Article: “The problem with saving the world’s ‘orphans'”

I wrote a few weeks ago about an article in Foreign Policy Magazine called “The Lie We Love” by E.J. Graff. The article and supporting information were long and in-depth, and I’m sure not everyone took the time to read it (though I still suggest that you do).

If you are interested in a shorter, simplified version of the story, check out Graff’s editorial piece, “The problem with saving the world’s ‘orphans'”, which appeared recently in The Boston Globe. Again, there is much more information in the original article and at the Brandeis University website, but the editorial will give you a summary.

Excerpts from the editorial:

It’s true that, sometimes, international adoption can save a child’s life. But be very careful. By heading to a poor, underdeveloped, or war-torn country to adopt a baby, Westerners can inadvertently achieve the opposite of what they intend. Instead of saving a child, they may create an orphan. The large sums of money that adoption agencies offer for poor countries’ babies too often induce unscrupulous operators to buy, coerce, defraud, or kidnap children from families that would have loved, cared for, and raised those children to adulthood…

…to meet Western families’ longings to adopt healthy babies, many adoption agencies pour disproportionately enormous sums into poor, corrupt countries – few questions asked – in search of healthy children ages three and under. Those sums can induce some locals to buy, coerce, defraud or kidnap children from their families. Traumatically, these children are deprived of their families, and families are deprived of their children.


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