International adoption is an incredibly beautiful way to extend love to a child facing an uncertain future. It is, however, a process that should be undertaken with caution.
Experts agree that placing children in a family context that closely mirrors their original culture and community facilitates their transition. For children who have already suffered abandonment, abuse, or the death of a parent, this is especially important.
While we believe that a local, healthy family is ideal for every child, there are complicating factors. Yes, world governments are moving away from the orphanage model and beginning to promote family preservation and local adoption. But the reality is that change takes time. Older children, or those living with a disability, may never have the chance to be adopted into a local family. If you are ready to become a permanent family for one of these children, take the leap!
International adoption requires the existence of orphanages. Eight out of ten children currently living in an orphanage have biological relatives who could bring them home if they had the means to do so.
As long as there are orphanages, children will be pulled from loving families because of poverty. To make matters worse, parental rights are often terminated without informed consent, thus creating "paper orphans" eligible for international placement.
Watch this news report to see how corruption can put children at risk:
CNN Special Edition: Kids for Sale
If you choose to adopt internationally, choose an agency whose focus is on keeping families together, in order to ensure that international adoption is truly in the child's best interest. Please do not ignore any red flags during the adoption process.
In the US alone, over 100,000 children in the foster system are still awaiting a lifelong family. No international flights required.
Children raised in families who stay together, and who have access to the support they need, are much less likely to suffer abuse or abandonment, or be trafficked. By supporting family preservation, you are making a tremendous investment in a child’s health and future.
After living with a loving, adoptive family in the US,
Mata was reunited with her mother in Uganda...