Balancing Child Protection Issues In International Adoption


Although some may not agree, I personally consider myself a child’s rights advocate. I studied and taught human rights law at a prominent university law school and I am personally committed to child advocacy through adoption and orphan care. However, I have differing views on the solutions to our orphan crisis and the processing of international adoption than others that also feel they are child rights advocates. The balancing act of protecting children in the international adoption process is wrought with inequities and complexities. To protect a child from trafficking/abuse while providing orphans with a family can be daunting.

There are many advocates that voice concern over international adoption in general. They advocate for “grass roots solutions” which would keep women from choosing adoption, keep children in their biological families and/or keep children in their native country. While my heart aches that orphans have so much loss in their lives, I also rejoice that there are those advocating for many solutions for these children which include “grass root efforts” and international adoption. When I look at 167 MILLION orphans in our world, I know that many advocates and solutions are needed.

Although the balancing act of protection is complex, I find that international adoption can and should be part of the protections given to orphans. I know that as I look at the international adoption process which includes many government entities, professionals and paperwork, it can seem overwhelming and senseless. However, it seems that every time I see an injustice or hindrance in the process, others (very qualified) see a protection against trafficking. When I see just another bureaucrat paper pushing, others see it as protection against corruption. When I see another unnecessary cost to adoption, others see it as a protection against child abuse. When I see a political push to make bureaucrats jobs easier, others see it as a way to provide more stability and transparency in the adoption process. When I see a discrimination in the immigration process, others see it as a necessary means to protect U.S. Citizenship benefits. We can see things very differently.

No matter how you see it, I hope you see that there is an orphan crisis in our world. I hope you can see that you can do something about it. I hope you see that the rewards far exceed the complexities. I hope you can see the real reason I support international adoption…a child receives a loving family.

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MLJ Adoptions is a Non-Profit, Hague-Accredited adoption service provider located in Indianapolis, Indiana, working in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Isles. We are passionate about serving children in need.