6 January 2005
No dice, son, you gotta stay here
Intercountry adoption is about finding parents for orphaned or abandoned children in another country. When this happens, the child's links with his/her biological family are completely severed.
UNICEF recognizes that intercountry adoptions may sometimes be necessary. However, UNICEF believes that appropriate domestic solutions can usually be found for children who might otherwise be considered as needing intercountry adoptions. UNICEF therefore focuses its efforts on facilitating solutions for the child to remain in his/her family, community or country of origin.
Intercountry adoption should take place in the following circumstances: a) Every effort has been made to keep the child in the family and community; b) When necessary, every effort has been made to successfully trace the parents of the child. This is particularly true in situations of emergency; c) When it complies with existing international instruments such as the CRC (particularly article 21), and the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption; d) All parties involved have given their informed consent; e) It is in the best interest of the child.
The Hague Convention sets down some fairly strict rules of its own, and there are lots of other hoops a family wishing to adopt an overseas child must jump through.
Still, the demand is there, and I've always looked at adoption as a win-win situation: the parents have a child of their own, and the child doesn't wind up in an institution, or something worse. And there's apparently lots of interest in adopting young tsunami victims; Dawn Eden reports that ten percent of her traffic has been search queries for "tsunami victims adoption." It is the apparent policy of non-governmental organizations, however, to make this as difficult as possible, and recent statements to the effect that "children are best left where they are in environments that are familiar to them," as Australian UNICEF boss Carolyn Hardy has said, might be true under the best conditions, but hardly the best conditions prevail in the wake of the killer wave: it's not an environment familiar to anyone.
You might conclude that UNICEF and other NGOs have an agenda beyond the welfare of children. Dawn Eden spells it out:
Nobody not UNICEF, and, as of yet, not the mainstream media wants to admit that the U.N. is holding back these children from adoption because it fears antagonizing the children's Islamic home countries, which shudder at the thought of Allah's people being raised by infidels.
But of course. Better a thousand children should be warehoused, better a hundred should perish, than a single imam be outraged. Thank you, O Religion of Peace.