International Adoption: Child Saving?
After coming from my Child, Youth and Society lecture and learning that international adoption is a problematic market exchange of children, I became rather curious as to what might be so problematic about something that involves nothing but good intentions. While reading through some articles, I had encountered one entitled “International Adoption and Human Trafficking” which had given me a whole new perspective regarding the concept of international adoption. While I had always believed that children put up for adoption were orphans, I had come to learn that this is not always the case. This article went on to address the issue of child trafficking by using examples from Africa and Eastern European countries where it became apparent that many of the children in orphanages are not orphans at all. In fact, these children actually have families who had no other choice but to give up their child.
In the poverty stricken country of Africa, parents struggle to support their families, especially their young, developing children. For this reason, these impoverished families are forced to give up one or more of their children to the orphanage to ensure those children sent away as well as those that remain at home will be provided with food to eat. In the case of Eastern European countries, mothers who give birth to children with disabilities are advised by their doctor to give them up to the orphanage so that they could be properly cared for. In both situations, it is not that these parents do not love their children; they just do not have the resources to care for them and to provide them with even the most basic necessities to ensure a decent quality of life.
Aside from families who are knowledgeable of the fact that they are giving up their children, other cases exist involving parents who are unaware that they will never see their children again. When looking further into this topic, I had come across another article entitled “Kidnapped and Sold: Inside the Dark World of Child Trafficking in China”. In China, thousands of children are adopted each year through the International Adoption Agency. Although adoptive parents may have good intentions, they may not be aware that the “orphan” they have adopted is really a child who had been taken away from their biological family and sold to an orphanage. It is horrifying to know that such corrupt adoption agencies exist where individuals are paid to recruit children for an American Adoption Agency. I had come across a short video that perfectly displays the corrupt country of China as child traffickers sell babies to government orphanages who are then adopted by oblivious foreign families (VIDEO).
Children from these underprivileged countries are being taken away from their families and are sold as a profit where orphans are “created”. Depending on the country, a family can purchase a child of the nationality of their choice for $10,000-$50,000. Imagine what all this money could provide to struggling families in developing countries! It would mean families could keep their children and provide them with the necessities of life that are essential for their survival and ensure that they live a happy and prosperous life as a family.
Majority of international adoption is based on middle-class families who cannot have a child of their own, or celebrities along with other families who want to “change the world” by adopting from a Third World country. With the knowledge of what really goes on behind the process of international adoption, I believe there are other efforts that can be put forward in attempt to change the world for the better. The price to adopt an individual child should really be used towards making a difference in hundreds of families’ lives!
There are wonderful stories of real orphaned children being adopted however, that does not change the fact that a great deal of children in the orphanages around the world would be better rescued if they were provided with the ability to return to their own loving families back home.