Program Note: Don't miss Gary Tuchman's report on the 'Ranch for Kids,' tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.
Gary Tuchman | BIO
On January 12th, a story I reported was scheduled to air on AC360°. But later that day, the horrifying earthquake hit Haiti and the story was put on hold while we covered the breaking news in Port-au-Prince.
At that point, we did not realize the irony of our story that was supposed to air. It is a report about orphans from other countries who are adopted by parents in the United States; orphans that sometimes have serious emotional problems as they grow up.
After I arrived in Haiti, I found myself doing several stories about orphans in Haiti, and their prospective parents in the U.S. who at first wanted to know if they were alive; and then wanted to get them to their new homes as soon as possible.
We are now also doing stories about the missionaries who were arrested on allegations of trying to kidnap orphans. It is likely we've done more orphan stories on CNN over the last month than we've done in years.
Well, now it's time to tell you about the story we were scheduled to air last month. It's an important story, and now – because of the tragedy in Haiti – an especially timely topic.
What happens when an orphan is adopted as a baby or a toddler and little or nothing is known about the birth parents? That is sometimes the case when a child is adopted from other countries. The great majority of the time everything is absolutely fine. But sometimes, when a baby has been ignored for the first two or three years of life, and/or when the mother was an alcoholic during pregnancy, the child can end up with serious issues as he or she gets older. Many times, the children become violent and uncontrollable, and parents don't know what to do.
In the small Canadian border town of Eureka, Montana, a grandmother is doing the best she can to help out. Joyce Sterkel runs the "Ranch for Kids." It's a facility for parents who have tried everything, and don't know what else to do for their unruly and often violent adopted children.
Producer Ismael Estrada, cameraman Kevin Myers, and I met some wonderful children there who broke our hearts when they told us they want to be good, but often just can't control themselves. We don't want to scare or alarm you if you are considering adopting a child from another country. But we hope you'll watch, because there is a lot to learn. We did.
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