Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Why Adopt Internationally...

I have heard a lot lately about intenational adoption, not being a good thing. How we are really encouraging an industry, because there is money to be made in children. I have heard that there are plenty of children here that need homes, why not adopt domestically.

I think some of those people are right. Unfortunately, people do see money in adoption, and maybe it is happening. Maybe people are giving up their children because they want them to have a better life, or they cannot care for them. Maybe, definitely, there needs to be something done. We need to make resources available to people to make giving their children up not a real option. We need to educate them, that just because a child has a special need, does not mean they cannot raise them. And can I just say, does it not happen here? In this country, people give up their babies because they do not feel like they can care for them. I have a friend, who's child is the fourth child of a woman. She kept the first three and gave up her fourth for adoption. As heartbreaking as that is, she did it so her child would have a better life, and she is with an amazing family. There are moms in this country that feel unable to care for their children and give them up for adoption. I have another friend who had her baby when she was a teenager and just did not feel like she could care for her, she gave her up for adoption. It does not just happen in other countries... there are children here available for adoption for reasons other than their parents are no longer living. We live in a broken world. Nothing is perfect.

The country we are adopting from there is poverty and people are told they are not able to take care of children with special needs. They are told when the child is born that they cannot do it. There is stigma that comes with these needs. There is an idea that the child is cursed and will bring curse on their family. This should change.

But does that mean we should stop adopting internationally? Will this fix the problem? I do not think it will, at least not immediately. And immediately, there is a need for these children who are living in orphanages to have a home. There are hundreds of children waiting, thousands waiting. And maybe they were given up for the right reason or the "wrong", but I can guarantee that regardless of the reason, right now, they need a family.

International adoption is expensive, but that money goes to real things,  not to people making  money off adoption, at least from our experience. We have a case worker, who needs to get paid. And another case worker who did our homestudy who also needs to get paid. Our government requires paperwork to be filled out and every bit of paperwork has a fee. And there are organizations overseas that are advocating for these orphans, that need to be paid, they translate all the paperwork, they meet with adoptive families and bring them to the orphanage and translate for them while overseas, there is a government overseas that we are working with that also has fees for paperwork and meetings and court just like our country. There is travel and visas and passports and plane tickets. It is expensive, but there is not a lot of "extra" in there.

So, after all that, why international adoption? In short, because there are kids that need homes. There are children here and there. Their lives are not any less valuable than the ones here.

I always thought I would adopt domestically. It was always the plan. Until the day my eyes saw this little boy. I never thought I would adopt outside of birth order, or a child with special needs.  But then I saw the children, this little boy, and I realized no matter what their lives are worth fighting for.

So YES, please let us find a way to educate parents around the world about special needs, to take the stigma away, let us find a way to provide resources for families that give them options and allow them to keep raising their children. But let's not stop adopting. There are just too many. The stories we hear about these things happening, I have no doubt are true, but I do doubt they are the norm. And if we believe them and stop, then we are leaving these children behind, and really nobody wins.

And someone wrote it much better than me here...

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