GLENN: We have been kind of focusing on a few things in the last couple of weeks. One is, if Christians would just act like Christians, the world would be a much better place. If -- you know, I love the bumper sticker that says, Lord, save me from your followers.
The problem is not with Jesus, the problem is with a lot of people that say they're following Jesus and they're not. And statistics prove this out: There is no difference between somebody who doesn't go to church, doesn't believe in God, when it comes to marriages, alcoholism, drug use, any of this stuff.
That should tell us something, that we're attending church, instead of tending a church. And we brought in Nathan -- how do you say your last name?
And Ron Stoddard. Ron is with Save Adoptions. And Nathan is the CEO of adoption.com. And first, tell me a little bit about adoption.com before you tell me why you're here.
NATHAN: Sure. So adoption.com is the connection engine for adoption. So if a family wants to adopt, they can put a profile online. And a woman who is pregnant, considering adoption can go and choose a family. Or we have photo listings of children waiting to be adopted. And families can go and look through thousands of photos of children and choose a child to adopt.
Or if an adoptee or a birth parent 20 years after the adoption want to find each other, they can put their information in, and we help facilitate a connection. So we connect people related to adoption.
GLENN: I have to tell you, I'm an adoptive father. And there is nothing better in my life than that choice to adopt. My children are everything. And, you know, we were afraid, you know, are we going to feel the same? Yeah, it's exactly the same. And it is a marvelous thing.
I tell you, if my wife -- if I could just -- if I could dye my hair so I didn't look like I look -- because my wife -- I'll say, we should adopt again. And she'll look at me, look at you. Like, we're going to adopt again.
So, anyway --
STU: That's a healthy relationship you got going on there.
GLENN: No, yeah, it's a little harsh.
Anyway, here's the problem: Adoptions -- overseas adoptions by Americans have gone down now 80 percent, and places like Romania have tried to pick up the slack before, and it didn't work. First, before we get to why this number is down, why aren't people in other countries like Romania, why doesn't adoption work like it does here? Do you know?
VOICE: Well, it does. There are people in Romania. But there are not as many people adopting in Romania because it is not culturally as acceptable as it is in the United States.
GLENN: That's weird.
RON: When we first started doing adoptions from Russia, very few Russian families would even consider adopting an orphan because they looked at them as children of alcoholics and socially inferior. But after Americans started adopting children from Russia and the Russians looked and said, maybe we're missing something here, now the number of domestic adoptions in Russia is much, much higher. And so we have an opportunity to show by example --
GLENN: Do you think that's a Christian thing? Is that a Christian trait that came from us or just something unique in us?
NATHAN: Brazil is the same way. A very Christian country, but they don't adopt their own children very much. It's the same -- same issue. It's a cultural issue. They're not used to going to an orphanage and finding a child and adopting a child.
RON: As you said, Christians ought to be doing it. So is it a Christian thing? It should be.
GLENN: Right. Right.
So now 80 percent drop in foreign adoptions. That's massive. And I warn you, the next few minutes are going to be to become excruciatingly painful to hear. In the former administration, that was the head of adoptions here? Helped setting the laws here and then?
NATHAN: She still is.
RON: Yeah, she is the chief of the adoption division, which is in the US State Department. And she's a civil service appointment, which is a problem in and of itself.
GLENN: Because she doesn't seem real high on adoptions.
NATHAN: She's anti-adoption.
GLENN: How could she have the job of being in charge of adoptions and being anti-adoption?
NATHAN: That's right. Why would we appoint someone to be our chief of adoptions in the United States, who is anti-adoption.
GLENN: When was she appointed?
RON: In 2014, she was moved from the Justice Department to the State Department.
GLENN: Any idea what the motivation was to put somebody anti-adoption in there? Why was that done? Don't speculate. If you know --
RON: Yeah. I think the attitude at that time, the hate convention had been implemented in the United States. And the focus of the government on any activity is to regulate and control. So she was moved into that position because she had experience in adoptions years earlier, even though she had a proven record of being opposed to the hate convention and the regulations.
GLENN: All right. So she put in regulations. They did not go into effect, because Trump came in. And he reversed them? Is that right?
VOICE: Well, Trump came in and said, we're going to require that you have -- eliminate two regulations for every new regulation you oppose.
GLENN: Right. Okay.
VOICE: So the regulation has already existed. But she proposed new regulations in September of 2016. That would further give them control over the adoption industry.
GLENN: Oh, my gosh.
All right. So what has to happen to get Donald Trump to -- I assume he's open to this.
What do we have to do to get him to kick -- kick her out, reverse these, what?
VOICE: Move her to a more appropriate position, that would use her skills in a more positive way.
STU: Very nice way of saying that.
VOICE: Put someone in that is pro-adoption if you're going to be in charge of a US adoption program.
GLENN: Wow. Okay. So what do you have people do?
NATHAN: So we believe Donald Trump would be very supportive of this, if this just got on his list of priorities, if this became something that he focused on. So we've created a White House petition. We started promoting it yesterday. Had been 2500 signatures this morning. The White House promises that if it reaches 100,000 signatures, that they will respond. The petition was actually created on petitions.whitehouse.gov. If your listeners wanted to find that petition, they could go to adoption.com. And right at the top, there's a bright yellow bar with a link to it. Click on that link.
GLENN: Sign the petition.
NATHAN: Sign the petition.
GLENN: Okay. So he'll look at it, if we have 100,000 signatures and take it seriously of correcting this.
How long will it take to reverse an 80 percent decline?
RON: It will take years. But, of course, it has to start with a person being put in that position that wants to increase adoptions.
GLENN: So we have a problem in America where we have a need for foster parents. And it's a lot easier to adopt a little child, than it is to adopt a 12-year-old. If it takes years to fix this, the problems in the other countries of -- because I got to believe. I mean, our foster system is not a pleasure. I can't imagine what it's like in some countries. Not good.
