| Saturday, January 12, 2008
| THE POLITICS OF ADOPTION
|This year the map of international adoptions will be redrawn. The U.S. which adopts the most children from abroad, will be a full participant in the Hague Convention of Intercountry Adoption. The treaty regulates adoption among the 74 members and helps insure that agencies comply with Hague rules, which call for counseling for adoptive parents and ban child buying. That could be a problem for Guatemala, a mainstay of U.S. adoption for a decade. Although a Hague signatory, the country has been accused of child trafficking. Without reforms, adoptions could plummet. Tom DiFilipo of the Children's Services expects numbers to rise from other Hague participants - Colombia, for example.
Would-be parents are used to such changes. South Korea once topped the list, sending some 100,000 children to U.S. form the 50's to the 90's. When the Cold War ended, Russia and former Soviet-bloc countries like Romania - infamous for its orphanages - opened o adoption. U.S. numbers soared. Romania closed its doors in 2001. Russia with a dropping birthrate, now favors local families, as does China. For these and other reasons, U.S. numbers are sliding.
But one thing remains constant: Parents often embrace the culture of their new child. "I now know in my heart," says Ellen Rathfon, mother of two girls born in China, "we' a global community".
Orphan Visas issued by U.S., 19996 - 2006
20,705 Annual Totals
1,381 South Korea
U.S. Adoptions of Immigrant Orphans, 2006
South Korea 1,361
(Source: Abstracted from NATGEOMAG by: Shelley Sperry on GEOGRAPHY)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 9:46 PM