The Chronicle of Social Change recently published this op-ed piece regarding international adoption. It’s an interesting read, especially in light of recent publications by other organizations that postulate on the declining numbers.
Certainly, there are many factors at play in the declining numbers of children coming to American homes via international adoption programs. The op-ed cites these main factors:
- Improvements in sending countries regulations and child welfare practices
- Concerns about “unregulated custody transfer, more commonly referred to as ‘rehoming,'”
- Improvement in ethical standards of adoption
- Increased domestic adoptions within various sending nations.
However, one other important factor that depends strongly upon individual citizen response caught our eye:
Another challenge is that some countries, including South Korea, have made it clear that the failure of the U.S. government to ensure full citizenship for adoptees is unacceptable. The failure of the U.S. government to protect adoptees not covered by the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 has eroded confidence in the United States as a destination for their children. More than 50,000 adoptees who came to this country prior to the enactment of the bill are at risk of deportation. Unfortunately, the Adoptee Citizenship Act remains hostage to a process that confuses strengthening adoption policy with “weakening” immigration policy.
Creating a Family has been quite outspoken about the need for citizens to have a strong voice in passing the Adoptee Citizenship Act. If you have not yet spoken to your representatives, check out this resource for how to be involved -> Adoptee Rights Campaign.
Whether you agree with this op-ed or not, your voice matters at the state and federal level. Our mantra at Creating a Family is “knowledge is power” and once you’ve educated yourself on the issues, we urge you to speak up to those who have been elected to represent you and your family. Here’s a tool to help you find them: Members of the United States Congress.
Clearly, there is much work to be done by Congress, advocates, and adoption service providers. But that work must be driven by a strong citizen response. All for the sake of the thousands of children who deserve a loving, permanent family – all around the world.