One of the biggest problems with the adoption industry is that it works on a consumer model, and the clients are prospective parents rather than children.
So often agencies reinforce the desires of the adoptive parents rather than looking out for the best interests of children. Here’s one recent example from the news:
David Clubb took maternity leave the first week of March to be with his wife when she gave birth to their son. Three weeks later he was on a plane to China to pick up their adopted daughter.
Three weeks. And they’re going to be taking care of a three-week-old baby as well as a daughter from China (probably another baby, given adoptive parents’ preferences for as young as possible). Raise your hand if you think this is a good idea.
Got your hand up? Lots of parents and agencies would join you. Remember the family with a four-year-old, a two-year-old and newborn twins who brought home a child from China? I’ve heard tons of stories about parents adopting right after the mother gives birth. Or the father going to China to pick up the adopted kid because the wife was due to give birth any day. Or people adopting kid after kid after kid from different countries, with scarcely time to breathe in between.
What about those kids? Are any of them getting a fair shake?
Part of this equation is the lack of power on the part of the birth parents and the children. In China, birth parents are neatly removed from the equation. In part, this has worked to make China the most popular source country for adoption. In other countries, birth parents are removed from any say about their children. Would an agency with domestic birth parents ever consider placing a child with a mother who recently gave birth? I haven’t heard of it happening, but I suspect it is much less common. Because those birth parents, by privilege of being U.S. citizens, are at least (hopefully) acknowledged.
What do many of the agencies say? They have no formal policy against getting pregnant or having a newborn when you’re adopting from overseas. Because they know prospective adoptive parents will scream bloody murder.
Similarly, issues in Guatemala are now coming to a head. Guatemalan adoption has long been rife with fraud. But parents are not clamoring for change. They are clamoring to bring “their” kids home.
The hell with everybody else. The right to parent surpasses the rights of everybody else.