Many of you may be wondering why I, a half orphan, am not commenting much about the situation in Haiti. The reason is because this hits too close to my heart. Unlike most of the talk of adoption in America that surrounds the morality or immorality about the ‘sins’ of unwed mothers and how we ‘must’ keep birth records closed to adoptees for the sake of protecting those not-married mothers, real discussion concerning half orphans and full orphans has been lost inside this moralistic mockery. I’m tired of being lumped into this adoption abyss that does not pertain to how I came into this world. But now, orphanhood or the assumption of full orphanhood, is being tossed around just as carelessly as illegitimacy has been, and still is. I find it difficult to find words to defend the rights of other children who face the same fate as I did because their parents have died in the earthquake, or their parents just handed them over because the poverty suffered in their homeland outweighed any rational decisions.
Many other adoption reformers are doing a much better job in research and writing about the children of Haiti, so I bow to their excellent voices. The Daily Basdardette: http://bastardette.blogspot.com/2010/02/is-jorge-pulleo-really-jewish.html, 73adoptee: http://73adoptee.blogspot.com/2010/02/will-haiti-incident-reform-adoption.html, Baby Love Child: http://www.babylovechild.org/2010/02/17/haiti-fails-its-children-releases-8-child-scavengers-on-nothing-more-than-their-worthless-word/, Family Preservation: http://familypreservation.blogspot.com/2010/02/scary-libertarian-view-of-adoption.html, and First Mothers: http://www.firstmotherforum.com/2010/02/lets-hear-it-for-haitian-government.html, to name a few, have many blog posts and updates, so be sure to follow them.
My email inbox carries correspondence from United Adoptees International to an Adoption Advocate organization called Chances For Children. Please read this letter so you may become more aware of what grown adoptees actually feel about being adopted. (edited with the author’s permission and instruction, although I left in European spelling).
Joan M Wheeler
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Friday, February 12, 2010, 5:11 AM
Dear Adoption Advocates,
We have been referred to your organisations by several articles send to us by different contacts around the world. We would like to inform you, that there are many organisations run and managed by adult adoptees who are not sharing your opinion and visions.
Besides this, we would like to request you be respectful but with exclamation to be careful to rewrite topics like adoptions as last resort as you did on your website. The impact of such statements is devastating for ‘family preservation’ projects and alternative family care.
Adoption has become and industry and it seems that your statements about intercountry adoptions seem to support this development. United Adoptees International and many of our contacts would like you to consider equality and support for women and families all around the world before adoption comes into perspective as a misguided concept of humanitarian aid. Huge flaws in international laws and treaties are thus created which abuse the human rights of vulnerable families and children.
Many researches around the world show the great danger of ‘child trafficking’ for adoption instead of supporting long term solutions for countries and families. Adoption has become a facility for ‘wish parents’ (PAP’s, or Pre-Adoptive Parents) and the world of consumers while it was meant as an option for children without families and local support. Approximately 2 billion euro per year is going around to support the adoption cycle. With this money all children, families and countries could have been helped to develop long term solutions for the ones in need. But as long the international adoption lobby is marketing adoption as solutions for children (many of them still have families or direct relatives) without material welfare and finance, we take advantage of the weak and abuse the context and situation in which they are confronted with, instead of understanding the need of the people in those countries who are affected by poverty, natural disasters, and war, etc.
The UAI finds the way international adoption is set up and continued as one-way traffic which makes the rich buyers or traders of the poor. And if we really believe that material welfare and finance gives us the right to get the children we want, than let us open the whole world as a free adoption market and exchange children for those who can afford them. Meaning, Dutch homosexuals already adopt (mainly colored children) from the US, while the US doesn’t want them. At least, that’s what the US advocates and government accepts as an argument to let children from the US go to the Netherlands. But why do US pre-adoptive parents adopt from Haiti now?
In the meanwhile, thousands of prospective US adoptive parents are waiting for white babies from Europe and the EU is opening their EU boarders for exchanging children within Europe. But we are sure, that if the US PAP’s (Pre-Adoptive Parents) will pay enough money, they will be able to get white children (who have still parents and family in the EU) from Europe. So let us open the whole world for the demand for adoption?
Is this what your people and organisation really want? Or would you be able to act in an ethical way, and with dignity, and open heart and ears, to those who have been affected by this child-caravan called adoption?
We urge you to read some statements from Adult Adoptees and reconsider your vision and tone of voice in this topic.
Hilbrand W.S. Westra
Chairman UNITED ADOPTEES INTERNATIONAL
United Adoptees International is registered by the Chamber of Commerce under no. 34299425, in Amsterdam – The Netherlands. The UAI foundation is applicable under Dutch Law and refers in all her activities to the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Especially articles 8, 16, 20 and 21. The UAI strives for equality and justicefor adoptees and human dignity to all whom are affected by separation and adoption.