International Adoption: A Global Orphan Crisis

Child trafficking and international adoption has been in the news lately, and the New York Times recently wrote a feature about the issues regarding orphans and international adoption in China. Adoption Medicine Specialist, Dr. Jane Aronson, recently wrote a column in response to the New York Times article, saying that the number of international adoptions in the United States has not declined because of child trafficking, instead Aronson said the biggest issue with international adoption is “a global orphan crisis.”

Aronson has been working with international adoptions for over 20 years and said that the biggest issue in international adoption is that many of these birth mothers are not informed about the adoption process and do not have the counseling that is available to many birth mothers in the United States. Instead many of these birth mothers, according to Aronson, drop their babies off in public places hoping they will be found and given a good home.

In her column, Aronson said that “It is safe to assume that the cause for the desperate decision to not parent one’s own child in countries all over the world, including the US, is poverty and the resultant isolation and depression that darkens the birth mother’s thoughts. There is no hope and there is no to talk to and no one to help sort out the possible solutions to the dilemma of shame, no education, no work skills, no dignity, and abject and extreme poverty.”

To improve international adoption, Aronson wrote that these birth mothers need to be educated so that they can make informed decisions about adoption. She said that “If we educated women abroad and showed some respect for their process, we might find that some women would still opt for their children to be adopted.”

Aronson, and her foundation, are working to help the orphans and their communities in these countries. She writes that there is a need to “reach more children in their communities, provide for social services for women, lessen abandonment, lessen relinquishment, and trafficking will naturally be less of a threat.” She ends her article by calling for people to help “strengthen the adoption opportunities so there is complete transparency….and to be community builders.”

Much of what Aronson is writing about in international adoption, is what Adoption STAR stresses to birth parents in domestic adoptions. It is important for all birth mothers, whether they reside in the US or across the world, to be educated about the adoption process and have counseling and support throughout their adoption journey. If you are considering growing your family through international adoption, it is important that you go through a HAGUE accredited adoption agency, such as Adoption STAR. For more information on international adoption,  please review the international adoption section on the Adoption STAR website. You can also contact the agency by email or phone at (716)639-3900 for more information.