Adoption is a Key to Family Restoration

Regent Students for Life recently hosted an event focused on International Adoption. The purpose of the event was to highlight the Christian mission underlying adoption, as well as to underscore some of the legal difficulties that have developed in this field. The speakers emphasized the importance of the fact that we have all been adopted into Christ. As such, God calls us to the orphan to provide a family in a similar fashion. Staggeringly enough, if every church focused on just one orphan, the worldwide orphan crisis would cease. Unfortunately, some real-world difficulties arise in fulfilling this mission.

In the past few years, the number of international adoptions has dropped dramatically. The speakers suggested that this drop is due in part to difficulties associated with a treaty referred to as the Hague Convention for Adoption. The purpose of the agreement is to create greater transparency in international adoptions to safeguard against hazards like child trafficking or improper family placements. Countries who sign the Convention must have a central authority that acts as a point of contact for all international adoptions and must meet specific legal standards. Every aspect of the agreement was drafted to serve the best interest of the child. The United States signed the Convention in 1994 and gave it full effect in 2008.

Unfortunately, some countries that have signed the Hague Convention with the intention of protecting their children have had difficulty meeting the stringent standards. For example, since the United States has given full effect to the Convention in 2008, it has had to cut off all adoptions with Guatemala. Guatemala has signed the Convention but has had difficulty establishing a central authority of contact, as well as problems implementing some of the other requirements for a Hague country. Residents of the United States can still adopt from non-Hague countries, but once a country has signed on to the treaty, it must meet the full standards or else adoptions will not be possible. In some ways, it is contradictory that countries that are trying to protect the best interests of their children but are unable to meet all of the rigorous standards are given lower adoption preference to countries who have not adopted this Convention at all. Although the Hague Convention is a wonderful step toward ending the horrors like child trafficking that can arise from international adoptions, it seems like there are still some improvements that need to be made to accomplish authentic family restoration for all adopted children.

This excellent informative blog post was authored by Amy Pyecha, Regent Law 2012 J.D. Candidate.

1 comment:

  1. This is a difficult issue to properly tackle and a major question that must be continually addressed is - What are the best interests of the child. My understanding of the black market for international adoption that takes place in many Latin American countries is that the high demand for adoptive babies creates a sick practice of either tearing the child from the mother and selling it to internationally adoptive parents or the mother herself chooses to increase her profit margin by selling her own child.

    The sad thing is that many internationally adoptive parents have no idea that they are facilitating in what sometimes results in tearing apart a family. I encountered once such family who had adopted internationally and later found out that the baby adopted had been stolen from her original family. It was not within the best interests of the child to tear her away from her original family when they did not choose to give up adoption. However, once she had been living in America for a while it was also not in her best interest to go back to the poor third world country she came from. It was a horrifying discovery; the family is placed in a situation where they need to figure out how to remedy the wrong that was done although it was no fault of their own. In fact, the intentions are good, but if a country can establish a foundation and framework as demanded by the Hague convention, then it is less likely that such horrible break ups of the family will occur.