gambling on the eventual collapse of the Karzai-Ghani government, and its ability to control Afghanistan as their patron.

Their only betrayal was the 2010 capture of Taliban’s top military commander, Mullah Baradar. But many believe Baradar’s removal from the scene suited elements in the Pakistani establishment, as he had been acting outside Pakistan’s control, holding secret peace talks with the Afghan government, and drifting closer to India.

The Taliban are not fools, and in power, will not follow Pakistan’s intrigues. The spectre of Pashtunistan will never go away. And just in case Trump thinks his faux peace talks are paying off, a suicide attack in early May 2019 in Pul-e-Khumri blew up the police station and killed 13 when talks produced nothing. And Kandahar police stations have been under constant attack since April 2019.

How sharia law will be practiced will be debated. In public statements, the Taliban have renounced support for al-Qaeda, and accepted girls’ education. The only way the West can help is through reconstruction under control of the uncorrupt Taliban.

Making peace with the Taliban

The US must give up its insistence on trying to push its own blanket electoral agenda on the Afghans. To not only respect Islam, but welcome it. “The Taliban was now a part of our family,” said Bowe Bergdahl’s mother Jani, as she waited stoically for news of her son. And she was just stating a fact and dealing with it, not rejecting or despising it.

Those embracing or at least admiring Islam in the West have seen through the moral swamp that they are growing up in. Lindh’s parents’ divorce was a turning point, his father announced he was gay, pushing John to look for a moral anchor in Islam. Our PC ‘cultural Marxism’ has produced a flat, dead world. Lindh and Bergdahl’s quests are a tonic, not something to belittle or, worse, punish.

The victory in Afghanistan will be when the US acknowledges its colonial sins, not only in Afghanistan, but around the world, and most importantly, at home, where the remnants of the real Americans, the natives, must be acknowledged, and their wisdom of loving and working in harmony to honour nature integrated into what remains of Turtle Island.

  1. Brother of Jalaluddin Haqqani, the Taliban’s senior military leader in Afghanistan. He approached the NATO forces in 2002 at the behest of Jalaluddin Haqqani and Abdul Jalil with an offer of peace, but was instead arrested and tortured. Upon his release, Ibrahim Haqqani was appointed a governor by Hamid Karzai.

Is Adoption Legalized Kidnapping?

Kidnap is a verb that is defined as:

To take (someone) away illegally by force, typically to obtain a ransom.  Synonyms include: abduct, carry off, capture, snatch, take hostage.

Yet most kidnappings involve no ransom and many – such as parental “kidnappings” –  involve no force at all. And some illegally, criminally kidnapped children are raised well in every respect, as the child of their abductor:

  • Kamiyah Mobley, who was raised as Alexis Manigo, when found and learned the truth of having been abducted from the hospital defended her kidnapper, saying: She loved me for 18 years. She raised me for 18 years … I will always love her.”
  • Carlina Renae Whitewho was kidnapped in New York, was not recovered for 23 years. She was raised as Nejdra “Netty” Nance by Annugetta “Ann” Pettway in BridgeportConnecticut.  Like Mobley, White suspected the “mother” raising her might not be, in fact, her biological mother, just as many adoptees who are not outright told they are adopted, do. Neither woman, however, became really suspicious until they needed a birth certificate.
  • A man who was kidnapped as a baby in China said:  “I never thought she was not my mom as she was so good to me. I don’t really care if they can find my biological parents or not.”
  • Julian Hernandez was abducted from his mother when he was five years old.  Bobby Hernandez, aka Jonathan Mangina, was charged with interference with custody, not kidnapping. 19-year-old Julian Hernandez forgave him.

Conversely, many who are adopted legally are horrendously abused, even killed by their legal adopters. A few recent cases:

