November is National Adoption Month. If you are considering adoption, the Cry of the Orphan website, put together by Family Life Today, Focus on the Family, and Shaohannah's Hope is a good place to get started. But as much as I like these organizations and pray that all children who genuinely need homes will find them, I believe there is a glaring omission. The subject of ethics in adoption and the need to do research on an agency is either non-existent or too minimal. Here is the letter I wrote to the above organizations:
To Whom It May Concern,
I am an adoptive parent and strongly support your efforts on behalf of the orphans of the world. I am writing because of what I see as a glaring omission in your campaign. That is the issue of ethics in adoption. I am sure you are not unaware of the crimes committed against children and families in the name of adoption. Cambodia has closed because of it and Guatemala is well on the way. Vietnam was closed for 2 ½ years, but has reopened, though it doesn’t seem as though the problems with child trafficking have gone away. As Christians, I believe we should be the first in line to object to these practices. In an effort to supply the demand for healthy, young infants that prospective parents in the West desire, children are being ‘procured’. Biological parents are either being paid outright for their children or are being lied to with promises of education. Either way, the child’s history is erased and his or her past becomes a black hole with no hope of finding the truth. We cannot allow this to continue and one of the only ways to stop it is to educate the public in general and prospective adoptive parents in particular that these practices occur.
It seems that many prospective adoptive parents are unaware that adoption is more than rosy pictures of children and parents being joined to create a family. They are unaware that many agencies sound good but are really only in adoption for the money. Unfortunately, prospective parents sign with these agencies and it is not until they have lost thousands of dollars and still do not have a child or they do have a child but find out what they thought was the child’s history is all a lie that they realize they should have done some research before choosing an agency. Sadly, even some agencies with the title “Christian” in their name put the money before the child.
Please as you continue to encourage families to consider adoption, be sure to tell them to do their research. There are ethical agencies out there. But it is too important a decision to make without knowing exactly to whom a family is giving money. We are called to be wise stewards of our money and to stand for what is right. Encouraging families to do their research before signing with an agency would seem to be in keeping with the dictates of Scripture.
Thank you for your time,