E.J. Graff’s blog over at the American Prospect talks about Dr. Jane Aronson and adoption today:
“Here’s what matters most: Aronson told the adoption lobby that adoption is notthe solution for the world’s needy children. She asks:
Why did we create such a marvelous bureaucracy to improve international adoption practices and not pour some of that money into the welfare of mothers in these countries?Substitute “families” for “mothers”—some of those children are living with grandmothers, sisters, or cousins—and that’s the right question. Although UNICEF is often quoted as saying that there are 163 million orphans today, few people understand that the vast majority of those have lost only one parent—and most of the rest are living with extended families. In much of Asia and Africa, when children are living in institutions, it’s not because their parents are dead; rather, it’s because their families are too poor to keep them alive or have no childcare during the long days of bringing in the harvest. What we might call “orphanages” are usually child-welfare centers, places for the families to be certain that children are fed, housed, and educated. One African social-welfare minister declared, years ago, that there are no orphanages in Africa, just boarding schools for poor children. Our country has gone through that phase as well; a family friend of mine grew up spending his weekdays in an orphanage in Cleveland, going home to his working mother on the weekends.
Read the full piece here: http://blog.prospect.org/ej_graff/2011/09/adoption-is-not-a-solution-for.html