Every good blogger needs to stir up some controversy here and there because, after all, that’s what gets the discussion started right? Our hope is that as we bring forth issues and give our opinions, we would cause discussions to start around these issues and stir up the hearts of others for issues that matter to the heart of God.
We recently read an article that stirred up emotions of anger and frustration inside of us. It was posted in the Washington Times, titled “The United States and UNICEF wage war against international adoptions.” How would that title not catch your attention! So we read on and we’re shocked to discover what is behind the title. Before you read on, you might want to scroll to the bottom, click the link and read the article yourself. It might give some better context. Also, keep in mind that we are fully aware that we don’t have all of the answers and there are many things that we don’t understand or claim to be experts on internationally. We are doing our best to navigate the issues and fight for what is in our hearts, the best way that we know how.
Due to the depth of this topic, these posts will come in a short series of “to be continued…” posts. We don’t want to overwhelm you with too many thoughts in one post! I think the best way to arrange this is to provide quotes from the article and then offer thoughts, comments and questions.
“When pressed for reasons why the U.S. Department of State (DoS) and UNICEF they actively engage in closing inter-country adoption programs, the very first response from both entities is that they are protecting children. They say they are working towards an adoption system that works against child trafficking. That goal is laudable.”
There seem to be many arguments on both sides of this issue. Both sides make valid points and we do know that human trafficking is a major problem of our time. A friend of ours once had a great quote around this issue. He said “saying that international adoption leads to human trafficking and should be stopped is like saying marriage leads to spousal abuse and should be stopped.” The point is, human trafficking is an issue that needs to be stopped, but stopping adoption is not going to put an end to it. Humans will be trafficked whether adoption is open or not. A market run by corrupt hearts, with astronomical profits, will continue to operate, regardless of international law. The problem is bigger than that.
“Ultimately UNICEF, and to a lesser extent the Department of State, are opposed to inter-country adoption, calling it a “last resort” for children. Just what is the first resort? UNICEF offers what appears to be a vague notion of social and economic justice in the world.”
This is a good question. Many arguments center around the fact that instead of supporting adoption, we need to work harder to support the families in their own countries and communities so they can care for the children there. This is a true statement and we should be working towards sustainable solutions like this. We are big believers and givers to ministries that do such work. I think we can all agree that the best scenario for a child is one in which they are cared for in loving and supporting environment. We can also agree that if that is provided by their birth parents, that would be the best place for the child. Where it gets difficult is that many children just don’t have either birth parent left and many have no family even to care for them. Other children have been abandoned by their birth parents for a variety of different reasons. This is a horrible scenario, but it exists, so the question we should be asking is, where do we go from here? Wishing it were not so is not an option. Dreaming up lofty ideas void of action is also not a solution. What are the options to fix these situations and care for children that are there right now, today?
Many valid arguments have been made to support the families better in these communities so that they can care for their children (referring to children abandoned by their birth parents). This is a great idea. We fully believe in doing a better job of supporting these families so that they don’t get to the place where they would abandon their children. We give to, believe in and support ministries that do just this. A challenge that comes to mind though is, on a large scale, where will the money for this come from. I have volunteered as an advocate for two different sponsor children organizations for about 10 years now and it is difficult to get people to sponsor a child for $30/month, through a trusted and accountable organization where they know the child will be receiving exactly what is promised. I couldn’t imagine convincing people on the idea that their money would go to families to increase their income so that they could support a child. Maybe I’m wrong, but in my experience, it would be a much tougher challenge than signing someone up to sponsor a child, which is already difficult.
We can either wait for major economic systems to change, devise a way where those with money provide for those that don’t, or think of solutions for each of those individual children. We have to ask ourselves, what is the best option for that child, given their situation. We may wish the situation was different, but it’s not, how should we respond?
To be continued....