They refer to their 2005 Policy Brief outlining some of the "unique threats posed to children as the result of major disasters": "Intercountry Adoptions in Emergencies: The Tsunami Orphans"
Their Tsunami statement states:
"...threats to children in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami were evident in confirmed
reports by the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) of a child being trafficked in the hardest hit province of Aceh, Indonesia, and of adolescent boys and girls being recruited as soldiers by the Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, approximately 90 percent of the people internally displaced by the tsunami had been uprooted before as a result of the ethnic conflict and civil war that has ravaged the country for 18 years (WHO, 2005 March 11). ... In response to fears that children could be exploited or abducted by human traffickers – a problem throughout the region – Sri Lanka banned the adoption of any child affected by the tsunami either for in-country or intercountry adoption, while Indonesia banned the transfer of any child under the age of 16 from the most devastated province of
Aceh, and explicitly banned any intercountry adoptions."
The 2005 Donaldson report goes on to say that "It is clear that current international conventions and ethical adoption practice guidelines would not recommend adoption at the height of an emergency."
Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform hasmeanhile issued a statement stating: "that some Adoption Authority personnel in Haiti have been killed and records are likely lost. Many children have not only been declared to be adoptable, but in the eyes of the Haiti government are legally the children of foreign parents. We call upon the authorities of US, Canada, France and other countries who have families matched with adoptable children to unite the children with their new families as fast as possible." [Please see my perspective below which relates to this "matching' directly.]
Expressing an opposing view on the current situation in haiti regarding adoption is an excellent report by United Adoptees International has a fine report on the situation which includes a statement from Ethica. They are unequivocal:
Adoption is used as a replacement for safety features which should be placed first before children leave devastated countries for adoption.
Adoption is not a measure of rescuing children never the less the media and the adoption lobby wants us to believe. But every time when something happens in none western countries, the western cultures show no hesitation to fly out the most healthy and young children for intercountry adoption.
Even when children are located and in process of adoption, the measures to fly these located children for adoption out of the country should raise discussion based on the practise and history of such adoptions. At least, adoptive parents (most times board members of adoption agencies and in many cases owners of adoption agencies) should not be in charge of such operations.
Their interest is not to safe the children because of their lives but to safe the children to 'own' them.
I applaud their unashamed directness!
United Adoptees International is an organisation run and managed by adoptees. Foremost in the Netherlands but with great help and support from adoptees and adoptee supporting organisations worldwide.
The UAI is a foundation focussing on helping Adoptees, data mining and reviewing and commenting on Human Rights issues endangering childrights everyday again. The UAI is not against adoption but against all the side effects which appears everyday in (internationa)l adoption.
We believe, that (Intercountry) adoption should be a last resort for children in need for a family and not a third option and facility for childless couples in the West.
If adoption is an option, than all the requirements for a tracable and correct adoption procedure should be fulfilled before any adoption is executed.
The UAI became last few years an important opinion leader in the Netherlands and abroad in the field of Intercountry Adoption (ICA).
Please see my suggested list of safe sites for donations at this time of great need in Haiti.
In 2007 I attended the Ethica/Donaldson conference. Because the conference date wound up coinciding with the closing adoptions in Guatemala, a special session with UN representatives was added.
The room was filled with a very angry and hostile crowd of prospective adopters who had adoptions "in the pipeline." They were VILE and arrogant to the UN representatives who were trying to explain why decisions were made and what the current situation was. they didn't want to hear any if it! Many were quite rude. Their position appeared to be "we paid for it and we want it -- and we want it now - and damn you or anyone who tried to stand in our way."
Many of them came holding photos of "their" child. And therein, IMHO, lies the problem.
I see it as much the same scenario that occurs in domestic adoptions. prospective adopters become enmeshed with one parttiulcar expectant mother or in the case of international adoptions - attached to one child. We often read of their heartbreak as they sit by empty cribs, their hopes dashed when a mother finds herself able to care for her child after all! What should be a joyous celebration is turned into a disappointment and mass sympathy is expressed in the media for the smashed dreams of people who had themselves convinced of a 'sure thing' -- why? Because of all the time and money invested and the focus of one outcome!!
The same is occurring now as those who have APPLIED to adopt have been sent photos and have formed a "bond" of some kind - they now feel as if "their child" is in the midst of this horrific disaster and they want the U.S. to break all ordinary rules and rush "their child" "home" to them!
On the one hand, it is understandable...given the set up for them to believe and have all expectations of this one child being "theirs." And foreign governments declaring children awaiting to travel to and enter a new nation and have their adoption finalized thereto be "legally the children of" their perspective adopters, as is also done in Guatemala, exacerbates a very emotionally charged situation.
I mean, after all, if you paid the ticket price and filled out all the appear work to say - purchase a new automobile...wouldn't you except delivery of same? Would you not be furious if you were then told that your very expensive guaranteed pre-owned foreign imported vehicle was held up in customs or as a result of natural disaster!
While understandable, there is something repulsive that in the wake of mass human devastation, anyone could be so narrowly focused on just one child and be damned with the rest. Yet, if were your actual child...or moher...or spouse, wouldn't you feel the same way? And, after all, it's always what transnational adoption is all about. Isn't it always the case that the tens of thousands of dollars are spent to obtain POSSESSION and custody of just one child of one's OWN.... dollars which could be so much spent to alleviate the poverty and misery of an entire village, if not at least an entire family - allowing them to remain intact.
I hope the world is watching and sees how selfishly anti-altruistic adoption can be and most often, sadly, is!
Meanwhile...some are calling for some are calling "Operation Pierre Pan"...is modeled after the "Operation Pedro Pan" movement that brought thousands of Cuban children to the United States in the 1960s according to McGrorty, executive director of Catholic Charities Legal Services in Miami, who has already contacted Homeland Security about the idea, because aside from the logistical issues of how many children would be brought into the United States and where they will be sheltered, there are legal issues revolving around their immigration status that need to be resolved with the federal government.
While he didn't know how many children could end up calling Broward County home, Riordan said he does not every child in the program to end up in South Florida. He also doesn't expect them all to be orphans. "It would not surprise me if parents who wanted a better life for their children gave them up and said 'Here, take care of my child,'" he said.
Does "take care of" mean permanently deny me access to or knowledge my child and him to me as adoption does??? I think not!! I fully understand and appreciate that one man's tragedy can be another's saving grace, s in the case of organ donations. But these are made AFTER THE DEATH of the host, which would, in this case, mean TRUE ORPHANS!
One cannot help but make the connection to vultures who circle the dying...waiting to pounce, as a commenter to my previous blog on this issue noted. Which is not to say that all who adopt are, but clearly many are. Even families with children who are truly trying to adopt for purely altruistic humanitarian purposes can be led astray and not realize that in their desire to aid, they are causing harm. Such has been the case with some of the best intentioned, pure of heart and motivation families who adopted transnationally and found to their horror that they had unwittingly received stolen or kidnapped children,..and that they had unknowingly supported child traffickers. This latter category of intentional adopters is affected by the myths perpetrated by the adoption industry and religious organizations....those who intentionally overestimate numbers of orphans and downplay the need for familial and cultural connections.
Many "rescued" adoptees show us another reality....their reality.