Thursday, July 17, 2008

Further UNICEF & Adoption Issues Reading...

Here are some links and quotes from those links that discuss UNICEF's position and involvement in International Adoption, the following two are posted by an adoption activist when UNICEF became involved in shutting down adoptions in Guatemala.

http://international.adoptionblogs.com/weblogs/families-without-borders-unicef-you

Continued from the previous post where we were starting to look at a UNICEF contribution called "State of the World's Children 2007".

The "Women and Children: The Double Dividend of Gender Equality" title does have a lovely ring to it, but it's hollow, folks.

UNICEF director Ann Veneman says in a press release, “If we care about the health and well-being of children today and into the future, we must work now to ensure that women and girls have equal opportunities to be educated, to participate in government, to achieve economic self-sufficiency and to be protected from violence and discrimination."

Anyone want to join me in a "Duh!"?

How about in a hint that her "we must work now" ruse doesn't fly when it so obviously and completely neglects the fact that they've done so little up until "now" that woman and children are in terrible shape even though millions of dollars have gone through UN hands, and that anyone who buys the "now" part of that probably has something to gain, and that the seven "key interventions to enhance gender equality" fail to address any place that the amazingly expensive UNICEF machine will contribute effectively "now", if at all.

How about the UNICEF's bright idea that private relinquishment adoptions are stopped so older, institutionalized children get adopted instead? Yeah ... that sounds good. No reason not to start off a whole new generation of older, institutionalized kids, and that's what the relinquished babies would have to look forward to.

One of my very favorites is UNICEF taking issue with poverty being a reason behind relinquishment and adoption. How Marie Antoinette can they get? I'll believe that is really a part of an acutal UN agenda when they start spurning limos, private jets, shiny new SUV convoys and designer suits and start flying coach and taking the bus. Maybe, just maybe, then they'll have some idea of what life is really like when poverty grinds away at the very soul of people.

That's all I can do today. I have a headache and my daughter would like more of my lap. Visit Families Without Borders, attend the 'ethics' conference if you can and ask some tough questions of those with simplistic 'solutions'. Write letters to people in charge of stuff and make sure they understand that international adoption is an important option that must be preserved."


http://international.adoptionblogs.com/weblogs/unicef-you
"Can we point out how downright silly many of UNICEF's arguments against international adoption are? The hierarchal system insisted upon, for example, that can so quickly be checked and discounted: bio parents, then other nationals, then foreigners living in country, then as a last, last resort, parents in gasp! a whole other country.

Biological parents die, and those that don't still have a right to chose a different life for their children. Being poor is not the same as being stupid, and to insist that these parents don't know what they're doing when they decide to relinquish a child for adoption is insulting to all of them.

And anyone who thinks that children in Guatemala, India, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Haiti and on and on are likely to be adopted by local families really needs to get out more.

How about the UNICEF's bright idea that private relinquishment adoptions are stopped so older, institutionalized children get adopted instead?

Yeah ... that sounds good. No reason not to start off a whole new generation of older, institutionalized kids, and that's what the relinquished babies would have to look forward to.

One of my very favorites is UNICEF taking issue with poverty being a reason behind relinquishment and adoption. How Marie Antoinette can they get? I'll believe that is really a part of an acutal (sic) UN agenda when they start spurning limos, private jets, shiny new SUV convoys and designer suits and start flying coach and taking the bus. Maybe, just maybe, then they'll have some idea of what life is really like when poverty grinds away at the very soul of people.That's all I can do today. I have a headache and my daughter would like more of my lap.

Visit Families Without Borders, attend the 'ethics' conference if you can and ask some tough questions of those with simplistic 'solutions'. Write letters to people in charge of stuff and make sure they understand that international adoption is an important option that must be preserved."

Here is UNICEF's "official" position statement on international adoptions. As you read this, please note that in every country that UNICEF has come involved in "reforming" the adoption process, what the above poster has written about has happened.

http://www.unicef.org/media/media_15011.html

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which guides UNICEF’s work, clearly states that every child has the right to know and be cared for by his or her own parents, whenever possible. Recognising this, and the value and importance of families in children’s lives, UNICEF believes that families needing support to care for their children should receive it, and that alternative means of caring for a child should only be considered when, despite this assistance, a child’s family is unavailable, unable or unwilling to care for him or her.

