Thursday, October 09, 2008

Interesting Article

If you click on this blog entries title you should find a link to a recent Newsweek article (http://www.newsweek.com/id/162326). A few things struck me and got me thinking. Now that our adoption is over, sometimes I don't even think about the process anymore until it comes up with friends or I read something that reminds me that we went through that very thing. It's funny how short term my memory is!
First off, I was disappointed how abbreviated the article was. There were no references to solutions the US gov't is coming up with to solve the bureaucratic and political craziness (are there any?). There was no comparison of international vs domestic adoptions and if there is a connection of prospective parents now turning to domestic adoption to avoid such red tape (i.e. China etc) and cost.
I couldn't believe that cost wasn't the number one reason for a decline in international adoptions. We can all agree that the economy hasn't been stellar in the past few years (no, I do not blame George Bush) and that our dollars need to stretch further than ever. Most of us are dumbstruck by the cost of raising a child, much less forking over in excess of $20,000 to adopt. Everyone I meet who has expressed an interest in our adoption story and makes the comment that "yes, we've thought about it" (who hasn't when they see the beautiful Brangelina crew?) quickly changes (after picking their jaw off the ground) the subject once they hear about the cost. Trust me, I don't bring it up, but it is asked often and I am honest. It's a huge decision emotionally and once money comes into play it only compounds the stress (both good and not-so-great) that can plague such a long and detailed process. To me it still seems absolutely crazy that there are loving homes all over the U.S. and the only thing that is standing in their way of adopting from anywhere in the world is money. Not everyone is called to adopt domestically. We weren't. We weren't opposed but our heart was overseas. Not everyone is called to adopt internationally. I appreciate the tax rebate that is given. Yes, it's a great help. AFTER THE FACT. I don't think it covers the cost of interest that you may pay on a loan (I could be wrong, the whole tax thing still confuses me) which can be up to 8-10% on an unsecured personal loan. Sure you could take out of retirement accounts but then you've lost possibly tens of thousands of dollars of future earnings. Now don't get me wrong. Everyone I know who has adopted has willingly done what they have to do to get it done. We wanted our babies and we wanted them yesterday. But should it be that hard? I don't think so. Why isn't Washington fighting to make international adoption more affordable? Is there a reason why it costs $25,000 to adopt from a third world country? How is a $10-$15,000 country fee justified for parents who adopt an infant who has only been in state care for a matter of months? Did it really cost their government that much money to take care of the child? Not that I've seen considering most come home with barely any clothing, toys or personal affects and donations for orphanages are not only appreciated but expected from adoptive parents. If these countries are making a profit do the caregivers get incentives or bonuses for the excellent care that they may provide for these children? I would hope so but I doubt it. Prim's foster family lived in shack. Literally. Why couldn't our $10,000 go to Holt Sahathai to hire more social workers or to pay the foster families more (for the record I have no idea how much the foster family was compensated but it will never be enough in my opinion).
International adoption should cost money but at the expense of children not getting into good homes quickly is not acceptable to me. I understand that the foreign gov't needs to cover expenses payed to care for the child but if that country is actually MAKING money off of children that is just wrong. Children are not for profit. They are not a commodity and they are definitely not a way for the upper echelon of local and federal government to get rich. From the corruption that we have seen in Vietnam to the charges against some Guatemalan officials it is evident that babies are big business.
Let's make adoption affordable for every family willing to bring a child into their home (oh my I sound like a Democrat *shutter*) both domestic and internationally. Somehow foreign countries that wish to participate in adopting their children to couples abroad NEED to be held accountable. Let's make adoption about the business of bringing families together, not making foreign countries money.

4 comments:

Robyn said...

Amen, and amen! But what can WE do?

Jay and Chandra Regan said...

John McCain has an adopted daughter from India. Maybe he'll help to address some of these injustices?

Jenna Marie Howard said...

Hello
I just wanted to stop by and tell you I enjoy reading your blog. i love your babies pictures! I am adopted and have three other adopted siblings and find such encouragement knowing you are an adoptive parent who obviously loves your children. I am the Director of Public Relations for a non-profit organization called World Orphans. We build family style church based orphan homes all over the world and our mission is simple E3 to reach each church…each child…each community. I would love for you to take a look at our website and let me know if you have any questions. (www.worldorphans.com) I hope you will have a glorious blessed day!

Jenna M. Howard
-Director of Public Relations
www.Worldorphans.org
Jennah@worldorphans.org
www.JennaMarieHoward.com

Mireille said...

It is sad that there is a huge group out there that would love to adopt, but just can't afford it. But indeed, what can we do about it??
We've adopted twin girls from Thailand, check out our blog at http://funkydoodledonkey.blogspot.com

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