Adoption is NOT always the answer

January 23, 2010 at 11:36 am | Posted in AdoptThis!, On the road again... | 7 Comments

I am getting really fed up with the media coverage of Haiti that implies that international adoption is the best thing for Haiti since, oh I don’t know, clean water.

A really good post that gets into why this is not so is here – and the author’s earlier post here.  I am really pissed to hear that APs and PAPs are attacking her for what she has said.

My feelings about the whole wet hot mess are very nicely summarized by PEAR here. Yes – if you were already matched with a child pre-quake and the Haitian govt has already found that the child is clear for int’l adoption and all you are waiting on is USCIS paperwork, then USCIS should make that happen ASAP.  If a child is not already cleared – then we all need to do everything we can to make sure that that child has a safe place to live, good food to eat, and help connecting with their family of origin FIRST before they get placed.  Even kids who were already in an orphanage may have families looking for them.  International adoption is NOT the best way to deal with kids and disaster relief.

Oh, and um – we just had our profile sent out to a possible expectant mom.  Please keep her in your thoughts – that she is supported and given good resources as she makes her decision about what is best for her and her family –  be that parenting or adoption.


ETA: Another excellent link –

The Dangerous Desire to Adopt Haitian Babies


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  1. Lots to consider here, Art. When I see all the horrible footage on tv, my emotions rise to the surface and the first thought is that of course, people need to adopt this kids right away, blah blah blah.

    PS Happy New Year

  2. I agree 100%. I have been so bothered by the voice of entitlement I’ve heard from so many when speaking of Haiti’s children. I do believe that USCIS need to find a way to finish adoptions already in process but I don’t see how anyone could consider starting an adoption right now. How can we even begin to know who is truly an orphan and, even if we did, do these kids, after all they’ve been through, really need to be ripped away from everything they know by strangers in another country. We need to focus on helping all of Haiti, adults and children alike.

  3. I agree, international adoption is not a solution to kids and natural/other disasters.

    And ZOMG on the profile!!! Exciting!!!

  4. Oh my gosh. I’ve been HAUNTED by one of the stories I’ve read related to the BRESMA orphanage rescue. I read two different articles on this from slightly different angles, (one was here and the other source I can’t remember) but the way I understand it is:

    A 6 month old Haitian baby was sent to the U.S. a few years ago on a medical visa and was fostered by a Nebraskan family while receiving medical care for her brain tumor there. After 6 months, her brain tumor had been taken care of and the foster family wanted to adopt her. Horror of horrors, the birth mother did not want to relinquish custody. But THEN, a week after the now one-year-old returned to Haiti, the area where she lived was hit by a terrible hurricane.

    “Never was Jamie’s dedication more evident than in the aftermath of last September’s torrential attack by Hurricane Gustav. Hurricane Hannah was on her way to add more death and destruction. Jamie’s phone rang, and on the other end was the pleading mother of a 1-year-old baby, Dieunette, who had been back in Gonaives, Haiti, less than a week after returning from the United States for brain-tumor surgery. The town was under water with people on rooftops, and there were dead bodies and animals floating in the streets. She was stranded, had no food or water, nothing to feed the baby.

    Jamie borrowed a 4WD truck, enlisted Lissa Bazille, the orphanage’s teacher, and set out to Gonaives. Mud slides, washed-out bridges, washed-out roads-it took Jamie and Lissa 24 hours to reach the town limits. Jamie wanted to go into Gonaives to reach the baby, but to do so would have meant certain death. Gonaives is the home to some of the worst of Haiti’s jails, and, because of the storm, the doors had been opened. Jamie would have been an immediate target. Lissa went in, found Dieunette, who had only a bottle with dirty water, and they brought her back to the orphanage. Today, Dieunette is healthy, cared-for and waiting to go home to a loving family in Nebraska.”

    Granted I only have limited facts on this story, but based on what I do know, the mother WANTED this child but was terrified that she wouldn’t survive if she didn’t give her up. It seems to me that what that stranded mother and baby who had only a bottle with dirty water needed was some AID in the form of, oh, I don’t know, clean water, formula, a place to stay, etc., not to be torn apart from each other forever. How is that a success story? I am so damn sad every time I think about it.

  5. I’ve already been asked once if Tami is Haitian (she’s not), and four separate people commented how easy it would be for me to adopt a Haitian orphan now. Each time I explain that the children you’re seeing are those that were already adopted (or were almost completely through the process), those families have already spent YEARS waiting for those specific children, and the sad truth is that now those orphanages will be prepared to bring in the children who have been newly orphaned by the tradgedy and will have to wait years if they can ever find another family. It’s so sad, so hard to explain to people who think adoption is as simple as deciding you want to give a child a “better life.”

  6. Maybe if some of u did take in some of these black kids and rise them in a same sex family them the church will not get to them first and teach them hate toward gays and lesbain just saying. And I am a black jamaican that know about hates toward gays

  7. thinking of you and pili as you embark on a new adoption journey.

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