Corruption in international adoption is a fact of life. How much corruption there is in any specific country is where there is room for debate. The reaction of the adoption community to statements about corruption tend to be “shoot the messenger” which doesn’t make sense. Yet I have seen it happen time after time. I recognise that it is the message no adoptive parent wants to hear that could taint “their” adoption. I cannot imagine the impact it would have on them, and the questions and concerns that would be swimming in their head and heavy in their heart, hoping against hope that their adoption was without corruption. That they don’t have to tell their child that the story was false and the real story is so much worse…
But why continue to “shoot the messenger” each time, and instead say “no more” and together stand up with other well-respected organizations and individuals like Ethica, PEAR, David Smolin, EJ Graff, and many others calling for changes across the board?
Surely there are clear obvious solutions to be had that would drastically cut down on the corruption in adoption. Guaranteed there will be adjustments to any major change. But not doing anything – is not any child’s best interests.
Doing nothing guarantees corruption will continue.
Doing nothing guarantees more families on both side of the adoptee will be hurt.
Doing nothing guarantees the adoptee will have to live forever knowing their adoption was or could have been tainted.
Taking a stand puts you with those who actually give a damn about ensuring only children who have no other good option but international adoption, are adopted internationally.
Where are the petitions to your members of the house and senate demanding they stop pretending and put harsh penalties in place for those who turn a blind eye?
What is the adoption industry doing to combat the potential for corruption when they go into another marginalized country?
Until reform happens stories like the one below will continue to haunt and blacken international adoption and everyone associated with it. Why not expect better? Why not demand better?
By EJ Graff
Published in Slate August 9, 2011