The current state of International adoption has become more and more troubling to me.
In short, International adoption is sometimes a form of human trafficking.
I know it sounds extreme, but let’s look at it closer.
When you begin to understand that many “orphans” in orphanages are not orphaned at all, the blinds are opened and the light begins to shine in on the situation. What I’ve learned recently, is that a great deal of the children in the care of orphanages in Africa and Eastern Europe actually have parents!
The underlying problem is there are parents who don’t have the means to care for their children. In the case of many African countries (and other poverty stricken areas in the world), families do not have the means to care for their children. Sending one or two to the nearby orphanage is the best way to ensure that the children being sent away and the children who remain home get to eat.
Living in the Western world, even the poorest have access to social programs. Sure, there are those rare situations where children go hungry, but face it, it’s the exception, not the rule.
Example: Eastern Europe
In the case of Eastern European countries, there are those who have a child born with a disability and are advised by their doctor to drop them off at the orphanage for care. It isn’t that these parents don’t love their children, it’s that they do not have the resources to provide even the most basic of special needs care.
We take for granted things like health insurance and an unburdened social medical system in the Western world. These families are left with no choice. The only medical care available to them is the socialized system, while private care is only available for the most affluent and powerful. What else are these parents to do?
Rethinking International Adoption
The Church, the world, needs to rethink “saving the children.” Too much International adoption is about a middle class American family who can’t have children or would like to “change the world.” For $10,000 or so, this family can purchase a child of their favorite nationality. This, my friends, is human trafficking.
Are there wonderful stories of real orphaned children being adopted? Yes, but that doesn’t change the fact that a great deal of the children in orphanages around the world would be better rescued if we provided the means for them to return home.
Instead of adopting these children away, let’s start supporting families.
Would you send one of your children away if you couldn’t pay the rent or grocery bill?
I didn’t think so.