Sunday, February 25, 2007

Corruption Item 9: Help Fight Root Causes

9) Find ways to make a difference in terms of the root causes of the "need" for adoption.

--Find ways to address the contextual root causes of relinquishment, abandonment, and the questionable or illegal sourcing of children in these countries. This could be through sponsoring a family, sponsoring a child, supporting education, supporting an organization that offers education, supporting an organization that empowers local women, or whatever... It could be through urging your government or charities to address issues that you've become aware of; it could be through education of others as to the complexities of issues within countries, or many other things--whatever.

--Understand the domestic adoption laws of the sending country and the hindrances to domestic adoption placement within the sending country.

--Determine how international adoption affects domestic adoption practices within the sending country. Do large amounts of foreign money pumped into the system from abroad create incentives to send children abroad rather than place them domestically?

--Are there other viable options for allowing relinquished/abandoned children to remain in-country and get the training/education they need for adult life? How should the various options for children be weighed in decision making? Are children always better off with a family (as the adoption industry claims) even if being with that family means changing languages, changing cultures, changing countries, changing heritage groups, changing educational expectations, and being interracially adopted? If you think these other options have merit,support viable options for helping children already separated from their familyof origin, especially older children, remain in their country of birth.

--Realistically speaking, international adoption touches only a tiny fraction of the children who have been separated (for whatever reason) from their family of origin. It will never be a solution for all children or even a sizeable portion of the children in any given country. Supporting other in-country solutions for both children who are vulnerable to separation from families of origin (family preservation/prevention strategies) and who have already been separated from their families of origin (solutions other than IA) makes compassionate humanitarian sense.

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