The Makeni Children by EJ Graff

10 Aug

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?

The Makeni Children

By EJ Graff

Published in Slate August 9, 2011

1 Comment

Posted by on August 10, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


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One response to “The Makeni Children by EJ Graff

  1. Raven

    August 11, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Whenever I object to corruption and unethical practices within the adoption industry, I get shot down and accused of being anti-adoption. I’m at the point now where I’m wondering if people’s definition of “pro-adoption” really translates to get the baby anyway you possibly can. Go ahead and promise an open adoption, then close it down when kiddo reaches 3 or 4 years of age. Go ahead and start trashing and defaming the women who gave life to those little ones to begin with. Convince yourself that you’re so much better suited to raise a child than his or her impoverished natural mother would have been. Set “boundaries” and then bitch about it when the natural parents quit interacting with you.

    I’ve been told repeatedly that adoptive parents have the right to “grow their families” in any way they want, by any means they want. What a setup for corruption to just keep growing in the largely unregulated multi-billion dollar industry.

    I want to pull my hair out some days when I voice my concern over what *some* of the agenices are doing, only for some aparent to get personally offended. Why do so many of them assume that I’m talking about adoptive parents when I’m talking about adoption agencies?

    I hope I’m still alive 20 years from now because I don’t want to miss the book. I think some of what’s going on nowadays will make Georgia Tann look like a misguided saint.



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