Courtney’s post really struck a cord with me. I had insomnia (again) last night and thought I would check out recent posts on Adoption.com.
I totally believe that our adoption from Ethiopia was on the up and up. I trust our agency, their reputation and my gut instincts. We also met with their Ethiopian father and met several family members. The baby pictures we have clearly show that we met the “real” family. Our girls were also six and eight at the time of the adoption. Child trafficking with older kids tends to be for slave labor or the sex industry, unfortunately. Young toddlers and infants seem to be the target for adoption fraud. I’m sure there are some stories out there to prove me wrong, but I think that this is correct for the most part.
So I do not lay awake at night worrying about our girls being taken from their father illegally. I do however, worry about the International Adoption industry as a whole. I am worried that it is doing more harm than good. Are we as a developed nation doing all we can to make sure developing countries are able to protect their greatest resource for the future? I don’t think we are.
It is hard for me to admit that. I am obviously pro-adoption, pro-international adoption, pro-transracial and trans-cultural adoption. I have also worked in Peru with local communities leader moms. As a nurse I talked about health, breast-feeding, hygiene and more. They taught me that they love their kids as much as I now love mine, as I was loved by my parents. Being poor does not mean their kids are loved less. If anything, it shows a more demonstrative love as parents often go without themselves so their kids can eat, go to school and live easier.
I cringe when people talking about how much “better” a life in America will be or how they have more “opportunities” here than with their parents. On a certain level this may be true. Life here is not the struggle it is on the African plains. We have food, and if we don’t there are resources to provide that food. We also have love and the ability to love our adopted children just as visceral as our biological children.
The core of the issue is that adoption must be ethical and transparent to do any good in this world. We cannot turn a blind eye to child trafficking or we are as bad as the child traffickers.
I will be joining the fast that Courtney mentioned in her post. While I fast I hope to discover ways that I can help keep international adoption above reproach.