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Archive for November 28th, 2009

One of the poop nuggets often dragged out by those opposed to international adoption is that western families hoping to bring a child into their fold prompt abductions from birth families in poor countries.

That this sometimes substantiated, but often not, allegation misses the point is clear to anyone who spends time in poverty stricken places, as child abandonment and lots of other nasty stuff are facts of life when disease, starvation, war and other realities abound.

As this report from the BBC illustrates, there is a side to this coin, as well, one that is never mentioned while adoption-bashing: bad people stealing children for profit is not an adoption issue, nor is it adoption-driven, but a crime that carried out all the time without international adoption having a thing to do with it.

In China, a country that has made international adoption more and more difficult as it touts its ability to keep its house in order, thousands of children are being kidnapped and sold to Chinese families in need of boys to fill their ancestral obligations.

The demand for children is driven by a deep-seated preference in southern China for sons, boys to keep the family name alive who have a duty to care for aged parents.

And some parents are prepared to buy a stolen child if they can not have a boy of their own.

As happens with all subjects uncomfortable to government officials in Beijing … over-crowding orphanages, abandoned children, HIV infection rates, child abuse, etc …. speaking publicly is not appreciated.

Some parents say local officials often do not want to deal with cases of stolen children. They say they have been warned to keep quiet and not campaign publicly to find their children lest they disturb social order.

Pointing out that children are often considered commodities neglects the fact that human beings are bought and sold every day in this world. Trafficking and slavery exist in our world, and frequently with no fear of negative consequences for those making money out of the trade.

Removing the option of international adoption does not stop this, nor even slow it down. It does, however, deny the option of family for thousands of kids whose birth parents would wish it.

As long as there are horrid people in the world … and that’s guaranteed … bad things will happen to good people. Sometimes good things can happen, and very often international adoption is a good thing for all the good people involved.

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