The passports arrived today. Big relief!
Thanks for the comments on my previous post. I know as adopting/adoptive parents, many of us would dread to think of having any suspicion cast on the circumstances through which our children will come/came to us. But I also believe that anyone who is adopting a child from another country is morally obliged to honestly consider the social, political, and economic situations in that country and to come to terms with the circumstances under which children are abandoned. Do all would-be parents that are trying to adopt a child do this? I doubt it. And I can understand why. Sometimes the desire to have a child transcends the need to think about any more lofty and esoteric ideals that one might have.
There is no doubt that we have seen corruption in international adoption. Only a few years ago, Vietnam closed its IA program to deal with the fact that pregnant women who were poor, young, dispossessed, and policitically powerless were being bribed into giving away their babies. Significant efforts have been made to prevent these kinds of things from happening anymore, and the program has re-opened.
Do such practices occur in other countries? It's possible. Maybe even likely in some places. There is no question: in its most base form, international adoption is a type of economic transaction, and, as such, lives and dies by the principle of "supply and demand". If there is a market, there will be a vendor. If there is no supply, there will be criminals who create one. Come on, we live in a world where there are countries in which children and women are kidnapped everyday and sold into slavery for the sex trade- we can't be naive about the possibility that children in some countries become "available" for adoption under suspect conditions.
However, is this the norm? I believe it is not. But what does the public- those outside the adoption community- hear about international adoption?
They hear about the bad experiences, and about the scandals. Which are, of course, stories that need to be told. But do these stories describe the majority of international adoptions?
The public hears about Madonna swooping in to get her son from a country that doesn't participate in international adoption. OR Angelina adopting yet another child in record time. Now, don't get me wrong. I think its great that Madonna and Angelina have kids. I'm happy for their kids. But does their experience reflect the "typical" adoption experience? We wish!
Really, how can we expect the cashier in the supermarket NOT to think that its appropriate to ask "How much did she cost?". Courtesy of the media, the public gets a very one-sided and biased view of international adoption.
So, I think we need the "good news" stories of international adoption to hit the presses. The stories about regular families who decide that adoption is a wonderful way to form their families. The stories of adoptees who are basically well-adjusted and as happy as any other angst-ridden teenager! These stories exist- we all know them *within* the IA community!! Now, how do we get them out there?