Earlier this year a study was published, analyzing the European Union's reversal in approach towards inter-country adoption from Romania since 2007.
The study sheds some interesting light on the motivations behind this radical shift and serves as a warning when it comes to the politicization of child protection.
Initially we wanted to write a review about this fascinating, albeit very dense study.
However, while researching the topic of the Romanian adoptions early 1990s, we felt compelled to write about a subject only touched upon in this study: the political influence of adoptive parents.
We will use the Romanian adoption crisis as a backdrop for this article, although it should be noted that similar patterns emerged around adoptions from Vietnam, Guatemala, and Ethiopia in more recent times.
The latest fatality of an adoptee from Russia was all over the news the past few days. The Russian media are heavily focused on this case, while the American press mostly reprinted the same Associated Press article in all major news papers and news sites.
The case of Max Shatto (Maxim Kuzmin) raises many questions, the most prominent of which: why has the US Department of State not reacted to this case before Russian authorities did?
For months Adoptionland has been in a frenzy about Russia's decision to ban adoptions to the United States. Prior to that decision, promises were made by the US Department of State to improve monitoring of Russian adoptions. The case of Max Shatto shows once more, the US Department of State to date is not capable of properly monitoring adoptions from Russia, and any promise to do so can not be kept or guaranteed.
Over the last couple of weeks, Adoptionland has been up in arms regarding the Russian decision to ban inter-country adoptions of Russian children by American adopters. Yesterday, January 2, the Washington Post added the umpteenth article on the topic, focusing on the group hardest hit by the ban: evangelical Christian adopters.
Over the years, we have paid much attention to the so-called orphan crusade, a mission that is immensely popular among evangelical Christians. The adoption zeal of evangelical Christians is problematic because it arises from faith not from facts and evidence. This is all the more an issue since rational debate is not welcomed when zeal meets revved-up emotions.
Recently, the adoption blogosphere has become abuzz with the case featuring a Christian family wanting to adopt, a Russian boy with Down Syndrome, and the Russian government.
Greg and Tesney Davis, a couple from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, seem to believe their desire to adopt this "special" boy is being blocked by the Russian court, and their story has made small-time news. The news-media version of the story begins with the following three lines:
"This child is better off just staying in an institution than having a forever family."
That's basically what a judge had to say after a hopeful and prayerful Alabama family was questioned last week in a European court room. Questioned by judge and prosecutor. Questioned for FIVE HOURS.
Apparently the prosecutor and judge were having a hard time understanding why the couple would want this particular little boy
Found on a blog, a proud friend wanted to announce her friend (who runs a non-profit adoption agency in Something's rotten in the State of Pennsylvania) is opening a new adoption program. I guess in her excitement, the blogging friend wanted to include the message written by the Adoptive Mother jump-starting two new programs for her private business entity.
In 2001 Romania placed a ban on Inter Country adoptions of its children after massive corruption was discovered within these kinds of adoptions. Ever since the ban came into place the Country has been unjustly pressurized by the leading Countries involved in Inter- Country Adoptions. France, Italy, Spain, Israel and the US and UK have all lobbied to get this ban lifted. The politicians in these Countries involved have interests in adoption agencies and in many cases adoptive parents too.
For almost 20 years the large concerns interested in International adoptions, their foreign supporters and followers along with many Agencies and NGOs that worked in inter country adoptions before the Romanian ban on such adoptions have constantly denied the public Worldwide the truth of what happened to the thousands Romanian children adopted and exported abroad between 1991 and 1997.
Word is out 62 year old living music legend Elton John and his husband "would love" to adopt a 14-month old boy from Ukraine. Apparently the HIV positive child living in an orphanage won the hearts of both Elton and David and even managed to change the star's mind about adoption. [According to news reports, in the the past, the famous musician did not feel his lifestyle of frequent traveling would be fair for a child.]
In many of the discussions I follow on the internet, the Romanian situation keeps returning when talking about banning inter-country adoption. Not so much by those that oppose inter-country adoption as an example of a successful ban, but quite to the contrary, by proponents of inter-country adoption as a failed attempt.
The arguments used by proponents usually take two forms, either they address the abandonment figures, or the situation of disabled children.
In 2006 Amrex, an adoption facilitator firm from Alpharetta Georgia went bankrupt. With their dedicated adoption software they delivered matching services for several adoption agencies, mostly operating in Russia and Guatemala.