International Adoption Corruption: Are the adoptive parents always the innocent victims?


International Adoption Corruption: Are the adoptive parents always the innocent victims?

We find that a majority of the focus of international adoption corruption has landed upon the adoption service providers (adoption agencies), foreign service providers (individual in foreign country processing the international adoption), or government officials. These individuals and organizations have been the recipients of the scrutiny and additional legal constraints. However, we have forgotten that adoptive parents and well-meaning advocates have also created various problems, potentially unethical in the international adoption process. The following are unethical actions or actions that could be seen as corrupt or lead to corruption that are done by the adoptive parents and adoption advocates:

1. Adoptive parents not participating in adoption education and brining a child into a home that is not appropriately prepared for an adopted child;

2. Adoptive parents disrupting (also called re-homing and adoption dissolution) an adoption because they are not prepared to parent a child with special medical or emotional needs;

3. Adoptive parents traveling to a country to visit orphanages and “shopping” for the perfect child;

4. Adoption advocates showing pictures on the internet of children that are “available” for adoption in a way that could potentially advertise these children to child traffickers, perpetrators and abusers (providing pictures, names, locations and information that is too specific so that someone could easily locate them).

5. Adoptive parents attempting to avoid using licensed adoption professionals and employ individuals that have not been screened through an agency or government entity and have no oversight/supervision.

6. Adoption advocates supporting non-licensed entities that are no supervised by the government, do not have requirement of ethical standards in place, do not have nor insured or bonded and are not audited for financial security.

The corrupt or unethical actions of adoption professionals, governments and adoptive parents have dramatically affected international adoption. These actions from all parties have closed adoption programs and created significant changes in laws. The current changes in laws requiring licensed/accredited entities and adoption education is part of the plan to create more ethical and transparent process. Everyone must take responsibility for their role in adoption. As an adoption professional, orphan advocate and adoptive mother, I know that we are all human and I know the work at international adoption agencies is difficult with the job of supervision and implementation of an international adoption program. However, if all parties working in adoption can collaborate and work together, the children that we all strive to serve will benefit greatly.

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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.