22 Sep 2011

The Author

Author of the award-winning book Finding Fernanda. Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. Redux Pictures photographer. Read more here.


9/22/2011: “Adoption Is Not a Solution for Poor Children” by E.J. Graff

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

  1. I think it would be wise to post Dr. Jane Aronson’s article so it will not be misconstrued.
    thank you.

  2. Dear Erin,
    To give a balanced picture you should also post about the numerous adoptions that were totally legitimate. My daughter’s adoption was exactly that and I have verified it by finding the birthmother. Most of the adoptions were above board – but tragically there was corruption. However it does no good to dig up the past ad nauseum – adoptions from Guatemala are closed, the orphanages are bursting at the seams, and most of ur adoptive parents of children born in Guatemala continue to send money and support to birth families, orphanages, and various NGO’s and organizations who work endlessly to help the population of Guatemala. Additionally, many adoptive parents not only go on mission trips themselves, they take their children with them.
    Thank you,
    Lisa S.

  3. I’d like to second the comment of Lisa S, above. Like Lisa, and many other adoptive parents to children in Guatemala, I have searched for and found the birth mothers of both my children and know their decisions to relinquish were made–not without pain and loss–but freely. Also, like many other APs, we send money and support to our extended family, various NGOs, and orphanages in Guatemala.

    Adoptions from Guatemala have been closed since 2007. What positive steps are being taken by the governments of the US and Guatemala to help the women and children in Guatemala? As an AP, I know what I am doing, personally. I agree with Lisa’s comment that a balanced view of adoption should include both sides of the story.
    Jessica O’Dwyer

  4. Hi Lisa and Jessica, this is a clip that was published at the American Prospect, so you guys might want to try posting your comments there!

  5. Please sign this petition on http://www.change.org for Anyeli Rodreguez to be returned to her mother!

Leave a comment

By submitting a comment here you grant this site a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution.