CONVERSATIONS WITH AMERICA: Inter Country Adoptions
Eth·ics; [eth-iks], plural noun
1. ( used with a singular or plural verb ) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture.
2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.
A·dopt (-dpt), tr.v. a·dopt·ed, a·dopt·ing, a·dopts
1. To take into one’s family through legal means and raise as one’s own child.
So how do you know that your adoption is being handled in an ethical manner?
With all assurances possible that it is void of fraudulent activities?
By definition an “Ethical Adoption” is the act of bringing a child into one’s family through legal means and raising them as one’s own child by following a system of moral conduct during the identifying and placement of the child into the family.
We have all heard stories of adoption involving bribery, false documents, kidnapping, etc. and yes, some of us have experienced unethical practices in the adoptions of our own children. I for one, had to purchase a bottle of Vodka to expedite my daughters passport so that I could make my immigration appointment in Moscow! I did not ask questions, I was desperate. I handed over the rubles and waited patiently in the car.
There was the horrifying announcement that an orphanage director in China was paying police to kidnap children in order to have enough available children for adoption.
And lately, discovery that facilitators in Ethiopia have been telling parents that their children will go to the U.SA., get an education, make money and support the family.
Lately Child Trafficking has been gaining alot of attention, and rightly so! But some Child Trafficking Activists are stating that International Adoption is largely to blame. They say it is “supply and demand”. American couples are demanding children, and Adoption Agency Facilitators in developing countries are trying to supply children, through unethical measures and that the children are victims of Involuntary Servitude to the adopted parents.
The result? There are still millions of orphaned children who would benefit, spiritually, physically and emotionally from being raised by a loving couple, but couples are afraid that they would be contributing to the fraudulent goings on with some foreign adoption programs-so they choose not to.
MOST ADOPTIONS ARE DONE LEGALLY, ETHICALLY AND ARE INDEED, THE BEST OPTION FOR THE CHILDREN!
MOST ADOPTION PROFESSIONALS ARE TEDIOUS IN MAKING SURE, TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY, THAT THE ADOPTION IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD AND THAT THE CHILD MEETS THE ORPHAN STATUS FOR IMMIGRATION!
Unfortunately, in any business or service, there are “bad apples” that spoil the basket for everyone. Then, instead of choosing a good apple, they simply avoid apples all together!
Here is HOW to ensure, in the best possible manner, that your adoption is handled ethically:
1. Be the General Manager of your adoption through Design, Maintenance and Protection of your adoption process.
2. Design–As with any design, you have choices in adoption:
-Choose to educate yourself on your options; Domestic, Foster or International Adoption
-Choose where you wish to adopt from. USA, China, Russia, Ethiopia, Columbia, etc. Do your homework on the adoption policies and procedures for the place you want to adopt from. Are they party to the HAGUE CONVENTION?
-Choose a Placing Agency that has a reputable, ethical, long standing history placing children from the Country you have chosen. Are they ACCREDITED? Get references and check their state licensure history. Make sure you have the option to switch programs with them if an issue arises. Make sure you can request a different referral (potential child) if the one you receive does not match your initial criteria for age, siblings, health, etc. or you feel that something is “not right”.
3. Maintenance–Adoptions can occur very quickly or take several years. It is important to maintain your process so that you can properly manage it.
-Establish ongoing communication with your agency. “Check In” at least once per month. Do not be afraid to ask how the process is moving along, if there are any concerns or changes regarding your process.
-Stay informed of current adoption policies or pending policy changes regarding the place you are adopting from.
-Communicate with other waiting adopting families who are adopting from the same agency and/or place that you are adopting from.
4. Protection–It is your responsibility to protect your adoption process from unethical practices.
-Upon receiving a “referral” (potential child), request as much information as possible regarding the following:
-How long has the child’s biological parents rights been relinquished or terminated?
-Why were the rights relinquished or terminated? Is it recorded with local Authorities or “Hear Say”.
-When and How did the child come to be in a Foster Home or Orphanage?
-How well has the child been cared for in the Foster Home or Orphanage?
-Request current medical evaluation-have this reviewed by an appropriate Pediatrician who is familiar with children’s medical issues from the place you are adopting from.
Here are some great sites to visit for additional tips, advice and current issues: