Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fly Away Children

I watched the report 'Ethiopia - Fly Away Children' last night on Foreign Correspondent. Again, it raised critical issues around child harvesting and trafficking for international adoption. I encourage you to take half an hour out to watch it (the video is online as well as the story).

I am disgusted at the footage of the worker from adoption agency Christian World Adoption going into villages and asking parents who among them might like to hand their children over to live in America.

I struggle with removing children from a country when they have a known parent there. There is a difference between relinquishment due to poverty and abandonment. The problem is, some agencies feed lies to adoptive parents, who truly believe they are adopting an orphan.

These are tough issues for many prospective adoptive parents to deal with, but they must be addressed. We cannot pretend these issues do not exist. We need ethics in all areas of adoption, and as horrible as the program was to watch last night, I commend the ABC for broadcasting it and raising awareness.


Delvene said...

I have been in the process of adopting from Ethiopia for the past 5 years. We should get allocated in the next 6 months hopefully. I just want to add that the program on the ABC was very shocking and very sad, but this is NOTHING like the way Ethiopia manages adoptions to Australia. Sadly when these shows are aired, there is a huge backlash toward innocent Australian families who have made every effort to find any possible family in Ethiopia.
Sadly there is money involved in all intercountry adoptions, so there will always be some dodgy people involved with all countries at some stage. The only time that I am aware of Australian's adopting Ethiopian children who still have a birth mother alive, are in situations where the birth mother has lied and claimed they are a friends children and the friend has passed away. Or in situations where the birth mother was raped and is too young to wish to raise the child, or in cases of the mother not feeling ready or able to parent a child. So any Ethiopian children in Australia are either true orphans, or were willingly placed for adoption by their mothers without prompting or "harvesting". Australia has only 1 angent in Ethiopia and that agent offers support and a chance for mothers to keep their children. There are enough true orphans in Ethiopia without the need for harvesting children who have parents.

Emma said...

Hi Delvene

Thanks for your comment. I probably should have added to my post that while the Aus adoption process is far from perfect, it is somewhat comforting that it is managed/controlled by the govt and not private agencies out to make a buck.

I was glad to see that the reporter from this story mentioned that Australia has strict regulations to ensure adoptions from Ethiopia here are above board. Like you said, though, some people may have missed that and the story has potential to result in local backlash.

Good luck with the rest of your wait (not long now!) and allocation. It's nice to make contact with other Aussie adoption bloggers, so I look forward very much to following your journey from here!

Ferenje Mama said...

Hi Emma

FD and I were rather traumatised by the report, even though we know the route to Ethiopia in Australia is totally not like this. It really made us fees so sad for all innocent parties involved - the Ethiopian parents, children and the adoptive parents.


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Debbie said...

Have you read CWA's response to that video?

You should.