The current issue of Newsweek includes two articles looking at international adoption.
When There’s No Place Like Home looks at the United Nations Children’s Fund and its impact on international adoption programs.
The United Nations Children’s Fund may be known worldwide for helping underprivileged children obtain better health care and education, but when it comes to finding homes for orphans, they argue, the organization places misguided emphasis on maintaining cultural and geographic ties rather than on the child’s overall well-being. That’s true even when there is little chance of domestic adoption and virtually no public programs to provide care for abandoned children or struggling families. “National boundaries should not prevent abandoned children from having families,” says Thomas Atwood, president of America’s National Council for Adoption. “UNICEF’s exclusive focus on domestic programs amounts to an obstacle to international adoption and prevents untold numbers of children from improving their lives through international adoption.” – Newsweek, February 4, 2008
Who Will Fill the Empty Cribs?, the second Newsweek article, examines reasons for the decline in international adoption. In a previous post on adoption trends, I mentioned some Asian governments are working to change the stigma of domestic adoption – seems there has been some success in South Korea with doing just that:
“With a birthrate of just 1.1 children per woman, which is below the level required to keep the population steady, the country needs to hold onto its people. Last summer protesters gathered in downtown Seoul with placards that read KOREAN BABIES NOT FOR EXPORT! Today Seoul offers tax breaks, cash incentives and even extra vacation days to families who take in domestic orphans. The measures seem to be working: last year marked the first time since the Korean War that more South Korean children were adopted at home (1,388) than overseas (1,265).” – Newsweek, February 4, 2008