  • Janet Solander, who authored a book critical of Child Protective Services,was convicted of 46 counts of abuse of three adopted children in Las Vegas, March 2018. Charges included abuse, neglect and endangerment with substantial bodily harm; sexual assault with a minor under 14; and assault with a deadly weapon.  Solander’s husband Dwight pled guilty to similar charges of abusing the three girls aged 9 to 12.  The abuse reportedly began within a month of adopting the girls.
  • Jennete Killpack, 26, of Utah, was found guilty in 2006 of second-degree felony child-abuse homicide in the death of her adopted daughter Cassandra. June 9, 2002, Killpack put the child on a bar stool, bit the child, tied the girl’s hands behind her back and forced her to drink about a gallon of water as punishment for taking a sibling’s drink.
  • Carri and Larry Williams were charged in 2013 for the death of their 13-year-old adopted daughter, Hana Grace-Rose Williams who died of hypothermia and “a culmination of chronic starvation caused by a parent’s intentional food restriction, severe neglect, physical and emotional abuse and stunning endangerment.” Hana had been adopted in 2008 along with a 10-year-old boy, who is deaf, also from Ethiopia.
  • Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz adopted Lydia and her sister Zariah from Liberia. The Schatz’s who are White were devout Christians and had six biological children in addition to their three adopted children. Lydia was seven when she succumbed to liver failure after being whipped with plastic tubing for several straight hours, interspersed with prayer breaks by her parent in their California home.
  • Former Army Maj. John Jackson and his wife, Carolyn, were convicted in New Jersey July of 2015, of abusing their three adopted children – all under the age of four at the time. They were force-fed hot sauce and raw onions, and suffered broken bones. One two-year-old died. The children born to them did not suffer the same abuse.
  • John and Joyce Bell of Iowa pleaded guilty to abusing one of their nine adopted children after their 21-year-old daughter video-taped the abuse. The Bells adopted children with disabilities who ranged in age from 16 to 18.
  • Jim and Paige Nachtigal of Kansas adopted three children from Peru.  The children were starved and had bruises from being beaten for incorrectly doing the pushups, sit ups, and jumping jacks doled out for punishment. Jim Nachtigal, convicted of three counts of child abuse, had served as the chief executive officer at Kansas Christian Home in Newton for 10 years. His wife, who was charged with two counts of child abuse, was a missionary at World Outreach Ministries when the abuse surfaced.
  • Michael and Sharen Gravelle forced 11 adopted and foster children, ranging from one-year-old to fourteen, to sleep in cages. The Gravelles spent two years in prison for abusing some of the children.

The Heartless Hart Family

  • Sarah and her wife Jennifer Hart adopted two sets of three Black siblings, abused and killed all six and themselves by driving their van off a cliff in California on March 26, 2018. Devonte, 15; Jeremiah, 14; and Sierra, 12 were siblings acquired by the Harts in 2009. Their aunt, Priscilla Celestine, fought to keep the children she had custody of.  They were removed from her care for allowing their mother to visit and allowed to be adopted and removed from their home state of Texas, far from the mother, father aunt and all extended family known to the children, then aged 4, 6 and 9. Markis, 19; Hannah, 16; and Abigai, 14l were also siblings, adopted by the Harts in 2006.

 Blurred Lines

Attorney Steinberg and his common-law wife Hedda Nussbaum were drug addicts who kidnapped, abused, and neglected two children, had them living in squalor and filth, and may have sexually abused the older of the two, a female child they named Lisa who was 6 when she died.

The two unmarried mothers of these children were obstetric patients of Dr. Peter Sarosi who conspired with Steinberg, telling them of a “wonderful,” “professional” couple seeking to adopt.  Steinberg never told the mothers he intended to keep the children.

Neither doctor nor lawyer were ever charged with kidnapping and the case was labeled an “illegal adoption” because Steinberg never filed any paperwork to adopt them legally. Nor was Steinberg charged with the murder of Lisa, just for not seeking medical care for her as she lie dying on the bathroom floor under the watchful eye of Nussbaum, who was exonerated.

Dr. Sarosi, without whom Steinberg never could have obtained the two babies, pleaded guilty to unlawfully placing a child for adoption without court approval. His sentence: “three years probation and 100 hours of community service and fined $1,000” and he resumed practicing medicine until he died.

Legal/Illegal: What’s the Difference?

What Steinberg and Sarosi did was considered an “illegal adoption” and not a kidnapping. Why? What’s the difference? Hoax – the pretense of adoption – was used as the method to trick these mothers out of their babies, as opposed to simply walking out the door with the babies. The mothers, in fact, never suspected foul play and thought their babies were being legally adopted and would be raised by fine upstanding citizens.

Michelle Launders, mother of the 6-year-old named Lisa, and Nicole Smigiel, mother of the toddler boy found after Lisa’s death, as well as Nicole’s mother, trusted both doctor and lawyer who were, in fact, illegally abducting their children. To the mothers, it was a legal adoption.  They were doing, as all mothers considering adoption are told, what was “best” for their child and that their child would be lovingly cared for. In fact, Launders has reported paying Steinberg for his services in placing her infant daughter for adoption.

