When her adopted father drove away from Addy Steinhoff’s new home, all she could do was call out, “Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad!”
But he had already said the most stunning words to her: “I’m not your dad anymore.”
A congressman who is eager to stop such “rehoming” of children recently welcomed Ms. Steinhoff, 19, to Capitol Hill to tell her story.
She said she had been adopted at age 11 from her native Ethiopia by a family in Ohio. But a few years later, that family used the Internet to find a new family in Wisconsin to take custody of her.
One day they dropped her off with the Wisconsin family, saying she would be visiting them for a while. Then came the day when the Ohio parents delivered Addy’s possessions to her — and confirmed that they were leaving her for good.
“I felt so much pain,” said Ms. Steinhoff, who now uses the last name of her Wisconsin family.
“All children deserve a safe, loving home, and yet innocent children are being traded on the Internet with no oversight and little concern for their best interests,” said Rep. James R. Langevin, Rhode Island Democrat, who is the lead sponsor of the Protecting Adopted Children Act.