An activist who opposes international adoption just wrote a post that is breathtaking in its honesty. She openly confesses her anger toward international adoption because it hinders her organization’s attempts at fundraising.
It is a striking admission because child welfare advocates have long argued that the real reason NGOs like UNICEF and Save The Children oppose international adoption is because of their focus on fundraising. But NGOs never admit that because fighting adoptions means condemning children to early death (or a life in the sex or drug trades at best) and that’s bad for their reputation as child savers, clearly. They usually fight adoption by grossly exaggerating concerns about adoption ethics, so it is refreshing to see anyone admit the real, underlying self-interest so openly.
So the NGOs actively work to keep all the kids in orphanages because they think the money families spend on adoption fees should go to the NGOs instead.
But without international adoption, would communities give more money to NGOs? I doubt it. Here’s why: families that have adopted internationally never forget about the children left behind. Adoptive families are far more active in fundraising for orphans because they feel those children left behind are part of their extended family.
By restricting international adoption, these NGOs are actually discouraging some of the most active fundraisers from donating to them. They should promote adoptions and actively educate adopted children and their families to be ambassadors for those countries in their communities back home.
But they’re not that smart. In fact, this is how small-minded they are: the blogger in question writes about how the babies in the orphanage she runs are dying left and right. But instead of drawing the logical conclusion—maybe they shouldn’t be in orphanages—she scapegoats international adoption.
Her acrobatic, dishonest argument is that supporting international adoptions requires too much time and paperwork from the orphanage staff, and such time and energy could have been used to provide more care to children, and with that care the children wouldn’t have died.
But this particular orphanage’s country isn’t even allowing international adoptions right now. Moreover, her orphanage is in a remote part of the country, which makes it unlikely that adoptions were ever processed there in any significant numbers, as does the fact that the orphanage’s funder is vehemently opposed to adoption. And frankly, let’s be real: adoption paperwork is not so intensive that it results in such gross neglect that it kills children.
So her argument against allowing orphanages to spend time on international adoptions is complete hyperbole. Bullshit, in other words. I agree with her that bureaucracy is killing kids; but it’s killing them by NOT processing adoptions.
If you’ve had experience with UNICEF or another NGO’s hostile stance toward adoption, add your voice to this blog.