June 11, 2012
I haven't dared to write about adoption in any way other than my personal experience much but it's not because I don't think about the subject beyond our family. I do.
I just haven't wanted to engage in the politico of the subject. The "passion" on both sides can as you know get heated and mean.
But it is on my mind.
Like most who have been exposed to the reality of institutional care whether though visiting orphanages or dealing with the effects of them in your own children I am forevermore changed by the experience.
Once your eyes are open, once you see, you can not go back.
But where do you go? What do you do? How to you change the brokenness in the world?
Adoption is seen as the answer to some and the problem to others.
I KNOW adoption needs reform. I really don't know anyone in the greater adoption community that doesn't know this already. The rub is always how to balance the solutions that protect children and families without abandoning the children already in crisis. Any "solution" that leaves as collateral damage 147 million orphaned children is unacceptable (and please lets not argue the number because even if it's ONE child the message is the same)
There isn't much time for blog reading these days but I did catch this post on Whatever Things are True. It links to a horrific story of rape and abuse in India and is indicative of the harsh life too many children in the world face. Its an awful account of the risks faced by unparented children. I agree completely with her closing paragraph which read;
I believe in ethics and accountability in adoption, and the reality is that children in developing countries on track for international adoption currently enjoy greater legal and administrative protections and oversight than kids in other childcare institutions. I'd find more in common with those calling for more adoption reform if they started talking about protecting ALL destitute and unparented children from ALL forms of exploitation, not to mention programs that keep kids out of orphanages in the first place.
Adoption was the answer for my girls and for many other children adopted from institutional care but adoption is neither root cause nor ultimate solution to the larger issue. It is a band-aid. A flawed and feeble response to a humanitarian crisis. But it's something.
Now however is time for something more.