Can this be happening? The news from Kyrgyzstan….

When Kyrgyzstan closed down its international adoption program two years ago, many children with medical problems were left to…..wait and wait. Two children who had been matched with adoptive parents actually died from otherwise preventable illnesses while waiting. The grotesquerie of the human rights violations involved in such cases  is rarely if ever presented in that way–in the name of “tightening up” or even “protecting” the children, many are left with nothing–the months go on, the children grow, and their life prospects become increasingly grim….And this is not even to mention children who have not been freed for adoption–where are they? How many are there?

News today that Kyrgyzstan will be re-opening their program–but let’s watch and see how this unfolds.

 Usually, after a shut down, if there is a resumption of adoption at all, it is slow and small in scale. This is–incredibly and ironically–in the name of “caution”!!

Read the story here of the little boy with severe cleft palate–wanted and cherished by a couple in the United States–but kept in his home country for two years so that….so that….what?!


Policy madness–Korean adoption quotas!!

I guess if you put a country under enough “blame and shame” pressure, they will do anything to avoid further embarrassment.  It is hard to imagine a more insane policy than the one described here from the Korea Times–the Korean government placing numerical restrictions on Korean children being adopted out in order to make sure that domestic adoptions are a larger number!! Domestic adoptions are not growing that much–more and more children are “waiting children”–whose interests are served here?

Experts say the quota only puts more orphans on the waiting list and causes other negative side-effects, while having no substantial effect on boosting domestic adoption.

Local adoption agencies also argue that the quota deprives orphans of chances of finding new homes at an early age.

“What is actually happening now is that adoptive parents in other countries have to wait longer, up to almost a year, to adopt a child. The quota has simply increased the number of children on the adoption list,” said Hong Mi-kyung, official from Holt Children’s Services. “As children waiting for adoption grow older, adoptive parents and children experience more difficulties.”

She suggested that if the government maintains the adoption quota, it should exclude adoptions by Koreans living in other countries.
“I think the quota needs to be lifted for at least Koreans living abroad,” she said.

According to the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHSA), the adoption rate decreased to 27.5 percent in 2008 from 44.5 percent in 2000, with only 2,556 orphans out of 9,284 finding new homes. “The quota hurt the adoption rate, while the domestic adoption rate growth stagnated,” a KIHSA official said.

A Korean housewife living in the U.S., who has been waiting to adopt through a local agency, said abandoned children should be adopted as quickly as possible to help heal their “trauma” and better adjust to a new environment.

“A baby has been chosen for us to adopt, but an adoption agency said but we have to wait for a year just because the overseas quota is full this year. Does that make sense?” she said.

But the health ministry said adoption agencies should not accept applications from adoptive parents overseas when the quota is full to make it work in positive and desired ways.

The ministry also admitted that the quota led to the decrease of the adoption rate in general, but it is more important to find children a new home in their own country.

Like most other things relating to international adoption, this makes absolutely no sense–except from the perspective that international adoption should be limited and restriction as much as possible–whatever the true effects might be…..

On Kathryn Joyce writing on orphans!! for the Nation

Please–give me a break!!

When I look at The Nation, I remember how much I (in general) like it–informative on economic policy, progressive, original….But please….The Kathryn Joyce piece on international adoption (April 21, 2011) is unforgivable!

In “The Evangelical Adoption Crusade” Joyce seeks to associate international adoption with a radical Christian right plot to steal the children of the developing world from their rightful homes……Her piece is so profoundly flawed, so dismissive of the facts, that it is hard to know where to begin. Her analysis of the work of Craig Juntenen (whom she calls a “somewhat rogue” figure) is completely unfair!

While seemingly “progressive”, Joyce attempts to taint international adoption as a whole by linking it with a scary subculture of orphan-obsessed evangelicals. She provides no investigative data on the actual lives of children living out of family care around the world; she completely misreads the UNICEF perspective on international adoption; she uses a couple of anecdotes about particular people in the Christian orphan advocacy movement to stereotype and demean the motives of a vast array of social orphan advocates……

She can write what she likes, of course–but can’t The Nation do a better job than this? Isn’t the progressive case for adoption perfectly clear?

I will have more to write on this shortly….Suffice it to say here that by putting the “orphan crisis” in inverted commas, Joyce lets us know that she does not see one……Unlike Juntenen, I doubt Joyce has travelled anywhere to actually see children living out of parental care with her own eyes. They are there by the hundreds of thousands, they are too often facing very bleak futures filled with exploitation……What is Joyce’s “context”? Where does she derive her baseline information from?  For too many progressive writers, the international adoption story is simply an extension of other aspects of the culture wars…

Time for a major rethink on this!