Adoption is a topic that comes up a lot in a variety of different settings. I think I've mentioned before that we are looking into international adoption and have been for nearly two years.
We chose international adoption for a variety of reasons. In fact, we didn't even consider domestic adoption. We've had several very good friends who have adopted domestically, and we think that is a very good option too. One couple adopted from foster care and obviously made a huge difference in their daughter's life.
I agree that domestic adoption is a very good option. There are many children in the United States that need homes. However, I have never heard someone criticized for choosing to adopt domestically (instead of internationally) and I have heard (and we ourselves have experienced it) people say that it is wrong to go international when there are so many children here that need to be adopted.
I cannot understand this. I cannot see why it is better to adopt a child from foster care than from an orphanage.
In Kazakhstan, for example, children are generally well cared for as infants and young children. However, when they are teenagers, they are sent to different orphanages that have many problems. When they turn 18, they are given a small some of money (around $200) and sent off. They don't have much education or many skills. You can imagine the kind of life that is ahead of them. Many turn to prostitution and crime simply to survive.
Certainly children who spend their entire childhoods in foster care often have a difficult time surviving themselves. But still, the United States has other systems to help them after they are grown- welfare, student loans, Medicare. I cannot think that they are worse off than orphans living in foreign countries.
I have been in orphanages and refugee camps in the Middle East. I have been involved in foster care- my grandmother fostered several children and many of my friends and neighbors have fostered children. I know that foster care has many problems. But I don't think anyone could convince me that, overall, foster care is worse than an orphanage.
Can't we just be happy that a child- any child- has been adopted and is in a much better place?