I have been haunted by this story from Kyrgyzstan–it is almost a year old, but I keep pondering the implications of the article….
Note the sequence of events: Adoptions rise a bit–Unicef rushes in. Unicef meets with the Kyrgyz government. After that, stories begin to appear in the Kyrgyz press about corrupt practices in the adoption system. the national adoption program is halted for an unspecified time. An American family that had waited a long long time to adopt a small child find out that, during the moratorium, the child they had hoped to adopt has become gravely ill….Who is responsible for this? Is this the best we can do for the children? Is Unicef going to raise the children that are left in institutions in Kyrgyzstan? I have never heard the international child welfare establishment express one word of regret about the tragic results in such situations–Also true with regard to recent events in Haiti….They are always right, always correct to encourage shut down and slow downs. It is never their problem when the children involved suffer real and maybe permanent harm. It is never their job to trace the long-term effects on the children of these decisions….It is worth considering this story line by line and pondering the full implications…..Simply saying, Let’s support families and communities in that country is simply not going to cut it…..