How does that differ from legal adoption practices? Mothers who relinquish are convinced and given assurances that their child(ren) will be raised by stable, loving couples or individuals. Mothers relinquishing their parental rights believe that to be the case without any guarantees. Some mothers in legal adoptions report being duped with promises of open adoption without being told such promises are unenforceable.  Some mothers-to-be are coerced and pressured by would-be adopters who ply them with gifts and create strong feelings of indebtedness and obligation. Some are held to pre-birth consents, illegal in 48 states as baby selling. Yet all these questionable, unethical practices are within the letter of the law in some states. And perfectly “legally” adopted children can — and do — end up abused and even killed by their adopters as illustrated previously herein.

Mobley very well could have been adopted, not kidnapped. Her mother, Shanara Mobley, was just 16 when she gave birth and believes the perpetrator “preyed” on her because she was a minor at the time. The baby’s father, Craig Aiken, was 18 and incarcerated at the time of his daughter’s birth. The kidnapper, Gloria Williams, was driven by the fact that she had numerous miscarriages and feared she’d never have a baby, so she stole one just hours-old from a hospital nursery and raised her as her daughter. Everything about these facts mirrors many adoptions, except for the method of taking the child.

To the child, what difference does a legal technicality or definition make?

The legal definition of kidnapping includes being taken by fraud:

The crime of unlawfully seizing and carrying away a person by force or fraud, or seizing and detaining a person against his or her will with an intent to carry that person away at a later time.

The law of kidnapping is difficult to define with precision because it varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

There are those, such as the members of the Facebook group entitled: “Adoption-Legal Kidnapping?” who believe all adoptions are legal kidnapping. Likewise, the blog Unethical Adoptions makes it clear that unethical adoption IS kidnapping and shares a multitude of cases.

Regardless of the technical, legal difference, adoptees and birth parents, often refer to feeling kidnapped, snatched, stolen, taken, while, adoptive parents use the phrase “Gotcha” (which implies snatched.)

Chris Reynolds’ daughter Brooke was adopted by her maternal great-grandparents. Reynolds says he didn’t sign any paperwork and no one told him until after the private adoption went through. He says:

To me, it’s a legal way of kidnapping.

Robert Franklin, Esq., Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization, writing about Reynolds’ case and others agrees, stating:

The whole sham is a disgrace, but one look at how a PFR [Putative Father Registry] in a foreign state acted to kidnap Chris Reynolds’ daughter makes that word too weak, too mild to do the matter justice. When a father . . . can lose [his daughter] to an adoption he never agreed to, there can be no doubt that the system is rotten.

Adoptee Jennifer Lauck writes, “Abducted Versus Adopted: For 1.5 Million of U.S. Adoptees, What’s the Difference?” Lauck identifies with the feeling of not belonging expressed by kidnap victim, Carlina White. Yet, she notes:

 . . . human beings have sanctioned adoption as a moral act and have given it legal and even religious support.

Adoptee and author Judith Land writes:

Was I kidnapped? Every adoption is different but in my case all the elements of a kidnapping seemed to be present, at least as viewed from the perspective of a small child. I was ripped out of the arms of my beloved foster parents, the only people I had ever known, on my first birthday and handed to strangers.

Adoption day is a big event for the parents, a day they eagerly anticipate for many weeks and months, but for the innocent and unsuspecting child who is radically shaken and dramatically confused by the sudden and unexplained presence of strangers in their life, it is a mysterious day of dissimilarities and variances that radically alters their essence—a day of unexplained upheaval and fear that has the potential to highly traumatize the child. In my case, ‘Gotcha Day’ seems to have had all the psychological elements of a kidnapping.

“The only parents he or she has ever known”

It is interesting how courts will us that phrase to justify keeping a child with “adopters” even while recognizing that fraud had been committed, but take children of any age – even adults – away from kidnappers who have cared for them lovingly as their own. And the courts feel compelled to remove children from unsafe homes – despite that being “the only parents” the child has ever known.  Does the child know or feel the difference? Is a traumatic separation different when one has paid the fees and gone through the proper channels?

