2007 breakdown of adopted children in the United States: Private domestic, 677,000 (38 percent); foster care, 661,000 (37 percent); international, 440,000 (25 percent).
– 62 percent of children adopted privately are placed with the adoptive family when they are newborns or less than one year old.
– 21 percent of private adoptions are transracial.
– 88 percent of adoptive parents describe themselves as a “happy” couple, while 83 percent of non-adoptive parents describe themselves as a “happy” couple
There seems to be a lot of discussion on the statistics of adoption lately. Some statistics are not available as they have never been collected and that leaves the way open for much speculation and for those who wish to make up their own statistics to suit their own purposes. We see varying figures for how many ‘orphans’ there are in the world who need adopting! All of them are spurious, guesstimates and propaganda for those who have adoption agendas and need to inflate the figures to suit their purposes, their advertising and their missions. There may be genuine orphans in the world who would be much better supported in their motherland amongst their own people than exported to a country which is unfamiliar in every way and will give them nothing in terms of their culture, language or identity. How can that be right?
Those who, when confronted with this information, start talking about orphanages in Roumania, China and children rotting in the gutter, have often lost their long-sight, the overview which helps us to imagine the solutions, the very best we can create and the most humane solutions for children who genuinely no longer have living parents. They often overlook the way in which countries manipulate and set up scenarios to encourage transnational adoptions. It is often the prospective adopters and those involved in adoption who ‘teach’ orphanages and staff in institutions how best to market children. by their responses and suggestions. I remember reading a while back an excellent example of how staff were brought to the realisation that if inmates were cleaned up, dressed up and photographed it made great appeal to the very receptive clients, tugging their heart-strings, raising their pity levels and making them more conducive to attempting to do something to help, which in this case was adoption, as it is in most examples. All countries could do much, much better, if the lure of the lucrative adoption market was removed, aid was provided in other ways under strict conditions if necessary and children were no longer regarded as commodities for exploitation and I don’t just mean by supplying countries!
Orphan tourism also uses this method in order to create a steady flow of tourists and income. The tourists are often encouraged to ‘love up’ the inmates in order to prepare them for adoption, bonding and attachment, because it is believed, wrongly, that ‘practising’ attachment or trying to make someone practise attachment is beneficial. It is in fact cruel, exploitative, misguided and harmful. One of the cruelest examples I have ever seen, was described by that American guru of adoption Russell.D.Moore, when he talks about going to the orphanage to adopt his first adoptee. He rejoiced in the screams of the child after silence, the silence of an orphanage where children had learned not to cry because it brought nothing. He saw it as useful, encouraging and a mark of how successfully he and his wife had ‘loved up’ this unfortunate child, one who now is paraded as ‘a successful adoptee’. Of course the couple completed their visit and walked away! Callous and insensitive in the extreme and I dare say one day the chickens will come home to roost.
Here he is on why abortion and adoption are connected and how we can all contribute to orphan care –
Daniela writes – While living in Siem Reap, Cambodia, one of the hotbeds of volunteer travel, I watched the growth of child’s rights violations increase, fueled by the good intentions of travelers. During the six years I lived in Cambodia, the number of orphanage tourism offerings, and number of orphanages themselves grew as the number of tourists grew. In fact, according to a recent UNICEF report, three out of every four children in Cambodian “orphanages” have one or more living parents. A well-meaning tourism sector is spawning some horrible orphanages, fueling the separation of children and parents, keeping kids out of school to entertain tourists and aiding corruption by adults who are using these children to profiteer, all in the name of “service.”
In a recent Al Jazeera micro-documentary on the issue, “Cambodia’s Orphanage Business,” explores the orphanage tourism and volunteer travel issues in Cambodia and in the film you can see how easy it is for children to be harmed (the film maker is allowed to walk into an orphanage and remove a few children to play with for a day, like one would check-out a library book). The volunteer travel sector is profiteering from these “pet-an-orphan” type travel opportunities. I questioned the American manager of one of the major volunteer sending companies in Siem Reap, who had approached me to find more English teaching placements for his volunteers in schools and orphanages, asking why he didn’t look for other volunteer opportunities for travelers. His response was “Everyone wants to play with kids. It’s the biggest seller