UNICEF – Yes the organization that sells the children’s cards and ties. As I read UNICEF’s policies and missions, I wholeheartedly agree! My mission my whole adult life has been to help children. While I am far from being an amazing humanitarian and advocate for children yet, it has none the less been my life’s goal. My personal and professional passion has been focused on orphan care which includes adoption. I assumed that UNICEF would have similar beliefs and I was shocked when I began hearing the stories of UNICEF hindering inter-country adoption and their lack of support of international adoption.
Whether UNICEF claims to have a clear or defined policy, it is clearly perceived in many countries (for example Haiti, Nicaragua, Ukraine) and with numerous country’s governments that UNICEF does not want them to put resources toward international adoption. That UNICEF will support their government “more” if they do not pursue international adoption but instead only look to domestic adoption. Whether this is only a perception or their concrete policy, perception is reality for these countries.
There must be some mistake….. why would an organization such as UNICEF attempt to prevent international adoption? I understand their arguments: Children should be raised by their biological parents. Children should be reunified with their biological parents or family. Biological parents should be given the resources and tools to parent their children. Children should not be taken away from their cultures and family through international adoption. I completely agree that those ideals should be our first goal, but what happens when that is not realistic or possible? What happens to the 143-160 million orphans worldwide? I do believe that international adoption should be done in a way that protects the child from abuse, neglect and child trafficking (this is at least one argument in which there is no room for differences).
Do we keep orphans in their orphanage without proper nutrition, education and love so that they do not lose their culture? Do we not provide them with permanency, stability, love so that they may have an opportunity to one day be reunified with their parent that left them at the orphanage 8 years ago and has never been back? -OR- Can we promote and support children staying in their biological families or being adopted domestically and still support and promote international adoption – I think so! We must! UNICEF why don’t you join me? UNICEF stop hindering international adoption. I might then buy your cards and ties again, but until then, I will put my money elsewhere.
photo by hdptcar