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The issue of international adoption is one of the burning problems of the early twenty-first century. Being also called intercultural, inter-country, and transnational, it can be referred to as the act or process of adopting a child from a foreign country legally and permanently. The problem has worsened significantly after the World War II that had turned thousands of kids into orphans. Thus, the phenomenon has become a global one. US families adopt about 20,000 children annually. With the opening of China and Russia in the 1990s, international adoption exploded – 410,000 children were adopted by citizens of 27 countries between 2000 and 2010. Adherents of the transnational adoption claim that it gives both prospective parents and their future adopted kids a chance to create a loving and caring family. Despite these sincere hopes, there are strong arguments against it in the fields of medicine, law, economics, and morals. Consequently, the international adoption has to be banned because it does not guarantee a fair outcome to everyone.
Major Challenges Prospective Adoptive Parents Face
Health problems belong to major disadvantages of transnational adoption. To illustrate, Melissa Fay Green, a US citizen, acquired a boy aged 4 from Bulgaria. Unfortunately, her dreams of family happiness did not come true. The boy who spent his early years in an orphanage was unbalanced and bad-tempered. Being taken from their birth parents and international orphanages, children may suffer from serious diseases, such as mental health issues, hepatitis, cancer, and HIV. Adoptees are often at elevated risk for mental health disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity, oppositional defiance, major depression and separation anxiety disorders. Having little time for communication with a prospective child, adoptive parents may face serious issues in the future. In fact, the members of the family may become helpless against the child’s dangerous illness as most prospective parents do not possess the necessary information to deal with the potential emotional and behavioral challenges caused by adopting older children.
Poor Legal Regulation
Poor legal basis in the field of transnational adoption is the second drawback. In fact, the international adoption is regulated both by international and domestic law. International legislation provides basic rules appropriate to the adopting process. It includes Declaration on Social and Legal Principles Relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children, with Special Reference to Foster Placement and Adoption, Nationally and Internationally of 1986 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989.
As for the domestic adoption, it should be noted that laws are poor in some countries. Some states do not possess proper regulations to manage the process. Moreover, citizens of the Muslim countries consider the phenomenon a violation against their religion. On the contrary, the governments of other states, such as South Korea and Romania, promote international adoption providing better destiny for their small citizens. However, they do not pay attention to the requirements to potential adopters and circumstances of the process in general. The above mentioned reasons lead to the increasing cases of the child abuse. A deep investigation of the problem shows that certain adoption agencies may organize sex trafficking business calling it international adopting. Human trafficking is a burning problem in Cambodia and Vietnam (Fronek, 2014). There are numerous instances of kidnapping caused by poor legal regulation of the process. To illustrate, Guatemala was shut down in 2007 for adoption after allegations of families being coerced and children kidnapped to feed the US demand.
Economic problems are the next disadvantage of the international adoptions. Prospective parents have to incur notable expenses to acquire a child. Legal fees and reward to adoption agencies are among them. For example, Public Agency (Foster Care) wants up to $2,500 for its services; Licensed Private Agency Adoptions asks for $5,000 -$40,000; Independent Adoptions and Facilitated/ Unlicensed Adoptions require $5,000 - $40,000 to make a deal. In fact, court document preparation costs from $500 to $2,000.
To diminish the above-mentioned expenses, the United States provides tax credits, subsides, employer benefits, loans, and grants for prospective adopting parents. Despite the differences in criteria considered while determining the compensation that has to be paid, the legislation of most states highlights the importance of the children’s age, possible disabilities, and belonging to a minority group. Family income and aim of adoption are the factors that influence the amount of adoption tax credits. Obviously, the US government supports the adopting families.
Nevertheless, in many cases, the described above care is useless. In fact, the major part of the adopted children had previously lived in poor birth families from developing countries. Having the goal to save these kids from the grinding poverty, adoption agencies spent the paid money on personal needs. Unfortunately, most of the potential adoptive parents are completely ignorant about the international adoption legislation and do not take counsel from a lawyer. This fact leads to fraud aggravating the situation.
Moral Aspect of Adoption
Moral aspect of international adoption is negative. When children learn the truth about their birth, a lot of them are overwhelmed with detrimental emotions. Moreover, they face serious difficulties in adjusting to their new home and surrounding people.
The emotional side of the issue is extremely contradictory. Using feelings, propaganda is a powerful tool of international adoptions. In fact, it has a significant influence on people’s attitude to the reality. Using poverty and drug addiction, adoption agencies often take advantage of the circumstances and lure parents to abandon their children for money. Later, many birth parents realize their gross mistake. One should understand that poverty is not a disease. Addiction to drugs is temporary. Biological parents can recover from both of them. In fact, adoption is only a temporary solution that causes a domino effect with regard to permanent complexities.
Typically, the decision made in despair under the influence of propaganda often leads to the irreversible results. On one side, birth parents who understand their fault spend the rest of their life suffering from the consequences of their huge mistake. On the other side, there are adoptees and their new parents who acquiring a new member of the family can buy a child, but not happiness. Both poverty and welfare are not happiness criteria. Despite hardships, poor people can be happier than the richest representatives of the society. Sincere feelings, love and care are priceless emotions that only birth parents can give their children. Children are God’s blessing. They cannot be sold or acquired. It is not necessary to seize a child from the biological parents if you want to help. There are different ways of doing the charity. People can go to poor families or orphanages and bring presents, money, or just support kids playing with them. These activities are simple and do not require taking children from their birth families.
To sum up, the international adoption is one of the burning problems of the current century. This phenomenon can be referred to as the act or process of acquiring a child from a foreign country legally and permanently. Despite the good will, there are convincing arguments against it in the medical, legal, economic, and moral fields.
Health problems belong to major disadvantages of transnational adoption. Being taken from their biological parents and international orphanages, adoptees may suffer from serious diseases such as attention-deficit, or hyperactivity, oppositional defiance, major depression and separation anxiety disorders, hepatitis, cancer, and HIV.
Irregular legal basis in the field is the second drawback. There are numerous cases of kidnapping caused by poor legal regulation of the adopting process.
Economic problems are the next shortcoming of the international adoptions. To diminish the adoption expenses, the United States provides tax credits, subsides, employer benefits, loans, and grants for prospective parents. Nevertheless, in many cases the above-mentioned care is useless. The international adoption industry guarantees the prosperity of the adoption agencies, but not of the adoptees and their new parents.
Moral aspect of the international adoption is negative. After learning the truth about their birth, many children are depressed. Many people from the developing countries allow adoption agencies to take their kids because of poverty. Nevertheless, both poverty and welfare are not happiness criteria. Being God’s blessing, children cannot be sold or acquired.
People say that blowing out someone else’s candle does not make yours shine any brighter. Therefore, the international adoption must be banned.
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