I know there are some out there thinking, “Whoa, now you’ve gone way too far! How dare you put human trafficking and something as wonderful as adoption in the same sentence!” For one thing, putting the two terms in the same sentence doesn’t mean I’m equating them, either morally or otherwise. I’m not going there or in the direction you might think I’m headed so hold off on the hate mail.
Perhaps I have failed here, but I think that pointing out the extreme helps to better illustrate how grey certain aspects of adoption really are. Also, it seems to be human nature to use extremely bad things to make something else look entirely good in comparison. I think that’s always a mistake because it conveniently pushes everything into neat little packages of black and white, good and evil. Important grey areas are ignored creating cracks and gaps where, in the case of adoption, children fall through and are left to suffer.
While adoption is no where near as malevolent as human trafficking, the two do share aspects that can be exploited for monetary, social and political gain. Regardless of intention, there is a demand/supply side to adoption where money exchanges hands and children are provided. Introduce adoption agencies and you have the makings of a market whether they provide a service for placing children or provide children themselves. “So what?” some will say, “Parents need children and children need parents. Adoption is the perfect solution.” I once thought so as well but the more I learn, the more critical I become.
One of my problems is that adoption seems to center more around supplying children for parents rather than finding parents for the children who need them. When “matching” parents to children, who is the one doing the choosing? Adopted children don’t enjoy that wonderful luxury called “choice” when it comes to specifics like age, health, nationality and physical characteristics? Sure, it’s common sense that infants and children can’t be the ones making those kinds of decisions. They rely on adults to do what is in their best interest which is why we must look very critically at adoption on all levels.
It’s no secret that in the past, adoption practices have not always been on the up-and-up. An example that comes to mind is the forced removal of large numbers of American Indian children and their adoption into white families. Some still maintain that this was yet another attempt at cultural genocide as large numbers were adopted without regard for their cultural heritage. Many were removed through deceptive means or by parents being coerced under stress to give up their children.
Ironically, in earlier times, American Indians were known to kidnap the children of white settlers as compensation for the loss of a loved one. This, of course, was considered an evil beyond comprehension despite the fact that it amounted to the same thing. The difference was that the removal and adoption of American Indian children was done on a larger scale, was considered legal and *cough in the best interest of all involved. The subject of American Indians and adoption is much more complex but I think the example shows how skewed the topic of adoption can become.
Nope, still not done….
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