There is little good news in intercountry adoption these days…..the latest, as you know, is that Ethiopia is talking about cutting down its international adoption numbers by 90%! The absurdity of choosing such a number should be apparent, but this is the world in which cutting adoption down is generally considered to be a sign of enhanced “children’s rights”. Years ago, I called for the development of a specialized body to deal with all these questions, respond to charges of bad practice and to investigate the orphan crises of the world. In reality, nothing has happened….I do see that China has decided to open its special needs program to single women–one very positive and progressive development.
But it is the time of year when I teach my children’s rights class about the worldwide cohort of “children without families”–and each time, I am aghast at the deep and persistent neglect of this problem. It does not seem to interest “human rights lawyers” very much at all….How many children? Which institutions? How much neglect? Gendercide? Where is the “international law” that might protect them? And there is in fact only one form of protection, as human beings are slow growing, demanding and needy creature–a family.