Jan. 26th, 2010 12:33 pm
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The Dangerous Desire to adopt Haitian babies

This week, I’ve been deeply disturbed at the swelling public desire to adopt Haitians. Haitian orphan babies. The very name is problematic. In our imagination, an orphan has no family, but the vast majority of “orphans” all over the world have living parents, and almost every single one has living extended relatives. And the children that need family care are, overwhelmingly, older children.
Quite a few other parents I know are really pissed off about it. If you want to adopt, why not consider adopting from foster care? Why Haitian babies? I can guess at some of the answers. Most of them will not be very flattering.

There’s a certain group of white adoptive international parents that dominate much of the discourse around adoption in this country. The most organized of these are evangelical Christians, but many of them are secular in their beliefs on adoption. They’re across the political spectrum, ultraconservative to ultraliberal, though if I had to hazard a guess, most of them are center-right in politics. I believe these people are, basically, a force for evil. If I put it in any nicer words, that would be a lie. Examining their belief system, and their potential political influence on the recovery efforts in Haiti, is a pretty terrifying process. Continue Reading »

Rush for Adoptions from Haiti Poses Questions

In the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, we’ve seen many solutions posed around the world (and even suggested a few of our own). One option that has been raised is allowing more adoptions from Haiti; Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell even got involved in bringing orphans into the U.S., managing to land a plane when relief planes were unable to get in.

But is this really the best answer? We ask David M. Smolin, professor of law at Samford University, who has written extensively on intercountry adoption, Dawn Davenport, author of The Complete Book of International Adoption and executive director of Creating a Family, and Phil Bertelsen, himself an transracial adoptee and award-winning filmmaker, and the director of Outside Looking In, a documentary about transracial adopton.

Date: 2010-01-26 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you so much for this link.

Date: 2010-01-26 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for this. I was trying to articulate earlier why the whole "everybody come get Haitian babies while they're interesting and on sale" thing kind of freaks me out, and not having nearly as much success as this article did.

Date: 2010-01-26 08:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's a living human child, not a handbag.

International adoption, in general, is something I have several issues with, having watched my parents go through the domestic adoption system. Haiti's status as a "chic" adoption center right now is a pretty good case study for some of my problems.

Date: 2010-01-27 08:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You know sometimes I just want to put up a big announcement telling every single citizen of the First World to leave the Developing world the fuck alone. Yes, that's a simplistic and probably misguided desire and maybe I am just trying to let myself off the hook or whatever but *sighs* I don't think people understand just how much they are getting in the way by doing things like this.

Here endeth the rant (and thanks as always for posting!).

Date: 2010-01-27 08:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh believe me dearie, you aren't the only one with that reaction sometimes. And no problem!


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