I was looking at a post on a site called firstmotherforum, and saw a description of an exchange between the blog writer and Nigel Cantwell, one of the authors of the ISS report on Vietnam–the same report that the Irish government is relying on to evaluate whether international adoption between Ireland and Vietnam should continue or not. The blogger writes:
“Nigel Cantwell, a Geneva-based consultant on child protection policy, has seen the dangerous influence of money on adoptions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where he has helped reform corrupt adoption systems. In these regions, healthy children age 3 and younger can easily be adopted in their own countries, he says. I asked him how many healthy babies in those regions would be available for international adoption if money never exchanged hands. “I would hazard a guess at zero,” he replied.”
If one holds such an extreme view, is it appropriate for a national government to hand over to that person responsibility for evaluating an adoption system–where the fate of children and families may depend on the analysis? Consider the implications for the way this ISS report has made Irish adoptive families–parent and children– feel. It is crucial that broadly representative views, pro and con, be sought and presented….
As for myself, I do in fact have a nuanced view–I am not blindly pro- adoption in all circumstances. But I am pro -permanency and seek the truth. The Irish government should have rolled up its sleeves and sent over a disinterested team–rather than waiting for ISS and unicef–unicef notoriously not objective in this matter–to dominate the discussion in Ireland. ISS is free to say whatever it wishes, of course. But national governments have a separate responsibility to seek the answers as widely as possible.
Again, I urge the Irish government to compare this recent ISS report on Vietnam with the one done by ISS and Cantwell about Ukraine some time back–then do some digging into the situation for social orphans in Ukraine–What is wrong with this picture?