Helping? Or hindering? The Western World and International Adoption
February 4, 2010 10:14 AM Subscribe
posted by jeanmari (77 comments total)
24 users marked this as a favorite
Does international adoption benefit adopted children? Serve to satisfy prospective parents? Is it a helpful situation for everyone involved?
The current situation of ten American Baptists charged with child trafficking
in Haiti is again opening up the conversation
about the complexities, benefits and drawbacks
of international adoptions arranged between Western and third-world countries.
David Smolin explains that: "Views of intercountry adoption vacillate between the positive, in which it is portrayed as a humanitarian act of goodwill benefiting both child and adoptive family, and the negative, in which it is portrayed either as child trafficking or as a neo-colonialist child grab.
Prior to the establishment of the Hague Treaty on Intercountry Adoption
, few laws protected both prospective adoptees and prospective adoptive parents in the intercountry adoption process. The United States was one of the last Western countries to enact the guidelines required by the convention (signed in 1994 and put in force
Those who view intercountry adoption as a "neo-colonialist child grab" view the application of more strict controls and guidelines as necessary to prevent child trafficking
and protect children and families
, though some would like to abolish transnational adoption altogether. Those who view intercountry adoption as a "humanitarian act of goodwill" are on a spectrum of viewpoints as well, seeing stricter controls as more complicated
, and possibly lengthening the adoption timeline
(potentially meaning more time spent in institutions for children).
Studies have been published showing that international adoption can be positive overall
for most adoptees and their adoptive families. However, adult adoptees being asked for their opinion are adding caveats to that conclusion
, specifically that good intentions and a willingness to parent a child are not enough. Some are returning to countries of origin
to lobby for adoption reform. And there is still very little non-anecdotal information about the effects of transnational adoption on families of origin
However, does the Hague Convention go far enough
to protect children, adoptive parents, and families of origin from the darker side of illegal or unethical transcountry adoptions? Especially when desperate prospective parents and/or dishonest adoption agencies have worked so hard to meet their own child recruitment goals in the past? (Incidents between Chad/France