Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Here is a story that points out the serious flaws out in international adoption and orphanages. Many parents may not be able to afford to care for their children. They use the help of those orphanages to be able to do so. So those children may not be so unwanted after all.

Here is the link and the story.

Adoption is a minor political football in American politics this election season. Cindy McCain shined a spotlight on the issue of adoption even before the Republican National Convention. Yet, in The Baby Bazaar , there’s a disturbing fact about international adoption most “orphanages” hide: the children are not always orphans.

In the worst cases, children are taken from parents or extended families—by force, coercion, or monetary persuasion.


Many children…come from backgrounds of poverty and conflict. Since the war in Liberia ended several years ago, the country has become a popular adoption spot where orphanages “recruit” children from families for adoption abroad.


Reforms such as the Hague Convention give hope to prospective parents and advocates that a balance can be struck between adoption and human rights. A few countries, like Thailand, seem to be on the right path…offers extended families incentives to keep children whose parents have passed away or need help with care, while ensuring that genuine orphans find loving homes.

I witnessed such fraud in 1997 when I was stationed near Seoul, ROK. I volunteered at a local orphanage on weekends, mostly sharing meals and playing with children. These weekends continued for a few months until Christmas, when we distributed gifts and held a big party with Santa Claus and lots of food. Only, there were a lot more parents present, and suddenly the atmosphere seemed like a reunion. A sergeant, with years of experience volunteering explained, that most of the parents were too poor to care for the children full-time and depended upon the orphanage for long-term housing, food, education, and medical care. Christmas was one of the few days the parents visited.

During these months, another NCO with whom I worked, decided to adopt an adolescent girl with a rare debilitating bone disease. I can no longer recall the particulars of her condition, but her height was stunted, and the officials at the orphanage relayed, that the girl would probably not survive into adulthood. She couldn’t receive medical treatment in ROK, but there were hospitals in the US which could perform the treatments. If the NCO and her husband adopted her, the US government would have effectively picked up the tab through their health insurance. However, the girl was not an orphan. Her parents suddenly appeared after the orphanage notified them of the sergeant’s request. The parents refused to allow the sergeant to adopt, and explicitly refused for their child to become an American citizen.

I wonder how many children there are in the world living horrible lives where being an orphan might be better than being the victim of a crooked dealer.

Powered by ScribeFire .

No comments: