Malinda at Adoption Talk has a post that links to an AF post on talking to your children about trafficking in adoption. She also linked to another post by the same author at EMK Press.
On the surface the AF post was okay and gave concrete reasons why you need to talk about it, and ways to start the conversation with your child. The other article was the family story of finding out their adopted children had been trafficked into adoption.
But I had this voice in my head screaming they missed the opportunity to call to action all the parents who will read that post.
To not accept that trafficking in adoption is okay, normal, may be your child’s story.
To call their legislators to insist that trafficking for the purposes of adoption be included in the US definition of trafficking.
To insist that legislators take a good hard look at the ugly, dark side of international adoption and say wait a minute – lets learn from Guatemala, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal and whatever other countries I have missed, and not forget about the real current issues happening in Ethiopia right now.
To ensure the legislators make some hard requirements written into law, that make it impossible for the adoption industry to go into one more country without having these safeguards in place at the start. Little things like mandatory DNA testing for each child. Real investigations into abandonment stories instead of accepting that the brother of the police chief just happened to find so many abandoned babies, or other obvious false stories, or identical abandonment stories for dozens of children. To act on the advice of experts who have studied this issue, and not presume the adoption industry will police itself because they aren’t.
To remove the chance of political pressure placed on embassy or immigration officials to just rubber stamp approval instead of doing their job to investigate whether the child’s story is accurate, and meets the required definition of an orphan for immigration purposes.
To require immigration approval before the parents are legally, irrevocably, the child’s legal parents.
To force known steps and measures be put in place at the onset of pilot programs to combat the problems, before they happen.
To combat trafficking at the root of the problem by removing the the profit from the equation.
Yet, I still hear that voice in my head that even the above missed the boat – something is still left out…and I mull for a bit and suddenly it becomes clear.
That acceptance that trafficking for adoption happens, and will always happen, and here is how to deal with this reality in talking to your children and helping them through, without a call to action to stop the trafficking seems so short-sighted and may actually be enabling an acceptance of trafficking by the adoption community.
The same as seeing or hearing racial or homosexual slurs, jokes, gestures, discriminatory actions, and doing nothing because you didn’t do anything wrong, it was someone else who did something wrong so no action required from you.
The same as watching someone bully another individual and telling yourself you aren’t doing anything wrong by not speaking up and demanding they stop right now, because you aren’t the one bullying.
The same as watching someone abuse their child or any child, and not standing in between them and the child, and calling the police when you see the crime being committed right in front of you, because it is not you abusing the child.
And what about the “Greater Good” argument of all those children left to rot in the orphanage when the country is closed, because people reported that their child had been trafficked into adoption. Or the immigration process exposed the truth, or any number of other scenarios that provide evidence of trafficking children for adoption.
If you use the “Greater Good” argument to excuse a crime of trafficking being committed against one child (or many children), in order to save another child (or many children), does it hold up?
I will ignore that child trafficking happens in this country because if I don’t, all those children in the orphanage who were abandoned will be left to die or a fate worse than death. Some might accept that premise, but in reality do you know the children in the orphanage were actually abandoned? Or do you presume they were abandoned? What if your presumption is false, and they were actually trafficked into that orphanage for the purposes of adoption? Does it matter? I think so because if you don’t try to stop the trafficking, you are condemning (and perhaps even condoning?) more children to be placed in orphanages via trafficking for the purposes of adoption.
There is no easy answer, but the clear answer is that the adoption industry and community is not doing the children any favors by pretending trafficking for adoption doesn’t happen, or acknowledging that it does, and then only wants to talk about how to deal with the impact on your child.
The real question is why hasn’t a community so focused on children – not demanded better for all children.