NATHAN: Well, most countries don't have foster systems. It's a system of orphanages. And you look at the outcomes of those children. You look at as many as 50 percent of the girls that age out of those orphanages are -- end up in prostitution. And you look at the homelessness at 60 percent or higher. You look at the suicide rate of 10 percent. Just ridiculously poor outcomes for the children that age out of those orphanages.
STU: You've been talking about this 80 percent in foreign adoptions. How much of that has to do with the Russian sanctions that we've heard so much about?
NATHAN: Very little.
RON: Very little. Russia closed in the end of 2011, and the decline has continued. So, yeah. There was a time when China put a pause on adoptions, that caused some of the decline. China's one-child policy was changed. That caused a little bit of it. But there are so many countries that are not even engaged in adoption because the US puts restrictions on them. If they do not have an administrative system for tracking documentation when a child is born out in the boondocks, then we suspect that there may be fraud with the documentation. So a country like Nepal, with children available for adoption, the US will not allow adoptions from Nepal because we don't trust their documentation.
NATHAN: And the key question about Russia isn't whether Russia closed its doors or not. The question is, what has the State Department done to help open those doors? What support have we provided to these countries to help them implement robust and ethical adoption programs? And that's the piece that's missing. We need a State Department that is innovating and helping create the type of adoption system they want, instead of trying to regulate everybody out of existence.
GLENN: So I want to take a quick break and come back. Ask you this question: I know there are people that, you know, will come across this interview and they'll say, well, why don't we start in our own country?
There's some problems here with adoption in our own country and some things that we can take care of and some things that, you know, we all should be aware of. There is a need in our own country. And let's talk about that and that concern, when we come back.
Again, you go to adoption.com. Adoption.com. Look for the banner up at the top and sign the White House petition. To get this Obama appointee removed from the State Department, or at least in this position, where she's overseeing adoptions. She's anti-adoption.
Do this at that now. Adoption.com.
GLENN: The United States is down 80 percent in -- in international adoptions. And that's because there is somebody that was appointed by Obama to the State Department, that is anti-adoption. And has put all of these rules and regulations in to stop international adoptions.
It's wrong and it's dangerous for humanity all around the world. And we're asking that you would go to adoption.com. And you'll see a banner up at the top. Click on it. It will take you to the White House for a petition. The White House has promised over 100,000 signatures. And they will take this up and review it.
So let me -- let me -- let me pick it up where we left our conversation with Nathan and Ron about international adoptions and adoptions here in America. Why not focus on the kids that we have here?
RON: That's a great question. Children in the United States and our foster care system were very important, and they need to be adopted. Children in orphanages in the United States are very important and they need to be adopted. It's not an either/or question. There are plenty of loving families that would love to bring these children into their homes. It's a matter of complexity, not a matter of numbers of families. We need to simplify the system and make it easy enough that these families can bring children home.
GLENN: I will tell you, I adopted my son Raphe. And Tania and I were terrified. I mean, she was beside herself for three years. We adopted in Texas, where it's pretty clear, you know, the new parents are the new parents, period. But still terrified that some -- somebody would come knocking at the door and say, yep. He's not your son.
RON: God touches our hearts in different ways. And sometimes we're motivated to adopt an orphan. And sometimes we connect with a 15-year-old child in the foster care system.
GLENN: Yeah. But we -- we have -- there are laws that -- I mean, that stuff does happen, but it is getting better here in America, isn't it?
VOICE: Yeah. And Texas has some of the best laws in the country. But unfortunately, that does happen.
GLENN: Okay. So --
VOICE: Working with the government is worse than labor.
GLENN: It is. It is. If you talk to my wife -- had two biological children and adopted twice. The labor that she went through with her biological children was nothing, compared to what we had to go through, to adopt.
GLENN: Yeah. No, it is.
But this is -- if we can correct this, we correct so many other problems.
NATHAN: That's correct.
GLENN: We correct homelessness. I mean, tell me about the rates of those in prison and homelessness and everything else.
VOICE: Well, a statistic I heard the other day, the CEO of the United States Institute Against Human Trafficking said that 60 to 70 percent of the children who are trafficked come out of the foster care system.
GLENN: Oh, my gosh.
RON: So the foster care system is good, but it's temporary. And you need to get those kids out of the foster care system, into a permanent home, as early as possible.
NATHAN: And the same thing happens internationally. We've seen statistics that as many as 50 percent of the girls that age out of the orphanage, that leave the orphanage without being adopted end up in prostitution. Going back to your original question, we've heard statistics a lot, that up to two-thirds of children within 18 months of aging out of the foster care system, two-thirds of the children end up either homeless, in jail, or dead.
The statistics for these kids -- the outcomes for these children that age out of an orphanage or a foster home are ridiculous. The question isn't whether we should adopt from the United States or internationally. The question is let's do everything we can to get them adopted. All of them.
RON: All of the above.
GLENN: And people say, there are not enough people. There are plenty, right? That want to adopt.
RON: There are.
NATHAN: A recent study from the Dave Thomas Center For Adoption show that 85 million Americans have considered adoption. And they said that the biggest reason they haven't adopted is the complexity and the cost. We need to focus on reducing complexity and reducing cost, instead of increasing regulations.
GLENN: Amen. Amen. Thank you guys, so much. Appreciate your hard work. And everything you do. And let me just -- let me tell you, as a dad, married to a wonderful woman who we couldn't have children and we wanted it so desperately and we worried about adoption, let me tell you, it's the greatest thing ever. The greatest thing ever.
GLENN: Go to adoption.com. And please sign that White House petition. And get that Obama appointee out of the State Department and correct that problem today. Adoption.com.