Well, it looks like a happy announcement–Terre des hommes appears pleased to report that countries meeting under the Hague umbrella have acknowledged (at last, it seems) that intercountry adoption involves some “trafficking.” Wow.
I cannot get my head around the motivations of people who simply report on corrupt or questionable procedures in adoption and then leave it at that–See, we have “proven” it! You are the traffickers! There are so many conceptual problems connected with his approach that it is hard to know where to begin. I have been at this for many years now–collecting the literature from those who wish to portray international adoption as a corrupt industry–and nothing should get me this steamed up any more–but the language used by this humanitarian organization is really outrageous. And as Americans, we should be especially offended!! See below–also included as a link, one assumes approvingly, on Ethica’s website!
Terre des hommes always starts out any description of ICA with the usual Unicef-type boiler plate on adoption as an industry that finds children for families and not the other way around–with no proof or data to back this up. Indeed, based on what I know of adoption professionals in the United States, this portrayal is incredibly distorting–let alone extending it to adoptive parents! Note that in this article, Terre des hommes wishes to limit the number of adoption service providers, on the theory that there will be corrupt competition if the numbers are large. Note more importantly in the middle of the article that they find it “sinister”–yes, sinister!! that many (in the US, no doubt) find that adoption must be the only solution for children who are not going to live with their families of origin or be adopted domestically….Consider the other wonderful alteratives–foster care–yes, that works out great! Institutions! Group homes–we know that drill. It is sinister, sinister, they say–to want adoption as the substitute for loss of the original family. And they seek to keep the adoption numbers small by this kind of misleading innuendo about adoption. And don’t look now, but it is always the United States that is portrayed as the betrayer of the ideal of children’s ahem…rights!
It always strikes me that what one would call a trafficker–dealing in children for purposes of exploitation–are never confronted head on by these groups. Real traffickers are very scary people–they are organized criminals and they deal in children to exploit. They intimidate and maim those who get in their way. I don’t see these groups doing much to stand up to these chaps–Yet it is that kind of exploitation to which children become vulnerable when they do not grow up in family structures. No aid group is capable of raising children–what is their obsessive problem with adoption?