Suffer the Children: The Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest—tost to me,” And we will send you ours?
The Littlest Casualties
Worldwide, there are approximately 143 million “orphans” based on figures that include children with only one living parent, approximately 90% of them (Oreskovi and Maskew, 2009). Approximately 2.6% of these children are housed in orphanages (Ibid).
Within the United States half a million children are wards of the state in foster care system, despite the well documented risks, impermanence and cost. Of these, an estimated 129,000 no longer have any chance of reunification with their families and could be adopted.
What is in their best interest? Is redistributing them to far—off cultures and expecting these children—many who may have learning disabilities and other emotional, attachment and physical challenges—to learn new languages in addition to being separated from family and community they likely remember?
Do domestic and international adoption policies put the best interests of these most vulnerable children first and foremost, or are they being used as pawns in a multibillion dollar industry designed to meet the demand for younger and healthier infants?....
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