With the exception of special needs cases, Liberia has suspended intercountry adoptions. President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said earlier this year: “Essentially, we have discovered that many of the children in these orphanages are not in fact orphans but children taken from their living parents on the promise of support and a good life in America”. News like this can send chills down the spine of an adoptive parent. Especially if you have or are the process of adopting internationally.
During the adoption process it can be easy to lose focus on everything but bringing home our child or children. You may find it hard to believe in the need for transparency and ethics when there are so many children in need of a family. It is vital, however, that adoptions be done lawfully and properly. Not just for the sake of doing things right, but for our children and their future. Black-market selling of babies and coercion do happen in this world we live in and we would be remiss if we neglected this fact. We must work with our country of choice and our agencies to provide them with what they need and to not look a blind eye at things that do not seem right to us.
Being promised a referral for “twins” or ” a newborn” in a certain amount of time for a certain amount of money may be tempting if you are a waiting parent, but we need to cautious with promises such as these. I have heard of two examples when two unrelated children were referred as siblings when they were obviously not. Be aware of such red-flags. Innocent mistakes do happen, but we must be diligent with our questions and sincere in our pursuit of raising a child. I would never want to think that my children were brought to me through immoral means.
I encourage everyone in the process of adopting to research your agency and the country you are hoping to adopt from. Be forward with your agency and ask how long they have been in that particular country and how many adoptions have gone through. Check often at Adoption.state.gov to see what is happening in the International Adoption world.
By demanding ethical adoptions and transparency we can do our part in stopping other countries from closing their doors to adoption because of unsavory practices.