In response to Land’s blog, the blog “Adoptees Searching for Self” asks: Is Reunion for Adoptees Like Reunion for Kidnapped Victims?

I think using the word kidnapping is a strong word with a terrible connotation so many people want to reject that right away. I don’t think that word should be the focus of what Judith was trying to get across, rather the emotions from being taken from your parent/s and given to strangers, even though it is accepted and legal.

She writes of identifying with a kidnap victim on an MTV show who is reunited with her family and identifies with the TV characters feelings of “awkwardness” and:

wonder[ing] what her role and place is in this family” as well as the expectation that she feel “grateful to be home” while feeling allegiance to her mother who kidnapped her. . . One thing is for sure, and I think that every one of us can agree on this, is that adoption causes trauma, whether it is recognized at the time or not, the child and the birth family experiences trauma.

An Adoption.com forum ask adoptive parents: Does your child feel he/she was kidnapped from birth family? Carol responds:

One of the things I have heard quite a bit over the years is kids feeling as though they were kidnapped from their birth parents.

Pepperminty says:

Yes, and yes. . . I was really surprised when he told me recently that when he thinks about being adopted, he usually is wondering whether he was really kidnapped. He is 8, and for approx. the past three years he has often mentioned fear about being kidnapped.

Adoptee, “Crazy Woman” notes:

I believe I had Stockholm Syndrome, after I was taken into custody. But I went into care when I was 6 years old, pretty much kidnapped the legal way, meaning it’s just like a kidnapping, but the system did it. If you’re adopting a kid in foster care, they might [have] Stockholm Syndrome. I’ve even heard, when babies are adopted, they don’t always feel like they belong.

Other adoptees have drawn this comparison noting that they are made to feel allegiance, indebtedness, gratitude to their adopters as saviors because they were otherwise unwanted. Society conflates adoption and abortion putting onus on those adopted to be thankful they weren’t aborted.

Momraine writes:

My son does feel like he has been kidnapped, but for him it’s mostly because he believes a fantasy he has made up about both his birth parents and life in the orphanage.

Adoptive mother Desiree Smolin well understands the adoption/abduction connection, saying on Facebook:

I’ve always thought that from the child’s point of view there was no difference … It’s [adoption and abduction] the same thing.

Both Smolin and Dr. Geoffrey Greif recognize that adopted children are often pathologized – diagnosed with an alphabet soup of conditions and syndromes, such as RAD – for having the very same feelings a child who is abducted has.

As I wrote previously on this subject:

In both abduction and adoption, the children are given new identities, and their original legal and genetic identities are destroyed, erased, or hidden from them. In adoption, the law allows and facilitates this deception, in some cases the records even change the individual’s date or place of birth, and all but 19 states deny adopted adults access to their accurate, true, original birth certificates.

The most legal and ethical adoptions involve state committed fraud in terms of falsifying the child’s original and accurate vital records.  But society has very different expectations. An abducted child is expected to “retain fond memories of, and long for reunification with, their ‘real’ families of birth, and reject the abductor raising them” while an adopted child is “expected to bond unquestioningly to non-related strangers, and in some cases are expected or encouraged to abandon any thoughts or talk of seeking out their roots.”

From healing weekend exercise manual by Joe Soll, author of Adoption Healing:

Since I know my mother had no choice, then I was taken from her or kidnapped. A baby’s loss of his/her mother is no different if [the] cause [is] adoption, death or kidnapping. Mommy is here, mommy is gone. A mother’s loss of /her baby is no different if cause, adoption, death or kidnapping. Baby is here, baby is gone. However, there is a huge difference if the loss is due to adoption as it is ignored as a loss. There is no emotional help for those separated by adoption. If I tell someone I was kidnapped when I was a baby, I get enormous support.  If a mom says her baby was kidnapped, she gets enormous support. I was not given away, I was taken or kidnapped. My mother did not give me away, I was stolen from her.

In fact, rather than support for their loss, adoptees report facing societal expectations to be grateful because of the assumption that justifies adoption: that of a “better life” . . . a fact disproven by the myriad cases of adoption abuse. Adoption merely guarantees a different life along with a realization of a lost past, original life.

Look again at the definition at the top of this article. If you remove the word “illegally” from the definition you are left with “taking someone else’s child.” The trauma of separation in adoption is different from kidnapping only in terms of legal definition that is a fluid continuum from gray (legal but unethical) to black market (illegal human trafficking).