Unquestioned Lies

tal-logoIn a recent episode of “This American Life” the theme was “No Map”. It featured stories of people encountering difficult situations without any guideposts on how to navigate through them. You can listen to the entire episode here.

The final story was about Mike Nyberg, a Mormon that encountered corruption in international adoption.  Mormonism and adoption are two topics that really fly into my wheel house, so I was excited to hear how the story would unfold.  To be frank, the story made me furious.  A story about corruption alone is enough to make me angry.  But what really set me off were the number of really poor decisions made on behalf of the adopted children once the corruption was exposed.  What made me even angrier was the justification for those decisions was that everyone had good intentions and that there were no clear principles to follow in correcting the situation. The people responsible for the corruption, the owners of “Focus on Children” faced very little consequences and continue to think their work was “good”.

My wife and I approach adoption with four very clear principles. 1) God intends parents to raise their own children. 2) Poverty is not a reason for adoption. 3) Children with living parents are not orphans. (ahem, Madonna) 4) You should never adopt in a way that encourages other able-bodied parents to give up their children or get pregnant so that they can give up their children.

Please listen to this portion of the podcast and listen for these lies that go unquestioned as people explain their justifications.

  • Children need stuff to be happy
  • God’s intention for children is that they be raised by people with the most means
  • God has no concern about American materialism
  • Hope only exists in America
  • Education is only possible in America
  • Only parents with money can raise children well

Despite all the hardship and tragedy the Nyberg’s faced I’m glad they ended up making the right decision. You can download the audio directly here.


You can read more about the case here, here and here.