“The Lie We Love”

“The Lie We Love” is an article about corruption in international adoption that appeared in the November/ December 2008 issue of Foreign Policy Magazine. The article is re-printed in its entirety here. It’s long, but worth the read. It’s very well researched, and it discusses the problems inherent in the international adoption “business.” The story outlines many of the things that make me worry about the true circumstances of Zoe’s adoption.

Today, the article’s author, EJ Graff, at her staff at Brandeis University launched a website where they share some of their research and documentation. The homepage is here, and there is an extensive section specific to Vietnam adoption here. Again, there’s a lot to read, but it’s very well done.

This is an issue that is close to my heart and I hope that those of you unfamiliar with the topic will take the time to read it. Or, go back and read some of what I’ve already written on the subject, here, herehere, here, or here (and probably some other places too, but those were the only links I could find tonight). Christian even wrote about it here.

While I believe that international adoption is a viable option for some orphaned children, and that there are agencies out there who are doing it right, I believe there’s still a lot of corruption in the system. I don’t think it’s just a few isolated incidents.  We have no proof that there was anything wrong with Zoe’s adoption, but given the province she is from and the agency we worked with, it would be naive to think there isn’t even the possibility that the process was tainted. And that possibility will always make my heart a little heavy.

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5 thoughts on ““The Lie We Love”

  1. I feel sick. I don’t want to believe the research is true, but it’s hard to ignore the numbers. Thank you for posting the articles.

    What do you do with this though? Our girls are from the same place so it’s safe to say we have the same worries about the ethics of the adoptions. I’d like to think we did the best we could but while we were in VN, we saw our agency turn a blind eye to things. And yet we continued. I would guess that in our travel group, only 1 of the girls was truly legitimate, as she had an obvious special need (undisclosed to the AP’s of course). The rest of us are left to wonder.

  2. I wish there was an easy answer for that Kristen. I don’t know what to do. We have tried to hire a private investigator but have found nothing so far. I think we will try once more, but the likelihood of finding anything is slim.

    I don’t know how to make peace with this, and my heart aches when I think about trying to help Zoe make peace with this someday.

  3. That 3rd article you posted, about how the $10,000 in country fee is equivelant to $630,000 per child makes me sick. That means, for the 6 babies in our travel group, the orphanage made almost the equivelant of 3 MILLION DOLLARS on just our travel group alone. Why then was Jocelyn near death from dehydration and vomiting (that *I* foot the bill from the 3 day hospitalization prior to her G&R just to save her life). And why are we facing a whole slew of trauma and mistreatment related issues with her? Shouldn’t those children be in much better conditions?

    It makes me wonder…what exactly did our money go to fund. 😦 $10,000 a baby could have gone a long way to help those children. 😦

  4. Different agency than yours, but I’m sure they are corrupt too. I’m glad we realized it before we went too far. I still feel that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about how all the stink hit the fan back then.

    I still wonder if perhaps someday we could adopt from Vietnam but I want to adopt a child in NEED of a family. Not one who has been tricked from his/her family. My heart aches for you and the unanswered questions you and your family have.

  5. Pingback: The Baby Business: Policy Proposals for Fairer Practice « My Minivan Rocks!

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