Lately there have been some rumors about Ethiopia halting adoptions. Right now they aren't more than rumors and predictions. I've just tried to keep my eyes on the prize and do what needs doing so that we can get started and bring our little one home.
But it's popping up more and more and I need to work through a few things. Obviously, I am not an expert on adoption or on the situation in Ethiopia. On the contrary it is all very new to me. I am reading and trying to learn, but many many people know a lot more than I do about the situation.
Corruption, of course. Ethiopia hasn't signed the Hague Adoption Convention.
The main objectives of the Convention are:
* to establish safeguards to ensure that intercountry adoptions take place in the best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights as recognized in international law;
* to establish a system of co-operation amongst Contracting States to ensure that those safeguards are respected and thereby prevent the abduction, the sale of, or traffic in children;
* to secure the recognition in Contracting States of adoptions made in accordance with the Convention.
The following is a quotation from the convention:
Intercountry adoptions shall be made in the best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights. To prevent the abduction, the sale of, or traffic in children each State should take, as a matter of priority, appropriate measures to enable the child to remain in the care of his or her family of origin.
Stories of corruption, of harvesting, of lying abound. Children who are older than their paperwork states. Children whose parents are living or who have an extended family capable of caring for them. Children who were told that they were going to America to study but would return to Ethiopia often. "wrongful adoption," "fraud" and "intentional misrepresentation."
I AM SO ANGRY. I'm so sad. Families deceived. Families destroyed. Families created on lies and deception.
I am angry because to respond to the orphan crisis there needs to be a strategic aggressive multifaceted approach to the situation. International adoption can play a small role in that approach. It is not the end all be all, but it can be a part of it. I am angry because what's happened is unethical and damaging and painful.
If part of the answer is to slow adoptions while systems are established to ensure that:
Intercountry adoptions shall be made in the best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights. To prevent the abduction, the sale of, or traffic in children each State should take, as a matter of priority, appropriate measures to enable the child to remain in the care of his or her family of origin....then so be it. That is what matters. But please, if you pray, join me in praying that progress is made and that systems are established to strengthen families instead of destroying them. And that the victims of the corruption find peace. And that the children for whom intercountry adoption IS in their best interest are connected with their adoptive families soon. And that sweet S... that sweet S is reunited with her family... whether they are in the African countryside or right here in Windham, ME.
This adoption may not happen for us. But for the 5 million orphans who call Ethiopia home, I sure hope they fix what is broken and arrive at a place where ethical adoptions can resume.
You can bet I'm not done taking about this.