According to a BBC report, a group of ‘charity workers’ located in Chad were arrested on the tarmark of the airport with an airplane full of about 103 children. The group denies they planned to sell the children for adoption, instead claiming they were sending them to ‘host families’ at a nice price of 2,400 euros (US$3,450) each. The group also claimed the children were from Darfur, Sudan and they were rescuing them from their ‘war torn lives’. It turns out many of the children were from Chad and not without families.
Apparently Guatemala is not the only place that children are seen as commodities.
Since the Vietnam War and Operation Babylift children have been ripped from their mothers arms so that the media can use adoption as the do-gooders mission and even that is wrong in all aspects of life. But since adoption has become the “mod” thing to do (note: Angelina, Madonna) it is also becoming the thing we do for orphans. Instead of “feeding the starving kids in Ethiopia” like we did in the 80′s we are now adopting them into our own homes and “saving” them because its “cool” (of course I am being flippant but some part of me and even the media sees it this way, as more and more celebrities are jumping on that bandwagon).
But, are internationally adopted children all orphans?
According to the New York Times, many children in the international systems often have living family members, as do both of mine. The issue with having living family members and being eligible for adoption is that birth parents can be unable or unwilling to take care of the children, thus making the children look like orphans in the system. And, obviously, children like these have living parents and should never have been taken from them.
But is it right to take children from their natural country, even as adoptive parents?
I believe that adopting children for the sake of “saving” them is wrong. What parent would really truly love their child if the only reason for adopting them was to “save” them from the “hardships” of growing up in countries like Chad or Ethiopia? Does it actually mean that this child will be better off living in suburbia drinking Diet Coke and eating Cheetos?
But when it comes down to a child’s best interests is it about the country in which they live or is about having parents that love them and a family that comforts them? Now, I know all too well that love does not make an adoption work because my son’s problems were real. We have struggled from the day we met him to build a family but I would bet my life that he would chose family over an institution life any day.