Posted on Thursday, 23rd April 2009 by chris wignall

I really believe there are few things more beautiful in this world than adoption. The idea that someone would take in and include as family a child who is disadvantaged and has no claim on such treatment is one of the best examples I’ve ever seen of what humanity can become.

Today I read the following from one of my favourite bloggers, Al Hsu (If you see this Al, my intent to buy you dinner if I’m ever in your town stands):

The Lie We Love” by E. J. Graff, from Foreign Policy – a heartbreaking article about international adoption. Many adopted children are not orphans. Many have been kidnapped, stolen or purchased from their birth families. Some excerpts:

As international adoptions have flourished, so has evidence that babies in many countries are being systematically bought, coerced, and stolen away from their birth families. Nearly half the 40 countries listed by the U.S. State Department as the top sources for international adoption over the past 15 years—places such as Belarus, Brazil, Ethiopia, Honduras, Peru, and Romania—have at least temporarily halted adoptions or been prevented from sending children to the United States because of serious concerns about corruption and kidnapping.

In reality, there are very few young, healthy orphans available for adoption around the world. Orphans are rarely healthy babies; healthy babies are rarely orphaned. “It’s not really true,” says Alexandra Yuster, a senior advisor on child protection with UNICEF, “that there are large numbers of infants with no homes who either will be in institutions or who need intercountry adoption.”

So, where had some of these adopted babies come from? Consider the case of Ana Escobar, a young Guatemalan woman who in March 2007 reported to police that armed men had locked her in a closet in her family’s shoe store and stolen her infant. After a 14-month search, Escobar found her daughter in pre-adoption foster care, just weeks before the girl was to be adopted by a couple from Indiana. DNA testing showed the toddler to be Escobar’s child. In a similar case from 2006, Raquel Par, another Guatemalan woman, reported being drugged while waiting for a bus in Guatemala City, waking to find her year-old baby missing. Three months later, Par learned her daughter had been adopted by an American couple.

One American who adopted a little girl from Cambodia in 2002 wept as she spoke at an adoption ethics conference in October 2007 about such a discovery. “I was told she was an orphan,” she said. “One year after she came home, and she could speak English well enough, she told me about her mommy and daddy and her brothers and her sisters.”

That there are people who would exploit something so beautiful is one of the surest examples I’ve found that humanity remains deeply corrupted and in desperate need of Jesus.

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