I’ve been contemplating getting back in the blogging spirit, and had a couple of different blogposts in mind for doing that. Those will have to wait, though, because something that came across my internet connection yesterday was begging for a response, and helps put how I’ve been feeling lately in context.
That context is I can be silent no more.
I know what you are thinking. I’m hardly silent. I’ve been posting on my blog, on web forums, on Twitter, and on Facebook aboud hard adoption topics. About adoption truths. But the reality is I’ve been speaking in an echo chamber to people who for the most part feel like I do. Or at least in the same galaxy.
It’s no secret that I think that most international adoptions are tainted and wrong. That it’s wrong to rip children from their families and homelands. But what about kids who need homes, you ask? So many of them would have homes but for the economic incentives provided by IA. Those who don’t? IA simply provides the sending countries a convenient out.
Take China for instance. I have no doubt there are children in the social welfare system who are there because they legitimately need families, though those children are a fraction of those adopted overseas. But so long as white westerners will take those kids off China’s hands, what motivation does China have to address it’s woeful lack of social safety net that leaves children and families without adequate health care and educational opportunities? IA simply allows China to avoid the problem AND make money in the process. That is unconscionable.
Here’s what I mean by Silent No More. My voice is now going beyond the echo chamber of social media. I saw the following blog post yesterday, and was quite literally sick to my stomach. Here’s a link to a cached version from when the blog was open:
I would deconstruct the numerous ways this blog post sickens me to my core, but others have beaten me to it, most notably adult international adoptee Daniel Ibn Zayd, whose post you can read here. Let’s face it, though. This woman is pathetic and horribly ill-suited to be an adoptive parent, but at least she’s honest. And she tells me and the world what we know. Numerous people are adopting via IA for the very sickening reasons she outlines. And a scary, scary number are adopting using one single “Christian” agency called Lifeline Children’s Services.
Lifeline has gotten an interesting rep over the years. That agency is a problem that goes well beyond this family. Lifeline is known throughout the Chinese adoption community as the go-to agency for potential adopters who are seeking to adopt to evangelize a child or to raise their status with God or their church. Any person who is coming to an agency for such an improper motive is turned away, but Lifeline not only welcomes the attitude, it seems to encourage it. It’s a well-known fact that if you are turned down by another agency, you go to Lifeline. The blogger linked above? After her blog post went viral she reported on Facebook that she called her Lifeline rep, who prayed with her about the “spiritual warfare” being waged on her by overseas atheists. Spare me.
So here’s where I’m silent no more. This blogger is an idiot and a disaster waiting to happen. But she’s the tip of the iceberg. Lifeline is the problem, and it’s clear Lifeline is not placing consistent with the Hague Convention or the federal statutes and regulations implementing Hague after its ratification by the United States. Children have rights, and dammit, it should be a right to be placed with a family who thinks of you as a human and not an accessory to prove to your friends how godly you are. Thus, I’ve filed a complaint with the State Department alleging a violation of Hague standards.
The time for the echo chamber is over. Talk on the internet is cheap. Unethical practices must stop, and people have to step forward and say stop, and stop now. Am I laboring under any illusions that my complaint will shut down Lifeline? No. But if that heinous agency must step back and justify its practices to someone, anyone in authority, and is forced to rethink its business model even just a teeny bit, then it’s worth it.
This is notice to the world. I’m no longer silent. I’m no longer speaking just to my friends. I will be bringing the fight to you. It will be long and bloody, but my commitment to my daughter makes it worth it. Now you know.