Some thoughts on international adoption

16 Apr

As you probably know from reading my blog, my kids are adopted. They’re from the Democratic Republic of Congo. If you do not know anything about Congo, you should read up on it – start with Didier Gondola’s book on the history of Congo .

Anyway, I read this article on Mother Jones about the ties between evangelicals and adoption yesterday. It’s mostly about one (crazy!) family that adopted from Liberia (of course they’re from Tennessee!), but it mentions Congo.

The article does a good job of articulating a lot of issues I have with other families who’ve adopted internationally – I worry sometimes that because we’ve adopted from Africa that we’ll be seen like these people, and trust me, we are not. I think a problem, my problem really, is that that most outspoken adopters from Africa are the evangelicals. Families like mine, the ones who just wanted kids, don’t – I don’t know – brag about being “orphan obsessed” and we don’t claim, like I’ve seen on other blogs, to have PTSD after having been in Congo for a week.

I don’t really know. The adoption situation in Congo is a mess. I’m not really sure what could be done to fix it, without massive government oversight on both the US and Congolese sides.

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4 Responses to “Some thoughts on international adoption”

  1. thezooks April 19, 2013 at 10:48 #

    There’s talk of a moratorium for international DRC adoptions. The office issuing visas has started investigations. Although this has created widespread panic on the Congo adoption forums, I view it as a good thing! I want to know that we have done everything above board and never have a doubt in the back of our minds that our daughter’s story is legit. Even though the process to bring her home may take several more months than we had originally thought. The corruption mentioned in the Mother Jones’ article you shared is disturbing to say the least. Last night, I was shocked to see on the Congo Facebook group that a child had been returned because he wasn’t a “right fit” for the family…and the agency was looking for a new family for him. I think this is sooooo wrong and am baffled this is even legally allowed. Even as a Christian, I’ll have to agree with you that the whole orphan fever is getting old…it sounds nice but people are so ignorant of what international adoption truly entails. It makes me mad when they don’t do their due diligence and think that “love is enough”…because its not-right?
    I’m so glad you shared!

    • Chantal April 19, 2013 at 11:00 #

      I left all the Congo groups a long time ago, so I hadn’t heard about the boy you mention but that is crazy – trying to find a poor boy a new home so soon! He’s not a puppy!

      I tend to stay away from most adoption group stuff but when I saw this article I had to share it. I think that when I tell some of my friends, who haven’t adopted, about some of the craziness they don’t believe it. More people should know about this. Orphan fever is incomprehensible to me – I get wanting to help, but they don’t all need to come home with you! I could literally go on and on about this all day…

      Are you close to bringing your daughter home?

      • thezooks April 19, 2013 at 11:31 #

        I was so naive when we started the process, but am grateful for posts like yours where I’m lent more objectivity. Most blogs don’t get into the nitty gritty-ness of the real issues…they seem to want a pat on the back for their “humanitarian” contribution to the cause of the orphan with catch phrases like “147 million orphans minus 1”.
        Yes we are getting close…almost ready to submit our Part2 to immigration. Anyways, the wait time is giving me more time to read up! 🙂

      • Chantal April 19, 2013 at 11:36 #

        My mom’s side of the family is Canadian and they’ve told me the process to adopt in Canada is much more difficult that here in the US – and here it’s a pain! 🙂

        I really have no choice but to be objective – my husband is an African history professor who specializes in Central Africa.

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