If you look at any article or social media post about international adoption, you will undoubtedly encounter a multitude of angry comments. These comments aren’t usually mean-hearted, but they come from a place of misunderstanding and often miseducation regarding international adoption. International adoption matters because all children matter. Regardless of their country of origin, all children deserve to be a part of a family. If this fact is not enough, here are just a few more reasons why international adoption still matters.
International adoption differs very much from domestic adoption when it comes to the process of “matching” a child with prospective adoptive parents. While domestically most birth mothers will choose an adoptive family, international adoption occurs as a much more linear process. Hopeful adoptive parents are placed on a “waitlist” of sorts for a child who matches their criteria, and they wait for him or her to become available. The parents are not worried that they won’t be chosen for one reason or another. This is especially important for adoptions involving single, same-sex couples, or any other adoptive parent outside of the traditional married adoptive couple. By choosing international adoption, these parents often have a much better guarantee of eventually being matched instead of having fear that their lifestyle will prevent them from being chosen.
While life in the United States is not always easy, it is evident from turning on the news that there are many countries in absolute turmoil. On top of inspiring or calling people to adopt, these news broadcasts also make it clear that the need for adoption in some countries is simply more emergent than it may be in certain situations. I remember adoptions for Haitian children being streamlined in 2010 after the devastating earthquake that orphaned many children when 100,000 people were killed. Seeing images on the screen of children with no parents and no organizations to help them in places like Syria is heartbreaking. Is there a need in the United States? Absolutely. It is always the hope that children here are adopted, but there are simply more programs and more aid here than many places abroad. It would be difficult to walk the streets of one of these countries in turmoil, see the children in need, and not be called to do something and tell everyone you know to do the same.
No two people come to the decision to adopt through the same avenues. Typically, there has been some sort of inspiration to adopt or some sense of “calling.” For me, I always knew I would adopt. I felt “called” to adopt through simply understanding that every child deserves a family. For my husband and I, we were asked to adopt by our child’s birth mother in both of our adoptions. We didn’t choose domestic adoption; it chose us. For some, it may be a late night advertisement for Compassion or a different children’s charity that calls them to adopt. It might be the nightly news and stories on countries like Syria that inspires them to seek adoption. It is fantastic when a family chooses to adopt, regardless of where the child is from. Let us not discourage this calling as it may be the only way that person may be inspired to adopt.
Every Child Deserves A Home
Adoption at its core is about providing a family for every child. Every child deserves a family. Children domestically need to be adopted. Children internationally need to be adopted. While the argument can stand that Americans have a responsibility to their own country first, there are so many reasons why international adoption still matters. At the top of these reasons is simply that international children still matter and still need families. Above our responsibility to our country is our responsibility to all children to either adopt or support those that do. The common theme that still gets me when I read the trolling comments on international adoption posts is the fact that most of these posters are not foster parents, nor have they personally adopted domestically. A lot of these comments are coming from a place of political motivation or simple ignorance. I cannot find fault in those who are working towards helping any child find a forever family, regardless of whether they choose domestic or international adoption or whether that path is chosen for them.
Read the second part of the Adoption Mythbusters Series here.