A piece I felt fell short of E.J. previous articles on adoption: Preventing adoption disasters.
Read it and see what you think. My comment:
Your bottom line on this one falls a bit short of your usual depth of understanding of adoption issues.
You omitted the racial factor involved in American's desire to adopt Russian children despite the known high risks such as FAS and post institutionalization. Race is one of the reasons someone willing to accept a child of seven still did not consider a child from foster care. In the case at hand, being that Hansen is from the south, excluding children of color may have been a rational choice for the sake of the child.
However, with 129,000 children in foster care within the U.S. who cannot be reunited with their families and could be adopted. All nations need to follow the UN's edict to leave transnational adoption as a last resort. Thus, the bottom line for all nations should be to work on ways to help children in need find the permanent, loving care they need within their own borders rather than trade them - import, export into and out of the U.S. - for the profit of adoption practitioners and businesses.
For very minimal fees and no travel expenses, Americans seeking to be parents can utilize the foster-to-adopt programs and actually take a "test run" before making a permanent commitment. Take the child into your home and see how they - and you - adjust. The program allows for the adoption of children somewhat younger than those who are totally free for adoption, though it does involve the adopter taking some risk of falling in love with a child who might be able to reunified with his family. But isn't risk-taking always incumbent on the adult in equation of parenting over allowing any risk of ham to come to your child?
More regulation and follow-up, yes. How that would be enforce din a nation of privatized adoption businesses I don't know. But we must try. But we must also simultaneously have a goal of putting some funds into family preservation programs; make more efforts to decrease family separations; and increase chances for children who have no family able to safely care for them.
These are some of the issues the Schuster needs to delve into far deeper and I hope that they will.