For children who cannot be raised by their own families, an appropriate alternative family environment should be sought in preference to institutional care, which should be used only as a last resort and as a temporary measure. Inter-country adoption is one of a range of care options which may be open to children, and for individual children who cannot be placed in a permanent family setting in their countries of origin, it may indeed be the best solution. In each case, the best interests of the individual child must be the guiding principle in making a decision regarding adoption.

Over the past 30 years, the number of families from wealthy countries wanting to adopt children from other countries has grown substantially. At the same time, lack of regulation and oversight, particularly in the countries of origin, coupled with the potential for financial gain, has spurred the growth of an industry around adoption, where profit, rather than the best interests of children, takes centre stage. Abuses include the sale and abduction of children, coercion of parents, and bribery, as well as trafficking to individuals whose intentions are to exploit rather than care for children. (Editorial Note: Please see my previous posting. UNICEF keeps talking about this happening, "sale and abduction of children, coercion of parent". UNICEF has not provided proof of this happening i.e. in Haiti, though they always cite this as a reason for their involvement. I would love to be provided with actual proof.)

Many countries around the world have recognised these risks, and have ratified the Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption. UNICEF strongly supports this international legislation, which is designed to put into action the principles regarding inter-country adoption which are contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. These include ensuring that adoption is authorised only by competent authorities, that inter-country adoption enjoys the same safeguards and standards which apply in national adoptions, and that inter-country adoption does not result in improper financial gain for those involved in it. These provisions are meant first and foremost to protect children, but also have the positive effect of providing assurance to prospective adoptive parents that their child has not been the subject of illegal and detrimental practices.

The case of children separated from their parents and communities during war or natural disasters merits special mention. It cannot be assumed that such children have neither living parents nor relatives. Even if both their parents are dead, the chances of finding living relatives, and a community or home to return to after the conflict subsides, continues to exist. Thus, such children should not be considered for inter-country adoption, and family tracing should be the priority. This position is shared by UNICEF, UNHCR, the International Confederation of the Red Cross, and international NGOs such as the Save the Children Alliance.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi
I have a question that I am seriously wondering/stressing over.

We are adopting siblings and our documents have been in IBESR for 5 months, now we hear that their little baby brother has also been placed in our orphanage.

If we considered also adopting this precious little boy would we need to redo ALL our paperwork or can we use the same paperwork that is in IBESR for our other 2 children. What paperwork would we need to redo???

Also if we did use the same paperwork will this impact our current adoption and slow the process even further which I really couldn't cope with???

Help anyone??? Does anyone know??

Anonymous said...

Hi just wondering where you got the info that local families do not want to adopt children? I've heard this myth before (about Guatemalans) and would like to know if you were getting your info from the same sources...

Why wouldn't Guatemalans adopt Guatemalans?

achildsvoice@live.com said...

I am sure that you have not been in-country, thus your question as to why locals won't adopt (i.e. Haitians adopting Haitian children in-country).

Haiti has a 85% unemployment rate. The economy is in shambles. The average Haitian cannot afford to feed his/her own children, let alone adopt somebody else's child. It is a rather desparate situation in-country.

There are some "traditional adoptions" called "restavec" --- a parent dies and the relatives will take in that dead parent's child. However, that child is treated not like their own children but he/she becomes the servant of that family. This way, the child is off the street and has a roof over his head, BUT he probably won't go to school and will have to work for the family.

The average working person's salary (15% or the working people) is $150 per month. Food costs as much there as it does in the U.S. Thus most people live on rice and beans, spaghetti and bread.

The higher salaried person makes about $500 - 1,000 per month. Those are the professional people.

Of course, there are the rich, about 2% of the population that live in luxury. They don't adopt because it is a very class concious society.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Guatemalan adoptions, the stats quoted about Haiti are only a little better in Guatemala. The truth is most people in poor countries simply can't adopt a fellow countryman because they don't have the ability to support another person in their family. Having children grow up in their home country is a great ideal but unfortunately, it is not an idea based in what the local economies and traditions of such counntries dictate.