Adoption Extremes Hurt Children

My friend Meghan has been in Uganda for almost 11 weeks. Away from her 2 year old daughter and husband here in Louisiana, she is there trying to adopt 4 year old Moses. When she went to Uganda 11 weeks ago she knew she would be there at least 3 weeks, that is how long it was taking at the time to get the paper work done. She was willing to pay that price of being away from her family that long because she knew there was a little boy named Moses who had been in the orphanage for almost 4 years, and he was meant to be her son. She had met him and spent time with him on a previous trip to Uganda. She fell in-love with him and him with her.

But during week two of her stay in Uganda, something catastrophic happened on the other side of the world, the earthquake hit Haiti and hundreds of thousands of people died. The world mourned with Haiti and focused on this small island that was now so desperate for the worlds attention. A huge humanitarian effort was launched, the media covered every aspect of the tremendous loss and destruction. Thousands of orphans started being spotlighted on the news all around the world..

..and 10 American's decided to "help" 30 Haitian orphans by illegally taking them across the border from Haiti to the Dominican Republic.

That was when all hell broke lose in international adoption world.

See, there are international organizations like UNICEF who want to help kids every where. They fight for kids to be a priority in societies all over the world but they also fight against international adoption. They feel that children are best cared for in their native country, even if that means in an orphanage. SO when this fiasco with the 10 missionaries happened in Haiti the wheels of international adoption came to a screeching halt because UNICEF stepped in. Suddenly, orphan care by rich white Americans was getting some really bad press, and rightly so, the 10 missionaries were way out of line and were NOT acting in the best interest of Haitian orphans, which became obvious when due to their actions, adoptions from Haiti were abruptly closed.

Then, a documentary called Fly Away Children came out about corrupt Ethiopia adoptions.Were families really being solicited to give up their children like it showd on the video? How could this be happening? Something had to be done.

Back in Uganda, my friend endured added scrutiny, extra paperwork, delay after delay while legal wording was perfected, then, finally, 8 weeks after arriving in Uganda she was granted a full adoption of Moses. THE one thing the visa office said had to be done, was now done, a Ugandan judge had said "yes, everything has checked out, he is your son now".

But then a small 7 yr old boy was returned to Russia only 6 months after being adopted by an American woman, she had put him on a plane all alone and sent him back to Russia with a note, saying she couldn't care for him. Russia immediately closed all adoptions to Americans because of this horrific act or child abandonment.

Again, mean while back in Uganda, the incident with the Russian orphan started to cause new problems for my friends adoption.I cant go into detail but as of today, she is still not sure when she will be able to bring her son home and reunite with her husband and daughter. Moses is now her son according to Ugandan law.He has been waiting and longing to go home to America, with his mother that he has fallen in-love with over the last 11 weeks, but everything is fighting against that happening.

This is painful and awful on so many levels. These are people, not issues, people. Families. Children.

I read the blogs of a few really strong anti adoption crusaders, and they are crusaders, they fight against adoption with all they have. All of them are wounded people who made their pain their cause. They had an awful experience, suffered greatly because of adoption, so they seek out others with the same hurt and they hold their pain out as the banner against all adoptions.

I get it. It breaks my heart for them. It breaks my heart that they hate adoption because it's so extreme.

I also know many well intended adoption advocates who believe adoption is always best. They so believe it is Gods call to adopt that they will go to great lengths to "ransom" a child. Or in the case of 10 missionaries, break the law because they think they are doing the greater good. Again, the extreme and it's heart breaking.

It's heartbreaking because both of these extremes are destroying children. Both of these extremes will tell you THEY know what's best for kids.

UNICEF is known for being "for" kids, but they have defined their position based on the extreme. But in all honesty, who can blame them? They see the money being spent by Americans to adopt yet the same Americans wont fund a hospital or school with the same amount of money. In Ethiopia alone, the money being spent on taking their children out of the country via adoption, is more then enough to build several schools and staff them. UNICEF also see's child trafficking daily as babies are sold by homeless, desperate mothers in countries like Guatemala. UNICEF has seen too much of what the adoption industry is all about, money, and so they hate it and fight against it.

So what is the solution? I am no expert but I do have experience with all this and I have done some research. I think first they should remove all financial incentive to adopt. Make it illegal for any money to be exchanged with lawyers, countries, orphanages, etc. ALL money to be removed from the process. State and federal workers would have to handle all adoption paper work as part of their salary, any international assistance from the country in which the child is being adopted from would be bared from receiving any money what-so-ever, and attorney's would not receive any money to process adoptions. Make it illegal for adoption agencies to take any money for their services. Make it illegal to give any money to birth mothers here in the United States or any where.

