My heart breaks for these parents, even as I wish they hadn't started the process. The State Department, and honest people in the adoption community had warned against initiating adoptions from Guatemala as early as 2006. But the potential parents were hearing different stories. The Adoption agencies as late as the fall of 2007 were still saying these children would die if not adopted. When your heart is inclined to adopt, choosing which of the conflicting reports to believe is a no brainer. Hmmm. Unintended pun there. It is a heart issue, not a brain issue. The only problem is that the conflicting reports on one side were conscientious attempts to protect these hearts. The other, a shameless attempt to profit from the desire of these hearts. And a lie.
The adoption debate is winding down in Guatemala, as agencies reportedly focus on the "next Guatemala" in Nicaragua or Ethiopia. But it still rages in the hoping hearts of these potential parents. And it still lives in the lives of these children...caught in a limbo where their mother cannot be found in some cases, and in which they have no other option than these American parents. Theior legal status is tied up in the adoption started way back when, so they can't even be presented to Guatemalan families.
The debate is winding down, but the residue is all over, staining the lives of women and attorneys, and Chrsitian Agencies and adoptive parents. And especially the children. The children adopted from Guatemala in the past 5 years will grow up to learn of the doubts and even sad facts of adoptions, and wonder.
Parents who love their children need to prepare for that time. They need to do everything they can to determine the veracity of the adoption . But there will also be a portion, who upon further investigation, find that their adoption was a false process. They need to come to terms with the implications. You can't change the past. But ignoring and denying it doesn't work. Truth is the only hope for being free from the residue, for all of the victims of the scam artists.
The parents who care about what their children will face, need to stop listening to the profiteers of adoption, and consider hearing from fellow victims.
Here is an article written by Mirah Riben, who has taken up the cause of honesty in adoptions since she relinquished her child in the 60's. The article's title was provocative, but I don't find her in spirit to be vindictive, and her implication of the Religious Right is not glaring. BUT the idea that false premises have created the fiasco that international adoptions have become here in Guatemala is thought provoking.
Mirah quotes Jae Ran Kim, a South Korea-born/American raised adoptee and social worker in the field of adoption and child welfare laments: “It is ethnocentric and arrogant to think that the United States has any business telling another country how they should manage the problem of orphaned, abandoned or relinquished children. We can’t even solve this problem within our own shores."
I feel like Jae's comments can also be applied to missionaries in general.
Maybe a truth and reconciliation commission is necessary for these children. And their parents.
Let those who have deceived well meaning parents and manipulated and abused poor mothers go swimming with millstones.