Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Why - A Child's Voice International Advocacy?

I posted the same message on my personal blog...

I have always felt passionate about children and their rights. If you search for organizations that represent children's viewpoints and voices, you won't find many.

Some may point to UNICEF, but in my opinion, UNICEF does not really represent children but represent what their bureaucracy's unrealistic opinions are. You can find lots of other organizations that represent political prisoners, women's issues, adoption agencies, etc. but there are no organizations that speak for the children.

Last year when the issue with the Ministry of Interior came up where adopted children now had families but could not join them because they did not have a passport and could not get issued one without the MOI approval. I searched high and low for an organization that would represent the children's rights to travel to join their families. There was no such organization that would speak up for the children's rights to passports.

As many of you know, I am almost done with law school. I knew going into law school that I would come out as a lawyer who works for children, but I was not sure in what capacity. Now I know that I want to speak for the rights of homeless, abandoned and orphaned children in an international arena.

Children in the developed, first world countries have issues, there is the foster care system, there are child abuse issues, etc. but those issues pale in contrast to what happens to children in third world countries. Adoption is not the solution in third world countries, but it is a temporary assistance to serve the needs of children "right now". The individual countries and the international community have an obligation to improve the lives of the children in-country. The children have a right to not starve to death, they have a right to medical treatment, eduction and a loving home environment. The children have a right to a future.

However, adoption is getting such a bad reputation namely because of UNICEF's concern regarding "child buying" or unethical adoptions. Because of these concerns, some countries are shutting down to adoptions. Take Romania as an example, adoptions shut down and now the children in Romania continue to linger is sub-human conditions and there is no chance of adoption. Very little has been done to improve the lives of those children. What kind of future do these children have? They are abandoned, thown away and unloved. In my opinion, this is a crime against humanity.

What about Haiti? What about Liberia? What about other countries? Is Ehtiopia going to be next?

There are outside forces working really hard to shut down adoptions. For the children's sake, let's not let that happen. That is why I started A Child's Voice International Advocacy. I am hoping that others who care as much about the future and the rights of these children will join in the advocacy and to give those children a voice.


Tim & Sarah said...

Great post Vera!!! I love you passion about this, and Pray that you will be the link for so many children who are left behind without the care they so deserve! As a parent trying to adopt from Haiti, I respect what you are doing, and am behind you!

Anonymous said...

Well done Vera!!! Thank God there are people like you in this world!
I wish you tons off luck and hope you'll reach the goals you have in mind.

Love from the Netherlands,

Major Mom said...

Go Vera, Go Vera go go go. We are adopting an Ethiopian child after a horrific experience with Haitian adoption. I am terrified that because the Ethiopian adoption system is currently so stable UNICEF will step in and destroy a very good thing. Thank you for being a voice of reason in a much of the time reason-less system.

Anonymous said...

Great for sure, you are saying what a lot of people thinks!!
I'm with you 100%

Anonymous said...

200 % with you too Vera ! Congrats for your courage and determination.
Hope more adoptive parents will hear your voice and stand up with you for their rights and the children's.

A very supportive waiting Mum !

Natalie from France

Anonymous said...


Thank you, for all that you are doing for the children. Keep up the good work!!

Sylvia from the Netherlands