International Adoption essay
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International adoption can be traumatizing for children torn from their culture. Not all adopted children can adapt well and embrace their newly found life; my heart goes out to them. I can only imagine how scared they must be with all the changes they encounter in their new life. I still do not understand how adoption worked for the Seabrooks. Not all adoptees are that lucky; some are even stripped of their identity. A visit with the adopted child to his or her home country is very important on the part of the international adoptive parents, to be able to understand and embrace the children’s culture. This will make the cultural transition period easier for the child, especially those adopted when they are over one year.
Rose was over a year old and would have been older if not for the earth quake. To the surprise of the Seabrooks, they were able to bring her home earlier than they planned. The earth quake led to US Government expediting Haitian adoptions that were already in process (Seabrook, 2010). Besides Roses adoption, Seabrook also talked of the forces at work in 2004 which led to countries such as Guatemala and Russia to adopt many children internationally. Previously the number of international adoptions has been reducing owing to the concerns of ethical issues. As Seabrooks states, justifying the gross inequities surrounding the enterprise was difficult. The spokes person for UNICEF is quoted in the article saying that their organization does not object international adoption but, is concerned about the forced relinquishment and baby selling. The author responded by asking whether a mother who is unable to feed her child is forced to relinquish her child because of poverty. He continues to ask whether all international adoptions of children relinquished by their living parents are morally indefensible.
From the article, it is evident that Seabrook is not shying away from the hard questions but mostly does not answer them. According to Seabrook (2010), the process was both beneficial to them and the child; Rose needed a home and family to take care of her and this family needed a child. That gave them the drive to carry out the adoption with a clear conscience. He never denied that he was a little selfish for not thinking that Rose has living parents or about being delighted by the long distance between parent and child that internationally adoptions provide. In an ordinary bureaucratic process of international adoption, they would have met Roses mother but after the earth quake that never took place. The meeting could have enabled him to confirm whether Roses mother gave her up voluntarily or not.
Ethically, international adoption is an issue that has triggered a hot debate as to whether it should be viewed as a way in which needy children are given good families to take care of them or whether it is the issue of wealthy families taking children away from their homes because the parents are too poor to feed them. My argument is; does this reduce the role of the birth parents by giving up their children to rich or better parents to take over their parenting role?
I do like the way the author told his story. He raised questions and provided history and facts that supported the case. He was very realistic in his explanation of how and why they adopted Rose, despite grappling with moral issues surrounding adoption. Anybody in his shoes may have made a similar decision irrespective of whether it is morally right or wrong. On the other hand, I do not totally agree with the arguments of Margaret Haerens on the pros and cons of international adoption. Even though some of her arguments on kidnapping for profit are valid, the one that opposes international adoption on the basis of keeping the children in their home countries is not logical.
Honestly it is time for people to open their eyes; we need to put more light on this subject. Are we helping orphaned and abandoned children by giving them better lives in our country or ripping them from their culture and traumatizing them for life? International adoption needs to take more consideration to these children, and have a better understanding of where they come from, and how taking them away from their home countries without giving them time to adjust is instrumental in the problems they will face such as communication as well as the difficulties in adjusting to the new life.