I took a weekend shopping trip to Panama and walked right past a tiny little girl begging on the street, with no sign of any parents or family around. I felt angry, so angry to see her there all alone. In fact, I felt so angry, wondering what kind of terrible people would leave their little girl alone to beg for them, that I forgot to feel compassionate and I didn’t do anything to help her. (And now I’m going to Hell).
Recently Pauly Shore completed a mockumentary called “Adopted”
in which he decides, as a celebrity, to adopt a poor African child. Poking fun at the likes of Angelina Jolie and Madonna, this cheeky movie has stirred up a wee bit of publicity over a potentially touchy subject. But when I see children everywhere, clearly in need of a good home, I don’t see the problem with international adoption.
In some rural areas of China and India, baby girls continue to be killed by their families because they cannot support them and a female is a liability within their cultures. To be rid of the infant child is considered a “wise course of action.” One such mother, who let her daughter starve for 3 days after her birth (before finally poisoning her) explained, "Instead of her suffering the way I do, I thought it was better to get rid of her.” Despite the high populations of China and India, the stereotypical international adoption takes place in Africa. Perhaps because they have more unwanted children there, due to not bonking them on the head at an early age.
No, some of these nostalgic Africans want to hold onto their children. When Madonna tried to adopt a child from Malawi
, their Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) commented that, “in absence of clear laws and procedures, this process of adoption amounts to nothing but child trafficking.” I’m sure they had a point to make, as perhaps child trafficking could and does occur. Especially by Madonna. But establishing good adoption laws are the responsibility of the government. Instead, negative backlash against NGO’s from supporters of the adoption accused them of greedily wanting to channel the paperwork through their own bureaucracy, in order to try and get something out of it for themselves.
And it’s not just Malawi. It has been commented that thanks to UNICEF’s
approach towards adoption issues and policies, Guatemala, Bulgeria, Paraguay and Romania (to name a few) are also developing countries which have been either partially or completely blocked off the potential for international adoptions. These are all countries where there of course exist children legitimately orphaned and abandoned.
My question is… how many little girls are begging alone on street corners today because would-be, loving, supportive, adoptive parents are turned away?