Adoptions from Ethiopia rise, bucking global trend
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#1 Oct 15, 2010
ADOPTION - WHAT'S NEW?
Ethiopian adoption could be turning a corner. The talk now is to “avoid overseas adoption” and in as much as possible to care “for orphans near their birthplace”. This is not a novel idea as it has always been part and parcel of the treaty for international adoptions. What then accounts for this change of heart? It could be the result of pressure coming from rights groups. It could also be a creative endeavor on the part of Ethiopian government in these economically trying times to divert to local institutions the substantial sum of money changing hands in the name of adopting orphan populations. At any rate, the “new” idea is now dubbed the “Bantu Model”[Bantu being a village in Ethiopia]. We are told the model is already showing promising results and will soon be replicated internationally. Interestingly, this all sounds very much the lingo of foreign aid organizations. And foreign aid hasn’t always been the appropriate tool for nurturing individual and institutional responsibility.
An experimental program is presently underway between the government of Ethiopia and a faith-based U.S. charity [the Buckner Foundation out of Texas] shepherded by U.S. Ambassador Susan Jacobs and Senator Mary Landrieu of the State of Louisiana. It is interesting that the “new” approach came up at a time when US international adoptions are declining having reached peak years in 2004 at 22,990 and falling to 12,753 in 2009.
of inter-country adoptions and emergence of agencies that specialized in consular, legal, social-cultural, etc, matters. Over the years the issue has been compounded by rising infertility, epidemics, trafficking, child molestation, trade in body parts, bureaucratic red tape, and racially-biased costs [adopting Ethiopian children costs less than adopting Chinese, Russian or Peruvian children].
And yet another aspect is “adoption culture war” shaping up in the U.S.[Christianity Today, May 2010] between pro- and anti-abortion groups. The inclination of some secular groups to pounce on anything Christian is a part of such war. Evangelicals are largely in the anti-abortion [pro-life] camp. The recent increased interest in international adoption by Evangelicals is partly due to an emerging consensus that merely being anti-abortion [or pro-life] is too narrow a position and needs to be leveraged. Hence, the shift to running orphanages, schools, and clinics. Consequently, the battle cry has become “not just pro-life but also pro-child”; not just anti-gay or anti-same-sex adoptions but active involvement in local and global issues. How long after birth or who else the movement would include remains to be clearly defined.
Another interesting fact is that the intense involvement in international adoptions by Evangelicals is no more than five years old [2007 being the watershed year]. Though the scriptural mandate [James 1:27] was there all along, the theological rationale for adoptions, orphan-care [widows? the old? single moms?] is still in the beginning stages. Reading some of the articles and books being published [for example, Russell Moore’s Adopted for Life, 2009] makes one wonder if a crusade is not underway. Adoption is now a calling that demanded resolute obedience. We are not minimizing the gravity of the problem or effort put into it when we say this. And the problem is not in the good deed per se but in not doing enough or, more precisely, in not enabling target populations to clean their mess. Ironically, those favoring less government locally tended to turn blind eye when it came to [more] governments abroad. We submit, lobbying and advocacy roles could be used effectively side-by-side to address the underlying causes for the rising orphan populations [which advocacy could range from environmental to foreign policy to corruption to human right abuses in target countries].Read more here
#2 Nov 30, 2010
with all the kids in america that need adoption and aholes want to adopt ethopians.these are probably the same poeple who say buy american.what ever happened to take care of your own first.screw you do gooders.
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