A couple of days ago Сnn has posted a series of articles to represent their latest investigations on international adoption issues. They have spoken to the adopted kids, their families as well as experts, discussing all the peculiarities of the process. Taking into consideration the seriousness of child trading problem, governments should focus on adopters and orphans within their own countries, what might eventually lead to the decline of such a terrible business.
One of the aforementioned articles depicts a story of a Korean woman, Trenka, who was adopted by American family back in 1972. Having lived in the US for 40 years, she accidentally found out that her adoption process was illicit, as the Korean agency has provided both adopters and birth parents with incorrect information. The girl’s documents were made up to conceal her poor health conditions, in order to make her more attractive for the adopters. Today, Trenka, who “repatriated to South Korea in 2008, is part of a vanguard of American adoptees who have led the fight to stop overseas adoptions from Korea and change the cultural stigma tied to unwed mothers.” She claims that mothers, who are willing to give away their kids, need to understand that giving them abroad is not the best option. Of course, they are the ones to choose, but before that they need to consider all the pros and cons, as well as take into the consideration that giving the child abroad does not guarantee him better life. Trenka claims that "the best option is always for a child to be parented by his or her birth parent, then domestic adoption, and only then intercountry adoption." (Chan, cnn.com)
Having read more items on the international adoption issue it became very clear that child trafficking business is prospering. The trafficking of human beings is a multibillion-dollar business that appears to be growing. (UNISEF) And here we have a quite acute question rising, what facilitates it? There are a lot of factors we can talk of, factors which support the business, however one of the most important ones is international adoption. And here is why. Very often the money they pay for the adoption goes to an agency that takes care of all the formalities. And more often these agencies turned international adoptions into a very profitable business. In African countries brokers who find children for agencies can earn up to $5 thousand per child, what is five times the amount they would normally earn for year. (qtd. in cnn.com )These people would do almost anything to find more children for adoption, and sometimes they even kidnap them. The saddest fact is that adopters rarely find out that they were a part of human trafficking process, strongly believing that they have just saved an orphan. Of course it does not always happen like that, but the problem is that you never know. The business is very profitable, and very often even politicians and church leaders are involved in it. Therefore, it does not matter where you adopt the child from, Latvia, Ethiopia, Ukraine or Russia, there is always a big chance that the money adopters pay for the process just help those organizations to prosper.
One needs to understand that international adoption and human trafficking are not selfsame notions. Families that adopt kids from different countries are doing great job saving orphans, and there is definitely nothing wrong about it. These people are admired in the society, and I would say that they have earned it. But, at some point, when the international adoption has become quite popular, it simultaneously became a very good cover for the child trafficking. “Critics argue the hunger to adopt children from developing nations helps feed nefarious practices, as families are often deceived or coerced into giving their children up for adoption.” Child trafficking is very serious problem in our society, and all the measures have to be taken in order to resolve it as soon as possible. However one needs to have clear understanding that there is a thin line between international adoption, illicit international adoption and child trafficking. And that line has faded even more over the last years, so governments as well as adopters have a lot to of points to consider before making the decision whether to go through international adoption process or not.
In my opinion, international adoption is not something people should be scared of. Orphans from all over the world have right to be part of a family, they have right to love and be loved. However unfortunately these days international adoption can be harmful as for the children, as for families, which adopt them. Families are not checked the way they should be before the adoption procedure. Very often adopters do not know origins of the child they are getting. Every day, children are bought, sold and transported away from their homes. And very often these kids are “sold” during the international adoption processes. However it is up to every adopter to decide whether they should or should not get an orphan from other country. Maybe the risk is really worth it?
Bartholet, Elizabeth. "International Adoption: Thoughts on the Human Rights Issues." Social Science Research Network. Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 07-19, 2 Nov. 2007. Web. 24 Sept. 2013. <http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1024272>.
Chan, Wilfred. "Raised in America, Activists Lead Fight to End S. Korean Adoptions." CNN. Cable News Network, 17 Sept. 2013. Web. 29 Sept. 2013. <http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/16/world/international-adoption-korea-adoptee-advocates/index.html
Voigt, Kevin. "International Adoption: Saving Orphans or Child Trafficking?" CNN. Cable News Network, 18 Sept. 2013. Web. 24 Sept. 2013. <http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/16/world/international-adoption-saving-orphans-child-trafficking/index.html>.
UNISEF, “Guidelines on the protection of child victims of trafficking”, Provisional Version 2.1, Sept. 2006, p. 3; UNISEF, Combatting child trafficking (2005). Web. 24 Sept. 2013. <http://www.unicef.org/protection/files/IPU_combattingchildtrafficking_GB.pdf>