All potential parents should have to study the culture of the country they are adopting from, be required to read books concerning mental and physical issues the child may have, and have to read about how to help the child cope with grief and loss, discipline, social skills, etc. Then they should have to take and pass a test on that information before the adoption is approved.

If I was a law maker, I would start the ball rolling. I realize what I am suggesting is unrealistic in a money hungry world. But people should not be for sale at all ever, no one should make money off of children getting a family. If ALL the money was removed from adoptions, it would shut down the industry, and maybe it should for a while. It's gotten out of control. If all people who romanticize adopting the cute little orphan on TV had to really work hard, study, really get to know the child's culture and what that child may be dealing with emotionally, then maybe there wouldn't be awful adoption stories like the boy sent back to Russia. Maybe there wouldn't be all these awful adoptions gone wrong creating more anti adoption forces.

Lack of knowledge is destroying potential. Extremes in the adoption world are not helping orphans, they are hurting them and it may be time for everyone to step back and reevaluate how this is handled.

Comments

Unknown said…
I only have experience with international adoption via my aunt. She decided to pursue international adoption after suffering 7 miscarriages. She was desperate for a child and began searching for a child. She finally found a little boy in Romania that had spent the first 2 years of his life in an orphanage. She refinanced her house and began praying. A year later she was able to adopt her son, now nearly 11 years old. Her desperation was exploited and once she had made a decision to be responsible for this child the greed of others began to exploit that. I think people prey on these parents that fall in love with a child and will go to the ends of the earth to adopt them. Who can blame them? How could Meghan and Matt go on if Moses was left in that orphanage. I agree with you that reform needs to happen but I hate that 4 year old Moses is the casualty in political mayham. I see my nephew now, playing on basketball teams and raising animals for 4H an I can't help but remember that first picture of him in the orphanage and can't help but think, what if. I know that God is more powerful than any government or politician and Moses has an army of people lifting him up in prayer. I will continue to pray for the Matts and hope that other people will join me. God be with that family.
Cindy said…
Fascinating Post. Thanks
Anonymous said…
I'm being called to adopt and I've known since I was about five years old. International adoptions never entered into my mind until I started going to church and everyone (mostly)adopted babies/children from oversees. I prayed and knew that I was called to adopt right here in America. There are no fees, etc. and right through our local Office Of Community Services, anyone can adopt by going through a series of classes and no money is exchanged. And the children are just as beautiful as those oversees; the sad part is too many are left in the system until they are 17 and released into the 'real' world as rejected, lonely adults. To me (and this is strictly my opinion), I think it is human trafficking that $30K and up is asked for 1 child oversees. A lot of these fees go into the stomach of a dictator that becomes bigger and bigger while his people become poorer and poorer. In the U.S., how many children and homeless adults can be taken care of for $30K and up? There are so many black boys/babies right here in our system that are being deserted at birth and NO ONE wants them or adopts them. WHY? And why do Americans go all the way oversees for black boys? I'm not saying that the families are wrong and they haven't heard from God, I'm just wondering why Americans don't want to adopt American babies (especially black boys)? Is it because it's not their fault their drug-addicted, alcoholic carrier infested them with an addiction they knew nothing about? Or maybe they have HIV/AIDS, ADD/ADHD or TB?
I totally agree with you on banning the fees altogether everywhere. But just like people try to ban cigarettes and smoking, the people with the big bucks hire lobbyists to fight, manipulate, and who knows what else, to keep an illegal system running just to gratify the needs of some cancerous, addicted people so they can continue to exploit precious children that Jesus called us to care for everywhere in the world.
HerstoryGirl said…
Carole, I couldn't have said it better myself... praying for Chris & Meghan.
Carey said…
Adoption extremes do hurt children. Yes, they do.

Unfortunately on this present Earth there will always be someone that hurts children, even through adoption. We live in a world corrupted by sin. There are areas where changes are needed, agreed. But there will always be that one person that "sends her child back" under the radar. Another who's child is taken. Awful.

Until sin is taken care of, good things like adoption will always be corrupted.

But there will be sin, until Christ returns.

Until then, we fight it. In the world, and in ourselves.

And we'll fail.

Won't it be glorious, the day when adoption won't even be necessary? Because there is no sin??

Glorious indeed.

Until that day, the 6% of us, make that 100% of us, need to fight for the children.

Haste the day, Lord. Haste the day.

Praying for your friend...