International Adoption Essay

1822 words - 7 pages

International Adoption

 
     When a mission team from south Florida arrived in Camp Haitia, they saw what to them was the most poverty stricken land on earth. Some of the men were literally ill at the sight of the filth in the rivers, on the land, and covering the children. Because Haiti is one of the poorest nations in the world, families do not even have enough to provide for their children, and many of them are left to fend for themselves. The mission team witnessed them bathing in polluted waters and scrounging for non-existent food. I asked one member of this mission team if adoption was a possibility for any of these kids. His response was enthusiastic and emotional. I witnessed first hand for months his diligent efforts to rescue at least one Haitian child from a hopeless life. However, in his efforts, my father was faced with an issue aside from the finances and legalities of the adoption procedure. Many questioned if it was ethical for our family to adopt a child from a different culture. Our answer was simple. Yes, international adoption is logical and ethical.

 

Two main reasons why so many Americans are seeking foreign adoptions are humanitarianism and frustration with the laws and policies in domestic adoption (Kleiman). Critics of international adoption argue that Americans should not look elsewhere for children when there are so many needy ones right here in our country. However, there are more families seeking children than there are children who need homes. Over the past thirty years there has been a decline of domestic adoptions by 47 percent (Fulton 2). Some reasons that there are fewer children being placed for adoption are the early introduction of sex education in public schools and the easy access of birth control diminishing unwanted pregnancies (Hibbs 266). Also, America has become more accepting and supportive of unwed mothers, encouraging them to keep their babies. Still another reason why fewer children are available for adoption is the legalization of abortion. While these are not all necessarily negative reasons, they still are a discouragement to families desiring a child. Because there are so few children placed for adoption, the current waiting list is seven years or more (Fulton 2). International adoptions, however, can take as little as four months (Jeffreys 9), and at most one year (Fulton 2). Also, the adoption process itself is much simpler when dealing internationally. There are fewer restrictive eligibility requirements consisting of a home study by a social worker, police records clearing the perspective parents of past wrong-doing, financial statements, a marriage certificate, proof of citizenship, medical histories, and reference letters (Fulton 3). The applicants may work through specific orphanages, adoption agencies, or their personal attorney. International laws state that agencies must be non-profit organizations/and may not operate on the basis of region or creed (Hibbs 211). This...

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