Tag Archives: behavior disorders

Open Letter to Christian Broadcaster Todd Friel: Your Words Wound Adoptive Families


 Dear Sir:

 My name is D.E. Cantor, and I am an adoption activist and writer. I am writing to express my disappointment and disagreement with the Aug. 1, 2013, Youtube clip of the “Wretched TV” broadcast, “Wretched: Adoption’s Quiet Secret” in which you assert that children exhibiting bad behavior to an “extreme” extent are predominantly adopted. I would like to categorically state at this point that because I am not a subscriber to the Internet broadcast, I was unable to see the complete show.

Mark Massey, an executive director of from the Victory Academy for Boys, a private school described on their website as a “Christian therapeutic school for boys ages 12-17,” asserts that the issues with identity, which are common for adopted children, are the cause of the psychological and behavioral problems of sixty percent of the boys sent to the school.

While you do reference that the nature of the Christian families may bias this surprisingly large percentage and that all families are different, the discussion takes a disturbing turn toward elaborating that these psychological and behavioral problems are standard in adopted families.

To be clear, the vast majority of children in treatment centers for substance abuse problems and mental health issues, schools for those with behavioral difficulties and within the juvenile justice system are not adopted. The vast majority of adults who are or were the tenants of jails, prisons and mental hospitals were not adopted as children.

Also, let us be clear on another point. While there have been studies that indicated a significant difference in the correlation of childhood difficulties or adult outcomes for children of other demographics, such as those of single parents, or of differing economic statuses, there has never been a significant study showing a significant difference in the correlation between adoption and those difficulties and outcomes. Or, in other words, studies have shown a notable difference in percentages concerning high school graduation between children of single mothers and those in two-parent homes, studies have not shown such a difference between adopted children and those raised by their biological parents. While such correlations, when they are observed to occur, do not prove causation, and pundits can argue what factors enable or disable the completion of high school or other outcomes, for adopted children no such correlations exist.

You are correct in your assertion that devout Christians adopt children more than other people. I pray that you have not dissuaded them from doing so.


D. E. Cantor

(The Youtube clip mentioned in the article is at http://youtu.be/llst2J_C6Tk.) 


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